Quotes! E


(in alphabetical order by author)

"Christmas In Washington" (El Corazón, 1997)
by Steve Earle

(b. 1955, U.S.)
Country singer/songwriter



It's Christmastime in Washington
The Democrats rehearsed
Gettin' into gear for four more years
Things not gettin' worse
The Republicans drink whiskey neat
And thanked their lucky stars
They said, 'He cannot seek another term
They'll be no more FDRs'

I sat home in Tennessee
Staring at the screen
With an uneasy feeling in my chest
And I'm wonderin' what it means

Chorus:
So come back Woody Guthrie
Come back to us now
Tear your eyes from paradise
And rise again somehow
If you run into Jesus
Maybe He can help you out
Come back Woody Guthrie to us now

I followed in your footsteps once
Back in my travelin' days
Somewhere I failed to find your trail
Now I'm stumblin' through the haze
But there's killers on the highway now
And a man can't get around
So I sold my soul for wheels that roll
Now I'm stuck here in this town

Chorus

There's foxes in the hen house
Cows out in the corn
The unions have been busted
Their proud red banners torn
To listen to the radio
You'd think that all was well
But you and me and Cisco know
It's going straight to hell

So come back, Emma Goldman
Rise up, old Joe Hill
The barracades are goin' up
They cannot break our will
Come back to us, Malcolm X
And Martin Luther King
We're marching into Selma
As the bells of freedom ring

Chorus


The Earrings of Madame de... (French-Italian film, 1953), directed by Max Ophüls (1902-1957, Germany)

E a r t h (U.S.S.R. film, 1930), directed by Alexander Dovzhenko (1894-1956, Ukraine)

"Our function is to establish new values, to create an overpowering sense of the sacredness of life, so that war will be unthinkable; so that when international disputes arise, even of the most grave character - when lives have been lost, when our rights have been clearly invaded - we shall not turn to wholesale, deliberate destruction of life as the means of settling those disputes, of avenging those deaths, of asserting those rights." - Crystal Eastman (1881-1928), activist, labor lawyer, suffragist, socialist, journalist

"It is real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace." - U.S. film Easy Rider (1969), directed by Dennis Hopper (b. 1936)

"A subject to which few intellectuals ever give a thought is the right to be a vagrant, the freedom to wander, yet vagrancy is deliverance, and life on the open road is the essence of freedom. To have the courage to smash the chains with which modern life has weighted us (under the pretext that it was offering us more liberty), then to take up the symbolic stick and bundle and get out!" - Isabell Eberhardt (1877-1904), "On Vagrancy"; anarchist, writer, vagrant


"Isn't it strange, after all, how modern armed conflicts so quickly generate their song, their symbol, their logo and their poster child?" - Roger Ebert, "Ebert's Best Films of 1997" (Chicago Sun-Times, December 28, 1997)

"...Liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican, are no longer labels that mean much: When it comes to national health care, for example, the insurance companies have both parties in their pockets (and both parties have their hands in the companies' pockets)." - Roger Ebert, "Bulworth," Chicago Sun-Times (May 22, 1998)

"Why are so many flag wavers determined to undermine what the flag stands for? Why isn't it obvious that the 'flag amendment' is the sort of legislation that would be embraced in a dictatorship like Cuba or North Korea, but has no place in a free society such as ours? Isn't it sad that so many Americans have no instinctive sympathy for freedom of speech and our other freedoms? Did they doze through civics class? The flag amendment would amend the Constitution to make it a federal crime to 'desecrate' the flag. It is a bad, mischievous amendment." - Roger Ebert, "Flag Amendment is Un-American" (Chicago Sun-Times, July 13, 1998)


Eboli (Italian film, 1979), directed by Francesco Rosi (b. 1922, Italy)

"The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth - it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true." - Ecclesiastes, Old Testament [translation by Jean Baudrillard]

"The historic avant-garde (but here I would also consider avant-garde a metahistorical category) tries to settle scores with the past. 'Down with moonlight' - a futurist slogan - is a platform typical of every avant-garde; you have only to replace 'moonlight' with whatever noun is suitable. The avant-garde destroys, defaces the past: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon is a typical avant-garde act. Then the avant-garde goes further, destroys the figure, cancels it, arrives at the abstract, the informal, the white canvas, the slashed canvas, the charred canvas. In architecture and the visual arts, it will be the curtain wall, the building as stele, pure parallelepiped, minimal art; in literature, the destruction of the flow of discourse, the Burroughs-like collage, silence, the white page; in music, the passage from atonality to noise to absolute silence (in tis sense, the early Cage is modern)." - Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose [in "'I Love You Madly,' He Said Self-Consciously," The Truth About the Truth: De-confusing and Re-constructing the Postmodern World, edited by Walter Truett Anderson]


"Amidst protestations of 'Who can be against the children?' too few people are FOR children when it really matters." - Marian Wright Edelman (b. 1939); African-American civil rights activist, author, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund

"Political history is largely an account of mass violence and of the expenditure of vast resources to cope with mythical fears and hopes." - Marian W. Edelman

- Marian W. Edelman, "Standing up for the World's Children: Leave No Child Behind"


"The pioneers of a warless world are the youth who refuse military service." - Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Nobel Laureate Physicist, pacifist

"Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism - how passionately I hate 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 on command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than to 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 has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity." - Albert Einstein

"The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor - not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules." - Albert Einstein, "Why Socialism?," Monthly Review (May 1949)

"Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race." - Albert Einstein

"Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before. This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is taught to worship success as a preparation for his future career. I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals...The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society." - Albert Einstein, "Why Socialism?," Monthly Review (May 1949)

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." - Albert Einstein

"To kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder." - Albert Einstein

"Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal." - Albert Einstein

"You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war." - Albert Einstein

"Every thoughtful, well-meaning and conscientious human being should assume in time of peace, the solemn and unconditional obligation not to participate in any war, for any reason or to lend support of any kind, whether direct or indirect." - Einstein

"In essence, the conflict that exists today is no more than an old-style struggle for power, once again presented to mankind in semireligious trappings. The difference is that, this time, the development of atomic power has imbued the struggle with a ghostly character; for both parties know and admit that, should the quarrel deteriorate into actual war, mankind is doomed. Despite this knowledge, statesmen in responsible postitions on both sides continue to employ the well-known technique of seeking to intimidate and demoralize the opponent by marshaling superior military strength..." - Einstein, excerpt of his last words (April 18, 1955) [can be found here]

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this." - Albert Einstein, "My First Impression of the U.S.A.", 1921

" '...I can connect
Nothing with nothing.
The broken fingernails of dirty hands.
My people humble people who expect
Nothing.'
la la

To Carthage then I came

Burning burning burning burning
O Lord Thou pluckest me out
O Lord Thou pluckest

burning"

- T.S. Eliot (1888-1965),"The Waste Land" (1922);
U.S.-born U.K. poet, Nobel laureate


"I do not approve the extermination of the enemy; the policy of exterminating or, as it is barbarously said, liquidating enemies; it is one of the most alarming developments of modern war and peace, from the point of view of those who desire the survival of culture. One needs the enemy." - T.S. Eliot

"Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm, but the harm does not interest them." - T.S. Eliot


"The Hollow Men"
by T.S. Eliot



            MISTAH KURTZ -- HE DEAD.
                 A penny for the Old Guy

                                   I

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw.  Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us--if at all--not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

                                   II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are 
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer--

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

                                   III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

                                   IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
and avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

                                   V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea 
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the shadow
                                 For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
                                                Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
and the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
                                 For Thine is the Kingdom

For thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.


Bret Easton Ellis (b. 1964); U.S. novelist


"I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time been ashamed." - Ralph Ellison (1914-1994), Invisible Man (1947; chapter one); African-American novelist, educator


"I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination - indeed, everything and anything except me.

"Nor is my invisibility exactly a matter of a biochemical accident to my epidermis. That invisibility to which I refer occurs because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact. A matter of the construction of their inner eyes, those eyes with which they look through their physical eyes upon reality. I am not complaining, nor am I protesting either. It is sometimes advantageous to be unseen, although it is most often rather wearing on the nerves. Then too, you're constantly being bumped against by those of poor vision. Or again, you often doubt if you really exist. You wonder whether you aren't simply a phantom in other people's minds. Say, a figure in a nightmare which the sleeper tries with all his strength to destroy. It's when you feel like this that, out of resentment, you begin to bump people back. And, let me confess, you feel that way most of the time. You ache with the need to convince yourself that you do exist in the real world, that you're a part of all the sound and anguish, and you strike out with your fists, you curse and you swear to make them recognize you. And, alas, it's seldom successful.

