Idealism Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old idealism quotes, idealism sayings, and idealism proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.     

John Galsworthy

It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, as pastors teach, but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously.     

H. L. Mencken

Mix idealism with realism and add hard work. This will often bring much more than you could ever hope for.     

John Wooden

Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness.     

Sidney Hook

Idealism springs from deep feelings, but feelings are nothing without the formulated idea that keeps them whole.     

Jacques Barzun

The attainment of an ideal is often the beginning of a disillusion.     

Stanley Baldwin

Idealism, that gaudy coloring matter of passion, fades when it is brought beneath the trenchant white light of knowledge. Ideals, like mountains, are best at a distance.     

Ellen Glasgow

A vague uncritical idealism always lends itself to ridicule and too much of it might be a danger to mankind, leading it round in a futile wild-goose chase for imaginary ideals.     

Lin Yutang

Materialism is a circumference without a centre. Idealism is a centre without a circumference.     

Augustus Hare

Idealism is only naive when it lacks action, determination, and imagination.     

Colin Wright

Idealism without realism is impotent. Realism without idealism is immoral.     

Richard M. Nixon

Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.     

William F. Buckley, Jr.

It is very important that you express your idealism actively, to what ever extent you can, for this increases your sense of worth and power...     


Idealism is the highest form of reason.     

John Charles Polanyi

Idealism loses to pragmatism when it comes to winning elections.     

Danny Strong

It is not often that idealism of student days finds adequate opportunity for expression in the later life of manhood.     

C. V. Raman

If you didn't have some sense of idealism, then what is there to sustain you?     

James Carville

You can use your idealism to further your aims, if you realize that nothing is Nirvana, nothing is perfect.     

Jon Stewart

Idealism detached from action is just a dream. But idealism allied with pragmatism, with rolling up your sleeves and making the world bend a bit, is very exciting. It's very real. It's very strong.     


What we need most, is not so much to realize the ideal as to idealize the real.     

Francis Herbert Hedge

Any idealism is a proper subject for art.     

Lafcadio Hearn

There is a spark of idealism within every individual which can be fanned into flame and bring forth extraordinary results.     

Louis D. Brandeis

Idealism has devolved into madness.     

Ralph Peters

If a young person has any idealism at all, it's strongest about the time he finishes college.     

Sargent Shriver

Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.     

Bertrand Russell

All idealism is falsehood in the face of necessity.     

Friedrich Nietzsche

Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.     

Herbert Hoover

The natural idealism of youth is an idealism, alas, for which we do not always provide as many outlets as we should.     

Sargent Shriver

Idealism and realism meet in the actual.     

Mary Parker Follett

Idealism, unrealistic idealism, is always contrasted with the reality of the people, of the man in the street. The details of daily life are always more convincing than the political fantasies of the earlier generations.     

Orhan Pamuk

It is through the idealism of youth that man catches sight of truth, and in that idealism he possesses a wealth which he must never exchange for anything else.     

Albert Schweitzer

There is no force so democratic as the force of an ideal.     

Calvin Coolidge

Idealism is an ideal which is based on the idea of someone of the perfect world or the perfect life. An idealist fails to understand the limitation of his idea and believes that the real world can be converted into the world of his idea.     

Awdhesh Singh

Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.     

Aldous Huxley

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

The enemy of idealism is zealotry.     

Neil Kinnock

Idealism is the death of the body and the imagination. All but freedom, utter freedom, is death     

Anais Nin

When one paints an ideal, one does not need to limit one's imagination.     

Ellen Key

Sometimes idealism and all that make believe makes the world a better place.     

Sung Kang

Idealism is the despot of thought, just as politics is the despot of will.     

Mikhail Bakunin

Idealism leads to realism if it is strictly thought out.     

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Idealism is like a castle in the air if it is not based on a solid foundation of social and political realism.     

Claude Mckay

Idealism is what precedes experience. Cynicism is what follows.      

David T Wolf

In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word experience have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word.     

Bertrand Russell

For we, too, have our ideals, even if we differ from those who have tried to establish a monopoly of idealism.     

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.

Idealistic reformers are dangerous because their idealism has no roots in love, but is simply a hysterical and unbalanced rage for order amidst their own chaos.     

William Irwin Thompson

The purest idealism is unconsciously equivalent to the deepest knowledge.     

Adolf Hitler

We all have idealism. We think we're healthy and then, all of a sudden, one day, you have cancer. The truth has a mind of its own.      

Oliver Stone

We must rekindle the fire of idealism in our society.     

Joe Biden

Idealism is frequently another word for self-righteousness, a disease that can only be corrected by a profound understanding power in its complete sense.     

George Friedman