Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their kind. It is the deed that teaches not the name we give it.
If you don't begin to be a revolutionist at the age of twenty, then at fifty you will be a most impossible old fossil. If you area red revolutionary at the age of twenty, you have some chance of being up-to-date when you are forty!
Laws, religions, creeds, and systems of ethics, instead of making society better than its best unit, make it worse than its average unit, because they are never up to date.
It's all that the young can do for the old, to shock them and keep them up to date.
We are members one of another; so that you cannot injure or help your neighbor without injuring or helping yourself.
A man without an address is a vagabond; a man with two addresses is a libertine.
I'm one of the undeserving poor: that's what I am. Think of what that means to a man. It means that he's up agen middle class morality all the time.... What is middle class morality? Just an excuse for never giving me anything.
The longer I live, the more I realize that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time!
What is the matter with universities is that the students are school children, whereas it is of the very essence of university education that they should be adults.
Very nice sort of place, Oxford, I should think, for people that like that sort of place.
I love little children too but I don't cut off their heads and stick them in vases.
I am oppressed with a dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism.
I have studied him -- the wonderful man -- and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ he must be called the saviour of humanity.
What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn't come every day.
Without music we shall surely perish of drink, morphia, and all sorts of artificial exaggerations of the cruder delights of the senses.
It's prudent to gain the whole world and lose your own soul. But don't forget that your soul sticks to you if you stick to it; but the world has a way of slipping through your fingers.
Even a vortex is a vortex in something. You can't have a whirlpool without water; and you can't have a vortex without gas, or molecules or atoms or ions or electrons or something, not nothing.
Home is the girl's prison and the woman's workhouse.
What a heartbreaking job it is trying to combine authors for their own protection... the first lesson I learned was that when you take the field for the authors you will be safer without a breastplate than without a backplate.
Your heart and your mouth wil be in two separate parts of your body if you again forget in whose presence you stand.
Nietzche ... he was a confirmed Life Force worshipper. It was he who raked up the Superman, who is as old as Prometheus; and the 20th century will run after this newest of the old crazes when it gets tired of the world, the flesh, and your humble servant.
There are two things necessary to Salvation.... Money and gunpowder.
Never repeat old grievances.
Marriage is good enough for the lower classes: they have facilities for desertion that are denied to us.
Nothing is more dangerous than a poor doctor: not even a poor employer or a poor landlord.
Let not the right side of your brain know what the left side doeth.
A learned man is an idler who kills time by study.
Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.
I must have been an insufferable child; all children are.
Leisure may be defined as free activity, labor as compulsory activity. Leisure does what it likes, labor does what it must, the compulsion being that of Nature, which in these latitudes leaves men no choice between labor and starvation.
Wicked people means people who have no love: therefore, they have no shame. They have the power to ask love because the don't need it: they have the power to offer it because they have none to give.
Belief in God meant belief in the old tribal idol called Jehovah; and I would not pretend I did not know whether it existed or not.
We are told that when Jehovah created the world he saw that it was good what would he say now.
In your dread of dictators you established a state of society in which every ward boss is a dictator, every private employer a dictator, every financier a dictator, all with the livelihood of the workers at his mercy, and no public responsibility.
The capacity of any conqueror is more likely than not to be an illusion produced by the incapacity of his adversary.
A married man forms married habits and becomes dependent on marriage just as a sailor becomes dependent on the sea.
A married man is a man with a past, while a bachelor is a man with a future.
The ordinary man is an anarchist. He wants to do as he likes. He may want his neighbour to be governed, but he himself doesn't want to be governed. He is mortally afraid of government officials and policemen.
Those who admire modern civilization usually identify it with the steam engine and the electric telegraph.
I showed my appreciation of my native land in the usual Irish way: by getting out of it as soon as I possibly could.
Man is the only animal which esteems itself rich in proportion to the number and voracity of its parasites.
The pianoforte is the most important of all musical instruments; its invention was to music what the invention of printing was to poetry.
Rich men without convictions are more dangerous in modern society than poor women without chastity.
Newspaper : A device unable to distinguish between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilisation.
I was taught when I was young that if people would only love one another, all would be well with the world. I found when I tried to put that into practice, not only were other people seldom lovable but I wasn't very lovable myself.
It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.
The confusing of marriage with morality has done more to destroy the conscience of the human race than any other single error.
A nap, my friend, is a brief period of sleep which overtakes superannuated persons when they endeavor to entertain unwelcome visitors or to listen to scientific lectures.
When God created man and woman, he did not take a patent. That's why any imbecile has been able to do so ever since.
You don't get tired of muffins, but you don't find inspiration in them.
A man of great common sense and good taste -- meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage.
I ... must continue to strive for more knowledge and more power, though the new knowledge always contradicts the old and the new power is the destruction of the fools who misuse it.
I make a fortune from criticizing the policy of the government, and then hand it over to the government in taxes to keep it going.
Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.
As you say, I am honoured and famous and rich. But as I have to do all the hard work, and suffer an increasing multitude of fools gladly, it does not feel any better than being reviled, infamous and poor, as I used to be.
The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient.
If the governments devalue the currency in order to betray all creditors, you politely call this procedure 'inflation'.
