Michel de Certeau
Quotations


As a first approximation, I define "belief" not as the object of believing (a dogma, a program, etc.) but as the subject's investment in a proposition, the act of saying it and considering it as true.

Along with the lazy man, the dying man is the immoral man: the former, a subject that does not work; the latter, an object that no longer even makes itself available to be worked on by others.

The sick man is taken away by the institution that takes charge not of the individual, but of his illness, an isolated object transformed or eliminated by technicians devoted to the defense of health the way others are attached to the defense of law and order or tidiness.

The only freedom supposed to be left to the masses is that of grazing on the ration of simulacra the system distributes to each individual.

The media transforms the great silence of things into its opposite. Formerly constituting a secret, the real now talks constantly. News reports, information, statistics, and surveys are everywhere.

New York has never learnt the art of growing old by playing on all its pasts. Its present invents itself, from hour to hour, in the act of throwing away its previous accomplishments and challenging the future. A city composed of paroxysmal places in monumental reliefs.

Political organizations have slowly substituted themselves for the Churches as the places for believing practices. Politics has once again become religious.

One is a socialist because one used to be one, no longer going to demonstrations, attending meetings, sending in one's dues, in short, without paying.

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