65 Will Durant Quotes On Success In Life

William James Durant was an American writer, historian, and philosopher. He became best known for his work The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife, Ariel Durant, and published between 1935 and 1975. He was earlier noted for The Story of Philosophy (1926), described as “a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy”. These Will Durant quotes will motivate you.

Best Will Durant Quotes

  1. “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.” ~ Will Durant
  2. “Forget mistakes. Forget failure. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day” ~ Will Durant
  3. “The political machine triumphs because it is a united minority acting against a divided majority.” ~ Will Durant
  4. “Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos.” ~ Will Durant
  5. “History is always repeating itself, but each time the price goes up.” ~ Will Durant

  6. “From barbarism to civilization requires a century; from civilization to barbarism needs but a day.” ~ Will Durant
  7. “To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves; let us be above such transparent egotism. If you can’t say good and encouraging things, say nothing. Nothing is often a good thing to do, and always a clever thing to say.” ~ Will Durant
  8. “It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.” ~ Will Durant
  9. “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” ~ Will Durant

  10. “The only real revolution is in the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the only real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionists are philosophers and saints.” ~ Will Durant
  11. “So I should say that civilizations begin with religion and stoicism: they end with skepticism and unbelief, and the undisciplined pursuit of individual pleasure. A civilization is born stoic and dies epicurean.” ~ Will Durant
  12. “When liberty exceeds intelligence, it begets chaos, which begets dictatorship.” ~ Will Durant
  13. “If we have never been amazed by the very fact that we exist, we are squandering the greatest fact of all.” ~ Will Durant
  14. “The health of nations is more important than the wealth of nations.” ~ Will Durant

  15. “The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds.” ~ Will Durant
  16. “And last are the few whose delight is in meditation and understanding; who yearn not for goods, nor for victory, but for knowledge; who leave both market and battlefield to lose themselves in the quiet clarity of secluded thought; whose will is a light rather than a fire, whose haven is not power but truth: these are the men of wisdom, who stand aside unused by the world.” ~ Will Durant
  17. “Sixty years ago I knew everything. Now I know nothing. Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” ~ Will Durant
  18. “The great snare of thought is uncritical acceptance of irrational assumptions.” ~ Will Durant

  19. “If our economy of freedom fails to distribute wealth as ably as it has created it, the road to dictatorship will be open to any man who can persuasively promise security to all.” ~ Will Durant
  20. “Man is an emotional animal, occasionally rational; and through his feelings he can be deceived to his heart’s content.” ~ Will Durant
  21. “As knowledge grew, fear decreased; men thought less of worshiping the unknown, and more of overcoming it.” ~ Will Durant
  22. “Knowledge is power but only wisdom is liberty.” ~ Will Durant
  23. “To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy.” ~ Will Durant
  24. “Truth will not make us rich, but it will make us free.” ~ Will Durant

  25. “The greatest question of our time is not communism vs. individualism, not Europe vs. America, not even the East vs. the West; it is whether men can bear to live without God.” ~ Will Durant
  26. “Does history warrant the conclusion that religion is necessary to morality – that a natural ethic is too weak to withstand the savagery that lurks under civilization and emerges in our dreams, crimes and wars? … There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.” ~ Will Durant
  27. “The time when you need to do something is when no one else is willing to do it, when people are saying it can’t be done.” ~ Will Durant
  28. “Love one another. My final lesson of history is the same as that of Jesus.
    You may think that’s a lot of lollipop but just try it. Love is the most practical thing in the world. If you take an attitude of love toward everybody you meet, you’ll eventually get along.” ~ Will Durant
  29. “There have been only 268 of the past 3,421 years free of war.” ~ Will Durant

  30. “Science without philosophy, facts without perspective and valuation, cannot save us from havoc and despair. Science gives us knowledge, but only philosophy can give us wisdom.” ~ Will Durant
  31. “In progressive societies the concentration[of wealth] may reach a point where the strength of number in the many poor rivals the strength of ability in the few rich; then the unstable equilibrium generates a critical situation, which history has diversely met by legislation redistributing wealth or by revolution distributing poverty.” ~ Will Durant
  32. “The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.” ~ Will Durant

  33. “Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again.” ~ Will Durant
  34. “India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.” ~ Will Durant
  35. “To give life a meaning, one must have a purpose larger than self.” ~ Will Durant
  36. “The future never just happened. It was created.” ~ Will Durant
  37. “In the last analysis civilization is based upon the food supply.” ~ Will Durant
  38. “Those who have suffered much become very bitter or very gentle.” ~ Will Durant

  39. “It came to me that reform should begin at home, and since that day I have not had time to remake the world.” ~ Will Durant
  40. “Cultivate your garden don’t depend upon teachers to educate you follow your own bent, pursue your curiosity bravely, express yourself, make your own harmony¬Ö In the end, education, like happiness, is individual and must come to us from life and from ourselves. There is no way; each pilgrim must make his own path. “Happiness,” said Chamfort, “is not easily won; it is hard to find it in ourselves, and impossible to find it elsewhere.” ~ Will Durant
  41. “We teach more by what we are than by what we teach.” ~ Will Durant
  42. “When liberty destroys order the hunger for order will destroy liberty.” ~ Will Durant
  43. “When liberty becomes license, dictatorship is near.” ~ Will Durant
  44. “Civilizations come and go; they conquer the earth and crumble into dust, but faith survives every desolation.” ~ Will Durant
  45. “Science gives us knowledge, but only philosophy can give us wisdom.” ~ Will Durant

  46. “Rome remained great as long as she had enemies who forced her to unity, vision, and heroism. When she had overcome them all she flourished for a moment and then began to die.” ~ Will Durant
  47. “In my youth I stressed freedom, and in my old age I stress order. I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order.” ~ Will Durant
  48. “There is no real philosophy until the mind turns around and examines itself.” ~ Will Durant
  49. “History reports that the men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all.” ~ Will Durant
  50. “To rulers religion, like almost everything else, is a tool of power.” ~ Will Durant

  51. “All that is good in our history is gathered in libraries. At this moment, Plato is down there at the library waiting for us. So is Aristotle. Spinoza is there and so is Kats. Shelly and Byron adn Sam Johnson are there waiting to tell us their magnificent stories. All you have to do is walk in the library door and the great company open their arms to you. They are so happy to see you that they come out with you into the street and to your home. And they do what hardly any friend will– they are silent when you wish to think.” ~ Will Durant
  52. “War is one of the constants of history, and it has not diminished with civilization or democracy.” ~ Will Durant
  53. “Never mind your happiness; do your duty.” ~ Will Durant
  54. “Liberty is a product of order.” ~ Will Durant

  55. “Cultivate your garden. Do not depend upon teachers to educate you… follow your own bent, pursue your curiosity bravely, express yourself, make your own harmony.” ~ Will Durant
  56. “The experience of the past lives little doubt that every economic system must sooner or later rely upon some form of the profit motive to stir individuals and groups to productivity. Substitutes like slavery, police supervision, or ideological enthusiasm prove too unproductive, too expensive, or too transient.” ~ Will Durant
  57. “Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt — particularly to doubt one’s cherished beliefs, one’s dogmas and one’s axioms.” ~ Will Durant
  58. “Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom, and in the end superior ability has its way.” ~ Will Durant
  59. “Forced to choose, the poor, like the rich, love money more than political liberty; and the only political freedom capable of enduring is one that is so pruned as to keep the rich from denuding the poor by ability or subtlety and the poor from robbing the rich by violence or votes.” ~ Will Durant
  60. “Freedom and equality are natural-born enemies.” ~ Will Durant

  61. “Continue to express your dissent and your needs, but remember to remain civilized, for you will sorely miss civilization if it is sacrificed in the turbulence of change.” ~ Will Durant
  62. “History is so indifferently rich, that a case for almost any conclusion from it can be made by a selection of instances.” ~ Will Durant
  63. “Fundamentalism is the triumph of Paul over Christ.” ~ Will Durant
  64. “Bankers know that history is inflationary and that money is the last thing a wise man will hoard” ~ Will Durant
  65. “Those who know nothing about history are doomed forever to repeat it.” ~ Will Durant

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