"One night I accidentally bumped into a man, and perhaps because of the near darkness he saw me and called me an insulting name. I sprang at him, seized his coat lapels and demanded that he apologize. He was a tall blond man, and as my face came close to his he looked insolently out of his blue eyes and cursed me, his breath hot in my face as he struggled. I pulled his chin down sharp upon the crown of my head, butting him as I had seen the West Indians do, and I felt his flesh tear and blood gush out, and I yelled, 'Apologize! Apologize!' But he continued to curse and struggle, and I butted him again and again until he went down heavily, on his knees, profusely bleeding. I kicked him repeatedly, in a frenzy because he still uttered insults though his lips were frothy with blood. Oh yes, I kicked him! And in my outrage I got out my knife and prepared to slit his throat, right there beneath the lamplight in the deserted street, holding him in the collar with one hand, and opening the knife with my teeth - when it occurred to me that the man had not seen me, actually; that he, as far as he knew, was in the midst of a walking nightmare! And I stopped the blade, slicing the air as I pushed him away, letting him fall back to the street. I stared at him hard as the lights of a car stabbed through the darkness. He lay there, moaning on the asphalt; a man almost killed by a phantom. It unnerved me. I was both disgusted and ashamed. I was like a drunken man myself, wavering about on weakned legs. Then I was amused: Something in this man's thick head had sprung out and beaten him within an inch of his life. I began to laugh at this crazy discovery. Would he have awakened at the point of death? Would Death himself have freed him for wakeful living? But I didn't linger. I ran away into the dark, laughing so hard I feared I might rupture myself. The next day I saw his picture in the Daily News, beneath a caption stating that he had been 'mugged.' Poor fool, poor blind fool, I thought with sincere compassion, mugged by an invisible man!

"Most of the time (although I do not choose as I once did to deny the violence of my days by ignoring it) I am not so overtly violent. I remember that I am invisible and walk softly so as not to awaken the sleeping ones. Sometimes it is best not to awaken them; there are few things in the world as dangerous as sleepwalkers...

"I can hear you say, 'What a horrible, irresponsible bastard!' And you're right. I leap to agree with you. I am one of the most irresponsible beings that ever lived. Irresponsibility is part of my invisibility; any way you face it, it is a denial. But to whom can I be responsible, and why should I be, when you refuse to see me? And wait until I reveal how truly irresponsible I am. Responsibility rests upon recognition, and recognition is a form of agreement. Take the man whom I almost killed: Who was responsible for that near murder - I? I don't think so, and I refuse it. I won't buy it. You can't give it to me. He bumped me, he insulted me. Shouldn't he, for his own personal safety, have recognized my hysteria, my 'danger potential'? He, let us say, was lost in a dream world. But didn't he control that dream world - which, alas, is only too real! - and didn't he rule me out of it? And if he had yelled for a policeman, wouldn't I have been taken for the offending one? Yes, yes, yes! Let me agree with you, I was the irresponsible one; for I should have used my knife to protect the higher interests of society. Some day that kind of foolishness will cause us tragic trouble. All dreamers and sleepwalkers must pay the price, and even the invisible victim is responsible for the fate of all. But I shirked that responsibilty; I became too snarled in the incompatible notions that buzzed within my brain. I was a coward..."

