Protests Powerful Quotes

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It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But a half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.
Neil Gaiman (The Kindly Ones (The Sandman, #9))
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
There is absolutely no greater high than challenging the power structure as a nobody, giving it your all, and winning!
Abbie Hoffman
In the 1950s kids lost their innocence. They were liberated from their parents by well-paying jobs, cars, and lyrics in music that gave rise to a new term ---the generation gap. In the 1960s, kids lost their authority. It was a decade of protest---church, state, and parents were all called into question and found wanting. Their authority was rejected, yet nothing ever replaced it. In the 1970s, kids lost their love. It was the decade of me-ism dominated by hyphenated words beginning with self. Self-image, Self-esteem, Self-assertion....It made for a lonely world. Kids learned everything there was to know about sex and forgot everything there was to know about love, and no one had the nerve to tell them there was a difference. In the 1980s, kids lost their hope. Stripped of innocence, authority and love and plagued by the horror of a nuclear nightmare, large and growing numbers of this generation stopped believing in the future. In the 1990s kids lost their power to reason. Less and less were they taught the very basics of language, truth, and logic and they grew up with the irrationality of a postmodern world. In the new millennium, kids woke up and found out that somewhere in the midst of all this change, they had lost their imagination. Violence and perversion entertained them till none could talk of killing innocents since none was innocent anymore.
Ravi Zacharias (Recapture the Wonder)
As the Dark Lord becomes ever more powerful, your race is set still more firmly above mine! Gringotts falls under Wizarding rule, house-elves are slaughtered, and who amongst the wand-carriers protests?” “We do!” said Hermione. She had sat up straight, her eyes bright. “We protest! And I’m hunted quite as much as any goblin or elf, Griphook! I’m a Mudblood!” “Don’t call yourself —” Ron muttered. “Why shouldn’t I?” said Hermione. “Mudblood, and proud of it! I’ve got no higher position under this new order than you have, Griphook! It was me they chose to torture, back at the Malfoys’!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Men don't rape women because their women are ugly," cousin Jostien said, but there was a protest at his words. "That's what my fa said! He says that inside their hearts and spirits they are nothing but little men who need to feel powerful.
Melina Marchetta (Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2))
The power of the people is much stronger than the people in power
Wael Ghonim
During the Vietnam War, every respectable artist in this country was against the war. It was like a laser beam. We were all aimed in the same direction. The power of this weapon turns out to be that of a custard pie dropped from a stepladder six feet high.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
We must never underestimate our power to be wrong when talking about God, when thinking about God, when imagining God, whether in prose or in poetry. A generous orthodoxy, in contrast to the tense, narrow, or controlling orthodoxies of so much of Christian history, doesn't take itself too seriously. It is humble. It doesn't claim too much. It admits it walks with a limp.
Brian D. McLaren (A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, incarnational, depressed-yet-hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian)
New concepts should be introduced by the power of imagery.
Douglas Coop
I knelt and prayed, and the strongest truth came over me. Didn't matter if God in his heaven was a Catholic or a Protestant God, or the God of the Hindus. What mattered was something deeper and older and more powerful than any such image - it was a concept of goodness based upon the affirmation of life, the turning away from destruction, from the perverse, from man using and abusing man. It was the affirmation of the human and the natural.
Anne Rice
Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power than can transform the world.
Howard Zinn (A Power Governments Cannot Suppress)
But you, Achilles,/ There is not a man in the world more blest than you--/ There never has been, never will be one./ Time was, when you were alive, we Argives/ honored you as a god, and now down here, I see/ You Lord it over the dead in all your power./ So grieve no more at dying, great Achilles.’ I reassured the ghost, but he broke out protesting,/ ‘No winning words about death to me, shining Odysseus!/ By god, I’d rather slave on earth for another man--/ Some dirt-poor tenant farmer who scrapes to keep alive—than rule down here over all the breathless dead.
Homer
Resistance is the protest of those who hope, and hope is the feast of the people who resist.
Jürgen Moltmann (The Power of the Powerless)
The New Age movement, for all the validity of its protest and the value of some of its recommendations, is in truth a very old blind alley. There is a very long history to remind us of what happens when nature is our ultimate point of reference . . . . Nature knows no ethics. There is no right and wrong in nature; the controlling realities are power and fertility.
Lesslie Newbigin (Truth to Tell: The Gospel as Public Truth)
When did it become okay to be more offended by what someone with no power says than by what someone with power does?
Neil deGrasse Tyson
As I write this, we are in an especially divisive era in American politics. There are questions about who holds power, who abuses it, who profits from it, and at what cost to our democracy. It is a time of questions about what makes us American, of shifting identities, inclusion and exclusion, protest, civil and human rights, the strength of our compassion versus the weakness of our fears, and the seductive lure of a mythic "great" past that never was versus the need for the consciousness and responsibility necessary if we are truly to live up to the rich promise of "We the People." We are a country built by immigrants, dreams, daring, and opportunity. We are a country built by the horrors of slavery and genocide, the injustice of racism and exclusion. These realities exist side by side. It is our past and present. The future is unwritten. This is a book about ghosts. For we live in a haunted house.
Libba Bray (Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3))
We don't persuade our neighbors by mimicking their angry power-protests. We persuade them by holding fast to the gospel, by explaining our increasingly odd view of marriage, and by serving the world and our neighbors around us, as our Lord does, with a towel and a foot-bucket.
Russell D. Moore (Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches)
The animals themselves are incapable of demanding their own liberation, or of protesting against their condition with votes, demonstrations, or bombs. Human beings have the power to continue to oppress other species forever, or until we make this planet unsuitable for living beings. Will our tyranny continue, proving that we really are the selfish tyrants that the most cynical of poets and philosophers have always said we are? Or will we rise to the challenge and prove our capacity for genuine altruism by ending our ruthless exploitation of the species in our power, not because we are forced to do so by rebels or terrorists, but because we recognize that our position is morally indefensible? The way in which we answer this question depends on the way in which each one of us, individually, answers it.
Peter Singer
My magic is not evil. It is a powerful force for good," Levet protested, his wings twitching with outrage. Really some demons. "I am like Batman. Only cuter.
Alexandra Ivy (A Very Levet Christmas (Guardians of Eternity, #11.5))
I'm all for fighting tyranny and oppression.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
This toy of voting was almost as pleasing as the conch. Jack started to protest but the clamor changed from the general wish for a chief to an election by acclaim of Ralph himself. None of the boys could have found good reason for this; what intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy while the most obvious leader was Jack. But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch. The being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing balanced on his knees, was set apart.
William Golding (Lord of the Flies)
They don’t care that the math doesn’t work. They don’t care that the young scream in protest and the old moan their same tired wisdoms. This is just a demonstration of their power. It is their power. They decide the winner. A game of merit won by birth. It keeps the hierarchy in place. It keeps us striving, but never conspiring.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
As people chat with me and learn that I have studied movements elsewhere, one question keeps coming up: “How do you think this will end?” I say that I do not know. In the mountains of Chiapas, I learned a Zapatista saying: “Preguntando caminamos.” It means “we walk while asking questions.
Zeynep Tufekci (Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest)
We are not Protestants any more—just ‘‘non-Catholics’’! Of what and of whom do we protest? Were we half as hot as we think we are, and a tenth as powerful as we say we are, our Christians would be baptized in blood, as well as in water and in fire.
Leonard Ravenhill (Why Revival Tarries)
I am a Dalit in Khairlanji. A Pandit in the Kashmir valley. A Sikh in 1984. I am from the North East of India when I am in Munirka. I am a Muslim in Gujarat; a Christian in Kandhamal. A Bihari in Maharashtra. A Delhi-wallah in Chennai. A woman in North India. A Hindi-speaker in Assam. A Tamilian in MP. A villager in a big city. A confused man in an indifferent world. We're all minorities. We all suffer; we all face discrimination. It is only us resisting this parochialism when in the position of majoritarian power that makes us human. I hope that one day, I can just be an Indian in India - only then can I be me.
Sami Ahmad Khan
Whether [new Protestant church movements] place their emphasis on new worship styles, expressions of the Holy Spirit’s power, evangelism to seekers, or Bible teaching, these so-called new movements still operate out of the fallacious assumption that the church belongs firmly in the town square, that is, at the heart of Western culture. And if they begin with this mistaken belief about their position in Western society, all their church planting, all their reproduction will simply mirror this misapprehension.
Alan Hirsch (The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church)
After slipping on a negligee and making herself comfortable on the lounge, she became conscious that she was miserable and that the tears were rolling down her cheeks. She wondered if they were the tears of self-pity, and tried resolutely not to cry, but this existence without hope, without happiness, oppressed her, and she kept shaking her head from side to side, her mouth drawn down tremulously in the corners, as though she were denying the assertion made by some one, somewhere. She did not know that this gesture of hers was years older than history, that, for a hundred generations of men, intolerable and persistent grief has offered that gesture, of denial, of protest, of bewilderment, to something more profound, more powerful than the God made in the image of man, and before which that God, did he exist, would be equally impotent. It is a truth set at the heart of tragedy that this force never explains, never answers - this force intangible as air, more definite than death.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Aw, he’s in love,” Hagema cooed. “Just stop,” Antero protested. “Though I will admit she is beautiful. And she can sing. But I can’t believe she just threatened the king in front of all these people. Pure suicide.” “Damn it! That takes real ox balls! I would’ve been here sooner if this hellhole wasn’t in the middle of fuxing nowhere!” Hagema ranted.
Jack Chaucer (Revenge to the Tennth Power (Mammyth, #1))
In nude protests, the very same body that is objectified and subjected to endless scrutiny and policing is used to reclaim power.
malebo sephodi (Miss Behave)
Mark Twain once told a story about a man who scoured the planet looking for the greatest general who ever lived. When the man was informed that the person he sought had already died and gone to heaven, he made a trip to the Pearly Gates to look for him. Saint Peter pointed at a regular-looking Joe. “That isn’t the greatest of all generals,” protested the man. “I knew that person when he lived on Earth, and he was only a cobbler.” “I know that,” said Saint Peter, “but if he had been a general, he would have been the greatest of them all.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
They were really willing to pay to avoid any trouble. No doubt they had overestimated the ability of academics to make a nuisance of themselves. It had been years since an academic title gained you access to major media.... Even if all the university professors in France had risen up in protest, almost nobody would have noticed, but apparently they hadn't found that out in Saudi Arabia. They still believed, deep down, in the power of the intellectual elite. It was almost touching.
Michel Houellebecq (Soumission)
To sin by silence, when we should protest, Makes cowards out of men. The human race Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised Against injustice, ignorance, and lust, The inquisition yet would serve the law, And guillotines decide our least disputes. The few who dare, must speak and speak again To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God, No vested power in this great day and land Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry Loud disapproval of existing ills; May criticise oppression and condemn The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws That let the children and childbearers toil To purchase ease for idle millionaires. Therefore I do protest against the boast Of independence in this mighty land. Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link. Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave. Until the manacled slim wrists of babes Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee, Until the mother bears no burden, save The precious one beneath her heart, until God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed And given back to labor, let no man Call this the land of freedom.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
To embrace the strategy of Jesus is to be engaged in what Dean Brackley calls "downward mobility." Our locating ourselves with those who have been endlessly excluded becomes an act of visible protest. For no amount of our screaming at the people in charge to change things can change them. The margins don't get erased by simply insisting that the powers-that-be erase them. The trickle-down theory doesn't really work here. The powers bent on waging war against the poor and the young and the "other" will only be moved to kinship when they observe it. Only when we can see a community where the outcast is valued and appreciated will we abandon the values that seek to exclude.
Greg Boyle (Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion)
You can be an introvert and have powerful conversations. You can be an introvert and use writing to disrupt white supremacy. You can be an introvert and show up to protest marches. You do not have to be the loudest voice. But you do need to use your voice.
Layla F. Saad (Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor)
What do you think of human intelligence?" asked Mavis Pellington lamely. "Of whose intelligence in particular?" asked Tobermory coldly. "Oh, well, mine for instance," said Mavis with a feeble laugh. "You put me in an embarrassing position," said Tobermory, whose tone and attitude certainly did not suggest a shred of embarrassment. "When your inclusion in this house-party was suggested Sir Wilfrid protested that you were the most brainless woman of his acquaintance, and that there was a wide distinction between hospitality and the care of the feeble-minded. Lady Blemley replied that your lack of brain-power was the precise quality which had earned you your invitation, as you were the only person she could think of who might be idiotic enough to buy their old car. You know, the one they call 'The Envy of Sisyphus,' because it goes quite nicely up-hill if you push it.
Saki
Look for some peace organization to join. It will look small at first, and pitiful and helpless, but that’s how movements start. That’s how the movement against the Vietnam War started. It started with handfuls of people who thought they were helpless, thought they were powerless. But remember, this power of the people on top depends on the obedience of the people below. When people stop obeying, they have no power. When workers go on strike, huge corporations lose their power. When consumers boycott, huge business establishments have to give in. When soldiers refuse to fight, as so many soldiers did in Vietnam, so many deserters, so many fraggings, acts of violence by enlisted men against officers in Vietnam, B-52 pilots refusing to fly bombing missions anymore, war can’t go on. When enough soldiers refuse, the government has to decide we can’t continue. So, yes, people have the power. If they begin to organize, if they protest, if they create a strong enough movement, they can change things.
Howard Zinn
Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming. All the magic and glass mountains and pearls the size of houses and princesses beautiful as the day and talking birds and part-time serpents are distractions from the core of most of the stories, the struggle to survive against adversaries, to find your place in the world, and to come into your own. Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans, of humans transformed into birds and beasts or otherwise enchanted away from their own lives and selves. Even princesses are chattels to be disowned by fathers, punished by step-mothers, or claimed by princes, though they often assert themselves in between and are rarely as passive as the cartoon versions. Fairy tales are children's stories not in wh they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one. In them, power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness -- from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sewn among the meek is harvested in crisis... In Hans Christian Andersen's retelling of the old Nordic tale that begins with a stepmother, "The Wild Swans," the banished sister can only disenchant her eleven brothers -- who are swans all day look but turn human at night -- by gathering stinging nettles barehanded from churchyard graves, making them into flax, spinning them and knitting eleven long-sleeved shirts while remaining silent the whole time. If she speaks, they'll remain birds forever. In her silence, she cannot protest the crimes she accused of and nearly burned as a witch. Hauled off to a pyre as she knits the last of the shirts, she is rescued by the swans, who fly in at the last moment. As they swoop down, she throws the nettle shirts over them so that they turn into men again, all but the youngest brother, whose shirt is missing a sleeve so that he's left with one arm and one wing, eternally a swan-man. Why shirts made of graveyard nettles by bleeding fingers and silence should disenchant men turned into birds by their step-mother is a question the story doesn't need to answer. It just needs to give us compelling images of exile, loneliness, affection, and metamorphosis -- and of a heroine who nearly dies of being unable to tell her own story.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
Libraries are core symbols of an ethic of non-commodified knowledge. Anyone, regardless of how much money she or he has, can check out a book, and a book is passed from person to person in a chain of knowledge sharing.
Zeynep Tufekci (Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest)
But was that not the task you set me? To defend the helpless against the strong?" "Indeed it was Master Weed. But who is to say who is helpless, and who is strong?" .........."If you seek the power to alter fate, you must also bear responsibility for the consequences. For you cannot change the fate of only one being; all fates are intertwined." "I performed the task," I protest. "I did what you bid me do." "You defended the weak from the strong." Larkspur speaks as if from far away. "But who will defend these poor weak infants against you!?
Maryrose Wood (The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries, #1))
I have always known that there were spellbinding evil parts for women. For one thing, I was taken at an early age to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Never mind the Protestant work ethic of the dwarfs. Never mind the tedious housework-is-virtuous motif. Never mind the fact that Snow White is a vampire -- anyone who lies in a glass coffin without decaying and then comes to life again must be. The truth is that I was paralysed by the scene in which the evil queen drinks the magic potion and changes her shape. What power, what untold possibilities!
Margaret Atwood
Similarly, he forgot - or never really understood - that we live in a culture where men, as a group, have more power than women. This isn't a controversial statement, despite the protestations of guys who funnel their frustration that not all extremely young, conventionally attractive women want to sleep with them into and argument that women, as a group, have "all the power." (Bill Maher, repping for his fan base, famously jokes that men have to do all sorts of shit to get laid, but women only have to do "their hair.") The really great thing about this argument is how the patently nonsensical premise - that some young women's ability to manipulate certain men equals a greater degree of gendered power than say, owning the presidency for 220-odd years - obscures the most chilling part: in this mindset, "all the power" means, simply, the power to withhold consent. Let that sink in for a minute. If one believes women are more powerful that men because we own practically all of the vaginas, then women's power to withhold consent to sex is the greatest power there is. Which means the guy who can take away a woman's right to consent is basically a superhero. Right?
Kate Harding (Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It)
There are moment of sadness and moment of joy. This is life.
Beth Cohen
The human voice is still the most paramount vessel or weapon to use, to uphold justice and to protest against injustice.
Sunday Adelaja (The Mountain of Ignorance)
A small thing, but in a dissonant world, every moment of harmony counts--and if we share music, we might just shout in anger a little less and sing in unity more. Or so we can hope.
Jon Meacham (Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation)
At present, the successful office-seeker is a good deal like the center of the earth; he weighs nothing himself, but draws everything else to him. There are so many societies, so many churches, so many isms, that it is almost impossible for an independent man to succeed in a political career. Candidates are forced to pretend that they are catholics with protestant proclivities, or christians with liberal tendencies, or temperance men who now and then take a glass of wine, or, that although not members of any church their wives are, and that they subscribe liberally to all. The result of all this is that we reward hypocrisy and elect men entirely destitute of real principle; and this will never change until the people become grand enough to allow each other to do their own thinking. Our government should be entirely and purely secular. The religious views of a candidate should be kept entirely out of sight. He should not be compelled to give his opinion as to the inspiration of the bible, the propriety of infant baptism, or the immaculate conception. All these things are private and personal. The people ought to be wise enough to select as their officers men who know something of political affairs, who comprehend the present greatness, and clearly perceive the future grandeur of our country. If we were in a storm at sea, with deck wave-washed and masts strained and bent with storm, and it was necessary to reef the top sail, we certainly would not ask the brave sailor who volunteered to go aloft, what his opinion was on the five points of Calvinism. Our government has nothing to do with religion. It is neither christian nor pagan; it is secular. But as long as the people persist in voting for or against men on account of their religious views, just so long will hypocrisy hold place and power. Just so long will the candidates crawl in the dust—hide their opinions, flatter those with whom they differ, pretend to agree with those whom they despise; and just so long will honest men be trampled under foot.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
The coal miners struggling for a democratic stake in production didn’t just protest, share news stories, and post messages. They didn’t just march. The African-American activists struggling for civil rights didn’t just tweet hashtag campaigns. They didn’t just hold meetings. They fought and bled and died for a world they believed in, for a share in the power they produced. Coal
Roy Scranton (Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization (City Lights Open Media))
Patriarchal hip-hop ushered in a world where black males could declare that they were “keeping it real” when what they were really doing was taking the dead patriarchal protest of the black power movement and rearticulating it in forms that, though entertaining, had for the most part no transformative power, no ability to intervene on the politics of domination, and turn the real lives of black men around.
bell hooks (We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity)
Every type of political power presupposes some particular form of human slavery, for the maintenance of which it is called into being. Just as outwardly, that is, in relation to other states the state has to create certain artificial antagonisms in order to justify its existence, so also internally the cleavage of society into castes, ranks and classes is an essential condition of its continuance. The development of the Bolshevist bureaucracy in Russia under the alleged dictatorship of the proletariat (which has never been anything but the dictatorship of a small clique over the proletariat and the whole Russian people) is merely a new instance of an old historical experience which has repeated itself countless times. This new ruling class, which to-day is rapidly growing into a new aristocracy, is set apart from the great masses of the Russian peasants and workers just as clearly as are the privileged castes and classes in other countries from the mass of the people. And this situation becomes still more unbearable when a despotic state denies to the lower classes the right to complain of existing conditions, so that any protest is made at the risk of their lives. But even a far greater degree of economic equality than that which exists in Russia would be no guarantee against political and social oppression. Economic equality alone is not social liberation. It is precisely this which all the schools of authoritarian Socialism have never understood. In the prison, in the cloister, or in the barracks one finds a fairly high degree of economic equality, as all the inmates are provided with the same dwelling, the same food, the same uniform, and the same tasks. The ancient Inca state in Peru and the Jesuit state in Paraguay had brought equal economic provision for every inhabitant to a fixed system, but in spite of this the vilest despotism prevailed there, and the human being was merely the automaton of a higher will on whose decisions he had not the slightest influence. It was not without reason that Proudhon saw in a "Socialism" without freedom the worst form of slavery. The urge for social justice can only develop properly and be effective when it grows out of man's sense of freedom and responsibility, and is based upon it. In other words, Socialism will be free or it will not be at all. In its recognition of this fact lies the genuine and profound justification of Anarchism.
Rudolf Rocker (Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism)
The basic distortions in the media are not innocent errors, for they are not random; rather they move in the same overall direction again and again, favoring management over labor, corporatism over anti-corporatism, the affluent over the poor, private enterprise over socialism, Whites over Blacks, males over females, officialdom over protesters, conventional politics over dissidence, anticommunism and arms-race militarism over disarmament, national chauvinism over internationalism, US dominance of the Third World over revolutionary or populist nationalist change. The press does many things and serves many functions but its major role, its irreducible responsibility, is to continually recreate a view of reality supportive of existing social and economic class power.
Michael Parenti (Inventing Reality: The Politics of News Media)
But do protests even work? I asked. I mean, I was all for the idea. I really was. But the only time I had ever heard about any protests actually working was Dr. King's. Thats it. Ain't never heard of no other ones making a difference. Berry stepped in. "They're a piece to the puzzle. I mean there are a lot of pieces, like reforming laws and things like that. But protests are what sends the message to the folks in power that something needs to change. That people are fed up, she explained. "We have a right to voice how we feel, and isn't that better than just doing nothing.
Jason Reynolds (All American Boys)
A nursery rhyme shapes your bones and nerves, and it shapes your mind. They are powerful, nursery rhymes, and immensely old, and not toys, even though they are for children." "But they make no sense!" Summer protested "Ah, well," said Ben. "Sometimes sense hides behind walls. You must find a window and stick your head right in before you can see it.
