Barbarians inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays

Quotes

I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money.

People who pride themselves on their "complexity" and deride others for being "simplistic" should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.

When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.

Those who believe that "basic necessities" should belong to people as a matter of right ignore the implication -- that people are to work only for amenities, frivolities, and ego. Will that mean more work or less work? And if less, where are all those "basic necessities" coming from that the government is supposed to hand out?

People who talk incessantly about "change" are often dogmatically set in their ways. They want to change other people.

Maturity is not a matter of age. You have matured when you are no longer concerned with showing how clever you are, and give your full attention to getting the job done right. Many never reach that stage, no matter how old they get.

Letters from teachers continue to confirm the incompetence which they deny. A teacher in Montana says that my criticisms of teachers are "nieve." No, that wasn't a typographical error. He spelled it that way twice.

If I could offer one piece of advice to young people thinking about their future, it would be this: Don't preconceive. Find out what the opportunities are.

If you don't believe in the innate unreasonableness of human beings, just try raising children.