Taking Profits Quotes

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The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.
Frank Zappa
I love seeing the bookshops and meeting the booksellers-- booksellers really are a special breed. No one in their right mind would take up clerking in a bookstore for the salary, and no one in his right mind would want to own one-- the margin of profit is too small. So, it has to be a love of readers and reading that makes them do it-- along with first dibs on the new books.
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. ... A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damages morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hung
Abraham Lincoln
Those skilled at making the enemy move do so by creating a situation to which he must conform; they entice him with something he is certain to take, and with lures of ostensible profit they await him in strength.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
the people who run our cities dont understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit... the people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff.... any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you ,, its yours to take, rearrange and re use.Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head..
Banksy
TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE, THE PRODUCTS, AND THE PROFITS—IN THAT ORDER
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion — put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men. Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields. Lie down in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts. As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.
Wendell Berry
To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket. 1. We must take the profit out of war. 2. We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war. 3. We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.
Smedley D. Butler (War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier)
When you take care of your customers, they will reward you with increased business sales and increased profits in return.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
You’re a blackmailer—” “I broker information.” “A con artist—” “I create opportunity.” “A bawd and a murderer—” “I don’t run whores, and I kill for a cause.” “And what cause is that?” “Same as yours, merch. Profit.” “How do you get your information, Mister Brekker?” “You might say I’m a lockpick.” “You must be a very gifted one.” “I am indeed.” Kaz leaned back slightly. “You see, every man is a safe, a vault of secrets and longings. Now, there are those who take the brute’s way, but I prefer a gentler approach—the right pressure applied at the right moment, in the right place. It’s a delicate thing. “Do you always speak in metaphors, Mister Brekker?” Kaz smiled. “It’s not a metaphor.” He was out of his chair before his chains hit the ground.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
The works of the roots of the vines, of the trees, must be destroyed to keep up the price, and this is the saddest, bitterest thing of all. Carloads of oranges dumped on the ground. The people came for miles to take the fruit, but this could not be. How would they buy oranges at twenty cents a dozen if they could drive out and pick them up? And men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges, and they are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. A million people hungry, needing the fruit- and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains. And the smell of rot fills the country. Burn coffee for fuel in the ships. Burn corn to keep warm, it makes a hot fire. Dump potatoes in the rivers and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out. Slaughter the pigs and bury them, and let the putrescence drip down into the earth. There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificate- died of malnutrition- because the food must rot, must be forced to rot. The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quick-lime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
The home is the center of life. It is a refuge from the grind of work, the pressure of school, and the menace of the streets. We say that at home, we can “be ourselves.” Everywhere else, we are someone else. At home, we remove our masks. The home is the wellspring of personhood. It is where our identity takes root and blossoms, where as children, we imagine, play, and question, and as adolescents, we retreat and try. As we grow older, we hope to settle into a place to raise a family or pursue work. When we try to understand ourselves, we often begin by considering the kind of home in which we were raised.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
How many victims must that be? Slaughtered in vain across the land, And how many strugles must that be? Before we choose to live the profits plan Everybody sing- Every day create your History, Every path you take you're leaving your legacy Every soldier dies in his glory Every legend tells of conquest and liberty.
Michael Jackson
Your corn is ripe today; mine will be so tomorrow. 'Tis profitable for us both, that I should labour with you today, and that you should aid me tomorrow. I have no kindness for you, and know you have as little for me. I will not, therefore, take any pains upon your account; and should I labour with you upon my own account, in expectation of a return, I know I should be disappointed, and that I should in vain depend upon your gratitude. Here then I leave you to labour alone; You treat me in the same manner. The seasons change; and both of us lose our harvests for want of mutual confidence and security.
David Hume
If it had not been for the pernicious power of envy, men would not so have exalted vengeance above innocence and profit above justice... in these acts of revenge on others, men take it upon themselves to begin the process of repealing those general laws of humanity which are there to give a hope of salvation to all who are in distress.
Thucydides (History of the Peloponnesian War)
I ask you neither for health nor for sickness, for life nor for death; but that you may dispose of my health and my sickness, my life and my death, for your glory ... You alone know what is expedient for me; you are the sovereign master, do with me according to your will. Give to me, or take away from me, only conform my will to yours. I know but one thing, Lord, that it is good to follow you, and bad to offend you. Apart from that, I know not what is good or bad in anything. I know not which is most profitable to me, health or sickness, wealth or poverty, nor anything else in the world. That discernment is beyond the power of men or angels, and is hidden among the secrets of your providence, which I adore, but do not seek to fathom.
Blaise Pascal
Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity—most of the World, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to begin with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which must sooner or later crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life. Living inside the System is like riding across the country in a bus driven by a maniac bent on suicide . . . though he's amiable enough, keeps cracking jokes back through the loudspeaker . . .
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
Read the Bible, my friends, as if you were seeking for something of value. It is a good deal better to take a single chapter, and spend a month on it, than to read the Bible at random for a month.
Dwight L. Moody (Pleasure & Profit in Bible Study)
Mel? Mel, I love you. Mel, come back . Mel, Mel, Mel." It's Jared's voice, trying to call me back the way Wanda called back the Healer's host, the way she taught Kyle to call to Jodi. I can answer him. I can speak now. I can feel my tongue in my mouth, ready to move into whatever shape I ask it to. I can feel the air in my lungs, ready to push out the words. If I want this. "Mel, I love you, I love you." This is Wanda's gift to me, paid for with her silver blood. Jared and I, put back together again as if she'd never lived. As if she hadn't saved us both. If I accept this gift, I profit from her death. I kill her again. I take her sacrifice and make it murder. "Mel, please? Open your eyes." I feel his hand on my face, cradling my cheek. I feel his lips burn against my forehead, but I don't want them, not at this price. Or do I?
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones. — It is not fair. — He has fame and profit enough as a poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people’s mouths. — I do not like him, and do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it — but fear I must.
Jane Austen (Jane Austen's Letters)
Some of the best things are done by those with nowhere to turn, by those who don't have time, by those who truly understand the word helpless. they dispense no thought with the calculation of risk and profit, they take no thought for the future, they're forced to spearpoint into the present tense. Thrown over a precipice, you fall or else you fly; you clutch at any hope, however unlikely; however - if I may use such an overworked word - miraculous. What we mean by that is, Against all odds.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
Let the tutor not merely require a verbal account of what the boy has been taught but the meaning and the substance of it: let him judge how the child has profited from it not from the evidence of his memory but from that of his life. Let him take what the boy has just learned and make him show him dozens of different aspects of it and then apply it to just as many different subjects, in order to find out whether he has really grasped it and make it part of himself, judging the boy's progress by what Plato taught about education. Spewing up food exactly as you have swallowed it is evidence of a failure to digest and assimilate it; the stomach has not done its job if, during concoction, it fails to change the substance and the form of what it is given.
Michel de Montaigne (The Essays: A Selection)
protected businesses never, never become competitive ... Halliburton, Bechtel, Parsons, KPMG, RTI, Blackwater and all other U.S. corporations that were in Iraq to take advantage of the reconstruction were part of a vast protectionist racket whereby the U.S. government had created their markets with war, barred their competitors from even entering the race, then paid them to do the work, while guaranteeing them a profit to boot - all at taxpayer expense.
Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism)
Profitable companies built in questionable ways and employing reckless means engage in corporate social responsibility, and some rich people make a splash by “giving back”—regardless of the fact that they may have caused serious societal problems as they built their fortunes.
Anand Giridharadas (Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World)
The individual who rebels against the arrangements of society is ostracized, branded, stoned. So be it. I am willing to take the risk; my principles are very pagan. I will live my own life as it pleases me. I am willing to do without your hypocritical respect; I prefer to be happy. The inventors of the Christian marriage have done well, simultaneously to invent immortality. I, however, have no wish to live eternally. When with my last breath everything as far as Wanda von Dunajew is concerned comes to an end here below, what does it profit me whether my pure spirit joins the choirs of angels, or whether my dust goes into the formation of new beings? Shall I belong to one man whom I don't love, merely because I have once loved him? No, I do not renounce; I love everyone who pleases me, and give happiness to everyone who loves me. Is that ugly? No, it is more beautiful by far.
