Interchange Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Interchange. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
Angels and demons were identical--interchangeable archetypes--all a matter of polarity. The guardian angel who conquered your enemy in battle was perceived by your enemy as a demon destroyer.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
Bob … the Titan … he only helped us in Tartarus because you were kind to him. You told him we were worth saving. That’s the only reason we’re alive.’ She said we so easily, as if she and Percy were interchangeable, inseparable.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
I never thought it would get this bad. I never thought the Reestablishment would take things so far. They're incinerating culture, the beauty of diversity. The new citizens of our world will be reduced to nothing but numbers, easily interchangeable, easily removable, easily destroyed for disobedience. We have lost our humanity.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Towns are like people. Old ones often have character, the new ones are interchangeable.
Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
One is the left shoe and the other is the right. They are the same but not interchangeable.
Tayari Jones (An American Marriage)
Answered prayer is the interchange of love between the Father and His child.
Andrew Murray
Often we take personally the slings and arrows of our 'abusers'. But frequently we are merely the interchangeable pawns of their own neurotic dramas. Anyone else in your position would have received the same treatment. There is nothing especially noxious or negatively noteworthy about you.
Brian L. Weiss (Messages from the Masters: Tapping Into the Power of Love)
Too many companies believe people are interchangeable. Truly gifted people never are. They have unique talents. Such people cannot be forced into roles they are not suited for, nor should they be. Effective leaders allow great people to do the work they were born to do.
Warren Bennis (Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration)
What do I sound like?" I asked, more breathily than I intended. God, so predictable. He considered his answer for a moment before he gave it. "Dissonant," he said finally. "Meaning?" Another long pause. "Unstable." Hmm. He shook his head. "Not the way you're thinking," he said, the shadow of a smile on his lips. "In music, consonant chords are points of arrival. Rest. There's no tension," he tried to explain. "Most pop music hooks are consonant, which is why most people like them. They're catchy but interchangeable. Boring. Dissonant intervals, however, are full of tension," he said, holding my gaze. "You can't predict which way they're going to go. It makes limited people uncomfortable - frustrated, because they don't understand the point, and people hate what they don't understand. But the ones who get it," he said, lifting a hand to my face, "find it fascinating. Beautiful." He traced the shape of my mouth with his thumb. "Like you.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
Morality, then, is not a set of arbitrary regulations dictated by a vengeful deity and written down in a book; nor is it the custom of a particular culture or tribe. It is a consequence of the interchangeability of perspectives and the opportunity the world provides for positive-sum games.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Each path to knowledge involves different rules and these rules are not interchangeable.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
...If it wasn’t for you, I’d think that angels were all totally interchangeable.’ ‘You mean because I’m beyond perfect?’ ‘No. Because you’re so humble.’ ‘Humility’s overrated.’ ‘So is clear self-assessment, apparently.’ ‘Real warriors don’t stand for psychobabble.’ ‘Or for rational thinking.’ He glances at my naked legs. ‘No, not that rational, I admit.
Susan Ee (End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3))
Bandits and governments 'ave so much in common that they might be interchangeable anywhere in the world...
Terry Pratchett (Raising Steam (Discworld, #40; Moist von Lipwig, #3))
One as deformed and horrible as myself, could not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species, and have the same defects... with whom I can live in the interchange of those sympathies necessary for my being...
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
The gross and net result of it is that people who spent most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles...when a man lets things go so far that he is more than half a bicycle, you will not see him so much because he spends a lot of his time leaning with one elbow on walls or standing propped by one foot at kerbstones.
Flann O'Brien (The Third Policeman)
There is only the present. Just as every object on earth contains similar and interchanging atoms, so every fragment of time contains aspects of every other. In those monents that burst alive the present lasts for ever, and I know there are many more presents to live. I understand you can be free. I understand that the way you stop time is by stopping being ruled by it. I am no longer drowning in my past, or fearful of my future. How can I be? The future is you.
Matt Haig (How to Stop Time)
The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. 'If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,' Jesus said, 'he will find his true self.' A Christian woman's true freedom lies on the other side of a very small gate---humble obedience---but that gate leads out into a largeness of life undreamed of by the liberators of the world, to a place where the God-given differentiation between the sexes is not obfuscated but celebrated, where our inequalities are seen as essential to the image of God, for it is in male and female, in male as male and female as female, not as two identical and interchangeable halves, that the image is manifested.
Elisabeth Elliot
The rudeness of many Americans depressed him, a rudeness based on a solid ignorance of the whole concept of manners, and on the proposition that for social purposes, all people are more or less equal and interchangeable.
William S. Burroughs (Queer)
We are two different people, Ethan. Just because you could never decide which one of us you were in love with does not make us interchangeable.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
You pretend to be more eccentric than you actually are because you worry you are an interchangeable cog.
Douglas Coupland (Shampoo Planet)
The keystone of the entire structure of the spiritual and physical universe is Rhythmic Balanced Interchange between all opposites.
Walter Russell
Those desiring speedily to be A refuge for themselves and others Should make the interchange of "I" and "other," And thus embrace a sacred mystery.
Śāntideva (The Way of the Bodhisattva)
Sexist comments, intimidation, groping, violating boundaries, and aggression are merely seen as "typical" for men. But "typical" is dangerously interchangeable with "acceptable".
Vivek Shraya (I'm Afraid of Men)
He was there alone with himself, collected, tranquil, adoring, comparing the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the skies, moved in the darkness by the visible splendors of the constellations, and the invisible splendor of God, opening his soul to the thoughts which fall from the Unknown. In such moments, offering up his heart at the hour when the flowers of night inhale their perfume, lighted like a lamp in the center of the starry night, expanding his soul in ecstasy in the midst of the universal radiance of creation, he could not himself perhaps have told what was passing in his own mind; he felt something depart from him, and something descend upon him, mysterious interchanges of the depths of the soul with the depths of the universe.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
I am intrigued by writers who garden and gardeners who write. The pen and the trowel are not interchangeable, but seem often linked.
Marta McDowell
If fiction and politics ever really do become interchangeable, I’m going to kill myself, because I won’t know what else to do. You see, politics always change. Stories never do.
Stephen King (It)
No cop was ever born who isn't a sucker for a finely-executed hi-speed Controlled Drift all the way around one of those clover-leaf freeway interchanges. Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side when he sees the big red light behind him... and then we will start apologizing begging for mercy. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. The thing to dowhen you're running along about a hundred or so and you suddenly find a red-flashing CHP-tracker on your trail what you want to do then is accelerate.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
You walk for days among trees and among stones. Rarely does the eye light on a thing, and then only when it has recognized that thing as the sign of another thing: a print in the sand indicates the tiger's passage; a marsh announces a vein of water; the hibiscus flower, the end of winter. All the rest is silent and interchangeable; trees and stones are only what they are.
