Culture Quotes

We have collected and put the best culture quotes about the meaning of life from around the world. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

May these culture quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.

Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning “to cultivate”) is a term commonly used to indicate the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group, an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning, or an excellence of aesthetic taste in the arts and humanities, (also known as high culture).

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Culture Quotes

Culture Quotes

Culture is an important resource that must be used by those seeking to develop their community in the most beneficial and appropriate way. There is a vital link between the cohesion and strength of a community’s direction and the authenticity of its cultural resources.– M. Fethullah Gulen

Culture is a stable mix of such fundamental elements as language, education, tradition, and art, all of which form a community’s structure and lifestyle. It is a kind of blindness to ignore the reality that these fundamental elements have (and ought to have) unique features, and different characters and temperaments, for they reflect the people to whom they belong. A community that has broken with its essential cultural values inevitably loses its identity and collapses as a distinct society.– M. Fethullah Gulen

The existence of distinct and unique cultures does not mean that there can (or should) not be no intercultural exchanges of ideas and people. Rather, it means that each culture should demand a “visa” from a foreign cultural element seeking entrance. Its right of entry should be questioned and granted only after prudent consideration of what effect it might have upon the indigenous culture. Foreign elements should be “distilled” before being absorbed into the indigenous culture. Otherwise, a cultural and civilizational crisis will occur.– M. Fethullah Gulen

A distinctive culture evolves in the crucible of true religion, high morality and virtues, and well-digested knowledge. Where religion and morality are opposed and rejected, and ignorance is widespread, a high culture cannot be formed.– M. Fethullah Gulen

People who seek their own continuance or survival by blindly accepting the culture and civilization of others are like trees upon whose branches are hung the fruits of other trees. They deceive not only themselves, but also lay themselves open to ridicule.– M. Fethullah Gulen

Cultural values have the same meaning and worth for a people as blossoms and fruits have for a tree. A community that has failed to produce a distinctive culture, or has lost or forsaken it, may be likened to a barren tree or to one whose fruit has dropped off. Today or tomorrow, that tree will be cut down and used as wood.– M. Fethullah Gulen

Anti-Racism Protest in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. 6 June 2020.

Without culture there can be no international agreement or mutual understanding. Without culture the people’s understanding cannot embrace all needs of evolution… Verily, salvation lies in culture. ~ Agni Yoga

Culture implies all which gives the mind possession of its own powers, as languages to the critic, telescope to the astronomer. Culture alters the political status of an individual. It raises a rival royalty in a monarchy. ‘Tis king against king. It is ever a romance of history in all dynasties–the co-presence of the revolutionary force in intellect. It creates a personal independence which the monarch cannot look down, and to which he must often succumb. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Culture is a sham if it is only a sort of Gothic front put on an iron building — like Tower Bridge — or a classical front put on a steel frame — like the Daily Telegraph building in Fleet Street. Culture, if it is to be a real thing and a holy thing, must be the product of what we actually do for a living — not something added, like sugar on a pill. – Eric Gill

Culture is a way of coping with the world by defining it in detail. – Malcolm Bradbury

Culture is an instrument wielded by professors to manufacture professors, who when their turn comes will manufacture professors. – Simone Veil

Culture is like the seeds of herbs and flowers that will sprout and cover dreadful ruins with their blossom. Culture returns hope to people, and gives a chance to their injured souls to escape their nightmares, resentment, and vengeance. – Damien Helly

Culture is one thing and varnish is another. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs. – Thomas Wolfe

Culture is the habit of being pleased with the best and knowing why. – Henry Van Dyke

Culture is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models, the books they read and the speeches they hear, their table-talk, gossip, controversies, historical sense and scientific training, the values they appreciate, the quality of life they admire. All communities have a culture. It is the climate of their civilization. – Walter Lippmann

Culture is the passion for sweetness and light, and (what is more) the passion for making them prevail. – Matthew Arnold

Culture is the sum of all the forms of art, of love, and of thought, which, in the coarse or centuries, have enabled man to be less enslaved. – Andre Malraux

Culture is the tacit agreement to let the means of subsistence disappear behind the purpose of existence. – Karl Kraus

Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit. – Jawaharlal Nehru

Culture is to know the best that has been said and thought in the world. – Matthew Arnold

Culture looks beyond machinery, culture hates hatred; culture has one great passion–the passion for sweetness and light. It has one even yet greater, the passion for making them all prevail. It is not satisfied till we all come to a perfect man; it knows that the sweetness and light of the few must be imperfect until the raw and unkindly masses of humanity are touched with sweetness and light. – Matthew Arnold

Culture may become criteria of sanity, it could be a shelter from the pain caused by the war, or become a way to express inexpressible. – Martina Montagu

Culture means the perfect and equal development of man on all sides. – John Burroughs

Culture must have its ultimate aim in the metaphysical or it will cease to be culture. – Johan Huizinga

Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart. – Mahatma Gandhi

Culture’s worth huge, huge risks. Without culture we’re all totalitarian beasts. – Norman Mailer

Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit. – Matthew Arnold

Culture, then, is a study of perfection, and perfection which insists on becoming something rather than in having something, in an inward condition of the mind and spirit, not in an outward set of circumstances. – Matthew Arnold

Culture: the cry of men in face of their destiny. – Albert Camus

A culture disconnected from wild nature becomes insane. – Toby Hemenway

A culture is made — or destroyed — by its articulate voices. – Ayn Rand

A culture of discipline is not a principle of business, it is a principle of greatness. – Jim Collins

A free culture is not a culture without property; it is not a culture in which artists don’t get paid. – Lawrence Lessig

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people. – Mahatma Gandhi

A painting cannot stop a bullet, but it can stop the shooting hand. – Sebastian Kerber

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. – Marcus Garvey

A political culture of any given society is the major cause of a conflict, hence, a key to its settlement as well. – Jochen Hippler

A Senegalese poet said ‘In the end we will conserve only what we love. We love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.’ We must learn about other cultures in order to understand, in order to love, and in order to preserve our common world heritage. – Yo-Yo Ma

