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Irving Kristol (1920 – 2009)


American columnist, journalist, and writer who was dubbed the "godfather of neoconservatism.
Irving Kristol
The major political event of the twentieth century is the death of socialism.
Kristol quotes
People need religion. It's a vehicle for a moral tradition. A crucial role. Nothing can take its place.
Kristol
Joining a radical movement when one is young is very much like falling in love when one is young. The girl may turn out to be rotten, but the the experience of love is so valuable it can never be entirely undone by the ultimate disenchantment.




Kristol Irving quotes
[The country's founders] understood that republican self-government could not exist if humanity did not possess ... the traditional 'republican virtues' of self-control, self-reliance, and a disinterested concern for the public good.
Kristol Irving
Doing good isn't [that] hard. It's just doing a lot of good that is very hard. If your aims are modest, you can accomplish an awful lot. When your aims become elevated beyond a reasonable level, you not only don't accomplish much, you can cause a great deal of damage.
Irving Kristol quotes
There is nothing like a parade to elicit the proper respect for the military from the populace.
Irving Kristol
A liberal is one who says that it's all right for an 18-year-old girl to perform in a pornographic movie as long as she gets paid the minimum wage.
Kristol Irving quotes
The trouble with traditional American conservatism is that it lacks a naturally cheerful, optimistic disposition. Not only does it lack one, it regards signs of one as evidence of unsoundness, irresponsibility.
Kristol
What rules the world is idea, because ideas define the way reality is perceived.
Kristol Irving
Young people, especially, are looking for religion so desperately that they are inventing new ones. They should not have to invent new ones; the old religions are pretty good.
Irving Kristol
It was a new kind of class war the people as citizens versus the politicians and their clients in the public sector.




Irving Kristol quotes
Business ethics, in any civilization, is properly defined by moral and religious traditions, and it is a confession of moral bankruptcy to assert that what the law does not explicitly prohibit is therefore morally permissible.
Irving Kristol
Neo-conservatives are unlike old conservatives because they are utilitarians, not moralists, and because their aim is the prosperity of post-industrial society, not the recovery of a golden age.
Kristol quotes
Power breeds responsibilities, in international affairs as in domestic -- or even private. To dodge or disclaim these responsibilities is one form of the abuse of power.
Kristol Irving
A welfare state, properly conceived, can be an integral part of a conservative society.
Kristol Irving quotes
It requires strength of character to act upon one's ideas; it requires no less strength of character to resist being seduced by them.
Irving Kristol
If you have standards, moral standards, you have to want to make them prevail, and at the very least you have to argue in their favor. Now, show me where libertarians have argued in some comprehensive way for a set of moral standards. ... I don't think morality can be decided on the private level. I think you need public guidance and public support for a moral consensus. The average person has to know instinctively, without thinking too much about it, how he should raise his children.
Irving Kristol quotes
The danger facing American Jews today is not that Christians want to persecute them but that Christians want to marry them.
Irving Kristol
Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions it only guarantees equality of opportunity.
Kristol Irving
After all, if you believe that no one was ever corrupted by a book, you also have to believe that no one was ever improved by a book (or a play or a movie). You have to believe, in other words, that all art is morally trivial and that, consequently, all education is morally irrelevant. No one, not even a university professor, really believes that.


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