Karl Kraus Quotes

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When a man is treated like a beast, he says, 'After all, I'm human.' When he behaves like a beast, he says 'After all, I'm only human.'
Karl Kraus
A woman who cannot be ugly is not beautiful.
Language is the mother of thought, not its handmaiden.
Curses on the law! Most of my fellow citizens are the sorry consequences of uncommitted abortions.
Karl Kraus
He who does without the praise of the crowd will not deny himself an opportunity to be his own adherent.
Karl Kraus
A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.
The mission of the press is to spread culture while destroying the attention span.
Karl Kraus
Squeeze human nature into the straitjacket of criminal justice and crime will appear.
Karl Kraus
Jealousy is a dog's bark which attracts thieves.
Education is a crutch with which the foolish attack the wise to prove that they are not idiots.
Karl Kraus
Do not learn more than you absolutely need to get through life.
You'd be surprised how hard it can often be to translate an action into an idea.
Karl Kraus
Virginity is the ideal of those who want to deflower.
I had a terrible vision: I saw an encyclopedia walk up to a polymath and open him up.
Karl Kraus
I and my public understand each other very well: it does not hear what I say, and I don't say what it wants to hear.
Karl Kraus
To me all men are equal: there are jackasses everywhere, and I have the same contempt for them all.
Karl Kraus
A child learns to discard his ideals, whereas a grown-up never wears out his short pants.
Karl Kraus
I and life: The case was settled chivalrously. The opponents parted without having made up.
Karl Kraus
Morality is a venereal disease. Its primary stage is called virtue; its secondary stage, boredom; its tertiary stage, syphilis.
Karl Kraus
Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone's slave.
The trouble with Germans is not that they fire shells, but that they engrave them with quotations from Kant.
Karl Kraus
Children play soldier. That makes sense. But why do soldiers play children?
Karl Kraus
Sexuality poorly repressed unsettles some families; well repressed, it unsettles the whole world.
Karl Kraus
Psychoanalysis is that mental illness for which it regards itself as therapy.
Karl Kraus
There is no more unfortunate creature under the sun than a fetishist who yearns for a woman's shoe and has to settle for the whole woman.
Karl Kraus
Solitude would be ideal if you could pick the people to avoid.
My unconscious knows more about the consciousness of the psychologist than his consciousness knows about my unconscious.
Karl Kraus
Christian morality prefers remorse to precede lust, and then lust not to follow.
Karl Kraus
If the reporter has killed our imagination with his truth, he threatens our life with his lies.
Karl Kraus
Democracy divides people into workers and loafers. It makes no provision for those who have no time to work.
Karl Kraus
Culture is the tacit agreement to let the means of subsistence disappear behind the purpose of existence. Civilization is the subordination of the latter to the former.
Karl Kraus
How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print.
Karl Kraus
It is better not to express what one means than to express what one does not mean.
Karl Kraus
Journalist: a person without any ideas but with an ability to express them; a writer whose skill is improved by a deadline: the more time he has, the worse he writes.
Karl Kraus
Science is spectral analysis. Art is light synthesis.
A fine world in which man reproaches woman with fulfilling his heart's desire!
Karl Kraus
The sound principle of a topsy-turvy lifestyle in the framework of an upside-down world order has stood every test.
Karl Kraus
Scandal begins when the police put a stop to it.
An idea's birth is legitimate if one has the feeling that one is catching oneself plagiarizing oneself.
Karl Kraus
No ideas and the ability to express them - that's a journalist.
Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.
Karl Kraus
I don't like to meddle in my private affairs.
Experiences are savings which a miser puts aside. Wisdom is an inheritance which a wastrel cannot exhaust.
Karl Kraus
Journalists write because they have nothing to say, and have something to say because they write.
Karl Kraus
Feminine passion is to masculine as an epic is to an epigram.
Matrimony is the union of meanness and martyrdom.
Someone who can write aphorisms should not fritter away his time in essays.
Karl Kraus
The closer the look one takes at a word, the greater distance from which it looks back.
Karl Kraus
Stupidity is an elemental force for which no earthquake is a match.

Science is spectral analysis. Art is light synthesis.
There are people who can never forgive a beggar for their not having given him anything.
Karl Kraus
Sex education is legitimate in that girls cannot be taught soon enough how children don't come into the world.
Karl Kraus
It is the style of idealism to console itself for the loss of something old with the ability to gape at something new.
Karl Kraus
Education is what most receive, many pass on, and few possess.
I am already so popular that anyone who vilifies me becomes more popular than I am.
Karl Kraus