Michael Ignatieff quotes

  • One of the greatest feelings in life is the conviction that you have lived the life you wanted to live-with the rough and the smooth, the good and the bad-but yours, shaped by your own choices, and not someone else's.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Life #Choices #Feelings

  • Genocide is not just a murderous madness; it is, more deeply, a politics that promises a utopia beyond politics - one people, one land, one truth, the end of difference. Since genocide is a form of political utopia, it remains an enduring temptation in any multiethnic and multicultural society in crisis.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Land #Differences #People

  • Mr. Kaplan is the first traveler to take us on a journey to the jagged places where these tectonic plates meet, and his argument--that our future is being shaped far away 'at the ends of the earth'--makes his travelogue pertinent and compelling reading.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Reading #Journey #Earth

  • Patriotism is the secret resource of a successful society.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Successful #Secret #Resources

  • Scar Tissue is the only book Ive ever written when Ive felt completely toxic, ill.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Book #Tissues #Toxic

  • Those with a gift for action, for their part, often express contempt for those whose gifts are more reflective. Men of action like to say, Those who can, do, those who cant, teach, forgetting that those who teach get to write the history books.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Book #Writing #Men

  • To defeat evil, we may have to traffic in evils: indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #War #Evil #May

  • There's a financial cost, but the only costs that are ever real are the costs of our soldiers.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Real #Soldier #Cost

  • In academic life, false ideas are merely false and useless ones can be fun to play with. In political life, false ideas can ruin the lives of millions and useless ones can waste precious resources. An intellectual's responsibility for his ideas is to follow their consequences wherever they may lead. A politician's responsibility is to master those consequences and prevent them from doing harm. Michael Ignatieff, a former professor at Harvard and contributing writer for the magazine, is a member of Canada's Parliament and deputy leader of the Liberal Party.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Fun #War #Party

  • I was with the U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on the day that Srebrenica fell, which happened to be a huge historical turning point in the Bosnian war.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #War #Historical #Bosnians

  • All war aims for impunity.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #War #Aim

  • How do you keep war accountable to the American people when war becomes invisible and virtual?
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #War #People #Invisible

  • If I am not elected, I imagine that I will ask Harvard to let me back.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Imagine #Harvard #Let Me

  • I distinguish, between nationalism and patriotism.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Patriotism #Nationalism

  • Living fearlessly is not the same as never being afraid. It's good to be afraid occasionally. Fear is a great teacher.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Inspirational #Teacher #Fear

  • Cynics who say power is all that counts in politics forget that power without ideas is just improvisation.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Ideas #Forget #Improvisation

  • Family traditions are more than arguments with the dead, more than collections of family letters you try to decipher. A tradition is also a channel of memory through which fierce and unrequited longings surge, longings that define and shape a whole life.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Memories #Trying #Shapes

  • There's intense national feeling in America that could be called patriotism.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #America #Feelings #Patriotism

  • Patriotism is strong nationalistic feeling for a country whose borders and whose legitimacy and whose ethnic composition is taken for granted.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Country #Strong #Taken

  • If you get the access to see history happen, do you understand the history when it does happen? And the answer to that question is no, you dont.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Doe #Answers

  • The reason that the Croats want a state of their own is that they fear being cut into little pieces by the Serbs.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Cutting #Pieces #Want

  • It's good for people to believe in causes larger than themselves.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Believe #People #Causes

  • There's a civic nationalism in Britain and dozens of other countries.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Country #Dozen #Britain

  • Memory is the only afterlife I have ever believed in. But the forgetting inside us cannot be stopped. We are programmed to betray.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Memories #Afterlife #Forget

  • ...our species is one, and each of the individuals who compose it are entitled to equal moral consideration.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Moral #Consideration #Individual

  • Tad Homer-Dixon is a rare kind of public intellectual, who combines real expertise with a commitment to communicate to the widest possible readership. In The Ingenuity Gap he wants us all to wake-up to the fearful possibility that our blithe trust in science and technology may be misplaced. Human ingenuity may not be capable of coping with two emerging crises of this century and the next: population growth and environmental despoliation. Read Homer Dixon's wake-up call and you will see the future very differently.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Real #Commitment #Technology

  • It was Reagan who began the realignment of American politics, making the Republicans into internationalist Jeffersonians with his speech in London at the Palace of Westminster in 1982, which led to the creation of the National Endowment for Democracy and the emergence of democracy promotion as a central goal of United States foreign policy.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Goal #Democracy #Speech

  • The Only cure for nihilism is for liberal democratic societies - their electorates, their judiciary, and their political leadership- to insist that force is legitimate only to the degree that it serves defensible poltical goals. Thus implies a constant exercise of due diligence...
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Exercise #Goal #Political

  • The [Afghans] understand the difficult truth that their best hope of freedom lies in a temporary experience of imperial rule.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Lying #Difficult #Hoping For The Best

  • A liberal society cannot be defended by herbivores. We need carnivores to save us, but we had better make sure the meat-eaters hunt only on our orders.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Order #Meat #Needs

  • The medium's gaze is brief, intense, and promiscuous. The shelf life of the moral causes it makes its own is brutally short.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Causes #Moral #Intense

  • Canadians want a country. They don't want a community of communities. I'm committed to the national unity of the country.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Country #Communication #Community

  • An intellectual may be interested in ideas and policies for their own sake, but a politician's interest is exclusively in the question of whether an idea's time has come,
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Ideas #Intellectual #May

  • The disagreeable reality for those who believe in human rights is that there are some occasions-and Iraq may be one of them-when war is the only real remedy for regimes that live by terror,
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Real #War #Believe

  • There are lots of nations in the world or national peoples who don't yet have states. They're inside someone else's state and they want a state of their own.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Want #World #States

  • The wars of the future will be fought by computer technicians and by lawyers and high-altitude specialists, and that may mean war will be increasingly abstract, hard to think about and hard to control.
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #War #Mean #Thinking

  • America's entire war on terror is an exercise in imperialism. This may come as a shock to Americans, who don't like to think of their country as an empire. But what else can you call America's legions of soldiers, spooks and special forces straddling the globe?
    -- Michael Ignatieff

    #Country #War #Exercise

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