It is not for a care-free existence I am fighting, but for the possibility of devoting myself to the task which I believe and know has been laid upon me by God -- the work which seems to me more important and needful in Norway than any other, that of arousing the nation and leading it to think great thoughts.
Ghosts! [... ] I almost think we are all of us ghosts. It is not only what we have inherited from our father and mother that 'walks' in us. It is all sorts of dead ideas, and lifeless old beliefs, and so forth. They have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we cannot shake them off. Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sands of the sea. And then we are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.
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Was the majority right when they stood by while Jesus was crucified? Was the majority right when they refused to believe that the earth moved around the sun and let Galileo be driven to his knees like a dog? It takes fifty years for the majority to be right. The majority is never right until it does right.
The State is the curse of the individual... The State must go! That will be a revolution which will find me on its side. Undermine the idea of the State, set up in its place spontaneous action, and the idea that spiritual relationship is the only thing that makes for unity, and you will start the elements of a liberty which will be something worth possessing.
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The majority never has right on its side. Never, I say! That is one of these social lies against which an independent, intelligent men must wage war. Who is it that constitute the majority of the population in a country? Is it the clever folk, or the stupid? I don't imagine you will dispute the fact that at present the stupid people are in an absolutely overwhelming majority all the world over.
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The old terms must be invented with new meaning and given new explanations. Liberty, equality, and fraternity are no longer what they were in the days of the late-lamented guillotine. This is what the politicians will not understand; and that is why I hate them. They want only their own special revolutions- external revolutions, political revolutions, etc. But that is only dabbling. What is really needed is a revolution of the human spirit.
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HELMER; But this is disgraceful. Is this the way you neglect your most sacred duties? NORA: What do you consider is my most sacred duty? HELMER: Do I have to tell you that? Isn't it your duty to your husband and children? NORA:I have another duty, just as sacred. HELMER: You can't have. What duty do you mean? NORA: My duty to myself.
Ah, I fancy it is just the same with most of what you call your emancipation. You have read yourself into a number of new ideas and opinions. You have got a sort of smattering of recent discoveries in various fields - discoveries that seem to overthrow certain principles which have hitherto been held impregnable and unassailable. But all this has only been a matter of intellect, Miss West - superficial acquisition. It has not passed into your blood.
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There is nothing so enervating and exhausting as this hopeless waiting. I dare say this is only a transition period. I will and shall have a victory some day. If the powers that be have shown me so little favor as to place me in this world and make me what I am, the result must be accordingly.