400+ Sourced quotes
It's true that government cannot prevent all the downsides of the technological change and global competition that are out there right now, and some of those forces are also some of the things that are helping us grow. And it's also true that some programs in the past, like welfare before it was reformed, were sometimes poorly designed, created disincentives to work. But we've also seen how government action time and again can make an enormous difference in increasing opportunity and bolstering ladders into the middle class. Investments in education, laws establishing collective bargaining, and a minimum wage — these all contributed to rising standards of living for massive numbers of Americans.
Lenin's methods [of "hard" centralism and mistrust of the working class] lead to this: the party organization substitutes itself for the party, the central committee substitutes itself for the organization, and, finally, a "dictator" substitutes himself for the central committee. … The party must seek the guarantee of its stability in its own base, in an active and self-reliant proletariat, and not in its top caucus … which the revolution may suddenly sweep away with its wing.
Present-day society is wholly based on the exploitation of the vast masses of the working class by a tiny minority of the population, the class of the landowners and that of the capitalists. It is a slave society, since the free workers, who all their life work for the capitalists, are entitled only to such means of subsistence as are essential for the maintenance of slaves who produce profit, for the safeguarding and perpetuation of capitalist slavery.
I have never seen a class so deeply demoralised, so incurably debased by selfishness, so corroded within, so incapable of progress, as the English bourgeoisie; and I mean by this, especially the bourgeoisie proper, particularly the Liberal, Corn Law repealing bourgeoisie. For it nothing exists in this world, except for the sake of money, itself not excluded. It knows no bliss save that of rapid gain, no pain save that of losing gold. In the presence of this avarice and lust of gain, it is not possible for a single human sentiment or opinion to remain untainted.
From the internal reality, by which I means the totality of psychological experiences, it [science] actually separates us. Art, for example, deals with many more aspects of this internal reality than does science, which confines itself deliberately and by convention to the study of one very limited class of experiences—the experiences of sense.
I think that I've learned some lessons over the past four years, and the most important lesson I've learned is that you can't change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside. That's how I got elected and that's how the big accomplishments like health care got done – was because we mobilized the American people to speak out. That's how we were able to cut taxes for middle class families. So, something that I'd really like to concentrate on in my second term is being in a much more constant conversation with the American people, so that they can put pressure on Congress to move some of these issues forward.
We must recognize that it is a cardinal sin against democracy to support a man for public office because he belongs to a given creed or to oppose him because he belongs to a given creed. It is just as evil as to draw the line between class and class, between occupation and occupation in political life. No man who tries to draw either line is a good American. True Americanism demands that we judge each man on his conduct, that we so judge him in private life and that we so judge him in public life.
There is a certain class of unbelievers who sometimes ask me such questions as, if I think that I can live on vegetable food alone; and to strike at the root of the matter at once,--for the root is faith,--I am accustomed to answer such, that I can live on board nails. If they cannot understand that, they cannot understand much that I have to say.
It is true that I want to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the very wealthiest Americans and go back to the rate that they paid under Bill Clinton. John McCain calls that socialism. What he forgets, conveniently, is that just a few years ago, he himself said those Bush tax cuts were irresponsible. He said he couldn't in good conscience support tax cuts where the benefit went to the wealthy at the expense of middle class Americans who most need the tax relief. That's his quote. Well, he was right then, and I am right now.
As it is with the soldier, so it is with the civilian. To win success in the business world, to become a first-class mechanic, a successful farmer, an able lawyer or doctor, means that the man has devoted his best energy and power through long years to the achievement of his ends. So it is in the life of the family, upon which in the last analysis the whole welfare of the nation rests. The man or woman who, as bread-winner and home-maker, or as wife and mother, has done all that he or she can do, patiently and uncomplainingly, is to be honored; and is to be envied by all those who have never had the good fortune to feel the need and duty of doing such work.
Terrorists bow to the spontaneity of the passionate indignation of intellectuals, who lack the ability or opportunity to connect the revolutionary struggle and the working-class movement into an integral whole. It is difficult indeed for those who have lost their belief, or who have never believed, that this is possible, to find some outlet for their indignation and revolutionary energy other than terror.
Instead of deciding once in three or six years which member of the ruling class was to misrepresent the people in Parliament, universal suffrage was to serve the people, constituted in Communes, as individual suffrage serves every other employer in the search for the workmen and managers in his business.
There are good citizens and bad citizens in every class as in every locality, and the attitude of decent people toward great public and social questions should be determined, not by the accidental questions of employment or locality, but by those deep-set principles which represent the innermost souls of men.
The Emancipation Proclamation shattered in one blow the slave system, undermining the foundations of the economy of the rebellious South; and guaranteed that no slave-holding class, if permitted to exist in defeat, could prepare a new and deadlier war after resuscitation. The Proclamation opened the door to self-liberation by the Negro upon which he immediately acted by deserting the plantations in the South and joining the Union armies in the North.