A society person who is enthusiastic about modern painting or Truman Capote is already half a traitor to his class. It is middle-class people who, quite mistakenly, imagine that a lively pursuit of the latest in reading and painting will advance their status in the world. – Mary McCarthy

A soil, exhausted by the long culture of Pagan empires, was to lie fallow for a still longer period. – John Lothrop Motley

A universal renunciation of violence requires the commitment of the whole of society. These are not matters of government but matters of State; not only matters for the authoirities, but for society in its entirety, including civilian, military, and religious bodies. The mobilization which is urgently needed to effect the transition within two or three years from a culture of war to a culture of peace demands co-operation from everyone. In order to change, the world needs everyone. – Federico Mayor Zaragoza

Ads and logos are our shared global culture and language, and people are insisting on the right to use that language, to reformulate it in the way that artists and writers always do with cultural material. – Naomi Klein

All objects, all phases of culture are alive. They have voices. They speak of their history and interrelatedness. And they are all talking at once! – Camille Paglia

Americans want our leaders to defend our values, our culture our legacy of liberty and our way of life, not apologize… – Christine O’Donnell

Americans, more than any other culture on earth, are cookbook cooks; we learn to make our meals not from any oral tradition, but from a text. The just-wed cook brings to the new household no carefully copied collection of the family’s cherished recipes, but a spanking new edition of ‘Fannie Farmer’ or ‘The Joy of Cooking’. – John Thorne

An aristocratic culture does not advertise its emotions. In its forms of expression it is sober and reserved. Its general attitude is stoic. – Johan Huizinga

An army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy. – Mao Zedong

And it’s not only films, I’m pretty unaware of anything that’s going on in popular culture right now. – Brad Bird

And yet, in a culture like ours, which is given to material comforts, and addicted to forms of entertainment that offer immediate gratification, it is surprising that so much poetry is written. – Mark Strand

Any authentic creation is a gift to the future. – Albert Camus

Any definition of a culture of peace must address the problem of achieving justice for communities and individuals who do not have the means to compete or cope without structured assistance and compassionate help. – Mahnaz Afkhami

Art and culture cannot resist the war. Nobody will write a book or do a research with bullet whistle at the ear. But, they give one strength to bear unbearable, not just to accept it, but to think it over and overcome it. – Andrea Grille

Art at its most significant is a Distant Early Warning System that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. – Marshall McLuhan

Art is such an important part of our culture. – Rosanna Arquette

As a culture I see us as presently deprived of subtleties. The music is loud, the anger is elevated, sex seems lacking in sweetness and privacy. – Shelley Berman

As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me. – George Orwell

As soon as you set yourself up in the position of transferring paint from one place to another, your whole culture invades you. It tells you all about the history of art. – Milton Resnick

As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit. – Seneca the Younger

Black culture is something I don’t relate to much at all. – Dennis Rodman

But the idea that women can’t take care of themselves still permeates our culture. – Katherine Dunn

By suppressing differences and peculiarities, by eliminating different civilizations and cultures, progress weakens life and favors death. – Octavio Paz

California is full of Mexican culture and Mexican music. – Harry Dean Stanton

Change before you have to. – Jack Welch

Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got. – Peter Drucker

Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage. – Theodore Roosevelt

Cultural creation… begins where chaos and insecurity end. – Will Durant

Cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity. – Robert Alan

Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.. – John Hume

Don’t tire yourself more than need be, even at the price of founding a culture on the fatigue of your bones. – Antonin Artaud

Eclecticism is the degree zero of contemporary general culture: one listens to reggae, watches a western, eats McDonald’s food for lunch and local cuisine for dinner, wears Paris perfume in Tokyo and ‘retro’ clothing in Hong Kong; knowledge is a matter of TV games. It is easy to find a public for eclectic works. – Jean-Francois Lyotard

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela

Every aspect of Western culture needs a new code of ethics – a rational ethics – as a precondition of rebirth. – Ayn Rand

Every band I’ve worked with also wants to be countercultural in the sense that they want to feel that they’ve gone somewhere that nobody else has been. – Brian Eno

Every man’s ability may be strengthened or increased by culture. – John Abbott

Every nation has its prestigious military academies – or so few of them – that reach not only the virtues of peace but also the art of attaining it? I mean attaining and protecting it by means other than weapons, the tools of war. Why are we surprised whenever war recedes and yields to peace? – Elie Wiesel

Every now and again, the alternative culture is cherished by the mainstream for what it is, rather than how it should be, like the mainstream popular music. – Thurston Moore

Every one of us is, even from his mother’s womb, a master craftsman of idols. – John Calvin

Everything the Beats stood for was the opposite of the dominant culture today. – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Fine arts, literature, music, cinema, and theatre very often mirror the politics of a society. – Martina Fisher

For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norms, even our cultural ideal. – Carl Bernstein

For the rest, whatever we have got has been by infinite labor, and search, and ranging through every corner of nature; the difference is that instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light. – Jonathan Swift

General jackdaw culture, very little more than a collection of charming miscomprehensions, untargeted enthusiasms, and a general habit of skimming. – William Bolitho

Here in the U.S., culture is not that delicious panacea which we Europeans consume in a sacramental mental space and which has its own special columns in the newspapers – and in people’s minds. Culture is space, speed, cinema, technology. This culture is authentic, if anything can be said to be authentic. – Jean Baudrillard

High culture always isolates, always drives men out of their class, and makes it more difficult for them to share naturally and easily the common class-life around them. They seek the few companions who can understand them, and when these are not to be had within a traversable distance, they sit and work alone. – Philip Gilbert Hamerton

Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture. – Howard Schultz

History proves over and over again that culture is ideally suitable for political propaganda, especially under totalitarian rule. – Slavenka Drakulić

How do you make any sense of history, art or literature without knowing the stories and iconography of your own culture and all the world’s main religions? – Polly Toynbee

Humanism and Divinity are as complementary to one another in theorder of culture, as are Nature and Grace in the order of being. – Christopher Dawson

I am proud to be an American. Because an American can eat anything on the face of this earth as long as he has two pieces of bread. – Bill Cosby

I believe that a culture of peace must be the essential foundation of our efforts for peace. – Daisaku Ikeda