Katherine Catmull (Summer and Bird)
From time to time our national history has been marred by forgetfulness of the Jeffersonian principle that restraint is at the heart of liberty. In 1789 the Federalists adopted Alien and Sedition Acts in a shabby political effort to isolate the Republic from the world and to punish political criticism as seditious libel. In 1865 the Radical Republicans sought to snare private conscience in a web of oaths and affirmations of loyalty. Spokesmen for the South did service for the Nation in resisting the petty tyranny of distrustful vengeance. In the 1920's the Attorney General of the United States degraded his office by hunting political radicals as if they were Salem witches. The Nation's only gain from his efforts were the classic dissents of Holmes and Brandeis. In our own times, the old blunt instruments have again been put to work. The States have followed in the footsteps of the Federalists and have put Alien and Sedition Acts upon their statute books. An epidemic of loyalty oaths has spread across the Nation until no town or village seems to feel secure until its servants have purged themselves of all suspicion of non-conformity by swearing to their political cleanliness. Those who love the twilight speak as if public education must be training in conformity, and government support of science be public aid of caution. We have also seen a sharpening and refinement of abusive power. The legislative investigation, designed and often exercised for the achievement of high ends, has too frequently been used by the Nation and the States as a means for effecting the disgrace and degradation of private persons. Unscrupulous demagogues have used the power to investigate as tyrants of an earlier day used the bill of attainder. The architects of fear have converted a wholesome law against conspiracy into an instrument for making association a crime. Pretending to fear government they have asked government to outlaw private protest. They glorify "togetherness" when it is theirs, and call it conspiracy when it is that of others. In listing these abuses I do not mean to condemn our central effort to protect the Nation's security. The dangers that surround us have been very great, and many of our measures of vigilance have ample justification. Yet there are few among us who do not share a portion of the blame for not recognizing soon enough the dark tendency towards excess of caution.
John F. Kennedy
Every once in a while, however, the subordinates of this world contest their fates. They protest their conditions, write letters and petitions, join movements, and make demands. Their goals may be minimal and discrete — better safety guards on factory machines, an end to marital rape—but in voicing them, they raise the specter of a more fundamental change in power. They cease to be servants or supplicants and become agents, speaking and acting on their own behalf. More than the reforms themselves, it is this assertion of agency by the subject class—the appearance of an insistent and independent voice of demand — that vexes their superiors. Guatemala’s Agrarian Reform of 1952 redistributed a million and a half acres of land to 100,000 peasant families. That was nothing, in the minds of the country’s ruling classes, compared to the riot of political talk the bill seemed to unleash. Progressive reformers, Guatemala’s arch-bishop complained, sent local peasants “gifted with facility with words” to the capital, where they were given opportunities “to speak in public.” That was the great evil of the Agrarian Reform.
Corey Robin (The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin)
Epictetus has had a long-standing resonance in the United States; his uncompromising moral rigour chimed in well with Protestant Christian beliefs and the ethical individualism that has been a persistent vein in American culture. His admirers ranged from John Harvard and Thomas Jefferson in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau in the nineteenth. More recently, Vice-Admiral James Stockdale wrote movingly of how his study of Epictetus at Stanford University enabled him to survive the psychological pressure of prolonged torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam between 1965 and 1973. Stockdale’s story formed the basis for a light-hearted treatment of the moral power of Stoicism in Tom Wolfe’s novel A Man in Full (1998).52
Epictetus (Discourses, Fragments, Handbook)
Does it explain my astonishment the other day when Z, most humane, most modest of men, taking up some book by Rebecca West and reading a passage in it, exclaimed, 'The arrant feminist! She says that men are snobs!' The exclamation, to me so surprising - for why was Miss West an arrant feminist for making a possibly true if uncomplimentary statement about the other sex? - was not merely the cry of wounded vanity; it was a protest against some infringement of his power to believe in himself. Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.
Virginia Woolf
I have always been aware that human life is dream-like because most human beings exist passively. Their consciousness is little more than a reflection of their environment. In the sexual orgasm, the voltage power of their minds surges, and they become momentarily aware that they are not forty-watt bulbs, but two hundred and fifty, five hundred, a thousand... Then the voltage drops, and they sink back to forty watts without a protest. They are like empty-headed fools who cannot remember anything for more than a few seconds. Human beings are so mediocre that they can scarcely be said to possess minds in any real sense. In a flash, I understood the absurd and obvious truth: nothing is worth possessing except intensity of consciousness. This is the truth we glimpse in the orgasm.
Colin Wilson (The God of the Labyrinth)
To begin with, we have to be more clear about what we mean by patriotic feelings. For a time when I was in high school, I cheered for the school athletic teams. That's a form of patriotism — group loyalty. It can take pernicious forms, but in itself it can be quite harmless, maybe even positive. At the national level, what "patriotism" means depends on how we view the society. Those with deep totalitarian commitments identify the state with the society, its people, and its culture. Therefore those who criticized the policies of the Kremlin under Stalin were condemned as "anti-Soviet" or "hating Russia". For their counterparts in the West, those who criticize the policies of the US government are "anti-American" and "hate America"; those are the standard terms used by intellectual opinion, including left-liberal segments, so deeply committed to their totalitarian instincts that they cannot even recognize them, let alone understand their disgraceful history, tracing to the origins of recorded history in interesting ways. For the totalitarian, "patriotism" means support for the state and its policies, perhaps with twitters of protest on grounds that they might fail or cost us too much. For those whose instincts are democratic rather than totalitarian, "patriotism" means commitment to the welfare and improvement of the society, its people, its culture. That's a natural sentiment and one that can be quite positive. It's one all serious activists share, I presume; otherwise why take the trouble to do what we do? But the kind of "patriotism" fostered by totalitarian societies and military dictatorships, and internalized as second nature by much of intellectual opinion in more free societies, is one of the worst maladies of human history, and will probably do us all in before too long. With regard to the US, I think we find a mix. Every effort is made by power and doctrinal systems to stir up the more dangerous and destructive forms of "patriotism"; every effort is made by people committed to peace and justice to organize and encourage the beneficial kinds. It's a constant struggle. When people are frightened, the more dangerous kinds tend to emerge, and people huddle under the wings of power. Whatever the reasons may be, by comparative standards the US has been a very frightened country for a long time, on many dimensions. Quite commonly in history, such fears have been fanned by unscrupulous leaders, seeking to implement their own agendas. These are commonly harmful to the general population, which has to be disciplined in some manner: the classic device is to stimulate fear of awesome enemies concocted for the purpose, usually with some shreds of realism, required even for the most vulgar forms of propaganda. Germany was the pride of Western civilization 70 years ago, but most Germans were whipped to presumably genuine fear of the Czech dagger pointed at the heart of Germany (is that crazier than the Nicaraguan or Grenadan dagger pointed at the heart of the US, conjured up by the people now playing the same game today?), the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy aimed at destroying the Aryan race and the civilization that Germany had inherited from Greece, etc. That's only the beginning. A lot is at stake.
Noam Chomsky
If you want knowledge, read daily. If you want understanding, study regularly. If you want wisdom, reason continually. If you want kindness, give constantly. If you want joy, laugh frequently. If you want faith, believe firmly. If you want peace, meditate consistently. If you want mercy, forgive unconditionally. If you want love, give charitably. If you want equality, object intelligently. If you want freedom, protest strongly. If you want justice, fight forcefully. If you want morals, live religiously. If you want strength, excersise vigorously. If you want power, plot brilliantly. If you want fame, shine resiliently. If you want riches, strive habitually. If you want success, work diligently. If you want fufilment, love abundantly. If you want God, pray purposefully. If you want life, grow spiritually.
Matshona Dhliwayo
It shouldn't have surprised me. I serve a God who experienced and expressed anger. One of the most meaningful passages of Scripture for me is found in the New Testament, where Jesus leads a one-man protest inside the Temple walls. Jesus leads a one-man protest inside the Temple walls. Jesus shouts at the corrupt Temple officials, overturns furniture, sets animals free, blocks the doorways with his body, and carries a weapon - a whip - through the place. Jesus throws folks out the building, and in so doing creates space for the most marginalized to come in: the poor, the wounded, the children. I imagine the next day's newspapers called Jesus's anger destructive. But I think those without power would've said that his anger led to freedom - the freedom of belonging, the freedom healing, and the freedom of participating as full members in God's house.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
Among us English-speaking peoples especially do the praises of poverty need once more to be boldly sung. We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise any one who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. We have lost the power even of imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty could have meant: the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way by what we are or do and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly—the more athletic trim, in short, the moral fighting shape. When we of the so-called better classes are scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put off marriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank-account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly and irreligious a state of opinion. It is true that so far as wealth gives time for ideal ends and exercise to ideal energies, wealth is better than poverty and ought to be chosen. But wealth does this in only a portion of the actual cases. Elsewhere the desire to gain wealth and the fear to lose it are our chief breeders of cowardice and propagators of corruption. There are thousands of conjunctures in which a wealth-bound man must be a slave, whilst a man for whom poverty has no terrors becomes a freeman. Think of the strength which personal indifference to poverty would give us if we were devoted to unpopular causes. We need no longer hold our tongues or fear to vote the revolutionary or reformatory ticket. Our stocks might fall, our hopes of promotion vanish, our salaries stop, our club doors close in our faces; yet, while we lived, we would imperturbably bear witness to the spirit, and our example would help to set free our generation. The cause would need its funds, but we its servants would be potent in proportion as we personally were contented with our poverty. I recommend this matter to your serious pondering, for it is certain that the prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.
William James (Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature)
ARE WOMEN INHERENTLY LESS WARLIKE THAN MEN? Throughout history, women in power have used a rationale similar to men’s to send men to death with similar frequency and in similar numbers. For example, the drink Bloody Mary was named after Mary Tudor (Queen Mary I), who burned 300 Protestants at the stake; when Henry VIII’s daughter, Elizabeth I, ascended to the throne, she mercilessly raped, burned, and pillaged Ireland at a time when Ireland was called the Isle of Saints and Scholars. When a Roman king died, his widow sent 80,000 men to their deaths.29 If Columbus was an exploiter, we must remember that Queen Isabella helped to send him.
Warren Farrell (The Myth of Male Power)
Don't let it get to you, mom! The Western media also fights against us. That's where our reputation as fundamentalists and terrorists comes from." "You're right. Between one's fanaticism and the other's disdain, it's hard to know which side to choose. Personally, I hate Saddam and I have no sympathy for the Kuwaitism but I hate just as much the cynicism of the allies who call themselves "liberators" while they're there for the oil." "Exactly. Just look at Afghanistan! They fought there for ten years. There were 900,000 dead and today the country is still in chaos. No one lifted a finger! Because Afghanistan is poor! The worst is that the intervention in Kuwait is done in the name of the human rights! Which rights? Which humans?" At the time, this kind of analysis wasn't commonplace. After our own war, we were happy that Iraq got itself attacked and delighted that it wasn't happening in our country. We were finally able to sleep peacefully without fear of missiles... We no longed needed to line up with our food ration coupon...the rest mattered little. And then, there wasn't any more opposition. The protesters had been executed. Or had fled the country any way possible. The regime had absolute power...and most people , in search of a cloud of happiness, had forgotten their political conscience.
Marjane Satrapi (The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis, #1-4))
The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects … Snub-nosed monsters, raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines. They did not run on the ground, but on their own roadbeds. They ignored hills and gulches, water courses, fences, houses. That man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and mouth, he was a part of the monster, a robot in the seat … The driver could not control it – straight across country it went, cutting through a dozen farms and straight back. A twitch at the controls could swerve the ‘cat, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractor, the monster that sent the tractor out, had somehow gotten into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him – goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the land as it smelled; his feet did not stamp the clods or feel the warmth and power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals. He could not cheer or beat or curse or encourage the extension of his power, and because of this he could not cheer or whip or curse or encourage himself. He did not know or own or trust or beseech the land. If a seed dropped did not germinate, it was no skin off his ass. If the young thrusting plant withered in drought or drowned in a flood of rain, it was no more to the driver than to the tractor. He loved the land no more than the bank loved the land. He could admire the tractor – its machined surfaces, its surge of power, the roar of its detonating cylinders; but it was not his tractor. Behind the tractor rolled the shining disks, cutting the earth with blades – not plowing but surgery … The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, had no connection with the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not loved or hated, it had no prayers or curses.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Along with the sight-clouding dizziness, nausea makes me balk at that milk cream, separates me from the mother and the father who proffer it. "I" want none of that element, sign of their desire; "I" do not want to listen, "I" do not assimilate it. "I" expel it. But since the food is not an "other" for "me," who am only in their desire, I expel myself, I spit myself out, I abject myself with the same motion through which "I" claim to establish myself. That detail, perhaps an insignificant one, but one that they ferret out, emphasize, evaluate, that trifle turns me inside out, guts sprawling; it is thus that they see the "I" am in the process of becoming an other at the expense of my own death, During that course I'm which "I" become, I give birth to myself amid the violence of sobs, of vomit. Mute protest of the symptom, shattering the violence of a convulsion that, to be sure, is inscribed in a symbolic system, but in which, without either wanting or being able to become integrated in order to answer to it, it abreacts. It abjects
Julia Kristeva (Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection)
He envied Miss Barrace at any rate her power of not being. She seemed, with little cries and protests and quick recognitions, movements like the darts of some fine high-feathered free-pecking bird, to stand before life as before some full shop-window. You could fairly hear, as she selected and pointed, the tap of her tortoise-shell against the glass.
Henry James (The Ambassadors)
As Jason Mogus has written, organizing is the act of building power; mobilizing is the act of spending the power you’ve built.
DeRay Mckesson
That we should all have a say in choosing our own rulers and that those rulers ‘powers over us should be limited—these principles are in obvious tension, as every society that has tried to combine liberty and democracy has discovered. Without Protestantism and its peculiar preoccupations, that strange and marvelous synthesis could never have come into being as it has.
Alec Ryrie (Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World)
Christians best thrive as a minority, a counterculture. Historically, when they reach a majority they too have yielded to the temptations of power in ways that are clearly anti-gospel. Charlemagne ordered a death penalty for all Saxons who would not convert, and in 1492 Spain decreed that all Jews convert to Christianity or be expelled. British Protestants in Ireland once imposed a stiff fine on anyone who did not attend church and deputies forcibly dragged Catholics into Protestant churches. Priests in the American West sometimes chained Indians to church pews to enforce church attendance. After many such episodes in Christendom it became clear that religion allied too closely to the state leads to the abuse of power. Much of the current hostility against Christians evokes the memory of such examples. The blending of church and state may work for a time but it inevitably provokes a backlash, such as that seen in secular Europe today.
Philip Yancey (Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?)
One way to see the constructed nature of reality is to notice how the definitions of different "races" change historically, by including groups at one time that were excluded in another. The Irish, for example, were long considered by the dominant white Anglo-Saxon Protestants of England and the United States to be members of a nonwhite "race", as were Italians, Jews, and people from a number of Eastern European countries. As such, immigrants from these groups to England and the United States were excluded and subjugated and exploited in much the same way that blacks were.
Allan G. Johnson (Privilege, Power, and Difference)
The more obsessed with personal identity campus liberals become, the less willing they become to engage in reasoned political debate. Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: 'Speaking as an X' . . . This is not an anodyne phrase. It tells the listener that I am speaking from a privileged position on this matter. (One never says, 'Speaking as an gay Asian, I fell incompetent to judge on this matter'). It sets up a wall against questions, which by definition come from a non-X perspective. And it turns the encounter into a power relation: the winner of the argument will be whoever has invoked the morally superior identity and expressed the most outrage at being questioned. So classroom conversations that once might have begun, 'I think A, and here is my argument', now take the form, 'Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B'. This makes perfect sense if you believe that identity determines everything. It means that there is no impartial space for dialogue. White men have one "epistemology", black women have another. So what remains to be said? What replaces argument, then, is taboo. At times our more privileged campuses can seem stuck in the world of archaic religion. Only those with an approved identity status are, like shamans, allowed to speak on certain matters. Particular groups -- today the transgendered -- are given temporary totemic significance. Scapegoats -- today conservative political speakers -- are duly designated and run off campus in a purging ritual. Propositions become pure or impure, not true or false. And not only propositions but simple words. Left identitarians who think of themselves as radical creatures, contesting this and transgressing that, have become like buttoned-up Protestant schoolmarms when it comes to the English language, parsing every conversation for immodest locutions and rapping the knuckles of those who inadvertently use them.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
And, I rejoice to say, to one great mischief I have from the first opposed myself. For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now, when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth; and on this great occasion, when it is natural for one who is in my place to look out upon the world, and upon Holy Church as in it, and upon her future, it will not, I hope, be considered out of place, if I renew the protest against it which I have made so often.
John Henry Newman (Blessed John Henry Newman Collection)
Next to enjoying ourselves, the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves, or, more generally, in the acquisition of power. Consequently those who live under the dominion of Puritanism become exceedingly desirous of power. Now love of power does far more harm than love of drink or any of the other vices against which Puritans protest. Of course, in virtuous people love of power camouflages itself as love of doing good, but this makes very little difference to its social effects. It merely means that we punish our victims for being wicked, instead of for being our enemies. In either case, tyranny and war result. Moral indignation is one of the most harmful forces in the modern world, the more so as it can always be diverted to sinister uses by those who control propaganda.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays)
Theology that defines virtue as obedience to God suppresses the virtue of revolt. A woman being battered by her husband will be counseled to be obedient, as Jesus was to God. After all, Eve brought sin into the world by her disobedience. A good woman submits to her husband as he submits to God... But obedience is not a virtue. It is an evasion of our responsibility. Religion must engage us in the exercise of our responsibilities, not teach us to deny the power that is ours... A God who punishes disobedience will teach us to obey and endure when it would be holy to protest and righteous to refuse to cooperate.
Rebecca Ann Parker (Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us)
Our lives are a meaningful stand against injustice, and we can make meaningful choices every day. Your food choices are far more powerful than you imagine. Veganism offers a daily way to enact your values while helping to protect the environment and enhance your health. It becomes a daily reminder that change is possible. Social change is not just something we must work for; it’s something that constantly asks us to change.
Carol J. Adams (Protest Kitchen: Fight Injustice, Save the Planet, and Fuel Your Resistance One Meal at a Time)
The scriptures of all three of the great monotheisms show that they began similarly as popular movements in protest against the privilege and arrogance of power, whether that of kings as in the Hebrew bible, or the Roman Empire as in the Gospels, or a tribal elite as in the Quran. All three, that is, were originally driven by ideals of justice and egalitarianism, rejecting the inequities of human power in favor of a higher and more just one.
Lesley Hazleton (The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad)
The marches in Albany concentrated on city hall where they had little leverage and no votes. “All of our marches in Albany,” said Martin, “were to the city hall trying to make them negotiate, where if we had centered our protests at the businesses in the city, [we could have] made the merchants negotiate. And if you can pull them around, you pull the political power structure because the political power structure listens to the economic power structure.
Donald T. Phillips (Martin Luther King, Jr., on Leadership: Inspiration and Wisdom for Challenging Times)
at their disposal. So they assemble in protests to convey their objections. What’s wrong with that? A similar outpouring came recently from American Walter Williams, one of my favorite columnists and a conservative economist known
Matthew Scully (Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy)
Violence against Men As Women’s Liberation Thelma and Louise was widely touted as a film of women’s liberation. (It was, for example, the only film celebrated by the National Organization for Women at its twenty-fifth convention.) Never in American history have two men been celebrated as heroes of men’s liberation after they deserted their wives, met one female jerk after another, and then killed one woman and left another woman stuffed in a trunk in 120-degree desert heat. Male serial killers are condemned—not celebrated—at men’s liberation conventions. The moment a men’s movement calls it a sign of empowerment or brotherhood when men kill women is the moment I will protest it as fascism.
Warren Farrell (The Myth of Male Power)
I think the whole student rebellion is not really a rebellion at all....They want a certain kind of identity; they're jockeying with each other for political power in their own culture. The basis for this behavior is a desire for notoriety.
Truman Capote
Cynicism is a powerful anesthetic we use to numb ourselves to pain, but which also, by its nature, numbs us to truth and joy. Grief is healthy. Even anger can be healthy. But numbing ourselves with cynicism in an effort to avoid feeling those things is not. When I write off all evangelicals as hateful and ignorant, I am numbing myself with cynicism. When I jeer at their foibles, I am numbing myself with cynicism. When I roll my eyes and fold my arms and say, “Well, I know God can’t be present over there,” I am numbing myself with cynicism. And I am missing out. I am missing out on a God who surprises us by showing up where we don’t think God belongs. I am missing out on a God whose grace I need just as desperately, just as innately as the lady who dropped her child sponsorship in a protest against gay marriage. Cynicism may help us create simpler storylines with good guys and bad guys, but it doesn’t make us any better at telling the truth, which is that most of us are a frightening mix of good and evil, sinner and saint.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
In 1970, when Dr. Edgar Berman said women’s hormones during menstruation and menopause could have a detrimental influence on women’s decision making, feminists were outraged. He was soon served up as the quintessential example of medical male chauvinism.12 But by the 1980s, some feminists were saying that PMS was the reason a woman who deliberately killed a man should go free. In England, the PMS defense freed Christine English after she confessed to killing her boyfriend by deliberately ramming him into a utility pole with her car; and, after killing a coworker, Sandie Smith was put on probation—with one condition: she must report monthly for injections of progesterone to control symptoms of PMS.13 By the 1990s, the PMS defense paved the way for other hormonal defenses. Sheryl Lynn Massip could place her 6-month-old son under a car, run over him repeatedly, and then, uncertain he was dead, do it again, then claim postpartum depression and be given outpatient medical help.14 No feminist protested. In the 1970s, then, feminists
Warren Farrell (The Myth of Male Power)
The worst crime committed by totalitarian mind-sets is that they force their citizens, including their victims, to become complicit in their crimes. Dancing with your jailer, participating in your own execution, that is an act of utmost brutality. My students witnessed it in show trials on television and enacted it every time they went out into the streets dressed as they were told to dress. They had not become part of the crowd who watched the executions, but they did not have the power to protest them, either. The only way to leave the circle, to stop dancing with the jailer, is to find a way to preserve one's individuality, that unique quality which evades description but differentiates one human being from the other. That is why, in their world, rituals—empty rituals—become so central.
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
in this you have failed you have invalidated your dysfunctional efforts of innocence of perverted virginity with a mangy face before the eye of God not even summations of crawling not even rust cutters or combustion as if to test your blue vaginal mirrors inside a Protestant Crimea listening to your fallacious absorption neurosis you've forfeited your flames you've cast into the moat salacious bonfire bathing you've given up the power of deepened torturing rums of magnetic chromosomal nerves for a weakly neutered clairaudience of failure
Will Alexander
As the Laurel-wreathed boxes come down to Gamma, I think about how clever it really is. They won’t let us win the Laurel. They don’t care that the math doesn’t work. They don’t care that the young scream in protest and the old moan their same tired wisdoms. This is just a demonstration of their power. It is their power. They decide the winner. A game of merit won by birth. It keeps the hierarchy in place. It keeps us striving, but never conspiring. Yet despite the disappointment, some part of us doesn’t blame the Society. We blame Gamma, who receives the gifts. A man’s only got so much hate, I suppose. And when he sees his children’s ribs through their shirts while his neighbors line their bellies with meat stews and sugared tarts, it’s hard for him to hate anyone but them. You think they’d share. They don’t.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
We no longer live in a mass-media world with a few centralized choke points with just a few editors in charge, operated by commercial entities and governments. There is a new, radically different mode of information and attention flow: the chaotic world of the digitally networked public sphere (or spheres) where ordinary citizens or activists can generate ideas, document and spread news of events, and respond to mass media. This new sphere, too, has choke points and centralization, but different ones than the past. The networked public sphere has emerged so forcefully and so rapidly that it is easy to forget how new it is. Facebook was started in 2004 and Twitter in 2006. The first iPhone, ushering in the era of the smart, networked phone, was introduced in 2007. The wide extent of digital connectivity might blind us to the power of this transformation. It should not. These dynamics are significant social mechanisms, especially for social movements, since they change the operation of a key resource: attention… Attention is oxygen for movements. Without it, they cannot catch fire.
Zeynep Tufekci (Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest)
I couldn’t understand why people keep voting for the very people they loathe. They’ll protest a war, but the everyday stuff, small injustices, they just let them slide. Friends making a fortune off government contracts, paying a hundred dollars for a pencil, that type of thing, people complain about it, everyone does, but they won’t do a thing. I remember how floored I was when he told me that was a good thing, how we need a certain level of cynicism for society to function properly. If people thought they had real power to change things, if they truly believed in democracy, everyone would take to the streets, advocate, militate for everything. It happens from time to time. Thirty thousand people will block traffic to march for a cause, but they do it believing that the other side couldn’t possibly feel justified in doing the same thing. What if they did? What if thirty thousand people who believe in one thing marched at the very same time as those who believe in the exact opposite? What if it happened every single day? People who care about other things would also want to be heard. They’d need to scream louder. They’d need their disruption to be more…disruptive. People are compliant because they don’t expect the system to be fair. If they did, if they thought that was even possible, we’d live in chaos, anarchy. We need apathy, he said, or we’ll end up killing each other on the streets.
Sylvain Neuvel (Only Human (Themis Files, #3))
You can’t help who you love, Unci,” she had protested. “Yes you can. You love yourself, you love your family, and you don’t let your feelings run around and jump into someone else’s hand. “ Mercury made a fist. “You grab on to your own life and push it around where you want it to go.
Power, Susan
I find myself increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture that it is hardly even noticed. Great things have been achieved through feminism. We now have pretty much equality at least on the pay and opportunities front, though almost nothing has been done on child care, the real liberation. We have many wonderful, clever, powerful women everywhere, but what is happening to men? Why did this have to be at the cost of men? I was in a class of nine- and ten-year-olds, girls and boys, and this young woman was telling these kids that the reason for wars was the innately violent nature of men. You could see the little girls, fat with complacency and conceit while the little boys sat there crumpled, apologising for their existence, thinking this was going to be the pattern of their lives. The teacher tried to catch my eye, thinking I would approve of this rubbish. This kind of thing is happening in schools all over the place and no one says a thing. It has become a kind of religion that you can't criticise because then you become a traitor to the great cause, which I am not. It is time we began to ask who are these women who continually rubbish men. The most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests. Men seem to be so cowed that they can't fight back, and it is time they did.
Doris Lessing
In the political and theological realms we are still stuck on the merry-go-round of church and state, capitalism and communism, Christian or Jew, Catholic or Protestant. We seem incapable of envisioning anything other than the dualistic and tired stalemate of contemporary patriarchal polity...
Mary Condren (The Serpent and the Goddess: Women, Religion, and Power in Celtic Ireland)
What I find appalling—and really dangerous—is the American assumption that the Negro is so contented with his lot here that only the cynical agents of a foreign power can rouse him to protest. It is a notion which contains a gratuitous insult, implying, as it does, that Negroes can make no move unless they are manipulated. It forcibly suggests that the Southern attitude toward the Negro is also, essentially, the national attitude. When the South has trouble with its Negroes—when the Negroes refuse to remain in their “place”—it blames “outside” agitators and “Northern interference.” When the nation has trouble with the Northern Negro, it blames the Kremlin. And this, by no means incidentally, is a very dangerous thing to do. We thus give credit to the Communists for attitudes and victories which are not theirs. We make of them the champions of the oppressed, and they could not, of course, be more delighted.
James Baldwin (Nobody Knows My Name)
Because it lacks the rigors of critical thought, it naïvely embraces big technology; because it celebrates numbers it naïvely courts power; because it rejects nuance and knows next to nothing of the dialectical and dialogical character of truth, it naïvely courts the tyranny of religious ideology and cant.
Douglas John Hall (Waiting for Gospel: An Appeal to the Dispirited Remnants of Protestant "Establishment")
Trade-unionism, the economic arena of the modern gladiator, owes its existence to direct action. It is but recently that law and government have attempted to crush the trade-union movement, and condemned the exponents of man's right to organize to prison as conspirators. Had they sought to assert their cause through begging, pleading, and compromise, trade-unionism would today be a negligible quantity. In France, in Spain, in Italy, in Russia, nay even in England (witness the growing rebellion of English labor unions) direct, revolutionary, economic action has become so strong a force in the battle for industrial liberty as to make the world realize the tremendous importance of labor's power. The General Strike, the supreme expression of the economic consciousness of the workers, was ridiculed in America but a short time ago. Today every great strike, in order to win, must realize the importance of the solidaric general protest.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and other essays (Illustrated))
In Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1824, came the first known strike of women factory workers; 202 women joined men in protesting a wage cut and longer hours, but they met separately. Four years later, women in Dover, New Hampshire, struck alone. And in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1834, when a young woman was fired from her job, other girls left their looms, one of them then climbing the town pump and making, according to a newspaper report, “a flaming Mary Wollstonecraft speech on the rights of women and the iniquities of the ‘moneyed aristocracy’ which produced a powerful effect on her auditors and they determined to have their own way, if they died for it.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Eva and Anne Morgan, one a niece and the other a daughter of J. P. Morgan, the most powerful financier in U.S. history, used their family’s money to finance women workers who were protesting before and after the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, even putting up a Fifth Avenue mansion as security for bail when those protesters were arrested. The
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
He smiles.  It’s a blinding, white-toothed smile.  A push-me-over-the-edge-of-the-love-cliff smile.  And before I can say a word in protest, he’s got my hand and is dragging me through the carnival. Note to self: Do not stare directly at his smile. It holds special powers. Also: Do not kiss him. His mouth is definitely the source of his power.
Jillian Dodd (Kiss Me (The Keatyn Chronicles, #2))
I am not a lady I live in an elevator in a big department store America. “Your floor, lady?” “I don't have a floor, I live in the elevator.” “You can't just live in an elevator.” They all say that except for the man from Time magazine who acted very cool. We stop and let people into dresses, better dresses, beauty, and on the top floor, home furnishings and then the credit office, suddenly stark and no nonsense this is it. At each floor I look out at the ladies quietly becoming ladies and I say “huh” reflectively. My hair is long and wild full of little twigs and cockleburrs. I visit the floors only for water. I make my own food from the berries and frightened rabbits— I pray forgive me brother as I eat— that grow wild in the elevator. Once every three months, solstice and equinox, a cop comes and clubs me a little. The man from Time says I articulate my generation something wobble squeegy squiggle pop pop Yesterday pausing at childrens I saw another lady take off all her clothes and go to live in #7. We are waiting to fill all thirteen.
Jean Tepperman (Sisterhood is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement)
The desert frightens me, I think. It looks too much like the seventh circle of hell. I'm afraid of damnation." "Why?" "Why?" Evelyn repeated, peering at Ann from behind her hand. She lay back again and closed her eyes. "I don't know. I've always supposed everyone is." "Well, they're not. I, for instance, am a hell of a lot more frightened of being saved." Evelyn chuckled. "I'm serious," Ann protested. "Virtue smells to me of rotting vegetation. Here you burn or freeze. Either way it's clean." "Sterile," Evelyn said and felt the word a laceration of her own flesh. "I wonder. It's fertility that's a dirty word for me." "Is it?" "Yes, I'm terrified of giving in, of justifying my own existence by means of simple reproduction. So many people do or try to. And there are the children, so unfulfilling after all. And they grow up to do nothing but reproduce children who will reproduce, everyone so busy reproducing that there's no time to produce anything. But it's such a temptation. It seems so natural — another dirty word for me. What's the point?" "You'd have the human race die out?" "No. We'll multiply in spite of ourselves always. We'll populate the desert. One day there will be little houses and docks all along this shore, signs of our salvation." "What would you have us do instead?" Evelyn asked. "Accept damnation," Ann said. "It has its power and its charm. And it's real." "So we should all get jobs in gambling casinos." "We all do," Ann said, her voice amused. "What do you think the University of California is? It's just a minor branch of the Establishment. The only difference is that it has to be subsidized." "Are you talking nonsense on purpose?" "No, I'm serious." "You think nothing has any value?" "No, I think everything has value, absolute value, a child, a house, a day's work, the sky. But nothing will save us. We were never meant to be saved." "What were we meant for then?" "To love the whole damned world," Ann said… "I live in the desert of the heart," Evelyn said quietly, "I can't love the whole damned world." 'Love me, Evelyn.' 'I do.
Jane Rule (Desert of the Heart)
But the state had no jurisdiction over the conscience of the individual and no right, therefore, to fight heresy or lead a holy war. While it could have nothing to do with the spiritual realm, the state must have unqualified and absolute authority in temporal affairs. Even if the state were cruel, tyrannical, and forbade the teaching of God’s word, Christians must not resist its power.37 For its part, the true church, the Kingdom of God, must hold aloof from the inherently corrupt and depraved policies of the Kingdom of the World, dealing only with spiritual affairs. Protestants believed that the Roman Church had failed in its true mission because it had dallied with the sinful Kingdom of the World.
Karen Armstrong (Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence)
Throughout history the cross stands as a symbol of protest and revolt; protest against all claims, whether by religious or political power, to absolute unquestioning control over human minds and bodies; revolt against all systems and ideologies, all regimes and institutions, which continue to push individuals and groups beyond the pale, outside the gate.
Megan McKenna (The New Stations of the Cross: The Way of the Cross According to Scripture)
Let the Christian world forget or depart from this true gospel salvation; let anything else be trusted but the cross of Christ and the Spirit of Christ; and then, though churches and preachers and prayers and sacraments are everywhere in plenty, nothing can come of them but a Christian kingdom of pagan vices, along with a mouth-professed belief in the Apostles’ Creed and the communion of saints. To this sad truth all Christendom both at home and abroad bears full witness. Who need be told that no corruption or depravity of human nature, no kind of pride, wrath, envy, malice, and self-love; no sort of hypocrisy, falseness, cursing, gossip, perjury, and cheating; no wantonness of lust in every kind of debauchery, foolish jesting, and worldly entertainment, is any less common all over Christendom, both popish and Protestant, than towns and villages. What vanity, then, to count progress in terms of numbers of new and lofty cathedrals, chapels, sanctuaries, mission stations, and multiplied new membership lists, when there is no change in this undeniable departure of men’s hearts from the living God. Yea, let the whole world be converted to Christianity of this kind, and let every citizen be a member of some Protestant or Catholic church and mouth the creed every Lord’s day; and no more would have been accomplished toward bringing the kingdom of God among men than if they had all joined this or that philosophical society or social fraternity.
William Law (The Power of the Spirit)
The ultimate expression of this Christian attitude toward the power of money is what we will call profanation. To profane money, like all other powers, is to take away its sacred character.... Giving to God is the act of profanation par excellence.... We need to regain an appreciation of gifts that are not utilitarian. We should meditate on the story in the Gospel of John where Mary wastes precious ointment on Jesus. The one who protests against this free gift is Judas. He would have preferred it to be used for good works, for the poor. He wanted such an enormous sum of money to be spent usefully. Giving to God introduces the useless into the world of efficiency, and this is an essential witness to faith in today's world.
Jacques Ellul (Money and Power)
Metaphysical rebellion is a claim, motivated by the concept of a complete unity, against the suffering of life and death and a protest against the human condition both for its incompleteness, thanks to death, and its wastefulness, thanks to evil. If a mass death sentence defines the human condition, then rebellion, in one sense, is its contemporary. At the same time that he rejects his mortality, the rebel refuses to recognize the power that compels him to live in this condition. The metaphysical rebel is therefore not definitely an atheist, as one might think him, but he is inevitably a blasphemer. Quite simply, he blasphemes primarily in the name of order, denouncing God as the father of death and as the supreme outrage.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
Hope does not mean that our protests will suddenly awaken the dead consciences, the atrophied souls, of the plutocrats running Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil or the government. Hope does not mean we will reform Wall Street swindlers and speculators. Hope does not mean that the nation’s ministers and rabbis, who know the words of the great Hebrew prophets, will leave their houses of worship to practice the religious beliefs they preach. Most clerics like fine, abstract words about justice and full collection plates, but know little of real hope. Hope knows that unless we physically defy government control we are complicit in the violence of the state. All who resist keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair and apathy become enemies of hope. Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope does not believe in force. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on us all. Hope sees in our enemy our own face. Hope is not for the practical and the sophisticated, the cynics and the complacent, the defeated and the fearful. Hope is what the corporate state, which saturates our airwaves with lies, seeks to obliterate. Hope is what our corporate overlords are determined to crush. Be afraid, they tell us. Surrender your liberties to us so we can make the world safe from terror. Don’t resist. Embrace the alienation of our cheerful conformity. Buy our products. Without them you are worthless. Become our brands. Do not look up from your electronic hallucinations to think. No. Above all do not think. Obey. The powerful do not understand hope. Hope is not part of their vocabulary. They speak in the cold, dead words of national security, global markets, electoral strategy, staying on message, image and money. Those addicted to power, blinded by self-exaltation, cannot decipher the words of hope any more than most of us can decipher hieroglyphics. Hope to Wall Street bankers and politicians, to the masters of war and commerce, is not practical. It is gibberish. It means nothing. I cannot promise you fine weather or an easy time. I cannot pretend that being handcuffed is pleasant. If we resist and carry out acts, no matter how small, of open defiance, hope will not be extinguished. Any act of rebellion, any physical defiance of those who make war, of those who perpetuate corporate greed and are responsible for state crimes, anything that seeks to draw the good to the good, nourishes our souls and holds out the possibility that we can touch and transform the souls of others. Hope affirms that which we must affirm. And every act that imparts hope is a victory in itself.
Chris Hedges
These are the facts of pre-Code Hollywood. The story behind it is monumental, because it deals with struggle for power. The stakes were high: the billion-dollar market for America's sixth-largest industry. The market was mostly Protestant. The industry was mostly Jewish-run. Yet a Midwest Catholic minority gained control. This is the story of *Forbidden Hollywood.*
Mark A. Vieira (Forbidden Hollywood: The Pre-Code Era (1930-1934): When Sin Ruled the Movies)
The Latin Church, which I constantly find myself admiring, despite its occasional astounding imbecilities, has always kept clearly before it the fact that religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. It is accused by Protestant dervishes of withholding the Bible from the people. To some extent this is true; to some extent the church is wise; again to the same extent it is prosperous. ... Rome indeed has not only preserved the original poetry of Christianity; it has also made capital additions to that poetry -- for example, the poetry of the saints, of Mary, and of the liturgy itself. A solemn high mass is a thousand times as impressive, to a man with any genuine religious sense in him, as the most powerful sermon ever roared under the big top by Presbyterian auctioneer of God. In the face of such overwhelming beauty it is not necessary to belabor the faithful with logic; they are better convinced by letting them alone. Preaching is not an essential part of the Latin ceremonial. It was very little employed in the early church, and I am convinced that good effects would flow from abandoning it today, or, at all events, reducing it to a few sentences, more or less formal. In the United States the Latin brethren have been seduced by the example of the Protestants, who commonly transform an act of worship into a puerile intellectual exercise; instead of approaching God in fear and wonder these Protestants settle back in their pews, cross their legs, and listen to an ignoramus try to prove that he is a better theologian than the Pope. This folly the Romans now slide into. Their clergy begin to grow argumentative, doctrinaire, ridiculous. It is a pity. A bishop in his robes, playing his part in the solemn ceremonial of the mass, is a dignified spectacle; the same bishop, bawling against Darwin half an hour later, is seen to be simply an elderly Irishman with a bald head, the son of a respectable police sergeant in South Bend, Ind. Let the reverend fathers go back to Bach. If they keep on spoiling poetry and spouting ideas, the day will come when some extra-bombastic deacon will astound humanity and insult God by proposing to translate the liturgy into American, that all the faithful may be convinced by it.
H.L. Mencken
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
The triad, being the fundamental principle of the whole Kabalah, or Sacred Tradition of our fathers, was necessarily the fundamental dogma of Christianity, the apparent dualism of which it explains by the intervention of a harmonious and all-powerful unity. Christ did not put His teaching into writing, and only revealed it in secret to His favored disciple, the one Kabalist, and he a great Kabalist, among the apostles. So is the Apocalypse the book of the Gnosis or Secret Doctrine of the first Christians, and the key of this doctrine is indicated by an occult versicle of the Lord's Prayer, which the Vulgate leaves untranslated, while in the Greek Rite, the priests only are permitted to pronounce it. This versicle, completely kabalistic, is found in the Greek text of the Gospel according to St Matthew, and in several Hebrew copies, as follows: Ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εις τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμήν. The sacred word MALKUTH substituted for KETHER, which is its kabalistic correspondent, and the equipoise of GEBURAH and CHESED, repeating itself in the circles of heavens called eons by the Gnostics, provided the keystone of the whole Christian Temple in the occult versicle. It has been retained by Protestants in their New Testament, but they have failed to discern its lofty and wonderful meaning, which would have unveiled to them all the Mysteries of the Apocalypse. There is, however, a tradition in the Church that the manifestation of this mysteries is reserved till the last times.
Éliphas Lévi (Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual)
I did dream about you," she confessed. Derek smoothed his hand over her chestnut hair and brought her head closer to his. "What was I doing in your dreams?" he asked against her lips. "Chasing me," she admitted in a mortified whisper. A delicious grin curved his mouth. "Did I catch you?" Before she could reply his lips were on hers. His mouth twisted gently, his tongue hunting for an intimate taste of her. Closing her eyes, Sara made no protest as he took her wrists in his hands and twined her arms around his neck. He stretched one of his legs out to rest his foot on the seat. Caught in the lee of his powerful thighs, she had no choice but to let her body rest on the hard length of his. Leisurely he fondled and kissed her, wringing succulent delight from every nerve. As he began to slide his hand into her bodice, the thick wool fabric of her gown resisted his efforts. Foiled in his attempt to reach her breasts, he pushed a lock of hair aside and dragged his mouth over her throat. She stiffened, unable to hold back a whimper of pleasure. The carriage swayed and jolted suddenly, forcing their bodies closer with the impact. Derek felt himself approaching a flashpoint beyond which there was no return. With a tortured groan he pried Sara's voluptuous body away from his and held her away, while he struggled to emerge from a scarlet fog of desire. "Angel," he said hoarsely, nudging her toward the opposite seat. "You... you'd better go over there." Bemused, Sara nearly toppled to the floor from his gentle push. "But why?" Derek lowered his head and tunneled his fingers into his black hair. He started as he felt her hand brush the nape of his neck. "Don't touch me," he said, more roughly than he intended. Raising his head, he stared into Sara's perplexed face with a crooked smile. "Sorry," he muttered. "But if you don't move away, sweet, you're going to be lifting your heels for me right here.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
But the Levittowns were, with Levitt's willing acquiescence, segregated throughout their early years. Daisy and Bill Myers, the first black family to move into Levittown, Pennsylvania, were greeted with protests and a burning cross. A neighbor who opposed the family said that Bill Myers was "probably a nice guy, but every time I look at him, I see $2,000 drop off the value of my house.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
Finn,” she protested. “I wasn’t laughing like, with her.” Izzy glowered at me. “She tried to kill me.” “Actually, I didn’t,” I broke in. There was a hard look in Aislinn’s and Finley’s eyes that scared the heck out of me. The last thing I wanted was to be held responsible for Elodie’s actions, especially now that I was, technically, one of these women, and the words just came pouring out of my mouth. “See, I don’t have powers anymore, because I was supposed to go through the Removal, and that sort of locked my magic away so that I can’t use it. But there was this girl-well, this witch-Elodie, and because she passed her magic on to me when she died, we’re connected. That means her ghost follows me around and stuff, so when you attacked me, she possessed my body. Which is new and, quite frankly, super freaky, and something that I haven’t really processed yet. Anyway, she was the one who used magic on you. Oh, and held the sword to your throat, and said all that creepy stuff. I’m not creepy. At least not on purpose.” By now, all three Brannick women-all four, if you counted Mom-were staring at me. Man, what had that piney-tasting stuff been? The Brannick version of Red Bull? “I’ll, uh, stop talking now.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
We use the terms “demonstration” and “protest” interchangeably, at our own peril, like we interchangeably use the terms “mobilizing” and “organizing.” A protest is organizing people for a prolonged campaign that forces racist power to change a policy. A demonstration is mobilizing people momentarily to publicize a problem. Speakers and placards and posts at marches, rallies, petitions, and viral hashtags demonstrate the problem. Demonstrations are, not surprisingly, a favorite of suasionists. Demonstrations annoy power in the way children crying about something they will never get annoy parents. Unless power cannot economically or politically or professionally afford bad press—as power could not during the Cold War, as power cannot during election season, as power cannot close to bankruptcy—power typically ignores demonstrations.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
That the United Kingdom will collapse is a foregone conclusion. Sooner or later, all states do collapse, and ramshackle, asymmetric dynastic amalgamations are more vulnerable than cohesive nation-states. Only the ‘how’ and the ‘when’ are mysteries of the future. An exhaustive study of the many pillars on which British power and prestige were built – ranging from the monarchy, the Royal Navy and the Empire to the Protestant Ascendancy, the Industrial Revolution, Parliament and Sterling – indicated that all without exception were in decline; some were already defunct, others seriously diminished or debilitated; it suggests that the last act may come sooner rather than later.110 Nothing implies that the end will necessarily be violent; some political organisms dissolve quietly. All it means is that present structures will one day disappear, and be replaced by something else.
