Quotations!   L

(in alphabetical order by author)

Joseph A. Labadie, "Anarchism: What It Is and What It Is Not" (the dandelion, vol 3, no 12, Winter 1979)

Laurance Labadie (1898-1975), "Origin and Nature of Government" (Balanced Living, Vol. I, No. 2; February 1958)

Étienne de la Boétie, "The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude" (ca. 1550s)

"Business as a whole often tends to take what's best about a person - that individual part - and suck it out of them, creating a kind of 'follower' who has a set of values that are based not on right or wrong but on winning and losing. This kind of siege mentality is quite disastrous when people then try and apply it to their private lives." - Neil LaBute (b. 1963), "Neil LaBute," by Adrian Hennigan (FilmWeb); U.S. film director

"It's harder to have successful private relationships when your ethics become gelled into this siege mentality of winning at all costs." - Neil LaBute, "Manning the Company," by Larry Terenzi (Film Nation)

"It's the way corporate culture has been since the post war years - fitting into a mold sort of thing...It sucks the life out of you, the individuality out of people." - Neil Labute, "Interview with Neil LaBute," by Glenn Myrent (Film Scouts)

"The characteristic of a human being is that - and this is very much in contrast with other animals - he doesn't know what to do with his shit. He is encumbered by his shit... Civilisation means shit, cloaca maxima." - Jacques Lacan (1901-1981), statement delivered by Lacan at an address given at MIT quoted in S. Turkle, Psychoanalytic Politics: Freud's French Revolution (New York: Basic Books, 1978; p.238); French psychoanalyst

"Nations of Indigenous people are not, by and large, represented at the United Nations. Most decisions today are made by the 180 or so member states of the United Nations. These states, by and large, have been in existence for only 200 years or less, while most Nations of Indigenous peoples, with few exceptions, have been in existence for thousands of years. Ironically, there would likely be little argument in this room, that most decisions made in the world today are actually made by some of the 47 transnational corporations and their international financiers whose annual income is larger than the gross national product for many countries of the world. This is a centerpiece of the problem. Decisionmaking is not made by those who are affected by those decisions, people who live on the land, but corporations, with an interest which is entirely different than that of the land, and the people, or the women of the land. This brings forth a fundamental question. What gives these corporations like Conoco, Shell, Exxon, Diashawa, ITT, Rio Tinto Zinc, and the World Bank, a right which supercedes or is superior to my human right to live on my land, or that of my family, my community, my nation, our nations, and to us as women? What law gives that right to them, not any law of the Creator, or of Mother Earth? Is that right contained within their wealth ? Is that right contained within their wealth that which is historically acquired immorally, unethically, through colonialism, imperialism, and paid for with the lives of millions of people, or species of plants and entire ecosystems? They should have no such right, that right of self determination, and to determine our destiny, and that of our future generations." - Winona LaDuke, "The Indigenous Women's Network: Our Future, Our Responsibility" (Beijing Women's Conference, China; August 31, 1995); Anishinabeg (Chippewas) Indian, community organizer; Ralph Nader's running mate in his presidential bid

"Indigenous peoples believe fundamentally in natural law and a state of balance. We believe that all societies and cultural practices must exist in accordance with natural law in order to be sustainable. We also believe that cultural diversity is as essential as biological diversity to maintaining sustainable societies. Indigenous peoples have lived on earth sustainably for thousands of years, and I suggest to you that indigenous ways of living are the only sustainable ways of living. Because of that, I believe there is something to be learned from indigenous thinking and indigenous ways. I don't think many of you would argue that industrial society is sustainable. I think that in two or three hundred years this society will be extinct because a society based on conquest cannot survive when there's nothing left to conquer." - Winona LaDuke, "Learning from Native Peoples"

Winona LaDuke, "The Dilemma of Native Forestry" (Earth Island Journal, Vol. 9, Issue 3; Summer '94)

"A strange delusion possesses the working classes of the nations where capitalist civilization holds its sway. This delusion drags in its train the individual and social woes which for two centuries have tortured sad humanity. This delusion is the love of work, the furious passion for work, pushed even to the exhaustion of the vital force of the individual and his progeny. Instead of opposing this mental aberration, the priests, the economists and the moralists have cast a sacred halo over work." - Paul Lafargue (1842-1911), The Right to be Lazy (1893); French physician, socialist, author

