Quotations!   T - V     

(in alphabetical order by author)

"They have made a desert and called it peace." - Publius Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 55-117 A.D.), Roman historian

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." - Tacitus

"The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise." - Tacitus

"Old things are always in good repute, present things in disfavor." - Tacitus

"Negroes are more likely to be suspected of crime than are whites. They are also more likely to be arrested. If the perpetrator of a crime is known to be a Negro the police may arrest all Negroes who were near the scene - a procedure they would rarely dare to follow with whites. After arrest Negroes are less likely to secure bail, and so are more liable to be counted in jail statistics. They are more liable than whites to be indicted and less likely to have their case nol pressed or otherwise dismissed. If tried, Negroes are more likely to be convicted. If convicted they are less likely to be given probation. For this reason they are more likely to be included in the count of prisoners. Negroes are also more likely than whites to be kept in prison for the full terms of their committments and correspondingly less likely to be paroled." - Donald Taft, Criminology, 3d ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1956, p. 134)

"Highest Price"
by Rabindranath Tagore
(1861-1941; India)
Nobel Prize in Literature, 1913

"Who will buy me, who will buy me, rid me of my cares?"
Thus I shout and thus I wander through my nights and days;

And with each day that passes
My basket presses
Upon my head more heavily.

People come and go: some laugh; some watch me tearfully.

At noon I make my way along the king's great stone-paved road,
And soon he comes in his chariot, sword in hand, crown on his head.

"I'll buy by force," he says
And grabs me, tries
To drag me off. I wriggle free

With ease; the king climbs into his golden chariot and rides away.

In small back lanes I wander past bolted and shuttered doors.
A door opens; an old man with a money-bag appears.

He examines what I have
And Says, "I'll give
You gold." He returns again and again,

Empties his purse. With far-off thoughts I carry my basket on.

At evening over the richly blossoming florest moonbeams fall.
Near to the base of a bakul-tree I meet a beautiful girl.

She edges close: "My smile
Will make you sell,"
She says. Her smile soon turns to weeping.

Slowly, softly she moves away into the woodland gloaming.

Along the sea-shore the sun shines, the sea breaks and rolls.
A child is on the sandy beach: he sits playing with shells.

He seems to know me; he says,
"I'll buy your cares
For nothing." Suddenly I am released

From my heavy load; his playful face has won me free of cost.

"I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan's cabin hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, "Logan is the friend of white men." I had even thought to have lived with you but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it: I have killed many: I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor a thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? - Not one." - Tahgahjute (Logan), in From the Heart: Voices of the American Indian (edited by Lee Miller); Cayuga Indian

Talking Heads

"Africa has always been thought of as the civilization of the word. I have observed the exact opposite: we are in fact the civilization of silence. A mulatto silence." - Sony Labou Tansi (1947-1995), The Seven Solitudes of Lorsa Lopez (1985); Zairean novelist, playwright, poet

"To be a poet nowadays is to want to ensure, with all one's strength, with all one's body and with all one's soul, that, in the face of guns, in the face of money (which in its turn becomes a gun), and above all in the face of received wisdom (upon which we poets have the authority to piss), no aspect of human reality is swept into the silence of history." - Sony Labou Tansi (ibid)

"Art is born and takes hold wherever there is a timeless and insatiable longing for the spiritual." - Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986), Time within Time: The Diaries of Andrey Tarkovsky (Verso/Seagull, 1993) translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair; Russian filmmaker

"The Wrong Way Home"
by James Tate
(U.S.; Pulitzer Prize)

"Noonday in Immaturity" (Les Racines Congolaises, 1968)
By Jean-Baptiste Tati-Loutard (b. 1939); Congo Republican poet
[in The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry,
edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier]

With a dozen blows the clock betrays the pulse of time,
And the day-forged sun
Now begins its retreat amid a blaze of sparks.
The walls of races, of banks, of asylums
Blind me; I watch; far away
A single gap opens in the wall of fate,
Far off far off, it's the vast estuary of death
Where all my daily dreams converge.
As all the poems of my immaturity flare up
I will keep the ashes of their death on my face
Until the new generation.
I feel myself lonely and slender in the mirror of the lightning.

The tree my friend turns down his wick
Which watched over my thirst for the shadows;
I go forth in the sunlight
And, diviner with empty bag, I walk painfully
Through the fires of the centre.

See: Meridith Tax, "There was a young woman who swallowed a lie..."
(illustrated satirical poem) [Pittsburgh: Know, Inc., nd.]

"The days go on and on...they don't end. All my life needed was a sense of someplace to go. I don't believe that one should devote his life to morbid self-attention, I believe that one should become a person like other people." - Taxi Driver (U.S. film, 1976), directed by Martin Scorsese (b. 1942, U.S.)