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (Venus in Furs)
As readers, we have gone from learning a precious craft whose secret was held by a jealous few, to taking for granted a skin that has become subordinate to principles of mindless financial profit or mechanical efficiency, a skill for which governments care almost nothing.
Alberto Manguel (The Library at Night)
If you take a book into your hands, be it 'God's book, or any other useful good book,' rely on God to make it profitable to you. Do not waste time reading unprofitable books. When you read, do so not out of vain curiosity but with love for God's kingdom, compassion for human beings, and the intent to turn what you learn into prayers and praises.
Matthew Henry
A human being can only take so much when their basic rights as a citizen of the earth are being denied to them – or sold at a high cost.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
If human nature felt no temptation to take a chance, no satisfaction (profit apart) in constructing a factory, a railway, a mine or a farm, there might not be much investment merely as a result of cold calculation.
John Maynard Keynes (The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (Great Minds))
It is worth saying something about the social position of beggars, for when one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes towards them. People seem to feel that there is some essential difference between beggars and ordinary 'working' men. They are a race apart--outcasts, like criminals and prostitutes. Working men 'work', beggars do not 'work'; they are parasites, worthless in their very nature. It is taken for granted that a beggar does not 'earn' his living, as a bricklayer or a literary critic 'earns' his. He is a mere social excrescence, tolerated because we live in a humane age, but essentially despicable. Yet if one looks closely one sees that there is no ESSENTIAL difference between a beggar's livelihood and that of numberless respectable people. Beggars do not work, it is said; but, then, what is WORK? A navvy works by swinging a pick. An accountant works by adding up figures. A beggar works by standing out of doors in all weathers and getting varicose veins, chronic bronchitis, etc. It is a trade like any other; quite useless, of course--but, then, many reputable trades are quite useless. And as a social type a beggar compares well with scores of others. He is honest compared with the sellers of most patent medicines, high-minded compared with a Sunday newspaper proprietor, amiable compared with a hire-purchase tout--in short, a parasite, but a fairly harmless parasite. He seldom extracts more than a bare living from the community, and, what should justify him according to our ethical ideas, he pays for it over and over in suffering. I do not think there is anything about a beggar that sets him in a different class from other people, or gives most modern men the right to despise him. Then the question arises, Why are beggars despised?--for they are despised, universally. I believe it is for the simple reason that they fail to earn a decent living. In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic; the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modem talk about energy, efficiency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except 'Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it'? Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised. If one could earn even ten pounds a week at begging, it would become a respectable profession immediately. A beggar, looked at realistically, is simply a businessman, getting his living, like other businessmen, in the way that comes to hand. He has not, more than most modem people, sold his honour; he has merely made the mistake of choosing a trade at which it is impossible to grow rich.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
I think… that love encompasses the experience of the possible transition from the pure randomness of chance to a state that has universal value. Starting out from something that is simply an encounter, a trifle, you learn that you can experience the world on the basis of difference and not only in terms of identity. And you can even be tested and suffer in the process. In today’s world, it is generally thought that individuals only pursue their own self-interest. Love is an antidote to that. Provided it isn’t conceived only as an exchange of mutual favours, or isn’t calculated way in advance as a profitable investment, love really is a unique trust placed in chance. It takes us into key areas of the experience of what is difference and, essentially, leads to the idea that you can experience the world from the perspective of difference. In this respect it has universal implications: it is an individual experience of potential universality, and is thus central to philosophy, as Plato was the first to intuit.
Alain Badiou (In Praise of Love)
My child, I am the Lord Who gives strength in the day of trouble. Come to Me when all is not well with you. Your tardiness in turning to prayer is the greatest obstacle to heavenly consolation, for before you pray earnestly to Me you first seek many comforts and take pleasure in outward things. Thus, all things are of little profit to you until you realize that I am the one Who saves those who trust in Me, and that outside of Me there is no worth-while help, or any useful counsel or lasting remedy.
Thomas à Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)
My friend Chip Ward speaks of “the tyranny of the quantifiable,” of the way what can be measured almost always takes precedence over what cannot: private profit over public good; speed and efficiency over enjoyment and quality; the utilitarian over the mysteries and meanings that are of greater use to our survival and to more than our survival, to lives that have some purpose and value that survive beyond us to make a civilization worth having.
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
While big corporations make huge, tax-free profits, taxes for the everyday working person skyrocket. While politicians take free trips around the world, those same politicians cut back food stamps for the poor. While politicians increase their salaries, millions of people are being laid off. This city is on the brink of bankruptcy, and yet hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent on this trial. I do not understand a government so willing to spend millions of dollars on arms, to explore outer space, even the planet Jupiter, and at the same time close down day care centers and fire stations.
Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
Yes, but I’ve already made my fortune in other things. (Solin) Such as? (Geary) Viagra. My brother learned to take a personal problem and profit by it. (Arik) It’s true. It pained me to see a man as young as Arik stricken with impotency. Therefore I had to do something to help the poor soul. But alas, there’s nothing to be done for it. He’s as flaccid as a wet noodle. (Solin) How creative of you to project your problem onto me. But then, they say celibacy is enough to make a man lose all reason. Guess you’re living proof, huh? (Arik)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (The Dream-Hunter (Dark-Hunter, #10; Dream-Hunter, #1))
If a product’s future is unlikely to be remarkable – if you can’t imagine a future in which people are once again fascinated by your product – it’s time to realize that the game has changed. Instead of investing in a dying product, take profits and reinvest them in building something new.
Seth Godin (Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable)
Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!
Andrew Jackson
It is this that ruins churches, that you do not seek to hear sermons that touch the heart, but sermons that will delight your ears with their intonation and the structure of their phrases, just as if you were listening to singers and lute-players. And we preachers humor your fancies, instead of trying to crush them. We act like a father who gives a sick child a cake or an ice, or something else that is merely nice to eat--just because he asks for it; and takes no pains to give him what is good for him; and then when the doctors blame him says, 'I could not bear to hear my child cry.' . . . That is what we do when we elaborate beautiful sentences, fine combinations and harmonies, to please and not to profit, to be admired and not to instruct, to delight and not to touch you, to go away with your applause in our ears, and not to better your conduct.
John Chrysostom
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it. Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice. Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage. Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
Kenneth Robeson (The Man of Bronze (Doc Savage, #1))
Commodified fantasy takes no risks: it invents nothing, but imitates and trivializes. It proceeds by depriving the old stories of their intellectual and ethical complexity, turning their truth-telling to sentimental platitude. heroes brandish their swords, lasers, wands, as mechanically as combine harvesters, reaping profits. Profoundly disturbing moral choices are sanitized, made cute, made safe. The passionately conceived ideas of the great story-tellers are copied, stereotyped, reduced to toys, molded in bright-colored plastic, advertised, sold, broken, junked, replaceable, interchangeable. What the commodifiers of fantasy count on and exploit is the insuperable imagination of the reader, child or adult, which gives even these dead things life- of a sort, for a while.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Tales from Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #5))
To listen well is to figure out what’s on someone’s mind and demonstrate that you care enough to want to know. It’s what we all crave; to be understood as a person with thoughts, emotions, and intentions that are unique and valuable and deserving of attention. Listening is not about teaching, shaping, critiquing, appraising, or showing how it should be done (“Here, let me show you.” “Don’t be shy.” “That’s awesome!” “Smile for Daddy.”). Listening is about the experience of being experienced. It’s when someone takes an interest in who you are and what you are doing. The lack of being known and accepted in this way leads to feelings of inadequacy and emptiness. What makes us feel most lonely and isolated in life is less often the result of a devastating traumatic event than the accumulation of occasions when nothing happened but something profitably could have. It’s the missed opportunity to connect when you weren’t listening or someone wasn’t really listening to you.