"...Please except my sincerest apology that the glimmer of American prosperity does not shine from me; that I am not in fact an example of our society's perfectly formed young adults, that I am not a source of pride to my dear Commonwealth of Massachusetts and to this great nation. Dear God hear the sorrow in my voice when I cry out the truth: I am a liability!" - Sean Landers (b. 1963), "Student Loan Letters" (1991); U.S. "autobiographical" artist

Isaac Lane (1834-1937), Autobiography of Bishop Isaac Lane, LL.D.: With a Short History of the C.M.E. Church in America (1916)

Rose Wilder Lane (1886-1968), "Give Me Liberty" (1936)

"Taxation is armed robbery. Tax collectors are armed robbers." - Rose Wilder Lane

"I am law-abiding purely for expediency, for self-defense, in the main against my conscientious principles, so at bottom I am ashamed of not being a conscientious objector practicing Gandhi's or Thoreau's civil disobedience." - Rose Wilder Lane

"Capitalism is a materialist and utopian faith; it has shown itself empty of a moral imperative or spiritual meaning. To the questions likely to be asked by the next century, the sayings of Malcolm Forbes will seem as useless as the maxims of Lenin." - Lewis H. Lapham (1990); essayist, author, and editor of Harper's Magazine

"These days, Americans treat their country as if it were a hotel and they were mere guests in it." - Lewis H. Lapham, Hotel America

"The permanent government, a secular oligarchy, [...] comprises the Fortune 500 companies and their attendant lobbyists, the big media and entertainment syndicates, the civil and military services, the larger research universities and law firms. It is this governmet that hires the country's politicians and sees the terms and conditions under which the country's citizens can exercise their right - God given but increasingly expensive - to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." - Lewis H. Lapham, "Lights, Camera, Democracy!" (Harper's Magazine, August 1996)

"Behold the glory of the global economy from which all blessings flow, and rejoice, my children, in the knowledge that the well-run state is synonymous with a profitable corporation, that history is a board game, that freedom, like the future or any other item of high-end merchandise, belongs to the people who can afford the price of a condominium on the beach at Bali." - Lewis H. Lapham, "Notebook: Coq au vin" (Harper's Magazine, March 1998)

"The vision of the reactionary right is very clear. It's a safe suburb surrounded by a high wall and private police force and a beautiful golf course and lots of speeches about American initiative...They have an idea of what they want America to look like, and it is like a well-defended suburb with a lot of rules about how high you can grow your trees and what color you can paint your garage and what names you can give your dog, and so on." - Lewis Lapham, "Lewis Lapham in Dialogue" (August 5, 1995)

"The only way to fully comprehend U.S. policies toward the third world is to posit…'the threat of a good example.' Insurgencies in the third world do not challenge U.S. military security or even, ultimately, investments by U.S. corporations…What they represent is the possibility that emerging nations may demonstrate by example that the United States may not be the last word in democracy, freedom, and opportunity. That threat is much greater if weighed from the perspective of those who see it in their interest to preserve unchanged the present U.S. economic and political order." - Frances Moore Lappé (co-founded the The Center for Living Democracy), Rachel Schurman, and Kevin Danaher, authors

"Hunger is human made - created out of plenty...Hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food, but a scarcity of democracy." - Frances Moore Lappé, "Living Democracy: An interview with Frances Moore Lappé and Paul M. Du Bois," by Sarah van Gelder (In Context #40, Spring 1995)

"Hunger is not caused by scarcity, because there's plenty of food." - Frances Moore Lappé, "Discovering Public Life: An Interview with Frances Moore Lappé and Paul DuBois," by Lila Forest (In Context #30, Fall/Winter 1991)

- Frances Moore Lappé and Rachel Schurman, "The Population Puzzle" (In Context #21, Spring 1989)

Nella Larsen (1891-1964), "Sanctuary"; African-American Harlem Renaissance writer

"Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks." - Doug Larson

D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930); English poet, novelist

