Politics and War
"The most certain test by which we can judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities."
"Freedom is not something that can be given, freedom is something that people take."
"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer."
William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England
"I don't hold with abroad, and think that all foreigners speak English when our backs are turned."
Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Speech
"This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper."
T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?"
Mahatma Gandhi, Non-Violence in Peace and War
"Catholics and Communists have committed great crimes, but at least they have not stood aside, like an established society, and indifferent. I would rather have blood on my hands than water like Pilate."
Graham Greene, The Comedians
"The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than a small one."
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
"Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt."
"The majority never has right on its side. Never I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against. Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible overwhelming majority, all the wide world over. But, damn it, it can surely never be right that the stupid should rule over the clever!"
Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People
"The effect of boredom on a large scale in history is underestimated. It is a main cause of revolutions, an would soon bring to an end all the static Utopias and the farmyard civilisation of the Fabians."
William Ralph Inge, End of an Age
"The Organisation of American States couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel."
"When it comes to hang the capitalists they will compete with each other to sell us the rope at a lower price."
"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
"Hegel says somewhere that all great events and personalities in world history reappear in one fashion or another. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce."
Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte
"Bureaucracy, the rule of no-one, has become the modern form of despotism."
"You're obliged to pretend respect for people and institutions you think absurd. You live attached in a cowardly fashion to moral and social conventions you despise, condemn, and know lack all foundation. It is that permanent contradiction between your ideas and desires and all the dead formalities and vain pretenses of your civilisation which makes you sad, troubled and unbalanced. In that intolerable conflict you lose all joy of life and all feeling of personality, because at every moment they suppress and restrain and check the free play of your powers. That's the poisoned and mortal wound of the civilised world."
Octave Mirbeau, The Torture Garden
"This is a letter of hate. It is for you my countrymen, I mean those men of my country who have defiled it. The men with manic fingers leading the sightless, feeble, betrayed body of my country to its death...damn you England."
"You are never dedicated to something that you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kind of dogmas or goals, it's always beacuse these dogmas or goals are in doubt."
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence
"Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realise that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
George Santayana, The Life of Reason
"A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society is a house built upon sand."
Dorothy L. Sayers, Creed or Chaos?
"Ideals are like the stars: we never reach them, but like the mariners of the sea, we chart our course by them."
"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it."
George Bernard Shaw
"Our laws make law impossible, our liberties destroy all freedom, our property is organised robbery, our morality is impudent hypocrisy, our wisdom is administered by inexperienced or mal-experienced dupes, our power wielded by cowards and weaklings, and our honour false in all its points. I am an enemy of the existing order for good reasons."
George Bernard Shaw
"You only 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 - he's free again."
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle
"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
"If we do not abolish war on this earth, then surely, one day war will abolish us from the earth."
Harry S. Truman
"Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform."
"Prejudices are what fools use for reason."
"I disapprove of what you say, but i will defend to the death your right to say it."
"You can't hold a man down without staying down with him."
Booker T. Washington
"Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time."
"Freedom is an indivisable word. If we want to enjoy it and fight for it, we must be prepared to extend it to everyone, whether they are rich or poor, whether they agree with us or not, no matter what their race or the colour of their skin."
"You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or says it."
Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks Out
"it's just the law governing western politics pure blind greed - economics is an unquestionable sacred law above all humane considerations (is this just me), it is a justification for slave labour, genocide, environmental and spiritual destruction. everyone wants their cheap sneakers and bloody stupid keyrings and plasticware above all else, and are happy to leave china unchecked, happy to condone their blatant violation of human rights. after all how can we justify our cathedral-like shopping malls and rusting capitalist monoliths, other than fiinding the next oppressed population and get them on the payroll? "thankyou tesco thankyou tesco." all our hands are dirty."
Thom Yorke, Talking about Tibet
"Today we frankly recognise that democracy can be no more than aspiration, and have rule not so much by the people as by the cleverest people; not an aristocracy of birth, not a plutocracy of birth, but a true meritocracy of talent."
Michael Young, The Rise of Meritocracy