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Susan Jacoby

  • Too many Americans have twisted the sensible right to pursue happiness into the delusion that we are entitled to a guarantee of happiness. If we don't get exactly what we want, we assume someone must be violating our rights. We're no longer willing to write off some of life's disappointments to simple bad luck.

  • I have always regarded the development of the individual as the only legitimate goal of education.

  • Feminists who want to censor what they regard as harmful pornography have essentially the same motivation as other would-be censors: They want to use the power of the state to accomplish what they have been unable to achieve in the marketplace of ideas and images. The impulse to censor places no faith in the possibilities of democratic persuasion.

    • Susan Jacoby,
    • "A First Amendment Junkie," in Evelyn Ashton-Jones and Gary A. Olson, eds., The Gender Reader ()
  • ... hope is not a plan of action.

    • Susan Jacoby,
    • in Newsweek ()
  • ... 'political correctness' — a phrase I hate because it is generally used to mean a point of view at odds with whatever the person using the term is selling.

    • Susan Jacoby,
    • in The Humanist ()
  • Orthodox religion has always been the staunchest enemy of women's rights ...

    • Susan Jacoby,
    • in The Humanist ()
  • ... one of the great weaknesses of the women's rights movement over the past two hundred years has been the tendency of its history to disappear, so that it must be resurrected for each new generation.

    • Susan Jacoby,
    • in Free Inquiry ()
  • The forgetting of the history of marginalized groups is both a cause and effect of their marginalization.

    • Susan Jacoby,
    • in Free Inquiry ()
  • Every brand of religion maintains, and is, a permanent mechanism for transmitting ideas and values — whether one regards those values as admirable or ridiculous. Secularist organizations, with their generally looser, nonhierarchical structures, lack the power to hand down and disseminate their heritage in such a systematic way.

    • Susan Jacoby,
    • in Free Inquiry ()

Susan Jacoby, U.S. writer