Causes Of War Quotes

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There are perhaps many causes worth dying for, but to me, certainly, there are none worth killing for.
Albert Dietrich (Army Gi, Pacifist Co: The World War II Letters of Frank Dietrich and Albert Dietrich)
Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed - but hate these things in yourself, not in another.
Thomas Merton (New Seeds of Contemplation)
In wars, boy, fools kill other fools for foolish causes
Robert Jordan (To the Blight (The Eye of the World, #2))
I simply want to live; to cause no evil to anyone but myself.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Religion isn't the cause of wars, it's the excuse.
Jasper Fforde (The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1))
People who get up early in the morning cause war, death and famine.
Banksy (Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall)
Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Sisters in battle, I am shield and blade to you. As I breathe, your enemies will know no sanctuary. While I live, your cause is mine.
Leigh Bardugo (Wonder Woman: Warbringer)
Violence is a disease, a disease that corrupts all who use it regardless of the cause.
Chris Hedges
Time is more precious than gold, more precious than diamonds, more precious than oil or any valuable treasures. It is time that we do not have enough of; it is time that causes the war within our hearts, and so we must spend it wisely.
Cecelia Ahern (The Gift)
If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.” She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried. And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.” But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it. I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life. And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it. “Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.” Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining. Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.
Sarah Kay
In this world, whenever there is light, there are also shadows. As long as the concept of winners exist, there must also be losers. The selfish desire of wanting to maintain peace causes wars and hatred is born to protect love.
Masashi Kishimoto
That’s what religion does. It points a finger. It causes wars. It breaks apart countries. It’s a petri dish for stereotypes to grow in. Religion’s not about being holy...Just holier-than-thous.
Jodi Picoult (Change of Heart)
Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century. Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people's minds and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.
Arundhati Roy (War Talk)
All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.
Blaise Pascal
There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. 'How much do you love me?' And, 'Who's in charge?' Everything else is somehow manageable. But these two questions of love and control undo us all, trip us up and cause war, grief, and suffering.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
He asked, 'Croesus, who told you to attack my land and meet me as an enemy instead of a friend?' The King replied, 'It was caused by your good fate and my bad fate. It was the fault of the Greek gods, who with their arrogance, encouraged me to march onto your lands. Nobody is mad enough to choose war whilst there is peace. During times of peace, the sons bury their fathers, but in war it is the fathers who send their sons to the grave.
Herodotus (The Histories)
Bravery without forethought, causes a man to fight blindly and desperately like a mad bull.  Such an opponent, must not be encountered with brute force, but may be lured into an ambush and slain.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Wait, I got it. We, uh, won the battle and lost the war, or was it the other way around? 'Cause around here, it's hard to tell sometimes.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
It was my view then, and still is, that you don't make war without knowing why. Knowledge of course, is always imperfect, but it seemed to me that when a nation goes to war it must have reasonable confidence in the justice and imperative of its cause. You can't fix your mistakes. Once people are dead, you can't make them undead.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
What is the cause of historical events? Power. What is power? Power is the sum total of wills transferred to one person. On what condition are the willso fo the masses transferred to one person? On condition that the person express the will of the whole people. That is, power is power. That is, power is a word the meaning of which we do not understand.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
cause when there's life there's still hope
Michael Morpurgo (War Horse (War Horse, #1))
The two of them looked so comfortable together it made Nico glad. But it also it caused an ache in his heart – a ghostly pain, like an old war wound throbbing in bad weather.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
War has its necessities...and I have always understood that. Always known the cost. But, this day, by my own hand, I have realized something else. War is not a natural state. It is an imposition, and a damned unhealthy one. With its rules, we willingly yield our humanity. Speak not of just causes, worthy goals. We are takers of life.
Steven Erikson (Memories of Ice (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #3))
The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic.
Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America)
Civilization, in fact, grows more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Wars are no longer waged by the will of superior men, capable of judging dispassionately and intelligently the causes behind them and the effects flowing out of them. The are now begun by first throwing a mob into a panic; they are ended only when it has spent its ferine fury.
H.L. Mencken (In Defense Of Women)
Intolerance is a thing that causes war, pogroms, crucifixions, lynchings, and makes people cruel to little children and each other. It is responsible for most of the viciousness, violence, terror, and heart and soul breaking of the world.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
I thank everyone I don't love. They don't cause me heartache they don't make me write long letters they don't disturb my dreams I don't await them anxiously I don't read their horoscopes in magazines I don't dial their numbers I don't think of them. I thank them a lot they don't turn my life upside down.
Dunya Mikhail (The War Works Hard)
You say that a good cause will even sanctify war! I tell you, it is the good war that sanctifies every cause!
Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None)
I don't belong to a religion. Religion's the reason the world's falling apart..." That's what religion does. It points a finger. It causes wars. It breaks apart countries. It's a petri dish for stereotypes to grow in. Religion's not about being holy," Shay said. "Just holier-than-thou.
Jodi Picoult (Change of Heart)
Do I understand, sir, that you mean the Cause for which our heroes have died is not sacred?' If you were run over by a railroad train your death wouldn’t sanctify the railroad company, would it?' asked Rhett and his voice sounded as if he were humbly seeking information.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
There was no honor in war, less in killing, and none in dying. But there was true dignity in how men comported themselves in battle. And there was always honor to be found in standing for a just cause and defending the defenseless.
Michael Scott (The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #6))
How much do you love me?' and "Who's in charge?" ....these two questions of LOVE and CONTROL undo us ALL, trip us up and cause war, grief, and suffering. People follow different paths, straight or crooked, according to their temperament, depending on which they consider best, or most appropriate -- and all reach You, just as rivers enter the ocean.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel: First, Competition; Secondly, Dissidence; Thirdly, Glory. The first, maketh men invade for Gain; the second, for Safety; and the third, for Reputation. The first use Violence, to make themselves Masters of other men's persons, wives, children and cattle; the second, to defend them; the third, for trifles, as a word, a smile, a different opinion, and any other sign of undervalue, either direct in their Persons, or by reflexion in their Kindred, their Friends, their Nation, their Profession, or their Name.
Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan)
Why does an apple fall when it is ripe? Is it brought down by the force of gravity? Is it because its stalk withers? Because it is dried by the sun, because it grows too heavy, or because the boy standing under the tree wants to eat it? None of these is the cause.... Every action of theirs, that seems to them an act of their own freewill is in the historical sense not free at all but is bound up with the whole course of history and preordained from all eternity.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
It isn’t the drug that causes the harmful behavior—it’s the environment. An isolated rat will almost always become a junkie. A rat with a good life almost never will, no matter how many drugs you make available to him. As Bruce put it: he was realizing that addiction isn’t a disease. Addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you—it’s the cage you live in.
Johann Hari (Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs)
Religion should unite all hearts and cause wars and disputes to vanish from the face of the earth; it should give birth to spirituality, and bring light and life to every soul. If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it would be better to be without it... Any religion which is not a cause of love and unity is no religion.
Abdu'l-Bahá
I knew then that I would devote every minute we had left together to making her happy, to repairing the pain I had caused her and returning to her what I never known how to give her. These pages will be our memory until she drows her last breath in my arms and I take her forever and escape at last to a place where neither heaven nor hell will ever be able to find us.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
People talk about the happy quiet that can exist between two loves, but this, too, was great; sitting between his sister and his brother, saying nothing, eating. Before the world existed, before it was populated, and before there were wars and jobs and colleges and movies and clothes and opinions and foreign travel -- before all of these things there had been only one person, Zora, and only one place: a tent in the living room made from chairs and bed-sheets. After a few years, Levi arrived; space was made for him; it was as if he had always been. Looking at them both now, Jerome found himself in their finger joints and neat conch ears, in their long legs and wild curls. He heard himself in their partial lisps caused by puffy tongues vibrating against slightly noticeable buckteeth. He did not consider if or how or why he loved them. They were just love: they were the first evidence he ever had of love, and they would be the last confirmation of love when everything else fell away.
Zadie Smith (On Beauty)
The light made the snowballs look yellow. Or at least I hoped that was the cause.
Gary D. Schmidt (The Wednesday Wars)
In wars, boy, fools kill other fools for foolish causes. That’s enough for anyone to know.
Robert Jordan (The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1))
I am so often moved by souls whose first concern is not for their own lost years, but for the grief their passing will cause to those they love. It's more common than you might think. The most ordinary mortal bodies are housed by spectacular souls.
Julie Berry (Lovely War)
I will tell you what war is. War is a psychosis caused by an inability to see relationships. Our relationship with our fellowmen. Our relationship with our economic and historical situation. And above all our relationship to nothingness, to death.
John Fowles (The Magus)
You want to have fun causing trouble? Go online and start a credible rumor that Justin Beiber is going to play Darth Vader in the next Star Wars movie.” I suggested.
Craig Alanson (Columbus Day (Expeditionary Force, #1))
Then he'd come back home and found out that war didn't cause fear—love did.
Patricia Briggs (Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7))
Ignorance is king. Many would not profit by his abdication. Many enrich themselves by means of his dark monarchy. They are his Court, and in his name they defraud and govern, enrich themselves and perpetuate their power. Even literacy they fear, for the written word is another channel of communication that might cause their enemies to become united. Their weapons are keen-honed, and they use them with skill. They will press the battle upon the world when their interests are threatened, and the violence which follows will last until the structure of society as it now exists is leveled to rubble, and a new society emerges. I am sorry. But that is how I see it.
Walter M. Miller Jr. (A Canticle for Leibowitz (St. Leibowitz, #1))
We must be prepared to make the same heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
Albert Einstein
We have undoubtedly achieved Pakistan, and that too without bloody war, practically peacefully, by moral and intellectual force, and with the power of the pen, which is no less mighty than that of the sword and so our righteous cause has triumphed. Are we now going to besmear and tarnish this greatest achievement for which there is no parallel in the history of the world? Pakistan is now a fait accompli and it can never be undone, besides, it was the only just, honourable, and practical solution of the most complex constitutional problem of this great subcontinent. Let us now plan to build and reconstruct and regenerate our great nation...
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind.
Edgar Allan Poe
They waged war for decades, never realizing that they were fighting for the same cause. —Campaigns of East and West Tamoura, 1152–1180, by Scholar Tennan
Marie Lu (The Rose Society (The Young Elites, #2))
Militarism has been by far the commonest cause of the breakdown of civilizations. The single art of war makes progress at the expense of all the arts of peace.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee
Goldstone has done terrible damage to the cause of truth and justice and the rule of law. He has poisoned Jewish-Palestinian relations, undermined the courageous work of Israeli dissenters and—most unforgivably—increased the risk of another merciless IDF assault.
Norman G. Finkelstein (Goldstone Recants: Richard Goldstone Renews Israel's License to Kill)
Some people when they have taken too much and have been driven beyond the point of endurance, simply crumble and give up. There are others, though they are not many, who will for some reason always be unconquerable. You meet them in time of war and also in time of peace. They have an indomitable spirit and nothing, neither pain nor torture nor threat of death, will cause them to give up.
Roald Dahl (The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More)
In peace, children inter their parents; war violates the order of nature and causes parents to inter their children.
Herodotus
So far as we feel sympathy, we feel we are not accomplices to what caused the suffering. Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent- if not inappropriate- response. To set aside the sympathy we extend to others beset by war and murderous politics for a reflection on how our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering, and may- in ways we might prefer not to imagine- be linked to their suffering, as the wealth as some may imply the destitution of others, is a task for which the painful, stirring images supply only an initial spark.
Susan Sontag (Regarding the Pain of Others)
The cause doesn't have to be righteous and battle doesn't have to be winnable; but over and over again throughout history, men have chosen to die in battle with their friends rather than to flee on their own and survive.
Sebastian Junger (War)
Rape and war, she explained are among the most common causes of post-traumatic stress disorder, and survivors of sexual assault frequently exhibit many of the same symptoms and behaviors as survivors of combat: flashbacks, insomnia, nightmares, hypervigilance, depression, isolation, suicidal thoughts, outbursts of anger, unrelenting anxiety, and an inability to shake the feeling that the world is spinning out of control.
Jon Krakauer (Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town)
This is what we are like. Collectively as a species, this is our emotional landscape. I met an old lady once, almost 100 years old, and she told me, "There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And Who's in charge? Everything else is somehow manageable. But these two questions of love and control undo us all, trip us up and cause war, grief, and suffering.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
When you took me from the witch trial at Cranesmuir--you said then that you would have died with me, you would have gone to the stake with me, had it come to that!" He grasped my hands, fixing me with a steady blue gaze. "Aye, I would," he said. "But I wasna carrying your child." The wind had frozen me; it was the cold that made me shake, I told myself. The cold that took my breath away. "You can't tell," I said, at last. "It's much too soon to be sure." He snorted briefly, and a tiny flicker of amusement lit his eyes. "And me a farmer, too! Sassenach, ye havena been a day late in your courses, in all the time since ye first took me to your bed. Ye havena bled now in forty-six days." "You bastard!" I said, outraged. "You counted! In the middle of a bloody war, you counted!" "Didn't you?" "No!" I hadn't; I had been much too afraid to acknowledge the possibility of the thing I had hoped and prayed for so long, come now so horribly too late. "Besides," I went on, trying still to deny the possibility, "that doesn't mean anything. Starvation could cause that; it often does." He lifted one brow, and cupped a broad hand gently beneath my breast. "Aye, you're thin enough; but scrawny as ye are, your breasts are full--and the nipples of them gone the color of Champagne grapes. You forget," he said, "I've seen ye so before. I have no doubt--and neither have you." I tried to fight down the waves of nausea--so easily attributable to fright and starvation--but I felt the small heaviness, suddenly burning in my womb. I bit my lip hard, but the sickness washed over me. Jamie let go of my hands, and stood before me, hands at his sides, stark in silhouette against the fading sky. "Claire," he said quietly. "Tomorrow I will die. This child...is all that will be left of me--ever. I ask ye, Claire--I beg you--see it safe.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
Abandoned or separated from their families, they were forced to battle the beast of war on their own, left with an inheritance of heartache and resposibility for events they had no rile in causing.
Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea)
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln (The Gettysburg Address)
The Greatest Generation? They tell me I am a member of the greatest generation. That's because I saw combat duty as a bombardier in World War 11. But I refuse to celebrate "the greatest generation" because in so doing we are celebrating courage and sacrifice in the cause of war. And we are miseducating the young to believe that military heroism is the noblest form of heroism, when it should be remembered only as the tragic accompaniment of horrendous policies driven by power and profit. The current infatuation with World War 11 prepares us--innocently on the part of some, deliberately on the part of others--for more war, more military adventures, more attempts to emulate the military heroes of the past.
Howard Zinn
Is it not better for a man to die for a cause in which he believes, such as peace, than to suffer for a cause in which he does not believe, such as war?
Albert Einstein
It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls. It is a violation of human rights when women and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution. It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small. It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war. It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide among women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes. It is a violation of human rights when young girls are brutalized by the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation. It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will. If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, it is that human rights are women's rights - and women's rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely - and the right to be heard. [From 'Women's Rights Are Human Rights' Speech Beijing, China: 5 September 1995]
Hillary Rodham Clinton
The job of the United Nations is to grow more flowers, more smiles and more beauty on the earth. Once effect is created, cause will follow,
Amit Ray (Nuclear Weapons Free World Peace on the Earth)
I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale." George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences. To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot . . . PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose! . . . So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation. They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reasons that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass! There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
Men love war because it allows them to look serious. Because they imagine it is the one thing that stops women laughing at them. In it they can reduce women to the status of objects. That is the great distinction between the sexes. Men see objects, women see relationship between objects. Whether the objects love each other, need each other, match each other. It is an extra dimension of feeling we men are without and one that makes war abhorrent to all real women - and absurd. I will tell you what war is. War is a psychosis caused by an inability to see relationships. Our relationship with our fellow-men. Our relationship with our economic and historical situation. And above all our relationship to nothingness. To death.
John Fowles (The Magus)
This is no war of chieftains or of princes, of dynasties or national ambition; it is a war of peoples and of causes. There are vast numbers, not only in this Island but in every land, who will render faithful service in this war, but whose names will never be known, whose deeds will never be recorded. This is a War of the Unknown Warriors
Winston S. Churchill
Only now do I understand the war against boredom, the lost cause of empty hours, of empty days and nights.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Tree of Codes)
Where does it all begin? History has no beginnings, for everything that happens becomes the cause or pretext for what occurs afterwards, and this chain of cause and pretext stretches back to the Palaeolithic age, when the first Cain of one tribe murdered the first Abel of another. All war is fratricide, and there is therefore an infinite chain of blame that winds its circuitous route back and forth across the path and under the feet of every people and every nation, so that a people who are the victims of one time become the victimisers a generation later, and newly liberated nations resort immediately to the means of their former oppressors. The triple contagions of nationalism, utopianism and religious absolutism effervesce together into an acid that corrodes the moral metal of a race, and it shamelessly and even proudly performs deeds that it would deem vile if they were done by any other.
Louis de Bernières (Birds Without Wings)
I do not say that there is no glory to be gained [in war]; but it is not personal glory. In itself, no cause was ever more glorious than that of men who struggle, not to conquer territory, not to gather spoil, not to gratify ambition, but for freedom, for religion, for hearth and home, and to revenge the countless atrocities inflicted upon them by their oppressors.
G.A. Henty
Who cares for your fashions and your wars and your causes? I will shortly be gone and I have seen many fashions come and go and many causes so passionately defended only to be forgotten.
Paulette Jiles (News of the World)
Too many people live the lives other people think they ought to, following orders they don't agree with, for causes they don't believe in. They live lives that don't matter, that touch no one and change nothing. For better or worse, you and I stared evil in the eye and didn't flinch. We raised our swords and went to war, and even if we didn't win we kicked some ass along the way. We made a difference, and that's all any man can ask.
Simon R. Green (Deathstalker (Deathstalker, #1))
The corruption of the good by the belief in their own infallible goodnes is the most bloody dangerous pitfall in the human spectrum. Once you have conquered all your sins, pride is the one which will conquer you. A man starts off deciding he is a good man because he makes good decisions. Next thing, he's convinced that whatever decision he makes must be good because he's a good man. Most of the wars in the world are caused by people who think they have god on their side. Always stick with people who know they are flawed and ridiculous.
Helen Fielding
Do you want to know the cause of war? It is capitalism, greed, the dirty hunger for dollars. Take away the capitalist, and you will sweep war from the earth.
Henry Ford
People at war with themselves will always cause collateral damage in the lives of those around them.
John Mark Green
when I was four years old they tried to test my I.Q. they showed me a picture of 3 oranges and a pear they said, which one is different? it does not belong they taught me different is wrong but when I was 13 years old I woke up one morning thighs covered in blood like a war like a warning that I live in a breakable takeable body an ever-increasingly valuable body that a woman had come in the night to replace me deface me see, my body is borrowed yeah, I got it on loan for the time in between my mom and some maggots I don't need anyone to hold me I can hold my own I got highways for stretchmarks see where I've grown I sing sometimes like my life is at stake 'cause you're only as loud as the noises you make I'm learning to laugh as hard as I can listen 'cause silence is violence in women and poor people if more people were screaming then I could relax but a good brain ain't diddley if you don't have the facts we live in a breakable takeable world an ever available possible world and we can make music like we can make do genius is in a back beat backseat to nothing if you're dancing especially something stupid like I.Q. for every lie I unlearn I learn something new I sing sometimes for the war that I fight 'cause every tool is a weapon - if you hold it right.
Ani DiFranco
Ignorance was the enemy. Lies and superstition, misinformation, disinformation. Sometimes, no information at all. Ignorance killed billions of people. Ignorance caused the Zombie War.
Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War)
A 'civilization' that makes such a ridiculous fuss about alleged 'war crimes' - acts of violence against the actual or potential enemies of one's cause - and tolerates slaughterhouses and vivisection laboratories, and circuses and the fur industry (infliction of pain upon creatures that can never be for or against any cause), does not deserve to live.
Savitri Devi
Like the most of you, I was raised among people who knew - who were certain. They did not reason or investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess — no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things. They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning, four thousand and four years before Christ. They knew that in the eternity — back of that morning, he had done nothing. They knew that it took him six days to make the earth — all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death. At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work... They knew all about the Flood -- knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children -- the old and young -- the bowed patriarch and the dimpled babe -- the young man and the merry maiden -- the loving mother and the laughing child -- because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and birds -- everything that walked or crawled or flew -- because his loving kindness is over all his works. They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightnings, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war. They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power -- an arbitrary mind -- an enthroned God -- a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world -- to which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not know - but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme - that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken — that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer - no power that worship can persuade or change — no power that cares for man. Is there a God? I do not know. Is man immortal? I do not know. One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be. We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine — with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol 1: Lectures)
Yet if women are so flighty, fickle, changeable, susceptible, and inconstant (as some clerks would have us believe), why is it that their suitors have to resort to such trickery to have their way with them? And why don't women quickly succumb to them, without the need for all this skill and ingenuity in conquering them? For there is no need to go to war for a castle that is already captured. (...) Therefore, since it is necessary to call on such skill, ingenuity, and effort in order to seduce a woman, whether of high or humble birth, the logical conclusion to draw is that women are by no means as fickle as some men claim, or as easily influenced in their behaviour. And if anyone tells me that books are full of women like these, it is this very reply, frequently given, which causes me to complain. My response is that women did not write these books nor include the material which attacks them and their morals. Those who plead their cause in the absence of an opponent can invent to their heart's content, can pontificate without taking into account the opposite point of view and keep the best arguments for themselves, for aggressors are always quick to attack those who have no means of defence. But if women had written these books, I know full well the subject would have been handled differently. They know that they stand wrongfully accused, and that the cake has not been divided up equally, for the strongest take the lion's share, and the one who does the sharing out keeps the biggest portion for himself.
Christine de Pizan (Der Sendbrief vom Liebesgott / The Letter of the God of Love (L'Epistre au Dieu d'Amours))
Until they feel what we feel, they will never fully understand the own hell they caused.
Shannon A. Thompson (November Snow)
Most of the misery of the world has been caused by wars. And when the wars were over, no one ever knew what they were all about.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone With the Wind)
In war, events of importance are the result of trivial causes.
Gaius Julius Caesar
I am a strong Christian. Not a perfect one—not close. But I strongly believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. When I die, God is going to hold me accountable for everything I’ve done on earth. He may hold me back until last and run everybody else through the line, because it will take so long to go over all my sins. “Mr. Kyle, let’s go into the backroom. . . .” Honestly, I don’t know what will really happen on Judgment Day. But what I lean toward is that you know all of your sins, and God knows them all, and shame comes over you at the reality that He knows. I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation. But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot. They all deserved to die.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
The dark is generous, and it is patient. It is the dark that seeds cruelty into justice, that drips contempt into compassion, that poisons love with grains of doubt. The dark can be patient, because the slightest drop of rain will cause those seeds to sprout. The rain will come, and the seeds will sprout, for the dark is the soil in which they grow, and it is the clouds above them, and it waits behind the star that gives them light. The dark’s patience is infinite. Eventually, even stars burn out.
Matthew Woodring Stover (Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (Star Wars: Novelizations #3))
The Burgundian chronicler Philippe de Commines thought the English a choleric, earthy, and volatile people, who nevertheless made good, brave soldiers. In fact he regarded their warlike inclinations as one of the chief causes of the Wars of the Roses. If they could not fight the French, he believed, they fought each other.
Alison Weir (The Wars of the Roses)
Chimerical and empty being, your name alone has caused more blood to flow on the face of the earth than any political war ever will. Return to the nothingness from which the mad hope and ridiculous fright of men dared call you forth to their misfortune. You only appeared as a torment for the human race. What crimes would have been spared the world, if they had choked the first imbecile who thought of speaking of you.
Marquis de Sade
A smile is the best way to get oneself out of a tight spot, even if it is a fake one. Surprisingly enough, everyone takes it at face value. I read that in a book." "If you keep staring at me, I'll hit you." "I only became part of your team recently when I replaced Sasuke, so I don't know everything that's going on. I don't really understand people either. But even I can tell that Naruto really loves you. Naruto's been shouldering that promise for a long time...I think he means to shoulder it for the rest of his life. I don't know what you said to him, but it's just like what's been done to me - it feels like a curse. Sasuke causes Naruto pain, but I think you do too." "Sasuke is only helping spread his darkness across the world. Letting him live will only sow the seeds of another war. He's just another criminal now. Sasuke lost all hope of coming back when his group, Akatsuki, attacked our village. Your fellow Konoha shinobi would never accept him now. Sakura's not stupid, either. She understands the position he's put us all in. That's why she came out here, to tell you herself.
Masashi Kishimoto
Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.
Dalai Lama XIV
Nonviolent action on behalf of justice is no automatic forumla with promise of success: but neither is war. After all, at least half of the people who go to war for some cause deemed worthy of it are defeated.
John Howard Yoder (When War Is Unjust, Second Edition: Being Honest in Just-War Thinking)
The combination of causes of phenomena is beyond the grasp of the human intellect. But the impulse to seek causes is innate in the soul of man. And the human intellect, with no inkling of the immense variety and complexity of circumstances conditioning a phenomenon, any one of which may be separately conceived of as the cause of it, snatches at the first and most easily understood approximation, and says here is the cause.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
I tried to imagine a church that did not support its country's wars as a matter of patriotic course and instead stood against the devastation and suffering they caused in people's lives." (from 'The Dance of the Dissident Daughter'.)
Sue Monk Kidd
A conversation in which the two parties have different beliefs should never begin with the intention of converting the other party to your own beliefs. Every worthwhile conversation's goal should be to understand the other person's opinions and help them understand your own.
Emily Eskowich
And so there was no single cause for war, but it happened simply because it had to happen
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
They wouldn’t have believed me, and if they had they would have wanted me to explain. And I had no explanation, no answers. When you’re on a battleground, you don’t have the luxury of time to dwell on the various historical factors and sociopolitical influences that caused the war. You just keep your head down and try to survive it, to shove the pages back in the book, close the covers and pretend that nothing’s broken, nothing’s wrong.
Jennifer Weiner (Good in Bed (Cannie Shapiro, #1))
You say it is the good cause that hallows even war? I say unto you: it is the good war that hallows any cause. War and courage have accomplished more great things than love of the neighbor. Not your pity but your courage has so far saved the unfortunate.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
My heroes, our time together is short,” Juno said. “I am grateful that you called upon me. I have spent weeks in a state of pain and confusion...my Greek and Roman natures warring against each other. Worse, I’ve been forced to hide from Jupiter, who searches for me in his misguided wrath, believing that I caused this war with Gaea.” “Gee,” Annabeth said, “why would he think that?
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
I dreamed kind Jesus fouled the big-gun gears; and caused a permanent stoppage in all bolts; and buckled with a smile Mausers and Colts; and rusted every bayonet with His tears.