"Saints are non-conformists." - Eleanor Rice Taylor (b. 1920), "Welcome Eumenides" (1972); U.S. poet

"Far as I'm concerned, friendship between black and white don't mean that much 'cause it usually ain't on a equal basis...Maybe one day whites and blacks can be real friends, but right now the country ain't built that way." - Mildred D. Taylor (b. 1943), Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1976); African-American children's writer

"From as far back as I can remember, my father taught me a different history from the one I learned in school. By the fireside in our Ohio home and in Mississippi, where I was born and where my father's family had lived since the days of slavery, I had heard about our past. It was not an organized history beginning in a certain year, but one told through stories - stories about great-grandparents and aunts and uncles and others that stretched back through the years of slavery and beyond. It was a history of ordinary people, some brave, some not so brave, but basically people who had done nothing more spectacular than survive in a society designed for their destruction." - Mildred D. Taylor

"Don't confuse selling with art." - Jack Taylor, quoted in Randall Rothenberg's Where the Suckers Moon: An Advertising Story (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994)

Sara Teasdale, Love Songs (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 1918)

"By one estimate, the average American spends 1,600 hours a year either driving or earning the money to support a car, and drives an average of 6,000 miles a year. That works out to about 4 miles traveled per hour spent - the equivalent of a normal walking pace." - Edward Tenner, Why Things Bite Back

"The Eagle: A Fragment"
By Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892); British poet

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

"tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE..." (aka Monty Cantsin; b. 1954); "post-writer"

"Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That's why the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion." - Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself." - Mother Theresa, addressing the National Prayer Breakfast, February 5, 1994

"Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching it’s people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of life and peace is abortion." - Mother Theresa, addressing the National Prayer Breakfast, February 5, 1994

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good...Our goal is a Christian nation." - Randall Terry, prominent member of the religious right (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/13/93)

"When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we will execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of mission to see to it that they are tried and executed...If we're going to have true reformation in America, it is because men once again, if I may use a worn out expression, have righteous testoserone flowing through their veins. They are not afraid of contempt for their contemporaries. They are not even here to get along. They are here to take over." - Randall Terry, "Addressing a Banquet," sponsored by the U.S. Tax Payers Alliance (August 8, 1995)

"If you send $1000.00, we'll send you the William Wallace Sword, used in making the movie Braveheart. This sword is full size, expensive, and beautiful!" - Randall Terry, "Fundraising Letter" (March 1998)

"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." - The Third Man (U.K. film, 1949), directed by Carol Reed (1906-1976, U.K.)

Third World Women's Alliance, "Black Women's Manifesto" (NY: Third World Women's Alliance, n.d.)

"The man on television, Sunday midday, middle-aged and solid, nice-looking chap, all the facts at his fingertips, more dependable looking than most high-school principals, is talking about civilian defense, his responsibility in Washington. It can make an enormous difference, he is saying. Instead of the outright death of eighty million American citizens in twenty minutes, he says, we can, by careful planning and practice, get that number down to only forty million, maybe even twenty...The thing to do, he says, is to evacuate the cities quickly and have everyone shelter in the countryside. That way we can recover, and meanwhile we will have retaliated, incinerating all of Soviet society, he says. What about radioactive fallout? he is asked. Well, he says. Anyway, he says, if the Russians know they can only destroy forty million of us instead of eighty million, this will deter them. Of coures, he adds, they have the capacity to kill all two hundred and twenty million of us if they were to try real hard, but they know we can do the same to them. If the figure is only forty million this will deter them, not worth the trouble, not worth the risk. Eighty million would be another matter, we should guard ourselves against losing that many all at once, he says.

"If I were sixteen or seventeen years old and had to listen to that, or read things like that, I would begin thinking up new kinds of sounds, different from any music heard before, and I would be twisting and turning to rid myself of human language."

- Lewis Thomas (b. 1913), Late Night Thoughts on Listening
to Mahler's Ninth Symphony

Clive Thompson, "In Cyberspace, Everyone Can Hear You Scream" (This Magazine, August 1995); "alternative press" journalist, currently at Shift magazine

See: "Do not go gentle into that good night" (1952), by Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

"They have not wanted Peace at all; they have wanted to be spared war - as though the absence of war was the same as peace." - Dorothy Thompson (1894-1961), On the Record (1958); U.S. journalist, writer, activist

"Rome required barbarians, Christendom required pagans, Protestant and Catholic Europe required each other. Patriotism is love of one's own country; but it is also hatred or fear or suspicion of others..." - Edward Thompson, Beyond the Cold War (1982)

"He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

"Richard Nixon is gone now, and I am poorer for it. He was the real thing - a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time...He was a giant in his way. As long as Nixon was politically alive - and he was, all the way to the end - we could always be sure of finding the enemy on the Low Road. There was no need to look anywhere else for the evil bastard. He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds. The badger will roll over on its back and emit a smell of death, which confuses the dogs and lures them in for the traditional ripping and tearing action. But it is usually the badger who does the ripping and tearing. It is a beast that fights best on its back: rolling under the throat of the enemy and seizing it by the head with all four claws. That was Nixon's style - an' if you forgot, he would kill you as a lesson to the others." - Hunter S. Thompson, "He Was a Crook" (May 1, 1994)