"How Beastly the Bourgeois Is"
by D.H. Lawrence

How beastly the bourgeois is especially the male of the species-- Presentable, eminently presentable-- shall I make you a present of him? Isn't he handsome? Isn't he healthy? Isn't he a fine specimen? Doesn't he look the fresh clean Englishman, outside? Isn't it God&'s own image? tramping his thirty miles a day after partridges, or a little rubber ball? wouldn't you like to be like that, well off, and quite the thing? Oh, but wait! Let him meet a new emotion, let him be faced with another man's need, let him come home to a bit of moral difficulty, let life face him with a new demand on his understanding and then watch him go soggy, like a wet meringue. Watch him turn into a mess, either a fool or a bully. Just watch the display of him, confronted with a new demand on his intelligence, a new life-demand. How beastly the bourgeois is especially the male of the species-- Nicely groomed, like a mushroom standing there so sleek and erect and eyeable-- and like a fungus, living on the remains of a bygone life sucking his life out of the dead leaves of greater life than his own. And even so, he's stale, he's been there too long. Touch him, and you'll find he's all gone inside just like an old mushroom, all wormy inside, and hollow under a smooth skin and an upright appearance. Full of seething, wormy, hollow feelings rather nasty-- How beastly the bourgeois is! Standing in their thousands, these appearances, in damp England what a pity they can't all be kicked over like sickening toadstools, and left to melt back, swiftly into the soil of England.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to be free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

- Emma Lazarus (1849-1887), "The New Colossus"
(inscription on the Statue of Liberty; 1883)
U.S. poet, essayist, playwright, writer

"Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it." - Stephen Butler Leacock (1869-1944); English-born Canadian short-story writer, economist, biographer, essayist, humorist

"What we call creative work, ought not to be called work at all, because it isn't. I imagine that Thomas Edison never did a day's work in his last fifty years." - Stephen B. Leacock

"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition." - Dr. Timothy Leary (1920-1996), American psychologist, philosopher

"There's something very ominous about this tendency to call anybody that you don't agree with insane...Twenty years ago, they'd say you were a Communist. Now the really sophisticated totalitarian method is to say that someone who is a dissenter, who is against the society, is insane. In Russia, they're very smooth; they take their philosophers and their dissenting poets and they don't put them in Siberia anymore - they put them in an insane asylum. Now, maybe it's insane to be against what's happening in the United States. Maybe it's insane to have hope that something could be done about it. If that's insane, count me in." - Timothy Leary, "Word from Folsom Prison" (New Yorker, December 3, 1973)

"I think I belong in American society. I think that a society that imprisons its philosophers is playing with very bad magic. You can't imprison ideas. And the one thing that we can see in societies that become constricted and repressed is that the life flow goes out. lt's a scandal, a national scandal, that I'm here." - Timothy Leary, "Word from Folsom Prison" (New Yorker, December 3, 1973)

"There will be peace when we begin to love our children more than we hate our enemies." - Lebanese citizen (New York Times)

"In the last 15 or 20 years, I've watched the British press simply go to hell. There seems to be no limit, no depths to which the tabloids won't sink. I don't know who these people are but they're little pigs. Even with the 'quality' papers, the standard of literacy is pathetic. Journalists pipe their stories right into the paper, and nobody really has time even to correct the spelling. When (Rupert) Murdoch took over a great chunk of the British press, the remaining newspapers had a choice whether to go up-market or down-market. Because it is the custom of people in the entertainment and information business to underrate the public, they selected, almost to a man, the downward route. Fabrication by a journalist — the story too good to check out — is almost par for the course." - John le Carré, "The Salon Interview," by Andrew Ross, Oct. 21, 1996 (Salon Magazine)

"If it were proved to me that in making war, my ideal had a chance of being realized, I would still say 'No' to war. For one does not create human society on mounds of corpses." - Louis Lecoin, French pacifist leader

"It would seem a simple fact of life that [American] ambassadors to at least the major nations should speak their languages. Yet in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, and Turkey, our ambassadors cannot speak the native tongue (although our ambassador to Paris can speak German and our ambassador to Berlin can speak French). In the whole of the Arabic world...only two ambassadors have language qualifications. In Japan, Korea, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and elsewhere, our ambassadors must speak and be spoken to through interpreters. In the entire Communist world, only our ambassador to Moscow can speak the native language. If the ambassadors were mere figureheads surrounded by experienced, linguistically-trained career diplomats, their inability to speak or read on the job would be little more than an insulting inconvenience to the local officials...Unfortunately, ambassadors are more than figureheads; they are in charge..." - William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, The Ugly American (1958), "A Factual Epilogue"