Norman Davies (Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe)
The difference between a monarch and a dictator is that the monarchical succession is defined by law and the dictatorial succession is defined by power. The effect in the latter is that the fish rots from the head down — lawlessness permeates the state, as in a mafia family, because contending leaders must build informal coalitions. Since another name for a monarchist is a legitimist, we can contrast the legitimist and demotist theories of government. […] Perhaps unsurprisingly, I see legitimism as a sort of proto-formalism. The royal family is a perpetual corporation, the kingdom is the property of this corporation, and the whole thing is a sort of real-estate venture on a grand scale. Why does the family own the corporation and the corporation own the kingdom? Because it does. Property is historically arbitrary. The best way for the monarchies of Old Europe to modernize, in my book, would have been to transition the corporation from family ownership to shareholder ownership, eliminating the hereditary principle which caused so many problems for so many monarchies. However, the trouble with corporate monarchism is that it presents no obvious political formula. “Because it does” cuts no ice with a mob of pitchfork-wielding peasants. […] So the legitimist system went down another path, which led eventually to its destruction: the path of divine-right monarchy. When everyone believes in God, “because God says so” is a much more impressive formula. Perhaps the best way to look at demotism is to see it as the Protestant version of rule by divine right — based on the theory of vox populi, vox dei. If you add divine-right monarchy to a religious system that is shifting from the worship of God to the worship of Man, demotism is pretty much what you’d expect to precipitate in the beaker.
Mencius Moldbug
In marriage, the woman compensates for her lack of external power by commandeering the story. Isn't that right? She fills the silence, the mystery of her own acts and aims, with a structured account of life whose relationship to the truth might sometimes be described as voluntary. I am familiar with that account: I spent my childhood listening to it. And what I noticed was how, over the years, its repetitions and elisions and exaggerations ceased to exasperate its listeners so much as silence them. After a while, people stopped bothering to try to put the record straight: on the contrary, they became, in a curious way, dependent on the teller of this tale, in which they featured as central characters. The sheer energy and wilful, self-constructing logic of narrative, which at first made one cringe and protest every time the truth was dented, came over time to seem preferable to elusive, chaotic reality.
Rachel Cusk (Coventry: Essays)
I contend that the cry of 'Black Power' is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the economic plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years." — Martin Luther King, Jr., 60 Minutes Interview, 1966
Martin Luther King Jr.
It was inevitable, as soon as legends of miracles became attached to the names of the great mystics, that the credulous masses should applaud imposture more than true devotion; the cult of the saints, against which orthodox Islam ineffectually protested, promoted ignorance and superstition, and confounded charlatanry with lofty speculation. To live scandalously, to act impudently, to speak unintelligibly—this was the easy highroad to fame, wealth, and power.
A.J. Arberry (Sufism: An Account of the Mystics of Islam)
These days, especially when cartoons deal with such matters as sex, sexism, sexual orientation, race, racism, religion, and religious fundamentalism, they can evoke primal responses. When that happens, while the viewer may denounce the cartoon, the irony here, as was the case with David Levine, is that it is precisely because the caricature has artistic depth and merit that the outrage is so keenly felt. The more powerful the caricature, the more outraged the protest.
Victor S. Navasky (The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power)
Phaethon asked: “Do you think there is something wrong with the Sophotechs? We are Manorials, father! We let Rhadamanthus control our finances and property, umpire our disputes, teach our children, design our thoughtscapes, and even play matchmaker to find us wives and husbands!” “Son, the Sophotechs may be sufficient to advise the Parliament on laws and rules. Laws are a matter of logic and common sense. Specially designed human-thinking versions, like Rhadamanthus, can tell us how to fulfill our desires and balance our account books. Those are questions of strategy, of efficient allocation of resources and time. But the Sophotechs, they cannot choose our desires for us. They cannot guide our culture, our values, our tastes. That is a question of the spirit.” “Then what would you have us do? Would you change our laws?” “Our mores, not our laws. There are many things which are repugnant, deadly to the spirit, and self-destructive, but which law should not forbid. Addiction, self-delusion, self-destruction, slander, perversion, love of ugliness. How can we discourage such things without the use of force? It was in response to this need that the College of Hortators evolved. Peacefully, by means of boycotts, public protests, denouncements, and shunnings, our society can maintain her sanity against the dangers to our spirit, to our humanity, to which such unboundried liberty, and such potent technology, exposes us.” (...) But Phaethon certainly did not want to hear a lecture, not today. “Why are you telling me all this? What is the point?” “Phaethon, I will let you pass through those doors, and, once through, you will have at your command all the powers and perquisites I myself possess. The point of my story is simple. The paradox of liberty of which you spoke before applies to our entire society. We cannot be free without being free to harm ourselves. Advances in technology can remove physical dangers from our lives, but, when they do, the spiritual dangers increase. By spiritual danger I mean a danger to your integrity, your decency, your sense of life. Against those dangers I warn you; you can be invulnerable, if you choose, because no spiritual danger can conquer you without your own consent. But, once they have your consent, those dangers are all-powerful, because no outside force can come to your aid. Spiritual dangers are always faced alone. It is for this reason that the Silver-Gray School was formed; it is for this reason that we practice the exercise of self-discipline. Once you pass those doors, my son, you will be one of us, and there will be nothing to restrain you from corruption and self-destruction except yourself. “You have a bright and fiery soul, Phaethon, a power to do great things; but I fear you may one day unleash such a tempest of fire that you may consume yourself, and all the world around you.
John C. Wright (The Golden Age (Golden Age #1))
Self-immolation as a way to protest against the injustices or as a way to fight for freedom cannot be accepted! All the fights must be done in the dimension of existence! Your body is your road to everywhere; if you destroy it, you lose all the roads! Stay firm and fight alive; no cause is more valuable than a man’s life! Keep your body out of the fire! Don’t ever praise the self-immolations; condemn them! Suicide is a defeat! Power is to fight, to fight peacefully, and not to die in agony!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Jesus does not encourage Jews to walk a second mile in order to build up merit in heaven, or to be pious, or to kill the soldier with kindness. He is helping an oppressed people find a way to protest and neutralize an onerous practice despised throughout the empire. He is not giving a nonpolitical message of spiritual world transcendence. He is formulating a worldly spirituality in which the people at the bottom of society or under the thumb of imperial power learn to recover their humanity.
Walter Wink (The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium)
Every single person actually has the power to protest racist and antiracist policies, to advance them, or, in some small way, to stall them. Nation-states, sectors, communities, institutions are run by policymakers and policies and policy managers. “Institutional power” or “systemic power” or “structural power” is the policymaking and managing power of people, in groups or individually. When someone says Black people can’t be racist because Black people don’t have “institutional power,” they are flouting reality.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
In the case of Tunisia, it was indeed this single act that sparked what had been long-standing active protest movements and moved them forward. But that's not so unusual. Let's look at our own history. Take the civil rights movement. There had been plenty of concern and activism about violent repression of blacks in the South, and it took a couple of students sitting in at a lunch counter to really set it off. Small acts can make a big difference when there is a background of concern, understanding, and preliminary activism.
Noam Chomsky (Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire)
She had been here for the protests three years earlier; yes, she had held up her banner and shouted and signed her petitions. “It was like being part of a wave of water,” she says. “A wave of spray from the ocean feels powerful, but it is only there for a moment, the sun dries the puddles and the water is gone. Then you feel maybe it never happened. That is how it was with us. The only wave that changes anything is a tsunami. You have to tear down the houses and destroy the land if you want to be sure no one will forget you.
Naomi Alderman (The Power)
...The underlying motive for the French wars [of 1562-1598] was not religious, but dynastic. By the mid-16th century, the Valois family of kings, who had ruled France since 1328, was losing its grasp on political power. Valois King Henry II died in 1559, leaving four sons, all too young or too feeble to rule alone, and three rival noble families, all eager to seize power. One, the Guise (who had married into the royal family), were Catholic; their enemies, the Bourbon and the (more moderate) Montmerency, were Protestant. The Bourbon, in particular, were supported by the many small local Protestant churches that had been set up in France by supporters of Calvin's teachings. Unlike Protestants in England or Germany, they were not controlled by powerful rulers or city councils; some were prepared to use violence and other forms of lawlessness to further Protestant reform. Concerned by this threat to public order, and continuing the Valois' kings generally hostile policy toward reform, in 1562 the Guise ordered the massacre of 74 Protestants at a church service.
Fiona MacDonald (The Reformation (Events & Outcomes))
Our bodies speak, if you would only listen. They speak another language: the mother tongue. It’s half the puzzle, the missing pieces you have been searching for, the how and why behind the symptoms you fixate on, the whole behind the healing, which cannot be found at the bottom of a bottle of pills. But you do not speak our language. My sick sisterhood, whose bodies have been felled by mysterious illnesses, bearing the arcane names of men long dead, to signify their suffering with no cure, no hope. The mothers who long for answers to the questions that their bodies are living, for soul-utions to the protest against this cold, hard world. Into their dry hungry mouths are dropped pills not answers. Prescriptions and descriptions of symptoms – not cures or laws to halt the toxic corporate world that is allowed to carry on felling us like trees in the Amazon… Each woman is an Amazon. But she does not know it. Instead she is treated. Separately. Her pile of notes, her bills, growing higher. Each one believes the sickness is hers alone. Each is sent home, ignored, tolerated. Alone. In the darkness. Until one day Medicine Woman arises within her. And there in the centre of her pain she finds her outrage, her strength, her persistence as she searches for answers. She finds the will to die to this world and the right to live a different life where she is honoured for the value of her soul, not the sweat of her brow. She begins to understand the messages her body is sending… Things are not right. In here… out there. She begins to remember there is magic in her: the power to heal, the power to transform. Medicine Woman rises.
Lucy H. Pearce (Medicine Woman: Reclaiming the Soul of Healing)
Protestant Christianity, whether in its liberal or conservative garb, finds itself waking up each morning in bed with a deteriorating modern culture, between sheets with a raunchy sexual reductionism, despairing scientism, morally normless cultural relativism, and self-assertive individualism. We remain resident aliens, OF the world but not profoundly in it, dining at the banquet table of waning modernity without a whisper of table grace. We all wear biblical name tags (Joseph, David, and Sarah), but have forgotten what our Christian names mean.
Thomas C. Oden (The Transforming Power of Grace)
I am constantly reminding myself that the goal of protest is progress, not simply more protest. Protest, though not the solution, is a precursor to the solution. It creates space that would otherwise not exist, and forces conversations and topics that have been long ignored into the public sphere. It illuminates what our country would rather forget. Protest remains necessary in a country with such ingrained systemic inequity and in which the traditional mechanisms of power have not often benefited marginalized communities without direct pressure.
DeRay Mckesson (On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope)
Many readers are familiar with the spirit and the letter of the definition of “prayer”, as given by Ambrose Bierce in his Devil’s Dictionary. It runs like this, and is extremely easy to comprehend: Prayer: A petition that the laws of nature be suspended in favor of the petitioner; himself confessedly unworthy. Everybody can see the joke that is lodged within this entry: The man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right. Half–buried in the contradiction is the distressing idea that nobody is in charge, or nobody with any moral authority. The call to prayer is self–cancelling. Those of us who don’t take part in it will justify our abstention on the grounds that we do not need, or care, to undergo the futile process of continuous reinforcement. Either our convictions are enough in themselves or they are not: At any rate they do require standing in a crowd and uttering constant and uniform incantations. This is ordered by one religion to take place five times a day, and by other monotheists for almost that number, while all of them set aside at least one whole day for the exclusive praise of the Lord, and Judaism seems to consist in its original constitution of a huge list of prohibitions that must be followed before all else. The tone of the prayers replicates the silliness of the mandate, in that god is enjoined or thanked to do what he was going to do anyway. Thus the Jewish male begins each day by thanking god for not making him into a woman (or a Gentile), while the Jewish woman contents herself with thanking the almighty for creating her “as she is.” Presumably the almighty is pleased to receive this tribute to his power and the approval of those he created. It’s just that, if he is truly almighty, the achievement would seem rather a slight one. Much the same applies to the idea that prayer, instead of making Christianity look foolish, makes it appear convincing. Now, it can be asserted with some confidence, first, that its deity is all–wise and all–powerful and, second, that its congregants stand in desperate need of that deity’s infinite wisdom and power. Just to give some elementary quotations, it is stated in the book of Philippians, 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.” Deuteronomy 32:4 proclaims that “he is the rock, his work is perfect,” and Isaiah 64:8 tells us, “Now O Lord, thou art our father; we art clay and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand.” Note, then, that Christianity insists on the absolute dependence of its flock, and then only on the offering of undiluted praise and thanks. A person using prayer time to ask for the world to be set to rights, or to beseech god to bestow a favor upon himself, would in effect be guilty of a profound blasphemy or, at the very least, a pathetic misunderstanding. It is not for the mere human to be presuming that he or she can advise the divine. And this, sad to say, opens religion to the additional charge of corruption. The leaders of the church know perfectly well that prayer is not intended to gratify the devout. So that, every time they accept a donation in return for some petition, they are accepting a gross negation of their faith: a faith that depends on the passive acceptance of the devout and not on their making demands for betterment. Eventually, and after a bitter and schismatic quarrel, practices like the notorious “sale of indulgences” were abandoned. But many a fine basilica or chantry would not be standing today if this awful violation had not turned such a spectacularly good profit. And today it is easy enough to see, at the revival meetings of Protestant fundamentalists, the counting of the checks and bills before the laying on of hands by the preacher has even been completed. Again, the spectacle is a shameless one.
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
Feeling the slight tremor of his fingers against her skin, Daisy was emboldened to remark, “I’ve never been attracted to tall men before. But you make me feel—” “If you don’t keep quiet,” he interrupted curtly, “I’m going to strangle you.” Daisy felt silent, listening to the rhythm of his breath as it turned deeper, less controlled. By contrast his fingers became more certain in their task, working along the row of pearls until her dress gaped open and the sleeves slipped from her shoulders. “Where is it?” he asked. “The key?” His tone was deadly. “Yes, Daisy. The key.” “It fell inside my corset. Which means… I’ll have to take that off too.” There was no reaction to the statement, no sound or movement. Daisy twisted to glance at Matthew. He seemed dazed. His eyes looked unnaturally blue against the flush on his face. She realized he was occupied with a savage inner battle to keep from touching her. Feeling hot and prickly with embarrassment, Daisy pulled her arms completely out of her sleeves. She worked the dress over her hips, wriggling out of the filmy white layers, letting them slide to the floor in a heap. Matthew stared at the discarded dress as if it were some kind of exotic fauna he had never seen before. Slowly his eyes returned to Daisy, and an incoherent protest came from his throat as she began to unhook her corset. She felt shy and wicked, undressing in front of him. But she was encouraged by the way he seemed unable to tear his gaze from each newly revealed inch of pale skin. When the last metal hook came apart, she tossed the web of lace and stays to the floor. All that remained over her breasts was a crumpled chemise. The key had dropped into her lap. Closing her fingers around the metal object, she risked a cautious glance at Matthew. His eyes were closed, his forehead scored with furrows of pained concentration. “This isn’t going to happen,” he said, more to himself than to her. Daisy leaned forward to tuck the key into his coat pocket. Gripping the hem of her chemise, she stripped it over her head. A tingling shock chased over her naked upper body. She was so nervous that her teeth had begun to chatter. “I just took my chemise off,” she said. “Don’t you want to look?” “No.” But his eyes had opened, and his gaze found her small, pink-tipped breasts, and the breath hissed through his clenched teeth. He sat without moving, staring at her as she untied his cravat and unbuttoned the layers of his waistcoat and shirt. She blushed everywhere but continued doggedly, rising to her knees to tug the coat from his shoulders. He moved like a dreamer, slowly pulling his arms from the coat sleeves and waistcoat. Daisy pushed his shirt open with awkward determination, her gaze drinking in the sight of his chest and torso. His skin gleamed like heavy satin, stretched taut over broad expanses of muscle. She touched the powerful vault of his ribs, trailing her fingertips to the rippled tautness of his midriff. Suddenly Matthew caught her hand, seemingly undecided whether to push it away or press it closer. Her fingers curled over his. She stared into his dilated blue eyes. “Matthew,” she whispered. “I’m here. I’m yours. I want to do everything you’ve ever imagined doing with me.” He stopped breathing. His will foundered and collapsed, and suddenly nothing mattered except the demands of a desire that had been denied too long. With a rough groan of surrender, he lifted her onto his lap.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
We need the mass movements, we need people to get together and march, or even just stand in one place, not only for those in power to see what the people want, but for people who are decidedly not empowered to see you out there, and to shift, just a little bit, the pebbles of thought in their minds. The protest is not only to show the government that you disagree, but to show your fellow citizens- even the smallest ones- that official policies can and should be disagreed with. To provoke a change. To disrupt easy assumptions. You show yourself. You toss in your chips. You walk.
Lauren Elkin (Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London)
After Luther’s revolution, Protestant states began to show signs of greater economic dynamism. Why was this? One answer is that, despite Luther’s desire to purify the Church, the Reformation led to a large-scale reallocation of resources from religious to secular activities. Two thirds of monasteries were closed in the Protestant territories of Germany, the lands and other assets mostly appropriated by secular rulers and sold to wealthy subjects, as also happened in England. A rising share of university students gave up thoughts of the monastic life, turning their attention to more worldly vocations.
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
Soon enough, the government that silences a media outlet finds muffling a second easier. The parliament that outlaws one political party has a precedent for banning the next. The majority that strips a particular minority of its rights doesn’t stop there. The security force that beats protesters and gets away with it doesn’t hesitate before doing so again, and when repression helps a dictator in country A to extend his hold on power, the rulers in country B embark on a parallel road. Before too long, Mussolini’s prescription has been followed and once again, feather by feather, the chicken is plucked.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
All that Socrates could effect by way of protest against the tyranny of the reformed democracy was to die for his convictions. The Stoics could only advise the wise man to hold aloof from politics, keeping the unwritten law in his heart. But when Christ said: “Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s,” those words, spoken on His last visit to the Temple, three days before His death, gave to the civil power, under the protection of conscience, a sacredness it had never enjoyed, and bounds it had never acknowledged; and they were the repudiation of absolutism and the inauguration of freedom. For our Lord not only delivered the precept, but created the force to execute it. To maintain the necessary immunity in one supreme sphere, to reduce all political authority within defined limits, ceased to be an aspiration of patient reasoners, and was made the perpetual charge and care of the most energetic institution and the most universal association in the world. The new law, the new spirit, the new authority, gave to liberty a meaning and a value it had not possessed in the philosophy or in the constitution of Greece or Rome before the knowledge of the truth that makes us free.
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (The History of Freedom and Other Essays)
Similar things are happening in Africa, here, and in Europe. The indignados in southern Europe and the Occupy movements here are in a sense similar, even if that are from different worlds. The protests are not against dictatorships but against the shredding of democratic systems and the consequences of the Western version of the neoliberal system, which has had structurally consistent effects for the past thirty years: a very narrow concentration of wealth in a fraction of 1 percent of the population, stagnation for a large part of the rest, deregulation, and repeated financial crises, each one harsher than the last.
Noam Chomsky (Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire)
We have nothing to destroy," said Rud. "All these things are done for already. They are falling in all over the world. They are dead. No need for destructive activities. But if we have nothing to destroy we have much to clear away. That's different. What is needed is a brand-new common-sense reorganisation of the world's affairs, and that's what we have to give them. I can't imagine how the government sleeps of nights. I should lie awake at night listening all the time for the trickle of plaster that comes before a smash. Ever since they began blundering in the Near East and Spain, they've never done a single wise thing. This American adventure spells disaster. Plainly. Australia has protested already. India now is plainly in collapse. Everyone who has been there lately with open eyes speaks of the vague miasma of hatred in the streets. We don't get half the news from India. Just because there exists no clear idea whatever of a new India, it doesn't mean that the old isn't disintegrating. Things that are tumbling down, tumble down. They don't wait to be shown the plans of the new building. The East crumbles. All over the world it becomes unpleasant to be a foreigner, but an Englishman now can't walk in a bazaar without a policeman behind him...
