Quotations From JOHN JAY CHAPMAN


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  • All progress is experimental.
    John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 1 (1898).
  • It is just as impossible to help reform by conciliating prejudice as it is by buying votes. Prejudice is the enemy. Whoever is not for you is against you.
    John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 1 (1898).

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  • Everybody in America is soft, and hates conflict. The cure for this, both in politics and social life, is the same—hardihood. Give them raw truth.
    John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 2 (1898).

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  • If you are to reach masses of people in this world, you must do it by a sign language. Whether your vehicle be commerce, literature, or politics, you can do nothing but raise signals, and make motions to the people.
    John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 5 (1898).

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  • The worst enemy of good government is not our ignorant foreign voter, but our educated domestic railroad president, our prominent business man, our leading lawyer.
    John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 2 (1898).
  • People who love soft methods and hate iniquity forget this,—that reform consists in taking a bone from a dog. Philosophy will not do it.
    John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 7 (1898).

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  • You can get assent to almost any proposition so long as you are not going to do anything about it.
    John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 7 (1898).
  • The fact that a man is to vote forces him to think. You may preach to a congregation by the year and not affect its thought because it is not called upon for definite action. But throw your subject into a campaign and it becomes a challenge.
    John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 7 (1898).
  • Wherever you see a man who gives someone else's corruption, someone else's prejudice as a reason for not taking action himself, you see a cog in The Machine that governs us.
    John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 1 (1898).

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  • Our goodness comes solely from thinking on goodness; our wickedness from thinking on wickedness. We too are the victims of our own contemplation.
    John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 7 (1898).
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