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
The two go hand in hand like a dance: chance flirts with necessity, randomness with determinism. To be sure, it is from this interchange that novelty and creativity arise in Nature, thereby yielding unique forms and novel structures.
Eric Chaisson (Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos)
Many people confuse a Dom personality with a Dom's position of authority. The two are not exactly the same or interchangeable. A true Dom dominates. Plain and simple. And by dominate, we mean does what it takes to get a job done. Even if that means submit.
Lucian Bane (Dom Wars: Round One (Dom Wars, #1))
Americans are pushy, obnoxious, neurotic, crass - anything and everything - the full catastrophe as our friend Zorba might say. Canadians are none of that. The way you might fear a cow sitting down in the middle of the street during rush hour, that's how I fear Canadians. To Canadians, everyone is equal. Joni Mitchell is interchangeable with a secretary at open-mic night. Frank Gehry is no greater than a hack pumping out McMansions on AutoCAD. John Candy is no funnier than Uncle Lou when he gets a couple of beers in him. No wonder the only Canadians anyone's ever heard of are the ones who have gotten the hell out. Anyone with talent who stayed would be flattened under an avalanche of equality. The thing Canadians don't understand is that some people are extraordinary and should be treated as such.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
God and the Universe are really interchangeable words. The universe loves us. God loves us. Have faith in the universe. Have faith in God. It's all the same. If God is everywhere, then God is the Universe. And you don't have to believe in God to believe in the Universe.
Todd Perelmuter (Spiritual Words to Live by : 81 Daily Wisdoms and Meditations to Transform Your Life)
You must be brave,” says Rafa. “One Texano against three Vallecanos.” “Bravery and stupidity are sometimes interchangeable.” Rafa lights up. “Yes! But fear brings dimension to our lives. Without fear we will never meet courage
Ruta Sepetys (The Fountains of Silence)
Yet it is the narrative that is the life of the dream while the events themselves are often interchangeable. The events of the waking world on the other hand are forced upon us and the narrative is the unguessed axis along which they must be strung.
Cormac McCarthy (Cities of the Plain (The Border Trilogy, #3))
Then the voices of the Ainur, like unto harps and lutes, and pipes and trumpets, and viols and organs, and like unto countless choirs singing with words, began to fashipn the theme of Iluvatar to a great music; and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights, and the places of the dwelling of Iluvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Silmarillion)
James dropped Cordelia’s hands. They were no longer dancing. James turned away from Cordelia without a word and strode across the room toward the newcomers. She stood, frozen in confusion, as James bent to kiss the hand of the stunningly beautiful girl who had just walked into the room. Titters rose on the dance floor. Lucie had stepped back from Matthew, her eyes wide. Alastair and Thomas both turned to look at Cordelia with expressions of surprise. At any moment, Cordelia knew, her mother would notice that she was drifting in the middle of the dance floor like an abandoned tugboat and charge toward her, and then Cordelia would die. She would die of the humiliation. Cordelia was scanning the room for the nearest exit, ready to flee, when a hand grasped her arm. She was spun around and into an expert grip: a moment later she was dancing again, her feet automatically following her partner’s. “That’s right.” It was Matthew Fairchild. Fair hair, spicy cologne, a blur of a smile. His hands were gentle as he swept her back into the waltz. “Just—try to smile, and no one will notice anything happened. James and I are practically interchangeable in the public consciousness anyway.” “James—left,” Cordelia said, in shock. “I know,” said Matthew. “Very bad form. One should not leave a lady on the dance floor unless something is actually on fire. I’ll have a word.” “A word,” Cordelia echoed. She was beginning to feel less stunned and more angry. “A word?” “Several words, if it will make you feel better?
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
We all think we're snowflakes, but we're Tinker Toys, held together by our interchangeable parts. (39)
Lauren Fox (Friends Like Us)
Isn't it strange how much of our lives are interchangeable, how little is truly ours.
Lang Leav (Memories)
Interchangeable ever were the terms of abuse with which the aggressor discredits those about to be ravaged!
Malcolm Lowry (Under the Volcano)
Not to change the subject, but…you do realize you’ve been going over the speed limit for quite a few miles? Never mind. And thank you Professor Ludefance. Somehow, I think this lecture is meant for me, but I have a lot more interchange of material and energy with my environment than most.” “In a physical sense, you’re not decaying at all, you’re a very vibrant young woman. The decay I’m speaking about for you is emotional. As for the professorship, that very lecture was given to me from a Turkish friend who had inherited a great deal of wealth and didn’t know what to do with himself. I learned this from him. As for you, you interact with your environment, but you are predatory, fearless, irritable, and listless. You’re getting no emotional feedback.” “And just where do you suggest I go to look for ‘emotional feedback,’ Mr. Professor?” “Aha. That’s the catch. You can’t. It’s not that mechanical. You merely have to be receptive and hope it comes along.” “Meanwhile, I’m being ground down by the second law of thermodynamics.” “In a sense, yes.” “Thank you so much, Professor. I never would have known.
Behcet Kaya (Appellate Judge (Jack Ludefance, #3))
(If you read this story out loud, please use the following voices: ME: as a child, high-pitched, forgettable; as a woman, the same. THE BOY WHO WILL GROW INTO A MAN, AND BE MY SPOUSE: robust with serendipity. MY FATHER: kind, booming; like your father, or the man you wish was your father. MY SON: as a small child, gentle, sounding with the faintest of lisps; as a man, like my husband. ALL OTHER WOMEN: interchangeable with my own.)
Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties: Stories)
We are not interchangeable objects, LEGO pieces that click together just because the parts fit.
Jay Crownover (Nash (Marked Men, #4))
I think that it is one of the most refined joys of this world to interchange thoughts, feelings, and impressions.” (H'm!
Nikolai Gogol (Diary Of A Madman (ShandonPress))
All bosses are interchangeable. The only difference is how they like their tea.
