Quotations! M

(in alphabetical order by author)

"The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself." - Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982); U.S. poet, Pulitzer Prize writer

"The End of the World"
by Archibald MacLeish

Quite unexpectedly as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb-
Quite unexpectedly the top blew off:

And there, there overhead, there, there, hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the canceled skies,
There in the sudden blacknbess, the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing- nothing at all.

"One very important difference between white people and black people is that white people think that you are your work...Now, black people think that my work is just what I have to do to get what I want." - May Anna Madison, in Drylongso (1980)

Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), "The Massacre of the Innocents" (1916); Nobel Prize Laureate

Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee (1901)

Ricardo Flores Magón (1873-1922); Mexican-born revolutionary; received twenty year U.S. prison sentence for "obstructing the war effort"

Naguib Mahfouz (or, Najib Mahfuz; b. 1911); Egyptian writer, Nobel Prize winner

See: "The Lovers I" and "The Lovers II,"
by René François-Ghislain Magritte (1898-1967);
Belgian surrealist/magical realist painter

"In America, the country was the religion. And all the religions of the land were fed from that first religion." - Norman Mailer (b. 1923); U.S. novelist, co-founder of The Village Voice, editor, Vietnam War protester (jailed in 1967)

"Jesus saw the horror of money. As I was reading the New Testament, I realized in a funny way that the message that Jesus had, the animosity he felt toward money, the sense that Mammon was scourging the world, is so applicable today. It's significant that at the end of the cold war, a huge greed, a huge passion to destroy the safety net in America came into being. There's something terribly ugly in capitalism, and what's happened now in America is all our values are being leeched out by the immense appetite for money." - Norman Mailer, "The Gospel According to Norman Mailer," by Bruce Weber (New York Times, April 24, 1997)

"Arguments Against the Bombing"

by Lisa Suhair Majaj

consider the infinite fragility of an infant's skull
how the bones lie soft and open
only time knitting them shut

consider a delicate porcelain bowl
how it crushes under a single blow
-- in one moment whole years disappear

consider that beneath the din of explosions
no song can be heard
no cry

consider your own sky on fire
your name erased
your children's lives "a price worth paying"

consider the faces you do not see
the eyes you refuse to meet
"collateral damage"

how in those words
the world cracks open

Nestor Makhno

"In all times and in all places, whatever may be the name that the government takes, whatever has been its origin, or its organization, its essential function is always that of oppressing and exploiting the masses, and of defending the oppressors and exploiters. Its principal characteristic and indispensable instruments are the policeman and the tax collector, the soldier and the prison. And to these are necessarily added the time serving priest or teacher, as the case may be, supported and protected by the government, to render the spirit of the people servile and make them docile under the yoke." - Errico Malatesta, "Anarchy (pamphlet)"

Errico Malatesta

"It is so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about the problem." - Malcolm X (1925-1965); African-American civil rights activist

"If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us and teach us how to be violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country." - Malcolm X, from a speech in Detroit, Nov. 10, 1963 [Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements (Pathfinder, 1965)]

"We are living in an era of revolution and the revolt of the American Negro is part of the rebellion against the oppression and colonialism which has characterized this era...It is incorrect to classify the revolt of the Negro as simply a racial conflict of Black against white, or as a purely American problem. Rather we are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiters. The Negro revolution is not a racial revolt." - Malcolm X, from a speech in 1964

"Truth is on the side of the oppressed." - Malcolm X

"No, I'm not an American. I'm one of the twenty-two million black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the twenty-two million black people who are the victims of democracy - nothing but disguised hypocracy. So I'm not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter, or a flag-waver - no, not I. I'm speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don't see any American dream; I see an American nightmare." - Malcolm X, from a speech in Cleveland, April 3, 1964 [ibid]

"Just because you have colleges and universities doesn't mean you have education. The colleges and universities of the American educational system are skillfully used to mis-educate." - Malcolm X, Young Society Magazine (January 18, 1965)

"We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us!" - Malcolm X (U.S. film, 1992), directed by Spike Lee (b. 1957)

"I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, its possible to get another. There's only one Maltese Falcon." - The Maltese Falcon (U.S. film, 1941), directed by John Huston (1906-1987, U.S.)

"It [the American Dream myth] interests me because the national culture is founded very much on the idea of strive and succeed. Instead of rising with the masses one should rise from the masses. Your extremity is my opportunity. That's what forms the basis of our economic life, and this is what forms the rest of our lives...One feels one can only succeed at the cost of someone else. Economic life in America is a lottery." - David Mamet (b. 1947), "Interview with Matthew C. Roudane" (Dec. 4, 1984); U.S. playwright, author, director

"In the United States, it's our pleasure and joy to consider life as a commercial enterprise. That's our national character." - David Mamet, "The Salon Interview," by Richard Covington, October 24, 1997 (Salon Magazine, 1997)

The Manchurian Candidate (U.S. film, 1962), directed by John Frankenheimer (b. 1930, U.S.)

"Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts." - Nelson Mandela, explaining to his captors why he would not accept anything less than unconditional liberty (b. 1918); South African human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize recepient

"I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of what I thought, because of my conscience. Can it be any wonder to anybody that such conditions make a man an outlaw of society? Can it be wondered that such a man, having been outlawed by the Government, should be prepared to lead the life of an outlaw, as I have led for some months, according to the evidence before this Court?...But there comes a time, as it came in my life, when a man is denied the right to live a normal life, when he can only live the life of an outlaw because the Government has so decreed to use the law to impose a state of outlawry upon him." - Nelson Mandela, The Struggle Is My Life (1978)

"The structure and organization of early African societies in this country fascinated me very much...The land, then the main means of production, belonged to the whole tribe, and there was no individual ownership whatsoever. There were no classes, no rich or poor, and no exploitation of man by man. All men were free and equal and this was the foundation of government." - Nelson Mandela, The Struggle Is My Life (1978)

"Today I am attracted by the idea of a classless society, an attraction which springs in part from Marxist reading and, in part, from my admiration of the structure and organization of early African societies in this country. The land, then the main means of production, belonged to the tribe. There were no rich or poor, and there was no exploitation of man by man." - Nelson Mandela, The Struggle Is My Life (1978)

"War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace." - Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German author, Nobel laureate

"The suppression of civil liberties is to many less a matter of horror than the curtailment of the freedom to profit." - Marya von Heimburg Mannes (1904-1990), But Will It Sell? (1964); U.S. writer, journalist, critic, playwright

"Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist so long as she manages to also be a good wife, mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed and unaggressive." - Marya Mannes

"On Being Asked to Write a Poem for 1979"
By Jack Mapenje (b. 1945?); Malawian poet, literary educator, educator
[in The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry,
edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier]

Without kings and warriors occasional verse fails

Skeletal Kampuchea children staring, cold
Stubborn Irish children throwing grenades
These are objects too serious for verse,
Crushed Soweto children clutching their entrails
Then in verse bruised, mocks

Today no poet sufficiently asks why dying children
Stare or throw bombs. And why should we
Compute painful doubts that will forever occupy us?
Talking oil-crises in our eight-cylinder cars
Is enough travesty...