Kate Murphy (You're Not Listening: What You're Missing and Why It Matters)
You can’t have it all. You can’t get huge tax breaks while children in this country go hungry. You can’t continue sending our jobs to China while millions are looking for work. You can’t hide your profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens while there are massive unmet needs on every corner of this nation. Your greed has got to end. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America if you refuse to accept your responsibilities.
Bernie Sanders (Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In)
So one way to create an attractive risk/reward situation is to limit downside risk severely by investing in situations that have a large margin of safety. The upside, while still difficult to quantify, will usually take care of itself. In other words, look down, not up, when making your initial investment decision. If you don’t lose money, most of the remaining alternatives are good ones.
Joel Greenblatt (You Can Be a Stock Market Genius: Uncover the Secret Hiding Places of Stock Market Profits)
A Rock, A River, A Tree Hosts to species long since departed, Mark the mastodon. The dinosaur, who left dry tokens Of their sojourn here On our planet floor, Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages. But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, Come, you may stand upon my Back and face your distant destiny, But seek no haven in my shadow. I will give you no hiding place down here. You, created only a little lower than The angels, have crouched too long in The bruising darkness, Have lain too long Face down in ignorance. Your mouths spelling words Armed for slaughter. The rock cries out today, you may stand on me, But do not hide your face. Across the wall of the world, A river sings a beautiful song, Come rest here by my side. Each of you a bordered country, Delicate and strangely made proud, Yet thrusting perpetually under siege. Your armed struggles for profit Have left collars of waste upon My shore, currents of debris upon my breast. Yet, today I call you to my riverside, If you will study war no more. Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs The Creator gave to me when I And the tree and stone were one. Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow And when you yet knew you still knew nothing. The river sings and sings on. There is a true yearning to respond to The singing river and the wise rock. So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew, The African and Native American, the Sioux, The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek, The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh, The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher, The privileged, the homeless, the teacher. They hear. They all hear The speaking of the tree. Today, the first and last of every tree Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river. Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river. Each of you, descendant of some passed on Traveller, has been paid for. You, who gave me my first name, You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, Then forced on bloody feet, Left me to the employment of other seekers-- Desperate for gain, starving for gold. You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot... You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare Praying for a dream. Here, root yourselves beside me. I am the tree planted by the river, Which will not be moved. I, the rock, I the river, I the tree I am yours--your passages have been paid. Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need For this bright morning dawning for you. History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage, Need not be lived again. Lift up your eyes upon The day breaking for you. Give birth again To the dream. Women, children, men, Take it into the palms of your hands. Mold it into the shape of your most Private need. Sculpt it into The image of your most public self. Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances For new beginnings. Do not be wedded forever To fear, yoked eternally To brutishness. The horizon leans forward, Offering you space to place new steps of change. Here, on the pulse of this fine day You may have the courage To look up and out upon me, The rock, the river, the tree, your country. No less to Midas than the mendicant. No less to you now than the mastodon then. Here on the pulse of this new day You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, Into your brother's face, your country And say simply Very simply With hope Good morning.
Maya Angelou
The future homemaker trains for her role within the home, but the boy prepares for his by being given more independence outside the home, by his taking a “paper route” or a summer job. A provider will profit by independence, dominance, aggressiveness, competitiveness.8
Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique)
History cannot be explained deterministically and it cannot be predicted because it is chaotic. So many forces are at work and their interactions are so complex that extremely small variations in the strength of the forces and the way they interact produce huge differences in outcomes. Not only that, but history is what is called a ‘level two’ chaotic system. Chaotic systems come in two shapes. Level one chaos is chaos that does not react to predictions about it. The weather, for example, is a level one chaotic system. Though it is influenced by myriad factors, we can build computer models that take more and more of them into consideration, and produce better and better weather forecasts. Level two chaos is chaos that reacts to predictions about it, and therefore can never be predicted accurately. Markets, for example, are a level two chaotic system. What will happen if we develop a computer program that forecasts with 100 per cent accuracy the price of oil tomorrow? The price of oil will immediately react to the forecast, which would consequently fail to materialise. If the current price of oil is $90 a barrel, and the infallible computer program predicts that tomorrow it will be $100, traders will rush to buy oil so that they can profit from the predicted price rise. As a result, the price will shoot up to $100 a barrel today rather than tomorrow. Then what will happen tomorrow? Nobody knows.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Some of the best things are done by those with nowhere to turn, by those who don't have time, by those who truly understand the word helpless. They dispense no thought with the calculation of risk and profit, they take no thought for the future, they're forced to spearpoint into the present tense." - Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
Margaret Atwood
If your business is getting into debt, you gotta ask yourself what is the cost of servicing that debt. Do a simple cost benefit analysis. If the cost of servicing the debt is bigger than the potential profits that the debt will help the business to yield, then that means the business should not take on that debt.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
Let me outline briefly as I can what seem to me the characteristics of these opposite kinds of mind. I conceive a strip-miner to be a model exploiter, and as a model nurturer I take the old-fashioned idea or ideal of a farmer. The exploiter is a specialist, an expert; the nurturer is not. The standard of the exploiter is efficiency; the standard of the nurturer is care. The exploiter's goal is money, profit; the nurturer's goal is health -- his land's health, his own, his family's, his community's, his country's. Whereas the exploiter asks of a piece of land only how much and how quickly it can be made to produce, the nurturer asks a question that is much more complex and difficult: What is its carrying capacity? (That is: How much can be taken from it without diminishing it? What can it produce dependably for an indefinite time?) The exploiter wishes to earn as much as possible by as little work as possible; the nurturer expects, certainly, to have a decent living from his work, but his characteristic wish is to work as well as possible. The competence of the exploiter is in organization; that of the nurturer is in order -- a human order, that is, that accommodates itself both to other order and to mystery. The exploiter typically serves an institution or organization; the nurturer serves land, household, community, place. The exploiter thinks in terms of numbers, quantities, "hard facts"; the nurturer in terms of character, condition, quality, kind.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look at thousands of working people displaced from their jobs with reduced incomes as a result of automation while the profits of the employers remain intact, and say: “This is not just.” It will look across the oceans and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing to prevent us from paying adequate wages to schoolteachers, social workers and other servants of the public to insure that we have the best available personnel in these positions which are charged with the responsibility of guiding our future generations. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid or day laborer. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum—and livable—income for every American family. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from remolding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (King Legacy Book 2))
Because we cannot discover God's throne in the sky with a radiotelescope or establish (for certain) that a beloved father or mother is still about in a more or less corporeal form, people assume that such ideas are "not true." I would rather say that they are not "true" enough, for these are conceptions of a kind that have accompanied human life from prehistoric times, and that still break through into consciousness at any provocation. Modern man may assert that he can dispose with them, and he may bolster his opinion by insisting that there is no scientific evidence of their truth. Or he may even regret the loss of his convictions. But since we are dealing with invisible and unknowable things (for God is beyond human understanding, and there is no means of proving immortality), why should we bother about evidence? Even if we did not know by reason our need for salt in our food, we should nonetheless profit from its use. We might argue that the use of salt is a mere illusion of taste or a superstition; but it would still contribute to our well-being. Why, then, should we deprive ourselves of views that would prove helpful in crises and would give a meaning to our existence? And how do we know that such ideas are not true? Many people would agree with me if I stated flatly that such ideas are probably illusions. What they fail to realize is that the denial is as impossible to "prove" as the assertion of religious belief. We are entirely free to choose which point of view we take; it will in any case be an arbitrary decision. There is, however, a strong empirical reason why we should cultivate thoughts that can never be proved. It is that they are known to be useful. Man positively needs general ideas and convictions that will give a meaning to his life and enable him to find a place for himself in the universe. He can stand the most incredible hardships when he is convinced that they make sense; he is crushed when, on top of all his misfortunes, he has to admit that he is taking part in a "tale told by an idiot." It is the role of religious symbols to give a meaning to the life of man. The Pueblo Indians believe that they are the sons of Father Sun, and this belief endows their life with a perspective (and a goal) that goes far beyond their limited existence. It gives them ample space for the unfolding of personality and permits them a full life as complete persons. Their plight is infinitely more satisfactory than that of a man in our own civilization who knows that he is (and will remain) nothing more than an underdog with no inner meaning to his life.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
We live in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, but that reality means little because almost all of that wealth is controlled by a tiny handful of individuals. There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much as the bottom 90 percent, and when 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent. There is something profoundly wrong when one family owns more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans. This type of immoral, unsustainable economy is not what America is supposed to be about. This has got to change, and together we will change it. The change begins when we say to the billionaire class: “You can’t have it all. You can’t get huge tax breaks while children in this country go hungry. You can’t continue sending our jobs to China while millions are looking for work. You can’t hide your profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens, while there are massive unmet needs in every corner of this nation. Your greed has got to end. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America if you refuse to accept your responsibilities as Americans.
