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CLAUDE ARIEN HELVETIUS
French philosopher
(1715 - 1771)

By annihilating the desires, you annihilate the mind. Every man without passions has within him no principle of action, nor motive to act.
      - [Desire]

Discipline is simply the art of making the soldiers fear their officers more than the enemy.
      - [Discipline]

Harsh counsels have no effect; they are like hammers, which are always repulsed by the anvil.
      - [Counsel]

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
      - following the 1759 burning of De l'esprit, misquoted to Voltaire
        [Rights]

If, of all vices, avarice is the most generally detested, it is the effect of an avidity common to all men.
      - [Avarice]

Of all the vices, avarice is the most generally detested; it is the effect of an avidity common to all men; it is because men hate those from whom they can expect nothing. The greedy misers rail at sordid misers.
      - [Misers]

The men of sense, the idols of the shallow, are very inferior to the men of passions. It is the strong passions which, rescuing us from sloth, impart to us that continuous and earnest attention necessary to great intellectual efforts.
      - [Passion]

There is but one man who can believe himself free from envy; and it is he who has never examined his own heart.
      - [Envy]

To be loved, we should merit but little esteem; all superiority attracts awe and aversion.
      - [Esteem]

To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves.
      - [Books]

Virtue has many preachers, but few martyrs.
      - [Virtue]

When a miser contents himself with giving nothing, and saving what he has got, and is in other respects guilty of no injustice, he is, perhaps, of all bad men the least injurious to society; the evil he does is properly nothing more than the omission of the good he might do. If, of all the vices, avarice is the most generally detested, it is the effect of an avidity common to all men; it is because men hate those from whom they can expect nothing. The greedy misers rail at sordid misers.
      - [Avarice]


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