Invariably, knowledge dictates life, liberty, and death, but those who have historically occupied the seats of power not only dictate what is defined as knowledge but also dictate what’s included, what’s excluded, and how it is filtered to society vis-à-vis America’s major institutions . . . particularly the educational system; ultimately, shaping the very essence of life.
Most women would each be left with fewer dreams or without a dream, if the institution of marriage were to be abolished.
Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.
I just wish this social institution [religion] wasn't based on what appears to me to be a monumental hoax built on an accumulation of customs and myths directed toward proving something that isn't true.
The church may update its techniques and methods, but it is always in service of the institutional organism. This is one of the reasons why the pedophile priest issue is and will remain an endemic disease in the Catholic Church.
The acquiring of intelligence doesn't require an institution if you got the heart to seek knowledge, and the balls to use it as wisely as those who came before you.
When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser.
If people institute wrong institutions, wrong institutions do not just produce wrong people, but wrong people who understand and accept mediocrity as an institution
What if good institutions were in fact the product of good intentions? What if the cynicism that is supposed to be rigor and the acquisitiveness that is supposed to be realism are making us forget the origins of the greatness we lay claim to - power and wealth as secondary consequences of the progress of freedom, or, as Whitman would prefer, Democracy?
There are great virtues in a conservative attitude towards structural features of government. The sudden abandonment of institutions is an act that reverberates in ways no one can predict and many come to regret.
All of the administrative methods used in professional circles- confidentiality, whatever else is in vogue- are just tools. Tools that governing bodies can deploy, under the guise of fairness. Some of the most corrupt organisations I have worked with have the most finely developed guidelines that they work to. These guidelines gives them more rope to hang their victims.
Within this historic and optimistic future in mind, I have made no value judgment of the destiny bestowed on each nation. For all this, however, leadership matters; so do the institutional structures and the system of political governance.
When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego,and when we escape like squirrels turning in thecages of our personalityand get into the forests again,we shall shiver with cold and frightbut things will happen to usso that we don't know ourselves.Cool, unlying life will rush in,and passion will make our bodies taut with power,we shall stamp our feet with new powerand old things will fall down,we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up likeburnt paper.
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.
Common sense and every material reality insisted upon the unification of human life throughout the planet and the socialisation of its elementary needs, and pitted against that was the fact that every authority, every institution, every established way of thinking and living was framed to preserve the advantages of the ruling and possessing minority and the separate sovereignty of the militant states that had been evolved within the vanished circumstances of the past.
Feminism is a tremendously underestimated force, viewed in the present context primarily as a woman's concern. The understanding has not yet percolated throughout society that the advancement of women is a program vitally connected to the survival of human beings as a species. The reason for this is simply that institutions take on the character of the atoms which compose them, and what we are most menaced by in the twentieth century are dehumanized institutions. If women played a major role in policy formation and execution on the part of these institutions, I think they would have a far more benign and ecologically sensitive kind of character. So I see feminism not as a kind of war between the sexes or any of these stereotypic images, but as actually a kind of effort to shift the ratios of our emphasis that is expressed through our institutions.
She has committed no crime, she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance, but I cannot pity her: she is white. She knew full well the enormity of her offense, but because her desires were stronger than the code she was breaking, she persisted in breaking it. She persisted, and her subsequent reaction is something that all of us have known at one time or another. She did something every child has done-she tried to put the evidence of her offense away from her. But in this case she was no child hiding stolen contraband: she struck out at her victim-of necessity she must put him away from her-he must be removed from her presence, from this world. She must destroy the evidence of her offense.
As it is not a settled question, you must clear your mind of the fancy withwhich we all begin as children, that the institutions under which we live,including our legal ways of distributing income and allowing people to own things, are natural, like the weather. They are not. Because they exist everywhere in our little world, we take it for granted that they have always existed and must always exist, and that they are self-acting. That is a dangerous mistake. They are in fact transient makeshifts; and many of them would not be obeyed, even by well-meaning people, if there were not a policeman within call and a prison within reach. They are being changed continually by Parliament, because we are never satisfied with them.... At the elections some candidates get votes by promising to make new laws or to get rid of old ones, and others by promising to keep things just as they are. This is impossible. Things will not stay as they are.Changes that nobody ever believed possible take place in a few generations. Children nowadays think that spending nine years in school, oldage and widows’ pensions, votes for women, and short-skirted ladies in Parliament or pleading in barristers’ wigs in the courts are part of the order of Nature, and always were and ever shall be; but their great-grandmothers would have set down anyone who told them that such things were coming as mad, and anyone who wanted them to come as wicked.
We still don't have a good word to describe what is missing in Cameroon, indeed in poor countries across the world. But we are starting to understand what it is. Some people call it 'social capital, or maybe 'trust'. Others call it 'the rule of law', or 'institutions'. But these are just labels. The problem is that Cameroon, like other poor countries, is a topsy-turvy world in which it's in most people's interest to take action that directly or indirectly damages everyone else.
Human cultures construct an enormous variety of environments through language, technology, and institutions. We are born in and die in these systems of symbols and imagination.
