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In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or the propaganda might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies – the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.
Religion is based … mainly upon fear … fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.
It is a wonderful advantage to a man, in every pursuite or avocation, to secure an adviser in a sensible woman. In woman there is at once a subtle delicacy of tact, and a plain soundness of judgement, which are rarely combined to an equal degree in man. A woman, if she be really your friend, will have a sensitive regard for your character, honor, repute. She will seldom counsel you to do a shabby thing: for a woman friend always desires to be proud of you.
I have some notions that have people conceiving of themselves as capable of changing the world. That’s why, for me, the issues of self-love, self-respect and self-regard are preconditions for human agency and especially black agency, given the fact that we have been and are such a hated and despised people.
My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.