Today’s Kantian gloominess comes in two translations. First, here is the quote that adorns a certain famous liberal blog:
Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.
While Kant’s reputation as a bad writer is overplayed, it should ring warning bells when it seems that he has formulated something quite so pithy. So, here is a rather more accurate translation I have adapted from Isiah Berlin:
Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be framed.
Kant, Religion Within The Bounds Of Reason Alone, Ak: 8:23.