Wilfred Owen (The Poems of Wilfred Owen)
Unfortunately, teaching kids to embrace the unknown while maintaining their mental balance is far more difficult than teaching them an equation in physics or the causes of the First World War. You cannot learn resilience by reading a book or listening to a lecture. Teachers themselves usually lack the mental flexibility that the twenty-first century demands, since they themselves are the product of the old educational system.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
A group of Nazis surrounded an elderly Berlin Jew and demanded of him, ‘Tell us, Jew, who caused the war?’ The little Jew was no fool. ‘The Jews,’ he said, then added, ‘and the bicycle riders.’ The Nazis were puzzled. ‘Why the bicycle riders?’ ‘Why the Jews?’ answered the little old man.
Nathan Ausubel (A Treasury of Jewish Folklore)
Browns seek knowledge, Blues meddle in causes, and Whites consider the questions of truth with implacable logic. We all do some of it all, of course. But to be Green means to stand ready. In the Trolloc Wars, we were often called the Battle Ajah. All Aes Sedai helped where and when they could, but the Green Ajah alone was always with the armies, in almost every battle. We were the counter to the dreadlords. The Battle Ajah. And now we stand ready, for the Trollocs to come south again, for Tarmon Gai'don. the Last Battle. We will be there. That is what it means to be Green. -Alanna
Robert Jordan
You still waste time with those things, Lenu? We are flying over a ball of fire. The part that has cooled floats on the lava. On that part we construct the buildings, the bridges, and the streets, and every so often the lava comes out of Vesuvius or causes an earthquake that destroys everything. There are microbes everywhere that make us sick and die. There are wars. There is a poverty that makes us all cruel. Every second something might happen that will cause you such suffering that you'll never have enough tears. And what are you doing? A theology course in which you struggle to understand what the Holy Spirit is? Forget it, it was the Devil who invented the world, not the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Do you want to see the string of pearls that Stefano gave me?
Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend (L'amica geniale #1))
We love WWII because the cause was so obviously just, because you can't be a good person and say you wouldn't fight against an evil like that. It was so black and white on our side, and on our side so few died. (Our side meaning the lantern-jawed John Wayne Greatest Generation constantly canonized soldiers who strode in late to the graveyard that was Europe. Compared to Jewish, Russian, Roma, and other casualties, our losses were minimal.) We felt so strong. In some ways I think we're always trying to recapture that feeling of being a country of superheroes. With every war we invoke that one, we hope it will be that good. -from her blog
Catherynne M. Valente
My mother was mad, but I was not. My father was old, but I was young. Like Spartan Helen, I caused a war. She caused hers by letting men who wanted her take her. I caused mine because I wouldn’t be given, wouldn’t be taken, but chose my man and my fate.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Lavinia)
Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks to wars, but that's not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today. But...we seem to like it. Alarming statistics back this observation up, showing that many Americans feel more happy and fulfilled in their offices than they do in their own homes. Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure). Americans don't really know how to do NOTHING. This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype-the overstressed executive who goes on vacation but who cannot relax.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved home and the war's desolation! Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.' And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Francis Scott Key
The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living. Only when we are in the midst of conflict does the shallowness and vapidness of much of our lives become apparent. Trivia dominates our conversations and increasingly our airwaves. And war is an enticing elixir. It gives us resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble. And those who have the least meaning in their lives, the impoverished refugees in Gaza, the disenfranchised North African immigrants in France, even the legions of young who live in the splendid indolence and safety of the industrialized world, are all susceptible to war's appeal.
Chris Hedges (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning)
The miracle of life is given by One greater than ourselves, but once given, each life is ours to nurture and preserve, to foster, not only for today's world but for a better one to come. There is no purpose more noble than for us to sustain and celebrate life in a turbulent world, and that is what we must do now. We have no higher duty, no greater cause as humans. Life and the preservation of freedom to live it in dignity is what we are on this Earth to do. Everything we work to achieve must seek that end so that some day our prime ministers, our premiers, our presidents, and our general secretaries will talk not of war and peace, but only of peace.
Ronald Reagan (The Quest for Peace, the Cause of Freedom)
I'm starting to think that most villains aren't evil - they are just misundertood. Or victims of that manipulative force: Love. Love causes war and causes death, breaks souls and breaks lives. It runs people into the ground, makes them behave like moronic, immoral beasts, before it dances off, leaving only destruction in its wake - hearts blown wide open for the whole world to see. Love puts the blame on the poor souls who succumb to it. Love, that ultimate villainess. She makes examples of us all. And yet we still come back for more. We keep playing the role she gives us. For one more chance to feel alive.
Karina Halle (Love, in English (Love, in English, #1))
The Irish 'n Polacks always get along- didn't ya ever notice? Irish 'n Polacks live on p'tatoes 'n got it in for Hitler, that's why they get along so good; all over the world. Never heard of no war between Poland 'n Ireland, did you? No sir, that's cause we're all Cath'lics.
Nelson Algren (Never Come Morning)
Is that why you’re here? To talk about that? Sweet Jesus . . . you men. It’s never your fault, is it? When are you going to admit that it isn’t ‘hockey’ that raises these boys, it’s YOU LOT? In every time and every place, I’ve come across men who blame their own stupidity on crap they themselves have invented. ‘Religion causes wars,’ ‘guns kill people,’ it’s all the same old bullshit!” “I didn’t mea . . . ,” Sune tries, but has to duck when she tries to slap him again. “Keep your trap shut when I’m talking! Fucking men! YOU’RE the problem! Religion doesn’t fight, guns don’t kill, and you need to be very fucking clear that hockey has never raped anyone! But do you know who do? Fight and kill and rape?” Sune clears his throat. “Men?” “MEN! It’s always fucking men!
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
You think wars get started because some duke gets shot, or someone cuts off one’s ear, or someone’s sited their missiles in the wrong place. It’s not like that. That’s just well, just reasons, which haven’t got anything to do with it. What really causes wars is two sides that can’t stand the sight of one another and the pressure builds up and up and then anything will cause it. Anything at all.
Terry Pratchett
Mr. Avery said it was written on the Rosetta Stone that when children disobeyed their parents, smoked cigarettes and made war on each other, the seasons would change: Jem and I were burdened with the guilt of contributing to the aberrations of nature, thereby causing unhappiness to our neighbors and discomfort to ourselves.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Words start wars and end them, create love and choke it, bring us to laughter and joy and tears. Words cause men and women to willingly risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Our world, as we know it, revolves on the power of words.
Roy Williams
There’s a bigger cause out there. It’s bigger than any of us here. But we stick together, all right? We stick together and look out for each other. Because you four are all I’ve got left. And I’m not going to see you die. Forever alive, all right? We’re not going to die." -Sirius Black
Mordred (Forever Alive)
LUKE Friends, rebels, starfighters, lend me your ears. Wish not we had a single fighter more, If we are mark’d to die, we are enough To make our planets proud. But should we win, We fewer rebels share the greater fame. We all have sacrific’d unto this cause.
Ian Doescher (Verily, a New Hope (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #4))
There are no good wars or bad wars. The only thing bad about a war is to lose it. All wars have been fought for a so-called good Cause on both sides. But only the victor's Cause becomes history's Noble Cause. It's not a matter of who is right or who is wrong, it's a matter of who has the best generals and the better army!
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
THE CAUSE of the great War of the Rebellion against the United Status will have to be attributed to slavery. For some years before the war began it was a trite saying among some politicians that "A state half slave and half free cannot exist." All must become slave or all free, or the state will go down. I took no part myself in any such view of the case at the time, but since the war is over, reviewing the whole question, I have come to the conclusion that the saying is quite true.
Ulysses S. Grant (Personal Memoirs, Vol. 2)
The war is just when the intention that causes it to be undertaken is just. The will is therefore the principle element that must be considered, not the means... He who intends to kill the guilty sometimes faultlessly shed the blood of the innocents...' In short, the end justifies the means.
Henry Kissinger (Diplomacy)
I have a burden on my soul. During my long life, I did not make anyone happy, neither my friends, nor my family, nor even myself. I have done many evil things...I was the cause of the beginning of three big wars. About 800,000 people were killed because of me on the battlefields., and their mothers, brothers, and widows cried for them. And now this stands between me and God.
Otto von Bismarck
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
[Standing armies] constantly threaten other nations with war by giving the appearance that they are prepared for it, which goads nations into competing with one another in the number of men under arms, and this practice knows no bounds. And since the costs related to maintaining peace will in this way finally become greater than those of a short war, standing armies are the cause of wars of aggression that are intended to end burdensome expenditures. Moreover, paying men to kill or be killed appears to use them as mere machines and tools in the hands of another (the nation), which is inconsistent with the rights of humanity.
Immanuel Kant (Perpetual Peace (Essay))
At the Trident, those brave men Viserys spoke of who died beneath our dragon banners - did they give their lives because they believed in Rhaegar's cause, or because they had been bought and paid for?" Dany turned to Mormont, crossed her arms, and waited for an answer. "My queen," the big man said slowly, "all you say is true. But Rhaegar lost on the Trident. He lost the battle, he lost the war, he lost the kingdom, and he lost his life. His blood swirled downriver with the rubies from his breastplate, and Robert the Usurper rode over his corpse to steal the Iron Throne. Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
Men see objects, women see the relationship between objects. Whether the objects need each other, love each other, match each other. It is an extra dimension of feeling we men are without and one that makes war abhorrent to all real women - and abusrd. I will tell you what war is. War is a psychosis caused by an inability to see relationships. Our relationship with our fellow-men. Our relationship with our economic and historical situation. And above all our relationship to nothingness. To death.
John Fowles (The Magus)
Go back' Taran shouted at the top of his voice.'Have you lost your wits?' Eilonwy, for it was she, half-halted. She had tucked her plaited hair under a leather helmet. The Princess of Llyr smiled cheerfully at him. 'I understand you're upset,' she shouted back, 'but that's no cause to be rude.' She galloped on. For a time, Taran could not believe he had really seen her.
Lloyd Alexander (The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain, #5))
The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion. It has been the most dishonourable belief against the character of the divinity, the most destructive to morality, and the peace and happiness of man, that ever was propagated since man began to exist. It is better, far better, that we admitted, if it were possible, a thousand devils to roam at large, and to preach publicly the doctrine of devils, if there were any such, than that we permitted one such impostor and monster as Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and the Bible prophets, to come with the pretended word of God in his mouth, and have credit among us. Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled; and the bloody persecutions, and tortures unto death and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes; whence arose they, but from this impious thing called revealed religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man? The lies of the Bible have been the cause of the one, and the lies of the Testament of the other.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
But what can women do in times of war? They help, they cheer, they inspire, and if their cause is lost they must accept death or worse. Few women have the courage for self-destruction. "To the victor belong the spoils," and women have ever been the spoils of war.
Zane Grey (Betty Zane)
Perhaps the cause of our contemporary pessimism is our tendency to view history as a turbulent stream of conflicts – between individuals in economic life, between groups in politics, between creeds in religion, between states in war. This is the more dramatic side of history; it captures the eye of the historian and the interest of the reader. But if we turn from that Mississippi of strife, hot with hate and dark with blood, to look upon the banks of the stream, we find quieter but more inspiring scenes: women rearing children, men building homes, peasants drawing food from the soil, artisans making the conveniences of life, statesmen sometimes organizing peace instead of war, teachers forming savages into citizens, musicians taming our hearts with harmony and rhythm, scientists patiently accumulating knowledge, philosophers groping for truth, saints suggesting the wisdom of love. History has been too often a picture of the bloody stream. The history of civilization is a record of what happened on the banks.
Will Durant
As the war progresses, and as population increases to an even more intolerable level stretching resources to impossible lengths, the strong will begin fighting for their very survival. That’s what we’re seeing right now. Society will become more and more stratified into the people who aren’t buying the bullshit in society and those who blindly follow where they are led. Satanists, freethinkers, are a burgeoning minority cause. We have an illness that needs to be recognized just like alcoholism, handicaps, addictive behaviors and AIDS. We suffer from a disease called independence — a pathological aversion to regimentation and institutionalism — which prevents us from getting ‘regular’ jobs and living a ‘normal’ life.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
Strangely, it was Athena who spoke up: 'The boy is correct. We have been unwise to ignore our children. It proved a strategic weakness in this war and almost caused our destruction. Percy Jackson - I have had my doubts about you, but perhaps -' she glanced at Annabeth, and then spoke as if the words had a sour taste - 'perhaps I was mistaken.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
TODAY I THINK MY RELATIONSHIP WITH HELL IS OVER. It was hell, the ancient hell. Hell: I believed that if I loved V enough, we would love each other. All I know is that I’ve been returned to earth violently; I’ve a duty to myself to survive and to see what is. I have to deal with the truth, with nothing else. Did V’s charity to me almost cause my death? I, starving, fed on the dream that V loved me and I lived a lie. So forgive me, You who knows that only truth matters. Yes—this dawn is at best difficult. The blood he let out of my skin, now dried and stiff, hurts me and there’s nothing else in my life but memories of him. Mental war is constant. Nonetheless, this is the eve before the morning. May I accept the influxes of vigor and whatever real tenderness floats by in these barren waters. And when dawn comes, armed with my patience which burns, I shall see the cities of humans which are splendid. The imagination is nothing unless it is made actual.
Kathy Acker (In Memoriam to Identity)
The most important gift you can give your children is the importance of standing up to injustice. Children will remember moments spent with you. However, it isn't togetherness that creates humane parents and righteous kids. It is the example of integrity that a parent sets and the on going lessons they teach about compassion toward others throughout their lives. A good father or mother teaches their children that cruelty is not something you cause or ignore, rather it is the moment you suit up for war.
Shannon L. Alder
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting)
What Corrigan wanted was a fully believable God, one you could find in the grime of the everyday. The comfort he got from the hard, cold truth--the filth, the war, the poverty--was that life could be capable of small beauties. He wasn't interested in a honey-soaked heaven. To him that was a dressing room for hell. Rather he consoled himself with the fact that, in the real world, when he looked closely into the darkness he might find the presence of a light, damaged and bruised, but a little light all the same. He wanted, quite simply, for the world to be a better place, and he was in the habit of hoping for it. Out of that came some sort of triumph that went beyond theological proof, a cause for optimism against all the evidence.
Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin)
Words alone can effect great good as well as evil. A few apt words have swept candidates into office, ended as well as started wars, paved the way for peace and carried with them both hope as well as despair. Words alone have ruined lives, but have also brought forth healing. It is well known the harm words can cause, but the good they can bring is equally impressive.
Steve Goodier
The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all Lovers of Mankind are affected, and in the Event of which, their Affections are interested. The laying of a Country desolate with Fire and Sword, declaring War against the natural rights of all Mankind, and extirpating the Defenders thereof from the Face of the Earth, is the Concern of every Man to whom Nature hath given the Power of feeling; of which Class, regardless of Party Censure, is
Thomas Paine (Common Sense)
it will be objected that a constantly increasing population makes resistance and conservation a hopeless battle. this is true. unless a way is found to stabilize the nation's population, the parks can not be saved. or anything else worth a damn. wilderness preservation, like a hundred other good causes, will be forgotten under the overwhelming pressure of a struggle for mere survival and sanity in a completely urbanized, completely industrialized, ever more crowded environment. for my own part i would rather take my chances in a thermonuclear war than live in such a world.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
To understand the future course of this war, one need only look at the history of the War on Drugs and the War on Terror. Like those two manufactured "wars", this one will be never-ending, freedom-destroying, counterproductive, and ultimately understood to have caused far more damage than the supposed threat it was aimed at ever could have.
Ramez Naam (Nexus (Nexus, #1))
Every November of my boyhood, we put on red poppies and attended highly patriotic services in remembrance of those who had 'given' their lives. But on what assurance did we know that these gifts had really been made? Only the survivors—the living—could attest to it. In order to know that a person had truly laid down his life for his friends, or comrades, one would have to hear it from his own lips, or at least have heard it promised in advance. And that presented another difficulty. Many brave and now dead soldiers had nonetheless been conscripts. The known martyrs—those who actually, voluntarily sought death and rejoiced in the fact—had been the kamikaze pilots, immolating themselves to propitiate a 'divine' emperor who looked (as Orwell once phrased it) like a monkey on a stick. Their Christian predecessors had endured torture and death (as well as inflicted it) in order to set up a theocracy. Their modern equivalents would be the suicide murderers, who mostly have the same aim in mind. About people who set out to lose their lives, then, there seems to hang an air of fanaticism: a gigantic sense of self-importance unattractively fused with a masochistic tendency to self-abnegation. Not wholesome. The better and more realistic test would therefore seem to be: In what cause, or on what principle, would you risk your life?
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Why are we fighting? We're fighting because we're soldiers. That's simple enough, isn't it? For what cause are we fighting? Simple again. We're fighting to protect our country, and, in a wider sense, the whole of the English-Speaking Union. From whom? No concern of ours. Where? Wherever we're sent. Now, Foxe, I trust all this is perfectly clear.
Anthony Burgess (The Wanting Seed)
But of all the things Victor learned during the war -- that living to see another day is almost always a matter of stupid luck, that men who know they might die any minute can learn not to give a shit about who's the All-Star and who's the Mexican, or that heroism is most often small and accidental but it still means the world -- the greatest lesson was this: nothing causes more suffering than vengeance. And Victor has no taste for it, not even as the sole witness to his niece's suffering.
Elizabeth Wetmore (Valentine)
The greatest book in the world, the Mahabharata, tells us we all have to live and die by our karmic cycle. Thus works the perfect reward-and-punishment, cause-and-effect, code of the universe. We live out in our present life what we wrote out in our last. But the great moral thriller also orders us to rage against karma and its despotic dictates. It teaches us to subvert it. To change it. It tells us we also write out our next lives as we live out our present. The Mahabharata is not a work of religious instruction. It is much greater. It is a work of art. It understands men will always fall in the shifting chasm between the tug of the moral and the lure of the immoral. It is in this shifting space of uncertitude that men become men. Not animals, not gods. It understands truth is relative. That it is defined by context and motive. It encourages the noblest of men - Yudhishtra, Arjuna, Lord Krishna himself - to lie, so that a greater truth may be served. It understands the world is powered by desire. And that desire is an unknowable thing. Desire conjures death, destruction, distress. But also creates love, beauty, art. It is our greatest undoing. And the only reason for all doing. And doing is life. Doing is karma. Thus it forgives even those who desire intemperately. It forgives Duryodhana. The man who desires without pause. The man who precipitates the war to end all wars. It grants him paradise and the admiration of the gods. In the desiring and the doing this most reviled of men fulfils the mandate of man. You must know the world before you are done with it. You must act on desire before you renounce it. There can be no merit in forgoing the not known. The greatest book in the world rescues volition from religion and gives it back to man. Religion is the disciplinarian fantasy of a schoolmaster. The Mahabharata is the joyous song of life of a maestro. In its tales within tales it takes religion for a spin and skins it inside out. Leaves it puzzling over its own poisoned follicles. It gives men the chance to be splendid. Doubt-ridden architects of some small part of their lives. Duryodhanas who can win even as they lose.
Tarun J. Tejpal (The Alchemy of Desire)
Our enemies are Medes and Persians, men who for centuries have lived soft and luxurious lives; we of Macedon for generations past have been trained in the hard school of danger and war. Above all, we are free men, and they are slaves. There are Greek troops, to be sure, in Persian service — but how different is their cause from ours! They will be fighting for pay — and not much of at that; we, on the contrary, shall fight for Greece, and our hearts will be in it. As for our foreign troops — Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians, Agrianes — they are the best and stoutest soldiers in Europe, and they will find as their opponents the slackest and softest of the tribes of Asia. And what, finally, of the two men in supreme command? You have Alexander, they — Darius!
Alexander the Great
Men love war because it allows them to look serious. Because they imagine it is the only thing that stops women laughing at them. In it they can reduce women to the status of objects. That is the great distinction between the sexes. Men see objects, women see relationships between objects. Whether the objects need each other, love each other, match each other. It is an extra dimension of feeling we men are without and one that makes war abhorrent to all real women - and absurd. I will tell you what war is. War is a psychosis caused by an inability to see relationships.
John Fowles
Thirty years later he could not come to any other conclusion: women were indisputably better than men. They were gentler, more affectionate, more loving and more compassionate, they were rarely violent, selfish, cruel or self-centred. Moreover, they were more rational, more intelligent and more hardworking. What on earth were men for? Michael wondered as he watched sunlight play across the closed curtains. In earlier times, when bears were more common, perhaps masculinity served a particular function, but for centuries now, men served no useful purpose. For the most part, they assuaged their boredom playing squash, which was a lesser evil; but from time to time they felt the need to change history - which expressed itself in leading a revolution or starting a war somewhere. Aside from the senseless suffering they caused, revolutions and war destroyed the achievements of the past, forcing societies to build again. Without the notion of continuous progress, human evolution took random, irregular and violent turns for which men (with their predilection for risk and danger, their repulsive egotism, their volatile nature and their violent tendencies) were directly to blame. A society of women would be immeasurably superior, tracing a slow, unwavering progression, with no U-turns and no chaotic insecurity, towards a general happiness.
Michel Houellebecq (The Elementary Particles)
Sometimes a strikeout means that the slugger’s girlfriend just ran off with the UPS driver. Sometimes a muffed ground ball means that the shortstop’s baby daughter has a pain in her head that won’t go away. And handicapping is for amateur golfers, not ballplayers. Pitchers don’t ease off on the cleanup hitter because of the lumps just discovered in his wife’s breast. Baseball is not life. It is a fiction, a metaphor. And a ballplayer is a man who agrees to uphold that metaphor as though lives were at stake. Perhaps they are. I cherish a theory I once heard propounded by G.Q. Durham that professional baseball is inherently antiwar. The most overlooked cause of war, his theory runs, is that it’s so damned interesting. It takes hard effort, skill, love and a little luck to make times of peace consistently interesting. About all it takes to make war interesting is a life. The appeal of trying to kill others without being killed yourself, according to Gale, is that it brings suspense, terror, honor, disgrace, rage, tragedy, treachery and occasionally even heroism within range of guys who, in times of peace, might lead lives of unmitigated blandness. But baseball, he says, is one activity that is able to generate suspense and excitement on a national scale, just like war. And baseball can only be played in peace. Hence G.Q.’s thesis that pro ball-players—little as some of them may want to hear it—are basically just a bunch of unusually well-coordinated guys working hard and artfully to prevent wars, by making peace more interesting.
David James Duncan
There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter into our civil affairs, our government soon would be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed. Those who made our Constitution saw this, and used the most apt and comprehensive language in it to prevent such a catastrophe. [Weiss v. District Board, March 18, 1890]
Supreme Court of Wisconsin
When I was a schoolboy in England, the old bound volumes of Kipling in the library had gilt swastikas embossed on their covers. The symbol's 'hooks' were left-handed, as opposed to the right-handed ones of the Nazi hakenkreuz, but for a boy growing up after 1945 the shock of encountering the emblem at all was a memorable one. I later learned that in the mid-1930s Kipling had caused this 'signature' to be removed from all his future editions. Having initially sympathized with some of the early European fascist movements, he wanted to express his repudiation of Hitlerism (or 'the Hun,' as he would perhaps have preferred to say), and wanted no part in tainting the ancient Indian rune by association. In its origin it is a Hindu and Jainas symbol for light, and well worth rescuing.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
There is a whirlwind in southern Morocco, the aajej, against which the fellahin defend themselves with knives. There is the africo, which has at times reached into the city of Rome. The alm, a fall wind out of Yugoslavia. The arifi, also christened aref or rifi, which scorches with numerous tongues. These are permanent winds that live in the present tense. There are other, less constant winds that change direction, that can knock down horse and rider and realign themselves anticlockwise. The bist roz leaps into Afghanistan for 170 days--burying villages. There is the hot, dry ghibli from Tunis, which rolls and rolls and produces a nervous condition. The haboob--a Sudan dust storm that dresses in bright yellow walls a thousand metres high and is followed by rain. The harmattan, which blows and eventually drowns itself into the Atlantic. Imbat, a sea breeze in North Africa. Some winds that just sigh towards the sky. Night dust storms that come with the cold. The khamsin, a dust in Egypt from March to May, named after the Arabic word for 'fifty,' blooming for fifty days--the ninth plague of Egypt. The datoo out of Gibraltar, which carries fragrance. There is also the ------, the secret wind of the desert, whose name was erased by a king after his son died within it. And the nafhat--a blast out of Arabia. The mezzar-ifoullousen--a violent and cold southwesterly known to Berbers as 'that which plucks the fowls.' The beshabar, a black and dry northeasterly out of the Caucasus, 'black wind.' The Samiel from Turkey, 'poison and wind,' used often in battle. As well as the other 'poison winds,' the simoom, of North Africa, and the solano, whose dust plucks off rare petals, causing giddiness. Other, private winds. Travelling along the ground like a flood. Blasting off paint, throwing down telephone poles, transporting stones and statue heads. The harmattan blows across the Sahara filled with red dust, dust as fire, as flour, entering and coagulating in the locks of rifles. Mariners called this red wind the 'sea of darkness.' Red sand fogs out of the Sahara were deposited as far north as Cornwall and Devon, producing showers of mud so great this was also mistaken for blood. 'Blood rains were widely reported in Portugal and Spain in 1901.' There are always millions of tons of dust in the air, just as there are millions of cubes of air in the earth and more living flesh in the soil (worms, beetles, underground creatures) than there is grazing and existing on it. Herodotus records the death of various armies engulfed in the simoom who were never seen again. One nation was 'so enraged by this evil wind that they declared war on it and marched out in full battle array, only to be rapidly and completely interred.
Michael Ondaatje
I am sometimes asked, "How do you know there won't be a war tomorrow (or a genocide, or an act of terrorism) that will refute your whole thesis?" The question misses the point of this book. The point is not that we have entered an Age of Aquarius in which every last earthling has been pacified forever. It is that substantial reductions in violence have taken place, and it is important to understand them. Declines in violence are caused by political, economic, and ideological conditions that take hold in particular cultures at particular times. If the conditions reverse, violence could go right back up.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge, and the leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which mankind lives is based upon this fear. It is even difficult to imagine all the horror of this slavery. We do not understand what people are losing. But in order to understand the cause of this slavery it is enough to see how people live, what constitutes the aim of their existence, the object of their desires, passions, and aspirations, of what they think, of what they talk, what they serve and what they worship. Consider what the cultured humanity of our times spends money on; even leaving the war out, what commands the highest price; where the biggest crowds are. If we think for a moment about these questions it becomes clear that humanity, as it is now, with the interests it lives by, cannot expect to have anything different from what it has.
