April 17

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. ~ B. F. Skinner
We ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning. ~ Thornton Wilder (born 17 April 1897)
Where the storyteller is loyal, eternally and unswervingly loyal to the story, there, in the end, silence will speak. Where the story has been betrayed, silence is but emptiness. But we, the faithful, when we have spoken our last word, will hear the voice of silence. ~ Karen Blixen (born 17 April 1885)
Man is not an end but a beginning. We are at the beginning of the second week. We are children of the eighth day. ~ Thornton Wilder
I am not a novelist, really not even a writer; I am a storyteller. One of my friends said about me that I think all sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them, and perhaps this is not entirely untrue. To me, the explanation of life seems to be its melody, its pattern. And I feel in life such an infinite, truly inconceivable fantasy. ~ Karen Blixen
The real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom. It is not the freedom of the dictator, who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will. ~ Karen Blixen
The Anarchists never have claimed that liberty will bring perfection; they simply say that its results are vastly preferable to those that follow authority. ~ Benjamin Tucker
Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it
And from the nave build haunted heaven. Thus,
The conscience is converted into palms,
Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle. That's clear. But take
The opposing law and make a peristyle,
And from the peristyle project a masque
Beyond the planets. Thus, our bawdiness,
Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,
Is equally converted into palms,
Squiggling like saxophones. And palm for palm,
Madame, we are where we began.

~ Wallace Stevens ~
A poem involving peristyles and palms for Palm Sunday 2011, in both Western and Eastern Orthodox calendars.
It is only in appearance that time is a river. It is rather a vast landscape and it is the eye of the beholder that moves. ~ Thornton Wilder
If rules make you nervous and depressed, and not desirous of participating in the Wiki, then ignore them and go about your business.
~ Lee Daniel Crocker ~
We designate by the term "State" institutions that embody absolutism in its extreme form and institutions that temper it with more or less liberality. We apply the word alike to institutions that do nothing but aggress and to institutions that, besides aggressing, to some extent protect and defend. But which is the State's essential function, aggression or defence, few seem to know or care.
~ Benjamin Tucker ~
"Passive resistance," said Ferdinand Lassalle, with an obtuseness thoroughly German, "is the resistance which does not resist." Never was there a greater mistake. It is the only resistance which in these days of military discipline resists with any result. There is not a tyrant in the civilized world today who would not do anything in his power to precipitate a bloody revolution rather than see himself confronted by any large fraction of his subjects determined not to obey. An insurrection is easily quelled; but no army is willing or able to train its guns on inoffensive people who do not even gather in the streets but stay at home and stand back on their rights. Neither the ballot nor the bayonet is to play any great part in the coming struggle; passive resistance is the instrument by which the revolutionary force is destined to secure in the last great conflict the people's rights forever.
~ Benjamin Tucker ~
Money is like manure; it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow.
~ Thornton Wilder ~
The population of the world is gradually dividing into two classes, Anarchists and criminals.
~ Benjamin Tucker ~
The idea that Anarchy can be inaugurated by force is as fallacious as the idea that it can be sustained by force. Force cannot preserve Anarchy; neither can it bring it. In fact, one of the inevitable influences of the use of force is to postpone Anarchy. The only thing that force can ever do for us is to save us from extinction, to give us a longer lease of life in which to try to secure Anarchy by the only methods that can ever bring it. But this advantage is always purchased at immense cost, and its attainment is always attended by frightful risk. The attempt should be made only when the risk of any other course is greater.
~ Benjamin Tucker ~
As angels in some brighter dreams
Call to the soul when man doth sleep,
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
And into glory peep.
~ Henry Vaughan ~
As a general rule, the better people are, the more Anarchists and Socialists will be found among them.
~ Benjamin Tucker ~
Hope, like faith, is nothing if it is not courageous; it is nothing if it is not ridiculous.
~ Thornton Wilder ~
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
~ Jesus ~
~ Gospel of John ~
  • proposed by Kalki, in regard of Easter Sunday 2022.
On the stage it is always now; the personages are standing on that razor edge, between the past and the future, which is the essential character of conscious being; the words are rising to their lips in immediate spontaneity … The theater is supremely fitted to say: "Behold! These things are."
~ Thornton Wilder ~
Wherever you come near the human race there's layers and layers of nonsense.
~ Thornton Wilder ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:

  • I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

The Quote of the Day (QOTD) is a prominent feature of the Wikiquote Main Page. Thank you for submitting, reviewing, and ranking suggestions!

Ranking system
4 : Excellent – should definitely be used. (This is the utmost ranking and should be used by any editor for only one quote at a time for each date.)
3 : Very Good – strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good – some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable – but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable – not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.
An averaging of the rankings provided to each suggestion produces it’s general ranking in considerations for selection of Quote of the Day. The selections made are usually chosen from the top ranked options existing on the page, but the provision of highly ranked late additions, especially in regard to special events (most commonly in regard to the deaths of famous people, or other major social or physical occurrences), always remain an option for final selections.
Thank you for participating!