I can represent my culture while helping not only the Chinese-American community, but also the community at large. – Martin Yan

I didn’t choose Russia but Russia chose me. I had been fascinated from an early age by the culture, the language, the literature and the history to the place. – Helen Dunmore

I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. – Mahatma Gandhi

I don’t see a film industry in Germany. They have a great TV culture, but how many German films are really exciting? – Thomas Kretschmann

I don’t want to live in a culture of despair. I’d like to live in a culture of hope. – Natalie Merchant

I do not want my house to be walled on all sides and my windows’ shutters to be shut and nailed: I want culture of all countries to flow into my house freely. And yet, I do not want to be knocked off my feet. – Mahatma Gandhi

I found a greater identity with my own emotions in the Armenian culture as I grew older, as well as from the beginning, although I didn’t know anything about it. – Alan Hovhaness

I have strong sentiments toward Iran, since I distinguish between the Iranian regime and the Iranian people. I highly esteem Iranian music and culture. – Moshe Katsav

I like the idea of bringing cartoon characters to life… and although the Americans have already attempted this, their culture is not sufficiently humane to make it work. – Gerard Depardieu

I meant exactly what I said: that we are saddled with a culture that hasn’t advanced as far as science. – Michelangelo Antonioni

I mention my age because I find people in this country – women, not men, of course – women are so troubled by their age. There’s a culture of youth, and it’s a phony culture. – Teresa Heinz

I moved here when I was 20 to go to college. After I moved here, I became much more aware of the importance of the culture and literature to my life. Sometimes when you’re immersed in something, you just don’t notice it very much. Moving away makes you appreciate your culture. Living here, I’ve thought more and more about India, and what being Indian-American means to me. And it’s made me incorporate things from Indian literature into my own writing. – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

I think in Atlantic Canada, because of what happened in the decades following Confederation, there is a culture of defeat that we have to overcome. – Stephen Harper

I think it talks about that there needs to be some proactive attack against drugs infiltrating our culture. – Joe Morton

I think it was when I was nineteen, by that time the Jewish laws were already in force and the split was beginning to come about which isolated the Jewish culture. – Gyorgy Ligeti

I think it’s one of the scars in our culture that we have too high an opinion of ourselves. We align ourselves with the angels instead of the higher primates. – Angela Carter

I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music. – Billy Joel

I think that New York is not the cultural centre of America, but the business and administrative centre of American culture. – Saul Bellow

I think that one possible definition of our modern culture is that it is one in which nine-tenths of our intellectuals can’t read any poetry. – Randall Jarrell

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move. – Robert Louis Stevenson

I want to investigate different cultures, to see how their identities and values affect their music. It’s one way I can get to know our world, at least to a certain depth. – Yo-Yo Ma

I’ll miss the comments from the people on the street who love the show and who have felt its impact on the culture. I won’t miss the shooting schedule, though! – Dennis Franz

I’m convinced that in a healthy society, artistic norms should be constantly under question which is not of course, to deny the need for continuity. – Earle Brown

I’m more of a culture hummingbird. – Jai Rodriguez

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. – John F. Kennedy

If everybody is looking for it, then nobody is finding it. If we were cultured, we would not be conscious of lacking culture. We would regard it as something natural and would not make so much fuss about it. And if we knew the real value of this word we would be cultured enough not to give it so much importance. – Pablo Picasso

If most American cities are about the consumption of culture, Los Angeles and New York are about the production of culture – not only national culture but global culture. – Barbara Kruger

If the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. – Morrie Schwartz

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place. – Margaret Mead

If we are to preserve culture we must continue to create it. – Johan Huizinga

If we desire peace, we must prepare for peace. The most important thing is to build a culture of peace. – Anwarul Karim Chowdhury

If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it. – S. I. Hayakawa

If your culture doesn’t like geeks, you are in real trouble. – Bill Gates

In every human society of which we know – prehistoric, ancient or modern, whether hunter-gatherer, pastoral, agricultural or industrial – at least some form of art is displayed, and not only displayed, but highly regarded and willingly engaged in. – Ellen Dissanayake

In our culture we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God. – Ravi Shankar

In studying other cultures, we learn more about ourselves and our relationship to all things in this world. – Eustace Conway

In the latter half of the last century the impact of the expanding influence of Western culture and economic system brought about in China a severe conflict. – Chen-Ning Yang

In this present culture, we need to find the means to work and live together with less aggression if we are to resolve the serious problems that afflict and impede us. – Margaret J. Wheatley

In truth, the best long-term explanations about our ancient counterparts can be found in the paintings, sculpture, crafts, tools of utility, language and architecture left behind. These are the building blocks of civilization we call culture. These are what we call ‘the arts. – Edward J. Fraughton

It does not try to reach down to the level of inferior classes; it does not try to win them for this or that sect of its own, with ready-made judgments and watchwords of its own. It seeks to away with classes, to make the best that has been taught and known in the world current everywhere, to make all men live in an atmosphere of sweetness and light, where they may use ideas, as it uses them itself, freely–nourished, and not bound by them. – Matthew Arnold

It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it. – W. H. Auden

It is my hope that as we commemorate Black History Month in the future, we will continue to celebrate the many achievements and rich culture of African-Americans. – Eliot Engel

It is of the essence of imaginative culture that it transcends the limits both of the naturally possible and of the morally acceptable. – Northrop Frye

It is very rare to find ground which produces nothing; if it is not covered with flowers, with fruit trees and grains, it produces briers and pines. It is the same with man; if he is not virtuous, he becomes vicious. – Jean de la Bruyere

It seems to me that many writers, by virtue of environments of culture, art and education, slip into writing because of their environments. – Robert E. Howard

Just learning to think in another language allows you to see your own culture in a better viewpoint. – Gates McFadden

Keep your language. Love its sounds, its modulation, its rhythm. But try to march together with men of different languages,

Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going. – Rita Mae Brown

Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting the progress of the arts and the sciences and a flourishing culture in our land. – Mao Zedong

Liberate yourself from the illusion of culture. Take responsibility for what you think and what you do. – Terence McKenna