Islam is in a formative period struggling to consolidate the vast reach won by both inspiration and force at its founding. Two centuries along, the faith of Muhammad hangs like an intricate veil: a religion still searching for institutional wholeness, a set of lessons to live by.
I’ve noticed that whenever institutions claim to be confident of anything it means the complete opposite.
It is preposterous to suppose that the people of one generation can lay down the best and only rules of government for all who are to come after them, and under unforeseen contingencies.
From our primary schools to secondary schools, to tertiary institutions, there must be a mass campaign to educate our people in the value of labour.
I was once, I am, and I will always be my children’s father. As to those individuals who have tried so desperately to destroy the fact, I offer forgiveness and seekreconciliation. As to the institutions that have supported the effort to destroy the fact, I pray that: Lady Justice will seek the truth rather than excuse it; and that she will extol the American family rather than destroy it.
Economists have a singular method of procedure. There are only two kinds of institutions for them, artificial and natural. The institutions of feudalism are artificial institutions, those of the bourgeoisie are natural institutions. In this, they resemble the theologians, who likewise establish two kinds of religion. Every religion which is not theirs is an invention of men, while their own is an emanation from God. When the economists say the present-day relations--the relations of bourgeois production--are natural, they imply that these are the relations in which wealth is created and productive forces developed in conformity with the laws of nature. These relations therefore are themselves natural laws independent of the influence of time. They are eternal laws which must always govern society. Thus, there has been history, but there is no longer any. There has been history, since there were institutions of feudalism, and in these institutions of feudalism we find quite different relations of production from those of bourgeois society, which the economists try to pass off as natural and, as such, eternal.
When people criticize me for not having any respect for existing structures and institutions, I protest. I say I give institutions and structures and traditions all the respect that I think they deserve. That's usually mighty little, but there are things that I do respect. They have to earn that respect. They have to earn it by serving people. They don't earn it just by age or legality or tradition.
Ideas do have consequences in history, yet not because those ideas are inherently truthful or obviously correct but rather because of the way they are embedded in very powerful institutions, networks, interests, and symbols.
I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.
Democracy provides the institutional framework for the reform of political institutions (other than this framework). It makes possible the reform of institutions without using violence, and thereby the use of reason in the designing of new institutions and the adjusting of old ones. It cannot provide reason. The question of the intellectual and moral standard of its citizens is to a large degree a personal problem. (The idea that this problem can be tackled, in turn, by an institutional eugenic and educational control is, I believe, mistaken ; some reasons for my belief will be given below.) It is quite wrong to blame democracy for the political shortcomings of a democratic state. We should rather blame ourselves. In a non-democratic state, the only way to achieve reasonable reforms is by the violent overthrow of the government, and the introduction of a democratic framework. Those who criticize democracy on any ' moral ' grounds fail to distinguish between personal and institutional problems. It rests with us to improve matters. The democratic institutions cannot improve themselves. The problem of improving them is always a problem of persons rather than of institutions.
If I have so far argued that Foucault is a kind of closet liberal and thus deeply modern, I need to be equally critical of evangelical (and especially American) Christianity's modernity and its appropriation of Enlightenment notions of the autonomous self. Indeed, many otherwise orthodox Christians, who recoil at the notion of theological liberalism, have unwittingly adopted notions of freedom and autonomy that are liberal to the core. Averse to hierarchies and control, contemporary evangelicalism thrives on autonomy: the autonomy of the nondenominational church, at a macrocosmic level, and the autonomy of the individual Christian, at the microcosmic level. And it does not seem to me that the emerging church has changed much on this score; indeed, some elements of emergent spirituality are intensifications of this affirmation of autonomy and a laissez-faire attitude with respect to institutions.
In practice it undermines the transformation of faith. When Christians concentrate their time and energy on their own separate spheres and their own institutions-whether all-absorbing megachurches, Christian yellow-page businesses, or womb-to-tomb Christian cultural ghettoes-they lose the outward thrusting, transforming power that is at the heart of the gospel. Instead of being 'salt' and 'light' -images of a permeating and penetrating action-Christians and Christian institutions become soft and vulnerable to corruption from within.
And why, she began to ask, did she rage against individuals? Not individuals but institutions are the enemies, and they most afflict the disciples who the most generously serve them. They insinuate their tyranny under a hundred guises and pompous names, such as Polite Society, the Family, the Church, Sound Business, the Party, the Country, the Superior White Race; and the only defense against them, Carol beheld, was unembittered laughter.
When it comes to the education of our young, this privilege should only be given to those whose visions are solely in the uplifting benefit of the child. There is no room for the ego in the education of children! Children should not be looked after, nor educated, by those who have not made a sacrifice within their hearts, laying down their own personal agenda and dreams, for the total ascension of the child. Even if you are to educate the children simply sitting under a tree; if you have the vision and the heart of a sage, those children will grow to be mighty men and women under your watch! And even if you wine and dine the children, putting them up in a palace; if you do not have the vision and the selfless heart of a sage, all you do is in utter vanity!