Quote by Henry James
It is, I think, an indisputable fact that Americans are, as Americans, the most self-conscious people in the world, and the most addicted to the belief that the other nations of the earth are in a conspiracy to under value them.
This quote suggests that Americans have a strong sense of self-awareness and are prone to believing that the rest of the world deliberately underestimates or undervalues them. It implies that American society as a whole possesses a deep sense of insecurity and a tendency to view themselves as victims of a global conspiracy. The quote raises interesting questions about American national identity and the perceptions they hold about their place in the world.
How false is the conception, how frantic the pursuit, of that treacherous phantom which men call Liberty: most treacherous, indeed, of all phantoms; for the feeblest ray of reason might surely show us, that not only its attainment, but its being, was impossible. There is no such thing in the universe. There can never be. The stars have it not; the earth has it not; the sea has it not; and we men have the mockery and semblance of it only for our heaviest punishment.