Aldous Huxley, on “the error of speaking about certain categories of persons as though they were mere embodied abstractions” (Words and Behavior):

The stupidity of politicians who talk about a world of persons as though it were not a world of persons is due in the main to self-interest. In a fictitious world of symbols and personified abstractions, rulers find that they can rule more effectively, and the ruled, that they can gratify instincts which the conventions of good manners and the imperatives of morality demand that they should repress. To think correctly is the condition of behaving well. It is also in itself a moral act; those who would think correctly must resist considerable temptations.

“Foreigners and those who disagree with us are not thought of as men and women like ourselves and our fellow-countrymen; they are thought of as representatives and, so to say, symbols of a class. In so far as they have any personality at all, it is the personality we mistakenly attribute to their class — a personality that is, by definition, intrinsically evil. We know that the harming or killing of men and women is wrong, and we are reluctant consciously…

Thank you, Herman Wouk.…

The popular notion is that English prayer is a shattering heresy. Our common law [in Benedictions] allowed it two thousand years ago….

The Hebrew Bible speaks with power in all the tongues of earth, but it sounds to nobody else as it does to Jews. The Second Table of the Ten Commandments reads in Hebrew something like this: “Don’t kill; don’t be vile; don’t steal; don’t tell lies about others; don’t envy any man his wife or house or animals, or anything he has.” This sounds shockingly wrong in English. For the English genius, religious is solemn and stately, Canterbury Cathedral, not a shul. The grand slow march of “Thou Shall Nots” is exactly right. [But] religion for the Jews is intimate and colloquial, or it is nothing…. People complain sometimes that praying in English makes them feel as though they were in a church. It is a just reaction. They experience the English genius, not the Hebrew.

—Herman Wouk, This is My God