Quotes by I F Stone

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There must be renewed recognition that societies are kept stable and healthy by reform, not by thought police; this means there must be free play for so-called subversive ideas - every idea subverts the old to make way for the new. To shut off subversion is to shut off peaceful progress and to invite revolution and war. more...

I sought in political reporting what Galsworthy in another context had called "the significant trifle" - the bit of dialogue, the overlooked fact, the buried observation which illuminated the realities of the situation. more...

A certain moral imbecility marks all ethnocentric movements. more...

I thought I might teach philosophy but the atmosphere of a college faculty repelled me; the few islands of greatness seemed to be washed by seas of pettiness and mediocrity. more...

If you expect to see the final results of your work, you simply have not asked a big enough question. more...

The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you're going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. more...

If you live long enough, you get accused of things you never did and praised for virtues you never had. more...

The arms race is based on an optimistic view of technology and a pessimistic view of man. It assumes there is no limit to the ingenuity of science and no limit to the deviltry of human beings. more...

Victor Serge died in exile and obscurity, apparently no more than a splinter of a splinter in the Marxist movement. But with the passage of the years, he looms up as one of the great moral figures of our time, an artist of such integrity and a revolutionary of such purity as to overshadow those who achieved fame and power. His failure was his success. I know of no participant in Russia's revolution and Spain's agonies who more deserves the attention of our concerned youth. more...

You've really got to wear a chastity belt in Washington to preserve your journalistic virginity. Once the secretary of state invites you to lunch and asks your opinion, you're sunk. more...

All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out. more...

Every time we are confronted with a new revolution we take to the opium pipes of our own propaganda. more...

The fault I find with most American newspapers is not the absence of dissent. it is the absence of news. With a dozen or so honorable exceptions, most American newspapers carry very little news. Their main concern is advertising. more...

Every man is his own Pygmalion, and spends his life fashioning himself. And in fashioning himself, for good or ill, he fashions the human race and its future. more...

The biggest difference between ancient Rome and the USA is that in Rome the common man was treated like a dog. In America he sets the tone. This is the first country where the common man could stand erect. more...

If you live long enough, the venerability factor creeps in; you get accused of things you never did and praised for virtues you never had. more...

The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you're going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. more...

I sought in political reporting what Galsworthy in another context had called the significant trifle - the bit of dialogue, the overlooked fact, the buried observation which illuminated the realities of the situation. more...

Lifelong dissent has more than acclimated me cheerfully to defeat. It has made me suspicious of victory. I feel uneasy at the very idea of a Movement. I see every insight degenerating into a dogma, and fresh thoughts freezing into lifeless party line. more...

The only social justice movements worth fighting for are the struggles for justice where you lose, you lose, you lose- until you win. more...

When war comes, reason is regarded as treason. more...

When you're young, you get blamed for crimes that you didn't commit. When you are old, you get credit for virtues that you never had. I guess it all evens out in the end. more...

You have to take the long view. First, when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, man has already progressed to the point where a commandment against cannibalism was no longer necessary. And, second, it's like pissing on a boulder. For the first few thousand years, you don't see any effect. But after that, you start to see a definite impact. more...

If you want to know about governments, all you need to know is two words: Governments lie. more...

If you live long enough, the venerability factor creeps in; first, you get accused of things you never did, and later, credited for virtues you never had. more...

Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed. more...

All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed. more...

The difference between burlesque and the newspapers is that the former never pretended to be performing a public service by exposure. more...

If God, as some now say, is dead, He no doubt died of trying to find an equitable solution to the Arab-Jewish problem. more...

Every emancipation has in it the seeds of a new slavery, and every truth easily becomes a lie. more...

The only thing God didn't do to Job was give him a computer. more...

Rich people march on Washington every day. more...

History is a tragegy, not a morality tale. more...


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