Listen: our culture is saturated with irony whether we know it or not. – Barbara Kruger

Logic will lead you from point A to point B. Imagination will take you everywhere. – Albert Einstein

Many-sidedness of culture makes our vision clearer and keener in particulars. – James Russell Lowell

May we, as image makers, shapers of the culture, set our sights on things we value, rituals we engage in that heal and serve. May our images honor the ordinary endeavors of common people, and may they make their way to the eyes of the weary – light to the dark, fire to the chill. – Jan Phillips

Meditation is culture. – Benjamin Disraeli

Men of culture are the true apostles of equality. – Matthew Arnold

Modern culture is constantly growing more objective. Its tissues grow more and more out of impersonal energies, and absorb less and less the subjective entirety of the individual. – Georg Simmel

Most people who have grown up introverted in this very extroverted culture of ours have had painful experiences of feeling like they are out of step with what’s expected of them. – Susan Cain

Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet it alone. – Edith Wharton

Much of our highly valued cultural heritage has been acquired at the cost of sexuality. – Sigmund Freud

Much of the rest of the world has already learned some English. They pretty much understand the American way of doing things, because our culture has been ubiquitous and has been the 500-pound gorilla in the global economy. But the world is far more interrelated than ever before, and no one culture can thrive without the knowledge of how to function in other cultures. – Bill Vaughan

My main mistake was to have made an ancient people advance by forced marches toward independence, health, culture, affluence, comfort. – Mohammed Reza Pahlavi

Never judge someone by the way he looks or a book by the way it’s covered; For inside those tattered pages, there’s a lot to be discovered. – Stephen Cosgrove

No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive. – Mahatma Gandhi

No matter what culture you’re from, everyone loves music. – Billy Joel

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden. – Thomas Jefferson

No people come into possession of a culture without having paid a heavy price for it. – James A. Baldwin

Not that the moderns are born with more wit than their predecessors, but, finding the world better furnished at their coming into it, they have more leisure for new thoughts, more light to direct them, and more hints to work upon. – Jeremy Collier

Of the many forms of false culture, a premature converse with abstractions is perhaps the most likely to prove fatal to the growth of a masculine vigour of intellect. – George Boole

One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself. – Shannon L. Alder

One of the surest signs of the Philistine is his reverence for the superior tastes of those who put him down. – Pauline Kael

Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again. – Anais Nin

Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second. – Edward Abbey

Painters paint, and history continues to make fools of curators. – Robert Genn

Partial culture runs to the ornate, extreme culture to simplicity. – Christian Nestell Bovee

Peace cultures thrive on and are nourished by visions of how things might be, in a world where sharing and caring are part of the accepted life ways for everyone. – Elise M. Boulding

People today read less, take fewer museum trips, and attend fewer concerts. Is that because these activities aren’t as fun? The decline… can be traced, at least in part, to unconscious stimuli that make us live faster. – Frank Partnoy

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends. – Maya Angelou

Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures. – Cesar Chavez

Rastafari not a culture, it’s a reality. – Bob Marley

remote from your own, who wish like you for a more just and human world. – Hélder Câmara

Russia is a part of European culture. Therefore, it is with difficulty that I imagine NATO as an enemy. – Vladimir Putin

Science as an intellectual exercise enriches our culture, and is in itself ennobling. – Henry Taube

Science is an integral part of culture. It’s not this foreign thing, done by an arcane priesthood. It’s one of the glories of the human intellectual tradition. – Stephen Jay Gould

Sexual, racial, gender violence and other forms of discrimination and violence in a culture cannot be eliminated without changing culture. – Charlotte Bunch

Shaft was a pop culture figure along t he lines of, I guess, Dirty Harry – except that he wasn’t as much of a racist. So yeah, I was always a fan. – Jeffrey Wright

So American culture is itself a hybrid and lends itself to use in other people’s hybrids. – Todd Gitlin

Some cultural phenomena bear a striking resemblance to the cells of cell biology, actively preserving themselves in their social environments, finding the nutrients they need and fending off the causes of their dissolution. – Daniel Dennett

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities. – Stephen R. Covey

That is true culture which helps us to work for the social betterment of all. – Henry Ward Beecher

That vision of a common culture is now simply a remote wistfulness. – Dennis Potter

The art and culture that is New York, communications, finance, all these things help make up New York. The rest of the country should be happy that we are what we are. – David Dinkins

The art consensus is not criteria, it is convenience. – Walter Darby Bannard

The art world is now a slave of mass culture. We have a sound-bite culture and so we have sound-bite art. You look at it, you get it – it’s as immediate and as superficial as that. – Matthew Collings

The artist has to be a guardian of the culture. – Robert Longo

The arts, as a reflection of human existence at its highest, have always and spontaneously lived up to this demand of plenitude. No mature style of art in any culture has ever been simple. – Rudolf Arnheim

The arts, like language, emerged spontaneously and universally in similar forms across cultures, employing imaginative and intellectual capacities that had clear survival value. – Denis Dutton

The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people. – Unknown

The best thing a man can do for his culture when he is rich is to endeavor to carry out those schemes which he entertained when he was poor. – Henry David Thoreau

The bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie have armed themselves against the rising proletariat with, among other things, culture. It’s an old ploy of the bourgeoisie. They keep a standing art to defend their collapsing culture. – George Grosz

The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity. – Lewis Mumford

The choice of a point of view is the initial act of a culture. – Jose Ortega y Gasset

The crucial differences which distinguish human societies and human beings are not biological. They are cultural. – Ruth Benedict

The culture industry not so much adapts to the reactions of its customers as it counterfeits them. – Theodor Adorno

The first principle of modern cultures may be their connectedness. Culture is like wind and wind knows no boundary or center. Once there is a center, wind becomes a whirlwind. – Mu Xin

The first step – especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money – the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art. – Chuck Palahniuk

The foundation of culture, as of character, is at last the moral sentiment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The game is the ultimate significance to me because it is so important to a lot of people. It has left a mark on our culture to be voted as one of the best to ever play. – Barry Sanders

