Quotations!   W - Z     

"In storms and tempest,
Now in the east, now in the west,
Woe is him that has never rest
Midday nor morrow.

But we hapless husbands [tenant farmers]
That walks on the moor,
In faith we are nearly
Out of the door.
No wonder, as it stands
If we be poor,
For the tilth of our lands
Lies fallow as the floor,
As ye know.
We are so hammed, For-taxed, and rammed,
We are made hand-tamed
With these gentlery-men.

Thus they rob us of our rest -
Our Lady them curse!
These men that are lord-fest [attached to lords],
They cause the plow tarry.
That, men say, is for the best -
We find it contrary.
Thus are husbands oppressed
In point to miscarry ["To the point of ruin"].
On live. ["In life."]
Thus they hold us under,
Thus they bring us in blunder,
It were a great wonder
That ever we should thrive...

- The Wakefield Master (unknown author), The Second Shepherds' Play
(circa last quarter of the fifteenth century); unknown Middle English playwright

by Derek Walcott
(b. 1930; St. Lucia, West Indies)
Nobel Prize in Literature, 1992

Those five or six young guys
lunched on the stoop
that oven-hot summer night
whistled me over. Nice
and friendly. So, I stop.
MacDougal or Christopher
Street in chains of light.

A summer festival. Or some
saint's. I wasn't too far from
home, but not too bright
for a nigger, and not too dark.
I figured we were all
one, wop, nigger, jew,
besides, this wasn't Central Park.
I'm coming on too strong? You figure
right! They beat this yellow nigger
black and blue.

Yeah. During all this, scared
on case one used a knife,
I hung my olive-green, just-bought
sports coat on a fire plug.
I did nothing. They fought
each other, really. Life
gives them a few kcks,
that's all. The spades, the spicks.

My face smashed in, my bloddy mug
pouring, my olive-branch jacket saved
from cuts and tears,
I crawled four flights upstairs.
Sprawled in the gutter, I
remember a few watchers waved
loudly, and one kid's mother shouting
like "Jackie" or "Terry,"
"now that's enough!"
It's nothing really.
They don't get enough love.

You know they wouldn't kill
you. Just playing rough,
like young Americans will.
Still it taught me somthing
about love. If it's so tough,
forget it.

"A City's Death by Fire"
by Derek Walcott

After that hot gospeller has levelled all but the churched sky,
I wrote the tale by tallow of a city's death by fire;
Under a candle's eye, that smoked in tears, I
Wanted to tell, in more than wax, of faiths that were snapped like wire.
All day I walked abroad among the rubbled tales,
Shocked at each wall that stood on the street like a liar;
Loud was the bird-rocked sky, and all the clouds were bales
Torn open by looting, and white, in spite of the fire.
By the smoking sea, where Christ walked, I asked, why
Should a man wax tears, when his wooden world fails?
In town, leaves were paper, but the hills were a flock of faiths;
To a boy who walked all day, each leaf was a green breath
Rebuilding a love I thought was dead as nails,
Blessing the death and the baptism by fire.

"War will stop when we no longer praise it, or give it any attention at all." - Alice Walker (b. 1944), U.S. author

"The [Helms-Burton] bill is wrong, the embargo is wrong, because it punishes people, some of them unborn, for being who they are. Cubans cannot help being who they are. Given their long struggle for freedom, particularly from Spain and the United States, they cannot help taking understandable pride in who they are. They have chosen a way of life different from ours..." - Alice Walker, "Letter to President Clinton" (March 13, 1996)

"Ignorance, arrogance, and racism have bloomed as Superior Knowledge in all too may universities." - Alice Walker, talk (1972), In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens (1983)

"It has been proved that the land can exist without the country - and be better for it. It has not been proved...that the country can exist without the land." - Alice Walker, Living by the Word (1988)

"People tend to think that life really does progress for everyone eventually, that people progress, but actually only some people progress. The rest of the people don't." - Alice Walker, Black Women Writers at Work (1983), edited by Claudia Tate

" 'Progress' affects few. Only revolution can affect many." - Alice Walker, The Writer on Her Work, Vol. 1 (1980), edited by Janet Sternburg

"The trouble with our people is as soon as they got out of slavery they didn't want to give the white man nothing else. But the fact is, you got to give 'em something. Either your money, your land, your woman or your ass." - Alice Walker

"Racism is so extreme and so pervasive in our American society that no black individual lives in an atmosphere of freedom." - Margaret Walker (b. 1915), in Janet Sternburg, ed., The Writer on Her Work, Vol. 1 (1980); African-American writer, poet, educator

"Anyone can love peace, but Jesus didn't say, 'Blessed are the peace-lovers.' He says 'peace-makers.' He is referring to a life vocation, not a hobby..." - Jim Wall

Gekko: "The richest one percent of this country owns half our country's wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation...You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own." - Wall Street (U.S. film, 1987), directed by Oliver Stone (b. 1946, U.S.)