Jodi Taylor (No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St. Mary's, #5))
The first thing I saw was blue. Blue sweater, blue eyes. Blue. Beautifully blue. Then I saw red as I recognized who belonged to the blue. “Fucking Wallbanger,” I hissed, frozen on the spot. His grin slid off as well as he played place-the-face for a moment. “Fucking Pink Nightie Girl,” he finally concluded. He grimaced. We stared, seething as the air literally turned electric between us, snapping and crackling. The four behind us had fallen silent, listening to this little interchange. Then they caught up. “That’s Wallbanger?” Sophia screeched. “Wait a minute, that’s Pink Nightie Girl?” Neil laughed, and Mimi and Ryan snorted. My face flamed bright red as I processed this information, and Simon’s sneer became that damnable smirk I’d seen that night in the hallway—when I’d banged on his door and made him quit giving it to the Giggler and yelled at him. When I’d been wearing… “Pink Nightie Girl. Pink Nightie Girl!” I choked out, beyond pissed. Beyond angry. Well into Furious Town. I stared at him, pouring all of my tension into that one look. All of the sleepless nights and lost Os and cold showers and banana thrusting and merciless wet dreams went into that one look. I wanted to level him with my eyes, make him beg for mercy. But no…Not Simon, Director of the International House Of Orgasms. He Was Still Smirking.
Alice Clayton (Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1))
Being normative is about what gets elevated by society to a position of power. Normativity looks like a specific sneaker brand being upheld as the best. Normativity, then, is about value judgment and shouldn’t be used interchangeably with normal.
Alok Vaid-Menon (Beyond the Gender Binary)
Whatever his secret was, I have learnt one secret too, and namely: that the soul is but a manner of being -- not a constant state -- that any soul may be yours, if you find and follow its undulations. The hereafter may be the full ability of consciously living in any chosen soul, in any number of souls, all of them unconscious of their interchangeable burden.
Vladimir Nabokov (The Real Life of Sebastian Knight)
You are in the wrong," replied the fiend; "and, instead of threatening, I am content to reason with you. I am malicious because I am miserable; am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces and triumph; remember that, and tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me? Would you not call it murder if you could Precipitate me into one of those ice-rifts, and destroy my frame, the work of your own hands. Shall I respect man, when he contemns me? Let him live with me in the interchange of kindness, and instead of injury, I would bestow every benefit upon him with tears of gratitude at his acceptance. But that cannot be; the human senses are insurmountable barriers to our union. Yet mine shall not be the submission of abject slavery. I will revenge my injuries: if I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear; and chiefly towards you my arch-enemy, because my creator, do I swear inextinguishable hatred. Have a care: I will work at your destruction, nor finish until I desolate your heart , so that you curse the hour of your birth.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
A famous philosopher (either Aristotle or Judith Krantz, I forget who) once said about being a woman in Los Angeles: If you're blonde and beautiful, you're interchangeable. If you're not, you're invisible.
Laura Levine (This Pen for Hire (A Jaine Austen Mystery, #1))
Love is not sexual intercourse. Love is not vital attraction and interchange. Love is not the heart’s hunger for affection. Love is a mighty vibration coming straight from the One. And only the very pure and very strong are capable of receiving and manifesting it.
Mirra Alfassa
When the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions; his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded.
Thurgood Marshall
You really want to go out to dinner?" Gabriel shot Rase a skeptical look out of the corner of his eye. "As opposed to what?" "Getting on your knees and begging me to beat you." There was no inflection in Gabriel's voice, no heat, and no emotion at all. He wasn't even looking at Rase. ... "I don't want one more than the other," he answered, fully aware that he was being challenged. "They're not interchangeable. I want them both." Rase took a breath to calm the pounding in his chest and continued, even though Gabriel wouldn't look at him. "I want to go out to dinner with you, anywhere you want, on a date. And then I want to go back to your place or my place and I want you to beat me until I bleed.
Anah Crow (Uneven)
A rowdy bunch on the whole, they were most of them so violently individualistic as to be practically interchangeable.
Elaine Dundy
Identity was a liquid state, ever interchangeable, and adaptable to its surroundings... It was better to not have favourites - a snake didn't mourn when it had to shed its skin.
Leonardo Donofrio (Old Country)
Money had no name, of course. And if it did have a name, it would no longer be money. What gave money its true meaning was its dark-night namelessness, its breathtaking interchangeability.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
But the best, in my opinion, was the home life in the little flat--the ardent, voluble chats after the day's study; the cozy dinners and fresh, light breakfasts; the interchange of ambitions--ambitions interwoven each with the other's or else inconsiderable--the mutual help and inspiration; and--overlook my artlessness--stuffed olives and cheese sandwiches at 11 p.m.
O. Henry (The Four Million)
Commodified fantasy takes no risks: it invents nothing, but imitates and trivializes. It proceeds by depriving the old stories of their intellectual and ethical complexity, turning their truth-telling to sentimental platitude. heroes brandish their swords, lasers, wands, as mechanically as combine harvesters, reaping profits. Profoundly disturbing moral choices are sanitized, made cute, made safe. The passionately conceived ideas of the great story-tellers are copied, stereotyped, reduced to toys, molded in bright-colored plastic, advertised, sold, broken, junked, replaceable, interchangeable. What the commodifiers of fantasy count on and exploit is the insuperable imagination of the reader, child or adult, which gives even these dead things life- of a sort, for a while.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Tales from Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #5))
Literacy is in our veins like blood. It enters every other phrase. It is next to impossible to hold a real conversation, as against an interchange of instructions and acquiescences, in which reference to the printed word is not made or in which the implications of something read do not occur.
Ruth Rendell (A Judgement in Stone)
Co-dependent was used interchangeably with the term enabler—someone whose life was out of control because he or she was taking responsibility for “saving” a chemically dependent person. But in the past few years the definition of co-dependency has expanded to include all people who victimize themselves in the process of rescuing and being responsible for any compulsive, addicted, abusive, or excessively dependent person.
Susan Forward (Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life)
The most pernicious message relayed by pornography is that women are natural sexual prey to men and love it; that sexuality and violence are congruent; and that for women sex is essentially masochistic, humiliation pleasurable, physical abuse erotic. But along with this message comes another, not always recognized: that enforced submission and the use of cruelty, if played out in heterosexual pairing, is sexually "normal," while sensuality between women, including erotic mutuality and respect, is "queer," "sick," and either pornographic in itself or not very exciting compared with the sexuality of whips and bondage. Pornography does not simply create a climate in which sex and violence are interchangeable; it widens the range of behavior considered acceptable from men in heterosexual intercourse-behavior which reiteratively strips women of their autonomy, dignity, and sexual potential, including the potential of loving and being loved by women in mutuality and integrity.