"We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws." - Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson, "Writing on the Wall: An Interview with Hunter S. Thompson," by Matthew Hahn, August 26, 1997 (The Atlantic Monthly)

"The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war..." - Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), "Civil Disobedience" (1849), American philosopher

"How does it become a man to behave toward the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also." - H.D. Thoreau (ibid)

"Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves." - H.D. Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau, "A Plea for Captain John Brown"

"Men have become the tools of their tools." - H.D. Thoreau

"What is called politics is comparatively so superficial and inhuman, that, practically, I have never fairly recognized that it concerns me at all." - H.D. Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau, "Slavery in Massachusetts (1854)

"Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison." - H.D. Thoreau, "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" (1849)

"A government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it." - H.D. Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

"Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." - Henry Thoureau

Henry David Thoreau, "Chesuncook" (The Atlantic Monthly, June, July, and August, 1858)

Kerry Wendell Thornley, U.S. fiction writer

The 317th Platoon (French-Spanish film, 1965), written and directed by Pierre Schoendoerffer (b. 1928, France)

"If people behaved like governments, you'd call the cops." - Kelvin Throop

"There was, then, civil conflict; and the cities...pushed on to further extremes of innovation both in the ingenuity of their schemes for seizing power and in the extravagance of their reprisals. They altered the accepted usage of words in relation to deeds as they thought fit. Reckless audacity was termed courageous loyalty to party; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation, a cover for spinelessness; and ability to understand all sides, total inertia. Fanatical enthusiasm was rated a man's part; and cautious deliberation, a euphemism for desertion." - Thucydides (ca. 460-411 B.C.), The Peloponnesian War 3.81-83, 5th century B.C.

"Everyone speaks of peace; no one knows what peace is. We know at best a poisoned peace. No one has lived on an earth without weapons, without war and the threat of war on a large and small scale." - Christina Thürmer-Rohr, Vagabonding (1991); German psychologist, women's studies scholar

"Let us be thankful we have commerce. Buy more. Buy more now. Buy. And be happy." - THX 1138 (U.S. film, 1970), directed by George Lucas (b. 1944, U.S.)

"Of Colours and Shadows"
By Ahmed Tidjani-Cissé (b. 1947); Guinean-born French poet, playwright
[in The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry,
edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier]

Royal blue azure blue
the nobility of a colour
to clothe the uncertainty of conditions.
Green-blue turquoise blue
The adornments of nature
scorn the audacities of imitation
they ornament the fleeting hair of the tornado.
Ash grey, dirty grey, iron grey, pearl grey
The metamorphosing power of a colour
which shatters the yokes of comparison.
Sulphur yellow, saffron yellow, golden yellow
Fever can be yellow
Yellow is a self-respecting colour
The yellow of the egg was the beginning
But the respect for a colour is only apparent
when the yellow peril is in question.
Vermilion red, blood red, poppy red
Cardinals' purple is a red
which sends howling the Gehenna of fear.
The purple of Caesars is all-conquering
Cortez and Pizarro have flaunted the colours of Europe
to the redskins in organizing a hecatomb.
Marxism-Leninism is red
There are colours of poverty
opulent colours
colours which strike terror or which the whoe world unfurls.
Milk white kapok white
the Ku-Klux-Klan is robed in white
my village was evangelized by the White Fathers.
Their words were transmitted with the aid of white cold steel.
To fashion the centuries of history
men have invented all the nuances of a colour.
Black bread, black night, black misery
Mourning is black, the devil is black
with black ebony one can construct
a black market to supply the fields
with cotton of the whitest fibre.
The colours which compose my rainbow
Have the denstiy of shadows.
At the borders of my rainbow
history has allowed only a clear obscurity to float.
Like a raging cataract
the dusky shadows of my colour
make a rampart around my house
every time I try to break
the barriers of colour.
Red, blue, yellow, white, black.
The shadows of colours are not truly multicoloured.
Red as palm oil
The snow hides in its own whiteness
behind my door
it will not see me
I ahve ceased to be the shadow of my colour.

"The love of money is the root of all evil." - 1 Timothy 6:10 (New Testament, King James Version)

"You aren't really anybody in America if you're not on TV...It's nice to live in a country where life, liberty, and other stuff, stand for something." - To Die For (U.S. film, 1995), directed by Gus Van Sant (b. 1952, U.S.)