The year of the child must make no difference then
Where tadpoles are never allowed to grow into frogs!

"Whether revolution or ruin awaits us, we still have to live out our lives. It is better to do so in the tradition of the men and women who sought a different world than to mimic a model citizen, the cheerful robot, the lover of Big Brother." - E.B. Maple (Fifth Estate)

"Chiapas [a state in Mexico] is bled through thousands of veins: through oil ducts and gas ducts, over electric wires, by railroad cars, through bank accounts, by trucks and vans, by ships and planes, over clandestine paths, third-rate roads, and mountain passes.

"And what tribute does this land continue to pay to various empires? Oil, electric energy, cattle, money, coffee, bananas, honey, corn, cocoa, tobacco, sugar, soy, melons, sorghum, mamey, mangos, tamarind, avocados, and Chiapan blood flows out through 1,001 fangs sunk into the neck of southeastern Mexico. Billions of tons of natural recources go through Mecixan ports, railway stations, airports, and road systems to various destinations: the United States, Canada, Holland, Germany, Italy, Japan - but all with the same destiny: to feed the empire. The dues that capitalism imposes on the southeast corner of the country ooze out, as they have since the beginning, mud and blood."

- Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, "Chiapas: The Southeast in Two Winds, A Storm, and a Prophecy" (August 1992);
Chapter 1, Shadows of Tender Fury: The Letters and Communiqués of Subcomandante Marcos
and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
spokesman of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

"They take the gas and oil and leave the trademark of capitalism: ecological destruction, agricultural waste, hyper-inflation, alcoholism, prostitution, and poverty. The beast is not satisfied, and extends its tentacles to the Lacandon jungle: eight oil fields are now under exploration. The jungle is opened with machetes, wielded by the very same campesinos whose land has been taken away by the insatiable beast. Trees fall and dynamite explodes in lands where only the campesinos are prohibited from felling trees to plant crops. Every tree a campesino cuts can cost him a fine worth ten day's salary and send him to jail. Poor people cannot cut down trees, but the oil company, more and more in the hands of foreigners, can. The campesino cuts a tree in order to live, the beast cuts to plunder." - Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, "Chiapas: The Southeast in Two Winds, A Storm, and a Prophecy" (August 1992); Chapter 1, Shadows of Tender Fury: The Letters and Communiqués of Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (1995)

"Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves." - Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979), One-Dimensional Man (1964); German-born U.S. philosopher

"Just as this society tends to reduce and even absorb opposition (the qualitative difference!) in the realm of politics and higher culture, so it does in the instinctual sphere. The result is the atrophy of the mental organs for grasping the contradictions and the alternatives and, in the one remaining dimension of technological rationality, the Happy Consciousness comes to prevail." - Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man (1964)

"Playing the Saxophone"
by Sylvia Margineanu

                 In my country 

                 waters flow no longer. 

                 They are fully asleep. 

                 Trees grow to the center 

                 of the earth

                 where they bury leaves 

                 and fruit. 

                 Moon dragons eat light 

                 in a frenzy. 

                 I am playing the saxophone 

                 by myself 

                 making no sound, 

                 reading the score

                 over my neighbor’s shoulder 

                 while he is swinging. 

                 Undoubtedly during the day 

                 we eat earth saying 

                 it is cloud. 

                 Everything is just perfect 

                 in the country of the absurd. 

                 But only they are merry 

                 they seem to be the only ones 

                 who live.

                 We let ourselves be nailed 

                 on the cross of time 

                 repeating to ourselves 

                 forgive them, God, 

                 for they know what they do.

Patricia Marin

"We proceeded...to burn the Indian cabins. Some of the men seemed to enjoy this cruel work, laughing heartily at the curling flames, but to me it appeared a shocking sight... But when we came...to cut down the fields of corn I could scarcely refrain from tears...I saw everywhere around, the footsteps of the little Indian children, where they had lately played under the shade of their rustling corn. When we are gone, thought I, they will return, and...with tearful eyes, will mark the ghastly ruin...'Who did this?" they wil ask their mothers, and the reply will be, "The white people did it, - the Christians did it!' " - Lieutenant Francis Marion, British Army [in From the Heart: Voices of the American Indian, edited by Lee Miller]

"Until the philosophy which holds one race
Superior and another inferior
Is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned
Everywhere is war..."

- sung by Bob Marley, "War"; Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter;
written by Alan Cole, Carlton Barrett

On law and lawyers: "This study fits a mercenary drudge who aims at nothing but external trash!" - Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), The Tragic History of Doctor Faustus (1604); British Elizabethan poet, dramatist

"When a rich man tells you he got rich through hard work, ask him whose." - Don Marquis (1878-1937), American humorist, journalist, and author

"Empire dwells with the stabbing blade, as it did in the days of old." - Don Marquis, "The Bayonet" (1914)

"If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you. If you really make them think, they'll hate you." - Don Marquis

"The Butchers at Prayer"
By Don Marquis (1914)

"Each nation as it draws the sword
And flings its standard to the air
Petitions piously the Lord -
Vexing the void abyss with prayer.

O irony too deep for mirth!
O posturing apes that rant, and dare
This antic attitude! O Earth,
With your wild jest of wicked prayer!

I dare not laugh . . . a rising swell
Of laughter breaks in shrieks somewhere -
No doubt they relish it in Hell,
This cosmic jest of Earth at prayer!"

Dora Marsden

"We live surrounded by white images, and white in this world is synonymous with the good, light, beauty, success, so that, despite ourselves sometimes, we run after that whiteness and deny our darkness, which has been made into the symbol of all that is evil and inferior." - Paule Marshall (b. 1929), "Reena," Reena and Other Stories (1983); African-American writer, educator

"I question whether I want to be integrated into America as it stands now, with its complacency and materialism, its soullessness." - Paule Marshall, "Reena," Reeda and Other Stories (1983)

"Anarcho-capitalists are against the State simply because they are capitalists first and foremost. Their critique of the State ultimately rests on a liberal interpretation of liberty as the inviolable rights to and of private property. They are not concerned with the social consequences of capitalism for the weak, powerless and ignorant. Their claim that all would benefit from a free exchange in the market is by no means certain; any unfettered market system would most likely sponsor a reversion to an unequal society with defence associations perpetuating exploitation and privilege. If anything, anarcho-capitalism is merely a free-for-all in which only the rich and cunning would benefit. It is tailor-made for 'rugged individualists' who do not care about the damage to others or to the environment which they leave in their wake. The forces of the market cannot provide genuine conditions for freedom any more than the powers of the State. The victims of both are equally enslaved, alienated and oppressed." - Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism

James J. Martin, "Introducing Revisionism: An Interview with James J. Martin" (Reason Magazine, January 1976)

Harry Martinson (1904-1978); Swedish novelist, poet, Nobel Prize Laureate

"To sustain itself, consumer capitalism relies on (1) the maintenance of an outdated survival imperative and work ethic, and (2) a totalizing commodification and consumerism, which necessitates work beyond perceived survival needs. Play has been diametrically opposed to work (defined as wage labor), coded as decadent within the sphere of rationality and radically excised...Under capitalism, excess (human energy not necessary to survival) is diverted into accumulation and endlessly-climbing profits for the ruling class." - Laura Martz, "Free Time! Lucidity and the Anti-Work Ethic"

"Military justice is to justice what military music is to music." - Groucho Marx

"Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms." - Grouch Marx

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set I go into the other room and read a book." - Groucho Marx

"The secret of success is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake those, you've got it made." - Groucho Marx

"Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others." - Groucho Marx

"The Afro-American experience is the only real culture that America has. Basically, every American tries to walk, talk, dress and behave like African Americans." - Hugh Masakela, International Herald Tribune; South African jazz trumpeter

M*A*S*H (1970 film); screenplay by Ring Lardner, Jr. (b. 1915; U.S. scriptwriter, novelist, blacklisted and imprisoned for being a Communist), directed by Robert Altman, novel by Richard Hooker

"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." - Abraham Maslow (1908-1970); U.S. humanistic psychologist

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be." - Abraham Maslow, 1954

Isaac Mason (1822-?), Life of Isaac Mason as a Slave (1893)

Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950); U.S. poet, lawyer, anti-imperialist

"You think this man is the enemy? Huh? This is a worker! Any union keeps this man out ain't a union, it's a damn club! They got you fightin' white against colored, native against foreign, hollow against hollow, when you know there ain't but two sides in this world - them that work and them that don't. You work, they don't. That's all you need to know about the enemy." - Matewan (1987 U.S. film), written and directed by John Sayles

"You want to be treated like men? You want to be treated fair? Well, ya ain't men to the coal company, you're equipment. They'll use you till you wear out or break down or you're buried under a slate fall, and then they'll get a new one, and they don't care what color it is or where it comes from." - Matewan

"There aren't three branches of government. It's all government." - John Matonis, speech (1977)

"The Americans...have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on an amusing and animated conversation without giving a moment's reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication." - W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

Gregori Petrovich Maximoff (1893-1950), "Counter-Revolution and the Soviet Union" (Vanguard Vol. 11, No. 5; Oct.-Nov. 1935); Russian anarchist

is growing rusty
on the pavements
of oppression"

- Mzwakhe Mbuli; South African oral poet, activist

Kathy McAfee and Myrna Wood, "What is the Revolutionary Potential of Women's Liberation?" (Boston: New England Free Press, 1970? [Originally entitled "Bread and Roses", this article was first published in the June 1969 issue of Leviathan])

"Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism." - Mary Therese McCarthy (1912-1989), New Yorker (1958); U.S. writer, critic, educator

"Liberty, as it is conceived by current opinion, has nothing inherent about it; it is a sort of gift or trust bestowed on the individual by the state pending good behavior." - Mary McCarthy, lecture (1952)

"The struggle to maintain peace is immeasurably more difficult than any military operation." - Anne Elizabeth O'Hare McCormick (1882-1954), in Julia Edwards' Women of the World: The Great Foreign Correspondents (1988); English-born U.S. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

"Today the real test of power is not the capacity to make war but the capacity to prevent it." - Anne O'Hare McCormick

S.J. McCray, Life of Mary F. McCray. Born and Raised a Slave in the State of Kentucky (1898)

"Life seems to be a choice between two wrong answers." - Sharyn McCrumb (b. 1950), If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O (1990); U.S. mystery novelist

"We live in the richest country in the world. There's plenty and to spare for no man, woman, or child to be in want. And in addition to this our country was founded on what should have been a great, true principle - the freedom, equality, and rights of each individual. Huh! And what has come of that start? There are corporations worth billions of dollars - and hundreds of thousands of people who don't get to eat." - Carson McCullers (1917-1967), The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940); U.S. novelist, playwright

Wendy McElroy, "Demystifying the State" (1995)

"...We were invited, by commissioners of the State of Georgia, to meet them, in conference, at the Oconee, professing a sincere desire for an amicable adjustment of our disputes...[At the Oconee we] were surprised to find an armed body of men...professing hostile intentions, than peaceable commissioners. Apprehensions for personal safety, induced those chiefs to subscribe to every demand that was asked by the army and its commissioners; lands were again demanded, and the lives of some of our chiefs were required, as well as some innocent traders, as a sacrifice to appease their anger. Assassins have been employed to effect some part of their atrocious purposes. If I fall by the hand of such, I shall fall a victim in the noblest of causes -- that of falling in maintaining the just rights of my country." - Alexander McGillivray (1759?-1793), in From the Heart: Voices of the American Indian (edited by Lee Miller); Creek Indian

Peter McGregor, "From Free Speech to Freedom"

"Ah, stern harsh world, that in the wretched way
Of poverty, dishonor, and disgrace,
Has pushed the timid little feet of clay,
The sacred brown feet of my fallen race!"

- Claude McKay (1890-1948), "Harlem Shadows";
Jamaican-born U.S. poet, novelist, of the Harlem Renaissance

by Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger's tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth!
Her vigor flows like tides into my blood,
Giving me strength erect against her hate.
Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood,
Yet as a rebel fronts a king in state,
I stand within her walls with not a shred
Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer.
Darkly I gaze into the days ahead,
And see her might and granite wonders there,
Beneath the touch of Time's unerring hand,
Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand.