Adrienne Rich (Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence)
Anything can be an instrument, Chugurh said. Small things. Things you wouldn't even notice. They pass from hand to hand. People don't pay attention. And then one day there’s an accounting. And after that nothing is the same. Well, you say. It’s just a coin. For instance. Nothing special there. What could that be an instrument of? You see the problem. to separate the act from the the thing. As if the parts of some moment in history might be interchangeable with the parts of some other moment. How could that be? Well, it’s just a coin. Yes. That’s true. Is it?
Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men)
What is reading, in the last analysis, but an interchange of thought between writer and reader? If the book enters the reader's mind just as it left the writer's -- without any of the additions and modifications inevitably produced by contact with a new body of thought -- it has been read to no purpose.
Edith Wharton
This praise highlights another problem with the idea of the "good man"—the bar is ultimately a low one, and men are heralded every day for engaging in basic acts of domestic labour like washing dishes. It is this low bar that also renders the experiences I've shared unexceptional and therefore so often unnoticed. Sexist comments, intimidation, groping, violating boundaries, and aggression are seen as merely "typical" for men. But "typical" is dangerously interchangeable with "acceptable." "Boys will be boys," after all.
Vivek Shraya (I'm Afraid of Men)
mentally try to add up all the things I’ve done in my life, but no clear picture emerges, nothing that will tell me what kind of person I am—just a lot of haziness and blurred edges, indistinct memories of laughing and driving around. I feel like I’m trying to take a picture into the sun: all of the people in my memories are coming back featureless and interchangeable.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
Paarfi undertakes a detailed examination on the virtues of brevity: It would seem, therefore, that if we allow our readers, by virtue of being in the company of the historian, to eavesdrop on this interchange, we will have, in one scene, discharged two obligations; a sacrifice, if we may say so, to the god Brevity, whom all historians, indeed, all who work with the written word, ought to worship. We cannot say too little on this subject.
Steven Brust (The Phoenix Guards (Khaavren Romances, #1))
Since Mother's death, Father sees a sneeze as one step from pneumonia. I would rather die than confess a symptom. I don't like this new side of Father. This Father is weak, afraid, constantly worrying. I dare not encourage those fears. Instead, I nod or shake my head, keeping interchange sparse, waiting for a subject more suited to the dignified Father I remember. And I know he's in there.
Michael Ben Zehabe (Persianality)
Living with the belief that you’re a walking piece of shit is hell. The smarter the person is, the more hellish it is. The only way out of this hell is physical death. In any case, it seems so to many people. This is the real reason for the nuclear war that destroyed our civilization.
Andrew Orange (The Interchange)
The screen came up to light again, showing a devastated section of the city grid. No, not decimated. Had that part of the city been decimated, one out of every ten buildings would be destroyed. That’s what decimated means. Personally, I think some early-years, respected television personality got decimated and devastated confused at some point, and no one wanted to point it out to him, so everyone started using them interchangeably. But dammit, words mean what they mean, even if everyone thinks they ought to mean something else.
Jim Butcher (Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13))
There is some strange sense in which distance and closeness are sisters, the two sides of the one experience. Distance awakens longing; closeness is belonging. Yet they are always in a dynamic interflow with each other. When we fix or locate them definitively, we injure our growth. It is an interesting imaginative exercise to interchange them: to consider what is near as distant and to consider the distant as intimate.
John O'Donohue (Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong)
To Canadians, everyone is equal. Joni Mitchell is interchangeable with a secretary at open-mic night. Frank Gehry is no greater than a hack pumping out McMansions on AutoCAD. John Candy is no funnier than Uncle Lou when he gets a couple of beers in him. No wonder the only Canadians anyone’s ever heard of are the ones who have gotten the hell out. Anyone with talent who stayed would be flattened under an avalanche of equality.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
Apart from the agglomeration of huge masses in which the individual disappears anyway, one of the chief factors responsible for psychological mass-mindedness is scientific rationalism, which robs the individual of his foundations and his dignity. As a social unit he has lost his individuality and become a mere abstract number in the bureau of statistics. He can only play the role of an interchangeable unit of infinitesimal importance. Looked at rationally and from outside, that is exactly what he is, and from this point of view it seems positively absurd to go on talking about the value or meaning of the individual.
C.G. Jung (The Undiscovered Self)
The realm of freedom actually begins only where labour which is determined by necessity and mundane considerations ceases; thus in the very nature of things it lies beyond the sphere of actual material production. Just as the savage must wrestle with Nature to satisfy his wants, to maintain and reproduce life, so must civilised man, and he must do so in all social formations and under all possible modes of production. With his development this realm of physical necessity expands as a result of his wants; but, at the same time, the forces of production which satisfy these wants also increase. Freedom in this field can only consist in socialised man, the associated producers, rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind forces of Nature; and achieving this with the least expenditure of energy and under conditions most favourable to, and worthy of, their human nature. But it nonetheless still remains a realm of necessity. Beyond it begins that development of human energy which is an end in itself, the true realm of freedom, which, however, can blossom forth only with this realm of necessity as its basis. The shortening of the working-day is its basic prerequisite.
Karl Marx
Everything predicted by the enemies of banks, in the beginning, is now coming to pass. We are to be ruined now by the deluge of bank paper. It is cruel that such revolutions in private fortunes should be at the mercy of avaricious adventurers, who, instead of employing their capital, if any they have, in manufactures, commerce, and other useful pursuits, make it an instrument to burden all the interchanges of property with their swindling profits, profits which are the price of no useful industry of theirs.
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced The rich proud cost of outworn buried age; When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed And brass eternal slave to mortal rage; When I have seen the hungry ocean gain Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, And the firm soil win of the watery main, Increasing store with loss and loss with store; When I have seen such interchange of state, Or state itself confounded to decay; Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate, That Time will come and take my love away. This thought is as a death which cannot choose But weep to have that which it fears to lose.
William Shakespeare
Characters should be interchangeable as between one book and another. The entire corpus of existing literature should be regarded as a limbo from which discerning authors could draw their characters as required, creating only when they failed to find a suitable existing puppet. The modern novel should be largely a work of reference. Most authors spend their time saying what has been said before – usually said much better. A wealth of references to existing works would acquaint the reader instantaneously with the nature of each character, would obviate tiresome explanations and would effectively preclude mountebanks, upstarts, thimble-riggers and persons of inferior education from an understanding of contemporary literature.