Gekko: "Greed captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit." - Wall Street (U.S. film, 1987)

"Shopping is more American than thinking." - Andy Warhol (1928-1987); U.S. artist

See these Andy Warhol paintings: "Moonwalk" (1987), "Set of Electric Chairs" (1963), "Campbell's Soup Can" (1964), "Gun" (1981), "Mao" (1973), "Dollar Signs" (1981), "The Velvet Underground & Nico" (1967)

"You can't hold a man down without staying down with him." - Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), African-American educator, social reformer

Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery: An Autobiography (1901)

James L. Walker, The Philosophy of Egoism (1905)

Josiah Warren

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." - Bill Watterson, cartoonist

"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves." - John Wayne, U.S. actor

"I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responisibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgement to irresponsible people." - John Wayne, "Playboy Interview" (Playboy Magazine, May 1971)

"Because Columbus captured more Indian slaves than he could transport to Spain in his small ships, he put them to work in mines and plantations which he, his family and followers created throughout the Caribbean. His marauding band hunted Indians for sport and profit - beating, raping, torturing, killing, and then using the Indian bodies as food for their hunting dogs. Within four years of Columbus' arrival on Hispaniola, his men had killed or exported one-third of the original Indian population of 300,000. Within another 50 years, the Taino people had been made extinct - the first casualties of the holocaust of American Indians. The plantation owners then turned to the American mainland and to Africa for new slaves to follow the tragic path of the Taino.

"This was the great cultural encounter initiated by Christopher Columbus. This is the event we celebrate each year on Columbus Day. The United States honors only two men with federal holidays bearing their names. In January we commemorate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., who struggled to lift the blinders of racial prejudice and to cut the remaining bonds of slavery in America. In October, we honor Christopher Columbus, who opened the Atlantic slave trade and launched one of the greatest waves of genocide known in history."

- Jack Weatherford, "Examining the Reputation of Christopher Columbus" (Baltimore Evening Sun); U.S. anthropologist

Mary Ann Weathers, "An Argument For Black Women's Liberation As a Revolutionary Force" [Originally published in No More Fun and Games: A Journal of Female Liberation, Cambridge, Mass: Cell 16. vol. 1, no. 2 (Feb 1969)]

Gary Webb, "Dark Alliance" (San Jose Mercury News, May 11, 1997)

Hugh Webb, Passionate Spaces: African Literature and the Post-Colonial Context (1991)

"Man is dominated by the making of money, by acquisition as the ultimate purpose of his life. Economic acquisition is no longer subordinated to man as the means for the satisfaction of his material needs. This reversal of what we should call the natural relationship, so irrational from a naive point of view, is evidently as definitely a leading principle of capitalism as it is foreign to all peoples not under capitalistic influences." - Max Weber (1864-1920), The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905); German sociologist, philosopher

"Like war and piracy, trade has often been unrestrained in tis relations with foreigners and those outside the group." - Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905)

"The capitalistic economy of the present day is an immense cosmos into which the individual is born, and which presents itself to him, at least as an individual, as an unalterable order of things in which he must live. It forces the individual, in so far as he is involved in the system of market relationships, to conform to capitalistic rules of action. The manufacturer who in the long run acts counter to these norms, will just as inevitably be eliminated from the economic scene as the worker who cannot or will not adapt himself to them will be thrown into the streets without a job. Thus the capitalism of to-day, which has come to dominate economic life, educates and selects the economic subjects which it needs through a process of economic survival of the fittest." - Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905)

"Where is it written in the Constitution that you may take children from their parents, and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battles of any war in which the folly or wickedness of government may engage it?" - Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

"The law to him
Is like a foul black cobweb to a spider:
He makes of it his dwelling and a prison
To entangle those shall feed him."

- John Webster (ca. 1580-1625), The Duchess of Malfi (1613)
British Jacobean playwright

"Miserable age, where the only reward of doing well is the doing of it!"
- John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (1613)

"A politician is the devil's quilted anvil;
He fashions all sins on him, and the blows
Are never heard: he may work in a lady's chamber,
As here for proof."

- John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (1613)

"What would it pleasure me to have my throat cut
With diamonds? Or to be smothered
With cassia [cinammon]? Or to be shot to death with pearls?
I know death hath ten thousand several doors
For men to take their exits, and 'tis found
They go on such strange geometrical hinges,
You may open them both ways."

- John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (1613)

"History, in spite of the occasional protest of historians, will always be used in a general way as a collection of political and moral precedents." - C.V. Wedgwood (b. 1910), Velvet Studies (1946); English historian

"Written history is, in fact, nothing of the kind; it is the fragmentary record of the often inexplicable actions of innumerable bewildered human beings, set down and interpreted according to their own limitations by other human beings, equally bewildered. The tribunal of history judges about as fairly as an average bench of magistrates; which is exactly what it is." - C.V. Wedgwood, Velvet Studies (1946)

"If Germany, thanks to Hitler and his successors, were to enslave the European nations and destroy most of the treasures of their past, future historians would certainly pronounce that she had civilized Europe." - Simone Adolphine Weil (1909-1943), "The Great Beast" (1940); French philosopher, mystic, humanitarian, writer, revolutionary, scholar

"The glossy surface of our civilization hides a real intellectual decadence." - Simone Weil, "The Power of Words" (The Simone Weil Reaer, 1977)

"What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war; petrol is much more likely than wheat to be a cause of international conflict." - Simone Weil, "The Power of Words" (The Simone Weil Reaer, 1977)

"Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty." - Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (1947)

"The destruction of the past is perhaps the greatest of all crimes." - Simone Weil, The Need for Roots (1949)

"War, which perpetuates itself under the form of preparation for war, has once and for all given the State an important role in production." - Simone Weil, 1933, Oppression and Liberty (1955)

"Who were the fools who spread the story that brute force cannot kill ideas? Nothing is easier. And once they are dead they are no more than corpses." - Simone Weil

"The greatest right in the world is the right to be wrong. If the Government or magistrates think an individual is right, no one will interfere with him; but when agitators talk against the things considered holy, or when radicals criticize, or satirize political gods, or question the justice of our laws and institutions, or pacifists talk against war, how the old inquisition awakens, and ostracism, the excommunication of the church, the prison, the wheel, the torture-chamber, the mob, are called upon to suppress the free expression of thought." - Harry Weinberger, letter to the editor," New York Evening Post, April 10, 1917; lawyer (longtime lawyer of Emma Goldman)

Welcome to Life (1998 Poland film documetary), directed by Henryk Dederko

"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." - Orson Welles (1915-1985, U.S.), Graham Greene (1904-1991), from the 1949 UK-US film The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed (1906-1976, U.K.)

"I passionately hate the idea of being 'with it,' I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time." - Orson Welles, 1966

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." - H.G. Wells (1866-1946)

"Advertizing is legalized lying." - H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells, The Open Conspiracy (1928)

"A time will come when a politician who has wilfully made war and promoted international dissension will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide. It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men's lives should not stake their own." - H.G. Wells, The Salvaging of Civilization, chap. 1 (1921)

Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931), "The Equal Rights League, from Crusade for Justice"; African-American Harlem Renaissance writer

"White supremacy is so profoundly embedded in American and Western civilization that certainly we can make progress and we can ameliorate things, but it is very difficult to envision a time in which it's completely eliminated." - Cornel West (b. 1953), Black Collegian (September-October 1993); African-American philosopher, university professor, writer

"What does it profit a nation to conquer the whole world and lose its soul?" - Cornel West, "Foreward" to Mumia Abu-Jamal's Death Blossoms

"A democratic socialist society is the best hope for alleviating and minimizing racism, particularly institutional forms of racism." - Cornel West, "Toward a Socialist Theory of Racism"

"Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience." - Dame Rebecca West (1893-1983), The Court and the Castle (1957); Scottish/English novelist, journalist, essayist, critic

"[Charity] is an ugly trick. It is a virtue grown by the rich on the graves of the poor. Unless it is accompanied by sincere revolt against the present social system, it is cheap moral swagger." - Rebecca West, The Clarion (1912)

"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat..." - Rebecca West

Rebecca West, "Black Lamb and Grey Falcon" (The Atlantic Monthly, January 1941)

"Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology." - Rebecca West

"There are no bigotries or absurdities too gross for [political] parties to create or adopt under the stimulus of political passions." - Edwin Percy Whipple (1819-1888)

"The Magic Kingdom is, after all, a rarefied and idyllic image of suburbia with synthetic manifestations of American fantasy, from fake presidents to the eternally childlike persona of Peter Pan, both thinly disguised forms of national self-image and incorruptible innocence." - Daniel R. White and Gert Hellerick, "Nietzsche at the Mall: Deconstructing the Consumer" (CTheory)

"Wars are struggles between social organisms—called nations—for survival, struggles for the possession and use of the resources of the earth, for fertile fields, coal, oil, and iron deposits; for uranium mines, for seaports and waterways; for markets and trade routes; for military bases. No amount of understanding will alter or remove the basis of this struggle, any more than an understanding of the ocean's tides will diminish or terminate their flow." - Leslie A. White, The Science of Culture (New York: Farrar, Straus, 1949), p. 343.

Patrick White (1912-1990); British-born Australian writer, Nobel Prize Laureate

"American patriotism is generally something that amuses Europeans, I suppose because children look idiotic saluting the flag and because the constitution contains so many cracks through which the lawyers may creep." - Katherine Whitehorn (b. 1928), Roundabout (1962); English writer, journalist

"Re-examine all you have been told...
Dismiss what insults your soul."
- Walt Whitman (1819-1892); U.S. poet

"Resist much, obey little." - Walt Whitman

"Flaunt away, flags of all nations! be duly lower'd at sunset!"
- Walt Whitman, "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" (1860);
Leaves of Grass (1855)

"And I saw askant the armies,
I saw as in noiseless dreams hundreds of battle-flags,
Borne through the smoke of the battles and pierc'd with missiles I saw them,
And carried hither and yon through the smoke, and torn and bloody,
And at last but a few shreds left on the staffs, (and all in silence,)
And the staffs all splinter'd and broken.

