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INSTITUTIONS Quotes

The emerging global movement for a better world is slowly creating institutions that will provide an infrastructure that will help make striving for a better world easier. But a firm foundation has already been established. -- Robert Alan Silverstein

Socially responsible investing has made tremendous strides towards influencing our current economic institutions. Helping to promote a better world economy will greatly accelerate the transformation of these institutions, which will have a profound effect in establishing the infrastructure for many other better world institutions in media, entertainment, education and many other fields. -- Robert Alan Silverstein

We have forgotten the basic SOCIAL CONTRACT of rights and responsibilities that binds us together as a society. Society expects citizens to follow laws it has instated in order to protect individuals and institutions. Without these laws there would be chaos -- the strong would simply take anything they wanted and the rest would have no recourse. In return the social contract guarantees that if people follow these rules or responsibilities they will be guaranteed basic rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A guarantee of life ensures they will have access to basic human needs of water, food and shelter needed to live and to support their family. Liberty involves the ability to engage in activities the individual wishes, as long as it does not violate the law. The pursuit of happiness is a guarantee that the laws are meant to be fair and provide an equal playing field for all members of society, so that through hard work and creative enterprise, all law-abiding citizens are free to strive to attain the wants and desires they believe will bring them happiness. -- Robert Alan Silverstein

Exploitation, alienation, poverty, disempowerment, fragmenting and debilitating labor, production for the profit of a few -- much less harsh homelessness, starvation, and degradation -- are not like gravity. They arise from institutional relations established by human beings. New institutions, also established by human beings, can generate other vastly superior outcomes. Defining and working to attain those new institutions ought to be our economic agenda.
-- Michael Albert

I want an end to hierarchies of power and wealth and to class division with most actors subordinated to an elite few. To accomplish all these ends I favor the institutions of participatory economics -- worker and consumer councils, remuneration for effort and sacrifice, balanced job complexes, and participatory planning. If someone should demonstrate that those institutions somehow fail to accomplish necessary economic functions or have social or personal by-products that outweigh their benefits -- I would simply return to the drawing board. Exploitation, alienation, poverty, disempowerment, fragmenting and debilitating labor, production for the profit of a few -- much less harsh homelessness, starvation, and degradation -- are not like gravity. They arise from institutional relations established by human beings. New institutions, also established by human beings, can generate other vastly superior outcomes. Defining and working to attain those new institutions ought to be our economic agenda.
-- Michael Albert

An institution or reform movement that is not selfish, must originate in the recognition of some evil that is adding to the sum of human suffering, or diminishing the sum of happiness.
-- Clara Barton

* "Through electing officials that will protect the Constitution and commit themselves to the rights of the people and the health of the nation, we will be able to ensure that no group of ideologues and no private sector institution can coopt our rights, take us into senseless wars and steal the nation from its people."
-- Harry Belafonte

if globalization is to realise its potential as a force for good, we have to look more closely at the means by which we handle our growing interdependence. We do not have a world government, but we do have an increasingly complex network of institutions that are concerned with global governance. They are central to our future and international human rights law,
-- Gro Brundtland

It is impossible to build enduring institutions without solid values. For us, the fundamental value is that associated with democracy.
-- Fernando Cardoso

"There are no magic answers, no miraculous methods to overcome the problems we face, just the familiar ones: honest search for understanding, education, organization, action that raises the cost of state violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change -- and the kind of commitment that will persist despite the temptations of disillusionment, despite many failures and only limited successes, inspired by the hope of a brighter future." -- Noam Chomsky

Why should workers agree to be slaves in a basically authoritarian structure? They should have control over it themselves. Why shouldn't communities have a dominant voice in running the institutions that affect their lives? -- Noam Chomsky

* under capitalism, we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. -- Noam Chomsky

In any institution-factory, university, health center, or whatever-there are a variety of interests that ought to be represented in decision-making: the work force itself, the community in which it is located, users of its products or services, institutions that compete for the same resources. These interests should be directly represented in democratic structures that displace and eliminate private ownership of the means of production or resources, an anachronism with no legitimacy.
-- Noam Chomsky

There is no reason to accept the doctrines crafted to sustain power and privilege, or to believe that we are constrained by mysterious and unknown social laws. These are simply decisions made within institutions that are subject to human will and that must face the test of legitimacy. And if they do not meet the test, they can be replaced by other institutions that are more free and more just, as has happened often in the past.
-- Noam Chomsky

The aim of education is to enable individuals to continue their education ... (and) the object and reward of learning is continued capacity for growth. Now this idea cannot be applied to all the members of a society except where intercourse of man with man is mutual, and except where there is adequate provision for the reconstruction of social habits and institutions by means of wide stimulation arising from equitably distributed interests. And this means a democratic society.
-- John Dewey

What is the most powerful lever you can imagine? A big idea, but only if it’s in the hands of a truly outstanding entrepreneur. It starts with the person and the idea, and then grows to the institution. All three are intertwined.
-- Bill Drayton