See also: "If We Must Die"

"People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes." - Sheila McKechnie (b. 1948), Christian Science Monitor (1985); Scottish-born English activist for homeless

"Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers." - Mignon McLaughlin (b. 1915), The Neurotic's Notebook (1963); U.S. writer, editor, humorist

"The road is our major architectural form." - Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian mass communications theorist

"Today the business of business is becoming the constant invention of new business." - Marshall McLuhan

"The nature of people demands that most of them be engaged in the most frivolous possible activities - like making money." - Marshall McLuhan

"Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don't really have any rights left. Leasing our eyes and ears and nerves to commercial interests is like handing over the common speech to a private corporation, or like giving the earth's atmosphere to a company as a monopoly." - Marshall McLuhann, "Understanding Media," The Extensions of Man

"All advertising advertises advertising." - Marshall McLuhan

"Consider the phrase 'It's a man's world.' As a quantitative observation endlessly repeated from within a homogenized culture, this phrase refers to the men in such a culture who have to be homogenized Dagwoods in order to belong at all. It is in our I.Q. testing that we have produced the greatest flood of misbegotten standards. Unaware of our typographic cultural bias, our testers assume that uniform and continuous habits are a sign of intelligence, thus eliminating the ear man and the tactile man." - Marshall McLuhan, "Understanding Media," The Extensions of Man

"It is the medium itself that is the message, not the content." - Marshall McLuhan, "The Playboy Interview" (March 1969)

"In accepting an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame a few years ago, General David Sarnoff made this statement: We are too prone to make technological instruments the scapegoats for the sins of those who wield them. The products of modern science are not in themselves good or bad; it is the way they are used that determines their value. That is the voice of the current somnambulism. Suppose we were to say, Apple pie is in itself neither good nor bad; it is the way it is used that determines its value. Or, The smallpox virus is in itself neither good nor bad; it is the way it is used that determines its value. Again, Firearms are in themselves neither good nor bad; it is the way they are used that determines their value. That is, if the slugs reach the right people firearms are good. If the TV tube fires the right ammunition at the right people it is good." - Marshall McLuhan, "The Medium is the Message"

"The story of modern America begins with the discovery of the white man by the indians." - Marshall McLuhan

"With telephone and TV it is not so much the message as the sender that is being sent." - Marshall McLuhan

"The microphone created Hitler." - Marshall McLuhan

"Men on frontiers whether of time or space, abandon their previous identities. Neighborhood gives identity. Frontiers snatch it away." - Marshall McLuhan

"In America, print was a technological matrix of all subsequent invention. Its assembly-lines finally reached expression in Detroit and the motor-car: the home without walls." - Marshall McLuhan, "Explorations"

See: "Intelligence is a Number?" and "Soja Come," by Joseph DeWitt McNair; African-American educator, poet, writer, musician

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead (1901-1978), anthropologist

"We need every human gift and cannot afford to neglect any gift because of artificial barriers of sex or race or class or national origin." - Margaret Mead, Male and Female (1949)

Russell Means; American Indian

"Compassion means that if I see my friend and my enemy in equal need, I shall help both equally. Justice demands that we seek and find the stranger, the broken, the prisoner and comfort them and offer them our help. Here lies the holy compassion of God." - Mechtild, Béguine of Magdeburg (1210-1280); Saxony mystic, writer

"The common wisdom is that we 'won' the war against the foreign terror. Did we win the war? Did anyone? In the dark years of the war, following the economic devastation of the Great Depression our economic models were rebuilt in the model of new machineries for destruction and consumption. Men went to battle, women entered the military factories and the countryside was emptied by a vast migration to the urban centers of industry. Rural communities were replaced by suburbs, rolling plains and hills by mazelike patterns resembling transistorized circuitry. The almost total replacement of nature and culture was accomplished with little resistance. Social relationships were replaced by statistical patterns of consumption and the family and community were absorbed by a televised spectacle with little connection to either time or space." - Ralph Melcher, "Godzilla" (C-THEORY, 22 April 98); U.S. freelance editor and essayist

"Future paleontologists from this or other planets, encountering the ruins of Las Vegas, Nevada will conclude that the huge pattern of squares in the desert was some kind of religious shrine; in fact, the central religious precincts of an entire civilization. If somehow these explorers find a way to travel through time and can land in the middle of the present desert their assumptions will be confirmed." - Ralph Melcher, "Vegas Vortex" (C-THEORY, 16 June 98)

Albert Meltzer (1920-1996)

Albert Meltzer

"Whoever is not in the possession of leisure can hardly be said to possess independence. They talk of the dignity of work. Bosh. True Work is the necessity of poor humanity's earthly condition. The dignity is in leisure. Besides, 99 hundreths of all the work done in the world is either foolish and unnecessary, or harmful and wicked." - Herman Melville (1819-1891), Letter to Catherine G. Lansing (September 5, 1877); U.S. author, poet

"What I feel most moved to write, that is banned, - it will not pay. Yet, altogether, write the other way I cannot. So the product is a final hash, and all my books are botches." - Herman Melville, Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne (June 1851)

"All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby-Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it." - Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1951)

"I have come to the conclusion that the actual state of violence, composed of the malnutrition, ignorance, sickness, and hunger of the vast majority of the Guatemalan population, is the direct result of a capitalist system that makes the defenseless Indian compete against the powerful and well-armed landowner." - Father Thomas Melville, Guatemala 1968

"We have seen repeated occupations of our land, long lines of colonists have arrived, and they remain today. For me, to celebrate the twelfth of October [Columbus Day] is the absolute expression of triumphalism, occupation and presumptuousness, and I think that anyone who has mature and responsible politics should not celebrate it. History will remember those that celebrate it." - Rigoberta Menchú Tum (b. 1959), "Five Hundred Years of Sacrifice Before Human Gods" (1992); Guatemalan Mayan Indian, Nobel Peace Prize recepient, peace activist

"In my opinion, peace has not come to America, to Nicaragua, or to El Salvador. A hungry people is a people without peace. If the demands of the people are not met, what kind of peace are we talking about?" - Rigoberta Menchú Tum, "Five Hundred Years of Sacrifice Before Human Gods" (1992)

"The culture of death is imposed by economic and political interests, the arrogance of power, corruption. I blame the first world for having taken our riches for so many years. I am speaking of the superpowers that dominate the life of the world. More concretely, the World Bank, the IMF. Those that have caused and tolerated the death of our people, those responsible for the plundering of the third world." - Rigoberta Menchú Tum, "Five Hundred Years of Sacrifice Before Human Gods" (1992)

"The American people, taking one with another, constitute the most timorous, snivelling, poltroonish, ignominious mob of serfs and goose-steppers ever gathered under one flage in Christendom since the end of the middle ages." - H.L. Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. writer

"Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one." - H.L. Mencken

"The average America of the Anglo-Saxon majority, in truth, is simply a second-rate Englishman, and so it is no wonder that he is spontaneously servile, despite all his democratic denial of superiorities, to what he conceives to be first-rate Englishmen." - H.L. Mencken

"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the tastes of the American people." - H.L. Mencken

"Perhaps the most revolting character that the United States ever produced was the Christian business man." - H.L. Mencken

"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." - H.L. Mencken

"I used to wonder why Woodrow Wilson was so excessively admired despite his palpable hypocrisy. Gradually the reason dawned on me. It is that hypocrisy is actually a kind of ideal in America. When the American cannot be really virtuous he becomes a hypocrite, and soon or late he convinces both himself and his neighbours that his hypocrisy is a sufficient surrogate for the virtue he lacks." - H.L. Mencken

"I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time." - H.L. Mencken

"Puritanism - the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be having fun." - Mencken

"Those who can - do. Those who can't - teach." - H.L. Mencken

"Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody is looking." - H.L. Mencken

"Men of unusual intelligence and enterprise, men who regard their constitutional liberties seriously and are willing to go to some risk and expense to defend them...are inevitably unpopular under democracy, for their qualities are qualities that the mob wholly lacks, and is uneasily conscious of lacking."- H.L. Mencken

"Time is a great legalizer, even in the fields of morals." - H.L. Mencken

"All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them." - H.L. Mencken

"It is the fundamental theory of all the more recent American law...that the average citizen is half-witted, and hence not to be trusted to either his own devices or his own thoughts." - H.L. Mencken

"The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running flop-houses and disturbing the peace." - H.L. Mencken

"Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses." - H.L. Mencken

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." - H.L. Mencken

"Nowhere in the world is superiority more easily attained, or more eagerly admitted. The chief business of the nation, as a nation, is the setting up of heroes, mainly bogus." - H.L. Mencken

"The only way to success in American public life lies in flattering and kowtowing to the mob." - H.L. Mencken

"The New England shopkeepers and theologians never really developed a civilization; all they ever developed was a government. They were, at their best, tawdry and tacky fellows, oafish in manner and devoid of imagination." - H.L. Mencken

"The United States, to my eye, is incomparably the greatest show on earth...we have clowns among us who are as far above the clowns of any other great state as Jack Dempsey is above the paralytic - and not a few dozen or score of them, but whole droves and herds." - H.L. Mencken

"Suppose two-thirds of the members of the national House of Representatives were dumped into the Washington garbage incinerator tomorrow, what would we lose to offset our gain of their salaries and the salaries of their parasites?" - H.L. Mencken

"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." - H.L. Mencken

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H.L. Mencken [?(In Defense of Women, 1923)?]

"The state is not force alone. It depends upon the credulity of man quite as much as upon his docility. Its aim is not merely to make him obey, but also to make him want to obey." - H.L. Mencken

"I am willing to go along with any innovator so long as I am convinced that he is making a sincere effort to arrive at the truth. But the moment I begin to suspect that his desire for the truth is corrupted by an itch to sell something I quit him." - H.L. Mencken

"Government is a broker in pillage, every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods." - H.L. Mencken

"War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands." - H.L. Mencken

"We must think of human progress, not as of something going on in the race in general, but as something going on in a small minority, perpetually beleaguered in a few walled towns. Now and then the horde of barbarians outside breaks through, and we have an armed effort to halt the process. That is, we have a Reformation, a French Revolution, a war for democracy, a Great Awakening. The minority is decimated and driven to cover. But a few survive - and a few are enough to carry on." - H.L. Mencken

"Government, in its very essence, is opposed to all increase in knowledge. Its tendency is always towards permanence and against change...[T]he progress of humanity, far from being the result of government, has been made entirely without its aid and in the face of its constant and bitter opposition." - H.L. Mencken

"The human race is divided into two sharply differentiated and mutually antagonistic classes, almost two genera - a small minority that plays with ideas and is capable of taking them in, and a vast majority that finds them painful, and is thus arrayed against them, and against all who have traffic with them. The intellectual heritage of the race belongs to the minority, and to the minority only. The majority has no more to do with it than it has to do with ecclesiastic politics on Mars. In so far as that heritage is apprehended, it is viewed with enmity. But in the main it is not apprehended at all." - H.L. Mencken

"It is common to assume that human progress affects everyone- that even the dullest man, in these bright days, knows more than any man of, say, the Eighteenth Century, and is far more civilized. This assumption is quite erroneous...The great masses of men, even in this inspired republic, are precisely where the mob was at the dawn of history. They are ignorant, they are dishonest, they are cowardly, they are ignoble. They know little if anything that is worth knowing, and there is not the slightest sign of a natural desire among them to increase their knowledge." - H.L. Mencken

"Every step in human progress, from the first feeble stirrings in the abyss of time, has been opposed by the great majority of men. Every valuable thing that has been added to the store of man's possessions has been derided by them when it was new, and destroyed by them when they had the power. They have fought every new truth ever heard of, and they have killed every truth-seeker who got into their hands." - H.L. Mencken

"We've been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert. This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for. I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all...after all, we're all alike." - The Mentor, "The Hacker's Manifesto"

"We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as may new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest." - Thomas Merton (1915-1968); French-born Catholic monk, writer, poet, social critic

"War, no matter who wages it, is a common evil that reduces man to the status of half-animal and destroys all human values, both material and spiritual." - Ivan Mestrovic (1883-1962), "On Religious Art" (acceptance speech for the "Christian Culture Award" given annually by the Assumption College, Windsor, Ontario, Canada; April 11, 1954); Croatian sculptor

"Some momentous events were taking place in the world and I took an active part in them. Before and during the First World War, I had thrown in my lot with one side of the conflict, in the conviction that it fought for human ideals, a more humane social order, equality, justice, and freedom for all men and all nations. But my experience during that war led me to the realization that this was not the case even for the side with which I was associated. For there was cruelty and false propaganda on both sides. I realized that evil cannot be combated with another evil, and that harmony cannot be established by sowing discord and preaching hatred. War, no matter who wages it, is a common evil that reduces man to the status of half-animal and destroys all human values, both material and spiritual." - Ivan Mestrovic, "On Religious Art"

"...Many modern artists seem to fail to realize that the expression of one's own subject and ephemeral feelings without some deeper philosophy of life cannot result in anything enduring." - Ivan Mestrovic

See: Croatian History (1932), by Ivan Mestrovic

"All revolutions degenerate into governments."
- Mexican proverb

Thomas Middleton (1580-1627); British Jacobean playwright

"Today it is very important to bear witness because the young ones do not understand. Nadia, my eight year old daughter, for example, doesn't comprehend the word 'Soviet'. She even had a hard time pronouncing it. It is not about bragging to them about the charms of the Soviet Union. I think the sun rises no matter what the ruling powers may be, but you have to warn, inform of the aptness of another sun - it's not about choosing what we think the best moments of our history are. You have to realize that there are historic moments, but also shames, injustices, indignations, and humiliations. You have to understand clearly that we are all responsible, that certain people among us must carry the weight of this responsibility." - Nikita Mikhalkov (b. 1945), "An Inteview with Nikita Mikhalkov" (Sony Pictures); Russian film director

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

"I confess that I am not charmed with the ideal of life held out by those who think that the normal state of human beings is that of struggling to get on; that the trampling, crushing, elbowing, and treading on each other's heels, which form the existing type of social life, are the most desirable lot of human beings." - John Stuart Mill

"Was there ever any domination that did not appear natural to those who possessed it?" - John Stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)

"Conscientious Objector" (1917)
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950);
U.S. poet, playwright, activist

I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death.

I hear him leading his horse out of the stall; I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba, business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle while he clinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself: I will not give him a leg up.

