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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Quotations on Revolution

Stripped of ethical rationalizations and philosophical pretensions, a crime is anything that a group in power chooses to prohibit. Freda Adler

He who offers for sale something unique that no-one wants to buy, represents, even against his will, freedom from exchange. Theodor Adorno

Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on its own dunghill. Richard Aldington

In a dying civilization, political prestige is the reward not of the shrewdest diagnostician, but of the man with the best bedside manner. It is the decoration conferred on mediocrity by ignorance. Eric Ambler

Whoever was tortured, stays tortured. Jean Améry

A liberal is a conservative who’s been mugged by reality. Anon

A politician is a man who stands for what he believes others will fall for. Anon

The liberals can understand everything but people who don’t understand them. Anon

Join the army, see the world, meet interesting people – and kill them. Anon – (Popular slogan of the anti-war movement during the late 1960s)

Be thankful only one of them can get in. Anon (On the British electoral system)

A conservative is someone who admires radicals a century after they’re dead. Anon

If Voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal. Anon

God is on everyone’s side . . . and in the last analysis, he is on the side with plenty of money and large armies. Jean Anouilh

The chances of factual truth surviving the onslaught of power are very slim indeed; it is always in danger of being maneuvered out of the world not only for a time but, potentially, forever. Hannah Arendt

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. Aristotle

The poor have more children, but the rich have more relatives. Clement Attlee

Democracy means government by discussion but it is only effective if you can stop people talking. Clement Attlee

It isn’t the poets who are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, it’s the secret police. WH Auden

You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die, or when, you can only decide how you’re going to live now. Joan Baez

Freedom is that instant between when someone tells you to do something and when decide how to respond. Jeffery Borenstein

I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper, and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer. Brendan Behan

An author’s first duty is to let down his country.
Brendan Behan

We are all conduits for something. Whatever we are in contact with, whatever we surround ourselves with, passes through us whether we like it or not. A driver zooming through traffic because he’s listening to speed metal is a conduit for the music. Likewise, we are conduits for the enterprises in which we participate. Ideas pass through us, spirituality and certainly the desire for money passes through us as surely as the cord through the wooden hands of a marionette. When large corporations are the ultimate purveyors of what we make, it has to affect our work. We become conduits for corporate ideology. We take the check and wonder why we’re miserable. Eric Bogosian

The Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men over a comb. Jorge Luis Borges

The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the beans, the fish, the flour, the rent, the shoes and the medicine, all depend on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst of all thieves, the bad and corrupted politician, lackey of the national and multinational companies. Bertolt Brecht

I was called up in the war and sent to a hospital. I dressed wounds, applied iodine, gave enemas, did blood transfusions. If the doctor ordered, ‘Brecht, amputate a leg!’ I would reply, ‘Certainly, your Excellency!’ and cut off the leg. If I was told, ‘Perform a trepanning!’ I opened the man’s skull and messed about with his brains. I saw how they patched fellows up, so as to cart them back to the Front as quickly as they could. Bertolt Brecht

I can think of few important movements for reform in which success was won by any method other than that of an energetic minority presenting the indifferent majority with a ‘fait accompli’, which was then accepted. Vera Brittain

Aaaaaaaaaargh! Charlie Brown

To produce is to draw-forth, to invent is to find, and to shape is to discover. Martin Buber

If there were a devil it would not be one who decided against God, but one who, in eternity, came to no decision. Martin Buber

Your Representative owes you, not only his industry, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion. Edmund Burke

A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood. He would feel some apprehension at being called to a tremendous account for engaging in so deep a play, without any sort of knowledge of the game. It is no excuse for presumptuous ignorance, that it is directed by insolent passion. The poorest being that crawls on earth, contending to save itself from injustice and oppression, is an object respectable in the eyes of God and man. But I cannot conceive any existence under heaven, (which in the depths of its wisdom, tolerates all sorts of things) that is more truly odious and disgusting, than an impotent helpless creature, without civil wisdom or military skill, without a consciousness of any other qualification for power but his servility to it, bloated with pride and arrogance, calling for battles which he is not to fight, contending for a violent dominion which he can never exercise, and satisfied to be himself mean and miserable, in order to render others contemptible and wretched. Edmund Burke

A psychotic is a guy who’s just found out what’s going on. William Burroughs

This is what separated us from you; we made demands. You were satisfied to serve the power of your nation and we dreamed of giving ours her truth. Albert Camus

