"How are we ever to arrive at new theoretical insights if we do not let historical patterns speak to us…"
~Theda Skocpol, sociologist, 1986

"The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them."
~Karl Marx

"[E]xternalities are externalities. Unless you get them internalized, in which case you don't have a market system anymore, the externalities will be ignored. And one of the externalities is the survival of the species.
~Noam Chomsky (Interviewed by Keane Bhatt, in Truthout, December 13, 2012)

"In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic."
~Karl Marx, German Ideology (1845)

“If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.”
~Bertrand Russell, 19 something

"A genocide begins with the killing of one man — not for what he has done, but because of who he is. A campaign of 'ethnic cleansing' begins with one neighbour turning on another. Poverty begins when even one child is denied his or her fundamental right to education. What begins with the failure to uphold the dignity of one life, all too often ends with a calamity for entire nations."
~Kofi Annan

What makes sociology deceptively subtle and powerful is that a sustained examination of the seemingly obvious usually requires that honest or thoughtful people reexamine the assumptions that sustain their identity.
~Rousseau (not Jean Jacques). 2013

[I]dentities are formed contingently based not only on who 'we' are or who 'we' like and relate to but also 'who "we" are not', 'who' "we" fear or hate'. This process of drawing mutually exclusive boundaries is clearly socially constructed, yet appears preordained – a 'natural' order.
~Spencer, Stephen, 2009 (Race and Ethnicity: Culture, Identity and Representation)

“Seven Deadly Sins:
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

"As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth."
~Mikhail Bakunin

"Few ideas have ever had as much influence with as little factual basis as trickle-down economics. In fact, nothing has trickled down."
~Robert Reich


"The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize the ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty– some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."

~Richard Feynman

Got a good one? Send it to me. Thanks. es