Lewis Mumford

Lewis Mumford
Lewis Mumford
  • Born: October 19, 1895
  • Died: January 26, 1990
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Sociologist









Quote Topics Cited
Democracy, in any active sense, begins and ends in communities small enough for their members to meet face to face. Democracies & Republics
Eternity ceased gradually to serve as the measure and focus of human actions. Miscellaneous
One of the functions of intelligence is to take account of the dangers that come from trusting solely to the intelligence. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity. Power ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The physical lot of … workers had notably improved, with unemployment insurance, social security, and the new health services, while their children's school education was assured by the government-operated schools: in addition, they had, for intellectual or emotional stimulus and diversion, the radio and the television. But the work itself was no longer as various, as interesting, or as sustaining to the personality... Work, Workers & The Labor Force ;Elderly, Aging. Old Age, Social Security & Pensions
The way people in democracies think of the government as something different from themselves is a real handicap. And, of course, sometimes the government confirms their opinion. Government ;Democracies & Republics ;Public Opinion & Polling
To ensure the rapid absorption of its immense productivity, megatechnics resorts to a score of different devices: consumer credit, installment buying, multiple packaging, non-functional designs, meretricious novelties, shoddy materials, defective workmanship, built-in fragility, or forced obsolescence through frequent arbitrary changes of fashion. Without constant enticement and inveiglement by advertising, production would slow down and level off to normal replacement demand. Otherwise many products could reach a plateau of efficient design which would call for only minimal changes from year to year Business, Commerce & Finance
Unfortunately, once an economy is geared to expansion, the means rapidly turn into an end and "the going becomes the goal. Development & Growth
A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.
A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life. Truth ;Life
A man of courage never needs weapons, but he may need bail.
Don't take the will for the deed; get the deed.
Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.
Every new baby is a blind desperate vote for survival: people who find themselves unable to register an effective political protest against extermination do so by a biological act.
Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.
However far modern science and techniques have fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one lesson; nothing is impossible. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
In war, the army is not merely a pure consumer, but a negative producer. War & Peace
It has not been for nothing that the word has remained man's principal toy and tool: without the meanings and values it sustains, all man's other tools would be worthless.
Life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for training. Life ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Misery, mutilation, destruction, terror, starvation and death characterize the process of war and form a principal part of the product. Death ;War & Peace
New York is the perfect model of a city, not the model of a perfect city.
Nothing is unthinkable, nothing impossible to the balanced person, provided it comes out of the needs of life and is dedicated to life's further development. Life
Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf. Humor
Restore human legs as a means of travel. Pedestrians rely on food for fuel and need no special parking facilities. Travel ;Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
The artist does not illustrate science (but) he frequently responds to the same interests that a scientist does. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The cities and mansions that people dream of are those in which they finally live.
The earth is the Lord's fullness thereof: this is no longer a hollow dictum of religion, but a directive for economic action toward human brotherhood. Religion & God
The vast material displacements the machine has made in our physical environment are perhaps in the long run less important than its spiritual contributions to our culture.
To curb the machine and limit art to handicraft is a denial of opportunity. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Today, the degradation of the inner life is symbolized by the fact that the only place sacred from interruption is the private toilet. Life
Today, the notion of progress in a single line without goal or limit seems perhaps the most parochial notion of a very parochial century.
Traditionalists are pessimists about the future and optimists about the past. Future
War is the supreme drama of a completely mechanized society. Society ;War & Peace
War vies with magic in its efforts to get something for nothing. War & Peace
Without fullness of experience, length of days is nothing. When fullness of life has been achieved, shortness of days is nothing. That is perhaps why the young have usually so little fear of death; they live by intensities that the elderly have forgotten. Life ;Death