I have a fatherland: the French language. Albert Camus

Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar of empires and nations, a faint flutter of wings, a gentle stirring of life and hope. Some will say that this hope lies in a nation; others in a person. I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished by millions of solitary individuals whose deeds and works every day negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history. As a result there shines forth fleetingly the ever-threatened truth that each and every person, on the foundation of his or her own suffering and joys, builds for all. Albert Camus

Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day. Albert Camus

A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past. Fidel Castro

All but the hard hearted man must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it. G. K. Chesterton, British writer, 1874-1936

The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, they finish by loading honours on your head. Jean Cocteau

If you think you’re free, there’s no escape possible.
Ram Dass

Poets are dangerous men to have in chapel. Idris Davies

Your Honour, years ago I recognised my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest of earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. Eugene Debs

The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. Eugene Debs

Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth. Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Politics is a pendulum whose swings between anarchy and tyranny are fuelled by perpetually rejuvenated illusions. Albert Einstein

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.
Albert Einstein

The problems we face today cannot be solved by the minds that created them. Albert Einstein

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder. Albert Einstein

It is never too late to be what you might have been. George Eliot

For if Negro hatred of whites were so universal such black militant writers as Jones wouldn’t have to go to such frenzied lengths in their efforts to arouse that hatred. I also objected because I believe that you make our Negro American attitudes and emotions toward whites far too simple. You allow us no contempt–a quite different emotion than hate–no irony, no forbearance, no indifference, no charity, no mockery, no compassion, no condescension–not to mention that ambivalence of emotion and attitude which you so readily see in the Blues. As I see it, Negro American art style, from that of the folk to the most sophisticated individual expression, embodies a transcendence of raw hatred or any other “raw” emotion. Indeed, as with any cultural expression worthy of the name, it is transcendence and sublimation that define it as art. And despite the prevalence of stereotyped notions of Negro spontaneity and instinctuality, our life-style–at least as it has evolved in the South–has been shaped by a determined will to control violent emotion (we seldom run amuck) as a life-preserving measure against being provoked into retaliatory actions by those who desire only to destroy us. Ralph Ellison

Money often costs too much. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Souls are not saved in bundles. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons. Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is no great feat to burn a little man. It is a great achievement to persuade him. Erasmus of Rotterdam

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. Antoine de Saint Exupery

Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks.

I intend to open the country up to democracy, and anyone who is against me I will jail, I will crush. President João Figueredo of Brazil, inauguration speech, 1979

The whole dream of democracy is to elevate the proletarian to the level of the imbecility of the bourgeois. Gustave Flaubert

Political toleration is a by-product of the complacency of the ruling class. When that complacency is disturbed there never was a more bloody-minded set of thugs than the British ruling class. Michael Foot

We must learn to welcome and not to fear the voices of dissent. We must dare to think about ‘unthinkable things’ because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless. James William Fulbright

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy, that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbraith

I am old enough to know that victory is often a thing deferred, and rarely at the summit of courage . . . What is at the summit of courage, I think, is freedom. The freedom that comes with the knowledge that no earthly thing can break you. Paula Giddings

Children should be taught not the little virtues but the great ones. Not thrift but generosity and an indifference to money; not caution but courage and a contempt for danger; not a desire for success but a desire to be and to know. Natalia Ginzburg

I wanted to say that the best of men feel a gulf between themselves and the victors in power. For me this is the malaise of the epoch. I’m on the side of the losers. I know that I would far prefer to be killed than to kill. Natalia Ginzburg

Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship. . . Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. . . All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country. Hermann Goering‘s testimony at the Nuremberg War Trials

Every school of thought is like a man who has talked to himself for a hundred years and is delighted with his own mind, however stupid it may be. J.W. Goethe

We don’t know who we are until we see what we can do. Martha Grimes

Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. Alfred Whitney Griswold

Whenever we see the dawn of an eternal good, the blood of old people and children is always shed. Vasily Grossman

In any of the dozens of countries I visit, people indicate to me the sense that they are being led by low-rent chisellers. Jim Harrison, poet and novelist, 2007

We have no political prisoners – only Communists and others involved in conspiracies against the country. President Park Chung Hee of South Korea, 1974

Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language. While in fact language remains the master of man. Martin Heidegger

Where books are burned, human beings will be burned too. Heinrich Heine

When any government . . . undertakes to say to its subjects, ‘This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,’ the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Robert A. Heinlein, If This Goes On . . .