H.G. Wells (The Holy Terror)
Why were so few voices raised in the ancient world in protest against the ruthlessness of man? Why are human beings so obsequious, ready to kill and ready to die at the call of kings and chieftains? Perhaps it is because they worship might, venerate those who command might, and are convinced that it is by force that man prevails. The splendor and the pride of kings blind the people. The Mesopotamian, for example, felt convinced that authorities were always right: "The command of the palace, like the command of Anu, cannot be altered. The king's word is right; his utterance, like that of a god, cannot be changed!" The prophets repudiated the work as well as the power of man as an object of supreme adoration. They denounced "arrogant boasting" and "haughty pride" (Isa. 10:12), the kings who ruled the nations in anger, the oppressors (Isa. 14:4-6), the destroyers of nations, who went forth to inflict waste, ruin, and death (Jer. 4:7), the "guilty men, whose own might is their god" (Hab. 1: 11). Their course is evil, Their might is not right. Jeremiah 23:10 The end of public authority is to realize the moral law, a task for which both knowledge and understanding as well as the possession of power are indispensable means. Yet inherent in power is the tendency to breed conceit. " . . . one of the most striking and one of the most pervasive features of the prophetic polemic [is] the denunciation and distrust of power in all its forms and guises. The hunger of the powerfit! knows no satiety; the appetite grows on what it feeds. Power exalts itself and is incapable of yielding to any transcendent judgment; it 'listens to no voice' (Zeph. 3:2) ." It is the bitter irony of history that the common people, who are devoid of power and are the prospective victims of its abuse, are the first to become the ally of him who accumulates power. Power is spectacular, while its end, the moral law, is inconspicuous.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (The Prophets)
We have not thoroughly assessed the bodies snatched from dirt and sand to be chained in a cell. We have not reckoned with the horrendous, violent mass kidnapping that we call the Middle Passage. We have not been honest about all of America's complicity - about the wealth the South earned on the backs of the enslaved, or the wealth the North gained through the production of enslaved hands. We have not fully understood the status symbol that owning bodies offered. We have not confronted the humanity, the emotions, the heartbeats of the multiple generations who were born into slavery and died in it, who never tasted freedom on America's land. The same goes for the Civil War. We have refused to honestly confront the fact that so many were willing to die in order to hold the freedom of others in their hands. We have refused to acknowledge slavery's role at all, preferring to boil things down to the far more palatable "state's rights." We have not confessed that the end of slavery was so bitterly resented, the rise of Jim Crow became inevitable - and with it, a belief in Black inferiority that lives on in hearts and minds today. We have painted the hundred-year history of Jim Crow as little more than mean signage and the inconvenience that white people and Black people could not drink from the same fountain. But those signs weren't just "mean". They were perpetual reminders of the swift humiliation and brutal violence that could be suffered at any moment in the presence of whiteness. Jim Crow meant paying taxes for services one could not fully enjoy; working for meager wages; and owning nothing that couldn't be snatched away. For many black families, it meant never building wealth and never having legal recourse for injustice. The mob violence, the burned-down homes, the bombed churches and businesses, the Black bodies that were lynched every couple of days - Jim Crow was walking through life measuring every step. Even our celebrations of the Civil Rights Movement are sanitized, its victories accentuated while the battles are whitewashed. We have not come to grips with the spitting and shouting, the pulling and tugging, the clubs, dogs, bombs, and guns, the passion and vitriol with which the rights of Black Americans were fought against. We have not acknowledged the bloodshed that often preceded victory. We would rather focus on the beautiful words of Martin Luther King Jr. than on the terror he and protesters endured at marches, boycotts, and from behind jail doors. We don't want to acknowledge that for decades, whiteness fought against every civil right Black Americans sought - from sitting at lunch counters and in integrated classrooms to the right to vote and have a say in how our country was run. We like to pretend that all those white faces who carried protest signs and batons, who turned on their sprinklers and their fire hoses, who wrote against the demonstrations and preached against the changes, just disappeared. We like to pretend that they were won over, transformed, the moment King proclaimed, "I have a dream." We don't want to acknowledge that just as Black people who experienced Jim Crow are still alive, so are the white people who vehemently protected it - who drew red lines around Black neighborhoods and divested them of support given to average white citizens. We ignore that white people still avoid Black neighborhoods, still don't want their kids going to predominantly Black schools, still don't want to destroy segregation. The moment Black Americans achieved freedom from enslavement, America could have put to death the idea of Black inferiority. But whiteness was not prepared to sober up from the drunkenness of power over another people group. Whiteness was not ready to give up the ability to control, humiliate, or do violence to any Black body in the vicinity - all without consequence.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
The final product of the camps, one which the Nazis carefully shaped, was death. What the SS shaped was mass death without a murmur of protest; death accepted placidly by victims and killers alike; death carried out not as any kind of exception, not as an act of purposeful vengeance or hatred, but as casual, smiling, even homey routine, often against a background of colorful flower beds and to the accompaniment of lilting operetta music. It was to be death as a confirmation of all that had preceded it, death as a last demonstration of absolute power and absolute unreason, death as the final triumph of Nazism over man and over the human spirit.
Leonard Peikoff (The Cause of Hitler's Germany)
Even if the powers destroy us," he said, "who are we, to condemn them? As well might a fleeting word judge the speaker that forms it. Perhaps they use us for their own high ends, use our strength and our weakness, our joy and our pain, in some theme inconceivable to us, and excellent." But I protested, "What theme could justify such waste, such futility? And how can we help judging; and how otherwise can we judge than by the light of our own hearts, by which we judge ourselves? It would be base to praise the Star Maker, knowing that he was too insensitive to care about the fate of his worlds." Bvalltu was silent in his mind for a moment. Then he looked up, searching among the smoke-clouds for a daytime star. And then he said to me in his mind, "If he saved all the worlds, but tormented just one man, would you forgive him? Or if he was a little harsh only to one stupid child? What has our pain to do with it, or our failure? Star Maker! It is a good word, though we can have no notion of its meaning. Oh, Star Maker, even if you destroy me, I must praise you. Even if you torture my dearest. Even if you torment and waste all your lovely worlds, the little figments of your imagination, yet I must praise you. For if you do so, it must be right. In me it would be wrong, but in you it must be right.
Olaf Stapledon
People of color in the internal colonies of the US cannot defend themselves against police brutality or expropriate the means of survival to free themselves from economic servitude. They must wait for enough people of color who have attained more economic privilege (the “house slaves” of Malcolm X’s analysis) and conscientious white people to gather together and hold hands and sing songs. Then, they believe, change will surely come. People in Latin America must suffer patiently, like true martyrs, while white activists in the US “bear witness” and write to Congress. People in Iraq must not fight back. Only if they remain civilians will their deaths be counted and mourned by white peace activists who will, one of these days, muster a protest large enough to stop the war. Indigenous people need to wait just a little longer (say, another 500 years) under the shadow of genocide, slowly dying off on marginal lands, until-well, they’re not a priority right now, so perhaps they need to organize a demonstration or two to win the attention and sympathy of the powerful. Or maybe they could go on strike, engage in Gandhian noncooperation? But wait-a majority of them are already unemployed, noncooperating, fully excluded from the functioning of the system. Nonviolence declares that the American Indians could have fought off Columbus, George Washington, and all the other genocidal butchers with sit-ins; that Crazy Horse, by using violent resistance, became part of the cycle of violence, and was “as bad as” Custer. Nonviolence declares that Africans could have stopped the slave trade with hunger strikes and petitions, and that those who mutinied were as bad as their captors; that mutiny, a form of violence, led to more violence, and, thus, resistance led to more enslavement. Nonviolence refuses to recognize that it can only work for privileged people, who have a status protected by violence, as the perpetrators and beneficiaries of a violent hierarchy.
Peter Gelderloos (How Nonviolence Protects the State)
But one of the unintended consequences of the Protestant Reformation, Taylor argues, was a disenchantment of the world. Critical of the ways such an enchanted, sacramental understanding of the world had lapsed into sheer superstition, the later Reformers emphasized the simple hearing of the Word, the message of the gospel, and the arid simplicity of Christian worship. The result was a process of excarnation—of disembodying the Christian faith, turning it into a “heady” affair that could be boiled down to a message and grasped with the mind. To use a phrase that we considered above, this was Christianity reduced to something for brains-on-a-stick. The
James K.A. Smith (You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit)
Sorry to inform you...but as a fellow failed miner, the problem is there's nowhere left to dig. We're real poets man. And whatever. But it's the digging, it's the holes! Its these burrows to half nestle in just to pass the time, to chafe the inner thigh of boredom and that level of power-demanding pain is only in existence because you really, really know that there isn't anything else. The holes. And me missing a shovel, that has created the voids, the tears, the fucks, the sucks, the shame, the stares, the songs, the words, and in admittedly, even more holes. Not having one of my shovels has somehow overcompensated the digs in which I've dug. The holes. The holes are why you smoke aware of cancer, a disease to take over years of boring lives, and give us a bone to gnaw on, overcome, defeat, lick-dry, or die. The holes are why you drink with your last dollars, when you know you're going to throw it up tonight anyway. The holes are why you think you're in love, and that's a hole that you might not climb back from. The holes, the holes the holes, making you question everything standing at a bus stop...smelling like cigarettes and perfume...signing up for classes you wont go to... hand covered in club stamps... face covered in guilt... Maybe go to a protest and just stand there...Or lay in bed when there's no way you can sleep...
Wesley Eisold
All of the stimuli of awe and wonder, whose capacity is invested in the human mind, have been appropriated by religious faiths across centuries, in masterpieces of literature, the visual arts, music, and architecture. Three thousand years of Yahweh have wrought an aesthetic power in these creative arts second to none. There is nothing in my own experience more moving than the Roman Catholic Lucernarium, when the lumen Christi (light of Christ) is spread by Paschal candlelight into a darkened cathedral; or the choral hymns to the standing faithful and approaching procession during an evangelical Protestant altar call. These benefits require submission to God, or his Son the Redeemer, or both, or to His final chosen spokesman Muhammad. This is too easy. It is necessary only to submit, to bow down, to repeat the sacred oaths. Yet let us ask frankly, to whom is such obeisance really directed? Is it to an entity that may have no meaning within reach of the human mind—or may not even exist? Yes, perhaps it really is to God. But perhaps it is to no more than a tribe united by a creation myth. If the latter, religious faith is better interpreted as an unseen trap unavoidable during the biological history of our species. And if this is correct, surely there exist ways to find spiritual fulfillment without surrender and enslavement. Humankind deserves better.
Edward O. Wilson (The Social Conquest of Earth)
More impressive than the size of the silently protesting crowd was the orderliness and simplicity with which it was dispersed. Assured that Hinton had received the proper care, Malcolm approached the crowd, raised his arm, and gave a signal. One bystander described it as “eerie, because these people just faded into the night. It was the most orderly movement of four thousand to five thousand people I’ve ever seen in my life—they just simply disappeared—right before our eyes.” Malcolm’s silent command also left a strong impression on the New York City police. The chief inspector at the scene turned to Amsterdam News reporter James Hicks and said, “No one man should have that much power.”2
Manning Marable (The Portable Malcolm X Reader)
Of course, the champions of totalitarianism protest that what they want to abolish is "only economic freedom" and that ali "other freedoms" will remain untouched. But freedom is indivisible. The distinction between an economic sphere of human life and activity and a noneconomic sphere is the worst of their fallacies. If an omnipotent authority has the power to assign to every individual the tasks he has to perform, nothing that can be called freedom and autonomy is left to him. He has only the choice between strict obedience and death by starvation.1 Committees of experts may be called to advise the planning authority whether or not a young man should be given the opportunity to prepare himself for and to work in an intellectual or artistic field. But such an arrangement can merely rear disciples committed to the parrotIike repetition of the ideas of the preceding generation. It would bar innovators who disagree with the accepted ways of thought. No innovation would ever have been accomplished if its originator had been in need of an authorization by those from whose doctrines and methods he wanted to deviate. Hegel would not have ordained Schopenhauer or Feuerbach, nor would Professor Rau have ordained Marx or Carl Menger. If the supreme planning board is ultimately to determine which books are to be printed, who is to experiment in the laboratories and who is to paint or to sculpture, and which alterations in technological methods should be undertaken, there will be neither improvement nor progress. Individual man will become a pawn in the hands of the rulers, who in their "social engineering" will handle him as engineers handle the stuff of which they construct buildings, bridges, and machines. In every sphere of human activity an innovation is a challenge not only to ali routinists and to the experts and practitioners of traditional methods but even more to those who have in the past themselves been innovators. It meets at the beginning chiefly stubborn opposition. Such obstacles can be overcome in a society where there is economic freedom. They are insurmountable in a socialist system.
Ludwig von Mises (Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution)
The Weimar Republic seethed with other resentments and hatreds: the German people were bitterly divided along every conceivable line. Rural people disliked the big cities for breaking with traditions of religion and sexual identity and morality. A postwar tide of refugees, particularly from eastern Europe, alarmed millions of Germans. German Catholics and Protestants had distrusted one another since the Reformation. The stresses of war and revolution had exacerbated antisemitism in both Christian groupings. Eventually, these different grievances coalesced, especially among the numerically dominant Protestants: Weimar was too Jewish, too Catholic, too modern, too urban—all in all, too morally degenerate.
Benjamin Carter Hett (The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic)
It is not difficult to imagine the Catholic Church adopting, after a Tychonic transition, the Copernican cosmology some 200 years earlier than she eventually did. The Galileo affair was an isolated episode in the history of relations between science and theology. But its dramatic circumstances, magnified out of all proportion, created a popular belief that science stood for freedom, the Church for oppression of thought. Some historians wish to make us believe that the decline of science in Italy was due to the "terror" caused by the trial of Galileo. But the next generation saw the rise of Toricelli, Cavallieri, Borelli, whose contributions to science were more substantial than those of any generation before or during Galileo's lifetime. The contemporary divorce between faith and reason is not the result of a contest for power or intellectual monopoly, but of a progressive estrangement. This becomes evident if we shift our attention from Italy to the Protestant countries of Europe, and to France. Kepler, Descartes, Barrow, Leibniz, Gilbert, Boyle and Newton himself, the generation of pioneers contemporary with and succeeding Galileo, were all deeply and genuinely religious thinkers. The pioneers of the new cosmology, from Kepler to Newton and beyond, based their search into nature on the mystic conviction that there must exist laws behind the confusing phenomena; that the world was a completely rational, ordered, harmonic creation.
Arthur Koestler (The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe)
If you kill Steve Leonard, you will become a monster, the most despised and twisted the world has ever seen." My eyes bulged and I opened my mouth to protest, but she continued before I uttered a syllable. "Monsters are not born fully developed. They grow, they mature, they become. "You are filling with hatred, Darren, hatred which will consume you. If you kill Steve, it will not be enough. You'll push on, driven by rages you cannot control. Because destiny has marked you out as a bearer of great power, you will create great havoc. You will destroy the vampaneze but that won't be enough. There will always be a new enemy to fight. During your quest, certain vampires will try to stop you. They too will die at your hands.
Darren Shan (Lord of the Shadows (Cirque Du Freak, #11))
What is soft power? It is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments. It arises from the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies. When our policies are seen as legitimate in the eyes of others, our soft power is enhanced. America has long had a great deal of soft power. Think of the impact of Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms in Europe at the end of World War II; of young people behind the Iron Curtain listening to American music and news on Radio Free Europe; of Chinese students symbolizing their protests in Tiananmen Square by creating a replica of the Statue of Liberty; of newly liberated Afghans in 2001 asking for a copy of the Bill of Rights; of young Iranians today surreptitiously watching banned American videos and satellite television broadcasts in the privacy of their homes. These are all examples of America’s soft power. When you can get others to admire your ideals and to want what you want, you do not have to spend as much on sticks and carrots to move them in your direction. Seduction is always more effective than coercion, and many values like democracy, human rights, and individual opportunities are deeply seductive. As General Wesley Clark put it, soft power “gave us an influence far beyond the hard edge of traditional balance-of-power politics.” But attraction can turn to repulsion if we act in an arrogant manner and destroy the real message of our deeper values.
Joseph S. Nye Jr. (Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics)
A free Republic! How a myth will maintain itself, how it will continue to deceive, to dupe, and blind even the comparatively intelligent to its monstrous absurdities. A free Republic! And yet within a little over thirty years a small band of parasites have successfully robbed the American people, and trampled upon the fundamental principles, laid down by the fathers of this country, guaranteeing to every man, woman, and child “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” For thirty years they have been increasing their wealth and power at the expense of the vast mass of workers, thereby enlarging the army of the unemployed, the hungry, homeless, and friendless portion of humanity, who are tramping the country from east to west, from north to south, in a vain search for work. For many years the home has been left to the care of the little ones, while the parents are exhausting their life and strength for a mere pittance. For thirty years the sturdy sons of America have been sacrificed on the battlefield of industrial war, and the daughters outraged in corrupt factory surroundings. For long and weary years this process of undermining the nation’s health, vigor, and pride, without much protest from the disinherited and oppressed, has been going on. Maddened by success and victory, the money powers of this “free land of ours” became more and more audacious in their heartless, cruel efforts to compete with the rotten and decayed European tyrannies for supremacy of power.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
Faith is not a meritorious cause of election, but it is constantly attested as the sole condition of salvation. Faith merely receives the merit of atoning grace, instead of asserting its own merit. God places the life-death option before each person, requiring each to choose. The ekletos are those who by grace freely believe. God does not compel or necessitate their choosing. Even after the initial choice of faith is made, they may grieve and quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Faith is the condition under which God primordially wills the reception of salvation by all. “He chooses us, not because we believe, but that we may believe; lest we should say that we first chose Him” (Augustine). Faith receives the electing love of God not as if it had already become efficacious without faith, but aware that God’s prescience foreknows faith like all else. In accord with ancient ecumenical consent, predestination was carefully defined in centrist Protestant orthodoxy as: 'The eternal, divine decree, by which God, from His immense mercy, determined to give His Son as Mediator, and through universal preaching , to offer Him for reception to all men who from eternity He foresaw would fall into sin; also through the Word and Sacraments to confer faith upon all who would not resist; to justify all believers, and besides to renew those using the means of grace; to preserve faith in them until the end of life, and in a word, to save those believing to the end' (Melanchthon).
Thomas C. Oden (The Transforming Power of Grace)
Ignatius de Loyola came to the conclusion that the only way his "church" could survive was by enforcing the canons and doctrines on the temporal power of the pope and the Roman Catholic institution; not by just destroying the physical life of the people alone as the Dominican priests were doing through the Inquisition, but by infiltration and penetration into every sector of life. Protestantism must be conquered and used for the benefit of the popes. That was Ignatius de Loyola's personal proposal, among others, to Pope Paul III. Jesuits immediately went to work secretly infiltrating ALL the Protestant groups including their families, places of work, hospitals, schools, colleges, etc. Today, the Jesuits have almost completed that mission.
Edmund Paris (The Secret History of the Jesuits)
Here’s a simple definition of ideology: “A set of beliefs about the proper order of society and how it can be achieved.”8 And here’s the most basic of all ideological questions: Preserve the present order, or change it? At the French Assembly of 1789, the delegates who favored preservation sat on the right side of the chamber, while those who favored change sat on the left. The terms right and left have stood for conservatism and liberalism ever since. Political theorists since Marx had long assumed that people chose ideologies to further their self-interest. The rich and powerful want to preserve and conserve; the peasants and workers want to change things (or at least they would if their consciousness could be raised and they could see their self-interest properly, said the Marxists). But even though social class may once have been a good predictor of ideology, that link has been largely broken in modern times, when the rich go both ways (industrialists mostly right, tech billionaires mostly left) and so do the poor (rural poor mostly right, urban poor mostly left). And when political scientists looked into it, they found that self-interest does a remarkably poor job of predicting political attitudes.9 So for most of the late twentieth century, political scientists embraced blank-slate theories in which people soaked up the ideology of their parents or the TV programs they watched.10 Some political scientists even said that most people were so confused about political issues that they had no real ideology at all.11 But then came the studies of twins. In the 1980s, when scientists began analyzing large databases that allowed them to compare identical twins (who share all of their genes, plus, usually, their prenatal and childhood environments) to same-sex fraternal twins (who share half of their genes, plus their prenatal and childhood environments), they found that the identical twins were more similar on just about everything.12 And what’s more, identical twins reared in separate households (because of adoption) usually turn out to be very similar, whereas unrelated children reared together (because of adoption) rarely turn out similar to each other, or to their adoptive parents; they tend to be more similar to their genetic parents. Genes contribute, somehow, to just about every aspect of our personalities.13 We’re not just talking about IQ, mental illness, and basic personality traits such as shyness. We’re talking about the degree to which you like jazz, spicy foods, and abstract art; your likelihood of getting a divorce or dying in a car crash; your degree of religiosity, and your political orientation as an adult. Whether you end up on the right or the left of the political spectrum turns out to be just as heritable as most other traits: genetics explains between a third and a half of the variability among people on their political attitudes.14 Being raised in a liberal or conservative household accounts for much less. How can that be? How can there be a genetic basis for attitudes about nuclear power, progressive taxation, and foreign aid when these issues only emerged in the last century or two? And how can there be a genetic basis for ideology when people sometimes change their political parties as adults? To answer these questions it helps to return to the definition of innate that I gave in chapter 7. Innate does not mean unmalleable; it means organized in advance of experience. The genes guide the construction of the brain in the uterus, but that’s only the first draft, so to speak. The draft gets revised by childhood experiences. To understand the origins of ideology you have to take a developmental perspective, starting with the genes and ending with an adult voting for a particular candidate or joining a political protest. There are three major steps in the process. Step
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
Reason, religion, and capitalism were the tributaries that met to form the powerful American river that so impressed Turgot and his contemporaries. By replacing revelation and hereditary authority with rationality and republicanism, the American nation gave political form to the idea that the divine rights of monarchs and prelates had to surrender to the primacy of individual conscience and equality. No longer would certain men, by an accident of birth (kings) or an incident of election (popes), be granted absolute power over the humblest of others. This view of the intrinsic equality of every person—or at least of nearly every propertied white man—drew on secular philosophical insights, the ethos of the Protestant Reformation, and the prevailing culture of the Scientific Revolution.
Jon Meacham (The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels)
WARREN: What should the cops do? RUTH TURNER: The police, if they behave in other places like they do here, are unfortunate tools of a power structure which has failed to understand the dynamics of protests, and not understanding anything about the people with whom they deal, have not been able to deal with the situation in any constructive way. That’s why police brutality takes place, and of course, police brutality breeds more violence. I feel that, clearly, the police ought to step in to prevent loss of life and limb, but they should not be there to prevent loss of life and limb on one side only, as had been the case. At Murray Hill, where a mob rioted—a white mob, I’m happy to say—the police made no attempt whatsoever to curb them. This exemplifies the double standard of the police.
Robert Penn Warren (Who Speaks for the Negro?)