I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them,
And the white skeletons of young men, I saw them,
I saw the debris and debris of all the slain soldiers of the war,
But I saw they were not as thought,
They themselves were fully at rest, they suffer'd not,
The living remain'd and suffer'd, the mother suffer'd,
And the wife and the child and the musing comrade suffer'd,
And the armies that ramain'd suffer'd."

- Walt Whitman, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" (1865);
Drum-Taps (1865); Leaves of Grass (1855; 1881 edition)

"The man's body is sacred, and the woman's body is sacred;
No matter who it is, it is sacred;
Is it a slave? Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the wharf?
Each belongs here or anywhere, just as much as the well-off - just as much as you;
Each has his or her place in the procession."

- Walt Whitman, "I Sing the Body Electric,"
Leaves of Grass (1855); U.S. poet

"You Felons on Trial in Courts" (1860)
by Walt Whitman

   YOU felons on trial in courts;
   You convicts in prison-cells--you sentenced assassins, chain'd and 
         hand-cuff'd with iron;
   Who am I, too, that I am not on trial, or in prison?
   Me, ruthless and devilish as any, that my wrists are not chain'd with 
         iron, or my ankles with iron?

   You prostitutes flaunting over the trottoirs, or obscene in your 
   Who am I, that I should call you more obscene than myself?

   O culpable!
   I acknowledge--I exposé!
   (O admirers! praise not me! compliment not me! you make me wince,
   I see what you do not--I know what you do not.)                    10

   Inside these breast-bones I lie smutch'd and choked;
   Beneath this face that appears so impassive, hell's tides continually 
   Lusts and wickedness are acceptable to me;
   I walk with delinquents with passionate love;
   I feel I am of them--I belong to those convicts and prostitutes 
   And henceforth I will not deny them--for how can I deny myself?

"I see my fellow brothers and sisters living on the sidewalks that are supposed to be paved in gold..." - Jacqueline Whyte, "Crime and Punishment"; Jamaican poet, physical therapist

"Art should always be something that to some degree shocks and changes people and contradicts what the king says...Writing, art, is subversion, it turns the world on its head..." - John Edgar Wideman (b. 1941), Callaloo (Winter 1990); African-American novelist, two-time winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award

John Edgar Wideman, "The Salon Interview" (Salon Magazine)

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." - Elie Wiesel (b. 1928), New York, Oct. 1986; Romanian-born Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, journalist, writer, Nobel Peace Prize recepient

"To remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all." - Elie Wiesel

On his experiences at Auschwitz: "I know that there are no words for it, so all I can try to do is to communicate the incommunicability of the event. Furthermore, I know that even if I found the words you wouldn't understand. It is not because I cannot explain that you won't understand, it is because you won't understand that I can't explain...You can be a silent witness, which means silence itself can become a way of communication. There is so much in silence. There is an archeology of silence. There is a geography of silence. There is a theology of silence. There is a history of silence. Silence is universal and you can work within it, and its own context, and make that silence into a testimony." - Elie Wiesel, "Interview," June 29, 1996 (Gallery of Achievement)

Elie Wiesel, "Hope, Despair and Memory: The Nobel Peace Prize Lecture" (December 11, 1986)

"America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization."- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), playwright

"The form of government which is most suitable to the artist is no government at all." - Oscar Wilde

"All authority is quite degrading. It degrades those exercise it, and it degrades those over whom it is exercised." - Oscar Wilde, "The Soul of Man Under Socialism" (The Fortnightly Review, February 1891)

"Socialism, Communism, or whatever one shooses to call it, by converting private property into public wealth, and substituting co-operation for competition, will restore society to its proper condition of a thoroughly healthy organism, and ensure the material well-being of each member of the community. It will, in fact, give Life its proper basis and its proper environment." - Oscar Wilde, "The Soul of Man Under Socialism" (The Fortnightly Review, February 1891)

"If the Socialism is Authoritarian; if there are Governments armed with economic power as they are now with political power; if, in a word, we are to have Industrial Tyrannies, then the last state of man will be worse than the first." - Oscar Wilde, "The Soul of Man Under Socialism" (The Fortnightly Review, February 1891)

"I think I am rather more than a Socialist. I am something of an Anarchist, I believe..." - Oscar Wilde

"As long as war is looked upon as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked on as vulgar, it will cease to be popular." - Oscar Wilde

"Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people." - Oscar Wilde, "The Soul of Man Under Socialism" (The Fortnightly Review, February 1891)

"Industry is the root of all ugliness." - Oscar Wilde

"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known." - Oscar Wilde

Emma Hart Willard (1787-1870), "Education and the Weaker Sex" (1819); U.S. educator, poet

James Williams (1805-?), Narrative of James Williams, an American Slave, Who Was for Several Years a Driver on a Cotton Plantation in Alabama (1838)