"The shadow of force, embedded in the law, stands behind every act of governmennt, and in the end every government relies on soldiers and police to enforce its will." - Alvin Toffler, Powershift (1990)

"A Russian should rejoice if Poland, the Baltic Provinces, Finland, Armenia, should be separated, freed from Russia; so with an Englishman in regard to Ireland, India and other possessions; and each should help to do this, because the greater the state, the more wrong and cruel is its patriotism, and the greater is the sum of suffering upon which its power is founded. Therefore, if we really wish to be what we profess to be, we must not only cease our present desire for the growth of the state, but we must desire its decrease, its weakening, and help this forward with all our might." - Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), "Writings On Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence" (1886); Russian novelist, Christian anarchist

"People can only be freed from slavery by the abolition of Governments." - Leo Tolstoy

"As long as Governments with armies exist, the termination of armaments and wars is impossible." - Leo Tolstoy

"Government is violence, Christianity is meekness, Non-resistance, love. Therefore, government cannot be Christian; the man who wishes to be a Christian must not serve the government" - Leo Tolstoy, "A Letter to Dr. Heinrich Schmitt" (undated)

"Freedom, not imaginary but actual, is attained not by barricades and murders, nor by any new kind of institution coercively introduced, but only by the cessation of obedience to any human authority whatever." - Leo Tolstoy

"And what is war, what is needed for success in war, what are the morals of the military world? The object of warfare is murder; the means employed in warfare - spying, treachery, and the encouragement of it, the ruin of a country, the plunder of its inhabitants...trickery and lying, which are called military strategy; the morals of the military class - absence of all independence, that is, discipline, idleness, ignorance, cruelty, debauchery, and drunkenness." - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1872)

"In our day the feeling of patriotism is an unnatural, irrational and harmful feeling, and a cause of a great part of the ills from which mankind is suffering; and that, consequently, this feeling should not be cultivated, as is now being done, but should, on the contrary, be suppressed and eradicated by all means available to rational men." - Leo Tolstoy, "Patriotism and Government" (1900)

"All the peoples of the so-called Christian world have been reduced by patriotism to such a state of brutality, that not only those who are obliged to kill or to be killed desire slaughter and rejoice in muder, but all the peoples of Europe and America, living peaceably in their homes and exposed to no danger, are, at each war - thanks to easy means of communication and to the Press - in the position of the spectators in a Roman circus, and like them delight in the slaughter, and raise the bloodthirsty cry, 'Pollice verso.' " - Leo Tolstoy (ibid)

"I sit on a man's back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back." - Leo Tolstoy

"I know that my unity with all people cannot be destroyed by national boundaries and government orders." - Leo Tolstoy

"A Christian does not quarrel with anyone, does not attack any one, nor use violence against one; on the contrary, he himself without murmuring bears violence; but by this very relation to violence he not only frees himself, but also the world from external power." - Tolstoy

"Every man, in refusing to take part in military service or to pay taxes to a government which uses them for military purposes, is, by this refusal, rendering a great service to God and man, for his is thereby making use of the most efficacious means of furthering the progressive movement of mankind toward that better social order wchih it is striving after and must eventually attain." - Tolstoy

Leo Tostoy, "Letter to Ernest Howard Crosby" (January 12, 1896)

"No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up." - Lily Tomlin (b. 1939), U.S. comedienne, actress

"The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." - Lily Tomlin

"Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them." - Lily Tomlin

"Reality is a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs." - Lily Tomlin

"Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world." - Lily Tomlin

H.M. Tomlinson (1873-1958)

"History is a game played in the safety of the present. And Sarajevo is really not far from any of us." - Candi Torres, "The Games"

Ahmed Sekou Touré (1922-1984); Guinean poet

"Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers...choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stuffing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself. Choose a future. Choose life...But why would I want to do a thing like that?" - Trainspotting (Scotland-U.K. film, 1996), directed by Danny Boyle (b. 1956, U.K.)

Carlo Tresca

"Poor workers! First they're cuckolded, and, as if that weren't enough, then they're beaten! Work's a curse, Saturno. I say to hell with the work you have to do to earn a living! That kind of work does us no honor; all it does is fill up the bellies of the pigs who exploit us. But the work you do because you like to do it, because you've heard the call, you've got a vocation - that's ennobling! We should all be able to work like that. Look at me, Saturno - I don't work. And I don't care if they hang me, I won't work! Yet I'm alive! I may live badly, but at least I don't have to work to do it!" - Tristana (Spanish-French film, 1970), directed by Luis Buñuel; line spoken by Fernando Rey

"A slave-owner who through cunning and violence shackles a slave in chains, and a slave who through cunning or violence breaks the chains - let not the contemptible eunuchs tell us that they are equals before a court of morality!" - Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Their Morals and Ours (1938), in Leon Trotsky on Black Nationalism and Self-Determination (1967, edited by George Breitman); Russian writer, organizer of the Bolshevik revolution, Left Opposition to Stalin's totalitarian regime (who had him assassinated)

Leon Trotsky, Fascism: What It Is and How To Fight It

"germinating embryos torn apart
from african shades
of ancestors, flung as rainbowing petals of flowers
into confluencing bloodstreams
of harvesting eyewinds

carried across the atlantic by storms -
poetry of birth in motion -

& carried to hostile, unforgiving places -
fissuring speech - we learned to sing, again
here, sweet from wombseeds
in georgia, tennessee & missouri
where life sometimes begins
& ends in wombs of concrete

labyrinths lined with steel"