G.I. Gurdjieff
This new war, like the previous one, would be a test of the power of machines against people and places; whatever its causes and justifications, it would make the world worse. This was true of that new war, and it has been true of every new war since... I knew too that this new war was not even new but was only the old one come again. And what caused it? It was caused, I thought, by people failing to love one another, failing to love their enemies.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
I think most historians would agree that the part played by impulses of selfish, individual aggression in the holocausts of history was small; first and foremost, the slaughter was meant as an offering to the gods, to king and country, or the future happiness of mankind. The crimes of a Caligula shrink to insignificance compared to the havoc wrought by Torquemada. The number of victims of robbers, highwaymen, rapists, gangsters and other criminals at any period of history is negligible compared to the massive numbers of those cheerfully slain in the name of the true religion, just policy or correct ideology. Heretics were tortured and burnt not in anger but in sorrow, for the good of their immortal souls. Tribal warfare was waged in the purported interest of the tribe, not of the individual. Wars of religion were fought to decide some fine point in theology or semantics. Wars of succession dynastic wars, national wars, civil wars, were fought to decide issues equally remote from the personal self-interest of the combatants. Let me repeat: the crimes of violence committed for selfish, personal motives are historically insignificant compared to those committed ad majorem gloriam Dei, out of a self-sacrificing devotion to a flag, a leader, a religious faith or a political conviction. Man has always been prepared not only to kill but also to die for good, bad or completely futile causes. And what can be a more valid proof of the reality of the self-transcending urge than this readiness to die for an ideal?
Arthur Koestler (The Ghost in the Machine)
Humility is a virtue of the heavenly, not arrogance. Are we the most superior beast on earth? No, not in strength and not in intelligence. It is very arrogant to assume that we are the most intelligent species when we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Both rats and monkeys have been shown to learn from error, yet we have not. More people have died in the name of religion than any other cause on earth. Is massacring God’s creations really serving God – or the devil? And what father would want to see his children constantly divided and fighting? What God would allow a single human life to be sacrificed for monetary gain? Again, the Creator or the devil?
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Ignorance was the enemy. Lies and superstition, misinformation, disinformation. Sometimes, no information at all. Ignorance killed billions of people. Ignorance caused the Zombie War. Imagine if we had known then what we know now. Imagine if the undead virus had been as understood as, say, tuberculosis was. Imagine if the world’s citizens, or at least those charged with protecting those citizens, had known exactly what they were facing. Ignorance was the real enemy, and cold, hard facts were the weapons.
Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War)
How goddamn foolish it is, the war. They's no war in the worth that's worth fightin' for. I don't care where it is. They can't tell me any different. Money, money is the thing that causes it all. I wouldn't be a bit surprised that the people that start wars and promote 'em are the men that make the money, make the ammunition, make the clothing and so forth. Just think of the poor kids that are starvin' to death in Asia and so forth that could be fed with how much you make one big shell of. ~Alvin "Tommy" Bridges
Studs Terkel
When it comes to the Civil War, all of our popular understanding, our popular history and culture, our great films, the subtext of our arguments are in defiance of its painful truths. It is not a mistake that Gone with the Wind is one of the most read works of American literature or that The Birth of a Nation is the most revered touchstone of all American film. Both emerge from a need for palliatives and painkillers, an escape from the truth of those five short years in which 750,000 American soldiers were killed, more than all American soldiers killed in all other American wars combined, in a war declared for the cause of expanding "African slavery." That war was inaugurated not reluctantly, but lustily, by men who believed property in humans to be the cornerstone of civilization, to be an edict of God, and so delivered their own children to his maw. And when that war was done, the now-defeated God lived on, honored through the human sacrifice of lynching and racist pogroms. The history breaks the myth. And so the history is ignored, and fictions are weaved into our art and politics that dress villainy in martyrdom and transform banditry into chivalry, and so strong are these fictions that their emblem, the stars and bars, darkens front porches and state capitol buildings across the land to this day.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
I spent the beginning of my focus on activism by doing what most everyone else was doing; blaming other people and institutions. Don’t like the war? Let’s blame the president, congress, or lobbyists. Don’t like ecological disregard? Let’s blame this or that corrupt corporation or some regulatory body for poor performance. Don’t like being poor and socially immobile? Let’s blame government coercion and interference in this free market utopia everyone keeps talking about. The sobering truth of the matter is that the only thing to blame is the dynamic, causal unfolding of system expression itself on the cultural level. In other words, none of us create or do anything in isolation – it’s impossible. We are system-bound both physically and psychologically; a continuum. Therefore our view of causality with respect to societal change can only be truly productive if we seek and source the most relevant sociological influences we can and begin to alter those effects from the root causes.
Peter Joseph
The War Department in Washington briefly weighed more ambitious schemes to relieve the Americans on a large scale before it was too late. But by Christmas of 1941, Washington had already come to regard Bataan as a lost cause. President Roosevelt had decided to concentrate American resources primarily in the European theater rather than attempt to fight an all-out war on two distant fronts. At odds with the emerging master strategy for winning the war, the remote outpost of Bataan lay doomed. By late December, President Roosevelt and War Secretary Henry Stimson had confided to Winston Churchill that they had regrettably written off the Philippines. In a particularly chilly phrase that was later to become famous, Stimson had remarked, 'There are times when men have to die.
Hampton Sides (Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission)
The growing spirit of kindliness and reconciliation between the North and South after the frightful differences of a generation ago ought to be a source of deep congratulation to all, and especially to those whose mistreatment caused the war; but if that reconciliation is to be marked by the industrial slavery and civic death of those same black men, with permanent legislation into a position of inferiority, then those black men, if they are really men, are called upon by every consideration of patriotism and loyalty to oppose such a course by all civilized methods, even though such opposition involves disagreement with Mr. Booker T. Washington. We have no right to sit silently by while the inevitable seeds are sown for a harvest of disaster to our children, black and white.
W.E.B. Du Bois
Earnestness means willingness to live with energy, though energy bring pain. The pain may be pain to other people or pain to one's self — it makes little difference; for when the strenuous mood is on one, the aim is to break something, no matter whose or what. Nothing annihilates an inhibition as irresistibly as anger does it; for, as Moltke says of war, destruction pure and simple is its essence. This is what makes it so invaluable an ally of every other passion. The sweetest delights are trampled on with a ferocious pleasure the moment they offer themselves as checks to a cause by which our higher indignations are elicited. It costs then nothing to drop friendships, to renounce long-rooted privileges and possessions, to break with social ties. Rather do we take a stern joy in the astringency and desolation; and what is called weakness of character seems in most cases to consist of the inaptitude for these sacrificial moods, of which one's own inferior self and its pet softnesses must often be the targets and the victims.
William James (The Varieties of Religious Experience)
If I'm a bad person, you don't like me Well I guess I'll make my own way It's a circle A mean cycle I can't excite you anymore Where's your gavel? Your jury? What's my offense this time? You're not a judge but if you're gonna judge me Well sentence me to another life Don't wanna hear your sad songs I don't wanna feel your pain When you swear it's all my fault Cause you know we're not the same (no) We're not the same (no) Oh we're not the same Yeah the friends who stuck together We wrote our names in blood But I guess you can't accept that the change is good (hey) It's good (hey) It's good Well you treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out You treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out Ignorance is your new best friend Ignorance is your new best friend This is the best thing that could've happened Any longer and I wouldn't have made it It's not a war no, it's not a rapture I'm just a person but you can't take it The same tricks that, that once fooled me They won't get you anywhere I'm not the same kid from your memory Well now I can fend for myself Don't wanna hear your sad songs I don't wanna feel your pain When you swear it's all my fault Cause you know we're not the same (no) We're not the same (no) Oh we're not the same Yeah we used to stick together We wrote our names in blood But I guess you can't accept that the change is good (hey) It's good (hey) It's good Well you treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out You treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out Ignorance is your new best friend Ignorance is your new best friend Ignorance is your new best friend Ignorance is your new best friend Well you treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out You treat me just like another stranger Well it's nice to meet you sir I guess I'll go I best be on my way out
Hayley Williams
When an apple has ripened and falls, why does it fall? Because of its attraction to the earth, because its stalk withers, because it is dried by the sun, because it grows heavier, because the wind shakes it, or because the boy standing below wants to eat it? Nothing is the cause. All this is only the coincidence of conditions in which all vital organic and elemental events occur. And the botanist who finds that the apple falls because the cellular tissue decays and so forth is equally right with the child who stands under the tree and says the apple fell because he wanted to eat it and prayed for it.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
All people have regrets. Warriors are no exceptions. One would hope it was possible to distinguish between events caused by one's carelessness or lack of ability and those caused by circumstances or forces beyond a one's control. But in practice, there is no difference. All forms of regret sear equally into the mind and soul. All forms leave scars of equal bitterness. And always, beneath the scar, lurks the thought and fear that there was something else that could have been done. Some action, or inaction, that would have changed things for the better. Such questions can sometimes be learned form. All to often, they merely add to the scar tissue. A warrior must learn to set those regrets aside as best he can. Knowing full well that they will never be far away.
Timothy Zahn, Star Wars: Thrawn
Civil war... What did the words mean? Was there any such thing as 'foreign war'? Was not all warfare between men warfare between brothers? Wars could only be defined by their aims. There were no 'foreign' or 'civil' wars, only wars that were just or unjust. Until the great universal concord could be arrived at, warfare, at least when it was the battle between the urgent future and the dragging past, might be unavoidable. How could such a war be condemned? War is not shameful, nor the sword-thrust a stab in the back, except when it serves to kill right and progress, reason, civilization, and truth. When this is war's purpose it maeks no difference whether it is civil or foreign war - it is a crime. Outside the sacred cause for justice, what grounds has one kind of war for denigrating another? By what right does the sword of Washington despise the pike of Camille Desmoulins? Which is the greater - Leonidas fighting the foreign enemy or Timoleon slaying the tyrant who was his brother? One was a defender, the other a liberator. Are we to condemn every resort to arms that takes place within the citadel, without concerning ourselves with its aim?
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Sweet Evelyn, I think, I should have loved you better. Possessing perfect knowledge I hover above him as he hacks me to bits. I see his rough childhood. I see his mother doing something horrid to him with a broomstick. I see the hate in his heart and the people he had yet to kill before pneumonia gets him at eighty-three. I see the dead kid's mom unable to sleep, pounding her fists against her face in grief at the moment I was burying her son's hand. I see the pain I've caused. I see the man I could have been, and the man I was, and then everything is bright and new and keen with love and I sweep through Sam's body, trying to change him, trying so hard, and feeling only hate and hate, solid as stone.
George Saunders (CivilWarLand in Bad Decline)
The character of Moses, as stated in the Bible, is the most horrid that can be imagined. If those accounts be true, he was the wretch that first began and carried on wars on the score or on the pretence of religion; and under that mask, or that infatuation, committed the most unexampled atrocities that are to be found in the history of any nation. Of which I will state only one instance: When the Jewish army returned from one of their plundering and murdering excursions, the account goes on as follows (Numbers xxxi. 13): 'And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp; and Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle; and Moses said unto them, 'Have ye saved all the women alive?' behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. Now therefore, 'kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him; but all the women- children that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for Yourselves.' Among the detestable villains that in any period of the world have disgraced the name of man, it is impossible to find a greater than Moses, if this account be true. Here is an order to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers, and debauch the daughters. Let any mother put herself in the situation of those mothers, one child murdered, another destined to violation, and herself in the hands of an executioner: let any daughter put herself in the situation of those daughters, destined as a prey to the murderers of a mother and a brother, and what will be their feelings? In short, the matters contained in this chapter, as well as in many other parts of the Bible, are too horrid for humanity to read, or for decency to hear.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
This is how it actually works. There has to be some kind of respect for the jitters, some understanding of how our emotions have the power to run us around in circles. That understanding helps us discover how we increase our pain, how we increase our confusion, how we cause harm to ourselves. Because we have basic goodness, basic wisdom, basic intelligence, we can stop harming ourselves and harming others. Because of mindfulness, we see things when they arise. Because of our understanding, we don’t buy into the chain reaction that makes things grow from minute to expansive. We leave things minute. They stay tiny. They don’t keep expanding into World War III or domestic violence. It all comes through learning to pause for a moment, learning not to just impulsively do the same thing again and again. It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up the space. By waiting, we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness.
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics))
Four times during the first six days they were assembled and briefed and then sent back. Once, they took off and were flying in formation when the control tower summoned them down. The more it rained, the worse they suffered. The worse they suffered, the more they prayed that it would continue raining. All through the night, men looked at the sky and were saddened by the stars. All through the day, they looked at the bomb line on the big, wobbling easel map of Italy that blew over in the wind and was dragged in under the awning of the intelligence tent every time the rain began. The bomb line was a scarlet band of narrow satin ribbon that delineated the forward most position of the Allied ground forces in every sector of the Italian mainland. For hours they stared relentlessly at the scarlet ribbon on the map and hated it because it would not move up high enough to encompass the city. When night fell, they congregated in the darkness with flashlights, continuing their macabre vigil at the bomb line in brooding entreaty as though hoping to move the ribbon up by the collective weight of their sullen prayers. "I really can't believe it," Clevinger exclaimed to Yossarian in a voice rising and falling in protest and wonder. "It's a complete reversion to primitive superstition. They're confusing cause and effect. It makes as much sense as knocking on wood or crossing your fingers. They really believe that we wouldn't have to fly that mission tomorrow if someone would only tiptoe up to the map in the middle of the night and move the bomb line over Bologna. Can you imagine? You and I must be the only rational ones left." In the middle of the night Yossarian knocked on wood, crossed his fingers, and tiptoed out of his tent to move the bomb line up over Bologna.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
If in fact your time to be called before God, you typically won't know it. Sometimes you will, and these are the hardest of times: When the blood pours from your nose and down your throat, clogging it, causing you to spit and gag. You heave for breath in the smoke and dust. Your equipment seems to suffocate you. You wipe the salty sweat and grime from your eyes, only to realize that it is blood, either yours or that of the enemy. You would stand, but you can't move your legs. You grasp the open, gaping wounds in your body, trying not to pass out from the pain. You feel the anger thinking of the loved ones you will never see again, and losing your life infuriates your soul. You rage to get to your feet and grab for a weapon, any weapon. Regardless of your race, culture, or religion, you want to die standing, fighting like a warrior, an American, so others won't have to. For those looking for a definition, this is the price of freedom.