No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.
-- Peter F. Drucker

What we need is a tough new kind of feminism with no illusions. Women do not change institutions simply by assimilating into them. We need a feminism that teaches a woman to say no - not just to the date rapist or overly insistent boyfriend but, when necessary, to the military or corporate hierarchy within which she finds herself. We need a kind of feminism that aims not just to assimilate into the institutions that men have created over the centuries, but to infiltrate and subvert them.
-- Barbara Ehrenreich

Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police”
-- Albert Einstein

We were made for something cosmic and will not fit peacefully into anything much smaller. And when we try to build our lives around anything much smaller than cosmos we become grotesque, and our institutions, be they religious or familial or educational or governmental are asked to do too much. They become misshapen and malformed and turn into instruments of cosmic and personal destruction.
-- Matthew Fox


"... leadership has to be focused on some very radical ideas that only we as 21st Century people can talk about: making sure people have a livelihood, making sure people receive a living wage, making sure the environment, the Mother Earth, is embraced and cherished and not destroyed. Making sure people are healthy in what they eat, making sure we hold people and corporations accountable for the damage they do not only to our environment but to our institutions."
-- Danny Glover

So long as private corporations remain the dominant production institution of society,
no matter who is in power, the long-run trend in society will be to promote the corporate interest.
-- Michael Harrington

* The nations must be organized internationally and induced to enter into partnership, subordinating in some measure national sovereignty to worldwide institutions and obligations
-- Arthur Henderson

 

We are at the very point in time when a 400-year old age is dying and another is struggling to be born - a shifting of culture, science, society, and institutions enormously greater than the world has ever experienced. Ahead, the possibility of the regeneration of individuality, liberty, community and ethics such as the world has never know, and a harmony with nature, with one another, and with the divine intelligence such as the world has never dreamed.
-- Dee Ward Hock, founder of Visa

* When the institutions of money rule the world, it is perhaps inevitable that the interests of money will take precedence over the interests of people. What we are experiencing might best be described as a case of money colonizing life. To accept this absurd distortion of human institutions and purpose should be considered nothing less than an act of collective, suicidal insanity."
-- David Korten

* Our nuclear free status is a statement of our belief that we and our fellow human beings can build the institutions which will one day allow us all to renounce the weapons of mass destruction. We are a small country and what we can do is limited. But in this as in every other great issue, we have to start somewhere.
-- David Lange

* Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element.
-- Rosa Luxemburg

"Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist."
-- George C. Marshall (1880-1959)

In our country, the large corporations are the dominant institution. They comprise the strongest, consistent, generic power in the land. They share a high degree of coordinated values. Their power is all the more remarkable in its resiliency and ability to accommodate or absorb other challenging power centers such as big government and organized labor in ways that turn an additional profit, erect an additional privilege, or acquire protective mechanisms to ward off new pressures for change or reform."
-- Ralph Nader

 

"The most important thing an institution does is not to prepare a student for a career but for a life as a citizen."
-- Frank Newman

"Refugee problems may often seem intractable but they are not insoluble. In our experience there are two basic prerequisites for solution: the political will of leaders to tackle the causes and to settle for peace, and international determination to push for peace and then to consolidate it. Consolidating peace means helping societies emerging from war to reintegrate refugees in safety and dignity, to rebuild their institutions - including in the field of justice and human rights - and to resume their economic development."
-- Sadako Ogata

* The aim of political institutions like the United Nations is to draw the line between struggle and conflict and to make it possible for nations to stay on the right side of that line…
-- Javier Perez de Cuellar

Since the governments are in the pockets of businesses, who's going to control this most powerful institution? Business is more powerful than politics, and it's more powerful than religion. So it's going to have to be the vigilante consumer.
-- Anita Roddick

We are capable of regaining our reverence for life, of replacing the drive to conquer with the will to cooperate, of remaking our engineered institutions, including our corporations, into living systems.
-- Elisabet Sahtouris

"So many of the wars in history, thousands and thousands of them for the past five, six, seven thousand years, have been related to differences in Truth claims. If we can evolve beyond that problem, then I think there's some chance that we could retire the whole institution of war and begin to focus on the peaceful evolution of humanity.
~ Brother Wayne Teasdale

This is the one international institution we have in which governments get together to work collectively for a common purpose. International crises, by definition, require international solutions. Peacekeeping is a response to conflict, is a response to situations in which often it is not the business of any one particular country to get into. It seems to me, therefore, that the world will for the foreseeable future need peacekeeping.
-- Shashi Tharoor

* The reality is that international institutions like the UN can only be as effective as its members allow it to be.
-- Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Wars are not acts of God. They are caused by man, by man-made institutions, by the way in which man has organized his society. What man has made, man can change.
-- Frederic Moore Vinson

 

The eager and often inconsiderate appeals of reformers and revolutionists are indispensable to counterbalance the inertia and fossilism marking so large a part of human institutions.
~ Walt Whitman

 

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