There is no formula or doctrine of the church’s role in society. The church lives out its witness in concrete historical situations, waiting for God to lead. There is a role for thinking about what to do next, but this thinking should be always done in the context of waiting on God. Prayer is evidence of dependency on God. In prayer we envisage a new future, and we protest the world order as it is. We stand against darkness and invoke God’s light. Using weapons of the Spirit, we pull down strongholds and join the uprising against the present disorder. Prayer shows that we belong to a different order of reality which defies the powers of evil and anticipates the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdom of Christ (Rev 11:15). History belongs to intercessors, because history belongs to God.70 Mission is
Clark H. Pinnock (Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit)
Protestants have avoided signing themselves, mostly in protest of the Roman Catholic tradition. But, as I have told my Protestant students for years, the sign of the cross is no more Roman Catholic than a sermon is Protestant. Christians have crossed themselves from the earliest days. Tertullian, as a powerful apologist for the Christian faith in the late second and early third centuries, said this: At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out [this echoes the Shema], when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign [of the Cross]. The Celtic Daily Prayer order for Morning Prayer begins with this: +In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Scot McKnight (Praying with the Church: Following Jesus Daily, Hourly, Today)
After a day filled with talking, laughing, reminiscing and making future plans, Evie had returned to Eversby Priory in high spirits. She was full of news to share with her husband... including the fact that the protagonist of Daisy's current novel in progress had been partly inspired by him. "I had the idea when the subject of your husband came up at a dinner party a few months ago, Evie," Daisy had explained, dabbing at a tiny stain left by a strawberry that had fallen onto her bodice. "Someone remarked that Kingston was still the handsomest man in England, and how unfair it was that he never ages. And Lillian said he must be a vampire, and everyone laughed. It started me thinking about that old novel The Vampyre, published about fifty years ago. I decided to write something similar, only a romantic version." Lillian had shaken her head at the notion. "I told Daisy no one would want to read about a vampire lover. Blood... teeth..." She grimaced and shivered. "He enslaves women with his charismatic power," Daisy protested. "He's also a rich, handsome duke- just like Evie's husband." Annabelle spoke then, her blue eyes twinkling. "In light of all that, one could forgive a bad habit or two." Lillian gave her a skeptical glance. "Annabelle, could you really overlook a husband who went around sucking the life out of people?" After pondering the question, Annabelle asked Daisy, "How rich is he?" She ducked with a smothered laugh as Lillian pelted her with a biscuit. Laughing at her friends' antics, Evie had asked Daisy, "What's the title?" "The Duke's Deadly Embrace." "I suggested The Duke Was a Pain in the Neck," Lillian had said, "but Daisy thought it lacked romance.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
The academic literature describes marshals who “‘police’ other demonstrators,” and who have a “collaborative relationship” with the authorities. This is essentially a strategy of co-optation. The police enlist the protest organizers to control the demonstrators, putting the organization at least partly in the service of the state and intensifying the function of control. (...) Police/protestor cooperation required a fundamental adjustment in the attitude of the authorities. The Negotiated Management approach demanded the institutionalization of protest. Demonstrations had to be granted some degree of legitimacy so they could be carefully managed rather than simply shoved about. This approach de-emphasized the radical or antagonistic aspects of protest in favor of a routinized and collaborative approach. Naturally such a relationship brought with it some fairly tight constraints as to the kinds of protest activity available. Rallies, marches, polite picketing, symbolic civil disobedience actions, and even legal direct action — such as strikes or boycotts — were likely to be acceptable, within certain limits. Violence, obviously, would not be tolerated. Neither would property destruction. Nor would any of the variety of tactics that had been developed to close businesses, prevent logging, disrupt government meetings, or otherwise interfere with the operation of some part of society. That is to say, picketing may be fine, barricades are not. Rallies were in, riots were out. Taking to the streets — under certain circumstances — may be acceptable; taking over the factories was not. The danger, for activists, is that they might permanently limit themselves to tactics that were predictable, non-disruptive, and ultimately ineffective.
Kristian Williams (Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America)
Harman was right: those pictures were worse. But, leaving aside the fact that photographs of death and nudity, however newsworthy, don't get much play in the press, the power of an image does not necessarily reside in what it depicts. A photograph of a mangled cadaver, or of a naked man trussed in torment, can shock and outrage, provoke protest and investigation, but it leaves little to the imagination. It may be rich in practical information while being devoid of any broader meaning. To the extent that it represents any circumstances or conditions beyond itself, it does so generically. Such photographs are repellent in large part because they have a terrible reductive sameness. Except from a forensic point of view, they are unambiguous, and have the quality of pornography. They are what they show, nothing more. They communicate no vision and, shorn of context, they offer little, if anything, to think about, no occasion for wonder. They have no value as symbols. Of course, the dominant symbol of Western civilization is the figure of a nearly naked man being tortured to death⁠—or more simply, the torture implement itself, the cross. But our pictures of Christ's savage death are the product of religious imagination and idealization. In reality, with his battered flesh scabbed and bleeding and bloated and discolored beneath the pitiless Judean desert sun, he must have been ghastly to behold. Had there been cameras at Calvary, would twenty centuries of believers have been moved to hang photographs of the scene on their altarpieces and in their homes, or to wear an icon of a man being executed around their necks as as an emblem of peace and hope and human fellowship? Photography is too frank to allow for the notion of suffering as noble and ennobling...
Philip Gourevitch (Standard Operating Procedure)
The psychology of sanction.’ ‘If you’re right, then why does anyone protest against torture? Why don’t we all just go, “Oh well, we’ve seen how well it works in the movies, let’s just go along with it”?’ Carol leaned on her fists on the edge of his bed as she spoke, her tumbled blonde hair falling into her eyes. ‘Carol, you might not have noticed, but there’s a significant number of people out there who do say just that. Look at the opposition in the US when the Senate decided to outlaw torture just the other year. People believe in its efficacy precisely because they’ve seen it in the movies. And some of those believers are in positions of power. The reason we don’t all fall for it is that we’re not all equally credulous. Some of us are much more critical of what we see and read than others. But you can fool some of the people all of the time. And when spooks and cops go bad, that’s what they rely on.’ She
Val McDermid (Beneath The Bleeding (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #5))
And I thought how many satisfied, happy people really do exist in this world! And what a powerful force they are! Just take a look at this life of ours and you will see the arrogance and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and bestiality of the weak. Everywhere there's unspeakable poverty, overcrowding, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy and stupid lies... And yet peace and quiet reign in every house and street. Out of fifty thousand people you won't find one who is prepared to shout out loud and make a strong protest. We see people buying food in the market, eating during the day, sleeping at night-time, talking nonsense, marrying, growing old and then contentedly carting their dead off to the cemetery. But we don't hear or see those who suffer: the real tragedies of life are enacted somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is calm and peaceful and the only protest comes from statistics - and they can't talk. Figures show that so many went mad, so many bottles of vodka were emptied, so many children died from malnutrition. And clearly this kind of system is what people need. It,s obvious that the happy man feels contented only because the unhappy ones bear their burden without saying a word: if it weren't for their silence, happiness would be quite impossible. It's a kind of mass hypnosis. Someone ought to stand with a hammer at the door of every contented man, continually banging on it to remind him that there are unhappy people around and that however happy he may be at that time, sooner or later life will show him its claws and disaster will overtake him in the form of illness, poverty, bereavement and there will be no one to hear or see him. But there isn't anyone holding a hammer, so our happy man goes his own sweet way and is only gently ruffled by life's trivial cares, as an aspen is ruffled by the breeze. All's well as far as he's concerned
Anton Chekhov (Gooseberries)
A twitch at the controls could swerve the cat’, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractor, the monster that sent the tractor out, had somehow got into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him— goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the land as it smelled; his feet did not stamp the clods or feel the warmth and power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals. He could not cheer or beat or curse or encourage the extension of his power, and because of this he could not cheer or whip or curse or encourage himself. He did not know or own or trust or beseech the land. If a seed dropped did not germinate, it was nothing. If the young thrusting plant withered in drought or drowned in a flood of rain, it was no more to the driver than to the tractor. He
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
The enormous spotlight that focused on King, combined with the construction of Rosa Parks as a saintly symbol, hid the women's long struggle in the dimly lit background, obscuring the origins of the MIA and erasing women from the movement. For decades, the Montgomery bus boycott has been told as a story triggered by Rosa Park's spontaneous refusal to give up her seat followed by the triumphant leadership of men like Fred Gray, Martin Luther King, Jr., E. D. Nixon, and Ralph Abernathy. While these men had a major impact on the emerging protest movement, it was black women's decade-long struggle against mistreatment and abuse by white bus drivers and police officers that launched the boycott. Without an appreciation for the particular predicaments of black women in the Jim Crow South, it is nearly impossible to understand why thousands of working-class and hundreds of middle-class black women chose to walk rather than ride the bus for 381 days.
Danielle L. McGuire (At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance--A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power)
Stoyan, and thanked him for his time, he smiled modestly and replied, “I thank God and I take great joy in knowing that I was suffering in prison in my country, so that you, Nik, could be free to share Jesus in Kentucky.” Those words pierced my soul. I looked Stoyan straight in the eyes. “Oh, no!” I protested. “No! You are not going to do that! You are NOT going to put that on me. That is a debt so large that I can never repay you!” Stoyan stared right back at me and said, “Son, that’s the debt of the cross!” He leaned forward and poked me in the chest with his finger as he continued, “Don’t you steal my joy! I took great joy that I was suffering in my country, so that you could be free to witness in your country.” Then he raised his voice in a prophet-like challenge that I knew would live with me forever: “Don’t ever give up in freedom what we would never have given up in persecution! That is our witness to the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Nik Ripken (The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected)
I am sure that the Roman emperors didn’t have prayer to God in their schools. But then, the early Christians didn’t seem to care what Caligula or Claudius or Nero did. How could any emperor stop God? How, in fact, could the demons of hell make headway when God’s people prayed and called upon his name? Impossible! In the New Testament we don’t see Peter or John wringing their hands and saying, “Oh, what are we going to do? Caligula’s bisexual … he wants to appoint his horse to the Roman Senate … what a terrible model of leadership! How are we going to respond to this outrage?” Let’s not play games with ourselves. Let’s not divert attention away from the weak prayer life of our own churches. In Acts 4, when the apostles were unjustly arrested, imprisoned, and threatened, they didn’t call for a protest; they didn’t reach for some political leverage. Instead, they headed to a prayer meeting. Soon the place was vibrating with the power of the Holy Spirit (vv. 23–31).
Jim Cymbala (Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire)
At first glance, a militant conception of revolution seems more impractical than a nonviolent conception, but this is because it is realistic. People need to understand that capitalism, the state, white supremacy, imperialism, and patriarchy all constitute a war against the people of this planet. And revolution is an intensification of that war. We cannot liberate ourselves and create the worlds we want to live in if we think of fundamental social change as shining a light in the darkness, winning hearts and minds, speaking truth to power, bearing witness, capturing people’s attention, or any other passive parade. Millions of people die every year on this planet for no better reason than a lack of clean drinking water. Because the governments and corporations that have usurped control of the commons have not found a way to profit from those people’s lives, they let them die. Millions of people die every year because a few corporations and their allied governments do not want to allow the production of generic AIDS drugs and other medicine. Do you think the institutions and the elite individuals who hold the power of life or death over millions give a fuck about our protests? They have declared war on us, and we need to take it back to them. Not because we are angry (though we should be), not to get revenge, and not because we are acting impulsively, but because we have weighed the possibility of freedom against the certainty of shame from living under whatever form of domination we are faced with in our particular corner of the globe; because we realize that some people are already fighting, often alone, for their liberation, and that they have a right to and we should support them; and because we understand that the overlapping prisons that entomb our world have by now been so cleverly constructed that the only way to free ourselves is to fight and destroy these prisons and defeat the jailers by whatever means necessary.
Peter Gelderloos (How Nonviolence Protects the State)
Lynum had plenty of information to share. The FBI's files on Mario Savio, the brilliant philosophy student who was the spokesman for the Free Speech Movement, were especially detailed. Savio had a debilitating stutter when speaking to people in small groups, but when standing before a crowd and condemning his administration's latest injustice he spoke with divine fire. His words had inspired students to stage what was the largest campus protest in American history. Newspapers and magazines depicted him as the archetypal "angry young man," and it was true that he embodied a student movement fueled by anger at injustice, impatience for change, and a burning desire for personal freedom. Hoover ordered his agents to gather intelligence they could use to ruin his reputation or otherwise "neutralize" him, impatiently ordering them to expedite their efforts. Hoover's agents had also compiled a bulging dossier on the man Savio saw as his enemy: Clark Kerr. As campus dissent mounted, Hoover came to blame the university president more than anyone else for not putting an end to it. Kerr had led UC to new academic heights, and he had played a key role in establishing the system that guaranteed all Californians access to higher education, a model adopted nationally and internationally. But in Hoover's eyes, Kerr confused academic freedom with academic license, coddled Communist faculty members, and failed to crack down on "young punks" like Savio. Hoover directed his agents to undermine the esteemed educator in myriad ways. He wanted Kerr removed from his post as university president. As he bluntly put it in a memo to his top aides, Kerr was "no good." Reagan listened intently to Lynum's presentation, but he wanted more--much more. He asked for additional information on Kerr, for reports on liberal members of the Board of Regents who might oppose his policies, and for intelligence reports about any upcoming student protests. Just the week before, he had proposed charging tuition for the first time in the university's history, setting off a new wave of protests up and down the state. He told Lynum he feared subversives and liberals would attempt to misrepresent his efforts to establish fiscal responsibility, and that he hoped the FBI would share information about any upcoming demonstrations against him, whether on campus or at his press conferences. It was Reagan's fear, according to Lynum's subsequent report, "that some of his press conferences could be stacked with 'left wingers' who might make an attempt to embarrass him and the state government." Lynum said he understood his concerns, but following Hoover's instructions he made no promises. Then he and Harter wished the ailing governor a speedy recovery, departed the mansion, slipped into their dark four-door Ford, and drove back to the San Francisco field office, where Lynum sent an urgent report to the director. The bedside meeting was extraordinary, but so was the relationship between Reagan and Hoover. It had begun decades earlier, when the actor became an informer in the FBI's investigation of Hollywood Communists. When Reagan was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, he secretly continued to help the FBI purge fellow actors from the union's rolls. Reagan's informing proved helpful to the House Un-American Activities Committee as well, since the bureau covertly passed along information that could help HUAC hold the hearings that wracked Hollywood and led to the blacklisting and ruin of many people in the film industry. Reagan took great satisfaction from his work with the FBI, which gave him a sense of security and mission during a period when his marriage to Jane Wyman was failing, his acting career faltering, and his faith in the Democratic Party of his father crumbling. In the following years, Reagan and FBI officials courted each other through a series of confidential contacts. (7-8)
Seth Rosenfeld (Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power)
Patriotism comes from the same Latin word as father. Blind patriotism is collective transference. In it the state becomes a parent and we citizens submit our loyalty to ensure its protection. We may have been encouraged to make that bargain from our public school education, our family home, religion, or culture in general. We associate safety with obedience to authority, for example, going along with government policies. We then make duty, as it is defined by the nation, our unquestioned course. Our motivation is usually not love of country but fear of being without a country that will defend us and our property. Connection is all-important to us; excommunication is the equivalent of death, the finality we can’t dispute. Healthy adult loyalty is a virtue that does not become blind obedience for fear of losing connection, nor total devotion so that we lose our boundaries. Our civil obedience can be so firm that it may take precedence over our concern for those we love, even our children. Here is an example: A young mother is told by the doctor that her toddler is allergic to peanuts and peanut oil. She lets the school know of her son’s allergy when he goes to kindergarten. Throughout his childhood, she is vigilant and makes sure he is safe from peanuts in any form. Eighteen years later, there is a war and he is drafted. The same mother, who was so scrupulously careful about her child’s safety, now waves goodbye to him with a tear but without protest. Mother’s own training in public school and throughout her life has made her believe that her son’s life is expendable whether or not the war in question is just. “Patriotism” is so deeply ingrained in her that she does not even imagine an alternative, even when her son’s life is at stake. It is of course also true that, biologically, parents are ready to let children go just as the state is ready to draft them. What a cunning synchronic-ity. In addition, old men who decide on war take advantage of the timing too. The warrior archetype is lively in eighteen-year-olds, who are willing to fight. Those in their mid-thirties, whose archetype is being a householder and making a mark in their chosen field, will not show an interest in battlefields of blood. The chiefs count on the fact that young braves will take the warrior myth literally rather than as a metaphor for interior battles. They will be willing to put their lives on the line to live out the collective myth of societies that have not found the path of nonviolence. Our collective nature thus seems geared to making war a workable enterprise. In some people, peacemaking is the archetype most in evidence. Nature seems to have made that population smaller, unfortunately. Our culture has trained us to endure and tolerate, not to protest and rebel. Every cell of our bodies learned that lesson. It may not be virtue; it may be fear. We may believe that showing anger is dangerous, because it opposes the authority we are obliged to appease and placate if we are to survive. This explains why we so admire someone who dares to say no and to stand up or even to die for what he believes. That person did not fall prey to the collective seduction. Watching Jeopardy on television, I notice that the audience applauds with special force when a contestant risks everything on a double-jeopardy question. The healthy part of us ardently admires daring. In our positive shadow, our admiration reflects our own disavowed or hidden potential. We, too, have it in us to dare. We can stand up for our truth, putting every comfort on the line, if only we can calm our long-scared ego and open to the part of us that wants to live free. Joseph Campbell says encouragingly, “The part of us that wants to become is fearless.” Religion and Transference Transference is not simply horizontal, from person to person, but vertical from person to a higher power, usually personified as God. When
David Richo (When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds That Sabotage Our Relationships)
The Restoration did not so much restore as replace. In restoring the monarchy with King Charles II, it replaced Cromwell's Commonwealth and its Puritan ethos with an almost powerless monarch whose tastes had been formed in France. It replaced the power of the monarchy with the power of a parliamentary system - which was to develop into the two parties, Whigs and Tories - with most of the executive power in the hands of the Prime Minister. Both parties benefited from a system which encouraged social stability rather than opposition. Above all, in systems of thought, the Restoration replaced the probing, exploring, risk-taking intellectual values of the Renaissance. It relied on reason and on facts rather than on speculation. So, in the decades between 1660 and 1700, the basis was set for the growth of a new kind of society. This society was Protestant (apart from the brief reign of the Catholic King James II, 1685-88), middle class, and unthreatened by any repetition of the huge and traumatic upheavals of the first part of the seventeenth century. It is symptomatic that the overthrow of James II in 1688 was called The 'Glorious' or 'Bloodless' Revolution. The 'fever in the blood' which the Renaissance had allowed was now to be contained, subject to reason, and kept under control. With only the brief outburst of Jacobin revolutionary sentiment at the time of the Romantic poets, this was to be the political context in the United Kingdom for two centuries or more. In this context, the concentration of society was on commerce, on respectability, and on institutions. The 'genius of the nation' led to the founding of the Royal Society in 1662 - 'for the improving of Natural Knowledge'. The Royal Society represents the trend towards the institutionalisation of scientific investigation and research in this period. The other highly significant institution, one which was to have considerably more importance in the future, was the Bank of England, founded in 1694.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
Lillian was determined that her next role would be Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and assumed she only needed to find the right actor to play opposite her as Reverend Dimmesdale. Mayer informed her there was a much larger issue at stake; The Scarlet Letter was on the Hays office “blacklist” of books that could not be filmed. The very idea of a blacklist was ridiculous to Lillian and she took up the matter directly with Will Hays. While he would occasionally publicly chastise the studios, Hays never forgot that the full name of his office was the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America and worked to smooth the path any and every way he could. He told Lillian that the major source of objection was “the Protestant Church, especially the Methodists,” and directed her to the heads of several church and women’s organizations where she forcefully presented her case. Even with Hays’s assistance, no other actress had the personal and professional reputation pure enough to garner the response she received: the ban would be lifted if she was “personally responsible” for the film. Lillian turned her attention to finding the consummate Dimmesdale and Mayer suggested she watch Lars Hanson in The Saga of Gosta Berling. The studio boss had seen Mauritz Stiller’s film in Berlin the previous December and he immediately put the director and the film’s three stars, Hanson, Mona Martenson, and Greta Gustafsson, all under contract. Lillian agreed Hanson was “perfect” and was enthusiastic when Thalberg suggested the experienced Swede Victor Seastrom (Sjöström) direct, for she believed he had “Mr. Griffith’s sensitivity to atmosphere.” And so the ban was lifted from The Scarlet Letter, Lars Hanson was coming from Sweden, Victor Seastrom was assigned to direct, and now it was Irving Thalberg’s problem. He had no script. Lillian would later say that Irving “told me that Frances Marion and I could adapt it,” but it was hardly that simple.
Cari Beauchamp (Without Lying Down: Screenwriter Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood)
Allegations of multi-perpetrator and multi-victim sexual abuse emerged to public awareness in the early 1980s contemporaneously with the denials of the accused and their supporters. Multi-perpetrator sexual offences are typically more sadistic than solo offences and organised sexual abuse is no exception. Adults and children with histories of organised abuse have described lives marked by torturous and sometimes ritualistic sexual abuse arranged by family members and other care-givers and authority figures. It is widely acknowledged, at least in theory, that sexual abuse can take severe forms, but when disclosures of such abuse occur, they are routinely subject to contestation and challenge. People accused of organised, sadistic or ritualistic abuse have protested that their accusers are liars and fantasists, or else innocents led astray by overly zealous investigators. This was an argument that many journalists and academics have found more convincing than the testimony of alleged victims.
Michael Salter (Organised Sexual Abuse)
You know why angry protesters target stores and banks? You know why protesters in Seattle and New York shut down major roadways last night? Because white America does not care if a police officer murders a young man in broad daylight, but white America howls with outrage if you interfere with the lifeblood of commerce. It’s the only way to get a response out of the mainstream media, and it’s the only way to get the suburbs to even notice that something is wrong. (Notice the media in Seattle really only started paying serious attention when Macklemore, the most commercial artist this city has produced in a couple decades, showed up at the protests. Same idea.) When you’re hurt, you want someone to notice, to help. Experience tells protesters that candlelight vigils disappear into the void. Speeches go unheard. But if you break the windows of a convenience store? Those TV news vans will show up in a split-second, their enormous antennas flying high in the sky. People—powerful people, rich people—will pay attention.