Rusty Bradley (Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds)
You are 'the best of cut-throats:'--do not start; The phrase is Shakespeare's, and not misapplied:-- War's a brain-spattering, windpipe-slitting art, Unless her cause by Right be sanctified. If you have acted once a generous part, The World, not the World's masters, will decide, And I shall be delighted to learn who, Save you and yours, have gained by Waterloo? I am no flatterer--you've supped full of flattery: They say you like it too--'tis no great wonder: He whose whole life has been assault and battery, At last may get a little tired of thunder; And swallowing eulogy much more than satire, he May like being praised for every lucky blunder; Called 'Saviour of the Nations'--not yet saved, And Europe's Liberator--still enslaved. I've done. Now go and dine from off the plate Presented by the Prince of the Brazils, And send the sentinel before your gate A slice or two from your luxurious meals: He fought, but has not fed so well of late...
Lord Byron (Don Juan)
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light: The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out the grief that saps the mind, For those that here we see no more; Ring out the feud of rich and poor, Ring in redress to all mankind. Ring out a slowly dying cause, And ancient forms of party strife; Ring in the nobler modes of life, With sweeter manners, purer laws. Ring out the want, the care, the sin, The faithless coldness of the times; Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes, But ring the fuller minstrel in. Ring out false pride in place and blood, The civic slander and the spite; Ring in the love of truth and right, Ring in the common love of good. Ring out old shapes of foul disease; Ring out the narrowing lust of gold; Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace. Ring in the valiant man and free, The larger heart, the kindlier hand; Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to be
Alfred Tennyson (In Memoriam)
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation Delivered on December 8, 1941 Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Coddly slammed a fist on the table. “No one will take you seriously if you do not act decisively.” There was a beat of silence after his voice stopped echoing around the room, and the entire table sat motionless. “Fine,” I responded calmly. “You’re fired.” Coddly laughed, looking at the other gentlemen at the table. “You can’t fire me, Your Highness.” I tilted my head, staring at him. “I assure you, I can. There’s no one here who outranks me at the moment, and you are easily replaceable.” Though she tried to be discreet, I saw Lady Brice purse her lips together, clearly determined not to laugh. Yes, I definitely had an ally in her. “You need to fight!” he insisted. “No,” I answered firmly. “A war would add unnecessary strain to an already stressful moment and would cause an upheaval between us and the country we are now bound to by marriage. We will not fight.” Coddly lowered his chin and squinted. “Don’t you think you’re being too emotional about this?” I stood, my chair screeching behind me as I moved. “I’m going to assume that you aren’t implying by that statement that I’m actually being too female about this. Because, yes, I am emotional.” I strode around the opposite side of the table, my eyes trained on Coddly. “My mother is in a bed with tubes down her throat, my twin is now on a different continent, and my father is holding himself together by a thread.” Stopping across from him, I continued. “I have two younger brothers to keep calm in the wake of all this, a country to run, and six boys downstairs waiting for me to offer one of them my hand.” Coddly swallowed, and I felt only the tiniest bit of guilt for the satisfaction it brought me. “So, yes, I am emotional right now. Anyone in my position with a soul would be. And you, sir, are an idiot. How dare you try to force my hand on something so monumental on the grounds of something so small? For all intents and purposes, I am queen, and you will not coerce me into anything.” I walked back to the head of the table. “Officer Leger?” “Yes, Your Highness?” “Is there anything on this agenda that can’t wait until tomorrow?” “No, Your Highness.” “Good. You’re all dismissed. And I suggest you all remember who’s in charge here before we meet again.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
We have made money our god and called it the good life. We have trained our children to go for jobs hat bring the quickest corporate advancements at the highest financial levels. We have taught them careerism but not ministry and wonder why ministers are going out of fashion. We fear coddling the poor with food stamps while we call tax breaks for the rich business incentives. We make human community the responsibility of government institutions while homelessness, hunger, and drugs seep from the centers of our cities like poison from open sores for which we do not seek either the cause or the cure. We have created a bare and sterile world of strangers where exploitation is a necessary virtue. We have reduced life to the lowest of values so that the people who have much will not face the prospect of having less. Underlying all of it, we have made women the litter bearers of a society where disadvantage clings to the bottom of the institutional ladder and men funnel to the top, where men are privileged and women are conscripted for the comfort of the human race. We define women as essential to the development of the home but unnecessary to the development of society. We make them poor and render them powerless and shuttle them from man to man. We sell their bodies and question the value of their souls. We call them unique and say they have special natures, which we then ignore in their specialness. We decide that what is true of men is true of women and then say that women are not as smart as men, as strong as men, or as capable as men. We render half the human race invisible and call it natural. We tolerate war and massacre, mayhem and holocaust to right the wrongs that men say need righting and then tell women to bear up and accept their fate in silence when the crime is against them. What’s worse, we have applauded it all—the militarism, the profiteering, and the sexisms—in the name of patriotism, capitalism, and even religion. We consider it a social problem, not a spiritual one. We think it has something to do with modern society and fail to imagine that it may be something wrong with the modern soul. We treat it as a state of mind rather than a state of heart. Clearly, there is something we are failing to see.
Joan D. Chittister (Heart of Flesh: Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men)
If that's the case, hurrah for the crazy people! Look, Lola, do you remember a single name, for instance, of any of the soldiers killed in the Hundred Years War? Did you ever try to find out who any of them were? No! You see? You never tried. As far as you are concerned, they are as anonymous, as indifferent, as the last atom of that paperweight, as your morning bowel movement. Get into your head, Lola, that they died fot nothing! For absolutely nothing, the idiots! I say it and I'll say it again! I've proved it! The one thing that counts is life! In ten thousand years, I'll bet you, this war, remarkable as it may seem to us at present, will be utterly forgotten... Maybe here and there in the world a handful of scholars will argue about its causes or the dates of the principal hecatombs that made it famous. Up until now those are the only things about men that other men have thought worth remembering after a few centuries, a few years, or even a few hours... I don't believe in future, Lola...
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves. And yet after such a great number of years, no one without faith has reached the point to which all continually look. All complain, princes and subjects, noblemen and commoners, old and young, strong and weak, learned and ignorant, healthy and sick, of all countries, all time, all ages, and all conditions. A trial so long, so continuous, and so uniform should certainly convince us of our inability to reach the good by our own efforts.... What is it then that this desire and this inability proclaim to us, but that there was once in man a true happiness of which there now remains to him only; the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present? But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable Object, that is to say, only by God Himself.
Blaise Pascal
Q: Yet, I cannot see how can anything come to be without a cause. M: When I say a thing is without a cause, I mean it can be with-out a particular cause. Your own mother was needed to give you birth; But you could not have been born without the sun and the earth. Even these could not have caused your birth without your own desire to be born. It is desire that gives birth, that gives name and form. The desirable is imagined and wanted and manifests itself as something tangible or con-ceivable. Thus is created the world in which we live, our personal world. The real world is beyond the mind's ken; we see it through the net of our desires, divided into pleasure and pain, right and wrong, inner and outer. To see the universe as it is, you must step beyond the net. It is not hard to do so, for the net is full of holes. Q: What do you mean by holes? And how to find them? M: Look at the net and its many contradictions. You do and undo at every step. You want peace, love, happiness and work hard to create pain, hatred and war. You want longevity and overeat, you want friendship and exploit. See your net as made of such contradictions and remove them -- *your very seeing them will make them go*
Nisargadatta Maharaj
At this point, a faerie woman came twirling through. She had leaves in her updo and was swathed in ribbons and ivy and not much else. She tripped on a trailing line of ivy and Alec caught her. “Good reflexes!” she said brightly. “Also great arms. Would you be interested in a night of tumultuous forbidden passion, with an option to extend to seven years?” “Um, I am gay,” Alec said. He was not used to saying that casually, to any random person. It was strange to say it, and feel both relief and a shadow of his old fear, twined together. Of course, the declaration might not mean much to faeries. The faerie woman accepted it with a shrug, then looked over at Raphael and lit up. Something about the leather jacket or the scowl seemed to appeal to her strongly. “How about you, Vampire Without a Cause?” “I’m not gay,” said Raphael. “I’m not straight. I’m not interested.” “Your sexuality is ‘not interested’?” Alec asked curiously. Raphael said, “That’s right.” The faerie thought for a moment, then ventured, “I can also assume the appearance of a tree!” “I didn’t say, ‘not interested unless you’re a tree.’ ” “Wait,” said the faerie suddenly. “I recognize you. You’re Raphael Santiago! I’ve heard of you.” Raphael made a gesture of dismissal. “Have you heard I like it when people go away?” “You were one of the heroes in the Downworlder victory over Valentine.” “He was one of the heroes of the Downworlder and Shadowhunter alliance, which led to the victory,” Alec said. Raphael stopped looking annoyed and began to look nastily amused. “Oh, did the Shadowhunters help a little?” he asked. “You were there!” said Alec. “Can I have your autograph, Raphael?” asked the faerie lady. She produced a large, shiny green leaf and a quill. Raphael wrote LEAVE ME ALONE on the leaf. “I’ll cherish it,” said the faerie. She ran away, clutching the leaf to her bosom. “Don’t,” Raphael yelled after her.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Kasha didn't say a word as we ate. She sat with her back to us, staring at a mountain range far in the distance. Yorn and I made small talk about the birds, but my mind was on Kasha, wondering what she was thinking. She was the Traveler from Eelong. We needed her. Eelong needed her. Heck, Halla needed her. I wished I knew how to convince her of that. When she finally did speak, I was surprised at her question. "How many territories are there?" she asked. "Ten in all," I said. "At least that's what I've been told. They're all part of Halla." "Explain to me what halla is," she said. It was an order more than a question. I didn't know why she suddenly had this interest, but if she was willing to listen, I was ready to talk. "The way it was told to me, Halla is everything. Every time, every place, every person and creature that ever existed. It all still exists." "And you understand that?" she asked. "Well, not entirely," I answered honestly. "But you're willing to risk your life and the lives of those around you to protect Halla from Saint Dane?" Good question. I'd asked myself the same question more than once. "I wasn't at first," I began. "Far from it. I didn't want any part of Travelers or flumes and especially of Saint Dane. But since then I've been to a bunch of territories and seen the evil he's capable of." Kasha scoffed and said,"Evil? You're a fool, Pendragon. A tang is evil. What possible evil could a gar cause that's worse than that?" "I'll tell you," I said. "He's killed more people than I want to count, all in the name of creating chaos. He fueled a war on Denduron and tried to poison all of Cloral. Then he nearly crushed three territories at once, my home territories of Earth. But each time the Travelers stopped him. Until Veelox. We failed on Veelox. An entire civilization is going to collapse, millions will die, all because we failed. And Saint Dane wil be there to pick up the pieces. Or step on them." "It's all mildly interesting," she said calmly. "But like I said before, it has nothing to do with me. I don't care." That's when I snapped. Okay, I admit, maybe I should have been cool, but Kasha's total lack of concern had finally gotten to me. I jumped to my feet and said, "Well, you'd better start!" "It's all right, Pendragon," Yorn said calmly. "Relax." "Relax?" I shouted, getting more amped up by the second. "Why? So I won't upset Kasha? She should be upset. People have died fighting Saint Dane. People I've loved, people she's loved." I looked right at Kasha and said, "You don't care? I'll tell you what I don't care about. I don't care that your life is a mess. Sorry, it's true. You've got way bigger problems coming, kitty cat. You want to pretend like none of this affects you? Fine. You're wrong. If we fail, Eelong will crumble and everything you care about will crash along with it. And whether you like it or not, you're a Traveler. So why don't you just grow up and accept it!
D.J. MacHale (Black Water (Pendragon, #5))
The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but... [very long pause] sometimes it's too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question "Why?" Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed and spite, jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done, like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.
Ronald M. Moore
One thing of great importance can affect a small number of people. Equally so, a thing of little importance can affect a multitude. Either way, a happening - big or small - can affect an entire string of people. Occurrences can join us all together. You see, we're all made up of the same stuff. When something happens, it triggers something inside us that connects us to a situation, connects us to other people, lighting us up and linking us like little lights on a Christmas tree, twisted and turned but still connected to a wire. Some go out, others flicker, others burn strong and bright, yet we are all on the same line. I said at the beginning of this story that this was about people who find out who they are. About people who are unraveled and whose cores are revealed to all who count. And that all that count are revealed to them. You thought I was talking about Lou Suffern and the Turkey Boy, about Raphie, Jessica, and Ruth, didn't you? Wrong. I was talking about each of us. A lesson finds the common denominatior and links us all together, like a chain. At the end of that chain dangles a clock, and on the face of the clock registers the passing of time. We see it and we hear it, the hushed tick-tock, but often we don't feel it. Each second makes its mark on every single person's life - comes and then goes, quietly disappearing without fanfare, evaporating into air like steam from a piping hot Christmas pudding. Enough time leaves us warm; when our time is gone, it leaves us cold. Time is more precious than gold, more precious than diamonds, more precious than oil or any valuable treasures. It is time of which we do not have enough; it is time that causes the war within our hearts, and so we must spend it wisely. Time cannot be packaged and ribboned and left under trees for Christmas morning. Time can't be given. But it can be shared.