The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on. <strong>Joseph Heller, Catch22

The question is: what is a sane man to do in an insane society? Joseph Heller

I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions. Lillian Hellman

Nature is so marvellously beautiful and every animal has a right to live. It’s just this point of view that I admire so much in our forefathers. They, for instance, formally declared war on rats and mice, which were required to stop their depredations and leave a fixed area with a definite time limit, before beginning a war of annihilation against them. You will find this respect for animals in all Indo- Germanic peoples. It was of extraordinary interest to me to hear recently that even today Buddhist monks, when they pass through a wood in the evening, carry a bell with them, to make any woodland animals they might meet keep away, so that no harm will come to them. Heinrich Himmler

Nobody’s interested in sweetness and light.
Hedda Hopper

Concern should drive us into action, not into a depression. Karen Horney

The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human. Aldous Huxley

They no longer use bullets and ropes. They use the World Bank and the IMF. Jesse Jackson

Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. Thomas Jefferson

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t. Erica Jong

Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. Erica Jong

Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.
Janis Joplin

Women’s liberation is the liberation of the feminine in the man and the masculine in the woman. Corita Kent

Practical men, who believe themselves exempt from intellectual influence, are usually the slave of some defunct economist. John Maynard Keynes

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Dr. Martin Luther King

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that… Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder the hate. Martin Luther King, Jr

The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. Milan Kundera

From the Freudian point of view, man is the subject captured and tortured by language. Lacan

We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is disappearing. R. D. Laing

The greater the number of laws and enactments, the more thieves and robbers there will be. Lao-tzu (604-531 B.C.)

What is pornography to one man is the laughter of genius to another. DH Lawrence

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. C.S. Lewis

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross. Sinclair Lewis

Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.
AJ Liebling

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
A Lincoln

Only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found. Ann Morrow Lindbergh

All that is best in the great poets of all countries is not what is national in them, but what is universal. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. Sophia Loren

Medicine makes people ill, mathematics make them sad and theology makes them sinful. Martin Luther

Laws die; books never. Lord Lytton

I realized that if what we call human nature can be changed, then absolutely anything is possible. And from that moment, my life changed. Shirley MacLaine

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. Nelson Mandela

We came here only to say we are here. We are a reflection and a cry and we will always be there. We can be with or without a face, armed or without fire. But we are Zapatistas as we will always be. Subcommandante Marcos

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds. Bob Marley

If you are a big tree . . . We are a small axe. Bob Marley

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

In Versailles, at dinner, Balfour told Nicolson that after the official opening of the Conference, Balfour walked down the steps with Clemenceau. A.J.B. wore a top hat: Clemenceau wore a bowler. A.J.B. apologised for his top hat. ‘I was told,’ he said, ‘that it was obligatory to wear one.’ ‘So,’ said Clemenceau, ‘was I.’ Charles L. Mee

The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. H.L. Mencken

Panics do not destroy capital; they merely reveal the extent to which it has been previously destroyed by its betrayal into hopelessly unproductive works.
John Stuart Mill

Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind is intolerable, and so the evidence has to be internally denied. Arthur Miller

I have made more friends for American culture than the State Department. Certainly I have made fewer enemies, but that isn’t very difficult. Arthur Miller

For a moment there I thought that the truth was more important than the need to survive. Easy Rawlins, from Gone Fishin’ by Walter Mosley

I’d be very disappointed if a Summerhill child became Prime Minister. I’d feel I’d failed.
A.S. Neill

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Reinhold Niebuhr, The Serenity Prayer (1934)

In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up. Martin Niemoeller, German Lutheran Pastor

In any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual liberty is permanent. Kathleen Norris

The vote means nothing to women. We should be armed.
Edna O’Brien

Hot lead can be almost as effective coming from a linotype as from a firearm. John O’Hara

I try to ONLY ridicule people who’s efforts are sincere. Very little trouble has been caused in the world by insincere efforts. An occasional seduction maybe. There were very few insincere Stalinists or Nazis. P.J. O’Rourke

Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben

Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. George Orwell

All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage . . . which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them. George Orwell

Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent. George Orwell

My thinking tends to be libertarian. That is, I oppose intrusions of the state into the private realm – as in abortion, sodomy, prostitution, pornography, drug use, or suicide, all of which I would strongly defend as matters of free choice in a representative democracy. Camille Paglia

He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself. Thomas Paine

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. Pascal

Wear the old coat and buy the new book. Austin Phelps

Everything that deceives may be said to enchant. Plato

I have no patience with the idea that whatever you have in you has to come out, that you can’t suppress true talent. People can be destroyed; they can be bent, distorted and completely crippled. . . . In spite of all the poetry, all the philospophy to the contrary, we are not really masters of our fate . . . Katherine Ann Porter

A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him. Ezra Pound

I can’t help feeling wary when I hear anything said about the masses. First you take their faces from ’em by calling ’em the masses and then you accuse ’em of not having any faces. JB Priestley