"To date, the hunting way of life has been the most successful and persistent adaptation man has ever achieved. Nor does this evaluation exclude the present precarious existence under the threat of nuclear annihilation and the population explosion. It is still an open question whether man will be able to survive the exceedingly complex and unstable ecological conditions he has created for himself. If he fails in this task, interplanetary archaeologists of the future will classify our planet as one in which a very long and stable period of small-scale hunting and gathering was followed by an apparently instantaneous efflorescence of technology and society leading rapidly to extinction." - Richard B. Lee and Irven DeVore (b. 1935, U.S.), "Introduction," Man the Hunter (1968)

"Hunters and gatherers stand at the opposite pole from the dense urban life experienced by most people; yet those same hunters may have the key answers to some of the central questions about the human condition: Can people live without the state or the market? Can people live without accumulated wealth or 'advanced' technology? Can people live in nature without destroying it?" - Richard B. Lee, "Foreward" to Limited Wants, Unlimited Means (1998, Island Press), edited by John Gowdy

"There are people who lived, until quite recently, without the overarching discipline of the state: they lived in small groups without centralized authority, standing armies, or bureaucratic systems, and exchanged goods and services without recourse to markets. Yet the evidence indicates that they lived together surprisingly well, solving problems among themselves largely without courts or prisons and without a particular propensity for violence." - Richard B. Lee, "Foreward" to Limited Wants, Unlimited Means (1998, Island Press), edited by John Gowdy

"What makes the contemporary hunters and gatherers so intriguing is that, far from simply being victims of history, in many parts of the world they have become political actors in their own right, mounting land claims cases, participating in the environmental movement, lobbying for their rights with governments and the United Nations, addressing wider audiences through the media, and finally being increasingly sought out by spiritual pilgrims from urban industrial societies." - Richard B. Lee, "Foreward" to Limited Wants, Unlimited Means (1998, Island Press), edited by John Gowdy

See: "So Long, Mom" (1965), by Tom Lehrer

"He had grown up in a country run by politicians who sent the pilots to man the bombers to kill the babies to make the world safe for children to grow up in." - Ursula K. Le Guin (b. 1929), The Lathe of Heaven (1971); U.S. science fiction writer, literary critic

"The fact is that there is a great tradition, which exists in Europe and plenty of other places, not least Japan, of making films about real life, uncluttered and unfettered and uninterfered with by the kind of disease that you can - broadly speaking - diagnose as Hollywood...The fascinating thing for me about coming to the States and endlessly talking to filmmakers is that it appears that it's quite simply impossible for people to make independent films in this country. The films that are made in most parts of the world aren't 'independent' films, they're just films, really. Here 'independent' films means films made in spite of Hollywood. And some get made but it's tough." - Mike Leigh (b. 1943), "The Salon Interview," by Laura Miller, September 16, 1996 (Salon Magazine); British film director

"Apartheid: I know neither the exact pronunciation of this word nor its etymology. But I know that when I read it I always think of the adjective 'hideous' because of its resemblance with the final syllable. As for its initial vowel, I take it to be a privative prefix as befits this designation of a cruel and absurd policy since it is one that aims to bar certain people from partaking fully and completely in the human species, or which all of us, regardless of our color, are representatives. Apartheid: a harsh, mean word that resounds in one's ears like a trapdoor opening beneath a gallows." - Michel Leiris (1901-1990), "Apartheid" (1983; in For Nelson Mandela [New York: Seaver Books, 1987], edited by Jacques Derrida and Mustapha Tlili); French poet, novelist, art critic, ethnologist, anthropologist, autobiographer

"Dream is not a revelation. If a dream affords the dreamer some light on himself, it is not the person with closed eyes who makes the discovery but the person with open eyes lucid enough to fit thoughts together. Dream - a scintillating mirage surrounded by shadows - is essentially poetry." - Michel Leiris

"All war is insane." - Madeleine L'Engle (b. 1918), A Wind in the Door (1973); U.S. writer

"Fascism is capitalism in decay." - Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (aka Nikolai Lenin, 1870-1924); Russian communist leader, author

"When it comes time to hang the capitalists they will compete with each other to sell us the rope at a lower price." - Vladimir Ilich Lenin

"When we say, 'War is over if you want it,' we mean that if everyone demanded peace instead of another TV set, we'd have peace." - John Lennon (1940-1980), British rock and roll musician (The Beatles)

"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for..."

