3. "In the closed circle of the war cabinet, pounded by terrible report after terrible report, there had been uncertainty about whether he could fend off the drift to exploring a deal with Hitler. The determination of the larger group trumped the tentativeness of the smaller, and Churchill fulfilled his role as leader by disentangling himself from defeatism--one of his singular achievements at the end of May 1940."
- Jon Meacham, Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship
4. "Philosophy, which once seemed outmoded, remains alive because the moment of its realization was missed. The summary judgement that it had merely interpreted the world is itself crippled by resignation before reality, and becomes a defeatism of reason after the transformation of the world failed. It guarantees no place from which theory as such could be concretely convicted of the anachronism, which then as now it is suspected of. Perhaps the interpretation which promised the transition did not suffice. The moment on which the critique of theory depended is not to be prolonged theoretically. Praxis, delayed for the foreseeable future, is no longer the court of appeals against self-satisfied speculation, but for the most part the pretext under which executives strangulate that critical thought as idle which a transforming praxis most needs. After philosophy broke with the promise that it would be one with reality or at least struck just before the hour of its production, it has been"
- Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics
5. "We are swimming upstream against a great torrent of disorganization...In this, our main obligation is to establish arbitrary enclaves of order and system...It is the greatest possible victory to be, to continue to be, and to have been. No defeat can deprive us of the success of having existed for some moment of time in a universe that seems indifferent to us. This is no defeatism...The declaration of our own nature and the attempt to build up an enclave of organization in the face of nature's overwhelming tendency to disorder is an insolence against the gods and the iron necessity that they impose. Here lies tragedy, but here lies glory too... All this represents the manner in which I believe I have been able to add something positive to the pessimism of...the existensialists. I have not replaced the gloom of existence by a philosophy which is optimistic in any Pollyanna sense, but...with a positive attitude toward the universe and toward our life in it."
- Quote by Norbert Wiener
6. " hopes’. Self-indulgent regrets, defeatism, railing against fate, gloom about future prospects: all these were anathema to Keynes in literature as in life. The modern classic he recommended in 1936 was Forster’s A Room with a View, which had been published nearly thirty years earlier. He was, however, grateful for the ‘perfect relaxation’ provided by those ‘unpretending, workmanlike, ingenious, abundant, delightful heaven-sent entertainers’, Agatha Christie, Edgar Wallace and P. G. Wodehouse. ‘There is a great purity in these writers, a remarkable absence of falsity and fudge, so that they live and move, serene, Olympian and aloof, free from any pretended contact with the realities of life.’ Keynes preferred memoirs as ‘more agreeable and amusing, so much more touching, bringing so much more of the pattern of life, than … the daydreams of a nervous wreck, which is the average modern novel’. He loved good theatre, settling into his seat at the first night of a production of Turgenev’s A"
- Richard Davenport-Hines, Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes