"I know that most men -- not only those considered clever,
but even those who are very clever and capable of understanding
most difficult scientific, mathematical, or philosophic, problems --
can seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such
as obliges them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed,
perhaps with much difficulty -- conclusions of which they are proud,
which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives."
Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi
(1828-1910) Russian writer
What is Art? (1896)
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Reader comments about this quote:
and it doesn't matter if you're a DieHard Pinko Communist or Lunatic Libertarian -- this is absolutely true.
 -- Dougmcr8, Springfield, VA     
  • 2
    Dougmcr8, Springfield, VA Or even a brain washed Democrat or Republican, who believes in the crap that they have sold us and built thier lives and careers on BS. Unbacked paper money and democracy being the two greatest illusions of our time. Lets not forget those.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 2
    It's called EGO! It’s amazing, we are meant to have a free market - its OK until the banks and corporations hurt then the Fed comes along and bails them out - how about giving the poor workers some of the profits corporations make and the mammoth CEO salaries from jobs lost abroad in a free market? Another amazing fact is that most workers, unlike their counter parts in Europe, vote republican, and yet this is the party that screws them - I have yet to work out why that is. Perhaps some of you out here have the answer?
     -- RobertSRQ     
  • 2
    A bit wordy but I agree.What is the reason why this statement is true? I believe it is beacuse of MAN'S EGO!!!
     -- Anonymous     
    The standard to which the quote is based is "the simplest and most obvious truth". Within the American jurisprudence that is "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" (inclusionary of Alodium freehold in property). Conclusions of which the deceived are proud (the pridefully ignorant), which they teach to others, and on which they have built their lives are Democracies (oligarical or otherwise), tyrannies of all sorts, compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, governmental larceny with impunity - including theft of property, rights, and the noble laborer's fruits, forced ID/insurance/charity, funny money use, suspension of habeas corpus, suspension of religious expression in public, etc., etc., etc.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 3
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN      
    Few really want the truth -- it's depressing to realize the extent of one's delusion. Better to simply 'believe.' Of course, even those that agree with this quote may not consider that it applies to them. Organized religion comes to mind, followed by the illusion of democracy ... ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    You certainly don't Robert. You are a perfect example of the quote.
     -- warren, olathe     
  • 3
    Lee my old buddy from phila. Turned me tg
     -- Paul oxford pa     
    Believing the quote to be true, and truly spoken by a pacifist, collectivist, georgist, opposed to private property. 
     -- Ronw13, OR     
  • 2
     -- jim k, Austin      
    Robert, your base example and conclusion drawn therefrom is skewed. The entire debt system (banks, Fed, corporations, socialism, etc. all in harmony) is anti-free market and prosperity for all. The Democrat Party within country politics has always been collective in nature (supporting slavery, racism, an elitest class, anti-natural law and extremely contrary to individual sovereignty, inalienable rights and liberty). The concept of "jobs" (as is Democrat / Republican anti-entrepreneurial) or jobs themselves are not lost to or through free market forces but rather by government (regulation, taxes, etc. / Democrat & Republican) intervention.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
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