Bernie Sanders (Outsider in the White House)
Oh not because happiness exists, that too-hasty profit snatched from approaching loss. ********* But because truly being here is so much; because everything here apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which is in some strange way keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all. ********* Ah, but what can we take along into that other realm? Not the act of looking, which is learned so slowly, and nothing that happened here. Nothing. The sufferings, then. And above all, the heaviness, and long experience of love, – just what is wholly unsayable.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The objection to profit is as if a bystander, observing the planter digging his crop, should say: "You put in only one potato and you are taking out a dozen. You must have taken them away from someone else; those extra potatoes cannot be yours by right." If profit is denounced, it must be assumed that running at a loss is admirable. On the contrary, that is what requires justification. Profit is self-justifying.
Isabel Paterson (The God of the Machine)
This is an essential part of our story. Americans now bear such animosity toward one another that it’s almost as if many are holding up signs saying, “Please tell me something horrible about the other side, I’ll believe anything!” Americans are now easily exploitable, and a large network of profit-driven media sites, political entrepreneurs, and foreign intelligence agencies are taking advantage of this vulnerability.
Jonathan Haidt (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
If low price is the only basis of competition with rival products, similarly produced, there ensues a cut-throat competition which can end only by taking all the profit and incentive out of the industry. The logical way out of this dilemma is for the manufacturer to develop some sales appeal other than mere cheapness, to give the product, in the public mind, some other attraction, some idea that will modify the product slightly, some element of originality that will distinguish it from products in the same line. Thus,
Edward L. Bernays (Propaganda)
The belief that science proceeds from observation to theory is still so widely and so firmly held that my denial of it is often met with incredulity. I have even been suspected of being insincere- of denying what nobody in his senses would doubt. But in fact the belief that we can start with pure observation alone, without anything in the nature of a theory is absurd; as may be illustrated by the story of the man who dedicated his life to natural science, wrote down everything he could observe, and bequeathed his priceless collection of observations to the Royal Society to be used as evidence. This story should show us that though beetles may profitably be collected, observations may not. Twenty-five years ago I tried to bring home the same point to a group of physics students in Vienna by beginning a lecture with the following instructions : 'Take pencil and paper; carefully observe, and write down what you have observed!' They asked, of course, what I wanted them to observe. Clearly the instruction, 'Observe!' is absurd. (It is not even idiomatic, unless the object of the transitive verb can be taken as understood.) Observation is always selective. It needs a chosen object, a definite task, an interest, a point of view, a problem. And its description presupposes a descriptive language, with property words; it presupposes similarity and classification, which in their turn presuppose interests, points of view, and problems.
Karl Popper (Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (Routledge Classics))
I was recently asked what it takes to become a writer. Three things, I answered: first, one must cultivate incompetence at almost every other form of profitable work. This must be accompanied, second, by a haughty contempt for all the forms of work that one has established that one cannot do. To these two must be joined, third, the nuttiness to believe that other people can be made to care about your opinions and views and be charmed by the way you state them. Incompetence, contempt, lunacy--once you have these in place, you are set to go.
Joseph Epstein
We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast, get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom, and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
Philip Yancey (Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?)
We are not here in this world to find elegant solutions, pregnant with initiative, or to serve the ways and modes of profitable progress. No, we are here to provide for all those who are weaker and hungrier, more battered and crippled than ourselves. That is our only certain good and great purpose on earth, and if you ask me about those insoluble economic problems that may arise if the top is deprived of their initiative, I would answer 'To hell with them.' The top is greedy and mean and will always find a way to take care of themselves. They always do.
Michael Foot
If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge of a practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, then religion would mean to me everything. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I should labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the marrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences would never stay in my head or seal my lips. Earth, its joys and its griefs, would occupy no moment of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone, and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season. and my text would be, "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul
Norman P. Grubb
Granma said everybody has two minds. One of the minds has to do with the necessaries for body living. You had to use it to figure out how to get shelter and eating and such like for the body... She said we had to have that mind so as we could carry on. But she said we had another mind that had nothing atall to do with such. She said it was the spirit mind. Granma said if you used the body-living mind to think greedy or mean; if you was always cuttin' at folks with it and figuring how to material profit off'n them ... then you would shrink up your spirit mind to a size no bigger 'n a hickor'nut. Granma said that when your body died, the body-living mind died with it, and if that's the way you had thought all your life there you was, stuck with a hickor'nut spirit, as the spirit mind was all that lived when everything else died... Granma said that the spirit mind was like any other muscle. If you used it it got bigger and stronger. She said the only way it could get that way was using it to understand, but you couldn't open the door to it until you quit being greedy and such with your body mind. Then understanding commenced to take up, and the more you tried to understand, the bigger it got. Natural, she said, understanding and love was the same thing; except folks went at it back'ards too many times, trying to pretend they loved things when they didn't understand them. Which can't be done. I see right out that I was going to commence trying to understand practical everybody, for I sure didn't want to come up with a hickor'nut spirit.
Forrest Carter (The Education of Little Tree)
[I]t seems to me that a lot of the stranger ideas people have about medicine derive from an emotional struggle with the very notion of a pharmaceutical industry. Whatever our political leanings, we all feel nervous about profit taking any role in the caring professions, but that feeling has nowhere to go. Big pharma is evil; I would agree with that premise. But because people don’t understand exactly how big pharma is evil, their anger gets diverted away from valid criticisms—its role in distorting data, for example, or withholding lifesaving AIDS drugs from the developing world—and channeled into infantile fantasies. “Big pharma is evil,” goes the line of reasoning; “therefore homeopathy works and the MMR vaccine causes autism.” This is probably not helpful.
Ben Goldacre (Bad Science)
The knowledge of secrets is a very enticing ship, a very tempting voyage, and one thinks that the highest attainment in life is to find out hidden truths, to seek out what is truth, to know what are all lies; to uncover, to discover and to rediscover, to dig up, to expose, to reveal... But secrets can go on forever, for an eternity! For as vast as the universe is, so are the secrets therein! And one can lose, because of that thought that in the secrets, everything is to be gained! But I can see, that all the knowledge of hidden things, all the knowledge in the universe, is not nearly as valuable and as worthy as the innocence of one's soul. And we are not directed unto good things through our ability to scavenge or to hunt or to decipher or to sail! Or to fly! But we are directed unto good things, through sovereign providence! He is more worthy- the innocent soul who has a simple faith in what he believes in- than the one who has found out all the dark secrets about what the other man has put his faith in! And it is far more profitable for a man to be healthy, to have a long, long life, loved ones that are blessed with these blessings all the same, much love and happiness and safety! It is far more profitable for a man to be able to remain innocent and have love and be healthy and to be able to watch his loved ones in good health and in good love, than for a man to uncover all the secrets of the universe! A single love, a single faith, a single trust, and one hope- these are far, far better things to aspire to have! And this– this is the biggest secret!