Though he flick my shoulders with his whip, I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where the black boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his pay-roll.

I will not tell him the whereabout of my friends nor of my enemies either.
Though he promise me much, I will not map him the route to any man's door.
Am I a spy in the land of the living, that I should deliver men to Death?
Brother, the password and the plans of our city are safe with me; never through me
Shall you be overcome.

"Progress - progress is the dirtiest word in the language - who ever told us -
And made us believe it - that to take a step forward was necessarily, was always
A good idea?"

- Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Untitled Poem," Make Bright the Arrows (1940)

"Capitalism, in the opinion of many, myself included, had nothing more to say, its final poisoned bloom having been Italian and German Fascism." - Arthur Miller (b. 1915), "Why I Wrote 'The Cruciple': An Artist's Answer to Politics" (The New Yorker); U.S. playwright

"The worst sin that can be committed against the artist is to take him at his word, to see in his work a fulfillment instead of an horizon." - Henry Miller

See: "The American Dream Goes to Pot" (1970), by Kate Millet;
U.S. artist, civil rights activist, feminist, writer, Vietnam War protester

Kate Millet, on the above art piece: "We were expressing...our right to use the flag as a sort of symbolic language of our dislike of the policy of the war in Vietnam. We felt that the flag is not a magic object, you know. It was a piece of cloth and a symbol of the country, but it had been degraded by the policy of the war." - Kate Millet, "Tempest in a Toilet Bowl," by Michael Kiefer (Phoenix New Times, 1996)

Czeslaw Milosz; Lithuanian-born Polish poet, Nobel Prize Laureate

"A dune-dip was our bedding…"
By Neeltje Maria Min
the Netherlands poet

A dune-dip was our bedding.
Here the shining beach grass had
rocked and fluttered us to sleep.
Here we awoke, rubbed
the sand from our eyes, watched
a bird hovering high, knew
ourselves prey to compulsion.

A distant muttering of thunder.
Gulls screeching as they came
and went. A dog barking. The
highway with its roar of cars.
Nothing was stilled.

And back home through the rain.
Expelled. The coast
no longer clear.

"It's dog eat dog - I'm just waking up
The dove is in the dungeon
And the white-washed hawks
pedal hate and call it love
Dog eat dog..."
- Joni Mitchell, "Dog Eat Dog"
Canadian singer, songwriter

"What most people don't seem to realize is that there is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the up-building of one." - Margaret Mitchell (1909-1949), Gone With the Wind (1936); U.S. novelist

"How strange that some people cannot believe in both the Book of Nature and the Book of God." - Maria Mitchell (1818-1889), 1874 [Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals (1896), edited by Phebe Mitchell Kendall]; U.S. astronomer, writer, educator

"The character and mentality of the keepers may be of more importance in understanding prisons than the character and mentality of the kept." - Jessica Mitford (b. 1917), Kind and Usual Punishment (1973); English-born U.S. social critic, writer, journalist

"Americans relate all effort, all work, and all of life itself to the dollar. Their talk is of nothing but dollars." - Nancy Mitford (1904-1973), Noblesse Oblige (1956); English wit, biographer, novelist

"...I have finally realized just what was wrong with Marxism. Oh, the Marxists talked a good game - working in the morning, fishing in the afternoon, lounging around to watch the sunset; 20-hour workweeks; month-long vacations; etc. But when you get down to it, they are still drawing from the same poisoned well that has parched Western civilization for the last 500 years: the Protestant Ethic, which freed Europe from Catholic voodoo only to feed its heads with doodoo, such as 'work is the outward sign of moarl perfection.' While Luther was telling people that what counted was faith and the Holy Spirit, not work and deeds, Calvin helped spread sily ideas, like the one that people had to be at constant physical labor or idleness would tempt them to sin." - Steve Mizrach, "Bob Black, Abolitionist and Archestrator of the Slack Revolution"

"Deep down Marxists, while despising capitalism, only want to hijack what they see as its main notable achievement, accomplished through the Industrial Revolution: mass production. They do not want to abolish the assembly line, only bring more of us to its trough." - Steve Mizrach, "Bob Black, Abolitionist and Archestrator of the Slack Revolution"

"My Father"
By Felix Mnthali (b. 1933); Malawi-born Botswanan poet, educator
[in The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry,
edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier]

That we may have life
and have it abundantly
he endured
the chrome-dust
the damp hell
of Selukwe Peak Mines
the pittance
of American multi-nationals -

They thought it was the watch
on which they had inscribed his name
'for a long and meritorious service'
that made him beam...
they never saw blacks
as men with ambition
but only as a 'labour force'
the long arm of their
'manifest destiny',
the vital source
of their strategic metals.

He smiled
smiled because one day
one day...
his sons would return!

"The Stranglehold of English Lit."
By Felix Mnthali
[in The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry,
edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier]

Those questions, sister,
those questions
and gore
too close to the centre!

For if we had asked
why Jane Austen's people
carouse all day
and do no work

would Europe in Africa
have stood
the test of time?
and would she still maul
the flower of our youth
in the south?
Would she?

Your elegance of deceit,
Jane Austen,
lulled the sons and daughters
of the dispossessed
into a calf-love
with irony and satire
around imaginary people.

While history went on mocking
the victims of branding irons
and sugar-plantations
that made Jane Austen's people
wealthy beyond compare!

Eng. Lit., my sister,
was more than a cruel joke -
it was the heart
of alien conquest.

How could questions be asked
at Makerere and Ibadan,
Dakar and Ford Hare -
with Jane Austen
at the centre?
How could they be answered?

The Mechanical Salesman: "Good morning, my friends. This record comes to you through the Sales Talk Transcription Company, Incorporated: your speaker, the Mechanical Salesman. May I take the pleasure of introducing Mr. J. Widdecombe Billows, the inventor of the Billows Feeding Machine, a practical device which automatically feeds your men while at work? Don't stop for lunch: be ahead of your competitor. The Billows Feeding Machine will eliminate the lunch hour, increase your production, and decrease your overhead. Allow us to point out some of the features of this wonderful machine: its beautiful, aerodynamic, streamlined body; its smoothness of action, made silent by our electro-porous metal ball bearings. Let us acquaint you with our automaton soup plate - its compressed-air blower, no breath necessary, no energy required to cool the soup. Notice the revolving plate with the automatic food pusher. Observe our counter-shaft, double-knee-action corn feeder, with its synchro-mesh transmission, which enables you to shift from high to low gear by the mere tip of the tongue. Then there is the hydro-compressed, sterilized mouth wiper: its factors of control insure against spots on the shirt front. These are but a few of the delightful features of the Billows Feeding Machine. Let us demonstrate with one of your workers, for actions speak louder than words. Remember, if you wish to keep ahead of your competitor, you cannot afford to ignore the importance of the Billows Feeding Machine." - Modern Times (U.S., 1936), written and directed by Charles Chaplin (U.K., 1889-1977)