- Quincy Troupe, "Embryo #2";
African-American poet, writer, educator

"America - the only country where failing to promote yourself is regarded as being arrogant." - Gary Trudeau

The Truman Show (1998 U.S. film), directed by Peter Weir (b. 1944, Australia)

"I wanted to see whether or not the great Louis XIV style, which I consider the most beautiful style, could work in a modern building. I didn't want to buy old columns, because they're cracked and broken. I waited to have brand-new minted marble columns... I've used all onyx. Onyx is a precious stone, many times more beautiful. I don't believe there is an apartment like this anywhere in the world. The view, the solid bronze window frames, the fountain all brand new and carved. Did you see the way the window shades go up and down, all remote? And they're bulletproof... I don't care about material needs. I could be happy in a studio apartment with a television and a telephone." - Donald Trump, gambling casino mongul

"The point is that you can't be too greedy." - Donald Trump, Trump: The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump and Tony Schwartz (1987)

"Ain't I a woman? I have born 13 children and seen most all sold into slavery..." - Sojourner Truth (1797-1833), "Ain't I a Woman?" (speech at the 1851 Women's Rights Convention; Akron, Ohio); African-American abolitionist, feminist

Sojourner Truth, "What Time of Night It Is" (1853)

Harriet Tubman (1820-1913); African-American abolitionist, conductor on the Underground Railroad

"The unrecorded past is none other than our old friend, the tree in the primeval forest which fell without being heard." - Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989), New York Times (1964); U.S. writer, historian, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes

Benjamin R. Tucker

Nat Turner (1800-1831); abolitionist

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." - Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu (b. 1931); South African peace activist, Nobel Peace laureate

"History says that wherever a weak and ignorant people possess a thing which a strong and enlightened people want, it must be yielded up peaceably." - Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens; 1835-1910), More Tramps Abroad (1897); U.S. novelist, satirist, journalist, anti-imperialist

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress." - Mark Twain, Following the Equator (1897)

"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain, Mark Twain: A Biography (Chap. CXXXVIII)

"The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet." - Mark Twain, Mark Twain in Eruption (January 30, 1907)

"I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talon on any other land." - Mark Twain, October 1900 (see "An American Anti-Imperialist: Mark Twain on the Philippine-American War," by Jim Zwick) (Alluded to in the New York Times, October 16, 1900)

"On these terms I would rather be a traitor than an archangel. On these terms I am quite willing to be called a traitor - quite willing to wear that honorable badge - and not willing to be affronted with the title of Patriot and classed with the [General] Funtons when so help me God I have not done anything to deserve it." - Mark Twain, (speech, April 1902); a month earlier, General Funston called for anti-imperialist writers to be "hanged for treason" (see "An American Anti-Imperialist: Mark Twain on the Philippine-American War," by Jim Zwick)

On the U.S. imperialist war against the Philippines: "A land-stealing and liberty-crucifying crusade." - Mark Twain, in "Slander's Mask of Humor", from The Army and Navy Journal (The New York Times, March 24, 1901)

"[I have] a strong aversion to sending our bright boys out to the Philippines to fight with a disgraced musket under a polluted flag." - Mark Twain, in an "Untitled Editorial on Anti-Imperialism" (The New York Times, January 7, 1901)

Mark Twain, "To the Person Sitting in Darkness" (North American Review, #172; February 1901)

"We are the lavishest and showiest and most luxury-loving people on the earth; and at our masthead we fly our one true and honest symbol, the gaudiest flag the world has ever seen." - Mark Twain, "Diplomatic Pay and Clothes," Forum (March 1899)

"If this nation has ever trusted in God, that time has gone by; for nearly half a century almost its entire trust has been in the Republican party and the dollar - mainly the dollar..." - Mark Twain, Mark Twain in Eruption (December 2, 1907)

"Let your secret sympathies and your compassion be always with the under dog in the fight - this is magnanimity; but bet on the other one - this is business." - Mark Twain

"A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain." - Mark Twain

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain

"If work were so pleasant, the rich would keep it for themselves." - Mark Twain

"Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform..." - Mark Twain, Mark Twain's Notebook (Chap. XXXV)

"OCTOBER 12, THE DISCOVERY. It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it." - Mark Twain

"The institution of royalty in any form is an insult to the human race." - Mark Twain

"Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul." - Mark Twain, Consistency paper, read in Hartford, Connecticut (1884)

"We have thrown away the most valuable asset we had: the individual's right to oppose both flag and country when he (just he, by himself) believed them to be in the wrong. We have thrown it away; and with it all that was really respectable about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism." In its place the United States had adopted the "gospel" of the European monarchies: "The King can do no wrong." "We have adopted it," he wrote, "with all its servility, with an unimportant change in the wording: 'Our country, right or wrong!'" - Mark Twain, journal entry from 1908, in "An American Anti-Imperialist: Mark Twain on the Philippine-American War," by Jim Zwick