The great law of culture is, Let each become all that he was created capable of being; expand, if possible, to his full growth; resisting all impediments, casting off all foreign, especially all noxious adhesions, and show himself at length in his own shape and stature be these what they may. – Thomas Carlyle

The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. – Charles Darwin

The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us. – Octavio Paz

The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. – Karl Marx

The Law of Raspberry Jam: the wider any culture is spread, the thinner it gets. – Alvin Toffler

The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border? – Pablo Casals

The mission of the press is to spread culture while destroying the attention span. – Karl Kraus

The moment you give up your principles, and your values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period. – Oriana Fallaci

The most important environmental issue is one that is rarely mentioned, and that is the lack of a conservation ethic in our culture. – Gaylord Nelson

The neglect of culture and lack of economic prospects make young people susceptible to ethnic and nationalist propaganda, and easily turn them into a war recruits. – Martina Fischer

The novelist has more and more to say to readers who have less and less time to read: where to find the energy to engage a culture in crisis when the crisis consists in the impossibility of engaging with the culture? – Jonathan Franzen

The prosperity of a country depends, not on the abundance of its revenues, nor on the strength of its fortifications, nor on the beauty of its public buildings; but it consists in the number of its cultivated citizens, in its men of education, enlightenment and character. – Martin Luther

The question was heatedly debated of how much Western culture should be brought into China. – Chen-Ning Yang

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust

The return to the Organization of the United States of America, the bearers of a great and diversified democratic culture that has inspired many other peoples. – Carlo Azeglio Ciampi

The things that I draw on, and the world that I feel part of, aren’t particularly youth culture. – Robert Wyatt

The trick of making movies in this culture is how to not give up everything that makes them worthwhile in order to get them made – and that’s a tricky balance. – Alex Winter

The various forms of intellectual activity which together make up the culture of an age, move for the most part from different starting-points, and by unconnected roads. – Walter Pater

The welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part of the family; he feels dispensable, his wife knows he is dispensable, his children sense it. – George Gilder

The world does not need a war against ‘terrorism’, it needs a culture of peace based on human rights for all. – Irene Khan

There is something terribly wrong with a culture inebriated by noise and gregariousness. – George Steiner

This is the culture you’re raising your kids in. Don’t be surprised if it blows up in your face. – Marilyn Manson

Though men of delicate taste be rare, they are easily to be distinguished in society by the soundness of their understanding, and the superiority of their faculties above the rest of mankind. – David Hume

Throughout history, it took centuries for the habits of one culture to materially affect another. Now, that which becomes popular in one country can sweep through others within months. – Dee Hock

To be able to translate the customs, ideas and appearance of my times as I see them – in a word, to create a living art – this has been my aim. – Gustave Courbet

Traditions are the guideposts driven deep in our subconscious minds. The most powerful ones are those we can’t even describe, aren’t even aware of. – Ellen Goodman.

Two half-truths do not make a truth, and two half- cultures do not make a culture. – Arthur Koestler

Very simply, the culture of another people does not have to be accepted when it is subhuman! – Armstrong Williams

War is not inherent in human beings. We learn war and we learn peace. The culture of peace is something which is learned, just as violence is learned and war culture is learned. – Elise M. Boulding

We all have what might be called a culturally modified brain, and as cultures evolve, they continually lead to new changes in the brain. – Norman Doidge

We also have a cultural phenomenon: the emergence of a global culture, or of cultural globalization. – Peter L. Berger

We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams. – Jimmy Carter

We can make a commitment to promote vegetables and fruits and whole grains on every part of every menu. We can make portion sizes smaller and emphasize quality over quantity. And we can help create a culture – imagine this – where our kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them. – Michelle Obama

We have our own history, our own language, our own culture. But our destiny is also tied up with the destinies of other people – history has made us all South Africans. – Mangosuthu Buthelezi

We have really got to create a culture in our world today where we recognize that every human life is sacred and precious and we have no right to take another human life. – Mairead Corrigan

We have the ability to achieve, if we master the necessary goodwill, a common global society blessed with a shared culture of peace that is nourished by the ethnic, national and local diversities that enrich our lives. – Mahnaz Afkhami

We Have the Ability to Achieve, If We Master the Necessary Goodwill, a Common Global Society. – Mahnaz Afkhami

We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race. – Kofi Annan

We need to have a culture that says ‘the less energy you can use to be comfortable, the better off you are and the better you should feel about yourself’. – Roscoe Bartlett

We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society. – Alam W. Watts.

Well, it’s an adventure story, and a Bildungsroman, of course, but there was also the intention to describe a culture that had been seen in rather narrow terms. – John M. Ford

What ‘multiculturalism’ boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture – and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture. – Thomas Sowell

What becomes fascinating is the way the culture industry doesn’t deny it and doesn’t try to mitigate it, but tries to sell its products as a way of liberating oneself. – Thomas Frank

What makes cookbooks interesting is to find out about the people and the culture that invented the food. – Vincent Schiavelli

What most people in our culture mean by being lovable is essentially a mixture between being popular and having sex appeal. – Erich Fromm

What moves me is neither ethnocentric pride nor sectarian arrogance. I make no claim that Jewish culture is superior to other cultures. But it is mine. – Theodore Bikel

What sets worlds in motion is the interplay of differences, their attractions and repulsions. Life is plurality, death is uniformity. By suppressing differences and pecularities, by eliminating different civilizations and cultures, progress weakens life and favors death. The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us. Every view of the world that becomes extinct, every culture that disappears, diminishes a possibility of life. – Octavio Paz

What sort of tree is there which will not, if neglected, grow crooked and unfruitful; what but Will, if rightly ordered, prove productive and bring its fruit to maturity? What strength of body is there which will not lose its vigor and fall to decay by laziness, nice usage, and debauchery? – Plutarch

When I hear the word ‘culture’, I reach for my checkbook. – Edward Abbey

When the supremacy of law is undermined, when there are no more social rights or freedom of speech, creative people are the first ones to rise against injustice, and to protect human rights and liberties. – Mary Ann de Vlieg

When we create out of our experiences, as feminists of color, women of color, we have to develop those structures that will present and circulate our culture. – Audre Lorde

When you read a book, you generate beta waves irrespective of the book’s content. But if you look up from it, and start watching TV – it doesn’t matter what the content of the program is – the beta waves disappear and you start processing alpha and theta waves. These are the same waves that you generate during meditation. Reading is primarily left hemisphere and watching television is primarily right hemisphere. Now how could that not have a major effect on our culture? – Leonard Shlain

Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver. – Hermann Goring

Where no interest is takes in science, literature and liberal pursuits, mere facts and insignificant criticisms necessarily become the themes of discourse; and minds, strangers alike to activity and meditation, become so limited as to render all intercourse with them at once tasteless and oppressive. – Madame de Stael

Whereas the political conflicts create a separating hollow, culture creates a space for understanding and dialogue. – Mike Hardy

Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture. – Allen Ginsberg

Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future. – Albert Camus.