C. JoyBell C.
Exploitation thrives when it comes to the essentials, like housing and food. Most of the 12 million Americans who take out high-interest payday loans do so not to buy luxury items or cover unexpected expenses but to pay the rent or gas bill, buy food, or meet other regular expenses. Payday loans are but one of many financial techniques—from overdraft fees to student loans for for-profit colleges—specifically designed to pull money from the pockets of the poor.46 If the poor pay more for their housing, food, durable goods, and credit, and if they get smaller returns on their educations and mortgages (if they get returns at all), then their incomes are even smaller than they appear. This is fundamentally unfair.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
In the United States I saw how the market liberates the individual and allows people to be free to make personal choices. But the biggest drawback was that the market always pushes things to the side of the powerful. I thought the poor should be able to take advantage of the system in order to improve their lot. Grameen is a private-sector self-help bank, and as its members gain personal wealth they acquire water-pumps, latrines, housing, education, access to health care, and so on. Another way to achieve this is to let abusiness earn profit that is then txed by the government, and the tax can be used to provide services to the poor. But in practice it never works that way. In real life, taxes only pay for a government bureaucracy that collects the tax and provides little or nothing to the poor. And since most government bureaucracies are not profit motivated, they have little incentive to increase their efficiency. In fact, they have a disincentive: governments often cannot cut social services without a public outcry, so the behemoth continues, blind and inefficient, year after year.
Muhammad Yunus (Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty)
At this time we should take a brife moment to mention quacks: alternative therapists who sell vitamins and homeopathy sugar pills [the latter of which, by definition, contain no active ingredients], which perform no better than placebo in fair tests, and who use even cruder marketing tricks than the ones described in this book. In these people profit at all from the justified anger that people feel towards the pharmaceutical industry, then it comes at the expense of genuinely constructive activity. Selling ineffective sugar pills is not a meaningful policy response to the regulatory failure we have seen in this book
Ben Goldacre (Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients)
If your business asset has expenses that are directly correlated to revenues and they take up a big percentage of revenues, and you determine that it is not possible or practical to reduce the expenses or increase the associated revenues for that asset - you have two options: If in totality the assets revenues are greater than its expenses, keep the asset and do not get rid of it. Small profit margins are better than no profit margins and this asset is adding value to your business’s portfolio. If the assets expenses are greater than its revenues, then it is actually not an asset and any decisions made about it should be made with this realization in mind.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
In Spain, hilly terrain and antiquated planting and harvest practices keep farmers from retrieving more than about 100 pounds [of almonds] per acre. Growers in the Central Valley, by contrast can expect up to 3000 pounds an acre. But for all their sophisticated strategies to increase yield and profitability, almond growers still have one major problem - pollination. Unless a bird or insect brings the pollen from flower to flower, even the most state-of-the-art orchard won't grow enough nuts. An almond grower who depends on wind and a few volunteer pollinators in this desert of cultivation can expect only 40 pounds of almonds per acre. If he imports honey bees, the average yield is 2,400 pounds per acre, as much as 3,000 in more densely planted orchards. To build an almond, it takes a bee.
Hannah Nordhaus (The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America)
When my generation of women walked away from the kitchen we were escorted down that path by a profiteering industry that knew a tired, vulnerable marketing target when they saw it. "Hey, ladies," it said to us, "go ahead, get liberated. We'll take care of dinner." They threw open the door and we walked into a nutritional crisis and genuinely toxic food supply. If you think toxic is an exaggeration, read the package directions for handling raw chicken from a CAFO. We came a long way, baby, into bad eating habits and collaterally impaired family dynamics. No matter what else we do or believe, food remains at the center of every culture. Ours now runs on empty calories.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
The reason I started the video library was that I knew around twenty of my friends and relatives owned video players. So I thought that if between them they hired twenty cassettes, at ₹10 a cassette a day, I would get ₹200 a day or ₹6,000 a month, which was the running cost of my shop. Anything extra, I thought, would be a profit which I could take a chance upon. Within a month of starting my shop, I was renting out more than 100 cassettes a day, but none of the twenty people I had counted upon ever came to my shop. If they did, they never paid, as they were my friends or were related to me. So in effect, what I had counted upon didn’t happen and success came from unexpected quarters. But I know in my heart that if I had not banked on those twenty people, there was no way I would have started my shop.
Ram Gopal Varma (Guns & Thighs: The Story of My Life)
Six Telltale Signs of a Winning Strategy 1) An activity system that looks different from any competitor's system. It means you are tempting to deliver value in a distinctive way. 2) Customers who absolutely adore you, and noncustomers who can't see why anybody would buy from you. This means you have been choiceful. 3) Competitors who make a good profit doing what they are doing. It means your strategy has left where-to-play and how-to-win choices for competitors, who don't need to attack the heart of your market to survive. 4) More resources to spend on an ongoing basis than competitors have. This means you are winning the value equation and have the biggest margin between price and costs and best capacity to add spending to take advantage of an opportunity to defend your turf. 5) Competitors who attack one another, not you. It means that you look like the hardest target in the (broadly defined) industry to attack. 6) Customers who look first to you for innovations, new products, and service enhancement to make their lives better. This means that your customers believe that you are uniquely positioned to create value for them.
A.G. Lafley (Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works)
Classifying depression as an illness serves the psychiatric community and pharmaceutical corporations well; it also soothes the frightened, guilty, indifferent, busy, sadistic, and unschooled. To understand depression as a call for life-changes is not profitable. Stagnation is not a medical term. The 17.5 million Americans diagnosed as suffering a major depression in 1997 were mostly damned. (Psychobiological examinations confuse cause and symptom.) Deficient serotonergic functioning, ventral prefrontal cerebral cortex, dis-inhibition of impulsive-aggressive behavior, blah blah blah: the medical lexicon boils emotion from human being. Go take a drug, the doctor says. Pain is a biochemical phenomenon. Erase all memory.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (The Eclipse: A Memoir of Suicide)
When we look back, it becomes clear that the acts and accomplishments of human beings are the signatures of history. Human signatures have created an enormous chasm between the joyeous light of the age of the Renaissance to the dark shadow of September 11, 2001. Those of us living on that fateful day experienced the lower depths of mankind. As an author, avid reader, world traveler, and person of enormous curiosity, my life experiences have taught me that discord often erupts from a lack of knowledge and education. To discourage future dark moments, I believe we must nourish the minds of our young with learning that creates understanding between ethnic and religious groups. Perhaps understanding will lead to a marvelous day when we take a last fleeting look at violence so harmful to so many. I sincerely believe that nothing will further the cause of peace more than the education of our young. I would like for readers to know that a percentage of the profits from the sale of this book will be devoted to the cause of education. May all roads lead to peace.