"Landmines distinguish themselves because once they have been sown, once the soldier walks away from the weapon, the landmine cannot tell the difference between a soldier or a civilian - a woman, a child, a grandmother going out to collect firewood to make the family meal...Once peace is declared the landmine does not recognize that peace. The landmine is eternally prepared to take victims. In common parlance, it is the perfect soldier, the 'eternal sentry.' The war ends, the landmine goes on killing." - Jody Williams, "1997 Nobel Lecture" (December 10, 1997); Nobel Peace Prize laureate

Maxine Williams and Pamela Newman, "Black Women's Liberation" (NY: Pathfinder Press, 1970 [first published in The Millitant on July 3, 1970, and October 30, 1970])

BLANCHE: Well - if you'll forgive me - he's [Stanley Kowalski] common!... You can't have forgotten that much of our bringing up, Stella, that you just suppose that any part of a gentleman's in his nature ! Not one particle, no! Oh, if he was just - ordinary! Just plain - but good and wholesome, but - no. There's something downright - bestial - about him! You're hating me saying this arent you?... He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even somethiong - sub-human - something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something - ape-like about him, like one of those pictures I've seen in - anthropological studies! Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is - Stanley Kowalski - survivor of the Stone Age! Bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle! And you - you here - waiting for him! Maybe he'll strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you! That is, if kisses have been discovered yet! Night falls and the other apes gather! There in the front of the cave, all grunting like h im, and swilling and gnawing and hulking! His poker night! you call it - this party of apes! Somebody growls - some crature snatches at something - the fight is on! God! Maybe we are a long way from being made in God's image, but Stella - my sister - there has been some progress since then! Such things as art - as poetry and music - such kinds of new light have come into the world since then! In some kinds of people some tenderer feelings have had some little beginning! That we have got to make grow! And cling to, and hold as our flag! In this dark march toward whatever it is we're approaching.... Don't - don't hang back with the brutes!" - Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947); U.S. playwright

by William Carlos Williams
(1883-1963, U.S.)

Each time it rings
I think it is for
me but it is
not for me nor for

anyone it merely
rings and we
serve it bitterly
together, they and I

"White supremacy by its very nature and intent requires the continuing oppression and subordination of African peoples and, in time, may require their very lives. Subordination by a people requires that that people in some way or ways be violated, dehumanized, humiliated, and that some type of violence be perpetrated against them. The violently oppressed react violently to their oppression. When their reactionary violence, their retaliatory or defensive violence, cannot be effectively applied to their self-liberation, it then will be directed at and applied destructively to themselves. This is the essence of black-on-black violence." - Ames Wilson, Black-On-Black Violence (1990)

"People kill me talking about niggers is lazy. Niggers is the most hard-working people in the world. Worked 300 years for free. And didn't take no lunch hour." - August Wilson (b. 1945), Two Trains Running (play; 1990); African-American playwright

"...The Work Ethic (find a Master to employ you for wages, or live in squalid poverty) is obsolete. A Work Esthetic will have to replace this old Stone Age syndrome of the slave, the peasant, the serf, the prole, the wage-worker - the human labor-machine who is not fully a person but, as Marx said, 'a tool, an automaton.' " - Robert Anton Wilson, "The Rich Economy" (1980); writer

" 'Creative potential' is not a panchreston. It refers to the inborn drive to play, to tinker, to explore, and to experiment, shown by every child before his or her mental processes are stunted by authoritarian education and operant-conditioned wage-robotry.' " - Robert Anton Wilson, "The Rich Economy" (1980)

"When this universal law of equity rises up in every mann and woman, then none shall lay claim to any creature and say, This is mine, and that is yours. This is my work, that is yours...There shall be no buying or selling, no fairs or markets, but the whole earth shall be a common treasury for every man, for the earth is the Lord's...When a man hath eat, and drink, and clothes, he hath enough." - Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676), "The New Law of Righteousness"; English Leveller, Digger, Christian

"Everyone that gets an authority into his hands tyrannizes over others; as many husbands, parents, masters, magistrates, that live after the flesh do carry themselves like oppressing lords over such as are under them, not knowing that their wives, children, servants, subjects are their fellow creatures, and hath an equal privilege to share them in the blessing of liberty." - Gerrard Winstanley

"For surely this particular property of mine and thine hath brought in all misery upon people. For first, it hath occasioned people to steal one from another. Secondly, it hath made laws to hang those that did steal. It tempts people to do an evil action and then kills them for doing it. Let all judge if this not be a great devil." - Gerrard Winstanley

"When this universal law of equity rises up in every man and woman, then none shall lay claim to any creature and say, This is mine, and that is yours. This is my work, that is yours. But everyone shall put their hands to till the earth and bring up cattle, and the blessing of the earth shall be common to all; when a man hath need of any corn or cattle, take from the next store-house he meets with. There shall be no buying and selling, no fairs or markets, but the whole earth shall be the common treasury for every man, for the earth is the Lord's...When a man hath eat, and drink, and clothes, he hath enough. And all shall cheerfully put to their hands to make these things that are needful, one helping another. There shall be none lords over others, but everyone shall be a lord of himself, subject to the law of righteousness, reason and equity, which shall dwell and rule in him, which is the Lord." - Gerrard Winstanley

