Quotes

It is only in folk tales, children's stories...

"It is only in folk tales, children's stories, and the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it takes willful and dedicated ignorance to fail to perceive them."

-- Noam Chomsky, The World After September 11th, AFSC Conference, Dec. 8, 2001

The more money, the less virtue...

"If there were one who lived wholly without the use of money, the State itself would hesitate to demand it of him. But the rich man — not to make any invidious comparison — is always sold to the institution which makes him rich. Absolutely speaking, the more money, the less virtue; for money comes between a man and his objects, and obtains them for him; and it was certainly no great virtue to obtain it. It puts to rest many questions which he would otherwise be taxed to answer; while the only new question which it puts is the hard but superfluous one, how to spend it. Thus his moral ground is taken from under his feet."

-- Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

State Surveillance "almost commonplace" in UK

State surveillance has become routine. Snooping is no longer restricted to terrorism and major crime but is now almost commonplace in dealing with quite minor and mundane infringements of the law.

-- The Guardian, 02/04/08

Lincoln on the rise of corporations

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country....corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war."

-- Abraham Lincoln, letter to Col. William F. Elkins, Nov. 21, 1864

I never had much faith in leaders...

"I never had much faith in leaders. I am willing to be charged with almost anything, rather than to be charged with being a leader. I am suspicious of leaders, and especially of the intellectual variety. Give me the rank and file every day in the week. If you go to the city of Washington, and you examine the pages of the Congressional Directory, you will find that almost all of those corporation lawyers and cowardly politicians, members of Congress, and misrepresentatives of the masses - you will find that almost all of them claim, in glowing terms, that they have risen from the ranks to places of eminence and distinction. I am very glad I cannot make that claim for myself. I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks."

-- Eugene V. Debs

The only way to abolish war...

The only way to abolish war is to make peace heroic.

-- John Dewey, American philosopher and educator, 1859-1952

That's the great thing about policy...

That's the great thing about policy, and why the world is such an infernal place: the man who makes the policy don't have to carry it out, and the man who carries it out aint responsible for the policy.

-- George MacDonald Fraser, author of The Flashman Papers

The true duty of patriots

“No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.”

-- Barbara Ehrenreich

It is no measure of health...

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

-- Krishnamurti

H. Dubya on Athiests

“No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.”

-- George H. W. Bush