Love is an energy which exists of itself. It is its own value. ~ Thornton Wilder

  • 3 Kalki 20:47, 15 April 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 22:33, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 23:52, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

A dramatist is one who believes that the pure event, an action involving human beings, is more arresting than any comment that can be made upon it. ~ Thornton Wilder

  • 3 Kalki 20:47, 15 April 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 22:33, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 23:52, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

The best of my nature reveals itself in play, and play is sacred. ~ Karen Blixen

  • 3 Kalki 04:09, 19 April 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 22:02, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 23:52, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Africa, amongst the continents, will teach it to you: that God and the Devil are one, the majesty coeternal, not two uncreated but one uncreated, and the Natives neither confounded the persons nor divided the substance. ~ Karen Blixen

Terrorism has no motherland and terrorists have no nationality. ~ Karen Demirchyan (born April 17)

  • 3 because it is very true. Those who terrorize for no reason have commitment to absolutely no ideals and belong to no race, religion, or land. They serve no one. - Zarbon 04:13, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
    • SOURCE: BBC Archive - NewsBank - Oct 20, 1999
  • 2 InvisibleSun 02:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

In Beauty's dwelling all things fair,
And rich, to win her sweet smiles strove;
But still young Beauty's only care
Was, to watch o'er the lamp of Love.
~ Eliza Acton

But tir'd at length poor Beauty slept,
And while she rested, wearied quite,
Indifference to the dear lamp crept,
And quench'd its warm, and splendid light.
~ Eliza Acton

It's better to live one day as a lion, than one hundred years as a worm. ~ Željko Ražnatović

  • 3 Zarbon 19:18, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

If somebody wants to kill me, he will - no matter what stands in his way. ~ Željko Ražnatović

  • 2 Zarbon 19:18, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

They are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit lingering here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.
~ Henry Vaughan

  • 3 Zarbon 19:18, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 02:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.

I see them walking in an air of glory
Whose light doth trample on my days,
My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,
Mere glimmering and decays.
~ Henry Vaughan

  • 3 and lean toward 4. Zarbon 19:18, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 02:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Dear, beauteous death, the jewel of the just!
Shining nowhere but in the dark;
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
Could man outlook that mark!
~ Henry Vaughan

Product and capital are essentially different things; the former belongs to individuals, the latter to society. ~ Benjamin Tucker

All freedom of trade must disappear. Competition must be utterly wiped out. All industrial and commercial activity must be centered in one vast, enormous, all-inclusive monopoly. The remedy for monopolies is monopoly. ~ Benjamin Tucker

What other applications this principle of Authority, once adopted in the economic sphere, will develop is very evident. It means the absolute control by the majority of all individual conduct. The right of such control is already admitted by the State Socialists, though they maintain that, as a matter of fact, the individual would be allowed a much larger liberty than he now enjoys. But he would only be allowed it; he could not claim it as his own. There would be no foundation of society upon a guaranteed equality of the largest possible liberty. Such liberty as might exist would exist by sufferance and could be taken away at any moment. Constitutional guarantees would be of no avail. There would be but one article in the constitution of a State Socialistic country: "The right of the majority is absolute." ~ Benjamin Tucker

Laissez Faire was very good sauce for the goose, labor, but was very poor sauce for the gander, capital. ~ Benjamin Tucker

The nurse and the teacher, like the doctor and the preacher, must be selected voluntarily, and their services must be paid for by those who patronize them. Parental rights must not be taken away, and parental responsibilities must not be foisted upon others. ~ Benjamin Tucker

Once for all, then, we are not opposed to the punishment of thieves and murderers; we are opposed to their manufacture. ~ Benjamin Tucker

  • 3 Zarbon 00:48, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 02:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3. but would extend it for context:
Can you not see that it is the State that creates the conditions which give birth to thieves and murderers, and that to justify its existence on the ground of the prevalence of theft and murder is a logical process every whit as absurd as those used to defeat your efforts to abolish slavery and the Church?
Once for all, then, we are not opposed to the punishment of thieves and murderers; we are opposed to their manufacture.

I have also seen it stated that Capital punishment is murder in its worst form. I should like to know upon what principle of human society these assertions are based and justified. ~ Benjamin Tucker

But this is not to say that the society which inflicts capital punishment commits murder. Murder is an offensive act. The term cannot be applied legitimately to any defensive act. And capital punishment, however ineffective it may be and through whatever ignorance it may be resorted to, is a strictly defensive act, - at least in theory. ~ Benjamin Tucker

I insist that there is nothing sacred in the life of an invader, and there is no valid principle of human society that forbids the invaded to protect themselves in whatever way they can. ~ Benjamin Tucker

  • 3 and lean toward 4. Zarbon 00:48, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 02:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

It is not wise warfare to throw your ammunition to the enemy unless you throw it from the cannon's mouth. But if you can compel the enemy to waste his ammunition by drawing his fire on some thoroughly protected spot; if you can, by annoying and goading and harassing him in all possible ways, drive him to the last resort of stripping bare his tyrannous and invasive purposes and put him in the attitude of a designing villain assailing honest men for purposes of plunder; there is no better strategy. ~ Benjamin Tucker

Commanded love of all men indiscriminately is an obliteration of distinction between love and hate, and therefore is not love at all. ~ Benjamin Tucker

  • 3 Zarbon 00:48, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 02:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.

One thing, however, is sure, - that in all cases the effort should be to impose all the cost of repairing the wrong upon the doer of the wrong. This alone is real justice, and of course such justice is necessarily free. ~ Benjamin Tucker

  • 3 Zarbon 00:48, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

The moment that justice must be paid for by the victim of injustice it becomes itself injustice. ~ Benjamin Tucker

  • 3 Zarbon 00:48, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

We are here, on earth. Not one of us has any right to the earth. ~ Benjamin Tucker

  • 2 Zarbon 00:48, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

The belief that torture is always wrong is a prejudice inherited from an obsolete philosophy. We need to shed the belief that human rights are violated when a terrorist is tortured. As Rawls and others have shown, basic freedoms must form a coherent whole. Self-evidently, there can be no right to attack basic human rights. Therefore, once the proper legal procedures are in place, torturing terrorists cannot violate their rights. In fact, in a truly liberal society, terrorists have an inalienable right to be tortured. ~ John N. Gray

  • 2 Zarbon 01:08, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2. Would prefer the suggestion which follows, which makes it clearer, out of context, that this was written satirically. - 02:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Human rights are not just cultural or legal constructions, as fashionable western relativists are fond of claiming. They are universal values. To deny the benefits of the new regime of rights to other cultures is to patronise them in a way that is reminiscent of the colonial era. If the new regime on torture is good enough for the US, who can say that it is not good for everyone? ~ John N. Gray

  • 2 Zarbon 01:08, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 02:34, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC) but only with clear indications of its sarcastic and satirical nature.

The core of the belief in progress is that human values and goals converge in parallel with our increasing knowledge. The twentieth century shows the contrary. Human beings use the power of scientific knowledge to assert and defend the values and goals they already have. New technologies can be used to alleviate suffering and enhance freedom. They can, and will, also be used to wage war and strengthen tyranny. Science made possible the technologies that powered the industrial revolution. In the twentieth century, these technologies were used to implement state terror and genocide on an unprecedented scale. Ethics and politics do not advance in line with the growth of knowledge — not even in the long run. ~ John N. Gray

The mass political movements of the 20th century were vehicles for myths inherited from religion, and it is no accident that religion is reviving now that these movements have collapsed. ~ John N. Gray

Knowledge grows, but human beings remain much the same. ~ John N. Gray

The US — its bankrupt mortgage institutions nationalised and its gigantic war machine effectively funded by foreign borrowing — is in steep decline. With its financial system in the worst mess since the 1930s, the west's ability to shape events is dwindling by the day. Sermonising about "law-based international relations" is laughable after Iraq, and at bottom not much more than nostalgia for a vanished hegemony. ~ John N. Gray

Over the past 200 years, philosophy has shaken off Christian faith. It has not given up Christianity's cardinal error — the belief that humans are radically different from all other animals. ~ John N. Gray

I am attracted only to music which I consider to be better than it can be performed. Therefore I feel (rightly or wrongly) that unless a piece of music presents a problem to me, a never-ending problem, it doesn't interest me too much. ~ Artur Schnabel

A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason. ~ J. P. Morgan

Any man who does not carry with him the value of all of the men around him does not carry the value to spend my time. ~ J. P. Morgan

  • 2 Zarbon 01:08, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Critics: People who make monuments out of books. Biographers: People who make books out of monuments. Poets: People who raze monuments. Publishers: People who sell rubble. Readers: People who buy it. ~ Cynthia Ozick

  • 3 Zarbon 01:08, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. ...Do human beings ever realize life while they live it? — Every, every minute? ~ Thornton Wilder

  • 3 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 15:13, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

There is in God — some say —
A deep, but dazzling darkness; as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
See not all clear.
O for that Night! where I in Him
Might live invisible and dim!

~ Henry Vaughan ~

  • 3 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 Zarbon 15:13, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great ring of pure and endless light.
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years,
Driv'n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow moved; in which the world
And all her train were hurled.

~ Henry Vaughan ~

  • 3 Kalki 15:05, 16 April 2009 (UTC) with a strong lean toward 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 15:13, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

When God loves a creature he wants the creature to know the highest happiness and the deepest misery … He wants him to know all that being alive can bring. That is his best gift…. There is no happiness save in understanding the whole.
~ Thornton Wilder ~