Yeah, I don’t deal with current events or pop culture, and I avoid politics like the plague. – Max Cannon

You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. – Ray Bradbury

You have to work at creating your own culture. – Mitch Albom

Your culture demands that you bring some kind of crisis to your work and therefore you can not bring any unity to it. In order to bring crisis into your work you have to bring it to a state of expectancy. In other words you have to leave your work in the state of mind of being a question. – Milton Resnick

Zen culture invites us to experience reality without the intervening distractions of intellect, categories, analysis. – Tom Hoover

"Everything is Going to be Alright" artwork by Martin Creed, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand

Remember, Art is the one vital medium of the coming culture. ~ Agni Yoga

Quotes From Wikiquote

  • Cultures are not all equal. We should be ready to proclaim the clear superiority of our culture to one that justifies killing people in the name of God.
    • Tony Abbott, The religion of Islam must reformThe Daily Telegraph (December 9, 2015)
  • The whole scope of the essay is to recommend culture as the great help out of our present difficulties; culture being a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world; and through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits.
    • Matthew Arnold, Preface to Culture and Anarchy (1869)
  • Culture is then properly described not as having its origin in curiosity, but as having its origin in the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection.
    • Matthew Arnold, “Sweetness and Light,” Culture and Anarchy (1869), p. 7
  • In 16th-century Italy there lived Lodovico Gonzaga, a 16-year old seminarist who was very fond of playing ball. Once a certain priest passing by wondered if for a future priest the youth was too keen on his pursuit and asked him: “What would you do if you learned that in half an hour the end of the world was coming?” To which Lodovico replied: “I’d play on.” According to the Russian thinker Georgy Fedotov, the importance of culture lies in precisely that: we go on playing ball on the verge of Doomsday.
    • Vladimir Barsky, Chromaticism (1996)
  • Politics is downstream of culture.
    • Andrew Breitbart, as quoted in Courrielche: Conservatives’ Next Frontier, Daily Wire
  • The improvement of the soul consists in raising it above what is narrow, particular, individual, selfish, to the universal and unconfined. To improve a man is to liberalize, enlarge him in thought, feeling, and purpose. Narrowness of intellect and heart, this is the degradation from which all culture aims to rescue the human being.
    • William Ellery Channing, “Self-Culture” (1838)
  • Culture is at once the expression and the reward of an effort, and any system of civilization which tends to relax effort will suffer a corresponding depreciation of culture.
    • Georges Duhamel, In Defense of Letters (1937), p. 22
  • Culture is all the things and ideas ever devised by humans working and living together.
    • Peter Farb, Man’s Rise to Civilization (1968)
  • The astonishing cluster of them [geniuses] that appeared in Athens during the fifth and fourth centuries B. C. …what changed was the culture, which allowed exceptional minds to flourish.
    • Peter Farb, Man’s Rise to Civilization (1968)
  • To say that the invention “was in the air” or “the times were ripe for it” are just other ways of stating that the inventors did not do the inventing, but that the cultures did.
    • Peter Farb, Man’s Rise to Civilization (1968)
  • Religious ideas have sprung from the same need as all the other achievements of culture: from the necessity for defending itself against the crushing supremacy of nature.
    • Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion (1927)
  • Whoever controls the media — the images — controls the culture.
    • Allen Ginsberg, as quoted in Brain Power : Learn to Improve Your Thinking Skills‎ (1980) by Karl Albrecht, p. 6
  • The way you sustain and improve upon a culture is by fostering a sense of gratitude for what is best about it. You celebrate the good in your story while putting the bad in the correct context.
    • Jonah Goldberg, “What’s So Great about Western Civilization” (19 April 2019), National Review.
  • Remember, we live in a culture of immediacy. We live in a culture in which simplistic answers override more complicated answers. We live in a culture in which language is reduced to its bare bones. We live in a culture in which language is now in the service of violence.
    • Henry Giroux, as quoted in Henry Giroux on His Latest Book — The Terror of the Unforeseen — and How Neoliberal Capitalism Sets the Stage for Fascism (August 19, 2019), Media For Us.
  • Culture is neither natural nor artificial, neither genetically transmitted nor rationally designed. It is a tradition of learnt rules of conduct which have never been ‘invented’ and whose functions the acting individuals usually do not understand. There is surely as much justification to speak of the wisdom of culture as of the wisdom of nature—except, perhaps, that, because of the powers of government, errors of the former are less easily corrected.
    • Friedrich Hayek, Law, Legislation and Liberty, Vol. 3 : The Political Order of a Free People (1979), Epilogue: The Three Sources of Human Values
  • When two cultures collide is the only time when true suffering exists
    • Hermann Hesse, as quoted in Peter’s Quotations : Ideas for Our Time‎ (1977) by Laurence J. Peter, p. 456
  • Culture is constituted by human labor, the aesthetic, and the spirit. In this regard, culture is an integrated way of life which shuns false dichotomies between sacred and so-called secular. Human labor denotes a mutuality between base and superstructure. The aesthetic argues for a norm grounded in internal beauty and ethical functionality. And the spirit is the vivifying thread woven throughout all of culture.
    • Dwight Hopkins “A Black Theology of Liberation,” Black Theology, v. 3, n. 1, January 2005
  • Our aim is to stop the life cycle of the enemy culture and replace it with our own revolutionary culture. This can be done only by creating perfect disorder within the cycle of the enemy culture’s life process and leaving a power vacuum to be filled by our building revolutionary culture.
    • George L. Jackson, Blood in My Eye (1971)
  • The disdain for culture expressed by Johst and Fanon is not identical, however. Both despise the deceit of culture, but for opposite reasons. For Johst, culture is in itself a fraud, the cheap talk of weaklings; for Fanon, culture deceives by reneging on its promises. Johst and the Nazis hated culture itself; Fanon hated its hypocrisy, a very different notion.
    • Russell Jacoby, The End of Utopia (1999), p. 35
  • Wenn ich Kultur höre … entsichere ich meinen Browning!
    • Whenever I hear of culture … I release the safety catch of my Browning!