Anonymous
"I'm not going anywhere. I'm joining your little gang of baby heroes on the quest to find Superdad." Simon and Derek exchanged a look. "No," Derek said. "No? Excuse me, it was Rae who betrayed you guys. Not me. I helped Chloe." "And was it Rae who tormented her at Lyle House?" "Tormented?" A derisive snort. "I didn't—" "You did everything you could to get Chloe kicked out," Simon said. "And when that didn't work, you tried to kill her." "Kill her?" Tori's mouth hardened. "I'm not my mother. Don't you dare accuse—" "You lured her into the crawl space," Derek said. "Hit her over the head with a brick, bound and gagged her, and locked her in. Did you even check to make sure she was okay? That you hadn't cracked her skull?" Tori sputtered a protest, but from the horror in her eyes, I knew the possibility hadn't occurred to her. "Derek," I said, "I don't think—" "No she didn't think. She could have killed you with the brick, suffocated you with the gag, given you a heart attack from fright, not to mention what would have happened if you hadn't gotten out of your bindings. It only takes a couple of days to die from dehydration." "I would never have left Chloe to die. You can't accuse me of that." "No," Derek said. "Just of wanting hr locked up in a mental hospital. And why? Because you didn't like her. Because she talked to a guy you did like. Maybe you're not your mother, Tori. But what you are..." He fixed her with an icy look. "I don't want around." The expression on her face...I felt for her, whether she'd welcome my sympathy or not. "We don't trust you," Simon said, his tone softer than his brother's. "We can't have someone along that we don't trust." "What if I'm okay with it," I cut in. "If i feel safe with her..." "You don't," Derek said. "You won't kick her to the curb, though, because it's not the kind of person you are." He met Tori's gaze. "But it's the kind of person I am. Chloe won't force you to leave because she'd feel horrible if anything happened to you. Me? I don't care. You brought it on yourself."
Kelley Armstrong (The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2))
What few knew at the beginning, but many of us know now, is that this was a typical response on the part of this intensely individualistic man, who had attended Waseda in the late 1960s, at the height of the student riots in Tokyo, and joined in the violence but strictly as an independent; he refused to join any political group or faction but hurled stones at the police in his own right. Today we know Murakami as the man who went to Jerusalem to accept the Jerusalem Prize from the Israeli government and in his acceptance speech criticized the Israeli state for its military actions against civilians in Gaza, declaring to his hosts, in effect, that if they chose to bring their massive military and political power against the individuals protesting in the Gaza Strip, then, right or wrong, he would stand against them. This was his now famous declaration of the “wall and eggs” metaphor, in which powerful political systems are seen as a great stone wall, and individuals as eggs, hopelessly and rather suicidally hurling themselves against its implacable strength.
Matthew Strecher (The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami)
In marked contrast to the relaxed, typically Latin attitude of the Dominicans the Protestant missionaries were still proceeding at full blast with the fight for souls. These North American evangelists of strictly fundamentalist inclination combined in a curious fashion strict adhesion to the literal meaning of the Old Testament With mastery of the most modern technology. Most of them came from small towns in the Bible Belt, armed with unshakably clear consciences and a rudimentary smattering of theology, convinced that they alone were the repositories of Christian values now abolished elsewhere. Totally ignorant of the vast world, despite their transplantation, and taking the few articles of morality accepted in the rural Amenca of their childhoods to be a universal credo, they strove bravely to spread these principles of salvation all around them. Their rustic faith was well served by a flotilla of light aircraft, a powerful radio, an ultra-modern hospital and four-wheel-drive vehicles -- in short, all the equipment that a battalion of crusaders dropped behind enemy lines needed.
Philippe Descola (The Spears of Twilight: Life and Death in the Amazon Jungle)
If our democracy worked as it should, we would elect wise women and men who made laws for the good of the people and enforced those laws. That, though, is not the way things work. Greedy, power–mad billionaires spend money so that politicians such as George W. Bush can buy elections. Corrupt corporations such as Enron defraud old ladies and commit crimes. And they get away with it. They get away with it because most of us are so afraid of losing the security of our nice, normal lives that we are not willing to risk anything about those lives. We are either afraid to fight or we don’t know how. Or we believe that bad things won’t happen to us. And so, in the end, too many people lose their lives anyway. In Nazi Germany, millions of men who acquiesced to Hitler’s murderous rise to power wound up marching into Russia’s icy wasteland—into the Soviet Army’s machine guns and cannon—to themselves be murdered. In America after 9–11, trusting teenagers who had joined the National Guard found themselves sent to Iraq on extended and additional tours. Our enemy killed many of them because we, citizens of the richest country in the world, did not provide them with body armor. Grieving mothers protested the wasting of their sons’ lives. Nadia McCaffrey defied Bush’s shameful ban on the filming of U.S. soldiers’ coffins returning home from Iraq. She knew, as we all did, that this tyrannical dictum of Bush dishonored our soldiers’ sacrifice. And so she invited the press to the Sacramento International Airport to photograph her son’s flag–draped coffin. Again, I am not comparing George W. Bush to Adolph Hitler, nor America to Germany’s Third Reich. What I do believe is that each of us has the duty to keep the Bushes of the world from becoming anything like Hitler—and to keep America from invading other countries with no just cause. We will never, though, be able to stop corrupt politicians and corporations from doing criminal things until we stop surrendering our power to them. The more we fear to oppose them—the more we want to retreat into the supposed safety of our nice gated communities or downtown lofts—the more powerful people will conspire to ruin our prosperity and wreck our lives.
David Zindell (Splendor)
It is among men of genius and science that Atheism alone is found, but among these alone is cherished an hostility to those errors, with which the illiterate and vulgar are infected. How small is the proportion of whose who really believe in God, to the thousands who are prevented by their occupations from ever bestowing a serious thought upon the subject, and the millions who worship butterflies, bones, feathers, monkeys, calabashes and serpents. The word God, like other abstractions, signifies the agreement of certain propositions, rather than the presence of any idea. If we found our belief in the existence of God on the universal consent of mankind, we are duped by the most palpable of sophisms. The word God cannot mean at the same time an ape, a snake, a bone, a calabash, a Trinity, and a Unity. Nor can that belief be accounted universal against which men of powerful intellect and spotless virtue have in every age protested. . . . Intelligence is that attribute of the Deity, which you hold to be most apparent in the Universe. Intelligence is only known to us as a mode of animal being. We cannot conceive intelligence distinct from sensation and perception, which are attributes to organized bodies. To assert that God is intelligent, is to assert that he has ideas; and Locke has proved that ideas result from sensation. Sensation can exist only in an organized body, an organized body is necessarily limited both in extent and operation. The God of the rational Theosophist is a vast and wise animal. . . . Thus, from the principles of that reason to which you so rashly appealed as the ultimate arbiter of our dispute, have I shewn that the popular arguments in favor of the being of God are totally destitute of colour. I have shewn the absurdity of attributing intelligence to the cause of those effects that we perceive in the Universe, and the fallacy that lurks in the argument from design. I have shewn that order is no more than a peculiar manner of contemplating the operation of necessary agents, that mind is the effect, not the cause of motion, that power is the attribute, not the origin of Being. I have proved that we can have no evidence of the existence of a God from the principles of reason.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
I couldn't stop picturing you naked and wet." "If you knew the things you've done in my imagination..." "I touched myself while thinking of you." He groaned against her lips. "Jesus Christ, that's one of them." She whimpered in protest as his fingers withdrew from her body. He slid his hands to her bottom and lifted her off her feet, carrying her across the room, to where a floor-length mirror in a thick gilded frame stood propped against the wall. It must have been too heavy to move. He spun her to face it, positioning himself behind her. Their gazes locked in the mirrored reflection. His eyes were dark, fierce, demanding. "Show me." He yanked her skirts to her waist- frock, petticoat, chemise, and all- exposing her completely. "Show me how you touched yourself." Penny's heartbeat stalled. The gruff command both scandalized and excited her. With a rough flex of his arms, he hauled her to him. His erection throbbed against the small of her back. "Show me." Penny stared into the mirror. A bolder, naughtier version of herself gazed back. She placed a hand on her belly and eased it downward, until her fingertips disappeared into a thatch of amber curls. She hesitated, holding her breath. "More," he demanded. "I want to see you." His gruffness aroused her, but she wasn't intimidated. With him, she knew she was safe. She raised her free arm above her head, clasping his neck for balance and resting her head against his chest. He wrapped his arm about her torso, holding her tight and pinning her lifted skirts at the waist. Her joints softened, and her thighs fell slightly apart. "That's it. Spread yourself for me. Let me see." The woman in the mirror did as she was told, sending her fingers downward to part the pink, swollen folds of her sex. A single fingertip settled over the sensitive bud at the crest, circling gently. His ragged breath warmed her ear. "God, you're beautiful." She stared at the reflection, transfixed by the eroticism of the image within. She felt like a woman in a boudoir painting, flushed with desire and unashamed of her body's curves and shadows. Aware of the power she held, even in her vulnerable, naked state. As her excitement mounted, she strummed faster. She was panting, arching her back.
Tessa Dare (The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke, #3))
In hunter-gatherer terms, these senior executives are claiming a disproportionate amount of food simply because they have the power to do so. A tribe like the !Kung would not permit that because it would represent a serious threat to group cohesion and survival, but that is not true for a wealthy country like the United States. There have been occasional demonstrations against economic disparity, like the Occupy Wall Street protest camp of 2011, but they were generally peaceful and ineffective. (The riots and demonstrations against racial discrimination that later took place in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, led to changes in part because they attained a level of violence that threatened the civil order.) A deep and enduring economic crisis like the Great Depression of the 1930s, or a natural disaster that kills tens of thousands of people, might change America’s fundamental calculus about economic justice. Until then, the American public will probably continue to refrain from broadly challenging both male and female corporate leaders who compensate themselves far in excess of their value to society. That
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
Birmingham has proved that no matter what you're up against, if wave after wave of black people keep coming prepared to go to jail, sooner or later there is such confusion, such social dislocation, that white people in the South are faced with a choice: either integrated restaurants or no restaurants at all, integrated public facilities or none at all. And the South then must make its choice for integration, for it would rather have that than chaos. This struggle is only beginning in the North, but it will be a bitter struggle. It will be an attack on business, on trade unions, and on the government. The Negro will no longer tolerate a situation where for every white man unemployed there are two or three Negroes unemployed. In the North, Negroes present a growing threat to the social order that, less brutally and more subtly than the South, attempts to keep him "in his place." In response, moderates today warn of the danger of violence and "extremism" but do not attempt to change conditions that brutalize the Negro and breed racial conflict. What is needed is an ongoing massive assault on racist political power and institutions.
Bayard Rustin (Down The Line)
Lucilla, though she said nothing about a sphere, was still more or less in that condition of mind which has been so often and so fully described to the British public—when the ripe female intelligence, not having the natural resource of a nursery and a husband to manage, turns inwards, and begins to "make a protest" against the existing order of society, and to call the world to account for giving it no due occupation—and to consume itself. She was not the woman to make protests, nor claim for herself the doubtful honours of a false position; but she felt all the same that at her age she had outlived the occupations that were sufficient for her youth. To be sure, there were still the dinners to attend to, a branch of human affairs worthy of the weightiest consideration, and she had a house of her own, as much as if she had been half a dozen times married; but still there are instincts which go even beyond dinners, and Lucilla had become conscious that her capabilities were greater than her work. She was a Power in Carlingford, and she knew it; but still there is little good in the existence of a Power unless it can be made use of for some worthy end. She
Mrs. Oliphant (The Chronicles of Carlingford (6 Works): Fiction and Literature)
In their book American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell analyzed a variety of data sources to describe how religious and nonreligious Americans differ. Common sense would tell you that the more time and money people give to their religious groups, the less they have left over for everything else. But common sense turns out to be wrong. Putnam and Campbell found that the more frequently people attend religious services, the more generous and charitable they become across the board.58 Of course religious people give a lot to religious charities, but they also give as much as or more than secular folk to secular charities such as the American Cancer Society.59 They spend a lot of time in service to their churches and synagogues, but they also spend more time than secular folk serving in neighborhood and civic associations of all sorts. Putnam and Campbell put their findings bluntly: By many different measures religiously observant Americans are better neighbors and better citizens than secular Americans—they are more generous with their time and money, especially in helping the needy, and they are more active in community life.60 Why are religious people better neighbors and citizens? To find out, Putnam and Campbell included on one of their surveys a long list of questions about religious beliefs (e.g., “Do you believe in hell? Do you agree that we will all be called before God to answer for our sins?”) as well as questions about religious practices (e.g., “How often do you read holy scriptures? How often do you pray?”). These beliefs and practices turned out to matter very little. Whether you believe in hell, whether you pray daily, whether you are a Catholic, Protestant, Jew, or Mormon … none of these things correlated with generosity. The only thing that was reliably and powerfully associated with the moral benefits of religion was how enmeshed people were in relationships with their co-religionists. It’s the friendships and group activities, carried out within a moral matrix that emphasizes selflessness. That’s what brings out the best in people. Putnam and Campbell reject the New Atheist emphasis on belief and reach a conclusion straight out of Durkheim: “It is religious belongingness that matters for neighborliness, not religious believing.”61
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
In theory, if some holy book misrepresented reality, its disciples would sooner or later discover this, and the text’s authority would be undermined. Abraham Lincoln said you cannot deceive everybody all the time. Well, that’s wishful thinking. In practice, the power of human cooperation networks depends on a delicate balance between truth and fiction. If you distort reality too much, it will weaken you, and you will not be able to compete against more clear-sighted rivals. On the other hand, you cannot organise masses of people effectively without relying on some fictional myths. So if you stick to unalloyed reality, without mixing any fiction with it, few people will follow you. If you used a time machine to send a modern scientist to ancient Egypt, she would not be able to seize power by exposing the fictions of the local priests and lecturing the peasants on evolution, relativity and quantum physics. Of course, if our scientist could use her knowledge in order to produce a few rifles and artillery pieces, she could gain a huge advantage over pharaoh and the crocodile god Sobek. Yet in order to mine iron ore, build blast furnaces and manufacture gunpowder the scientist would need a lot of hard-working peasants. Do you really think she could inspire them by explaining that energy divided by mass equals the speed of light squared? If you happen to think so, you are welcome to travel to present-day Afghanistan or Syria and try your luck. Really powerful human organisations – such as pharaonic Egypt, the European empires and the modern school system – are not necessarily clear-sighted. Much of their power rests on their ability to force their fictional beliefs on a submissive reality. That’s the whole idea of money, for example. The government makes worthless pieces of paper, declares them to be valuable and then uses them to compute the value of everything else. The government has the power to force citizens to pay taxes using these pieces of paper, so the citizens have no choice but to get their hands on at least some of them. Consequently, these bills really do become valuable, the government officials are vindicated in their beliefs, and since the government controls the issuing of paper money, its power grows. If somebody protests that ‘These are just worthless pieces of paper!’ and behaves as if they are only pieces of paper, he won’t get very far in life.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
When we fail to open the closed-minded consumers of racist ideas, we blame their closed-mindedness instead of our foolish decision to waste time reviving closed minds from the dead. When our vicious attacks on open-minded consumers of racist ideas fail to transform them, we blame their hate rather than our impatient and alienating hate of them. When people fail to consume our convoluted antiracist ideas, we blame their stupidity rather than our stupid lack of clarity. When we transform people and do not show them an avenue of support, we blame their lack of commitment rather than our lack of guidance. When the politician we supported does not change racist policy, we blame the intractability of racism rather than our support of the wrong politician. When we fail to gain support for a protest, we blame the fearful rather than our alienating presentation. When the protest fails, we blame racist power rather than our flawed protest. When our policy does not produce racial equity, we blame the people for not taking advantage of the new opportunity, not our flawed policy solution. The failure doctrine avoids the mirror of self-blame. The failure doctrine begets failure. The failure doctrine begets racism.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
In any event, should you doubt that your knowledge of Western history is distorted by the work of these distinguished bigots, consider whether you believe any of the following statements: The Catholic Church motivated and actively participated in nearly two millennia of anti-Semitic violence, justifying it on grounds that the Jews were responsible for the Crucifixion, until the Vatican II Council was shamed into retracting that doctrine in 1965. But, the Church still has not made amends for the fact that Pope Pius XII is rightfully known as “Hitler’s Pope.” Only recently have we become aware of remarkably enlightened Christian gospels, long ago suppressed by narrow-minded Catholic prelates. Once in power as the official church of Rome, Christians quickly and brutally persecuted paganism out of existence. The fall of Rome and the ascendancy of the Church precipitated Europe’s decline into a millennium of ignorance and backwardness. These Dark Ages lasted until the Renaissance/Enlightenment, when secular scholars burst through the centuries of Catholic barriers against reason. Initiated by the pope, the Crusades were but the first bloody chapter in the history of unprovoked and brutal European colonialism. The Spanish Inquisition tortured and murdered huge numbers of innocent people for “imaginary” crimes, such as witchcraft and blasphemy. The Catholic Church feared and persecuted scientists, as the case of Galileo makes clear. Therefore, the Scientific “Revolution” occurred mainly in Protestant societies because only there could the Catholic Church not suppress independent thought. ► Being entirely comfortable with slavery, the Catholic Church did nothing to oppose its introduction in the New World nor to make it more humane. Until very recently, the Catholic view of the ideal state was summed up in the phrase, “The divine right of kings.” Consequently, the Church has bitterly resisted all efforts to establish more liberal governments, eagerly supporting dictators. It was the Protestant Reformation that broke the repressive Catholic grip on progress and ushered in capitalism, religious freedom, and the modern world. Each of these statements is part of the common culture, widely accepted and frequently repeated. But, each is false and many are the exact opposite of the truth! A chapter will be devoted to summarizing recent repetitions of each of these statements and to demonstrating that each is most certainly false.
Rodney Stark (Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History)
It is hard to overestimate the importance of the Catholic church’s value for European culture and for the whole world. It Christianized and civilized barbaric peoples and for a long time was the only guardian of science and art. Here the church’s cloisters were preeminent. The Catholic church developed a spiritual power unequaled anywhere, and today we still admire the way it combined the principle of catholicism with the principle of one sanctifying church, as well as tolerance with intolerance. It is a world in itself. Infinite diversity flows together, and this colorful picture gives it its irresistible charm (Complexio oppositorum). A country has seldom produced so many different kinds of people as has the Catholic church. With admirable power, it has understood how to maintain unity in diversity, to gain the love and respect of the masses, and to foster a strong sense of community. . . . But it is exactly because of this greatness that we have serious reservations. Has this world [of the Catholic church] really remained the church of Christ? Has it not perhaps become an obstruction blocking the path to God instead of a road sign on the path to God? Has it not blocked the only path to salvation? Yet no one can ever obstruct the way to God. The church still has the Bible, and as long as she has it we can still believe in the holy Christian church. God’s word will never be denied (Isa. 55:11), whether it be preached by us or by our sister church. We adhere to the same confession of faith, we pray the same Lord’s Prayer, and we share some of the same ancient rites. This binds us together, and as far as we are concerned we would like to live in peace with our disparate sister. We do not, however, want to deny anything that we have recognized as God’s word. The designation Catholic or Protestant is unimportant. The important thing is God’s word. Conversely, we will never violate anyone else’s faith. God does not desire reluctant service, and God has given everyone a conscience. We can and should desire that our sister church search its soul and concentrate on nothing but the word [1 Cor. 2:12– 13]. Until that time, we must have patience. We will have to endure it when, in false darkness, the “only holy church” pronounces upon our church the “anathema” (condemnation). She doesn’t know any better, and she doesn’t hate the heretic, only the heresy. As long as we let the word be our only armor we can look confidently into the future.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
But when vague rumours got abroad, that in this Protestant association a secret power was mustering against the government for undefined and mighty purposes; when the air was filled with whispers of a confederacy among the Popish powers to degrade and enslave England, establish an inquisition in London, and turn the pens of Smithfield market* into stakes and cauldrons; when terrors and alarms which no man understood were perpetually broached, both in and out of Parliament, by one enthusiast who did not understand himself, and by-gone bugbears which had lain quietly in their graves for centuries, were raised again to haunt the ignorant and credulous; when all this was done, as it were, in the dark, and secret invitations to join the Great Protestant Association in defence of religion, life, and liberty, were dropped in the public ways, thrust under the house-doors, tossed in at windows, and pressed into the hands of those who trod the streets by night; when they glared from every wall, and shone on every post and pillar, so that stocks and stones appeared infected with the common fear, urging all men to join together blindfold in resistance of they knew not what, they knew not why;—then the mania spread indeed, and the body, still increasing every day, grew forty thousand strong.
Charles Dickens (Barnaby Rudge)
Liberty is a word which, according as it is used, comprehends the most good and the most evil of any in the world. Justly understood it is sacred next to those which we appropiate in divine adoration; but in the mouths of some it means anything, which enervate a necessary government; excite a jealousy of the rulers who are our own choice, and keep society in confusion for want of a power sufficiently concentered to promote its good. It is not strange that the licentious should tell us a government of energy is inconsistent with liberty, for being inconsistent with their wishes and their vices, they would have us think it contrary to human happiness. . . . A government capable of controling the whole, and bringing its force to a point, is one of the prerequisites for national liberty. We combine in society, with an expectation to have our persons and properties defended against unreasonable exactions either at home or abroad. If the public are unable to protest against the unjust impositions of foreigners, in this case we do not enjoy our natural rights, and a weakness of government is the cause. If we mean to have our natural rights and properties protected, we must first create a power which is able to do it, and in our case there is no want of resources, but a civil constitution which may draw them out and point their force. . . . Some men are mightily afraid of giving power lest it should be improved for oppression; this is doubtless possible, but where is the probability. The same objection may be made against the constitution of every state in the union, and against every possible mode of government; because a power of doing good always implies a power to do evil if the person or party be disposed. The right of the legislature to ordain laws binding on the people, gives them a power to make bad laws. The right of the judge to inflict punishment, gives him both power and opportunity to oppress the innocent; yet none but crazy men will from thence determine that it is best to have neither a legislature nor judges. If a power to promote the best interest of the people, necessarily implies a power to do evil, we must never expect such a constitution in theory as will not be open in some respects to the objections of carping and jealous men. The new Constitution is perhaps more cautiously guarded than any other in the world, and at the same time creates a power which will be able to protect the subject; yet doubtless objections may be raised, and so they may against the constitution of each state in the union. . . . If, my countrymen, you wait for a constitution which absolutely bars a power of doing evil, you must wait long, and when obtained it will have no power of doing good. I allow you are oppressed, but not from the quarter that jealous and wrongheaded men would insinuate. You are oppressed by the men, who to serve their own purposes would prefer the shadow of government to the reality.