- Ralph Ellison, "Prologue," Invisible Man (1947)


El Norte (U.S. film, 1983), directed by Gregory Nava


"I notice that some people still use the phrase 'Third World' to name us, that is to name the people who live in Africa, Asia and South America. This term is no longer used by many people, including myself, because we live in one world (not three) and we are dominated or governed by one global system which is now called the New World Order. However, we know that in fact it is an old world order which uses new methods of exploitation and domination, both economic and intellectual. Language and the media have become more efficient at obscuring the real aims of those international institutions or groups that speak about peace, development, justice, equality, human rights, and democracy, but whose agreements and decisions lead to the opposite, that is, to war, poverty, inequality and dictatorship." - Nawal el Saadawi (b. 1931), Keynote address to the Global '94 Congress, Tampere, Finland, 3-7 July 1994 [in The Nawal El Saadawi Reader (1997)]; Egyptian novelist, doctor, and feminist

"Countries in our region [Africa and the Middle East] and in the South[ern hemisphere] generally are subjected to what is called 'development.' Development is not something we choose. It is dictated to us through local governments dominated by the international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The result of development carried out in line with the policies of these institutions continues to be increasing poverty, and an increasing flow of money and riches from South to North. From 1984 to 1990 the application of structural adjustment policies (SAPs) in the South led to the transfer of $178 billion from the South to the commercial banks in the North. 'Development' is just another word for neocolonialism." - Nawal el Saadawi, Keynote address to the Global '94 Congress, Tampere, Finland, 3-7 July 1994 [in The Nawal El Saadawi Reader (1997)]

"We need to be very careful when we use the word 'development.' The word 'aid' is just as deceiving: we know that money and riches flow from the South to the North, not in the opposite direction. A very small portion of what was taken from us comes back to us under the name 'aid.' This creates the false idea that we receive aid from the North." - Nawal el Saadawi, Keynote address to the Global '94 Congress, Tampere, Finland, 3-7 July 1994 [in The Nawal El Saadawi Reader (1997)]

"The authorities claimed that I was a communist because I wrote about the subjugation of the poor and the causes of poverty and hunger." - Nawal el Saadawi, "An Overview of My Life," Contemporary Authors' Biography, vol. 11, 1990 [in The Nawal El Saadawi Reader (1997)]

"Oil was the reason for the Gulf War. Oil has been the reason for the continuing colonial aggression against us in the Arab world for the past half-century. Arab rulers, including the Gulf kings and princes, collaborated with the neocolonizers." - Nawal el Saadawi, "An Overview of My Life," Contemporary Authors' Biography, vol. 11, 1990 [in The Nawal El Saadawi Reader (1997)]

"Can I be a dissident without being creative? Can I have the passion and knowledge required to change the powerful oppressive system of family and government without being creative? What do we mean by creativity? Can we be creative if we obey others or follow the traditions of our ancestors? Can we be creative if we submit to the rules forced upon us under different names..." - Nawal el Saadawi, unspecified article, date

"For four years from 1992 I lived in the United States in what may be considered a form of exile. Before they were over I realized that I had to go back home to my country, my land, my people, my language. My home, my country, could not be the United States. In the U.S.A. I am a stranger, an 'alien'. There I discovered that Americans are attached to their country, to their nation and their national identity to a greater degree than most peoples of the world. They take great pride in being American, in being patriotic. Yet they are surprised when other people take pride in being African. Perhaps they think that the only country worth being proud of is the United States. And this is the case evern amongst learned people in the academy." - Nawal el Saadawi, "Why Keep Asking Me About My Identity?" (keynote address to the African Literature Association Twenty-second Annual Conference, March 1996) [in The Nawal El Saadawi Reader (1997)]

"Never before in the history of the world has there been such a concentration and centralization of capital in so few nations, and in the hands of so few people." - Nawal el Saadawi, "Why Keep Asking Me About My Identity?" (keynote address to the African Literature Association Twenty-second Annual Conference, March 1996) [in The Nawal El Saadawi Reader (1997)]


"Humans must breathe, but corporations must make money." - Alice Embree, "Media Images I: Madison Avenue Brainwashing - the Facts" (Sisterhood Is Powerful, 1970); U.S. writer, activist

"The state of society is one in which the members have suffered amputation from the trunk, and strut about so many walking monsters, - a good finger, a neck, a stomach, an elbow, but never a man." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), "The American Scholar" (1837); American essayist, poet