"Borders and barriers, which enclose us within the safety of familiar territory, can also become prisons." - Abdul Jan Mohamed

"Christopher Columbus is a symbol, not of a man, but of imperialism...Imperialism and colonialism are not something that happened decades ago or generations ago, but they are still happening now with the exploitation of people...The kind of thing that took place long ago in which people were dispossessed from their land and forced out of subsistence economies and into market economies - those processes are still happening today." - John Mohawk, 1992; Seneca

John Mohawk, "NativeNet" (Tribal Lands Conference speech)

Groucho Marx: "Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty." - Monkey Business (U.S., 1931), directed by Norman Z. McLeod (1895-1964), starring the Marx Brothers

"It is Americans themselves who supply most of the materials of anti-Americanism." - Kenneth Monogoe (1986)

Eugenio Montale (1896-1981); Italian poet, Nobel Prize Laureate

"It will not dare to say, that negroes are men, lest it should turn out that whites were not." - Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689 - 1755); French philosopher

"Help! Help! I'm being repressed! Come see the violence inherent in the system! Violence inherent in the system!" - Monty Python and the Holy Grail (U.K., 1974), directed by Terry Gilliam (b. 1940, U.S.) and Terry Jones (b. 1942, U.K.)

Brother Maynard: Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, "Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals...Now did the Lord say, "First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it." - Monty Python and the Holy Grail (U.K., 1974)

William Vaughn Moody (1869-1910); U.S. poet, anti-imperialist

"...And Thatcher, that second election, we couldn't believe it. I'm glad I wasn't around for the third...Whether it's her with her Belgranos and missing logbooks or Bush with his Contras and coke deals, they brazen it out, rewrite history, make believe nothing has happened and everyone just goes along with it..." - Alan Moore, A Small Killing (VG Graphics, 1991; graphic art by Oscar Zarate); comic book writer

"No matter how rosy Washington tries to paint the news about the economy ("The lowest rates of unemployment and inflation in years!"), the average American knows that the jig is up. No one, these days, can remember what job security used to feel like because everyone lives in total fear that he or she could be next. No one is safe. So you learn not to complain as you are forced to work longer hours for lower pay. Health benefits? Paid vacations? You've already kissed them good-bye. Remember the American Dream?...The dream has gone up in smoke." - Michael Moore (b. 1954), "Let's All Hop in a Ryder Truck"; U.S. filmmaker, journalist

"I do not like guns. I am a pacifist at heart." - Michael Moore, "Let's All Hop in a Ryder Truck"

"What is terrorism? There is no question that, when an individual rents a Ryder Truck, loads it with explosives, and blows up a building, it is an act of terrorism and should be severely punished. But what do you call it when a company destroys the lives of thousands of people? Is this terrorism? Economic terrorism? The company doesn't use a homemade bomb or a gun. They politely move out all of the people before they blow up the building. But as I pass by the remnants of that factory there in Flint, Michigan, looking eerily like the remnants of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, I wonder: What will happen to those people? A few will kill themselves, despondent over the loss of their livelihood. Some will be killed by their spouse — an argument over the lack of a new job or the loss of money at the racetrack turns suddenly violent (the woman is the one who usually ends up dead). Others will be killed more slowly through drugs or alcohol, the substances of choice when one needs to ease the pain of his or her life being turned upside down and shoved into an empty, dark hole. We don't call the company a murderer, and we certainly don't call their actions terrorism, but make no mistake about it, their victims will be just as dead as those poor souls in Oklahoma City, killed off in the name of greed. There is a rage building throughout the country and, if you're like me, you're scared shitless." - Michael Moore, "Let's All Hop in a Ryder Truck"

See: "Why Doesn't GM Sell Crack?," by Michael Moore

"I did not authorize the use of sarin gas by U.S. military forces during Operation Tailwind in Laos in September 1970. As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, I had no documents, operational orders, after-action reports or knowledge of the use of sarin. However, later in general discussions, I learned of the operation, including verbal statements indicating the use of sarin on the Tailwind mission." - Retired U.S. Admiral Thomas Moorer, "Admiral Maintains Nerve Gas Was Used During Vietnam War" (CNN, June 9, 1998)

"I would be willing to use any weapon and any tactic to save the lives of American soldiers." - Admiral Thomas Moorer, "Did The U.S. Drop Nerve Gas?" (Time Magazine, Vol. 151, No. 23; June 15, 1998)

"...For too long a time
the heat of my heavy hands
has been smoldering
in the pockets of other
people's business -
they need oxygen to make fire.

I am now
coming up for air
Yes, I am
picking up the torch

- Cherríe Moraga (b. 1952), "This Bridge Called My Back"; Chicana-American poet,
playwright, essayist, activist

"O we are all racist we are all sexist some of us only some of us are the targets of racism of sexism of homophobia of class denigration but we all all breathe in racism with the dust in the streets with the words we read and we struggle those of us who struggle we sruggle endlessly endlessly to thing and be and act differently from all that." - Rosario Morales (b. 1930), "We're All in the Same Boat" [This Bridge Called My Back (1983), edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua]; U.S. writer, activist

- Rosario Morales, "I Am What I Am"

"For men use if they have an evil turn to write it in marble; and whoso doth us a good turn, we write it in dust..." - Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), The History of King Richard III (ca. 1518); English writer, humanist (was executed by King Henry VIII)

Sir Thomas More, Utopia (1516)

"I do not want ART for a few any more than Education for a few, or freedom for a few." - William Morris (1834-1896), from The Lesser Arts

"Do you know that we are being led to
slaughters by placid admirals
& that fat slow generals are getting
obscene on young blood?
Do you know that we are ruled by T.V...?"

- Jim Morrison, "An American Prayer";
U.S. rock singer (The Doors)

"Not one of the prisoners..." (1969)
by Jim Morrison

Not one of the prisoners regained sexual balance.
Depressions, impotency, sleeplessness...erotic
dispersion in languages, reading, games, music,
and gymnastics.

The prisoners built their own theater which
testified to an incredible surfeit of leisure.
A young sailor, forced into female roles, soon
became the "town" darling, for by this time they
called themselves a town, and elected a mayor,
police, aldermen.