The idea of personal salvation is intensely repugnant to me when it is not absurd. Imagine Roosevelt, the big brute, preserving his personality in a future state and swaggering about as a celestial Rough Rider!
A child hasn't a grown-up person's appetite for affection. A little of it goes a long way with them; and they like a good imitation of it better than the real thing, as every nurse knows.
There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.
Socialism never arises in the earlier phases of capitalism, as, for instance, among the pioneers of civilisation in a country where there is plenty of land available for private appropriation by the last comer.
My method of getting a play across the footlights is like a revolver shooting: every line has a bullet in it and comes with an explosion.
I sing, not arms and the hero, but the philosophic man: he who seeks in contemplation to discover the inner will of the world, ininvention to discover the means of fulfilling that will, and in action to do that will by the so-discovered means.
Nothing soothes me more after a long and maddening course of pianoforte recitals than to sit and have my teeth drilled.
Make it compulsory for a doctor using a brass plate to have inscribed on it, in addition to the letters indicating his qualifications, the words 'Remember that I too am mortal'.
I find that socialism is often misunderstood by its least intelligent supporters and opponents to mean simply unrestrained indulgence of our natural propensity to heave bricks at respectable persons.
A man is like a phonograph with half-a-dozen records. You soon get tired of them all; and yet you have to sit at table whilst he reels them off to every new visitor.
It's usually pointed out that women are not fit for political power, and ought not to be trusted with a vote because they are politically ignorant, socially prejudiced, narrow-minded, and selfish. True enough, but precisely the same is true of men!
A genius is a person who is seeing further and probing deeper than other people has a different set of ethical valuations from their and has energy enough to give effect to this extra vision and its valuations in whatever manner best suits his or her.
Schools must not become the agencies through which propaganda advocated by any section of society is spread. The method of control always a crucial problem should be in harmony with the fundamental values and principles of the states and the entire e.
A tranquil woman can go on sewing longer than an angry man can go on fuming.
Wise kings wear shabby clothes, and leave the gold lace to the drum major.
Self-denial is not a virtue; it is only the effect of prudence on rascality.
My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.
The conversion of a savage to Christianity is the conversion of Christianity to savagery.
The more ignorant men are, the more convinced are they that their little parish and their little chapel is an apex to which civilization and philosophy has painfully struggled up the pyramid of time from a desert of savagery.
Lack of money is the root of of all evil.
No age or condition is without its heroes . The least incapable general in a nation is its Cæsar, the least imbecile statesman its Solon , the least confused thinker its Socrates , the least commonplace poet its Shakespeare .
If all the statisticians in the world were laid head to toe, they wouldn't be able to reach a conclusion.
A fool-proof method for sculpting an elephant: first, get a huge block of marble; then you chip away everything that doesn't look like an elephant.
I am the most spontaneous speaker in the world because every word, every gesture, and every retort has been carefully rehearsed.
For nearly twenty years I have been a published author... But I have never yet seen a book of mine offered for sale in a shop window.
The whole world is strewn with snares, traps, gins and pitfalls for the capture of men by women.
Creation is a miracle of daily recurrence. 'A miracle a minute' would not be a bad slogan for God.
A revolutionist is one who desires to discard the existing social order and try another.
Social progress takes effect through the replacement of all institutions by new ones; and since every institution involves the recognition of the duty of conforming to it, progress must involve the repudiation of an established duty at every step.
It is courage, courage, courage, that raises the blood of life to crimson splendor.
Obedience simulates subordination as fear of the police simulates honesty.
The danger of crippling thought, the danger of obstructing the formation of the public mind by specially suppressing ... representations is far greater than any real danger that there is from such representations.
No king on earth is as safe in his job as a Trade Union official. There is only one thing that can get him sacked; and that is drink. Not even that, as long as he doesn't actually fall down.
Don't lose faith. Promise yourself that you will be a success story, and I promise you that all the forces of the universe will unite to come to your aid; you might not feel today or for a while, but the longer you wait the bigger the prize.
I am highly susceptible to the force of all truly religious music, especially to the music of my own church, the church of Shelley, Michelangelo, and Beethoven.
The fact is that the intrinsic worth of the book, play or whatever the author is trying to sell is the least, last factor in the the whole transaction.
A day's work is a day's work, neither more nor less, and the man or woman who does it needs a day's sustenance, a night's repose and due leisure, whether they be painter or ploughman.
To the person with a toothache, even if the world is tottering, there is nothing more important than a visit to a dentist.
God is on the side of the big battalions.
Bible worship, though at its best it may achieve sublimity by keeping its head in the skies, may also make itself both ridiculousand dangerous by having its feet off the ground.
Whenever I see the word Operation, especially Trifling Operation, I at once write off the patient as dead.
I have not wasted my life trifling with literary fools in taverns, as Johnson did, when he should have been shaking England with the thunder of his spirit.
Dying is a troublesome business: there is pain to be suffered, and it wrings one's heart; but death is a splendid thing -a warfare accomplished, a beginning all over again, a triumph. You can always see that in their faces.
Quotes by George Bernard Shaw are featured in:
Common Sense Quotes