Flann O'Brien (At Swim-Two-Birds)
this morning I go to pay for breakfast and there, right there at the Kroger check-out, staring me in the face is a national magazine with your picture on the cover. Counterfeit Countess, it said. In great big, bold type: Counterfeit! Countess! Counterfeit,” he reiterated, “a word interchangeable with forgery and often associated with arrest.” Ah, yes. Patrice had called from Austin and warned me she had sold the story to Woman’s World magazine. “Last sentence?” Mittwede asked. “You know what it is?’ “No, I’ve not seen it.” “Tanya says, ‘I’m going to grow up and be a con artist.’” It had struck me as pretty funny when I said it, but Mittwede had better delivery. I think it was the hysteria. He was saying, “I remember that story. That was like a year and a half ago. You didn’t tell me you were that girl, the Dallas Countess. I already knew the story but I read it again, and I know all the cops have read it again, too. And now your picture is with Passport Services and at the check-out counter. You think federal agents don’t buy groceries? You’re fucking crazy. We’re going to be arrested.” “You maybe need to take a Valium.” “I threw them all in the fire!”   ~~~~~~
Tanya Thompson (Assuming Names: a con artist's masquerade (Criminal Mischief Book 1))
I slowly came to recognize individual monks within the crowds of interchangeable orange robes and shaved heads. There were flirtatious and daring monks who stood on each other's shoulders to peek over the temple at you and call out "Hello, Mrs. Lady!" as you walked by. There were novices who snuck cigarettes at night outside the temple walls, the embers of their smokes glowing as orange as their robes. I saw a buff teenage monk doing push-ups, and I spotted another one with an unexpectdely gangsterish tattoo of a knife emblazoned on one golden shoulder. One night I'd eavesdropped while a handful of monks sang Bob Marley songs to each other underneath a tree in a temple garden, long after they should have been asleep. I'd even seen a knot of barely adolescent novices kickboxing each other - a display of good-natured competition, that like boys' games all over the world, carried the threat of turning truly violent at a moment's notice.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
I know the girl is right because the snake is in me, knotted around my intestines, hanging off my ribs, snuggled like a lover around my black heart. "I love you," I said, addressing the snake, Madison, Bell, Kevin, Pig, my mother, my past lives and the new lover speeding toward me at this very moment. I wondered if it mattered whether you loved one person or another. Weren't lovers interchangeable when you thought back about them? Maybe that was true in the future too. What I really loved was the note. I always loved odd things: the blue curacao bottle, the wet asphalt, my own insipid fear.
Darcey Steinke (Suicide Blonde)
The legitimate functions of government are actually conducive to freedom. Maintaining internal order, keeping foreign foes at bay, administering justice, removing obstacles to the free interchange of goods—the exercise of these powers makes it possible for men to follow their chosen pursuits with maximum freedom. But note that the very instrument by which these desirable ends are achieved can be the instrument for achieving undesirable ends—that government can, instead of extending freedom, restrict freedom.
Barry M. Goldwater (Conscience of a Conservative)
Though often used interchangeably, the concept of freedom of speech and the First Amendment are not the same thing. While the First Amendment protects freedom of speech and freedom of the press as they relate to duties of the state and state power, freedom of speech is a far broader idea that includes additional cultural values. These values incorporate healthy intellectual habits, such as giving the other side a fair hearing, reserving judgment, tolerating opinions that offend or anger us, believing that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and recognizing that even people whose points of view we find repugnant might be (at least partially) right.
Greg Lukianoff (Freedom from Speech (Encounter Broadside Book 39))
When parties in a state are violent, he offered a wonderful contrivance to reconcile them. The method is this: You take a hundred leaders of each party; you dispose them into couples of such whose heads are nearest of a size; then let two nice operators saw off the occiput of each couple at the same time, in such a manner that the brain may be equally divided. Let the occiputs, thus cut off, be interchanged, applying each to the head of his opposite party-man. It seems indeed to be a work that requires some exactness, but the professor assured us, "that if it were dexterously performed, the cure would be infallible." For he argued thus: "that the two half brains being left to debate the matter between themselves within the space of one skull, would soon come to a good understanding, and produce that moderation, as well as regularity of thinking, so much to be wished for in the heads of those, who imagine they come into the world only to watch and govern its motion: and as to the difference of brains, in quantity or quality, among those who are directors in faction, the doctor assured us, from his own knowledge, that "it was a perfect trifle.
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels)
Black girls are likened more to adults than to children and are treated as if they are willfully engaging in behaviors typically expected of Black women—sexual involvement, parenting or primary caregiving, workforce participation, and other adult behaviors and responsibilities. This compression is both a reflection of deeply entrenched biases that have stripped Black girls of their childhood freedoms and a function of an opportunity-starved social landscape that makes Black girlhood interchangeable with Black womanhood. It gives credence to a widely held perception and a message that there is little difference between the two.
Monique W. Morris (Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools)
I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT KING TRITON. Specifically, King, why are you elderly but with the body of a teenage Beastmaster? How do you maintain those monster pecs? Do they have endocrinologists under the sea? Because I am scheduling you some bloodwork... ...Question: How come, when they turn back into humans at the end of Beauty and the Beast, Chip is a four-year-old boy, but his mother, Mrs. Potts, is like 107? Perhaps you're thinking, "Lindy, you are remembering it wrong. That kindly, white-haired, snowman-shaped Mrs. Doubtfire situation must be Chip's grandmother." Not so, champ! She's his mom. Look it up. She gave birth to him four years ago... As soon as you become a mother, apparently, you are instantly interchangeable with the oldest woman in the world, and / or sixteen ounces of boiling brown water with a hat on it. Take a sec and contrast Mrs. Pott's literally spherical body with the cut-diamond abs of King Triton, father of seven.
Lindy West
Madness and passion have always been interchangeable. Throughout the entire western literary tradition. Madness is an abundance of existence. Madness is a way of asking difficult questions. What did he mean, the powerless tyrant king? O Fool, I shall go mad. Maybe madness is the excess of possibility,.... And writingis about reducing possibility to ne idea, one book, one sentence, one word. Madness is a form of self-expression. It is the opposite of creativity. You cannot make anything that can be separated from yourself if you are mad. And yet, look at Rimbaud -- and your wonderful Christopher Smart. But don't harbour any romantic ideas about what it means to be mad. My language was my protection, my guarantee against madness and when there was no one to listen my language vanished along with my reader.
Patricia Duncker (Hallucinating Foucault)
I was thinking not very long ago about the difference between the people we "grew up" with vs. the people we're "growing old" with - not always being one and the same - and how time (and the memories we forge together) really does strengthen pretty much all of our relationships/friendships (whether they had started on the right foot or not). And I guess what I've mostly learned (by moving to NZ especially) is that the more Significant people you have in your life, the more 'manageable' the idea of loss, losing a loved-one, can become - not because you can replace them (obviously you can't) or because they're interchangeable (no one is), but because like a foundation to a house the more pillars you have (people you love) holding it up (loving you) the more solid/resilient you become - and from there, I find you're better equipped to overcome whatever life throws your way. That said time does pass us by very quickly. I find it much more noticeable through our growing kids than ever before.