"It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them." - Mark Twain

"Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won't fatten the dog." - Mark Twain

"An ethical man is a Christian holding four aces." - Mark Twain

"Patriotism is merely a religion - love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country's flag..." - Mark Twain, "As Regards Patriotism"

"History has tried hard to teach us that we can't have good government under politicians. Now, to go and stick one at the very head of the government couldn't be wise." - Mark Twain

"True irreverence is disrespect for another man’s god." - Mark Twain

"...But it was impossible to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people's liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake in their own persons. The government was irrevocably in the hands of the prodigiously rich and their hangers-on; the suffrage was become a mere machine, which they used as they chose. There was no principle but commercialism, no patriotism but of the pocket. - Mark Twain

"The policemen and politicians...are the dust-licking pimps and slaves of the scum..." - Mark Twain, Roughing It (Chapter LIV)

"The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them." - Mark Twain

"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." - Mark Twain

"In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language." - Mark Twain

"O Lord, Our Father"
by Mark Twain

O Lord, our father,
Our young patriots, idols of our hearts,
Go forth to battle - be Thou near them!
With them, in spirit, we also go forth
From the sweet peace of our beloved firesides
To smite the foe.

O Lord, our God,
Help us to tear their soldiers
To bloody shreds with our shells;
Help us to cover their smiling fields
With the pale forms of their patriot dead;
Help us to drown the thunder of the guns
With the shrieks of their wounded,
Writhing in pain.

Help us to lay waste their humble homes
With a hurricane of fire;
Help us to wring the hearts of their
Unoffending widows with unavailing grief;
Help us to turn them out roofless
With their little children to wander unfriended
The wastes of their desolated land
In rags and hunger and thirst,
Sports of the sun flames of summer
And the icy winds of winter,
Burdened in spirit, worn with travail,
Imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord,
Blast their hopes,
Blight their lives,
Protract their bitter pilgrimage,
Make heavy their steps,
Water their way with their tears,
Stain the white snow with the blood
Of their wounded feet!

We ask it in the spirit of love -
Of Him who is the source of love,
And Who is the ever-faithful
Refuge and Friend of all that are sore beset
And seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts.


"What matters me who wears the crown of France? Whether a Richard or a Charles possess it? They reap the glory - they enjoy the spoil - We pay - we bleed! - The sun would shine as cheerly, The rains of heaven as seasonably fall, [as] though neither of these royal pests existed." - Wat Tyler (1325 - 1381), British leader of the peasant revolt ("Wat Tyler's Rebellion") against King Richard II (who had him executed)

"Verily what bishops are to the English, bankers are to Americans." - Mabel Ulrich (b. 1882), in Scribner's Magazine (1933); U.S. physician, Red Cross official


"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on lunch."

"An American is a man with two arms and four wheels."

"We've got the best government money can by."

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men - true nobility is being superior to your former self."

"That's what 'capital punishment' really means - those that ain't got the capital, get the punishment."

"Foreign aid is when the poor people of a rich country give money to the rich people of a poor country."

"Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian and it's all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the chefs are British, the mechanics French, the lover's Swiss, the police German and it's all organized by the Italians."

Urban Guerilla Poets, "a mothers son" (Refuse & Resist!, 1996?)

"At night, the Border Patrol helicopters swoop and churn in the air all along the [border]. You can sit in the Mexican hills and watch them herd humans on the dusty slopes across the valley. They look like science fiction crafts, their hard-focused lights raking the ground as they fly. It is a spectacle. Dodge trucks speed into and out of the landscape; uniformed men patrolling with flashlights, guns, and dogs; spotlights; running figures; lines of people hurried onto buses by armed guards; and the endless clatter of the helicopters with their harsh white beams. A Dutch woman once told me it seemed altogether ‘un-American.’ " - Louis Urrea, in Across the Wire (Doubleday, 1993)

"over here the the suppleness of mornings
and the blood masked here
and the rainbow-coloured dream the rope at the neck
come over here"

- Gerald Felix Tchicaya U Tam'si (1931-1988), "Dance to the Amulets"
[in The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry, edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier];
Congo Republic-born French poet, novelist, playwright

"Sleep comes like a drug / In God's country / Sad eyes, crooked crosses / In God's country." - U2, "In God's Country" (The Joshua Tree, 1987); Irish alternative-rock band

"They're doing the atomic bomb / They want you to sing along / Say goodbye." - U2, "Seconds" (War, 1983)

"Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concerns them." - Paul Valéry (1871-1945); French poet, writer

"Latent in every man is a venom of amazing bitterness, a black resentment; something that curses and loathes life, a feeling of being trapped, of having trusted and been fooled, of being the helpless prey of impotent rage, blind surrender, the victim of a savage, ruthless power that gives and takes away, enlists a man, and - crowning injury - inflicts upon him the humiliation of feeling sorry for himself." - Paul Valéry