- John Lennon, "Imagine"

"To my mind, civil war is useless, stupid, there are no just causes. The key line of the film [The Good, the Bad and the Ugly] is the comment made by a character about the battle on the bridge: 'I have never seen so many imbeciles die, and so pointlessly.' " - Sergio Leone (1929-1989), Sergio Leone: The Great Italian Dream of Legendary America (Oreste De Formari, 1997); Italian film director

"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Barry LePatner

"Black people cannot and will not become integrated into American society on any terms but those of self-determination and autonomy." - Gerda Kronstein Lerner (b. 1920), Black Women in White America (1972); Austrian-born U.S. historian, writer, screenwriter, educator

Gerda Lerner, "Summary of The Creation of Patriarchy (Oxford University Press, 1986)"

Gerda Lerner, "Summary of The Creation of Feminist Consciousness - From the Middle Ages to Eighteen-seventy" (Oxford University Press, 1993)

"I'd much rather have a performance artist waste my tax money shouting obscenities at gerbils on public access TV than have the military use the money to secretly (or openly) kill people." - Raymond Lesser

"When a white man in Africa by accident looks into the eyes of a native and sees the human being (which it is his chief preoccupation to avoid), his sense of guilt, which he denies, fumes up in resentment and he brings down the whip." - Doris Lessing (b. 1919), The Grass Is Singing (1950); English-Rhodesian writer, playwright

"The history of an oppressed people is hidden in the lies and agreed-upon myth of its conquerors." - Meridel Le Sueur (1900-1996), U.S. writer, poet, historian, activist, children's book writer, communist

"Memory in America suffers amnesia." - Meridel Le Sueur, in A Woman's Notebook (1980)

"Memory is all we got, I cried, we got to remember. We got to remember everything. It is the glory, Amelia said, the glory. We got to remember to be able to fight. Got to write down the names. Make a list. Nobody can be forgotten. They know if we don't remember we can't point them out. They got their guilt wiped out. The last thing they take is memory. Remember, Amelia say, the breasts of your mothers. O mama help us now." - Meridel Le Sueur, The Girl (1939)

"I am being honored now for my past. Now they celebrate my life. All kinds of honors. We paid for it. I couldn't get a job anywhere. Nothing! No jobs for a Communist." - Meridel Le Sueur, "Celebrating International Women's Day, March 8 - Luminous with Age: the Seasons of Meridel Le Sueur," by Tim Wheeler (People's Daily World, 4 March, 1995)

Gaston Leval (aka Pierre Piller; 1893-1978); French anarchist, writer

"Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it." - Primo Levi (1919-1987), "Interview" (April 25, 1983); Italian writer, Auschwitz survivor

by Philip Levine
(b. 1928, U.S.)
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

In the soap factory where I worked
when I was fourteen, I spoke to
no one and only one man spoke
to me and then to command me
to wheel the little cars of damp chips
into the ovens. While the chips dried
I made more racks, nailing together
wood lath and ordinary screening
you'd use to keep flies out, racks
and more racks each long afternoon,
for this was a growing business
in a year of growth. The oil drums
of fat would arrive each morning,
too huge for me to tussle with,
reeking of the dark, cavernous
kitchens of the Greek and Rumanian
restaurants, of cheap hamburger joints,
White Towers and worse. They would
sulk in the battered yard behind
the plant until my boss, Leo,
a squat Ukranian, dollied them in
to become, somehow, through the magic
of chemistry, pure soap. My job
was always the racks and the ovens¾
two low ceilinged metal rooms
the color of sick skin. When I
slid open the heavy doors my eyes
started open, the pores
of my skull shrivelled and sweat
smelling of scared animal burst from
me everywhere. Head down I entered,
first to remove what had dried
and then to wheel in the damp, raw
yellow curls of new soap, grained
like iris petals or unseamed quartz.
Then out to the open weedy yard
among the waiting and emptied drums
where I hammered and sawed, singing
of my new life of working and earning;
outside in the fresh air of Detroit
in 1942, a year of growth.