      • Hanns Johst, Schlageter. Often misquoted as “When I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver”, and misattributed to other Nazi leaders.
  • Each form of the sacrosanct was regarded by members of the culture which gave rise to it as a revelation of the Truth.
    • André Malraux, in Voices of Silence [Les voix du silence] (1951), Pt. IV, Ch. V
  • Our art culture makes no attempt to search the past for precedents, but transforms the entire past into a sequence of provisional responses to a problem that remains intact.
    • André Malraux, in Voices of Silence [Les voix du silence] (1951), Pt. IV, Ch. VII
  • Culture would seem … first and foremost, to be the knowledge of what makes man something other than an accident of the universe, be it by deepening his harmony with the world, or by the lucid consciousness of his revolt from it. … Culture is the sum of all the forms of art, of love and of thought, which, in the course of centuries, have enabled man to be less enslaved.
    • André Malraux, quoted in Malraux : An Essay in Political Criticism‎ (1967) by David O. Wilkinson, p. 153
  • The prestige of culture is among the major means by which powers of decision are made to seem part of an unchallengeable authority. That is why the cultural apparatus, no matter how internally free, tends in every nation to become a close adjunct of national authority and a leading agency of nationalist propaganda.
    • C. Wright Mills, “The Cultural Apparatus,” in The Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright Mills (2008)
  • That is the secret of all culture: it does not provide artificial limbs, wax noses or spectacles—that which can provide these things is, rather, only sham education. Culture is liberation, the removal of all the weeds, rubble and vermin that want to attack the tender buds of the plant.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, as translated by R. J. Hollingdale
  • Our world is organized in large measure around groups with pervasive cultures…. membership of such groups… greatly affects one’s opportunities…. If the culture is decaying, or if it is persecuted or discriminated against, the options and opportunities open to its members will shrink.
    • Joseph Raz, Ethics in the Public Domain: Essays in the Morality of Law and Politics (1994), Clarendon Press.
  • The multitude are matter-of-fact. They live in commonplace concerns and interests. Their problems are, how to get more plentiful and better food and drink, more comfortable and beautiful clothing, more commodious dwellings, for themselves and their children. When they seek relaxation from their labors for material things, they gossip of the daily happenings, or they play games or dance or go to the theatre or club, or they travel or they read story books, or accounts in the newspapers of elections, murders, peculations, marriages, divorces, failures and successes in business; or they simply sit in a kind of lethargy. They fall asleep and awake to tread again the beaten path. While such is their life, it is not possible that they should take interest or find pleasure in religion, poetry, philosophy, or art. To ask them to read books whose life-breath is pure thought and beauty is as though one asked them to read things written in a language they do not understand and have no desire to learn. A taste for the best books, as a taste for whatever is best, is acquired; and it can be acquired only by long study and practice. It is a result of free and disinterested self-activity, of efforts to attain what rarely brings other reward than the consciousness of having loved and striven for the best. But the many have little appreciation of what does not flatter or soothe the senses. Their world, like the world of children and animals, is good enough for them; meat and drink, dance and song, are worth more, in their eyes, than all the thoughts of all the literatures. A love tale is better than a great poem, and the story of a bandit makes Plutarch seem tiresome. This is what they think and feel, and what, so long as they remain what they are, they will continue to think and feel. We do not urge a child to read Plato—why should we find fault with the many for not loving the best books?
    • John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections (1901), pp. 11-12
  • One ought not to hoard culture. It should be adapted and infused into society as a leaven. Liberality of culture does not mean illiberality of its benefits.
    • Wallace Stevens, in a journal entry (20 June 1899); as published in Souvenirs and Prophecies: the Young Wallace Stevens (1977) edited by Holly Stevens, Ch. 3
  • [Culture is] that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.
    • Edward B. Tyler, Primitive Culture (1871) as quoted by Peter Farb, Man’s Rise to Civilization (1968)
  • I didn’t learn until I was in college about all the other cultures, and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader should understand that his or her culture isn’t a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society. Cultural relativity is defensible and attractive. It’s also a source of hope. It means we don’t have to continue this way if we don’t like it.
    • Kurt Vonnegut, in an interview in Playboy (July 1973)
  • No one can take culture seriously if he believes that it is only the uppermost of several layers of epiphenomena resting on a primary reality of economic activity.
    • Richard Weaver, “The Importance of Cultural Freedom,” Life Without Prejudice (Chicago: 1965), p. 25
  • Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Culture’s got to go
    • Students protesting Stanford University’s “Western Culture” course on 15 January 1987[1][2]
    • Alternatively, “Hey, hey, ho, ho! Western Civilization has got to go!”[3]
    • Sometimes misquoted as “Hey hey, ho ho, Western Civ has got to go”
    • Sometimes wrongly attributed to Jesse Jackson[4][5]
  • The traditional culture of humanity doesn’t forbid the reasonable satisfaction of desire. However, traditional culture teaches people to control their desires and choose a healthy lifestyle. It’s about harmony with nature, traditional labor, harmonious family relationships, a healthy civil society, and participation in self-rule and state management, as well as traditional arts, literature, sports, and entertainment. All of this brings happiness and satisfaction, and at the same time, benefits the individual in body and mind, as well as society at large.
    • How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, Chapter Fourteen: Popular Culture–A Decadent Indulgence
  • Traditional culture is the root of human existence, an important guarantee for human beings to maintain moral standards.
    • How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, Chapter Seventeen: Globalization – Communism at Its Core

High Culture

High culture is the set of cultural products, mainly in the arts, held in the highest esteem by a culture.