Jean Sasson (Growing Up bin Laden: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World)
It is a natural propensity to attribute misfortune to someone’s malignity. When prices rise, it is due to the profiteer; when wages fall, it is due to the capitalist. Why the capitalist is ineffective when wages rise, and the profiteer when prices fall, the man in the street does not inquire. Nor does he notice that wages and prices rise and fall together. If he is a capitalist, he wants wages to fall and prices to rise; if he is a wage earner, he wants the opposite. When a currency expert tries to explain that profiteers and trade unions and ordinary employers have very little to do with the matter, he irritates everybody, like the man who threw doubt on German atrocities. (In World War I) We do not like to be robbed of an enemy; we want someone to have when we suffer. It is so depressing to think taht we suffer because we are fools; yet taking mankind in mass, that is the truth. For this reason, no political party can acquire any driving force except through hatred; it must hold someone to obloquy. If so-and-so’s wickedness is the sole cause of our misery, let us punish so-and-so and we shall be happy. The supreme example of this kind of political thought was the Treaty of Versailles. Yet most people are only seeking some new scapegoat to replace the Germans.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays (Routledge Classics))
In an exchange economy everybody’s money income is somebody else’s cost. Every increase in hourly wages, unless or until compensated by an equal increase in hourly productivity, is an increase in costs of production. An increase in costs of production, where the government controls prices and forbids any price increase, takes the profit from marginal producers, forces them out of business, means a shrinkage in production and a growth in unemployment. Even where a price increase is possible, the higher price discourages buyers, shrinks the market, and also leads to unemployment. If a 30 percent increase in hourly wages all around the circle forces a 30 percent increase in prices, labor can buy no more of the product than it could at the beginning; and the merry-go-round must start all over again.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
O highest and best, most powerful, most all-powerful, most merciful and most just, most deeply hidden and most nearly present, most beautiful and most strong, constant yet incomprehensible, changeless yet changing all things, never new, never old, making all things new, bringing the proud to decay and they know it not: always acting and always at rest, still gathering yet never wanting; upholding, filling and protecting, creating, nourishing, and bringing to perfection; seeking, although in need of nothing. You love, but with no storm of passion; you are jealous, but with no anxious fear; you repent, but do not grieve; in your anger calm; you change your works, but never change your plan; you take back what you find and yet have never lost; never in need, you are yet glad of gain; never greedy, yet still demanding profit on your loans; to be paid in excess, so that you may be the debtor, and yet who has anything which is not yours? You pay back debts which you never owed and cancel debts without losing anything.
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
Never value anything as profitable that compels you to break your promise, to lose your self-respect, to hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains: for he who has preferred to everything else his own intelligence and daimon and the worship of its excellence, acts no tragic part, does not groan, will not need either solitude or much company; and, what is chief of all, he will live without either pursuing or flying from death; but whether for a longer or a shorter time he shall have the soul enclosed in the body, he cares not at all: for even if he must depart immediately, he will go as readily as if he were going to do anything else that can be done with decency and order; taking care of this only all through life, that his thoughts abide with the concerns of an intelligent animal and a member of a civil community.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Who am I? I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed—you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great individuals and, alas, of all failures, as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human. You may run me for a profit or run me for ruin—it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I?
Sean Covey (The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens)
The speculator's chief enemies are always boring from within. It is inseparable from human nature to hope and to fear. In speculation when the market goes against you you hope that every day will be the last day and you lose more than you should had you not listened to hope to the same ally that is so potent a success-bringer to empire builders and pioneers, big and little. And when the market goes your way you become fearful that the next day will take away your profit, and you get out too soon. Fear keeps you from making as much money as you ought to. The successful trader has to fight these two deep-seated instincts. He has to reverse what you might call his natural impulses. Instead of hoping he must fear; instead of fearing he must hope. He must fear that his loss may develop into a much bigger loss, and hope that his profit may become a big profit. It is absolutely wrong to gamble in stocks the way the average man does.
Jesse Livermore
To the horror of those who can genuinely claim to have suffered from its effects, alienation has proved a highly profitable commodity in the cultural marketplace. Modernist art with its dissonances and torments, to take one example, has become the staple diet of an increasingly voracious army of culture consumers who know good investments when they see them. The avant-garde, if indeed the term can still be used, has become an honored ornament of our cultural life, less to be feared than feted. The philosophy of existentialism, to cite another case, which scarcely a generation ago seemed like a breath of fresh air, has now degenerated into a set of easily manipulated clichés and sadly hollow gestures. This decline occurred, it should be noted, not because analytic philosophers exposed the meaninglessness of its categories, but rather as a result of our culture’s uncanny ability to absorb and defuse even its most uncompromising opponents.
Martin Jay (The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School & the Institute of Social Research, 1923-50)
It was supposed that the pearl buyers were individuals acting alone, bidding against one another for the pearls the fishermen brought in. And once it had been so. But this was a wasteful method, for often, in the excitement of bidding for a fine pearl, too great a price had been paid to the fisherman. This was extravagant and not to be countenanced. Now there was only one pearl buyer with many hands, and the men who sat in their offices and waited for Kino knew what price they would offer, how high they would bid, and what method each one would use. And although these men would not profit beyond their salaries, there was excitement among the pearl buyers, for there was excitement in the hunt, and if it be a man's function to break down a price, then he must take joy and satisfaction in breaking it as far down as possible. For every man in the world functions to the best of his ability, and no one does less than his best, no matter what he may think about it. Quite apart from any reward they might get, from any word of praise, from any promotion, a pearl buyer was a pearl buyer, and the best and happiest pearl buyer was he who bought for the lowest prices.
John Steinbeck (The Pearl)
A Christian people doesn't mean a lot of goody-goodies. The Church has plenty of stamina, and isn't afraid of sin. On the contrary, she can look it in the face calmly and even take it upon herself, assume it at times, as Our Lord did. When a good workman's been at it for a whole week, surely he's due for a booze on Saturday night. Look: I'll define you a Christian people by the opposite. The opposite of a Christian people is a people grown sad and old. You'll be saying that isn't a very theological definition. I agree... Why does our earliest childhood always seem so soft and full of light? A kid's got plenty of troubles, like everybody else, and he's really so very helpless, quite unarmed against pain and illness. Childhood and old age should be the two greatest trials of mankind. But that very sense of powerlessness is the mainspring of a child's joy. He just leaves it all to his mother, you see. Present, past, future -- his whole life is caught up in one look, and that look is a smile. Well, lad, if only they'd let us have our way, the Church might have given men that supreme comfort. Of course they'd each have their own worries to grapple with, just the same. Hunger, thirst, poverty, jealousy -- we'd never be able to pocket the devil once and for all, you may be sure. But man would have known he was the son of God; and therein lies your miracle. He'd have lived, he'd have died with that idea in his noddle -- and not just a notion picked up in books either -- oh, no! Because we'd have made that idea the basis of everything: habits and customs, relaxation and pleasure, down to the very simplest needs. That wouldn't have stopped the labourer ploughing, or the scientist swotting at his logarithms, or even the engineer making his playthings for grown-up people. What we would have got rid of, what we would have torn from the very heart of Adam, is that sense of his own loneliness... God has entrusted the Church to keep [the soul of childhood] alive, to safeguard our candour and freshness... Joy is the gift of the Church, whatever joy is possible for this sad world to share... What would it profit you even to create life itself, when you have lost all sense of what life really is?
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
Take the example of our spinner. We have seen that, to daily reproduce his labouring power, he must daily reproduce a value of three shillings, which he will do by working six hours daily. But this does not disable him from working ten or twelve or more hours a day. But by paying the daily or weekly value of the spinner's labouring power the capitalist has acquired the right of using that labouring power during the whole day or week. He will, therefore, make him work say, daily, twelve hours. Over and above the six hours required to replace his wages, or the value of his labouring power, he will, therefore, have to work six other hours, which I shall call hours of surplus labour, which surplus labour will realize itself in a surplus value and a surplus produce. If our spinner, for example, by his daily labour of six hours, added three shillings' value to the cotton, a value forming an exact equivalent to his wages, he will, in twelce hours, add six shillings' worth to the cotton, and produce a proportional surplus of yarn. As he has sold his labouring power to the capitalist, the whole value of produce created by him belongs to the capitalist, the owner pro tem. of his labouring power. By advancing three shillings, the capitalist will, therefore, realize a value of six shillings, because, advancing a value in which six hours of labour are crystallized. By repeating this same process daily, the capitalist will daily advance three shillings and daily pocket six shillings, one half of which will go to pay wages anew, and the other half of which will form surplus value, for which the capitalist pays no equivalent. It is this sort of exchange between capital and labour upon which capitalistic production, or the wages system, is founded, and which must constantly result in reproducing the working man as a working man, and the capitalist as a capitalist.