Kim Dallmeier
The universality of reason is a momentous realization, because it defines a place for morality. If I appeal to you do do something that affects me—to get off my foot, or not to stab me for the fun of it, or to save my child from drowning—then I can't do it in a way that privileges my interests of yours if I want you to take me seriously (say, by retaining my right to stand on your foot, or to stab you, or to let your children drown). I have to state my case in a way that would force me to treat you in kind. I can't act as if my interests are special just because I'm me and you're not, any more than I can persuade you that the spot I am standing on is a special place in the universe just because I happen to be standing on it. You and I ought to reach this moral understanding not just so we can have a logically consistent conversation but because mutual unselfishness is the only way we can simultaneously pursue our interests. You and I are both better off if we share our surpluses, rescue each other's children when they get into trouble, and refrain from knifing each other than we would be if we hoarded our surpluses while they rotted, let each other's children drown, and feuded incessantly. Granted, I might be a bit better off if I acted selfishly at your expense and you played the sucker, but the same is true for you with me, so if each of us tried for these advantages, we'd both end up worse off. Any neutral observer, and you and I if we could talk it over rationally, would have to conclude that the state we should aim for is the one where we both are unselfish. Morality, then, is not a set of arbitrary regulations dictated by a vengeful deity and written down in a book; nor is it the custom of a particular culture or tribe. It is a consequence of the interchangeability of perspectives and the opportunity the world provides for positive-sum games.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
The intellectual climate of the 1970s, for which the 1950s had already paved the way, contributed to this. A theory was even finally developed at that time that pedophilia should be viewed as something positive. Above all, however, the thesis was advocated-and this even infiltrated Catholic moral theology-that there was no such thing as something that is bad in itself. There were only things that were "relatively" bad. What was good or bad depended on the consequences. In such a context, where everything is relative and nothing intrinsically evil exists, but only relative good and relative evil, people who have an inclination to such behavior are left without no solid footing. Of course pedophilia is first rather a sickness of individuals, but the fact that it could become so active and so widespread was linked also to an intellectual climate through which the foundations of moral theology, good and evil, became open to question in the Church. Good and evil became interchangeable; they were no longer absolutely clear opposites.
Pope Benedict XVI (Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times - A Conversation with Peter Seewald)
Women are interchangeable as sex objects; women are slightly less disposable as mothers. The only dignity and value women get is as mothers: it is a compromised dignity and a low value, but it is all that is offered to women as women. Having children is the best thing women can do to get respect and be assured a place. The fact that having children does not get women respect or a place is almost beside the point: poor women don’t get respect and live in dung heaps; black women don’t get respect and are jailed in decimated ghettos; just plain pregnant women don’t get respect and the place they have is a dangerous one—pregnancy is now considered a cause of battery (stress on the male, don’t you know): in perhaps 25 percent of families in which battery occurs, it is a pregnant woman who has been battered. In fact, having children may mean both increased violence and increased dependence; it may significantly worsen the economic circumstances of a woman or a family; it may hurt a woman’s health or jeopardize her in a host of other ways; but having children is the one social contribution credited to women—it is the bedrock of women’s social worth. Despite all the happy smiling public mommies, the private mommies have grim private recognitions. One perception is particularly chilling: without the children, I am not worth much. The recognition is actually more dramatic than that, much more chilling: without the children, I am not.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
So I looked with fascination at those people in their mobes, and tried to fathom what it would be like. Thousands of years ago, the work that people did had been broken down into jobs that were the same every day, in organizations where people were interchangeable parts. All of the story had been bled out of their lives. That was how it had to be; it was how you got a productive economy. But it would be easy to see a will at work behind this: not exactly an evil will, but a selfish will. The people who'd made the system thus were jealous, not of money and not of power but of story. If their employees came home at day's end with interesting stories to tell, it meant that something had gone wrong: a blackout, a strike, a spree killing. The Powers That Be would not suffer others to be in stories of their own unless they were fake stories that had been made up to motivate them. People who couldn't live without story had been driven into the concents or into jobs like Yul's. All others had to look somewhere outside of work for a feeling that they were part of a story, which I guessed was why Sæculars were so concerned with sports, and with religion. How else could you see yourself as part of an adventure? Something with a beginning, middle, and end in which you played a significant part? We avout had it ready-made because we were a part of this project of learning new things. Even if it didn't always move fast enough for people like Jesry, it did move. You could tell where you were and what you were doing in that story. Yul got all of this for free by living his stories from day to day, and the only drawback was that the world held his stories to be of small account. Perhaps that was why he felt such a compulsion to tell them, not just about his own exploits in the wilderness, but those of his mentors.
Neal Stephenson (Anathem)
Jacopo, while I could still read, during these past months, I read dictionaries, I studied histories of words, to understand what was happening in my body. I studied like a rabbi. Have you ever reflected that the linguistic term `metathesis' is similar to the oncological term `metastasis'? What is the metathesis? Instead of `clasp' one says `claps.' Instead of `beloved' one says `bevoled.' It's the temurah. The dictionary says that metathesis means the transposition or interchange, while metastasis indicates the change and shifting. How stupid dictionaries are! The root is the same. Either it's the verb metatithemi or the verb methistemi. Metatithemi means I interpose, I shift, I transfer, I substitute, I abrogate a law, I change a meaning. And methistemi? It's the same thing: I move, I transform, I transpose, I switch cliches, I take leave of my senses. And as we sought secret meanings beyond the letter, we all took leave of our senses. And so did my cells, obediently, dutifully. That's why I'm dying, Jacopo, and you know it.
Umberto Eco (Foucault’s Pendulum)
The man was of fine figure, swarthy, and stern in aspect; and he showed in profile a facial angle so slightly inclined as to be almost perpendicular. He wore a short jacket of brown corduroy, newer than the remainder of his suit, which was a fustian waistcoat with white horn buttons, breeches of the same, tanned leggings, and a straw hat overlaid with black glazed canvas. At his back he carried by a looped strap a rush basket, from which protruded at one end the crutch of a hay-knife, a wimble for hay-bonds being also visible in the aperture. His measured, springless walk was the walk of the skilled countryman as distinct from the desultory shamble of the general labourer; while in the turn and plant of each foot there was, further, a dogged and cynical indifference personal to himself, showing its presence even in the regularly interchanging fustian folds, now in the left leg, now in the right, as he paced along.
Thomas Hardy (The Mayor of Casterbridge)
Perhaps this is what a state actually is: a combination of exceptional violence and the creation of a complex social machine, all ostensibly devoted to acts of care and devotion. There is obviously a paradox here. Caring labour is in a way the very opposite of mechanical labour: it is about recognizing and understanding the unique qualities, needs and peculiarities of the cared-for – whether child, adult, animal or plant – in order to provide what they require to flourish. Caring labour is distinguished by its particularity. If those institutions we today refer to as ‘states’ really do have any common features, one must certainly be a tendency to displace this caring impulse on to abstractions; today this is usually ‘the nation’, however broadly or narrowly defined. Perhaps this is why it’s so easy for us to see ancient Egypt as a prototype for the modern state: here too, popular devotion was diverted on to grand abstractions, in this case the ruler and the elite dead. This process is what made it possible for the whole arrangement to be imagined, simultaneously, as a family and as a machine, in which everyone (except of course the king) was ultimately interchangeable. From the seasonal work of tomb-building to the daily servicing of the ruler’s body (recall again how the first royal inscriptions are found on combs and make-up palettes), most of human activity was directed upwards, either towards tending rulers (living and dead) or assisting them with their own task of feeding and caring for the gods.
David Graeber (The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity)
Notre génération est trop superficielle pour le mariage. On se marie comme on va au MacDo. Après, on zappe. Comment voudriez-vous qu'on reste toute sa vie avec la même personne dans la société du zapping généralisé? Dans l'époque où les stars, les hommes politiques, les arts, les sexes, les religions n'ont jamais été aussi interchangeables? Pourquoi le sentiment amoureux ferait-il exception à la schizophrénie générale? Et puis d'abord, d'où nous vient donc cette curieuse obsession: s'escrimer à tout prix pour être heureux avec une seule personne? Sur 558 types de sociétés humaines, 24 % seulement sont monogames. La plupart des espèces animales sont polygames. Quant aux extraterrestres, n'en parlons pas: il y a longtemps que la Charte Galactique X23 a interdit la monogamie dans toutes les planètes de type B#871. Le mariage, c'est du caviar à tous les repas: une indigestion de ce que vous adorez, jusqu'à l'écœurement. “ Allez, vous en reprendrez bien un peu, non? Quoi? Vous n'en pouvez plus? Pourtant vous trouviez cela délicieux il y a peu, qu'est-ce qui vous prend? Sale gosse, va!” La puissance de l'amour, son incroyable pouvoir, devait franchement terrifier la société occidentale pour qu'elle en vienne à créer ce système destiné à vous dégoûter de ce que vous aimez.
Frédéric Beigbeder (L'amour dure trois ans - Le roman suivi du scénario du film)
[Bus ride through The Strand]: A puff of wind (in spite of the heat, there was quite a wind) blew a thin black veil over the sun and over the Strand. The faces faded; the omnibuses suddenly lost their glow. For although the clouds were of mountainous white so that one could fancy hacking hard chips off with a hatchet, with broad golden slopes, lawns of celestial pleasure gardens, on their flanks, and had all the appearance of settled habitations assembled for the conference of gods above the world, there was a perpetual movement among them. Signs were interchanged, when, as if to fulfil some scheme arranged already, now a summit dwindled, now a whole block of pyramidal size which had kept its station inalterably advanced into the midst or gravely led the procession to fresh anchorage. Fixed though they seemed at their posts, at rest in perfect unanimity, nothing could be fresher, freer, more sensitive superficially than the snow-white or gold-kindled surface; to change, to go, to dismantle the solemn assemblage was immediately possible; and in spite of the grave fixity, the accumulated robustness and solidity, now they struck light to the earth, now darkness. Calmly and competently, Elizabeth Dalloway mounted the Westminster omnibus.
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
Nothing felt like mine anymore, not after you. All those little things that defined me; small sentimental trinkets, car keys, pin codes, and passwords. They all felt like you. And more than anything else, my number - the one you boldly asked for that night, amidst a sea of people, under a sky of talking satellites and glowing stars. You said no matter how many times you erased me from your phone, you would still recognize that number when it flashed on your screen. The series of sixes and nines, like the dip of my waist to the curves of my hips, your hands pressed into the small of my back. Nines and sixes that were reminiscent of two contented cats, curled together like a pair of speech marks. You said if you could never hold me or kiss me again, you could live with that. But you couldn't bear the thought of us not speaking and asked, at the very least, could I allow you that one thing? I wonder what went through your mind the day you dialed my number to find it had been disconnected. If your imagination had raced with thoughts of what new city I run to and who was sharing my bed. Isn't it strange how much of our lives are interchangeable, how little is truly ours. Someone else's ring tone, someone else's broken heart. These are the things we inherit by choice or by chance. And it wasn't my choice to love you but it was mine to leave. I don't think the moon ever meant to be a satellite, kept in loving orbit, locked in hopeless inertia, destined to repeat the same pattern over and over - to meet in eclipse with the sun - only when the numbers allowed.
Lang Leav (Memories)
People with an entertaining rigid structure are brought up in environments in which the parents are uncomfortable with expressing feelings. This is not to say that the parents do not care, but they do not express feelings like affection, warmth, and caring or feel comfortable with expressing such feelings (Keleman). The experience within the family is not one of intimacy and true interchange of feeling. To contend with the situation, the child may learn to draw out the parents by being cute, entertaining, or charming. Although being charming is something most children do naturally to some extent, the difference in the case of people with an entertaining rigid structure is that this becomes the primary mode of relating. Furthermore, the entertaining rigid structure pattern is reinforced as the parents respond primarily to the child's charm, rather than to their own feelings. Therefore, such children effectively learn that they will not get the reaction they crave without using that behavior. At the same time, these children are also developing or have developed a discomfort with intimacy that is similar to that of their parents. As a result, people with an entertaining rigid structure as adults act out this pattern in which they are energized or emotionally fed by being able to cause another person to be attracted to them, but they become anxious if the person becomes too close or expresses "real" feeling. Love is what they are really craving, and they think they are getting it, but are not. In other words, they have mistaken the energy of attraction for love.