"Just the idea that one percent of the French national budget goes to the arts makes an enormous difference. I don't know the exact figures, but my guess is that the arts budget for the city of Lyon is probably greater than the arts budget for the entire United States. If it's off, it's not off by much." - Frederick Wiseman (b. 1930), "The Salon Interview," by Richard Covington, August 26, 1996 (Salon Magazine); U.S. documentary film director

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881-1975)

Naomi Wolf, "Rethinking Pro-Choice Rhetoric: Our Bodies, Our Souls" (The New Republic, October 16, 1995); U.S. feminist

"Women becoming, consequently, weaker...than they ought to be...have not sufficient strength to discharge the first duty of a mother; and sacrificing to lasciviousness the parental affection...either destroy the embryo in the womb, or cast if off when born. Nature in every thing demands respect, and those who violate her laws seldom violate them with impunity." - Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792); American feminist

"I don't even have to do nothin' to you. You'll cause your own country to fall." - Stevie Wonder, "Big Brother"; African-American vocalist

See also: "Living for the City," "Black Man," "He's Mistra Know-It-All," "Village Ghetto Land," "You Haven't Done Nothing," and "Higher Ground."

"Most of the time when 'universal' is used, it is just a euphemism for 'white': white themes, white significance, white culture." - Merle Woo, "Letter to Ma" [in This Bridge Called My Back (1983), edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua]; Chinese/Korean-U.S. writer, teacher, playwright

Charles Erskine Scott Wood (1852-1944); U.S. lawyer, activist, anti-imperialist, poet

C.E.S. Wood, "The Pursuit and Capture of Chief Joseph"

"Socially the clock had a more radical influence than any other machine, in that it was the means by which the relgularisation and regimentation of life necessary for an exploiting system of industry could best be attained...The new capitalists, in particular, became rabidly time-conscious. Time, here symbolising the labour of workers, was regarded by them almost as if it were the chief raw material of industry. 'Time is money' became one of the key slogans of capitalist ideology...Men actually became like clocks, acting with a repetitive regularity which had no resemblance to the rhythmic life of a natural being. They became, as the Victorian phrase put it, 'as regular as clockwork'...The worker in his turn becomes a 'clock-watcher,' concerned only with when he will be able to escape to the scanty and monotonous leisure of industrial society, in which he 'kills time' by cramming in as much time-scheduled and mechanised enjoyment of cinema, radio and newspapers as his wage packet and his tiredness allow." - George Woodcock, "The Tyranny of the Clock" (War Commentary - For Anarchism, mid-March 1944); anarchist

"It was then that the American authorities turned up the facts about my past as an anarchist activist - the past from which I had already distanced myself mentally. At that time I was working on the final revision of my book, and Proudhon was much in my mind on the day I went down to the consulate in Vancouver for the crucial interview. I imagine that my past as editor of Freedom was enough, under the McCarran Act, to keep me out, but the consul had the air of giving me a last chance when he asked if I was still an anarchist. I thought a moment and, with Proudhon in my mind, answered, 'fundamentally and philosophically, yes.' It was enough for him, and for me. I was excluded in perpetuity from the United States, the only country in the world I have been unable to enter, and I settled down with great satisfaction to be a writer in my own country, which I have in no way regretted." - George Woodcock

"All this talk of women's rights is moonshine. Women have every right. They have only to exercise them..." - Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838-1927), 1871; U.S. feminist, suffragist; the first woman to campaign for U.S. President, 1872 (campaigning on a platform of "free love" and "equal rights"); her newspaper provided the public with the first English translation of Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto published in America

"The rights of children as individuals begin while yet they femain the foetus." - Victoria Woodhull, Woodhull's and Claffin's Weekly 2(6):4 (December 24, 1870)

"Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth." - Victoria Woodhull, Wheeling, West Virginia Evening Standard (November 17, 1875)

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Cousin Woodman

"It is just when opinions universally prevail and we have added lip service to their authority that we become sometimes most keenly conscious that we do not believe a word that we are saying." - Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), The Common Reader (1925)

"To refuse the active payment of a tax which our Society generally paid was exceedingly disagreeable; but to do a thing contrary to my conscience appeared yet more dreadful." - John Woolman (1720-1772), "Considerations on the Payment of a Tax laid for Carrying on the War against the Indians" [Chapert V of Journal of John Woolman (1774)]

See: World War 2 Propaganda Posters

"Peace, if it ever exists, will not be based on the fear of war, but on the love of peace. It will not be the abstaining from an act, but the coming of a state of mind. In this sense the most intelligent writer can serve peace, where the most powerful tribunals can do nothing." - Herman Wouk, The Winds of War

"Getting Off Work"
by Franz Wright


I'm finished. It's finished
with me.