  • The use of culture is that it helps us, by means of its spiritual standard of perfection, to regard wealth as but machinery, and not only to say as a matter of words that we regard wealth as but machinery, but really to perceive and feel that it is so. If it were not for this purging effect wrought upon our minds by culture, the whole world, the future as well as the present, would inevitably belong to the Philistines. The people who believe most that our greatness and welfare are proved by our being very rich, and who most give their lives and thoughts to becoming rich, are just the very people whom we call the Philistines. Culture says: “Consider these people, then, their way of life, their habits, their manners, the very tones of their voice; look at them attentively; observe the literature they read, the things which give them pleasure, the words which come forth out of their mouths, the thoughts which make the furniture of their minds; would any amount of wealth be worth having with the condition that one was to become just like these people by having it?”
    • Matthew Arnold, “Sweetness and Light,” Culture and Anarchy (1869), p. 16
  • The great law of culture is: Let each become all that he was created capable of being.
    • Thomas Carlyle, “Richter,” Critical and Miscellaneous Essays
  • A rational, moral being cannot, without infinite wrong, be converted into a mere instrument of others’ gratification. He is necessarily an end, not a means. A mind, in which are sown the seeds of wisdom, disinterestedness, firmness of purpose, and piety, is worth more than all the outward material interests of a world. It exists for itself, for its own perfection, and must not be enslaved to its own or others’ animal wants.
    • William Ellery Channing, “Self-Culture” (1838)
  • When I speak of the purpose of self-culture, I mean that it should be sincere. In other words, we must make self-culture really and truly our end, or choose it for its own sake, and not merely as a means or instrument of something else. And here I touch a common and very pernicious error. Not a few persons desire to improve themselves only to get property and to rise in the world; but such do not properly choose improvement, but something outward and foreign to themselves; and so low an impulse can produce only a stinted, partial, uncertain growth. A man, as I have said, is to cultivate himself because he is a man. He is to start with the conviction that there is something greater within him than in the whole material creation, than in all the worlds which press on the eye and ear; and that inward improvements have a worth and dignity in themselves quite distinct from the power they give over outward things.
    • William Ellery Channing, “Self-Culture” (1838)
  • Everything excellent limits us momentarily because we feel unable to match up to it; only insofar as we subsequently accept it into our own culture, absorb it as belonging to our own mental and temperamental powers, do we come to love and value it.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections, Elisabeth Stopp, trans. (Penguin: 1998) #348
  • The Philistine … strictly separates “the earnestness of life” (under which term he understands his calling, his business, and his wife and child) from … trivialities, and among the latter he includes all things which have any relation to culture. Therefore, woe to the art that takes itself seriously, that has a notion of what it may exact, and that dares to endanger his income, his business, and his habits!
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, A. Ludovici, trans., “David Strauss,” § 1.2, p. 18
  • The service of philosophy, of speculative culture, towards the human spirit is to rouse, to startle it into sharp and eager observation. … Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself, is the end.
    • Walter Pater, The Renaissance, Conclusion
  • It is natural for great minds—the true teachers of humanity—to care little about the constant company of others; just as little as the schoolmaster cares for joining in the gambols of the noisy crowd of boys which surround him. The mission of these great minds is to guide mankind over the sea of error to the haven of truth—to draw it forth from the dark abysses of a barbarous vulgarity up into the light of culture and refinement.
    • Arthur Schopenhauer, Counsels and Maxims’, T. Saunders, trans., § 9
  • The disinterested love of truth which culture fosters is akin to the unselfishness which is a characteristic of the good.
    • John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections (1901), p. 212
  • At present, in consequence of the existence of private property, a great many people are enabled to develop a certain very limited amount of Individualism. They are either under no necessity to work for their living, or are enabled to choose the sphere of activity that is really congenial to them, and gives them pleasure. These are the poets, the philosophers, the men of science, the men of culture – in a word, the real men, the men who have realised themselves, and in whom all Humanity gains a partial realisation. Upon the other hand, there are a great many people who, having no private property of their own, and being always on the brink of sheer starvation, are compelled to do the work of beasts of burden, to do work that is quite uncongenial to them, and to which they are forced by the peremptory, unreasonable, degrading Tyranny of want.
    • Oscar Wilde, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” Complete Works (New York: 1989), p. 1079
  • Culture is at once the expression and the reward of an effort, and any system of civilization which tends to relax effort will suffer a corresponding depreciation of culture.
    • Georges Duhamel, In Defense of Letters (1937), E. Bozman, trans. (1939), p. 22
  • When the native hears a speech about Western culture he pulls out his knife—or at least he makes sure it is within reach. The violence with which the supremacy of white values is affirmed and the aggressiveness which has permeated the victory of these values over the ways of life and of thought of the native mean that, in revenge, the native laughs in mockery when Western values are mentioned in front of him.
    • Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of The Earth (1963), p. 43
  • We consider classical music to be the epitome and quintessence of our culture, because it is that culture’s clearest, most significant gesture and expression. In this music we possess the heritage of classical antiquity and Christianity, a spirit of serenely cheerful and brave piety, a superbly chivalric morality. For in the final analysis every important cultural gesture comes down to a morality, a model for human behavior concentrated into a gesture.
    • Herman Hesse, Joseph Knecht in The Glass Bead Game (1943), R. Winton, trans. (1990)
  • We do not truly possess our humanity and culture as long as we live only in the present, in our own accidental environment.
    • Walter Kaufmann, Hegel (1966), p. 117
  • Culture is the sum of all the forms of art, of love and of thought, which, in the course of centuries, have enabled man to be less enslaved.
    • André Malraux, in David O. Wilkinson, Malraux : An essay in Political Criticism‎ (1967), p. 153
  • In our bourgeois Western world total labor has vanquished leisure. Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for non-activity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture—and ourselves.
    • Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture (1948)
  • The man of culture finds the whole past relevant; the bourgeois and the barbarian find relevant only what has some pressing connection with their appetite.
    • Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago: 1948)

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