Lincoln Steffens Quotes

Enjoy the top 57 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Lincoln Steffens.

Lincoln Steffens Quotes

The spirit of graft and of lawlessness is the American spirit.
— Lincoln Steffens —

The longer I live, the more I feel that the individual is not so much to blame - not even the worst individuals, not even the 'best' citizens - as the system of corruption which has grown up about us, and which rewards an honest man with a mere living and a crook with all the magnificence of our magnificent modern life.

— Lincoln Steffens

Whenever anything extraordinary is done in American municipal politics, whether for good or for evil, you can trace it almost invariably to one man. The people do not do it. Neither do the 'gangs,' 'combines,' or political parties.

— Lincoln Steffens

Morality is only moral when it is voluntary.

— Lincoln Steffens

The commercial spirit is the spirit of profit, not patriotism; of credit, not honor; of individual gain, not national prosperity; of trade and dickering, not principle.

— Lincoln Steffens

Nothing fails like success.

— Lincoln Steffens

My father would invite me sweetly to come and sit on a stool at his feet, and, as I let myself trustingly down, he would gently kick the seat from under me - and laugh.

— Lincoln Steffens

My father required me to honor my father and my mother too much to put up games on them. I did on occasion.

— Lincoln Steffens

Nothing is done. Everything in the world remains to be done or done over. The greatest picture is not yet painted, the greatest play isn't written, the greatest poem is unsung. There isn't in all the world a perfect railroad, nor a good government, nor a sound law. Physics, mathematics, and especially the most advanced and exact of the sciences are being fundamentally revised ... Psychology, economics, and sociology are awaiting a Darwin, whose work in turn is awaiting an Einstein.

— Lincoln Steffens

And an educated mind is nothing but the God-given mind of a child after his parents' and his grandparents' generation have got through molding it. We can't help teaching you; you will ask that of us; but we are prone to teach you what we know, and I am going, now and again, to warn you:
Remember we really don't know anything. Keep your baby eyes (which are the eyes of genius) on what we don't know. That is your playground, bare and graveled, safe and unbreakable.

— Lincoln Steffens

In science, probably ninety-nine percent of the knowable has to be discovered. We know only a few streaks about astronomy. We are only beginning to imagine the force and composition of the atom. Physics has not yet found any indivisible matter, or psychology a sensible soul.

— Lincoln Steffens

The best picture has not yet been painted; the greatest poem is still unsung; the mightiest novel remains to be written; the divinest music has not been conceived, even by Bach. In science, probably ninety-nine percent of the knowable has not yet been discovered.

— Lincoln Steffens

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