"The great virtues of the German peoples have begotten more evils, than idleness ever bred vices. With our own eyes, we have seen conscientious labor, the most solid learning, the most serious discipline and application adapted to appalling ends. So many horrors could not have been possible without so many virtues. Doubtless, much science was needed to kill so many, to waste so much property, annihilate so many cities in so short a time; but moral qualities in like number were also needed." - Paul Valéry, "Crisis of the Mind" (1919)

"It was pretty well understood that if you came across a defector, and could prove it to yourself beyond a reasonable doubt, do it, under any circumstance, kill them. It wasn't about bringing them back. It was to kill them." - First Lt. Robert Van Buskirk, "U.S. Used Nerve Gas During Vietnam War: Mission Targeted American Defectors in Laos" (CNN, June 7, 1998)

"My orders were, if it's alive, if it breathes oxygen, if it urinates, if it defecates, kill it." - Robert Van Buskirk, "Did The U.S. Drop Nerve Gas?," by April Oliver and Peter Arnett (Time Magazine, Vol. 151, No. 23; June 15, 1998)

"Notes from a Suburban Heart"
by Mona Van Duyn

Freud says that ideas are libidinal cathexes,
that is to say, acts of love.
— Norman O. Brown

It's time to put fertilizer on the grass again.
The last time I bought it, the stuff was smelly and black,
and said "made from Philadelphia sewage" on the sack.
It's true that the grass shot up in a violent green,
but my grass-roots patriotism tells me to stick
to St. Louis sewage, and if the Mississippi isn't thick
enough to put in a bag and spread on a lawn,
I'll sprinkle 5-10-5 from nobody's home,
that is to say. . .

it's been a long winter. The new feeder scared off the birds
for the first month it was up. Those stupid starvelings,
puffed up like popcorn against the cold, thought the thing
was a death-trap. The seeds and suet on its boards
go down their gullets now, and come out song,
but scot-free bugs slit up the garden. It is spring.
I've "made bums out of the birdies," in my next-door neighbor's words,
that is to say. . .

your life is as much a mystery to me as ever.
The dog pretends to bite fleas out of sheer boredom,
and not even the daffodils know if it's safe to come
up for air in this crazy, hot-and-cold weather.
Recognitions are shy, the faintest tint of skin
that says we are opening up, is it the same
as it was last year? Who can remember that either?
That is to say,

I love you, in my dim-witted way.

"When theft needs legal justification, when authority raises the banner of the general interest while pursuing private ends with impunity, is it any wonder that the lie fascinates the minds of men, twisting them to fit its laws until their contortions come to resemble 'natural' human postures? And it is true that man lies because in a world governed by lies he cannot do otherwise: he is falsehood himself, he is trapped in his own falsehood. Common sense never underwrites anything except the decree promulgated in the name of everyone against the truth. Common sense is the lie put into lay terms." - Raoul Vaneigem, "The Organization of Appearances," The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967); Situationist

"What we call 'natural' today is about as natural as Nature Girl lipstick." - Raoul Vaneigem, "Technology and Its Mediated Use," The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967)

"Belief in the magical power of technology goes hand in hand with its opposite, the tendency to deconsecration. The machine is the model of the intelligible. There is no mystery, nothing obscure in its drive-belts, cogs, and gear; it call all be explained perfectly. But the machine is also the miracle that is to transport us into the realms of happiness and freedom." - Raoul Vaneigem, "Technology and Its Mediated Use," The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967)

"Where contraint breaks people, and mediation makes fools of them, the seduction of power is what makes them love their oppression." - Raoul Vaneigem, "Sacrifice," The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967)

"The consumer cannot and must not ever attain satisfaction: the logic of the consumable object demands the creation of fresh needs, yet the accumulation of such false needs exacerbates the malaise of people confined with increasing difficulty solely to the status of consumers. Furthermore, the wealth of consumer goods impoverishes authentic life. It does so in two ways. First, it replaces authentic life with things. Secondly, it makes it impossible, with the best will in the world, to become attached to these things, precisely because they have to be consumed, i.e., destroyed. Whence an absence of life which is ever more frustrating, a self-devouring dissatisfaction." - Raoul Vaneigem, "Survival Sickness," The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967)

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

ON THE DECLINE OF FOLK MUSIC: "Well, you know they kept on going in the form of folk-rock, but as far as the folk revival was concerned, it was pretty much over. I played in the same places. The business kept prospering right until 1969 or 1970. Until the whole hippie thing became manifestly the nightmare that it had always been. And then business got very bad. In the early 1970s. 1971, '72. The rooms were closing down, record labels weren't signing acoustic acts any more. Although they had been pretty much been getting out of that for some time before that. The shock of Richard Nixon. That guy was pretty demoralizing. The whole raison d'être of the New Left had been exposed as a lot of hot air, that was demoralizing. I mean, these kids thought they were going to change the world, they really did. They were profoundly deluded. I used to talk to them, to the hippies, yippies. I understood their mentality as well as anyone could. But things like Altamont, things like Kent State, the election of Richard Nixon, the fact that the war just kept going on and on and on, and nothing they did could stop it. Phil Ochs wrote the song, 'I declare the war is over,' that was despair, sheer despair. By the mid-70s, I wanted to get out of the business. I was tired anyway." - Dave Van Ronk (b. 1936), "A conversation with Dave Van Ronk," by David Walsh, World Socialist Web Site, 7 May 1998; U.S. folk singer/songwriter