"Among Children"
by Philip Levine

I walk among the rows of bowed heads,
the children are sleeping through fourth grade
so as to be ready for what is ahead,
the monumental boredom of junior high
and the rush forward tearing their wings
loose and turning their eyes forever inward.
These are the children of Flint, their fathers
work at the spark plug factory or truck
bottled water in 5 gallon sea-blue jugs
to the widows of the suburbs. You can see
already how their backs have thickened,
how their small hands, soiled by pig iron,
leap and stutter even in dreams. I would like
to sit down among them and read slowly
from The Book of Job until the windows
pale and the teacher rises out of a milky sea
of industrial scum, her gowns streaming
with light, her foolish words transformed
into song, I would like to arm each one
with a quiver of arrows so that they might
rush like wind there where no battle rages
shouting among the trumpets, Ha! Ha!
How dear the gift of laughter in the face
of the 8 hour day, the cold winter mornings
without coffee and oranges, the long lines
of mothers in old coats waiting silently
where the gates have closed. Ten years ago
I went among these same children, just born,
in the bright ward of the Sacred Heart and leaned
down to hear their breaths delivered that day,
burning with joy. There was such wonder
in their sleep, such purpose in their eyes
closed against autumn, in their damp heads
blurred withc the hair of ponds, and not one
turned against me or the light, not one
said, I am sick, I am tired, I will go home,
not one complained or drifted alone,
unloved, on the hardest day of their lives.
Eleven years from now they will become
the men and women of Flint or Paradise,
the majors of a minor town, and I
will be gone into smoke or memory,
so I bow to them here and whisper
all I know, all I will never know.

"And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." - Leviticus 19:33-34 (Old Testament, KJV)

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock

"Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless." - Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951), U.S. novelist, author, Nobel laureate

Sinclair Lewis, Our Mr. Wrenn (1914)

[Blimp has just been told there's no place for him in the "modern" Army]
Clive Candy: "Are you mad ? I know what war is!"
Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff: "I don't agree. I read your broadcast up to the point where you describe the collapse of France. You commented on Nazi methods, foul fighting, bombing refugees, machine-gunning hospitals, lifeboats, lightships, bailed-out pilots, by saying that you despised them, that you would be ashamed to fight on their side and that you would sooner accept defeat than victory if it could only be won by those methods."
Clive Candy: "So I would."
Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff: "Clive! If you let yourself be defeated by them, just because you are too fair to hit back the same way they hit at you, there won't be any methods BUT Nazi methods! If you preach the Rules of the Game while they use every foul and filthy trick against you, they will laugh at you! They think you're weak, decadent! And if you lose there won't be a return match next year, perhaps not even for a hundred years! [He pats Clive's shoulder] You mustn't mind me, an old alien, saying all this. But who can describe hydrophobia better than one who has been bitten - and is now immune."

- British film The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (U.K., 1943),
written and directed by Michael Powell (1905-1990, U.K.) and Emeric Pressburger (b. 1902, Hungary; d. 1988, U.K.)

"This country with its constitution belongs to those who live in it. Whevever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they shall exercise their constitutional rights by amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." - Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1861)

"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." - Abraham Lincoln

"These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people." - Abraham Lincoln, 1837

"What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?" - Abraham Lincoln

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." - Abraham Lincoln

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." - Abraham Lincoln, Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives

"What a commentary on our civilization, when being alone is considered suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it - like a secret vice!" - Anne Morrow Lindbergh (b. 1906), Gift From the Sea (1955); U.S. poet, essayist, writer, aviator

"Schools: vast factories for the manufacturing of robots." - Robert Lindner (1914-1956)

"The recognition of personal separateness - of others having their own concepts, different from his, because they see things from their position and condition as individuals and not from his own - is not ordinarily possible before a child is seven. Immaturity in adults reveals itself clearly in the retention of this infantile orientation." - Miriam Lindstrom, Children's Art (1962); U.S. art educator

Richard Linklater; filmmaker

"A democratic society may be defined...as one in which the majority is always prepared to put down a revolutionary minority." - Walter Lippmann (1889-1974); U.S. journalist, editor, author, Pulitzer-winning columnist

"When all men think alike, no one thinks very much." - Walter Lippmann

El Lissitzky (1890-1941)

"We must inform you that we look upon the white people that live in the new State, very deceitful; we have experienced them, and are much afraid of them; we are now obliged to keep spies out continually on the frontiers, fearing they will return and do us an injury as they did before." - Little Turkey, in From the Heart: Voices of the American Indian (edited by Lee Miller); Cherokee Indian

Fang Lizhi, "China's Andrei Sakharov," by Orville Schell (The Atlantic Monthly, May 1988); Chinese astrophysicist, educator, pro-democracy activist

"America has the proud satisfaction of having furnished the world with the greatest, wisest, and meanest monopoly known to history." - Henry Demarest Lloyd, "Story of a Great Monopoly" (The Atlantic Monthly, March 1881)

