Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “politics”

Confucius on Good Government, the 6 Steps to a Harmonious Society, and Self-Discipline as the Key to Democracy
Confucius on Good Government, the 6 Steps to a Harmonious Society, and Self-Discipline as the Key to Democracy

“Things have roots and branches… If the root be in confusion, nothing will be well governed.”

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Dignity, Daring, and Disability: The Pioneering Queer Composer and Defiant Genius Ethel Smyth on Making Music While Going Deaf
Dignity, Daring, and Disability: The Pioneering Queer Composer and Defiant Genius Ethel Smyth on Making Music While Going Deaf

…with a side of Virginia Woolf’s elated infatuation.

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Undoing as Remaking: How Abraham Lincoln Drew Poetry and Power from His Suicidal Depression
Undoing as Remaking: How Abraham Lincoln Drew Poetry and Power from His Suicidal Depression

Life-affirming inspiration from a man who knew intimately “that intensity of thought, which will some times wear the sweetest idea thread-bare and turn it to the bitterness of death.”

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Audre Lorde on Poetry as an Instrument of Change and the Courage to Feel as an Antidote to Fear, a Portal to Power and Possibility, and a Fulcrum of Action
Audre Lorde on Poetry as an Instrument of Change and the Courage to Feel as an Antidote to Fear, a Portal to Power and Possibility, and a Fulcrum of Action

“As they become known to and accepted by us, our feelings and the honest exploration of them become sanctuaries and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas. They become a safe-house for that difference so necessary to change and the conceptualization of any meaningful action.”

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Frederick Douglass on the Wisdom of the Minority and the Real Meaning of Solidarity
Frederick Douglass on the Wisdom of the Minority and the Real Meaning of Solidarity

“There are times in the experience of almost every community… when… the appointed leaders… exert their powers of mind to complicate, mystify, entangle and obscure the simple truth… to mislead the popular mind, and to corrupt the public heart, — then the humblest may stand forth… opposing… the torrent of evil.”

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Einstein on the Political Power of Art
Einstein on the Political Power of Art

“Nothing can equal the psychological effect of real art — neither factual descriptions nor intellectual discussion.”

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Alfred Russel Wallace’s Prophetic Prescription for Course-Correcting Away from Ecological Catastrophe and Toward Widespread Human Happiness
Alfred Russel Wallace’s Prophetic Prescription for Course-Correcting Away from Ecological Catastrophe and Toward Widespread Human Happiness

“The final and absolute test of good government is the well-being and contentment of the people — not the extent of empire or the abundance of the revenue and the trade.”

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American Utopia: Maira Kalman’s Spare Visual Poems Drawn from David Byrne’s Masterpiece of Anticynical Humanism
American Utopia: Maira Kalman’s Spare Visual Poems Drawn from David Byrne’s Masterpiece of Anticynical Humanism

A painted dance in praise of the best we can do.

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The Love of Truth and the Truth of Love: Bertrand Russell on the Two Pillars of Human Flourishing
The Love of Truth and the Truth of Love: Bertrand Russell on the Two Pillars of Human Flourishing

“Love is wise, hatred is foolish.”

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13-Year-Old Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Prejudice, Its Antidote, and the Five Documents That Shaped Humanity
13-Year-Old Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Prejudice, Its Antidote, and the Five Documents That Shaped Humanity

“No one can feel free from danger and destruction until the many torn threads of civilization are bound together again… There can be a happy world… when men create a strong bond towards one another, a bond unbreakable by a studied prejudice or a passing circumstance.”

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