"I know instinctively that we do not regard evil the same way as white people do. We have never done that. White people's reaction to something that is alien to them is to destroy it. That's why they have to say black people are worthless and ugly. They need all the psychological 'do' in order to do something simple like ripping some people off. That's why they behave the way they do." - Toni Morrison (b. 1931), Black Creation Annual (1974-1975); African-American author, Nobel laureate

"Race has become metaphorical - a way of referring to and disguising forces, events, classes, and expressions, of social decay and economic division far more threatening to the body politic than biological 'race' ever was. Expensively kept, economically unsound, a spurious and useless political asset in election campaigns, racism is as healthy today as it was during Enlightenment." - Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark (1992)

"Finding people with genuine, bonafide taste is such a very rare thing nowadays. I believe that everything went downhill from the moment the McDonald's chain was given licence to invade England...To me it was like the outbreak of war and I couldn't understand why English troops weren't retaliating. The Americanisation of England is such a terminal illness - I think England should be English and Americans should go home and spoil their own country." - Morrissey, "Goodbye Cruel World" (Melody Maker, September 26, 1987); British musician, former lead singer of The Smiths

"The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source." - Lucretia Coffin Mott (1793-1880), U.S. Quaker preacher, abolitionist, suffragist, passifist

"Even the woman question, as far as voting goes, does not take hold of my every feeling as does war." - Lucretia Mott, "Letter to Richard Webb" (January 22, 1872; quoted in Bacon, 1980:212, Olson and Bayer)

"Like the poor slave at the South, too many of our sex are insensible of their wrongs, and incapable of fully appreciating the blessings of freedom. I therefore submit...the following resolution: Resolved, That as the poor slave's alleged degradation; so the assertion of woman that she has all the rights she wants, only proves how far the restrictions and disabilities to which she has been subjected have rendered her insensible to the blessing of true liberty." - Lucretia Mott (in Bacon, 1980:212, Olson and Bayer, 1993)

"The cause of peace has had a share of my efforts, leading to the ultra nonresistance ground - that no Christian can consistently uphold, and actively engage in and support a government based on the sword, or relying on that as an ultimate resort. The oppression of the working-classes by existing monopolies, and the lowness of wages, often engaged my attention..." - Lucretia Mott, "Memo on Self," Pendle Hill Pamphlet, "Lucretia Mott Speaking: Excerpts from the Sermons & Speeches of a Famous Nineteenth Century Quaker Minister & Reformer" (compiled and edited by Margaret Hope Bacon [Pendle Hill Pamphlet #234, 1980])

Lucretia Mott, "Discourse on Woman" (17 December 1849)

"The task of the human-hearted man is to procure benefits for the world and to eliminate its calamities. Now among all the current calamities of the world, which are the greatest? I say that attacks on small states by large ones, disturbances of small houses by large ones, oppression of the weak by the strong, misuse of the few by the many, deception of the simple by the cunning, and disdain toward the humble by the honored: these are the misfortunes of the world." - Mo Tzu (479-381 BC, China)

"Ride upon the Death Chariot"
Sounds of a Cowhide Drum (1971)
By Oswald Mtshali (b. 1940); South African poet
[in The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry,
edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier]

They rode upon
the death chariot
to their Golgotha -
three vagrants
whose papers to ben in Caesar's empire
were not in order.

The sun
shrivelled their bodies
in the mobile tomb
as airtight as canned fish.

We're hot!
We're thirsty!
We're hungry!

The centurion
touched their tongues
with the tip
of a lance
dipped in apathy:

'Don't cry to me
but to Caesar who
crucifies you.'

A woman came
to wipe their faces.
She carried a dishcloth
full of bread and tea.

We're dying!

the centurion
washed his hands.

"Education, the great mumbo jumbo and fraud of the age purports to equip us to live and is prescribed as a universal remedy for everything from juvenile delinquency to premature senility." - Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990), quoted in The Observer (1966); English author, journalist, Christian apologist

"There's nothing is this world more instinctively abhorrent to me than finding myself in agreement with my fellow-humans." - Malcolm Muggeridge

"There is something, to me, very sinister about this emergence of a weird kind of conformity, or orthodoxy, particularly among the people who operate the media, so that you can tell in advance exactly what they will say and think about anything. It is true that so far they have not got an Inquisition to enforce their orthodoxy, but they do have ways of enforcing it which make the old thumbscrews and racks seem quite paltry." - Malcolm Muggeridge, Christ and the Media (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977), p. 91

"Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed - chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones." - John Muir (1838-1914), "American Forests" (Atlantic Monthly, August 1897); U.S. naturalist, writer, conservationist

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." - John Muir

John Muir, "My First Summer in the Sierra" (The Atlantic Monthly, January 1911)

See: "The Scream" (1893), by Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Norwegian artist

"I myself have been on my own and utterly independent since I graduated. I haven't belonged to any company or any system. It isn't easy to live like this in Japan. You are estimated by which company or which system you belong to. That is very important to us. In that sense, I've been an outsider all the time. It's been kind of hard, but I like that way of living. These days, young people are looking for this kind of living style. They don't trust any company. Ten years ago, Mitsubishi or other big companies were very solid, unshakable. But not anymore. Especially right now. Young people these days don't trust anything at all. They want to be free. This system, our society, they won't accept such people. So these people have to be outsiders, if they graduate from school and don't go to any company. These people are becoming a big group in our society these days. I can understand their feelings very well." - Haruki Murakami, "The Salon Interview," Dec. 16, 1997 (Salon Magazine, 1997); Japanese author

"I myself hate those company people - salarymen, businesspeople. But after those interviews, I had some compassion for them. Honestly, I don't know why they are working so hard. Some of them got up at 5:30 in the morning to commute to the center of Tokyo. It takes more than two hours by train, all of it packed like this [hunches]. You can't even read a book. But they are doing that for 30 or 40 years. That's incredible to me. They come home at 10 p.m. and their kids are sleeping. The only day they see their children is Sunday. It's horrible. But they don't complain. So I asked them why not and they said it's no use. It's what all the people are doing, so there's no reason to complain...They're used to it. They have been doing that life for many years. They don't have any alternative. There's a similarity between the cult people and ordinary people..." - Haruki Murakami, "The Salon Interview," Dec. 16, 1997 (Salon Magazine, 1997)

[On his recent art exhibition titled "Why the War?"]: "That is my question, and the question of all of us, which unfortunately does not have an answer. I only documented with that exhibition the state I am in, the absolute unacceptability of crime; and a war is a crime. That is something I can not comprehend; only primitive nations or tribes solve their problems in such a way. A war is the fastest and easiest way to crime." - Edo Murtic, "Goebbels' From Our Neighorhood" (Feral Tribune, 6 February 1995); Croatian painter/artist

"There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." - Abraham Johannes Muste (1885-1967), Not by Night (1947); Holland-born U.S. union activist, Christian pacifist

"The survival of democracy depends on the renunciation of violence and the development of nonviolent means to combat evil and advance the good." - A.J. Muste

"The age in which we live can only be characterized as one of barbarism. Our civilization is in the process not only of being militarized, but also being brutalized." - Alva Reimer Myrdal (1902-1986), in Barbara Shiels, Women and the Nobel Prize (1985); Swedish sociologist, Nobel Peace Prize winner


Quotations: N
i fratelli de Socio