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Hermann Hesse
German novelist and poet

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The bourgeois prefers comfort to pleasure, convenience to liberty, and a pleasant temperature to the the deathly inner consuming fire.
-- Der Steppenwolf (1927)

In my opinion we owe the present state of mankind to two mental disorders: the megalomania of technology and the megalomania of nationalism. It is they that have given the present--day world its face and its view of itself; they have given us two world wars and their aftermaths and before their frenzy is spent they will have other, similar consequences. Resistance to these two world diseases is today the most important task and justification of the human spirit. In this resistance my own life has played a part, a ripple in the stream.
-- Hermann Hesse

Just as every dead soldier marks the eternal repetition of an error, so truth must eternally be repeated in a thousand forms.
-- Hermann Hesse

Anyone who shirks the labors, sacrifices, and dangers that his people must undergo is a coward. But no less a coward and traitor is the man who betrays the principles of thought to material interests, who, for example, is willing to let the holders of power decide how much is two times two. To sacrifice intellectual integrity, love of truth, the laws and methods of thought to any other interest, even that of the fatherland, is treason. When in the battle of interests and slogans the truth, like the individual, is in danger of being devalued, disfigured, and trampled under foot, our one duty is to resist and to save the truth -- or rather, the striving for truth -- for that is our highest article of faith.
-- Reflections

The more individuals capable of watching the world theater calmly and critically, the less danger of monumental mass stupidities -- first of all, wars.
-- Hermann Hesse

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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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