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The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's
by John Kenneth Galbraith

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's
oldest exercises in moral philosophy;
that is,
the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Related topics: Politics

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind
and proving that there is no need to do so,
almost everyone gets busy on the proof.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Money differs from an automobile or mistress in being
equally important to those who have it and those who do not.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

 

Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Humor is richly rewarding to the person who employs it.
It has some value in gaining and holding attention,
but it has no persuasive value at all.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Under capitalism, man exploits man.
Under communism, it's just the opposite.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

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More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Wealth, in even the most improbable cases,
manages to convey the aspect of intelligence.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Liberalism is, I think, resurgent.
One reason is that more and more people are so painfully
aware of the alternative.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Wealth is not without its advantages and the case to the contrary,
although it has often been made, has never proved widely persuasive.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Few people at the beginning of the nineteenth century
needed an adman to tell them what they wanted.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

We have escapist fiction, so why not escapist biography?
- John Kenneth Galbraith

In the choice between changing ones mind and proving
there's no need to do so,
most people get busy on the proof.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

You will find that the State is the kind of organization which,
though it does big things badly, does small things badly,
too.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

In economics, the majority is always wrong.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Modesty is a vastly overrated virtue.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The process by which banks create money is so simple
that the mind is repelled.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

There is something wonderful in seeing a wrong-headed
majority assailed by truth.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific
pretension and also a deep desire for respectability.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

A person buying ordinary products in a supermarket
is in touch with his deepest emotions.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Of all classes the rich are the most noticed and the least studied.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Politics is not the art of the possible.
It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

In the United States, though power corrupts,
the expectation of power paralyzes.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character
building values of the privation of the poor.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

There is certainly no absolute standard of beauty.
That precisely is what makes its pursuit so interesting.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Few can believe that suffering, especially by others,
is in vain.
Anything that is disagreeable must surely have beneficial economic effects.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor
in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The great dialectic in our time is not,
as anciently and by some still supposed,
between capital and labor; it is between economic enterprise and the state.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The Metropolis should have been aborted long before it became New York,
London or Tokyo.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Power is not something that can be assumed or discarded at will like underwear.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

There's a certain part of the contented majority who
love anybody who is worth a billion dollars.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

In all life one should comfort the afflicted,
but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable,
and especially when they are comfortably,
contentedly, even happily wrong.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

People who are in a fortunate position always attribute
virtue to what makes them so happy.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

We all agree that pessimism is a mark of superior intellect.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The commencement speech is not, I think,
a wholly satisfactory manifestation of our culture.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties,
namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money,
the poor because they had much.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

War remains the decisive human failure.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

It would be foolish to suggest that government is a
good custodian of aesthetic goals.
But, there is no alternative to the state.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

In any great organization it is far,
far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

If wrinkles must be written upon our brows,
let them not be written upon the heart.
The spirit should never grow old.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to
know what you do not know.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The only function of economic forecasting is to make
astrology look respectable.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

It has been the acknowledged right of every Marxist
scholar to read into Marx the particular meaning that
he himself prefers and to treat all others with indignation.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

By all but the pathologically romantic,
it is now recognized that this is not the age of the small man.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Much literary criticism comes from people for whom
extreme specialization is a cover for either grave
cerebral inadequacy or terminal laziness,
the latter being a much cherished aspect of academic freedom.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common:
it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the
major anxiety of their people in their time.
This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation
is not a market award for achievement.
It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture
by the individual to himself.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

A bad book is the worse that it cannot repent.
It has not been the devil's policy to keep the masses of mankind in ignorance;
but finding that they will read,
he is doing all in his power to poison their books.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Meetings are a great trap.
Soon you find yourself trying to get agreement and
then the people who disagree come to think they have a right to be persuaded.
However, they are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

There are few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception.
When an official reports that talks were useful,
it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Economics is a subject profoundly conducive to cliche,
resonant with boredom.
On few topics is an American audience so practiced
in turning off its ears and minds.
And none can say that the response is ill advised.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable,
much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine.
A beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it,
thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt.
It is now the only place in our overly active world that does.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

People who work together will win,
whether it be against complex football defenses,
or the problems of modern society.
- Vince Lombardi

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world
that we must love our enemies - or else?
The chain reaction of evil -
hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -
must be broken, or else we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Modern cynics and skeptics... see no harm in paying those
to whom they entrust the minds of their children
a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom
they entrust the care of their plumbing.
- John F. Kennedy

Your modern teenager is not about to listen to advice from an old person,
defined as a person who remembers when there was no Velcro.
- Dave Barry

One of the most feared expressions in modern times
is 'The computer is down.'
- Norman Ralph Augustine

The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one,
particularly if he plays golf.
- Bertrand Russell

Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking
at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea.
- John Ciardi

Fathers in today's modern families can be so many things.
- Oliver Hudson

Rome has not seen a modern building in more than half a century.
It is a city frozen in time.
- Richard Meier

The modern assault on the environment began about 50 years ago,
during and immediately after World War II.
- Barry Commoner

Academe, n.: An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught.
Academy, n.: A modern school where football is taught.
- Ambrose Bierce


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