Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.
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You find lots of little things going on in every community in the country. If there is a world here in a hundred years, it will not be due to any big organization of any sort, no big political group, no big church, no big government. It is going to be saved by millions upon millions of little organizations. It might just be that what Jesus and Jeremiah and Mohammed and Buddha talked about will come true.
Conservatives have historically seen people falling through the cracks in society and said, That's the way things work, survival of the fittest. Liberals see people falling through the cracks and say, We've got to do something about those people falling through the cracks, so we need a strong government that can provide programs and assist those people. Populists say there shouldn't be any cracks; let's fix them.
It is supposed to be part of the American tradition that if we want to step out of line, we step out of line. Democracy isn't falling in line behind the president. Democracy is for people to think independently, be skeptical of government, look around and try to find out what's going on. And if they find out that government is deceiving them, to speak out as loudly as they can.
Artists who whine because they need a grant and the government doesn't help them — well, tough shit. I had the same problem. I worked in a bookstore for seven years to make money to buy art supplies. And that was fine. I don't think artists should ever expect anything from anybody. For the artist, sacrifice and hardship are a part of the process.