"I am firmly convinced that the results of the human convivence [sic; he was an Italian writing in English]: miseries, darkness and death, or health, light, happiness and life, are more determined by the qualities and the deeds of the individuals than by parties and sects, programs and creeds." - Bartolomeo Vanzetti, "Letter to Eugene Debs," September 29, 1923 [in Gentle Rebel: Letters of Eugene V. Debs, edited by J. Robert Constantine (University of Chicago Press, 1995)]; Italian anarchist, executed by the United States

Gustavus Vassa, see: Olaudah Equiano

"If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity." - Bill Vaughan (1915-1977); U.S. journalist, author

"In the next century it will be the early mechanical bird which get the first plastic worm out of the artificial grass." - Bill Vaughan

"All business sagacity reduces itself in the last analysis to a judicious use of sabotage." - Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929); U.S. economist, social critic

"The superior gratification derived from the use and contemplation of costly and supposedly beautiful products is, commonly, in great measure a gratification of our sense of costliness masquerading under the name of beauty." - Thorstein Veblen

"Bad Wisdom"
by Suzanne Vega

(U.S. folk singer/songwriter)

Mother, the doctor knows something is wrong
Because my body has strange information
He's looked in my eyes and knows I'm not a child
But he doesn't dare ask the right questions

Mother, my friends are no longer my friends
And the games we once played have no meaning
Grown serious and shy and they can't figure why
So they've left me to my own daydreaming

What price to pay for bad wisdom
What price to pay for bad wisdom
Too young to know too much too soon
Bad wisdom
Bad wisdom

Mother you've taught me the laws are so fine
If I'm good that I will be protected
I've fallen through the crack and there's no getting back
Now I'll never trust whoever gets elected

Mother your eyes have grown suddenly cold
And it wasn't what I was expecting
Once I did think that I'd find comfort there
And instead you've gone hard and suspecting


Mother, I'm cut at the root like a weed
Because there's no one to hear my small story
Just like a woman who walks in the street
I will pay for my life with my body


"Because when the smack begins to flow
I really don't care anymore
About all the Jim-Jim's in this town
and all the politicians makin' crazy sounds
And everybody puttin' everybody else down
And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds"

- Velvet Underground and Nico (1967), "Heroin"; U.S. rock band

Bethany Veney, The Narrative of Bethany Veney, a Slave Woman (1889)

"The day when nobody comes back from a war it will be because the war has at last been properly organized." - Thomas Vian

"In the next few years, the empire [the U.S.] is going to strike back at the Internet in the interest of protecting our children from porn, drugs and terrorism - all of which the U.S. government will claim is being peddled by the Internet. There is not a trick they won't pull to get control." - Gore Vidal (b. 1925), 'Gore's Wars,' the Salon Interview (Jannuary 14, 1998); U.S. novelist, playwright and essayist

"The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent." - Gore Vidal

"It makes no difference who you vote for - the two parties are really one party representing 4 percent of the people." - Gore Vidal

Mirta Vidal, "Chicanas Speak Out - Women: New Voice of La Raza" (NY: Pathfinder Press, 1971 [first appeared in the International Socialist Review, October 1971])

Pancho (Francisco) Villa (1877-1923), Mexican revolutionary

"It's subtitled. It leaves out all the stupid people. That's how I see it. Of course, it makes it very difficult to make the money and get distribution. But to be a little arrogant, it's very hard in Europe to ignore the fact that North Americans are too stupid to read subtitles." - Thomas Vinterberg, Danish filmmaker, discussing his film The Celebration (Denmark, 1998)


"History is fables agreed upon." - Voltaire (1694-1778), French philosopher, dramatist, poet, historian

"...[S]o long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men." - Voltaire

"War is an act of violence to compel our opponent to fulfil our will." - Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831), On War; Prussian general

"In this world, all power rests upon force." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830-1916), Aphorisms (1905); Austrian novelist

"Privilege is the greatest enemy of right." - Marive von Ebner-Eschenbach, Aphorisms (1905)

"We are the most hated nation on Earth." - Kurt Vonnegut (1986)

"Strange how blind people are! They are horrified by the torture chambers of the Middle Ages, but their arsenals fill them with pride!" - Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914), Lay Down Your Arms (1889); Austrian author and peace activist

"With each new crime, the world deteriorates." - Vukovar (Croatian film, 1994; directed by Boro Draskovic)


Quotations!: W
i fratelli de Socio