Cecelia Ahern
New Rule: Stop pretending your drugs are morally superior to my drugs because you get yours at a store. This week, they released the autopsy report on Anna Nicole Smith, and the cause of death was what I always thought it was: mad cow. No, it turns out she had nine different prescription drugs in her—which, in the medical field, is known as the “full Limbaugh.” They opened her up, and a Walgreens jumped out. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, sleeping pills, sedatives, Valium, methadone—this woman was killed by her doctor, who is a glorified bartender. I’m not going to say his name, but only because (a) I don’t want to get sued, and (b) my back is killing me. This month marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of a famous government report. I was sixteen in 1972, and I remember how excited we were when Nixon’s much ballyhooed National Commission on Drug Abuse came out and said pot should be legalized. It was a moment of great hope for common sense—and then, just like Bush did with the Iraq Study Group, Nixon took the report and threw it in the garbage, and from there the ’70s went right into disco and colored underpants. This week in American Scientist, a magazine George Bush wouldn’t read if he got food poisoning in Mexico and it was the only thing he could reach from the toilet, described a study done in England that measured the lethality of various drugs, and found tobacco and alcohol far worse than pot, LSD, or Ecstasy—which pretty much mirrors my own experiments in this same area. The Beatles took LSD and wrote Sgt. Pepper—Anna Nicole Smith took legal drugs and couldn’t remember the number for nine-one-one. I wish I had more time to go into the fact that the drug war has always been about keeping black men from voting by finding out what they’re addicted to and making it illegal—it’s a miracle our government hasn’t outlawed fat white women yet—but I leave with one request: Would someone please just make a bumper sticker that says, “I’m a stoner, and I vote.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
It was as easy as breathing to go and have tea near the place where Jane Austen had so wittily scribbled and so painfully died. One of the things that causes some critics to marvel at Miss Austen is the laconic way in which, as a daughter of the epoch that saw the Napoleonic Wars, she contrives like a Greek dramatist to keep it off the stage while she concentrates on the human factor. I think this comes close to affectation on the part of some of her admirers. Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion, for example, is partly of interest to the female sex because of the 'prize' loot he has extracted from his encounters with Bonaparte's navy. Still, as one born after Hiroshima I can testify that a small Hampshire township, however large the number of names of the fallen on its village-green war memorial, is more than a world away from any unpleasantness on the European mainland or the high or narrow seas that lie between. (I used to love the detail that Hampshire's 'New Forest' is so called because it was only planted for the hunt in the late eleventh century.) I remember watching with my father and brother through the fence of Stanstead House, the Sussex mansion of the Earl of Bessborough, one evening in the early 1960s, and seeing an immense golden meadow carpeted entirely by grazing rabbits. I'll never keep that quiet, or be that still, again. This was around the time of countrywide protest against the introduction of a horrible laboratory-confected disease, named 'myxomatosis,' into the warrens of old England to keep down the number of nibbling rodents. Richard Adams's lapine masterpiece Watership Down is the remarkable work that it is, not merely because it evokes the world of hedgerows and chalk-downs and streams and spinneys better than anything since The Wind in the Willows, but because it is only really possible to imagine gassing and massacre and organized cruelty on this ancient and green and gently rounded landscape if it is organized and carried out against herbivores.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
How yet resolves the governor of the town? This is the latest parle we will admit; Therefore to our best mercy give yourselves; Or like to men proud of destruction Defy us to our worst: for, as I am a soldier, A name that in my thoughts becomes me best, If I begin the battery once again, I will not leave the half-achieved Harfleur Till in her ashes she lie buried. The gates of mercy shall be all shut up, And the flesh'd soldier, rough and hard of heart, In liberty of bloody hand shall range With conscience wide as hell, mowing like grass Your fresh-fair virgins and your flowering infants. What is it then to me, if impious war, Array'd in flames like to the prince of fiends, Do, with his smirch'd complexion, all fell feats Enlink'd to waste and desolation? What is't to me, when you yourselves are cause, If your pure maidens fall into the hand Of hot and forcing violation? What rein can hold licentious wickedness When down the hill he holds his fierce career? We may as bootless spend our vain command Upon the enraged soldiers in their spoil As send precepts to the leviathan To come ashore. Therefore, you men of Harfleur, Take pity of your town and of your people, Whiles yet my soldiers are in my command; Whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace O'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds Of heady murder, spoil and villany. If not, why, in a moment look to see The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand Defile the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters; Your fathers taken by the silver beards, And their most reverend heads dash'd to the walls, Your naked infants spitted upon pikes, Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry At Herod's bloody-hunting slaughtermen. What say you? will you yield, and this avoid, Or, guilty in defence, be thus destroy'd?
William Shakespeare (Henry V)
Sean: …………And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Matt Damon
A critical analysis of the present global constellation-one which offers no clear solution, no “practical” advice on what to do, and provides no light at the end of the tunnel, since one is well aware that this light might belong to a train crashing towards us-usually meets with reproach: “Do you mean we should do nothing? Just sit and wait?” One should gather the courage to answer: “YES, precisely that!” There are situations when the only true “practical” thing to do is to resist the temptation to engage immediately and to “wait and see” by means of a patient, critical analysis. Engagement seems to exert its pressure on us from all directions. In a well-known passage from his ‘Existentialism and Humanism’, Sartre deployed the dilemma of a young man in France in 1942, torn between the duty to help his lone, ill mother and the duty to enter the war and fight the Germans; Sartre’s point is, of course, that there is no a priori answer to this dilemma. The young man needs to make a decision grounded only in his own abyssal freedom and assume full responsibility for it. An obscene third way out of this dilemma would have been to advise the young man to tell his mother that he will join the Resistance, and to tell his Resistance friends that he will take care of his mother, while, in reality, withdrawing to a secluded place and studying. There is more than cheap cynicism in this advice. It brings to mind a well-known Soviet joke about Lenin. Under socialism; Lenin’s advice to young people, his answer to what they should do, was “Learn, learn, and learn.” This was evoked all the time and displayed on the school walls. The joke goes: Marx, Engels, and Lenin are asked whether they would prefer to have a wife or a mistress. As expected, Marx, rather conservative in private matters, answers, “A wife!” while Engels, more of a bon vivant, opts for a mistress. To everyone’s surprise, Lenin says, “I’d like to have both!” Why? Is there a hidden stripe of decadent jouisseur behind his austere revolutionary image? No-he explains: “So that I can tell my wife that I am going to my mistress and my mistress that I am going to my wife. . .” “And then, what do you do?” “I go to a solitary place to learn, learn, and learn!” Is this not exactly what Lenin did after the catastrophe in 1914? He withdrew to a lonely place in Switzerland, where he “learned, learned, and learned,” reading Hegel’s logic. And this is what we should do today when we find ourselves bombarded with mediatic images of violence. We need to “learn, learn, and learn” what causes this violence.
Slavoj Žižek (Violence: Six Sideways Reflections)
1. Myth: Without God, life has no meaning. There are 1.2 billion Chinese who have no predominant religion, and 1 billion people in India who are predominantly Hindu. And 65% of Japan's 127 million people claim to be non-believers. It is laughable to suggest that none of these billions of people are leading meaningful lives. 2. Myth: Prayer works. Studies have now shown that inter-cessionary prayer has no effect whatsoever of the health or well-being of the subject. 3. Myth: Atheists are immoral. There are hundreds of millions of non-believers on the planet living normal, decent, moral lives. They love their children, care about others, obey laws, and try to keep from doing harm to others just like everyone else. In fact, in predominantly non-believing countries such as in northern Europe, measures of societal health such as life expectancy at birth, adult literacy, per capita income, education, homicide, suicide, gender equality, and political coercion are better than they are in believing societies. 4. Myth: Belief in God is compatible with science. In the past, every supernatural or paranormal explanation of phenomena that humans believed turned out to be mistaken; science has always found a physical explanation that revealed that the supernatural view was a myth. Modern organisms evolved from lower life forms, they weren't created 6,000 years ago in the finished state. Fever is not caused by demon possession. Bad weather is not the wrath of angry gods. Miracle claims have turned out to be mistakes, frauds, or deceptions. We have every reason to conclude that science will continue to undermine the superstitious worldview of religion. 5. Myth: We have immortal souls that survive death. We have mountains of evidence that makes it clear that our consciousness, our beliefs, our desires, our thoughts all depend upon the proper functioning of our brains our nervous systems to exist. So when the brain dies, all of these things that we identify with the soul also cease to exist. Despite the fact that billions of people have lived and died on this planet, we do not have a single credible case of someone's soul, or consciousness, or personality continuing to exist despite the demise of their bodies. 6. Myth: If there is no God, everything is permitted. Consider the billions of people in China, India, and Japan above. If this claim was true, none of them would be decent moral people. So Ghandi, the Buddha, and Confucius, to name only a few were not moral people on this view. 7. Myth: Believing in God is not a cause of evil. The examples of cases where it was someone's belief in God that was the justification for their evils on humankind are too numerous to mention. 8. Myth: God explains the origins of the universe. All of the questions that allegedly plague non-God attempts to explain our origins still apply to the faux explanation of God. The suggestion that God created everything does not make it any clearer to us where it all came from, how he created it, why he created it, where it is all going. In fact, it raises even more difficult mysteries: how did God, operating outside the confines of space, time, and natural law 'create' or 'build' a universe that has physical laws? We have no precedent and maybe no hope of answering or understanding such a possibility. What does it mean to say that some disembodied, spiritual being who knows everything and has all power, 'loves' us, or has thoughts, or goals, or plans? 9. Myth: There's no harm in believing in God. Religious views inform voting, how they raise their children, what they think is moral and immoral, what laws and legislation they pass, who they are friends and enemies with, what companies they invest in, where they donate to charities, who they approve and disapprove of, who they are willing to kill or tolerate, what crimes they are willing to commit, and which wars they are willing to fight.
Matthew S. McCormick
Was it the wicked leaders who led innocent populations to slaughter, or was it wicked populations who chose leaders after their own hears? On the face of it, it seemed unlikely that one Leader could force a million Englishmen against their will. If, for instance, Mordred had been anxious to make the English wear petticoats, or stand on their heads, they would surely not have joined his party -- however clever or persuasive or deceitful or even terrible his inducements? A leader was surely forced to offer something which appealed to those he led? He might give the impetus to the falling building, but surely it had to be toppling on its own account before it fell? If this were true, then wars were not calamities into which amiable innocents were led by evil men.They were national movements, deeper, more subtle in origin. And, indeed, it did not feel to him as if he or Mordred had led their country to its misery. If it was so easy to lead one's country in various directions, as if she was a pig on a string, why had he failed to lead her into chivalry, into justice, and into peace? He had been trying. Then again -- this was the second circle -- it was like the Inferno -- if neither he nor Mordred had really set the misery in motion, who had been the cause? How did the fact of war begin in general? For any one war seemed so rooted in its antecedents. Mordred went back to Morgause, Morgause to Uther Pendragon, Uther to his ancestors. It seemed as if Cain had slain Abel, seizing his country, after which the men of Abel had sought to win their patrimony again for ever. Man had gone on, through age after age, avenging wrong with wrong, slaughter with slaughter. Nobody was the better for it, since both sides always suffered, yet everybody was inextricable. The present war might be attributed to Mordred or to himself. But also it was due to a million Thrashers, to Lancelot, Guenever, Gawaine, everybody. Those who lived by the sword were forced to die by it. It was as if everything would lead to sorrow, so long as man refused to forget the past. The wrongs of Uther and of Cain were wrongs which could have been righted only by the blessing of forgetting them.
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
At this point, I can no longer avoid setting out, in an initial, provisional statement, my own hypothesis about the origin of “bad conscience.” It is not easy to get people to attend to it, and it requires them to consider it at length, to guard it, and to sleep on it. I consider bad conscience the profound illness which human beings had to come down with, under the pressure of the most fundamental of all the changes which they experienced—that change when they finally found themselves locked within the confines of society and peace. Just like the things water animals must have gone though when they were forced either to become land animals or to die off, so events must have played themselves out with this half-beast so happily adapted to the wilderness, war, wandering around, adventure—suddenly all its instincts were devalued and “disengaged.” From this point on, these animals were to go on foot and “carry themselves”; whereas previously they had been supported by the water. A terrible heaviness weighed them down. In performing the simplest things they felt ungainly. In dealing with this new unknown world, they no longer had their old leader, the ruling unconscious drives which guided them safely. These unfortunate creatures were reduced to thinking, inferring, calculating, bringing together cause and effect, reduced to their “consciousness,” their most impoverished and error-prone organ! I believe that on earth there has never been such a feeling of misery, such a leaden discomfort—while at the same time those old instincts had not all at once stopped imposing their demands! Only it was difficult and seldom possible to do their bidding. For the most part, they had to find new and, as it were, underground satisfactions for them.
