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George F. Kennan Quotes

George F. Kennan Quotes: We should not lose ourselves in vainglorious sohemes for changing human nature all over the planet. Rather, we should learn to view ourselves with a sense of proportion and Christian humility before the enormous complexity of the world in which it has been given us to live.
The Red Army...     swept the native population clean in a manner that has no parallel since the days of the Asiatic hordes.
The Russian leaders are keen judges of human psychology, and as such they are highly conscious that loss of temper and of self-control is never a source of strength in political affairs.
We are, if territory and population be looked at together, one of the great countries of the world a monster country, one might say, along with others such as China, India, the recent Soviet Union, and Brazil. And there is a real question as to whether
Actually, the inability of any society to resist immigration, the inability to find other solutions to the problem of employment at the lower, more physical, and menial levels of the economic process, is a serious weakness, and possibly even a fatal one, in any national society. The fully healthy society would find ways to meet those needs out of its own resources.
There will be no room, here, for the smug myopia which views American civilization as the final solution to all world problems; which recommends our institutions for universal adoption and turns away with contempt from the serious study of the institutions of peoples whose civilizations may seem to us to be materially less advanced.
The nuclear bomb is the most useless weapon ever invented. It can be employed to no rational purpose. It is not even an effective defense against itself.
The United States cannot reshape other countries in its own image and that, with a few exceptions, its efforts to police the world are neither in its interests nor within the scope of its resources. This whole tendency to see ourselves as the center of political enlightenment and as teachers to a great part of the rest of the world strikes me as unthought-through, vainglorious and undesirable.
The United States should not jump around like an elephant frightened by a mouse.
This is a big world. Billions - rapidly increasing billions - of people live outside our borders. Obviously, a great number of them, being much poorer than they think most of us are, look enviously over those borders and would like, if they could, to come here.
A guest of one's time and not a member of the household.
Russia, Russia-unwashed, backward, appealing Russia, so ashamed of your own backwardness, so orientally determined to conceal it from us by clever deceit.
There is more respect to be won in the opinion of this world by a resolute and courageous liquidation of unsound positions than by the most stubborn pursuit of extravagant or unpromising objectives.
Instruments of coercion, once created, have a tendency to find their own natural masters.
The very concept of history implies the scholar and the reader. Without a generation of civilized people to study history, to preserve its records, to absorb its lessons and relate them to its own problems, history, too, would lose its meaning.
We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.