Human beings seem to be a poor invention. If they are the noblest works of God where is the ignoblest?
– Notebook, 1896
There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.
– A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices or caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed I know it. I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being–that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse.
– “Concerning the Jews”
Every man is in his own person the whole human race, with not a detail lacking. I am the whole human race without a detail lacking; I have studied the human race with diligence and strong interest all these years in my own person; in myself I find in big or little proportion every quality and every defect that is findable in the mass of the race. I knew I should not find in any philosophy a single thought which had not passed through my own head, nor a single thought which had not passed through the heads of millions and millions of men before I was born; I knew I should not find a single original thought in any philosophy, and I knew I could not furnish one to the world myself, if I had five centuries to invent it in. Nietzsche published his book, and was at once pronounced crazy by the world-by a world which included tens of thousands of bright, sane men who believed exactly as Nietzsche believed but concealed the fact and scoffed at Nietzsche. What a coward every man is! and how surely he will find it out if he will just let other people alone and sit down and examine himself. The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.
– Mark Twain in Eruption
Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
– Christian Science
Doesn’t make any difference who we are or what we are, there’s always somebody to look down on.
– “3,000 Years Among the Microbes”
It is governed by minorities, seldom or never by majorities. It suppresses its feelings and its beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise. Sometimes the noisy handful is right, sometimes wrong, but no matter, the crowd follows it.
– The Mysterious Stranger