Elliot Greene (The Psychology of the Body (Lww Massage Therapy & Bodywork Educational Series))
Then there is the life-force, the Prana, that works in our vital being and nervous system. The Upanishad speaks of it as the first or supreme Breath; elsewhere in the sacred writings it is spoken of as the chief Breath or the Breath of the mouth, mukhya, asanya; it is that which carries in it the Word, the creative expression. In the body of man there are said to be five workings of the life-force called the five Pranas. One specially termed Prana moves in the upper part of the body and is pre-eminently the breath of life, because it brings the universal life-force into the physical system and gives it there to be distributed. A second in the lower part of the trunk, termed Apana, is the breath of death; for it gives away the vital force out of the body. A third, the Samana, regulates the interchange of these two forces at their meeting-place, equalises them and is the most important agent in maintaining the equilibrium of the vital forces and their functions. A fourth, the Vyana, pervasive, distributes the vital energies throughout the body. A fifth, the Udana, moves upward from the body to the crown of the head and is a regular channel of communication between the physical life and the greater life of the spirit. None of these are the first or supreme Breath, although the Prana most nearly represents it; the Breath to which so much importance is given in the Upanishads, is the pure life-force itself, - first, because all the others are secondary to it, born from it and only exist as its special functions. It is imaged in the Veda as the Horse; its various energies are the forces that draw the chariots of the Gods.
Sri Aurobindo (The Upanishads, 1st US Edition)
The way they were treated should make you angry,” Richard said as he started away, “but not because you share an attribute with them.” Taken aback by his words, even looking a little hurt, Jennsen didn’t move. “What do you mean?” Richard paused and turned back to her. “That’s how the Imperial Order thinks. That’s how Owen’s people think. It’s a belief in granting disembodied prestige, or the mantle of guilt, to all those who share some specific trait or attribute. “The Imperial Order would like you to believe that your virtue, your ultimate value, or even your wickedness, arises entirely from being born a member of a given group, that free will itself is either impotent or nonexistent. They want you to believe that all people are merely interchangeable members of groups that share fixed, preordained characteristics, and they are predestined to live through a collective identity, the group will, unable to rise on individual merit because there can be no such thing as independent, individual merit, only group merit. “They believe that people can only rise above their station in life when selected to be awarded recognition because their group is due an indulgence, and so a representative, a stand-in for the group, must be selected to be awarded the badge of self-worth. Only the reflected light off this badge, they believe, can bring the radiance of self-worth to others of their group. “But those granted this badge live with the uneasy knowledge that it’s only an illusion of competence. It never brings any sincere self-respect because you can’t fool yourself. Ultimately, because it is counterfeit, the sham of esteem granted because of a connection with a group can only be propped up by force. “This belittling of mankind, the Order’s condemnation of everyone and everything human, is their transcendent judgment of man’s inadequacy. “When you direct your anger at me for having a trait borne by someone else, you pronounce me guilty for their crimes. That’s what happens when people say I’m a monster because our father was a monster. If you admire someone simply because you believe their group is deserving, then you embrace the same corrupt ethics. “The Imperial Order says that no individual should have the right to achieve something on his own, to accomplish what someone else cannot, and so magic must be stripped from mankind. They say that accomplishment is corrupt because it is rooted in the evil of self-interest, therefore the fruits of that accomplishment are tainted by its evil. This is why they preach that any gain must be sacrificed to those who have not earned it. They hold that only through such sacrifice can those fruits be purified and made good. “We believe, on the other hand, that your own individual life is the value and its own end, and what you achieve is yours. “Only you can achieve self-worth for yourself. Any group offering it to you, or demanding it of you, comes bearing chains of slavery.
Terry Goodkind (Naked Empire (Sword of Truth, #8))
Thus engaged, with her right elbow supported by her left hand, Madame Defarge said nothing when her lord came in, but coughed just one grain of cough. This, in combination with the lifting of her darkly defined eyebrows over her toothpick by the breadth of a line, suggested to her husband that he would do well to look round the shop among the customers, for any new customer who had dropped in while he stepped over the way. The wine-shop keeper accordingly rolled his eyes about, until they rested upon an elderly gentleman and a young lady, who were seated in a corner. Other company were there: two playing cards, two playing dominoes, three standing by the counter lengthening out a short supply of wine. As he passed behind the counter, he took notice that the elderly gentleman said in a look to the young lady, "This is our man." "What the devil do you do in that galley there?" said Monsieur Defarge to himself; "I don't know you." But, he feigned not to notice the two strangers, and fell into discourse with the triumvirate of customers who were drinking at the counter. "How goes it, Jacques?" said one of these three to Monsieur Defarge. "Is all the spilt wine swallowed?" "Every drop, Jacques," answered Monsieur Defarge. When this interchange of Christian name was effected, Madame Defarge, picking her teeth with her toothpick, coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. "It is not often," said the second of the three, addressing Monsieur Defarge, "that many of these miserable beasts know the taste of wine, or of anything but black bread and death. Is it not so, Jacques?" "It is so, Jacques," Monsieur Defarge returned. At this second interchange of the Christian name, Madame Defarge, still using her toothpick with profound composure, coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. The last of the three now said his say, as he put down his empty drinking vessel and smacked his lips. "Ah! So much the worse! A bitter taste it is that such poor cattle always have in their mouths, and hard lives they live, Jacques. Am I right, Jacques?" "You are right, Jacques," was the response of Monsieur Defarge. This third interchange of the Christian name was completed at the moment when Madame Defarge put her toothpick by, kept her eyebrows up, and slightly rustled in her seat. "Hold then! True!" muttered her husband. "Gentlemen--my wife!" The three customers pulled off their hats to Madame Defarge, with three flourishes. She acknowledged their homage by bending her head, and giving them a quick look. Then she glanced in a casual manner round the wine-shop, took up her knitting with great apparent calmness and repose of spirit, and became absorbed in it. "Gentlemen," said her husband, who had kept his bright eye observantly upon her, "good day. The chamber, furnished bachelor- fashion, that you wished to see, and were inquiring for when I stepped out, is on the fifth floor. The doorway of the staircase gives on the little courtyard close to the left here," pointing with his hand, "near to the window of my establishment. But, now that I remember, one of you has already been there, and can show the way. Gentlemen, adieu!" They paid for their wine, and left the place. The eyes of Monsieur Defarge were studying his wife at her knitting when the elderly gentleman advanced from his corner, and begged the favour of a word. "Willingly, sir," said Monsieur Defarge, and quietly stepped with him to the door. Their conference was very short, but very decided. Almost at the first word, Monsieur Defarge started and became deeply attentive. It had not lasted a minute, when he nodded and went out. The gentleman then beckoned to the young lady, and they, too, went out. Madame Defarge knitted with nimble fingers and steady eyebrows, and saw nothing.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)