Jayne Loader, "Up Close and Personal" (speech, July 13-15, 1995); co-producer, -director, and -editor of The Atomic Cafe (U.S. 1982 film)

"No one can claim to be Christian who gives money for the building of warships and arsenals." - Belva Lockwood (1830-1917), speech (1886); U.S. women's rights activist, suffragist, pacifist

"Something about the enterprise of writing a high school American history textbook converts historians into patriots." - James W. Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me (1995); U.S. author, educator

"In chemistry, a high school chemistry textbook is likely to be called Chemistry or Principle of Chemistry or Introduction to Chemistry. The same is true in mathematics. The same is true even in English literature. But in history very few books are called American History or something bland like that. They're called Rise of the American Nation, Triumph of the American Nation, The Great Experiment, The Great Republic, Land of the Free - these are real titles. What is that saying? I think that's saying that we are not just entering another subject, we are not just going to learn about history: we are going to salute it. We are going to salute the flag; it's going to be an exercise in nationalism." - James Loewen, "Booknotes Transcript"

"Perhaps we are all dupes, manipulated by elite white male capitalists who orchestrate how history is written as part of their scheme to perpetuate their own power and privilege at the expense of the rest of us." - James W. Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me (1995)

"I was already It, whatever It was, and by aid of the books I discovered that It was a Socialist." - Jack London (1876-1916), "How I Became a Socialist" (War of the Classes, 1905); American author

"In a civilization frankly materialistic and based upon property, not soul, it is inevitable that property shall be exalted over soul, that crimes against property shall be considered far more serious than crimes against the person." - Jack London, The People of the Abyss (1903; Chapter 16, "Property versus Person")

"While it is not nice that these men should die, it is ordained that they must die, and we should not quarrel with them if they cumber our highways and kitchen stoops with their perambulating carcasses. This is a form of elimination we not only countenance but compel. Therefore let us be cheerful and honest about it. Let us be as stringent as we please with our police regulations, but for goodness' sake let us refrain from telling the tramp to go to work. Not only is it unkind, but it is untrue and hypocritical. We know there is no work for him. As the scapegoat to our economic and industrial sinning, or to the plan of things, if you will, we should give him credit. Let us be just. He is so made. Society made him. He did not make himself." - Jack London, "The Tramp," speech on January 19, 1902 (War of the Classes, 1905)

"The incessant witless repetition of advertisers' moron-fodder has become so much a part of life that if we are not careful, we forget to be insulted by it." - The London Times (1886)

"He's dead. I'm crippled. You're lost. Do you suppose it's always like that...in a war?" - film The Longest Day (U.S., 1962), directed by Annakin, Marton, Oswald, Wicki, and Zanuck

See: "The Slave's Dream," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882); U.S. poet

Yolanda Lopez

"To survive in the mouth of this dragon we call America, we have had to learn this first and most vital lesson - that we were never meant to survive." - Audre Lorde (1934-1992), "Transformation of Silece" (December 28, 1977); West Indian-born U.S. poet, writer, critic, educator

"It is not the destiny of black America to repeat white America's mistakes. But we will, if we mistake the trappings of success in a sick society for the signs of a meaningful life." - Audre Lorde, "Feminism and Black Liberation: The Great American Disease," The Black Scholar (1979)

"I am black because I come from the earth's inside
Now take my word for jewel in the omen light."
- Audre Lorde, "Coal"

"The freedom of the press cannot be taken lightly. But the freedom of a man can." - The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (German film, 1975), directed by Volker Schlondorff and Margarethe von Trotta

"Democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor." - James Russell Lowell (1819-1891); U.S. poet, abolitionist

"Before man made us citizens, great Nature made us men." - James Russell Lowell, "On the Capture of Fugitive Slaves near Washington"

"We kind o' thought Christ went agin war an' pillage." - James Russell Lowell, "The Biglow Papers. First Series. No. iii."

"They are slaves who fear to speak
For the fallen and the weak.
They are slaves who dare not be
In the right with two or three."

James Russell Lowell, "Stanzas on Freedom"

"Ez fer war, I call it murder,
There you hev it plain an' flat;
I don't want to go no furder
Than my Testyment fer that."

- James Russell Lowell, "The Biglow Papers. First Series. No. i."