"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company in which the members agree for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We only state the fact, that a crime is projected that confounds our understandings by its magnitude - a crime that really deprives us as well as the Cherokees of a country; for how could we call the conspiracy that should crush these poor Indians our Government, or the land that was cursed by their parting and dying imprecations our country, any more? You, sir [President Martin Van Buren], will bring down that renowned chair in which you sit into infamy if your seal is set to this instrument of perfidy [- it was -]; and the name of this nation, hitherto the sweet omen of religion and liberty, will stink to the world." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Letter to President Martin van Buren" (April 23, 1838), Emerson's Antislavery Writings (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; edited by Len Gougeon and Joel Myerson)

"We [Americans] are shopkeepers, and have acquired the vices and virtues that belong to trade. We peddle, we truck, we sail, we row, we ride in cars, we creep in teams, we go in canals - to market, and for the sale of goods. The national aim and employment streams into our ways of thinking, our laws, our habits, and our manners. The customer is the immediate jewel of our souls. Him we flatter, him we feast, compliment, vote for, and will not contradict. It was or it seemed the dictate of trade, to keep the negro down. We had found a race who were less warlike, annd less energetic shopkeepers than we; who had very little skill in trade. We found it very convenient to keep them at work, since, by the aid of a little whipping, we could get their work for nothing but their board and the cost of whips. What if it cost a few unpleasant scenes on the coast of Africa? That was a great way off; and the scenes could be endured by some sturdy, unscrupulous fellows, who could go for high wages and bring us the men, and need not trouble our ears with the disagreeable particulars. If any mention was made of homicide, madness, adultery, and intolerable tortures, its peal, and drown the hideous sound. The sugar they raised was excellennt: nobody tasted blood in it. The coffee was fragrant; the tobacco was incence; the brandy made nations happy; the cotton clothed the world. What! all raided by these menn, and no wages? Excellent! What a convenience! They seemed created by providence to bear the heat and the whipping, and make these fine articles." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "An Address on the Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies" (August 1, 1844), Emerson's Antislavery Writings (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; edited by Len Gougeon and Joel Myerson)

"...The civility of no race can be perfect whilst another race is degraded. It is a doctrine alike of the oldest, and of the newest philosophy, that, man is one, and that you cannot injure any member, without a sympathetic injury to all the members. America is not civil, whilst Africa is barbarous." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "An Address on the Emancipation of the Negroes in the British West Indies" (August 1, 1844), Emerson's Antislavery Writings (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; edited by Len Gougeon and Joel Myerson)

"The Dark Ages did not know that they were dark; and what if it should turn out, that our material civilization has no sun, but only ghastly gas-lights?" - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Lecture on Slavery" (January 25, 1855), Emerson's Antislavery Writings (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; edited by Len Gougeon and Joel Myerson)

"Everywhere dreary superficiality, ignorance and disbelief in principles, a civilization magnifying trifles." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Lecture on Slavery" (January 25, 1855), Emerson's Antislavery Writings (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; edited by Len Gougeon and Joel Myerson)

"I am glad to see that the terror at disunion and anarchy is disappearing. Massachusetts, in its heroic day, had no government - was an anarchy. Every man stood on his own feet, was his own governor; and there was no breach of peace from Cape Cod to Mount Hoosac." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Kansas Relief Meeting" (September 10, 1856), Emerson's Antislavery Writings (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; edited by Len Gougeon and Joel Myerson)

"What is the defense of Slavery? What is the irresistible argument by which every plea of humanity and reason has hitherto been borne down?... I think there is but one single argument which has any real weight with the bulk of the Northern people, and which lies in one word - a word which I hear pronounced with triumphant emphasis in bar-rooms, in shops, in streets, in kitchens, at musters, and at cattle-shows. That word is Niggers! - a word which, cried by rowdy boys and rowdy men in the ar of this timid and sceptical generation, is reckoned stronger than heaven; it blows away with a jeer all the efforts of philanthropy, all the expostulations of pity, the cries of millions, now for hundreds of years - all are answered by this insulting appellation, 'Oh, the Niggers!' and the boys straightway sing Jim Crow and jump Jim Crow in the streets and taverns. It is the objection of an inferiority of race. They who say it and they who hear it, think it the voice of nature and fate pronouncing against the Abolitionist and the Philanthropist..." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Anniversary of West Indian Emancipation" (August 1, 1845), Emerson's Antislavery Writings (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; edited by Len Gougeon and Joel Myerson)