There is nothing to do now,
at last,

but get from this chair
to the bedroom

before the green pre-light, the leaves'
last night telling's

obliterated by another
morning's thermonuclear

soundless detonation-

except to be quiet
enough not to wake you.

To be quiet enough
not to wake.

"I am personally more and more obsessed by the feeling - which has become my conviction - that life in America is full of strangely inhuman elements. It seems clear to me that American civilization is based, in spite of its early traditions, on an utter disregard for human emotions, sensibilities, and personalities." - Richard Wright (1908-1960), "An Interview with Richard Wright: America Is Not the New World," by Michel Gurdey (Les Lettres francaises, 10 January 1947); African-American novelist, expatriate

"There isn't any Negro problem; there is only a white problem." - Richard Wright, "Richard Wright Tells Us: the White Problem in the United States," by Raphael Tardon (Action, 24 October 1946)

"The crude brutality of American life is taken for granted by Americans. We are so much absorbed in the task of accumulating and increasing comfort and material goods that we have no time to stop and think about what ultimately benefits the individual in this state of things." - Richard Wright, "An Interview with Richard Wright: America Is Not the New World," by Michel Gurdey (Les Lettres francaises, 10 January 1947)

"Russian communism and Americanism, as they now appear, are not two forces one of which is good and the other evil. They are two evils confronting each other, and in my opinion, the errors of both should be exposed." - Richard Wright, "Interview with Richard Wright" (Revista Branca, 1950)

"I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five." - Steven Wright

"I know the guy who writes all those bumper stickers. He hates New York." - Steven Wright

"Do you think that when they asked George Washington for ID that he just whipped out a quarter?" - Steven Wright

"Put on your seatbelt, I want to try something. I saw it in a cartoon, but I think I can pull it off." - Steven Wright (to a random hitchhiker he's picked up)

"I went to a general store. They wouldn't let me buy anything specifically." - Steven Wright

"When Negro Teeth Speak"
By Ouologuem Yambo (b. 1940);
Malian-born French novelist, poet, satiricist
[in The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry,
edited by Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier]

Everyone thinks me a cannibal
But you know how people talk

Everyone sees my red gums but who
Has white ones
Up with tomatoes

Everyone says fewer tourists will come
But you know
We aren't in America and anyway everyone
Is broke

Everyone says it's my fault and is afraid
But look
My teeth are white not red
I haven't eaten anyone

People are wicked and say I gobble
the tourists roasted
Or perhaps grilled
Roasted or grilled I asked them
They fell silent and looked fearfully at my gums
Up with tomatoes

Everyone knows an arable country has agriculture
Up with vegetables

Everyone maintains that vegetables
Don't nourish the grower well
and that I am well-grown for an undeveloped man
Miserable vermin living on tourists
Down with my teeth

Everyone suddenly surrounded me
Thrown down prostrated
At the feet of justice

Cannibal or not cannibal
Speak up
Ah you think yourself clever
And try to look proud

Now we'll see you get what's coming to you
What is your last word
Poor condemned man

I shouted up with tomatoes

The men were cruel and the women curious you see
There was one in the peering circle
Who with her voice rattling like the lid of a casserole
Open him up
I'm sure papa is still inside

The knives being blunt
Which is understandable among vegetarians
Like the Westerners
They grabbed a Gillette blade
And patiently
They opened my belly

A plantation of tomatoes was growing there
Irrigated by streams of palm wine
Up with tomatoes

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Michael Robartes and The Dancer (1921); Nobel Prize Laureate, Irish poet

"The Second Coming" (1921)
by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

"Adam's Curse" (1902)
by William Butler Yeats

We sat together at one summer's end,
That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
And you and I, and talked of poetry.
I said, "A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to work harder than all these, and yet
Be thought an idler by the noisy set
Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
The martyrs call the world."

                                        And thereupon
That beautiful mild woman for whose sake
There's many a one shall find out all heartache
On finding that her voice is sweet and low
Replied, "To be born woman is to know --
Although they do not talk of it at school --
That we must labour to be beautiful."
I said, "It's certain there is no fine thing
Since Adam's fall but needs much labouring.
There have been lovers who thought love should be
So much compounded of high courtesy
That they would sigh and quote with learned looks
precedents out of beautiful old books;
Yet now it seems an idle trade enough."

We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time's waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.
I had a thought for no one's but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we'd grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.