"Fall 1961"
Robert Lowell (1917-1977);
U.S. poet, imprisoned as a conscientious objector
during World War II, Vietnam War protestor

Back and forth, back and forth
goes the tock, tock, tock
of the orange, bland, ambassadorial
face of the moon
on the grandfather clock.

All autumn, the chafe and jar
of nuclear war;
we have talked our extinction to death.
I swim like a minnow
behind my studio window.

Our end drifts nearer,
the moon lifts,
radiant with terror.
The state
is a diver under a glass bell.

A father's no shield
for his child.
We are like a lot of wild
spiders crying together,
but without tears...

"We were founded on a Declaration, on the Constitution, on Principles, and we've always had the ideal of 'saving the world.' And that comes close to perhaps destroying the world...We might blow up Cuba to save ourselves and then the whole world would blow up. Yet it would come in the guise of an idealistic stroke...yes, I suppose this is too apocalyptic to put it this way, but it is the Ahab story of having to muder evil: and then you may murder all the good with it if it gets desperate enough to struggle." - Robert Lowell, 1965

Robert Lowell, "Buenos Aires" (The New York Review of Books, February 1963)

"There is a swing towards the opinion that work is for donkeys and cowards. Only fools work voluntariy, all the rest are bribed or blackmailed. As a rough guide, I would say single people are bribed and married people blackmailed." - S.L. Lowndes, "Why Work?" (letter to the British Sunday Times, 8 August 1982)

"Every place is becoming more and more like every other place. San Francisco has retained its visual beauty, but most of the cities I go to in America all look like Cleveland." - Sidney Lumet (b. 1924), "One Angry Man," by Rick Schultz (Mr. Showbiz); U.S. film director

"The world war today is demonstrably not only murder on a grand scale; it is also suicide of the working classes of Europe. The soldiers of socialism, the proletarians of England, France, Germany, Russia, and Belgium have for months been killing one another at the behest of capital. They are driving the cold steel of murder into each other's hearts. Locked in the embrace of death, they tumble into a common grave." - Rosa Luxemburg (1870-1919), "The War and the Workers" (1916); Polish/German revolutionary, writer

"The madness will cease and the bloody demons of hell will vanish only when workers in Germany and France, England and Russia finally awake from their stupor, extend to each other a brotherly hand, and drown out the bestial chorus of imperialist war-mongerers and the shrill cry of capitalist hyenas..." - Rosa Luxemburg, "The War and the Workers" (1916)

"Freedom is always and exclusively for one who thinks differently." - Rosa Luxemburg, The Russian Revolution (1916)

"The high stage of world-industrial development in capitalistic production finds expression in the extraordinary technical development and destructiveness of the instruments of war." - Rosa Luxemburg, The Crisis in the German Social Democracy (1919)

"People who pronounce themselves in favor of the method of legislative reform in place of and in contradistinction to the conquest of political power and social revolution, do not really choose a more tranquil, calmer, and slower road to the same goal, but a different goal. Instead of taking a stand for the establishment of a new society, they take a stand for surface modifications of the old society...Our program becomes not the realization of socialism, but the reform of capitalism; not the suppression of the system of wage labor, but the diminution of exploitation, that is, the suppression of the abuses of capitalism instead of the suppression of capitalism itself." - Rosa Luxemburg, "The Conquest of Political Power," Reform or Revolution (1899)

"It's easy to tell when a politician is lying. Watch his lips. If they move, he's lying." - Charles Lyall

"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 (1879-1949), Anglo-Irish essayist and journalist

"In this apparently senseless pursuit, the constitution of meaning..., there will be some hermeneut or pessimist who will say to us: look, we never have meaning, it escapes us. It transcends us, it teaches us our finitude and our death. - so, while the edifying pastor tells us this, his soldiers and his businessmen collect organs, pulsions, pieces of the film, stock-pile, capitalize them. And the time we 'know so well'...: is fabricated in the double game of this despair and this hoarding, despair of lost-postponed meaning, of the treasure of signs which are simply "experiences" happened upon, run through, the Odyssey." - Jean-François Lyotard, Libidinal Economy (1974)

"If all interest is only an advance from an energetic remainder yet to come, obtained by inhibition, and if one supposes a closed system of energies, capital would not be able to grow at all, but would simply allow, through the game of interest and profit, energetic quantities...to pass into the hands of the creditors, with the total quantity of the potential system not increasing at all." - Jean-François Lyotard, Libidinal Economy (1974)

List of Links

Quotations: M
i fratelli de Socio