35 Quotes from a Peculiar Leader, José Mujica

· February 17, 2016

You can agree or disagree with former Uruguayan president José Mujica. You can question his decisions, his politics, and even his image. But, if one thing was unique about him, it was his brilliant way of promoting a philosophy of reflection based on social liberty, solidarity, and respect.

We would like to share with you a collection of his best quotes:


  1. “If I had many things, I would have to worry about them. True freedom is to consume little.
  2. “It is possible to have a world with better humanity, but perhaps today the first task is to save lives.”
  3. “The way things are going, it is not possible to satisfy that feeling of extravagance that we have.
  4. Power doesn’t change people, it only reveals who they really are.”
  5. “Living better is not just having more, but being happier.”
  6. I want to know the truth of what happened, I don’t believe in Justice.”
  7. “I feel angry, I get mad, I speak nonsense, but I cannot cultivate hatred (…). We must be respectful, especially when it hurts the most.
  8. “There is no use whining about the inevitable. The inevitable has to be confronted.
  9. “Yes, I’m tired, but this doesn’t end until they take me in a coffin or I’ve become an old fool.
  10. Our world needs less global organizations of all kinds, which organize conferences and forums that only hotel chains and airlines make use of, and more humanity and science.
Emaciated Hand in Old One

  1. “It seems that we have been born only to consume and to consume, and when we can no longer consume, we have a feeling of frustration, and we suffer from poverty, and we are auto-marginalized.”
  2. “Now we are occupying the temple of the market god. This god organizes our economy, our politics, our habits, our lives, and even provides us with rates and credit cards and gives us the appearance of happiness.”
  3. “Even though the economy is globalized, our heart, our subjectivity cannot globalize.
  4. “We destroy the forests, the real forests, and introduce anonymous forests of cement.
  5. ”We face a sedentary lifestyle with walkers, insomnia with pills, and loneliness with electronics.”
  6. “Freedom is so that we may think differently, because agreeing does not require freedom.”
  7. “Man does not govern the forces that he has unleashed, but rather, it is theses forces that govern man.” 
  8. “Don’t let the youth be stolen from within you. The outside inevitably takes time. But there is a pliable youth, in a territory inside, looking at ourselves, and it is attached to a very simple and very small word: solidarity with the human condition.”
  9. “The impossible takes a bit more, and defeated are only those who lower their arms and resign their dreams.”
  10. “I do not look back because the real today was born in the fertile ashes of yesterday.”
  11. “To be free is to spend most of the time in your life doing the things you enjoy.”
  1. “We will be at war until Nature demands that we become civilized.”
  2. “On the longest road is the shortest journey.”
  3. “I feel angry, I get mad, I speak nonsense, but I cannot cultivate hatred.
  4. “We must be respectful, especially when it hurts the most.”
  5. “We destroy the forests, the real forests, and introduce anonymous forests of cement.
  6. “I carry an enormous social debt and the need to defend the Amazon, the seas, our great rivers in America.”
  7. “The modern man is always in a hurry, because if the economy does not grow, it is a tragedy.”
  8. “We heads of state should live like the majority and not like the minority.”
  9. “There are things that become valuable when they are lost. They are all dreams that walk through the streets chasing after emotions.”
  10. It is possible to have a world with better humanity, but perhaps today the first task is to save lives.”
  11. “If we aspire in this humanity to consume the way that the average American does, three planets will be needed in order to live.”
  12. “We promise a life of consuming and squandering. But this is a countdown against nature, against the future of mankind.”
  13. “Politics is the struggle for everyone’s happiness.”
  14. “There is no use whining about the inevitable. The inevitable has to be confronted.