Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political
and moral question of our time - the need for man to overcome oppression
and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. ... When our
days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker
than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative
turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born.
Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech
Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who
are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Our ability to reach unity in diversity will
be the beauty and test of our civilization.
Man ... ought to regard himself, not as something
separated and detached, but as a citizen of the world, a member of
the vast commonwealth of nature. To the interest of this great community
he ought at all times to be willing that his own little interest should
Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1759 p.140
To announce that there must be no criticism of
the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong,
is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President (1858-1919)
Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments
use first to shrink-wrap people's minds and then as ceremonial shrouds
to bury the dead.
Washing one's hands of the conflict between the
powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be
Paulo Freire, educator (1921-1997)
I'd rather have newspapers and no government
than government and no newspapers.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never
The release of atom power has changed everything
except our way of thinking...The solution to this problem lies in the
heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.
A patriot must always be ready to defend his
country against its government.
Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)
We have just enough religion to make us hate
but not enough to make us love one another.
Jonathan Swift, satirist (1667-1745)
...It's become very trendy these days to apply
modern civilized standards to historical figures. About the only hip thing
to say about Thomas Jefferson these days is that he was a slave-owner,
and to therefore cast out all his accomplishments, and his genius. That's
grossly unfair, because it was his thinking among others that led to the
end of slavery. ...Jefferson could see the end of it, but couldn't achieve
it. There are many things that to our modern eyes are repugnant, that
I don't think take the lustre off these old characters at all.
Frank Miller (The Comics Journal #209, p.55)
In the interests of diplomatic reconciliation,
I propose we adopt the doctrine of "Creevolution" which simply admits
to the possibility that God created evolution.
William W. R. Ozier (Mensa Bulletin, June 2000)
People who are willing to give up freedom for
the sake of short term security, deserve neither freedom nor security.
Western man fills his pantry with groceries,
and thinks himself self-sufficient.
He who 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, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)
I believe there are more instances of the abridgment
of the rights of the people by the gradual and silent encroachments of
those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
I know not with what weapons World War III will
be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
When governments fear the people there is liberty.
When the people fear the government there is tyranny.
It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his
wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should
be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him
the words: 'And this, too, shall pass away.' How much it expresses! How
chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because
I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
Susan B Anthony, reformer and suffragist (1820-1906)
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.
The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.
Robert Lynd, writer (1879-1949)
All I have is a voice
to undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority