Theodore Dalrymple Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 73 Theodore Dalrymple Quotes

#1. Obesity is the result of a loss of self-control. Indeed, loss of self-control might be said to be the defining social (or anti-social) characteristic of our age: public drunkenness, excessive gambling, promiscuity and common-or-garden rudeness are all examples of our collective loss of self-control. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#2. A taste for kitsch among the well-to-do is a sign of spiritual impoverishment; but among the poor, it represents a striving for beauty, an aspiration without the likelihood of fulfilment. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#3. Custine described them as 'automata inconvenienced with a soul': a description true, perhaps, of all bureaucrats fearful for their jobs but truest of all where power is both arbitrary and completely centralised, as it was in Russia. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#4. If the history of the 20th Century proved anything, it proved that however bad things were, human ingenuity could usually find a way to make them worse. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#5. Original sin - that is to say, the sin of having been born with human nature that contains within it the temptation to evil - will always make a mockery of attempts at perfection based upon manipulation of the environment. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#6. To regret religion is to regret Western civilization. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#7. The first requirement of civilisation is that men should be willing to repress their basest instincts and appetites: failure to do which makes them, on account of their intelligence, far worse than mere beasts. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#8. In The Gulag Archipelago, for example, Alexander Solzhenitsyn remarks that Shakespeare's evildoers, Macbeth notably among them, stop short at a mere dozen corpses because they have no ideology. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#9. Restraints upon our natural inclinations, which left to themselves do not automatically lead us to do what is good for us and often indeed lead us to evil, are not only necessary; they are the indispensable condition of civilized existence. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#10. Demonstrative proof is lacking, but if we thought only about those things about which such proof were available, our minds would be empty most of the time. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#11. I've heard a hundred different variations of instances of unadulterated female victimhood, yet the silence of the feminists is deafening. Where two pieties
feminism and multi-culturalism
come into conflict, the only way of preserving both is an indecent silence. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#12. All forms of human happiness contain within themselves the seeds of their own decomposition. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#13. It is clear to me that people often want incompatible things. They want danger and excitement on the one hand, and safety and security on the other, and often simultaneously. Contradictory desires mean that life can never be wholly satisfying or without frustration. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#14. The worth of a cause is not necessarily proportional to the lengths to which people will go to promote it. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#15. The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#16. the only way to eliminate hypocrisy from human existence is to abandon all principles whatsoever; - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#17. an attachment to his culture is, for the European, the beginning of the slippery slope. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#18. If the war against drugs is lost, then so are the wars against theft, speeding, incest, fraud, rape, murder, arson, and illegal parking. Few, if any, such wars are winnable. So let us all do anything we choose. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#19. I learned early in my life that if people were offered the opportunity of tranquility, they often reject it and choose torment instead. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#20. (Psychoanalysis, it seems, does wonders for a man's prose style: it renders it labyrinthine without subtlety.) There is no place, then, for human agency, except the kind that leads you to talk about yourself in the presence of another for twenty years. Shallowness can go no deeper. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#21. It is only by having desire thwarted, and thereby learning to control it - in other words, by becoming civilized - that men become fully human. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#22. How many people does each of us know who claim to seek happiness but freely choose paths inevitably leading to misery? - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#23. As the Habsburg military used to say, the situation is catastrophic, but not serious. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#24. Like all pacifists, Zweig evaded the question of how to protect the peaceful sheep from the ravening wolves, no doubt in the unrealistic hope that the wolves would one day discover the advantages of vegetarianism. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#25. How can one respect people as members of the human race unless one holds them to a standard of conduct and truthfulness? - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#26. Parents are perhaps the most common object of resentment, the people who are most frequently blamed for all our failings and failures alike. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#27. security - the feeling that nothing could change seriously for the worse, and that the life that you had was invulnerable - was illusory and even dangerous. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#28. The Cartesian point of moral epistemology: I'm angry, therefore I'm right. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#29. Havana is like Beirut, without having gone through the civil war to achieve the destruction. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#30. Political correctness is often the attempt to make sentimentality socially obligatory or legally enforceable. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#31. The world has a lot to thank murderers for, when you come to think of it. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#32. even received a few requests that I send medicine, since none was available in the local pharmacies - an admission, unthinkable a few years ago, that all is not well in the much-vaunted health-care system. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#33. All that is necessary for evil to triumph, said Burke, is for good men to do nothing; and most good men nowadays can be relied upon to do precisely that. Where a reputation for intolerance is more feared than a reputation for vice itself, all manner of evil may be expected to flourish. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#34. However, it has long been known that diazepam and other similar drugs cause falls in the elderly, and such falls are often the precursor of death. It has also been suspected that, by some unspecified mechanism, diazepam (and sleeping draughts of all kinds) promote death. A - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#35. Facts are much more malleable than prejudices. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#36. The road to heaven is paved with fulfilled desires, and to hell with frustrated ones. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#37. I sometimes astonish my patients by telling them that it is far more important that they should be able to lose themselves than that they should be able to find themselves. For it is only in losing oneself that one does find oneself. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#38. Feeling good about yourself is not the same thing as doing good. Good policy is more important than good feelings. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#39. I do not think it possible for anyone to get by in life without prejudice. However, the attempt to do so leads many people to suppose that, in order to decide any moral question, they have to find an indubitable first principle from which they can deduce an answer. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#40. Fascism is not fashion. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#41. [T]he scale of a man's evil is not entirely to be measured by its practical consequences. Men commit evil within the scope available to them. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#42. The idea that freedom is merely the ability to act upon one's whims is surely very thin and hardly begins to capture the complexities of human existence; a man whose appetite is his law strikes us not as liberated but enslaved. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#43. That civilised life cannot be lived without taboos - that some of them may indeed be justified, and that therefore taboo is not in itself an evil to be vanquished - is a thought too subtle for the aesthetes of nihilism. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#44. I have the not altogether unsatisfying impression that civilisation is collapsing around me.