Oliver Ellsworth
In a sense the rise of Anabaptism was no surprise. Most revolutionary movements produce a wing of radicals who feel called of God to reform the reformation. And that is what Anabaptism was, a voice calling the moderate reformers to strike even more deeply at the foundations of the old order. Like most counterculture movements, the Anabaptists lacked cohesiveness. No single body of doctrine and no unifying organization prevailed among them. Even the name Anabaptist was pinned on them by their enemies. It meant rebaptizer and was intended to associate the radicals with heretics in the early church and subject them to severe persecution. The move succeeded famously. Actually, the Anabaptists rejected all thoughts of rebaptism because they never considered the ceremonial sprinkling they received in infancy as valid baptism. They much preferred Baptists as a designation. To most of them, however, the fundamental issue was not baptism. It was the nature of the church and its relation to civil governments. They had come to their convictions like most other Protestants: through Scripture. Luther had taught that common people have a right to search the Bible for themselves. It had been his guide to salvation; why not theirs? As a result, little groups of Anabaptist believers gathered about their Bibles. They discovered a different world in the pages of the New Testament. They found no state-church alliance, no Christendom. Instead they discovered that the apostolic churches were companies of committed believers, communities of men and women who had freely and personally chosen to follow Jesus. And for the sixteenth century, that was a revolutionary idea. In spite of Luther’s stress on personal religion, Lutheran churches were established churches. They retained an ordained clergy who considered the whole population of a given territory members of their church. The churches looked to the state for salary and support. Official Protestantism seemed to differ little from official Catholicism. Anabaptists wanted to change all that. Their goal was the “restitution” of apostolic Christianity, a return to churches of true believers. In the early church, they said, men and women who had experienced personal spiritual regeneration were the only fit subjects for baptism. The apostolic churches knew nothing of the practice of baptizing infants. That tradition was simply a convenient device for perpetuating Christendom: nominal but spiritually impotent Christian society. The true church, the radicals insisted, is always a community of saints, dedicated disciples in a wicked world. Like the missionary monks of the Middle Ages, the Anabaptists wanted to shape society by their example of radical discipleship—if necessary, even by death. They steadfastly refused to be a part of worldly power including bearing arms, holding political office, and taking oaths. In the sixteenth century this independence from social and civic society was seen as inflammatory, revolutionary, or even treasonous.
Bruce L. Shelley (Church History in Plain Language)
What do ego-lessness and becoming unattached mean in connection with today's mystical way in the form of resistance? . . . What is missing is a reflection that shows more clearly how complicit we are ourselves in the consumerist ego that the economy desires. I want to elucidate this in terms of a question that every nonconformist group, every critical minority wishing to contribute to the establishment of a different life has to face, namely, the question of success. Decisions about possible actions are weighed in a world governed by market considerations by one and only one criterion: success . . . Whenever such topics are raised, questions like the following are regularly heard: "What's the use of protesting, everything has been decided long ago?" "Can anything he changed anyway?" "What do you think you will accomplish?" "Whom do you want to influence?" "Who is paying attention?" "Will the media report it?" "How much publicity will it have?" "Do you really believe that this can succeed?" . . . Martin Buber said that "success is not a name of God." It could not he said more mystically nor more helplessly. The nothing that wants to become everything and needs us cannot he named in the categories of power . . . To let go of the ego means, among other things, to step away from the coercion to succeed. It means to "go where you are nothing." Without this form of mysticism, resistance loses it focus and dies before our very eyes. It is not that creating public awareness, winning fellow participants, and changing how we accept things is beside the point. But the ultimate criterion for taking part in actions of resistance and solidarity cannot he success because that would mean to go on dancing to the tunes of the bosses of this world.
Dorothee Sölle (The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance)
My mother’s brother Johnny was a Vietnam vet, and he too had been wounded. He had spent a long time in a hospital and he understood more than most what I was going through. Or at least he thought he did, and I appreciated that--even if I didn’t act like it at first. Uncle Johnny started to visit every weekend. He’d come and sit with me to give my parents a little breather. After my dad won the battle over my medication, I was, as I said, a little more lucid. I was also a little more ornery. I wouldn’t let anyone turn on that little red radio. I didn’t even care if Sheryl Crow was telling me what was good. I was more aware of my pain. Just lying there and listening or doing anything at all hurt. My whole body hurt and everyone and everything was to blame. All I wanted to do was sit in silence with the door shut. Uncle Johnny obliged me for a while. He’d come in and sit down in the chair next to my bed. He sat and stared blankly right along with me. But after a while, he couldn’t handle that anymore. One day, on the verge of dying of boredom, Uncle Johnny had had enough. He turned to me and said sternly, “Noah, I’m not gonna sit in here like we’re in an oversized coffin. We’re either opening the door or we’re turning the TV on. Which one do you want?” I rolled my eyes and grumbled for a few minutes before answering, “All right. Turn on the TV.” Without hesitation Uncle Johnny shot up out of that chair and reached up to hit the power button on the TV mounted from the ceiling. No sooner had his butt hit the chair seat than he was right back up again. “Fuck that. I am opening the door, too, because I want it open.” He vigorously emphasized his intention so I didn’t protest. He marched over and swung that door open. I swear he might have even taken a deep breath as if it were fresh mountain air. Then he came back to his chair and sat down.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
[Magyar] had an intense dislike for terms like 'illiberal,' which focused on traits the regimes did not possess--like free media or fair elections. This he likened to trying to describe an elephant by saying that the elephant cannot fly or cannot swim--it says nothing about what the elephant actually is. Nor did he like the term 'hybrid regime,' which to him seemed like an imitation of a definition, since it failed to define what the regime was ostensibly a hybrid of. Magyar developed his own concept: the 'post-communist mafia state.' Both halves of the designation were significant: 'post-communist' because "the conditions preceding the democratic big bang have a decisive role in the formation of the system. Namely that it came about on the foundations of a communist dictatorship, as a product of the debris left by its decay." (quoting Balint Magyar) The ruling elites of post-communist states most often hail from the old nomenklatura, be it Party or secret service. But to Magyar this was not the countries' most important common feature: what mattered most was that some of these old groups evolved into structures centered around a single man who led them in wielding power. Consolidating power and resources was relatively simple because these countries had just recently had Party monopoly on power and a state monopoly on property. ... A mafia state, in Magyar's definition, was different from other states ruled by one person surrounded by a small elite. In a mafia state, the small powerful group was structured just like a family. The center of the family is the patriarch, who does not govern: "he disposes--of positions, wealth, statuses, persons." The system works like a caricature of the Communist distribution economy. The patriarch and his family have only two goals: accumulating wealth and concentrating power. The family-like structure is strictly hierarchical, and membership in it can be obtained only through birth or adoption. In Putin's case, his inner circle consisted of men with whom he grew up in the streets and judo clubs of Leningrad, the next circle included men with whom he had worked with in the KGB/FSB, and the next circle was made up of men who had worked in the St. Petersburg administration with him. Very rarely, he 'adopted' someone into the family as he did with Kholmanskikh, the head of the assembly shop, who was elevated from obscurity to a sort of third-cousin-hood. One cannot leave the family voluntarily: one can only be kicked out, disowned and disinherited. Violence and ideology, the pillars of the totalitarian state, became, in the hands of the mafia state, mere instruments. The post-communist mafia state, in Magyar's words, is an "ideology-applying regime" (while a totalitarian regime is 'ideology-driven'). A crackdown required both force and ideology. While the instruments of force---the riot police, the interior troops, and even the street-washing machines---were within arm's reach, ready to be used, ideology was less apparently available. Up until spring 2012, Putin's ideological repertoire had consisted of the word 'stability,' a lament for the loss of the Soviet empire, a steady but barely articulated restoration of the Soviet aesthetic and the myth of the Great Patriotic War, and general statements about the United States and NATO, which had cheated Russia and threatened it now. All these components had been employed during the 'preventative counter-revolution,' when the country, and especially its youth, was called upon to battle the American-inspired orange menace, which threatened stability. Putin employed the same set of images when he first responded to the protests in December. But Dugin was now arguing that this was not enough. At the end of December, Dugin published an article in which he predicted the fall of Putin if he continued to ignore the importance of ideas and history.
Masha Gessen (The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia)
At the heart of the Reformation message was a rejection of the power of individual believers, or of the church acting on their behalf, to affect God's judgment about who should be saved and who should be damned. Martin Luther had been convinced, like Augustine, of the powerlessness and unworthiness of fallen humanity, and struck by the force of God's mercy. Good works could not merit this mercy, or affect a sovereign God; instead individual sinners were entirely dependent on God's mercy and justified (saved) by faith alone. Jean Calvin, a generation later, developed more clearly the predestinarian implications - since some men were saved and some were damned, and since this had nothing to do with their own efforts, it must mean that God had created some men predestined for salvation (the elect). This seemed to imply that He must also have predestined other men for damnation (double predestination), a line of argument which led into dangerous territory. Some theologians, Calvin's close associate Beza among them, went further and argued that the entire course of human history was foreordained prior to Adam and Eve's fall in the Garden of Eden. These views (particularly the latter, 'supralapsarian' arguments) seemed to their opponents to suggest that God was the author of the sin, both in Eden and in those who were subsequently predestined for damnation. They also raised a question about Christ's sacrifice on the cross - had that been made to atone for the sins of all, or only of the elect? Because of these dangers many of those with strong predestinarian views were unsure about whether the doctrine should be openly preached. Clever theologians, like expensive lawyers, are adept at failing to push arguments too far and there were many respectable positions short of the one adopted by Beza. But predestination was for many Protestants a fundamental - retreat from this doctrine implied a role for free will expressed in works rather than justification by faith. It thus reopened the door to the corruptions of late-medieval Christianity.
Michael Braddick (God's Fury, England's Fire: A New History of the English Civil Wars)
One day, on the verge of dying of boredom, Uncle Johnny had had enough. He turned to me and said sternly, “Noah, I’m not gonna sit in here like we’re in an oversized coffin. We’re either opening the door or we’re turning the TV on. Which one do you want?” I rolled my eyes and grumbled for a few minutes before answering, “All right. Turn on the TV.” Without hesitation Uncle Johnny shot up out of that chair and reached up to hit the power button on the TV mounted from the ceiling. No sooner had his butt hit the chair seat than he was right back up again. “Fuck that. I am opening the door, too, because I want it open.” He vigorously emphasized his intention so I didn’t protest. He marched over and swung that door open. I swear he might have even taken a deep breath as if it were fresh mountain air. Then he came back to his chair and sat down. There was a movie on starring Matthew Broderick. I’d never heard of it before but Uncle Johnny was explaining to me that this was a remake and Gene Wilder had played Broderick’s character in the original film. In spite of myself, and my stubborn wish to sit and suffer in silence, I really liked the movie. And I remember thinking, I am really enjoying myself. I even turned to Uncle Johnny and said, “I’m glad we turned the TV on. This is great!” Uncle Johnny just smiled as if to say, “Of course! Finally!” We were right in the middle of the movie when one of my machines started to malfunction. The machine’s beeps drowned out the movie. A nurse came in to fix the problem and it just happened to be the hot nurse I had a crush on. She had short hair, a few tattoos on her arm, and she always wore a bandana over her head. The machine she was trying to fix was plugged in on the other side of the bed, up against the wall. “Oh, I see. Hold on. I have to move the bed out from the wall to fix this,” she said. At this point I was just watching her. She fixed the machine and pushed the bed back up against the wall. She actually hit the wall with the bed and zap! The TV went out! “WHAT?! NO!” I screamed. She couldn’t get it to turn back on. She tried but nothing worked. “Oh no, I’m sorry. We’ll have to get maintenance down here to fix it,” she said with an apologetic look that I met with a glare of disdain. She was no longer hot to me. She was just the nurse who broke the TV. Maintenance didn’t come to repair the TV until the next day. I didn’t get to watch the rest of the movie. In fact, I never saw the end of the movie and I didn’t even know the name of it until years later. Maybe one of these days I’ll get to see The Producers from start to finish.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
The trail wasn’t hard to follow. It had a pattern. An irregular patch of scattered spots that looked like spots of tar in the artificial light was interspersed every fourth or fifth step by a dark gleaming splash where blood had spurted from the wound. Now that all the soul people had been removed from the street, the five detectives moved swiftly. But they could still feel the presence of teeming people behind the dilapidated stone façades of the old reconverted buildings. Here and there the white gleams of eyes showed from darkened windows, but the silence was eerie. The trail turned from the sidewalk into an unlighted alleyway between the house beyond the rooming house, which described itself by a sign in a front window reading: Kitchenette Apts. All conveniences, and the weather-streaked red-brick apartment beyond that. The alleyway was so narrow they had to go in single file. The sergeant had taken the power light from his driver, Joe, and was leading the way himself. The pavement slanted down sharply beneath his feet and he almost lost his step. Midway down the blank side of the building he came to a green wooden door. Before touching it, he flashed his light along the sides of the flanking buildings. There were windows in the kitchenette apartments, but all from the top to the bottom floor had folding iron grilles which were closed and locked at that time of night, and dark shades were drawn on all but three. The apartment house had a vertical row of small black openings one above the other at the rear. They might have been bathroom windows but no light showed in any of them and the glass was so dirty it didn’t shine. The blood trail ended at the green door. “Come out of there,” the sergeant said. No one answered. He turned the knob and pushed the door and it opened inward so silently and easily he almost fell into the opening before he could train his light. Inside was a black dark void. Grave Digger and Coffin Ed flattened themselves against the walls on each side of the alley and their big long-barreled .38 revolvers came glinting into their hands. “What the hell!” the sergeant exclaimed, startled. His assistants ducked. “This is Harlem,” Coffin Ed grated and Grave Digger elaborated: “We don’t trust doors that open.” Ignoring them, the sergeant shone his light into the opening. Crumbling brick stairs went down sharply to a green iron grille. “Just a boiler room,” the sergeant said and put his shoulders through the doorway. “Hey, anybody down there?” he called. Silence greeted him. “You go down, Joe, I’ll light your way,” the sergeant said. “Why me?” Joe protested. “Me and Digger’ll go,” Coffin Ed said. “Ain’t nobody there who’s alive.
Chester Himes (Blind Man with a Pistol (Harlem Cycle, #8))
A dark-haired young woman was waiting in the atrium by the fountain. When she saw Arin, her face filled with light and tears. He almost ran across the short space between them to gather her in his arms. “Sister or lover?” Kestrel said. The woman looked up from their embrace. Her expression hardened. She stepped away from Arin. “What?” “Are you his sister or lover?” She walked up to Kestrel and slapped her across the face. “Sarsine!” Arin hauled her back. “His sister is dead,” Sarsine said, “and I hope you suffer as much as she did.” Kestrel’s fingers went to her cheek to press against the sting--and cover a smile with the heels of her tied hands. She remembered the bruises on Arin when she had bought him. His surly defiance. She had always wondered why slaves brought punishment upon themselves. But it had been sweet to feel a tipping of power, however slight, when that hand had cracked across her face. To know, despite the pain, that for a moment Kestrel had been the one in control. “Sarsine is my cousin,” Arin said. “I haven’t seen her in years. After the war, she was sold as a house slave. I was a laborer, so--” “I don’t care,” Kestrel said. His shadowed eyes met hers. They were the color of the winter sea--the water far below Kestrel’s feet when she had looked down and imagined what it would be like to drown. He broke the gaze between them. To his cousin he said, “I need you to be her keeper. Escort her to the east wing, let her have the run of the suite--” “Arin! Have you lost your mind?” “Remove anything that could be a weapon. Keep the outermost door locked at all times. See that she wants for nothing, but remember that she is a prisoner.” “In the east wing.” Sarsine’s voice was thick with disgust. “She’s the general’s daughter.” “Oh, I know.” “A political prisoner,” Arin said. “We must be better than the Valorians. We are more than savages.” “Do you truly think that keeping your clipped bird in a luxurious cage will change how the Valorians see us?” “It will change how we see ourselves.” “No, Arin. It will change how everyone sees you.” He shook his head. “She’s mine to do with as I see fit.” There was an uneasy rustle among the Herrani. Kestrel’s heart sickened. She kept trying to forget this: the question of what it meant to belong to Arin. He reached for her, pulling her firmly toward him as her boots dragged and squeaked against the tiles. With the flick of a knife, he cut the bonds at her wrists, and the sound of leather hitting the floor was loud in the atrium’s acoustics--almost as loud as Sarsine’s choked protest. Arin let Kestrel go. “Please, Sarsine. Take her.” His cousin stared at him. Eventually, she nodded, but her expression made clear that she thought he was indulging in something disastrous.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Though I’m surprised that you read novels.” “I do have other interests than shooting, you know.” “I never said otherwise.” “But you think me a complete tomboy. Admit it.” He measured his words. “I think you a woman with a few unusual interests that happen to be similar to those of some men. Those interests don’t, however, make you a tomboy.” No tomboy would fire his blood the way she did right now in her elegant redingote, despite the black smudges of power along its sleeves and the mud caked along its hem. And no tomboy would have kept him up last night imagining what it would be like to raise her skirts so he could run his hands along the pale swaths of thigh that lay above her garters. “And yet,” she said hoarsely, “you kissed me as if I were some mannish chit beneath your notice. God forbid you should treat me as a desirable woman in front of my suitors. It might give them ideas.” He stared at her, thunderstruck. She was angry because he’d accorded her the respect she deserved? “Forgive me, my lady,” he said acidly. “I didn’t think you’d want me to toss you down in the grass and ravish you. I see I was mistaken.” Two spots of color appeared on her cheeks. “There is a vast space between ravishing me and treating me like a child. The gentlemen expected you to kiss me on the lips, as they would have. You won such a kiss, after all. When you didn’t take it, I’m sure they thought it was because I was somehow…unattractive to you. And that only hurts my cause.” Her cause, which was to be affianced to one of those arses. Anger boiled up in him. “Let me see if I understand you correctly. You wanted me to kiss you with some degree of passion so your suitors would be convinced if your desirability as a woman. Is that right?” She cast him a resentful look, then nodded. He strode up close, unable to contain his temper. “Isn’t it enough for you that they’re already barking at your heels like randy hounds? That they’re seizing your hand at the breakfast table and inviting you for tete-a-tete practice at their estates?” “What good does that do me when you seek to turn their affections away at every turn? You provoked me to accept that shooting challenge because you wanted me to frighten them off with my enthusiasm for guns. Admit it.” All right, so that was true. But he had good reason for it. “I wanted them to see you for who you really are and not the woman you keep pretending to be.” “Pretending to be?” she said in a choked voice. “And who is that? A lady worthy of marriage? You wanted to expose me as some…adventuress or man in woman’s attire or…oh, I don’t know what.” “No!” he protested, suddenly all at sea in their argument. “You know what, Mr. Pinter? Ever since we made our agreement, you’ve only made matters worse, for some nefarious reason of your own.” She planted her hands on her hips and gave him a look of pure defiance. “So you’re dismissed from my employ. I no longer require your services.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
If the claims of the papacy cannot be proven from what we know of the historical Peter, there are, on the other hand, several undoubted facts in the real history of Peter which bear heavily upon those claims, namely: 1. That Peter was married, Matt. 8:14, took his wife with him on his missionary tours, 1 Cor. 9:5, and, according to a possible interpretation of the "coëlect" (sister), mentions her in 1 Pet. 5:13. Patristic tradition ascribes to him children, or at least a daughter (Petronilla). His wife is said to have suffered martyrdom in Rome before him. What right have the popes, in view of this example, to forbid clerical marriage?  We pass by the equally striking contrast between the poverty of Peter, who had no silver nor gold (Acts 3:6) and the gorgeous display of the triple-crowned papacy in the middle ages and down to the recent collapse of the temporal power. 2. That in the Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:1–11), Peter appears simply as the first speaker and debater, not as president and judge (James presided), and assumes no special prerogative, least of all an infallibility of judgment. According to the Vatican theory the whole question of circumcision ought to have been submitted to Peter rather than to a Council, and the decision ought to have gone out from him rather than from "the apostles and elders, brethren" (or "the elder brethren," 15:23). 3. That Peter was openly rebuked for inconsistency by a younger apostle at Antioch (Gal. 2:11–14). Peter’s conduct on that occasion is irreconcilable with his infallibility as to discipline; Paul’s conduct is irreconcilable with Peter’s alleged supremacy; and the whole scene, though perfectly plain, is so inconvenient to Roman and Romanizing views, that it has been variously distorted by patristic and Jesuit commentators, even into a theatrical farce gotten up by the apostles for the more effectual refutation of the Judaizers! 4. That, while the greatest of popes, from Leo I. down to Leo XIII. never cease to speak of their authority over all the bishops and all the churches, Peter, in his speeches in the Acts, never does so. And his Epistles, far from assuming any superiority over his "fellow-elders" and over "the clergy" (by which he means the Christian people), breathe the spirit of the sincerest humility and contain a prophetic warning against the besetting sins of the papacy, filthy avarice and lordly ambition (1 Pet. 5:1–3). Love of money and love of power are twin-sisters, and either of them is "a root of all evil." It is certainly very significant that the weaknesses even more than the virtues of the natural Peter—his boldness and presumption, his dread of the cross, his love for secular glory, his carnal zeal, his use of the sword, his sleepiness in Gethsemane—are faithfully reproduced in the history of the papacy; while the addresses and epistles of the converted and inspired Peter contain the most emphatic protest against the hierarchical pretensions and worldly vices of the papacy, and enjoin truly evangelical principles—the general priesthood and royalty of believers, apostolic poverty before the rich temple, obedience to God rather than man, yet with proper regard for the civil authorities, honorable marriage, condemnation of mental reservation in Ananias and Sapphira, and of simony in Simon Magus, liberal appreciation of heathen piety in Cornelius, opposition to the yoke of legal bondage, salvation in no other name but that of Jesus Christ.
Philip Schaff (History Of The Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes In One))