Friedrich Nietzsche (On the Genealogy of Morals)
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream: ‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion, A home and a country should leave us no more! Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave: And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved home and the war’s desolation! Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Francis Scott Key (The Star-Spangled Banner)
It’s not the drug that causes the junkie it’s the laws that causes the junkie because of course the drug laws means that he can’t go and get help because he is afraid of being arrested. He also can’t have a normal life because the war on drugs has made drugs so expensive and has made drug contracts unenforceable which means they can only be enforced through criminal violence. It becomes so profitable to sell drugs to addicts that the drug dealers have every incentive to get people addicted by offering free samples and to concentrate their drug to the highest possible dose to provoke the greatest amount of addiction as possible. Overall it is a completely staggering and completely satanic human calamity. It is the new gulag and in some ways much more brutal than the soviet gulag. In the soviet gulags there was not a huge prison rape problem and in this situation your life could be destroyed through no fault of your own through sometimes, no involvement of your own and the people who end up in the drug culture are walled off and separated as a whole and thrown into this demonic, incredibly dangerous, underworld were the quality of the drugs can’t be verified. Were contracts can’t be enforced except through breaking peoples kneecaps and the price of drugs would often led them to a life of crime. People say “well, I became a drug addict and I lost my house, family, and my job and all that.” It’s not because you became a drug addict but, because there is a war on drugs which meant that you had to pay so much for the drugs that you lost your house because you couldn't go and find help or substitutes and ended up losing your job. It’s all nonsense. The government can’t keep drugs out of prisons for heaven’s sakes. The war on drugs is not designed to be won. Its designed to continue so that the government can get the profits of drug running both directly through the CIA and other drug runners that are affiliated or through bribes and having the power of terrorizing the population. To frame someone for murder is pretty hard but to palm a packet of cocaine and say that you found it in their car is pretty damn easy and the government loves having that power." -Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux
Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils. To this must be added the violent fanaticism which came into play once the struggle had broken out. Leaders of parties in the cities had programmes which appeared admirable – on one side political equality for the masses, on the other the safe and sound government of the aristocracy – but in professing to serve the public interest they were seeking to win the prizes for themselves. In their struggles for ascendancy nothing was barred; terrible indeed were the actions to which they committed themselves, and in taking revenge they went farther still. Here they were deterred neither by the claims of justice nor by the interests of the state; their one standard was the pleasure of their own party at that particular moment, and so, either by means of condemning their enemies on an illegal vote or by violently usurping power over them, they were always ready to satisfy the hatreds of the hour. Thus neither side had any use for conscientious motives; more interest was shown in those who could produce attractive arguments to justify some disgraceful action. As for the citizens who held moderate views, they were destroyed by both the extreme parties, either for not taking part in the struggle or in envy at the possibility that they might survive.
Thucydides (The History of the Peloponnesian War)
She managed a bored sigh. “I suppose we could do one picture, but a group shot won’t work. Nyx, how about one of you with your favorite child? Which one is that?” The brood rustled. Dozens of horrible glowing eyes turned toward Nyx. The goddess shifted uncomfortably, as if her chariot were heating up under her feet. Her shadow horses huffed and pawed at the void. “My favorite child?” she asked. “All my children are terrifying!” Percy snorted. “Seriously? I’ve met the Fates. I’ve met Thanatos. They weren’t so scary. You’ve got to have somebody in this crowd who’s worse than that.” “The darkest,” Annabeth said. “The most like you.” “I am the darkest,” hissed Eris. “Wars and strife! I have caused all manner of death!” “I am darker still!” snarled Geras. “I dim the eyes and addle the brain. Every mortal fears old age!” “Yeah, yeah,” Annabeth said, trying to ignore her chattering teeth. “I’m not seeing enough dark. I mean, you’re the children of Night! Show me dark!” The horde of arai wailed, flapping their leathery wings and stirring up clouds of blackness. Geras spread his withered hands and dimmed the entire abyss. Eris breathed a shadowy spray of buckshot across the void. “I am the darkest!” hissed one of the demons. “No, I!” “No! Behold my darkness!” If a thousand giant octopuses had squirted ink at the same time, at the bottom of the deepest, most sunless ocean trench, it could not have been blacker. Annabeth might as well have been blind. She gripped Percy’s hand and steeled her nerves. “Wait!” Nyx called, suddenly panicked. “I can’t see anything.” “Yes!” shouted one of her children proudly. “I did that!” “No, I did!” “Fool, it was me!” Dozens of voices argued in the darkness. The horses whinnied in alarm. “Stop it!” Nyx yelled. “Whose foot is that?” “Eris is hitting me!” cried someone. “Mother, tell her to stop hitting me!” “I did not!” yelled Eris. “Ouch!” The sounds of scuffling got louder. If possible, the darkness became even deeper. Annabeth’s eyes dilated so much, they felt like they were being pulled out of their sockets. She squeezed Percy’s hand. “Ready?” “For what?” After a pause, he grunted unhappily. “Poseidon’s underpants, you can’t be serious.” “Somebody give me light!” Nyx screamed. “Gah! I can’t believe I just said that!” “It’s a trick!” Eris yelled. “The demigods are escaping!” “I’ve got them,” screamed an arai. “No, that’s my neck!” Geras gagged. “Jump!” Annabeth told Percy. They leaped into the darkness, aiming for the doorway far, far below.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
He remembered the night in Arlington when the news came: secession. He remembered a paneled wall and firelight. When we heard the news we went into mourning. But outside there was cheering in the streets, bonfires of joy. They had their war at last. But where was there ever any choice? The sight of fire against wood paneling, a bonfire seen far off at night through a window, soft and sparky glows always to remind him of that embedded night when he found that he had no choice. The war had come. He was a member of the army that would march against his home, his sons. He was not only to serve in it but actually to lead it, to make the plans and issue the orders to kill and burn and ruin. He could not do that. Each man would make his own decision, but Lee could not raise his hand against his own. And so what then? To stand by and watch, observer at the death? To do nothing? To wait until the war was over? And if so, from what vantage point and what distance? How far do you stand from the attack on your home, whatever the cause, so that you can bear it? It had nothing to do with causes; it was no longer a matter of vows. When Virginia left the Union she bore his home away as surely as if she were a ship setting out to sea, and what was left behind on the shore was not his any more. So it was no cause and no country he fought for, no ideal and no justice. He fought for his people, for the children and the kin, and not even the land, because not even the land was worth the war, but the people were, wrong as they were, insane even as many of them were, they were his own, he belonged with his own. And so he took up arms willfully, knowingly, in perhaps the wrong cause against his own sacred oath and stood now upon alien ground he had once sworn to defend, sworn in honor, and he had arrived there really in the hands of God, without any choice at all; there had never been an alternative except to run away, and he could not do that. But Longstreet was right, of course: he had broken the vow. And he would pay. He knew that and accepted it. He had already paid. He closed his eyes. Dear God, let it end soon.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
During my first few months of Facebooking, I discovered that my page had fostered a collective nostalgia for specific cultural icons. These started, unsurprisingly, within the realm of science fiction and fantasy. They commonly included a pointy-eared Vulcan from a certain groundbreaking 1960s television show. Just as often, though, I found myself sharing images of a diminutive, ancient, green and disarmingly wise Jedi Master who speaks in flip-side down English. Or, if feeling more sinister, I’d post pictures of his black-cloaked, dark-sided, heavy-breathing nemesis. As an aside, I initially received from Star Trek fans considerable “push-back,” or at least many raised Spock brows, when I began sharing images of Yoda and Darth Vader. To the purists, this bordered on sacrilege.. But as I like to remind fans, I was the only actor to work within both franchises, having also voiced the part of Lok Durd from the animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was the virality of these early posts, shared by thousands of fans without any prodding from me, that got me thinking. Why do we love Spock, Yoda and Darth Vader so much? And what is it about characters like these that causes fans to click “like” and “share” so readily? One thing was clear: Cultural icons help people define who they are today because they shaped who they were as children. We all “like” Yoda because we all loved The Empire Strikes Back, probably watched it many times, and can recite our favorite lines. Indeed, we all can quote Yoda, and we all have tried out our best impression of him. When someone posts a meme of Yoda, many immediately share it, not just because they think it is funny (though it usually is — it’s hard to go wrong with the Master), but because it says something about the sharer. It’s shorthand for saying, “This little guy made a huge impact on me, not sure what it is, but for certain a huge impact. Did it make one on you, too? I’m clicking ‘share’ to affirm something you may not know about me. I ‘like’ Yoda.” And isn’t that what sharing on Facebook is all about? It’s not simply that the sharer wants you to snortle or “LOL” as it were. That’s part of it, but not the core. At its core is a statement about one’s belief system, one that includes the wisdom of Yoda. Other eminently shareable icons included beloved Tolkien characters, particularly Gandalf (as played by the inimitable Sir Ian McKellan). Gandalf, like Yoda, is somehow always above reproach and unfailingly epic. Like Yoda, Gandalf has his darker counterpart. Gollum is a fan favorite because he is a fallen figure who could reform with the right guidance. It doesn’t hurt that his every meme is invariably read in his distinctive, blood-curdling rasp. Then there’s also Batman, who seems to have survived both Adam West and Christian Bale, but whose questionable relationship to the Boy Wonder left plenty of room for hilarious homoerotic undertones. But seriously, there is something about the brooding, misunderstood and “chaotic-good” nature of this superhero that touches all of our hearts.
George Takei
My conception of freedom. -- The value of a thing sometimes does not lie in that which one attains by it, but in what one pays for it -- what it costs us. I shall give an example. Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained: later on, there are no worse and no more thorough injurers of freedom than liberal institutions. Their effects are known well enough: they undermine the will to power; they level mountain and valley, and call that morality; they make men small, cowardly, and hedonistic -- every time it is the herd animal that triumphs with them. Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization. These same institutions produce quite different effects while they are still being fought for; then they really promote freedom in a powerful way. On closer inspection it is war that produces these effects, the war for liberal institutions, which, as a war, permits illiberal instincts to continue. And war educates for freedom. For what is freedom? That one has the will to assume responsibility for oneself. That one maintains the distance which separates us. That one becomes more indifferent to difficulties, hardships, privation, even to life itself. That one is prepared to sacrifice human beings for one's cause, not excluding oneself. Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of "pleasure." The human being who has become free -- and how much more the spirit who has become free -- spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior. How is freedom measured in individuals and peoples? According to the resistance which must be overcome, according to the exertion required, to remain on top. The highest type of free men should be sought where the highest resistance is constantly overcome: five steps from tyranny, close to the threshold of the danger of servitude. This is true psychologically if by "tyrants" are meant inexorable and fearful instincts that provoke the maximum of authority and discipline against themselves; most beautiful type: Julius Caesar. This is true politically too; one need only go through history. The peoples who had some value, who attained some value, never attained it under liberal institutions: it was great danger that made something of them that merits respect. Danger alone acquaints us with our own resources, our virtues, our armor and weapons, our spirit, and forces us to be strong. First principle: one must need to be strong -- otherwise one will never become strong. Those large hothouses for the strong -- for the strongest kind of human being that has so far been known -- the aristocratic commonwealths of the type of Rome or Venice, understood freedom exactly in the sense in which I understand it: as something one has and does not have, something one wants, something one conquers
Friedrich Nietzsche
There have been ample opportunities since 1945 to show that material superiority in war is not enough if the will to fight is lacking. In Algeria, Vietnam and Afghanistan the balance of economic and military strength lay overwhelmingly on the side of France, the United States, and the Soviet Union, but the will to win was slowly eroded. Troops became demoralised and brutalised. Even a political solution was abandoned. In all three cases the greater power withdrew. The Second World War was an altogether different conflict, but the will to win was every bit as important - indeed it was more so. The contest was popularly perceived to be about issues of life and death of whole communities rather than for their fighting forces alone. They were issues, wrote one American observer in 1939, 'worth dying for'. If, he continued, 'the will-to-destruction triumphs, our resolution to preserve civilisation must become more implacable...our courage must mount'. Words like 'will' and 'courage' are difficult for historians to use as instruments of cold analysis. They cannot be quantified; they are elusive of definition; they are products of a moral language that is regarded sceptically today, even tainted by its association with fascist rhetoric. German and Japanese leaders believed that the spiritual strength of their soldiers and workers in some indefinable way compensate for their technical inferiority. When asked after the war why Japan lost, one senior naval officer replied that the Japanese 'were short on spirit, the military spirit was weak...' and put this explanation ahead of any material cause. Within Germany, belief that spiritual strength or willpower was worth more than generous supplies of weapons was not confined to Hitler by any means, though it was certainly a central element in the way he looked at the world. The irony was that Hitler's ambition to impose his will on others did perhaps more than anything to ensure that his enemies' will to win burned brighter still. The Allies were united by nothing so much as a fundamental desire to smash Hitlerism and Japanese militarism and to use any weapon to achieve it. The primal drive for victory at all costs nourished Allied fighting power and assuaged the thirst for vengeance. They fought not only because the sum of their resources added up to victory, but because they wanted to win and were certain that their cause was just. The Allies won the Second World War because they turned their economic strength into effective fighting power, and turned the moral energies of their people into an effective will to win. The mobilisation of national resources in this broad sense never worked perfectly, but worked well enough to prevail. Materially rich, but divided, demoralised, and poorly led, the Allied coalition would have lost the war, however exaggerated Axis ambitions, however flawed their moral outlook. The war made exceptional demands on the Allied peoples. Half a century later the level of cruelty, destruction and sacrifice that it engendered is hard to comprehend, let alone recapture. Fifty years of security and prosperity have opened up a gulf between our own age and the age of crisis and violence that propelled the world into war. Though from today's perspective Allied victory might seem somehow inevitable, the conflict was poised on a knife-edge in the middle years of the war. This period must surely rank as the most significant turning point in the history of the modern age.
Richard Overy (Why the Allies Won)