"Liberty is aggressive. Liberty is the Crusade of all brave and conscientious men. It is the epic poetry, the new religion, the chivalry of all gentlemen. This is the oppressed Lady whom true knights on their oath and honor must rescue and save." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Fugitive Slave Law" (March 7, 1854), Emerson's Antislavery Writings (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; edited by Len Gougeon and Joel Myerson)

"I fear there is no reliance to be had on any kind of form or covenant, no, not on sacred forms, - none on churches, none of bibles. For one would have said that a Christian would not keep slaves, but the Christians keep slaves. Of course, they will not dare read the bible. Won't they? They quote the bible and Christ and Paul to maintain slavery. If slavery is a good, then is lying, theft, arson, incest, homicide, each and all goods and to be maintained by union societies. These things show that no forms, neither Constitutions nor laws nor covenants nor churches nor bibles, are of any use in themselves; the devil nestles comfortably into them all." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Fugitive Slave Law" (March 7, 1854), Emerson's Antislavery Writings (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995; edited by Len Gougeon and Joel Myerson)

"How often have the Irish started out to achieve something, and every time they have been crushed politically and industrially. By consistent oppression they have been artificially converted into an utterly impoverished nation." - Frederick Engels (1820-1895), 1856

"Wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants." - Epicurus (341-260 B.C.); philosopher

"The white people looked and acted, as I thought, in so savage a manner; for I had never seen among any people such instances of brutal cruelty; and this not only shown towards us blacks, but also to some of the whites themselves." - Olaudah Equiano (alias Gustavus Vassa; ca. 1745-1797), The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789; Chapter Two); African slave, author

"When you make men slaves you deprive them of half their virtue, you set them in your own conduct an example of fraud, rapine and cruelty...and yet you complain that they are not honest or faithful!" - Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789)

"O, ye nominal Christians! might not an African ask you - Learned you this from your God, who says unto you, Do unto all men as you would men should do unto you? Is it not enough that we are torn from our country and friends, to toil for your luxury and lust of gain? Must every tender feeling be likewise sacrificed to your avarice? Are the dearest friends and relations, now rendered more dear by their separation from their kindred, still to be parted from each other, and thus prevented from cheering the gloom of slavery, with the small comfort of being together, and mingling their sufferings and sorrows? Why are parents to lose their children, brothers their sisters, or husbands their wives? Surely, this is a new refinement in cruelty, which, while it has no advantage to atone for it, thus aggravates distress, and adds fresh horrors even to the wretchedness of slavery." - Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789; Chapter Two)

"...I have been plundered or used ill by these tender Christian depredators; among whom I have shuddered to observe the unceasing blasphemous execrations which are wantonly thrown out by persons of all ages and conditions, not only without occasion, but even as if they were indulgencies and pleasure." - Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789; Chapter Six)

"I was often a witness to cruelties of every kind, which were exercised on my unhappy fellow slaves...It was almost a constant practice with our clerks and other whites to commit violent depredations on the chastity of the female slaves...When we have had some of these slaves on board my master's vessels, to carry them to other islands, or to America, I have known our mates to commit these acts most shamefully, to the disgrace, not of Christians only, but of men. I have even known them to gratify their brutal passion with females not ten years old..." - Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789; Chapter Five)

"Hitherto I had thought slavery only dreadful, but the state of a free negro appeared to me now equally so at least, and in some respects even worse, for they live in constant alarm for their liberty; which is but nominal, for they are universally insulted and plundered, without the possibility of redress; for such is the equity of the West Indian laws, that no free Negro's evidence will be admitted in their courts of justice. In this situation, is it surprising that slaves, when mildly treated, should prefer even the misery of slavery to such a mockery of freedom?" - Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789; Chapter Six)

Please see: "Drugstore" (1970), by Richard Estes (b. 1936); U.S. artist

"When a man lies, he murders some part of the world." - film Excalibur (U.S.-Ireland-G.B., 1981), directed by John Boorman (b. 1933, U.K.)

The Execution of Private Slovik (U.S. film, 1974), directed by Lamont Johnson (b. 1922, U.S.)

"Thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." - Exodus 23:9 (Old Testament, KJV Bible)



Quotations: F
i fratelli de Socio