Karl Marx (Wage-Labour and Capital/Value, Price and Profit)
Talk about corporate greed and everything is really crucially beside the point, in my view, and really should be recognized as a very big regression from what working people, and a lot of others, understood very well a century ago. Talk about corporate greed is nonsense. Corporations are greedy by their nature. They’re nothing else – they are instruments for interfering with markets to maximize profit, and wealth and market control. You can’t make them more or less greedy; I mean maybe you can sort of force them, but it’s like taking a totalitarian state and saying “Be less brutal!” Well yeah, maybe you can get a totalitarian state to be less brutal, but that’s not the point – the point is not to get a tyranny to be less brutal, but to get rid of it. Now 150 years ago, that was understood. If you read the labour press – there was a very lively labour press, right around here [Massachusetts] ; Lowell and Lawrence and places like that, around the mid nineteenth century, run by artisans and what they called factory girls; young women from the farms who were working there – they weren’t asking the autocracy to be less brutal, they were saying get rid of it. And in fact that makes perfect sense; these are human institutions, there’s nothing graven in stone about them. They [corporations] were created early in this century with their present powers, they come from the same intellectual roots as the other modern forms of totalitarianism – namely Stalinism and Fascism – and they have no more legitimacy than they do. I mean yeah, let’s try and make the autocracy less brutal if that’s the short term possibility – but we should have the sophistication of, say, factory girls in Lowell 150 years ago and recognize that this is just degrading and intolerable and that, as they put it “those who work in the mills should own them ” And on to everything else, and that’s democracy – if you don’t have that, you don’t have democracy.
Noam Chomsky (Free Market Fantasies: Capitalism in the Real World)
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
Martin Luther King Jr.
In our civilized societies we are rich. Why then are the many poor? Why this painful drudgery for the masses? Why, even to the best-paid workman, this uncertainty for the morrow, in the midst of all the wealth inherited from the past, and in spite of the powerful means of production, which could ensure comfort to all, in return for a few hours of daily toil? The socialists have said it and repeated it unwearyingly. Daily they reiterate it, demonstrating it by arguments taken from all the sciences. It is because all that is necessary for production — the land, the mines, the highways, machinery, food, shelter, education, knowledge — all have been seized by the few in the course of that long story of robbery, enforced migration and wars, of ignorance and oppression, which has been the life of the human race before it had learned to subdue the forces of Nature. It is because, taking advantage of alleged rights acquired in the past, these few appropriate today two-thirds of the products of human labour, and then squander them in the most stupid and shameful way. It is because, having reduced the masses to a point at which they have not the means of subsistence for a month, or even for a week in advance, the few can allow the many to work, only on the condition of themselves receiving the lion’s share. It is because these few prevent the remainder of men from producing the things they need, and force them to produce, not the necessaries of life for all, but whatever offers the greatest profits to the monopolists. In this is the substance of all socialism.
Pyotr Kropotkin (The Conquest of Bread (Working Classics))
Let’s think about the fake sense of urgency that pervades the left-liberal humanitarian discourse on violence: in it, abstraction and graphic (pseudo)concreteness coexist in the staging of the scene of violence-against women, blacks, the homeless, gays . . . “A woman is rpaed every six seconds in this country” and “In the time it takes you to read this paragraph, ten children will die of hunger” are just two examples. Underlying all this is a hypocritical sentiment of moral outrage. Just this kind of pseudo-urgency was exploited by Starbucks a couple of years ago when, at store entrances, posters greeting costumers pointed out that a portion of the chain’s profits went into health-care for the children of Guatemala, the source of their coffee, the inference being that with every cup you drink, you save a child’s life. There is a fundamental anti-theoretical edge to these urgent injunctions. There is no time to reflect: we have to act now. Through this fake sense of urgency, the post-industrial rich, living in their secluded virtual world, not only do not deny or ignore the harsh reality outside the area-they actively refer to it all the time. As Bill Gates recently put it: “What do the computers matter when millions are still unnecessarily dying of dysentery?” Against this fake urgency, we might want to place Marx’s wonderful letter to Engels of 1870, when, for a brief moment, it seemed that a European revolution was again at the gates. Marx’s letter conveys his sheer panic: can’t the revolution wait for a couple of years? He hasn’t yet finished his ‘Capital’.
Slavoj Žižek (Violence: Six Sideways Reflections)
It’s not easy to feel good about yourself when you are constantly being told you’re rubbish and/or part of the problem. That’s often the situation for people working in the public sector, whether these be nurses, civil servants or teachers. The static metrics used to measure the contribution of the public sector, and the influence of Public Choice theory on making governments more ‘efficient’, has convinced many civil-sector workers they are second-best. It’s enough to depress any bureaucrat and induce him or her to get up, leave and join the private sector, where there is often more money to be made. So public actors are forced to emulate private ones, with their almost exclusive interest in projects with fast paybacks. After all, price determines value. You, the civil servant, won’t dare to propose that your agency could take charge, bring a helpful long-term perspective to a problem, consider all sides of an issue (not just profitability), spend the necessary funds (borrow if required) and – whisper it softly – add public value. You leave the big ideas to the private sector which you are told to simply ‘facilitate’ and enable. And when Apple or whichever private company makes billions of dollars for shareholders and many millions for top executives, you probably won’t think that these gains actually come largely from leveraging the work done by others – whether these be government agencies, not-for-profit institutions, or achievements fought for by civil society organizations including trade unions that have been critical for fighting for workers’ training programmes.
Mariana Mazzucato (The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy)
Nature is infinitely rich and diverse in her ways. She can be seen to break her most unchanging laws. She has made self-interest the motive of all human action, but in the great host of men she produces ones who are strangely constituted, in whom selfishness is scarcely perceptible because they do not place their affections in themselves. Some are passionate about the sciences, others about the public good. They are as attached to the discoveries of others as if they themselves had made them, or to the institutions of public welfare and the state as if they derived benefit from them. This habit of not thinking of themselves influences the whole course of their lives. They don't know how to use other men for their profit. Fortune offers them opportunities which they do not think of taking up. In nearly all men the self is almost never inactive. You will detect their self-interest in nearly all the advice they give you, in the services they do for you, in the contacts they make, in the friendships they form. They are deeply attached to the things which affect their interests however remotely, and are indifferent to all others. When they encounter a man who is indifferent to personal interest they cannot understand him. They suspect him of hidden motives, of affectation, or of insanity. They cast him from their bosom, revile him.
Jan Potocki (The Manuscript Found in Saragossa)
And Mallow laughed joyously. "You've missed, Sutt, missed as badly as the Commdor himself. You've missed everything, and understood nothing. The Empire has always been a realm of colossal resources. They've calculated everything in planets, in stellar systems, in whole sectors of the Galaxy. Their generators are gigantic because they thought in gigantic fashion. "But we,—we, our little Foundation, our single world almost without metallic resources,—have had to work with brute economy. Our generators have had to be the size of our thumb, because it was all the metal we could afford. We had to develop new techniques and new methods,—techniques and methods the Empire can't follow because they have degenerated past the stage where they can make any vital scientific advance. "With all their nuclear shields, large enough to protect a ship, a city, an entire world; hey could never build one to protect a single man. To supply light and heat to a city, they have motors six stories high,—I saw them—where ours could fit into this room. And when I told one of their nuclear specialists that a lead container the size of a walnut contained a nuclear generator, he almost choked with indignation on the spot. "Why, they don't even understand their own colossi any longer. The machines work from generation to generation automatically and the caretakers are a hereditary caste who would be helpless if a single D-tube in all that vast structure burnt out. "The whole war is a battle between these two systems; between the Empire and the Foundation; between the big and the little. To seize control of a world, they bribe with immense ships that can make war, but lack all economic significance. We, on the other hand, bribe with little things, useless in war, but vital to prosperity and profits. "A king, or a Commdor, will take the ships and even make war. Arbitrary rulers throughout history have bartered their subjects' welfare for what they consider honor, and glory, and conquest. But it's still the little things in life that count—and Asper Argo won't stand up against the economic depression that will sweep all Korell in two or three years.