Is it my age, I wonder, or the age we live in? I am not sure. Civilisations do collapse, after all, but on the other hand people grow old with rather greater frequency. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#45. A crude culture makes a coarse people, and private refinement cannot long survive public excess. There is a Gresham's law of culture as well as of money: the bad drives out the good, unless the good is defended. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#46. The bravest and most noble are not those who take up arms, but those who are decent despite everything; who improve what it is in their power to improve, but do not imagine themselves to be saviours. In their humble struggle is true heroism. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#47. every psychic defence mechanism known to the modern psychologist makes its appearance somewhere in Shakespeare. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#48. IT IS A MISTAKE to suppose that all men, or at least all Englishmen, want to be free. On the contrary, if freedom entails responsibility, many of them want none of it. They would happily exchange their liberty for a modest (if illusory) security. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#49. It is not surprising that emotion untutored by thought results in nearly contentless blather, in which--ironically enough--genuine emotion cannot be adequately expressed. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#50. Orders can be benign or malign, but the habit of obeying them can become ingrained. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#51. the knowledge, tastes, and social accomplishments of 13-year-olds are often the same as those of 28-year-olds. Adolescents are precociously adult; adults are permanently adolescent. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#52. Do I grow cleverer with age, or does the world grow more stupid? - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#53. One of the characteristics of modern political life is its professionalization, such that it attracts mainly the kind of people with so great an avidity for power and self-importance that they do not mind very much the humiliations of the public exposure to which they are inevitably subjected. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#54. In the new Europe, in any case, nationalism is something of an anomaly, given that the drive is to the elimination of national boundaries and national sovereignty. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#55. There is nothing an addict likes more, or that serves as better pretext for continuing his present way of life, than to place the weight of responsibility for his situation somewhere other than on his own decisions. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#56. There is nothing that an intellectual less likes to change than his mind, or a politician his policy. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#57. The purpose of those who argue for cultural diversity is to impose ideological uniformity. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#58. So what exactly are the rewards of resentment. It is always a relief to know that the reason we have failed in life is not because we lack the talent, energy, or determination to succeed, but because of a factor that is beyond our control and that has loaded the dice decisively against us. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#59. Life is a biography, not a series of disconnected moments, more or less pleasurable but increasingly tedious and unsatisfying unless one imposes a purposive pattern upon them. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#60. Let us ask whether medicine is winning the war against death. The answer is obviously no, it isn't winning: the one fundamental rule of human existence remains, unfortunately, one man one death. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#61. We all resort to the ad hominem from time to time: in human affairs, it is difficult to avoid it, and probably not desirable. After all, our opponents are human. The proper use of an ad hominem argument, however, still requires evidence to back it up. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#62. A curious reversal in the locus of moral concern has taken place: people feel responsible for everything except for what they do. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#63. The idea that man is a tabula rasa, or Mao's sheet of blank paper upon which the most beautiful characters can be written, is an old one with disastrous implications. I do not think though that the cults you mention could survive honest thought about human nature. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#64. Equality of Ugliness: If we can't all live in a beautiful place we must all live in an ugly place. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#65. The evils of envy and hatred masquerading as humanitarian idealism had darkened his life from its outset, stamping him as a man quick to search for the reality behind the expression of fine sentiments. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#66. WENT ON a long journey by telephone last week. It started with a message in my office on that fiendish modern invention, second in its monstrousness only to the television, the answerphone. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#67. Nonjudgmentalism is not really nonjudgmental. It is the judgment that ... everything is the same, nothing is better. This is as barbaric and untruthful a doctrine as has yet emerged from the fertile mind of man. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#68. Political correctness is the means by which we try to control others; decency is the means by which we try to control ourselves. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#69. It is only the sentimentalist who imagines that the profundity of a person's response to tragedy is proportional to the length, volume, or shrillness of his lamentation. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#70. When every benefit received is a right, there is no place for good manners, let alone for gratitude. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#71. Shakespeare knows that the tension between men as they are and men as they ought to be will forever remain unresolved. Man's imperfectability is no more an excuse for total permissiveness, however, than are man's imperfections a reason for inflexible intolerance. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#72. One's past is not one's destiny, and it is self-serving to pretend that it is. If henceforth I were miserable, it would be my own fault: and I vowed never to waste my substance on petty domestic conflict. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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#73. There is something deeply attractive, at least to quite a lot of people, about squalor, misery, and vice. They are regarded as more authentic, and certainly more exciting, than cleanliness, happiness, and virtue. - Author: Theodore Dalrymple
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