Bernard-Henri Levy quotes

  • The only successful revolution of this century is totalitarianism.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Successful #Revolution #Century

  • For me, dressing is always a question of principle, respect, a sense of order, not to disguise myself, even in rotten places.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Order #Principles #Rotten

  • God is dead but my hair is perfect.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Hair #Perfect #God Is Dead

  • People always think that loyalty is laudable. People are always saying that we must remain faithful to tradition, to family, to our class, to our ideas. Of course not! That would be equivalent to zero brain activity. If you really want to think, to seek truth, to advance intellectually, you must turn your back on clichés, on preconceived ideas - even those belonging to your spiritual family. For an intellectual, his true duty is not to fidelity, but to infidelity.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Loyalty #Spiritual #Thinking

  • The totalitarian state is not a force unleashed, the truth is in chains.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Truth Is #States #Chains

  • If you trace the history of Islamist terrorism, you see that its founders were great admirers of European fascism. They read the texts of European fascism, they quoted them in speeches and letters. This is not from the Koran - the Koran doesn't teach you how to repress people; there's nothing in there about women having to cover their faces, there's certainly nothing about suicide bombing.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Suicide #People #Letters

  • There is a true weakness in American thought today: their incapacity to be interested in the intelligence of evil.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Evil #Weakness #Today

  • I don't really believe in dialogue; I am too Nietzschean for that. We need to have a warrior conception of philosophy.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Philosophy #Believe #Warrior

  • The Left is my family. And it is threatened by terrible demons, like differentialism. "differentialist Left" are people who have learned nothing about tolerance. Or justice. People who, hiding behind a backward sense of tolerance and justice, explain to us that we must accept all the actions of all civilizations, including the stoning of adulterous wives or the mutilation of little girls.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Girl #People #Justice

  • I reject the idea that there is some sort of existential "clash of civilizations." I am an interventionist, but not a militarist. War should always be a last resort.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #War #Civilization #Ideas

  • The European Union should not be prescribing an identity. We know what that's like, when a government tells its people how it should look; what it should be doing. That's the first step towards totalitarianism.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Government #People #Identity

  • Islamic terrorists are new examples of an old problem with fascism.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Islamic #Example #Problem

  • Europe has certainly lost confidence in itself. This was something that, when I was a young man, we never imagined would happen.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Men #Europe #Lost

  • The terrorists exist, and I think we must speak to them, not to establish a dialogue-since for serious terrorists that is unfortunately out of the question - but to learn how their brains work, to be better able to fight them.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Fighting #Thinking #Brain

  • Why should an intellectual have to renounce the pleasures of life? I am not a hermit. I am a man of flesh and blood. In fact, if you look at my name in French, that schizophrenia, that aspiration to several lives is contained in my name. Lévy is also les vies - "the lives".
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Men #Intellectual #Schizophrenia

  • I work even when I am on vacation. You know that line by Stéphane Mallarmé, "All earthly existence must ultimately be contained in a book"? I am the kind of person who finds life interesting only if it is translated into writing, if it is parsed into words.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Book #Writing #Vacation

  • Europe needs to develop a sense of collective history - we need to write books from a European perspective, to teach it in schools as well.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Book #Writing #School

  • I would hope that Europe always has a privileged relationship with the United States. The alternatives are not attractive.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Europe #United States #Alternatives

  • I am 60, and I am as much an internationalist as when I was younger, when I was a Marxist-Leninist. Internationalism is one of the rare pieces of that heritage to which I remain loyal. That is Barack Obama's strength. A politician has finally understood that politics is not only about the closing of a mine in Ohio-it is also about the will to reach out, to embrace the world of today's young Americans. That way, young Americans may eventually reconcile with politics.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #World #Loyal #Politician

  • The conservatives want to revolutionize the world all at once. And that's a dangerous proposal.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #World #Want #Proposal

  • I would sooner want a strong partnership with the United States - even with (US President George W.) Bush, who I think is the worst president in a long, long time. I would sooner want a friendship with Bush than with (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Strong #Thinking #Long

  • America creates myths by focusing a lot of energy on its history and using it - - not always, but sometimes - for constructive purposes.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #America #Energy #Purpose

  • The euro is a great achievement. It's a symbolic achievement. But, the European constitution was a missed opportunity.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Opportunity #Achievement #Constitution

  • Even if it doesn't sound like it at first, that's an identity that Europe can go out into the world with and take a leading role.
    -- Bernard-Henri Levy

    #Europe #Identity #Sound