ON WHY RUSSIA, DESPITE VERY STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE U.S.'s BOMBING OF YUGOSLAVIA, WILL NOT COUNTER WITH FORCE: "Russia has a number of extreme measures in store, but we decided not to use them so far. Morally we are above America." - Boris Yeltsin, Associated Press, quoted in USA Today, "Yeltsin: Russia won't use force" (March 25, 1999)

"At last I came to college. I rushed for it with the outstretched arms of youth's aching hunger to give and take of life's deepest, and highest, and I came against the solid wall of the well-fed, well-dressed world - the frigid whitewashed wall of cleanliness...How I pinched, and scraped, and starved myself, to save enough to come to college! Every cent of the tuition fee I paid was drops of sweat and blood from underpaid laundry work. And what did I get for it? A crushed spirit, a broken heart, a stinging sense of poverty that I never felt before." - Anzia Yezierska (1885-1970), "Soap and Water," Hungry Hearts (1920); Russian-born U.S. novelist

"In America, money takes the place of God." - Anzia Yezierska, Red Ribbon on a White Horse (1950)

"We [in China] have moved from the blind worship of Communism to being monetary slaves - from a kind of spiritual superstition to the blind pursuit of material gains." - Yin Li, Chinese film director

"Drunk on Rimbaud's Boat"
By Al Young,
African-American poet, novelist, writer

for Betty Gifford, Paris, 1992

While all his ships sailed, Arthur sank.
For this he had himself to thank.
Does light salute the measured dark's
gold cargo hauled on silver arks?
Love, then, became industrialized,
and poetry, no longer prized,
withdrew from his untidy shore.
Slave-running, guns, hashish, and more
kept him in Africa; swept up
With all his hunches played, he stopped.

"After all, in our prisons too, there are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people who I would call political prisoners." - Andrew Young on U.S. human rights; African-American former U.N Ambassador

"The U.S. can destroy Iraq's highways, but not build its own; create the conditions for epidemic in Iraq, but not offer health care to millions of Americans. It can excoriate Iraqi treatment of the Kurdish minority, but not deal with domestic race relations; create homelessness abroad but not solve it here; keep a half million troops drug free as part of a war, but refuse to fund the treatment of millions of drug addicts at home…We shall lose the war after we have won it." - Marilyn Young, U.S. historian

"Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming
We're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio

We've gotta get down to it,
The soldiers are gunning us down..."

- Neil Young, "Ohio"

Adam Zagajewski (b. 1945), "From Memory" (The New York Review of Books, February 19, 1998); French poet, writer

"Tierra Y Libertad!" (Land and Liberty!.) - Emiliano Zapata (1879-1919), Mexican revolutionary, formulated an agrarian reform plan that called for land to be redistributed among the Native Americans

"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" - Emiliano Zapata

"The United States is a nation of laws; badly written and randomly enforced." - Frank Zappa, avant-garde composer

"I'm not black but there's times I wish I could say I wasn't white." - Frank Zappa

"Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read." - Frank Zappa

John Zerzan, "The Catastrophe of Postmodernism" (in Kaspahraster fanzine)

John Zerzan, "Tonality and Totality"

John Zerzan, "Time and its Discontents" (Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed #39, Winter '94)

"In a highly developed society, the Establishment cannot survive without the obedience and loyalty of millions of people who are given small rewards to keep the system going: the soldiers and police, teachers and ministers, administrators and social workers, technicians and production workers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, transport and communication workers, garbagemen and firemen. These people - the employed, the somewhat privileged - are drawn into alliance with the elite. They become the guards of the system, buffers between the upper and lower classes. If they stop obeying, the system falls. That will happen, I think, only when all of us who are slightly privileged and slightly uneasy begin to see that we are like the guards in the prison uprising at Attica - expendable; that the Establishment, whatever rewards it gives us, will also, if necessary to maintain its control, kill us." - Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present (Revised and Updated Edition)

"The United States is a very complex system. It's very hard to describe because, yes, there are elements of democracy; there are things that you're grateful for...On the other hand, it's not quite a democracy. And one of the things that make it not quite a democracy is the existence of outfits like the FBI and the CIA. Democracy is based on openness, and the existence of a secret policy, secret lists of dissident citizens, violates the spirit of democracy. There are a lot of other things that make the U.S. less than a democracy. For instance, what happens in police stations, and in the encounters between police and citizens on the street. Or what happens in the military, which is a kind of fascist enclave inside this democracy. Or what happens in courtrooms which are supposedly little repositories of democracy..." - Howard Zinn, "Federal Burean of Intimidation" (Covert Action Quarterly)

Howard Zinn, "An Interview With Howard Zinn"

Howard Zinn, "Drawing the Color Line," A People's History of the United States (1980)

Howard Zinn, "Chapter Sixteen: 'A People's War?'," A People's History of the United States (1980)

"The Founding Fathers were not just ingenious organizers of a new nation (though they certainly were that), but also rich white slaveholders, merchants, bondholders, fearful of lower-class rebellion, or, as James Madison put it, of 'an equal division of property.'

"Our military heroes - Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt - were racists, Indian killers, war-lovers, imperialists. Our most liberal presidents - Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy - were more concerned with political power and national aggrandizement than with the rights of non-white people.

"My heroes, on the other hand, were the farmers of Shay's rebellion; the black abolitionists who violated the law to free their brothers and sisters; the people who went to prison for opposing World War I; the workers who went on strike against powerful corporations, defying police and militia; the Vietnam veterans who spoke out against the war, the women who demanded equality in all aspects of life."

- Howard Zinn, "Introduction"
to You Can't Be Neutral On a Moving Train


Quotations!: A
i fratelli de Socio