I cribbed this quote from the Anti-Socialist Tendencies blog, because it goes with my previous post about whether or not following politics is a worthwhile pursuit:
I must say that among educated people, politics occupies far too great a proportion of time. All the periodicals, all the newspapers are saturated with politics, although many of the objects they are discussing are very transient and short-term. Of course, many people do occupy themselves with higher themes… But in general, modern humankind is characterized by the loss of the ability to answer the principal problems of life and death. People are prepared to stuff their heads with anything, and to talk of any subject, but only to block off the contemplation of this subject. This is the reason for the increasing pettiness of our society, the concentration on the small and irrelevant.
— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn