Friday, November 28, 2008

Quotes, quotes, and more QUOTES!

I love quotes. Period. Words are beautiful, and when a particular sentence or paragraph stands out to me, I try and write it down somewhere so I'll remember. Sadly, there are many, many quotes that have simply been forgotten before I got a chance to save them. So this is now my official quote collecting page. I'll put a link to it in the sidebar, and I'll add new ones here whenever I find them. I hope you like at least one or two of these amazing, funny, ironic, profound, or just plain (to me) awesome quotes. :-) Please do tell me any cool quotes you know of, as I'm constantly collecting new ones! Oh, and don't worry, I don't expect anyone to read them all. It's just a general quote repository for me, that you're welcome to browse! :-P

"You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can't sit on it for long" Boris Yeltsin

"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic." Joe Stalin, comment to Churchill at Potsdam, 1945

"Join the Army, see the world, meet interesting people - and kill them." Pacifist Badge, 1978

"And I have seen better men fight to the bitter end, following orders form you, and I don't think it's treason to ask for a reason when nothing you've told us it true."
Jason Fisher (from the song Dear Mr. President)

"The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war that we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living." Omar Bradley

"If we let people see that kind of thing, there would never again be any war." Pentagon official explaining why the U.S. military censored graphic footage from the Gulf War

"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in
large numbers and to the sound of trumpets." Voltaire, War

“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
-Howard Zinn

“A terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn’t have an air force.”
-William Blum

“Naturally the common people don’t want war. But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
-Hermann Goering, Hitler’s Reich Marshall

“War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.”
-Ambrose Bierce

"In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this." Terry Pratchett

"It always gives me a shiver when I see a cat seeing what I can't see." Eleanor Farjeon

"Purring would seem to be, in her case, an automatic safety valve device for dealing with happiness overflow." Monica Edwards

"To bathe a cat takes brute force, perseverance, courage of conviction - and a cat. The last ingredient is usually hardest to come by." Stephen Baker

"Of all the toys available, none is better designed than the owner himself. A large multipurpose plaything, its parts can be made to move in almost any direction. It comes completely assembled, and it makes a sound when you jump on it." Stephen Baker

"A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It's a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys." Barbara Holland

"If you take [a copy of] the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind and the rain." Herbalist Carol McGrath as told to her by a Native-American woman.

"If humans died in a healthy culture, they would not lock out the earth in metal coffins and carve their names on stone monuments, but would instead place the naked body in the earth and plant a tree above the silent heart."
-William Irwin Thompson

"Yield gracefully when someone pushes in front of you. You can then stab them in the back." Ka'a Orto'o Gnomic Utterances, X xx (from The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones)

"I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it." Jack Handey

"I hate intolerant people." Gloria Steinem

"We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives."

"The first step to getting what you want out of life is this: Decide what you want." Ben Stein

"With lies you may get ahead in the world - but you can never go back." Russian proverb

"For those who understand, no explanation is needed. And for those who don't, no explanation will ever be enough." Unknown (at least to me!)

"If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag." Author Unknown

“Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.”-Chamfort


Racism, Sexism, Ageism, Prejudice

"A racist will state many reasons as to why a certain race is undeserving of equal treatment and respect. A misogynist can list a myriad of reasons as to why women are inferior to men as a gender. As with other forms of irrational group prejudice, the ageist will provide you with many excuses for treating children with... less regard and respect than they themselves deserve to be treated." - James C. Talbot



"To think deeply in our culture is to grow angry and to anger others; and if you cannot tolerate this anger, you are wasting the time you spend thinking deeply. One of the rewards of deep thought is the hot glow of anger at discovering a wrong, but if anger is taboo, thought will starve to death." -Jules Henry

“War is when the government tells you who the bad guy is. Revolution is when you decide that for yourself.” -Unknown to me!

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" JFK

"When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty."

“Kill Capitalism before it kills you!” Infoshop slogan

"None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free." Goethe

"The hardest battle in life is to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing it's best, night and day, to make you like everybody else." E. E. Cummings

"I should really like to think there's something wrong with me —
Because, if there isn't then there's something wrong,
Or at least, very different from what it seemed to be,
With the world itself — and that's much more frightening!" T.S.Eliot

"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify them, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." -Jack Kerouac

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

"1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them."
-Kurt Vonnegut

"Just look at us. Everything is backwards. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, schools destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the mainstream media destroys information, and religions destroy spirituality."

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

"The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity."
-Dr. Robert Anthony

“Find out just what the people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
-Frederick Douglas

“Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.”
-Arundhati Roy

“There’s room at the top they are telling you still,
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill,
If you want to be like the folks on the hill,”
-John Lennon

“The point of public relations slogans like ‘Support our troops’ is that they don’t mean anything… That’s the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything. Its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you support our policy? That’s the one you’re not allowed to talk about.”
-Noam Chompsky

“The corporations don’t have to lobby the government any more. They are the government.”
-Jim Hightower

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
-Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

“Expecting FOX News to report real news is about as silly as waiting for George Bush and Dick Cheney to tell the truth… Americans care, but it’s tough to care when you don’t know what’s going on. That ignorance is what the warmakers count on and what the corporate media delivers.”
-Amy Goodman

“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’
Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’
Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’
But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’
And there comes a point when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

“The truth hurts, but denial is what will kill you.”

“What’s public opinion? It’s the education system plus the media.”
-Mark Green (President of Air America radio)

“Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything.”

“Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign “aid” organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization. I should know; I was an EHM.”
-John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

“Fascism - A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”
-The American Heritage Dictionary, 1983

“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
-David Rockefeller, September 14, 1994

“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.”
-Edgar J. Hoover

“The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who Is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable.”
-Henry Louis Mencken

“Government cripples you, then hands you a crutch and says, ‘See, if it wasn’t for us, you couldn’t walk.’”
-Harry Browne

“As a rule of thumb, if the government wants you to know it, it probably isn’t true.”
-Craig Murray

“Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.”
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
-Albert Einstein

“Terrorism has replaced Communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country, for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil liberties at home. It serves the same purpose, serving to create hysteria.”
-Howard Zinn

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”
-Thomas Pynchon, Jr.

“It does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continous, the essential act of modern warfare is the destruction of the produce of human labor. A hierarchal society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. The war is waged by the ruling group against its subjects, and its object is not victory, but to keep the very structure of society in tact.”
-George Orwell

“Those who manipulate the organized habits and opinions of the masses constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country”
-Edward Bernays, assistant to William Paley, founder of CBS

“…ironically, perhaps, the best organized dissenters in the world today are anarchists, who are busily undermining capitalism while the rest of the left is still trying to form committees.”
-Jeremy Hardy, The Guardian (UK)

"You’ve got to rattle your cage door. You’ve got to let them know that you’re in there, and that you want out. Make noise. Cause trouble. You may not win right away, but you’ll sure have a lot more fun."
-Florynce Kennedy


"A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence." Leopold Stokowski

"And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs
And as silently steal away."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Day Is Done

"The music in my heart I bore, long after it was heard no more." Wordsworth

"Music is what feelings sound like." Author Unknown

"If time and space are curved, where do all of the straight people come from?" Author Unknown

"You could move." Abigail Van Buren, "Dear Abby," in response to a reader who complained that a gay couple was moving in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighborhood


 “There is no neutral education. Education is either for domestication or for freedom.” -Joao Coutinho

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." Albert Einstein

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." Dorothy Parker

"Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education." Bertrand Russell

"Education is the period in which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know." G. K. Chesterton

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school." Albert Einstein

"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." John Dewey

"The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don't know how to be submissive, and so on -- because they're dysfunctional to the institutions."
- Noam Chomsky

"The structure of American schooling, 20th century style, began in 1806 when Napoleon's amateur soldiers beat the professional soldiers of Prussia at the battle of Jena. When your business is selling soldiers, losing a battle like that is serious. Almost immediately afterwards a German philosopher named Fichte delivered his famous "Address to the German Nation" which became one of the most influential documents in modern history. In effect he told the Prussian people that the party was over, that the nation would have to shape up through a new Utopian institution of forced schooling in which everyone would learn to take orders.

So the world got compulsion schooling at the end of a state bayonet for the first time in human history; modern forced schooling started in Prussia in 1819 with a clear vision of what centralized schools could deliver:

1.Obedient soldiers to the army;
2.Obedient workers to the mines;
3.Well subordinated civil servants to government;
4.Well subordinated clerks to industry
5.Citizens who thought alike about major issues. " John Taylor Gatto

"In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it...and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself."
Grace Llewellyn

"Just as eating contrary to the inclination is injurious to the health, so study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in." Leonardo da Vinci

"The trouble with talk about 'learning experiences' is that it implies that all experiences can be divided into two kinds, those from which we learn something, and those from which we learn nothing. But there are no experiences from which we learn nothing. We learn from everything we do, and everything that happens to us or is done to us." John Holt, Instead of Education

"It is absurd and anti-life to be a part of a system that compels you to listen to a stranger reading poetry when you want to learn to construct buildings, or to sit with a stranger discussing the construction of buildings when you want to read poetry." John Taylor Gatto

"What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child."
George Bernard Shaw

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.” Ivan Illich in his book Deschooling Society

“Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends upon knowing that secret; that secrets can only be known in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind concieves of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessable only to those who carry the proper tags.” Ivan Illich

“Nothing enrages me more than when people criticize my criticism of school by telling me that schools are not just places to learn maths and spelling, they are places where children learn a vaguely defined thing called socialization. I know. I think schools generally do an effective and terribly damaging job of teaching children to be infantile, dependent, intellectually dishonest, passive and disrespectful to their own developmental capacities.” Seymour Papert

“It is much easier to condemn a child than to understand a child.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mundane educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom, go to the library and educate yourself if you’ve got any guts.” Frank Zappa


"We have been too kind to those who are destroying the planet. We have been inexcusably, unforgivably, insanely kind." Derrick Jensen

"As a longtime grassroots environmental activist, and as a creature living in the thrashing endgame of civilization, I am intimately acquainted with the landscape of loss, and have grown accustomed to carrying the daily weight of despair. I have walked clearcuts that wrap around mountains, drop into valleys, then climb ridges to fragment watershed after watershed, and I’ve sat silent near empty streams that two generations ago were “lashed into whiteness” by uncountable salmon coming home to spawn and die." Derrick Jensen

"The people of your culture cling with fanatical tenacity to the specialness of man. They want desperately to perceive a vast gulf between man and the rest of creation. This mythology of human superiority justifies their doing whatever they please with the world, just the way Hitler’s mythology of Aryan superiority justified his doing whatever he pleased with Europe. But in the end this mythology is not deeply satisfying. The Takers are a profoundly lonely people. The world for them is enemy territory, and they live in it like an army of occupation, alienated and isolated by their extraordinary specialness.” Daniel Quinn

“For us to maintain our way of living, we must tell lies to each other and especially to ourselves. The lies are necessary because, without them, many deplorable acts would become impossibilities.” Derrick Jensen

"Having long laid waste our own sanity, and having long forgotten what it feels like to be free, most of us too have no idea what it’s like to live in the real world. Seeing four salmon spawn causes me to burst into tears. I have never seen a river full of fish. I have never seen a sky darkened for days by a single flock of birds (I have, however, seen skies perpetually darkened by smog). As with freedom, so too the extraordinary beauty and fecundity of the world itself: It’s hard to love something you’ve never known. It’s hard to convince yourself to fight for something you may not believe has ever existed." Derrick Jensen

"Even now, we hardly love the Earth or see with eyes or listen any longer with our ears, and we scarcely feel our hearts beat before they break in protest." Stanley Diamond

"The only measure by which we will be judged by the people who come after is the health of the land base, because that is what is going to support them. They are not going to give a shit whether or not we were pacifists; they are not going to give a shit if we supported Israel or we didn't support Israel; whether we voted green or democrat or republican or not at all. What they are going to care about is whether they can drink the water, whether they can breathe the air, whether the land can support them. One of the important questions is to ask what does the land need from you." Derrick Jensen

"How is it conceivable that all our lauded technological progress--our very civilization--is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal?" Albert Einstein

"Imagine,” Tyler said, “stalking elk past department store windows and stinking racks of beautiful rotting dresses and tuxedos on hangers; you’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life, and you’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. Jack and the beanstalk, you’ll climb up through the dripping forest canopy and the air will be so clean you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn and laying strips of venison to dry in the empty car pool lane of an abandoned superhighway stretching eight-lanes-wide and August-hot for a thousand miles."
-The book Fight Club


"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own." William Hazlitt


  1. thanks, there are some real gems hear!

  2. Awesome quotes. I have a big collection of my favorites here:

  3. Hey, I like your list (nothing from Huxley yet?)
    I think the "Everything is backwards..." sounds very much like Ivan Illich (Deschooling Society). Can that be?

  4. Thanks for your comments! :-)

    @freiebildung: I've never heard of Huxley! I'm going to go search him on Wiki now though, because I'm curious who he is lol. I just did a bit of research on that quote, and it turns out it's by a guy called Michael Ellner, who's a hypnotherapist. I agree though, it does sound like something Ivan Illich would have written!