„Never tell evil of a man, if you do not know it for certainty, and if you know it for a certainty, then ask yourself, 'Why should I tell it?“

—  Johann Kaspar Lavater, As quoted in What Billingsgate Thought: A Country Gentleman's Views on Snobbery (1919) by William Alexander Newman Dorland
Johann Kaspar Lavater foto
Johann Kaspar Lavater5
švýcarský básník, filozof a kněz 1741 - 1801

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„Tell people that war is an evil, and they will laugh; for who does not know it? Tell them that patriotism is an evil, and most of them will agree, but with a reservation.“

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Context: Tell people that war is an evil, and they will laugh; for who does not know it? Tell them that patriotism is an evil, and most of them will agree, but with a reservation. "Yes," they will say, "wrong patriotism is an evil; but there is another kind, the kind we hold." But just what this good patriotism is, no one explains. Patriotism, or Peace? http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Patriotism,_or_Peace%3F (1896), translated by Nathan Haskell Dole Variant: I have already several times expressed the thought that in our day the feeling of patriotism is an unnatural, irrational, and harmful feeling, and a cause of a great part of the ills from which mankind is suffering, and that, consequently, this feeling – should not be cultivated, as is now being done, but should, on the contrary, be suppressed and eradicated by all means available to rational men. Yet, strange to say – though it is undeniable that the universal armaments and destructive wars which are ruining the peoples result from that one feeling – all my arguments showing the backwardness, anachronism, and harmfulness of patriotism have been met, and are still met, either by silence, by intentional misinterpretation, or by a strange unvarying reply to the effect that only bad patriotism (Jingoism or Chauvinism) is evil, but that real good patriotism is a very elevated moral feeling, to condemn which is not only irrational but wicked. What this real, good patriotism consists in, we are never told; or, if anything is said about it, instead of explanation we get declamatory, inflated phrases, or, finally, some other conception is substituted for patriotism – something which has nothing in common with the patriotism we all know, and from the results of which we all suffer so severely. Patriotism and Government http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Patriotism_and_Government (1900)

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—  Leo Tolstoy Russian writer 1828 - 1910
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