To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated, regimented, closed in, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, evaluated, censored, commanded; all by creatures that have neither the right, nor wisdom, nor virtue… Government means to be subjected to tribute, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolised, extorted, pressured, mystified, robbed; all in the name of public utility and the general good. Then, at the first sign of resistance or word of complaint, one is repressed, tined, despised, vexed, pursued, hustled, beaten up, garrotted, imprisoned, shot…sold, betrayed, and, to cap it all, ridiculed, mocked, outraged and dishonoured. That is government, that is its justice and its morality.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

We don’t know how lucky we are to live in a nation where police officers have all of six weeks to discover why they’ve locked us up. Ask them after 41 days why a prisoner is still behind bars and they can honestly and innocently say, “No idea, mate.” But give them that extra day, and they’ll crack it. Philip Pullman

The sentence was seven years’ hard labour, to be followed by five in exile. I was not frightened. I was even flattered to get such a long term, which was the first official acknowledgement of my work in the country. Irina Ratushinskaya

Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Ayn Rand

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake. Marie Beyon Ray

In History, stagnant waters, whether they be the stagnant waters of custom or those of despotism, harbor no life; life is dependent on the ripples created by a few eccentric individuals. In homage to that life & vitality, the community has to brave certain perils and must countenance a measure of heresy. One must live dangerously if one wants to live at all. Herbert Read

Give me six lines written by the most honourable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him. Cardinal Richelieu

Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Eleanor Roosevelt

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Theodore Roosevelt

We all overestimated the world. Joseph Roth, shortly before his death in 1939

Acceptance of dissent is the fundamental requirement of a free society. Richard Royster

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death….Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man. Bertrand Russell

War does not determine who is right- only who is left. Bertrand Russell

We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought. Bertrand Russell

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. Bertrand Russell

Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not. George Bernard Shaw

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship. George Bernard Shaw

Kill my boss? Do I dare to live out the American dream? Homer Simpson

We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions. Isaac Bashevis Singer

Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do. Liz Smith

Parliament is the longest running farce in the West End. Cyril Smith

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world. Socrates c. 400 B.C.

It is far better to fight on your feet than on your knees, but you can still fight on your knees. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

You can have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The barbarians are not at the gates. They are inside the gates and have academic tenure, judicial appointments, government grants, and control of the movies, television, and other media. Thomas Sowell

Maintaining a complicated life is a great way to avoid changing it. Elaine St. James

Gaiety is the outstanding feature of the Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin, 1935

Everything the government touches turns to crap.
Ringo Starr

Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.
Victor Stenger.

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. Corrie Ten Boom

Comedy is the public version of a private darkness. The funnier it is. the more one must speculate on how much terror lies hidden. Paul Theroux,My Secret History

A feminist is a man or woman who already knows for a fact that men and women are equal and wants society to wake up to that fact, so the world can stop operating at half-strength. Marlo Thomas

Only when individuals collapse, one at a time, first here and then there, does social order then also eventually decay. Through the collapse of human beings; a Wilhelm Reich here, a Lenny Bruce there, a Janis Joplin elsewhere, the social order begins to crack and heave, edging toward ruin. Kerry Thornley

It is not enough to tell me that you worked hard to get your gold. So does the devil work hard. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. Henry David Thoreau, Walden(1854)

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. Henry David Thoreau

The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know. Harry S Truman

I fired [General MacArthur] because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the President. That’s the answer to that. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail. Harry S Truman

White man came to my country with the Bible in his hand. He said to me: ‘Son, kneel down, close your eyes, and pray.’ I did, and when I opened my eyes, I had the Bible and he had my land. Desmond Tutu

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), Inscription beneath his bust in the Hall of Fame

A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows. Mark Twain

Two dangers threaten the universe: order and disorder. Paul Valéry

Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them. Paul Valéry

The more money an American accumulates, the less interesting he becomes. Gore Vidal, American novelist

Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so. Gore Vidal.

It is sad that men often become the enemies of the rest of mankind in order to be good patriots. Voltaire

A patriot must be willing to defend his country from his government. Voltaire

Prejudices are what fools use for reason. Voltaire

We’re just here to fart around, don’t let anybody tell you different. Kurt Vonnegut

Government, at best, is a dangerous servant and, at worst, a terrible tyrant. George Washington

It is sometimes very hard to tell the difference between history and the smell of a skunk. Rebecca West

God forbid that any books should be banned. The practice is as indefensible as infanticide. Rebecca West

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. Oscar Wilde

A true friend stabs you in the front. Oscar Wilde

Philosophy is the battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language. Ludwig Wittgenstein

The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning you’re not old. Rosalyn S. Yalow