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
Imagine this: A world where the quality of your life is not determined by how much money you have. You do not have to sell your labour to survive. Labour is not tied to capitalism, profit or wage. Borders do not exist; we are free to move without consequence. The nuclear family does not exist; children are raised collectively; reproduction takes on new meanings. In this world, the way we carry out dull domestic labour is transformed and nobody is forced to rely on their partner economically to survive. The principles of transformative justice are used to rectify harm. Critical and comprehensive sex education exists for all from an early age. We are liberated from the gender binary’s strangling grip and the demands it places on our bodies. Sex work does not exist because work does not exist. Education and transport are free, from cradle to grave. We are forced to reckon with and rectify histories of imperialism, colonial exploitation, and warfare collectively. We have freedom to, not just freedom from. Specialist mental health services and community care are integral to our societies. There is no “state” as we know it; nobody dies in “suspicious circumstances” at its hands; no person has to navigate sexism, racism, ableism or homophobia to survive. Detention centres do not exist. Prisons do not exist, nor do the police. The military and their weapons are disbanded across nations. Resources are reorganised to adequately address climate catastrophe. No person is without a home or loving community. We love one another, without possession or exploitation or extraction. We all have enough to eat well due to redistribution of wealth and resource. We all have the means and the environment to make art, if we so wish. All cultural gatekeepers are destroyed. Now imagine this vision not as utopian, but as something well within our reach.
Lola Olufemi (Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power)
Bagpipe Music' It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw, All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow. Their knickers are made of crêpe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python, Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison. John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa, Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker, Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey, Kept its bones for dumb-bells to use when he was fifty. It's no go the Yogi-Man, it's no go Blavatsky, All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi. Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather, Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna. It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture, All we want is a Dunlop tyre and the devil mend the puncture. The Laird o' Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober, Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over. Mrs Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion, Said to the midwife 'Take it away; I'm through with overproduction'. It's no go the gossip column, it's no go the Ceilidh, All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby. Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage, Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage. His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish, Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish. It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible, All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle. It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium, It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums, It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections, Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension. It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet; Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit. The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever, But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.
Louis MacNeice
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)
During the Pequot War, Connecticut and Massachusetts colonial officials had offered bounties initially for the heads of murdered Indigenous people and later for only their scalps, which were more portable in large numbers. But scalp hunting became routine only in the mid-1670s, following an incident on the northern frontier of the Massachusetts colony. The practice began in earnest in 1697 when settler Hannah Dustin, having murdered ten of her Abenaki captors in a nighttime escape, presented their ten scalps to the Massachusetts General Assembly and was rewarded with bounties for two men, two women, and six children.24 Dustin soon became a folk hero among New England settlers. Scalp hunting became a lucrative commercial practice. The settler authorities had hit upon a way to encourage settlers to take off on their own or with a few others to gather scalps, at random, for the reward money. “In the process,” John Grenier points out, “they established the large-scale privatization of war within American frontier communities.”25 Although the colonial government in time raised the bounty for adult male scalps, lowered that for adult females, and eliminated that for Indigenous children under ten, the age and gender of victims were not easily distinguished by their scalps nor checked carefully. What is more, the scalp hunter could take the children captive and sell them into slavery. These practices erased any remaining distinction between Indigenous combatants and noncombatants and introduced a market for Indigenous slaves. Bounties for Indigenous scalps were honored even in absence of war. Scalps and Indigenous children became means of exchange, currency, and this development may even have created a black market. Scalp hunting was not only a profitable privatized enterprise but also a means to eradicate or subjugate the Indigenous population of the Anglo-American Atlantic seaboard.26 The settlers gave a name to the mutilated and bloody corpses they left in the wake of scalp-hunts: redskins.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
Concerning sin and our proper attitude when we find ourselves in sin. Truly, to have committed a sin is not sinful if we regret what we have done. Indeed, not for anything in time or eternity should we want to commit a sin, neither of a mortal, venial or any other kind. Whoever knows the ways of God should always be mindful of the fact that God, who is faithful and loving, has led us from a sinful life into a godly one, thus making friends of us who were previously enemies, which is a greater achievement even than making a new earth. This is one of the chief reasons why we should be wholly established in God, and it is astonishing how much this inflames us with so great and so strong a love that we strip ourselves entirely of ourselves. Indeed, if you are rightly placed in the will of God, then you should not wish that the sin into which you fell had not happened. Of course, this is not the case because sin was something against God but, precisely because it was something against God, you were bound by it to greater love, you were humbled and brought low. And you should trust God that he would not have allowed it to happen unless he intended it to be for your profit. But when we raise ourselves out of sin and turn away from it, then God in his faithfulness acts as if we had never fallen into sin at all and he does not punish us for our sins for a single moment, even if they are as great as the sum of all the sins that have ever been committed. God will not make us suffer on their account, but he can enjoy with us all the intimacy that he ever had with a creature. If he finds that we are now ready, then he does not consider what we were before. God is a God of the present. He takes you and receives you as he finds you now, not as you have been, but as you are now. God willingly endures all the harm and shame which all our sins have ever inflicted upon him, as he has already done for many years, in order that we should come to a deep knowledge of his love and in order that our love and our gratitude should increase and our zeal grow more intense, which often happens when we have repented of our sins. Therefore God willingly tolerates the hurtfulness of sin and has often done so in the past, most frequently allowing it to come upon those whom he has chosen to raise up to greatness. Now listen! Was there ever anyone dearer to or more intimate with our Lord than the apostles? And yet not one of them escaped mortal sin. They all committed mortal sin. He showed this time and again in the Old and New Testament in those individuals who were to become the closest to him by far; and even today we rarely find that people achieve great things without first going astray. And thus our Lord intends to teach us of his great mercy, urging us to great and true humility and devotion. For, when repentance is renewed, then love too is renewed and grows strong.
Meister Eckhart (Selected Writings)
...it takes great humility to find oneself unjustly condemned and be silent, and to do this is to imitate the Lord Who set us free from all our sins. ... The truly humble person will have a genuine desire to be thought little of, and persecuted, and condemned unjustly, even in serious matters. ... It is a great help to meditate upon the great gain which in any case this is bound to bring us, and to realize how, properly speaking, we can never be blamed unjustly, since we are always full of faults, and a just man falls seven times a day, so that it would be a falsehood for us to say we have no sin. If, then, we are not to blame for the thing that we are accused of, we are never wholly without blame in the way that our good Jesus was. ... Thou knowest, my Good, that if there is anything good in me it comes from no other hands than Thine own. For what is it to Thee, Lord, to give much instead of little? True, I do not deserve it, but neither have I deserved the favors which Thou hast shown me already. Can it be that I should wish a thing so evil as myself to be thought well of by anyone, when they have said such wicked things of Thee, Who art good above all other good? ... Do Thou give me light and make me truly to desire that all should hate me, since I have so often let Thee, Who hast loved me with such faithfulness. ... What does it matter to us if we are blamed by them all, provided we are without blame in the sight of the Lord? ...meditate upon what is real and upon what is not. ... Do you suppose, ... that, if you do not make excuses for yourself, there will not be someone else who will defend you? Remember how the Lord took the Magdalen's part in the Pharisee's house and also when her sister blamed her. He will not treat you as rigorously as He treated Himself: it was not until He was on the Cross that He had even a thief to defend Him. His Majesty, then, will put it into somebody's mind to defend you; if He does not, it will be because there is no need. ...be glad when you are blamed, and in due time you will see what profit you experience in your souls. For it is in this way that you will begin to gain freedom; soon you will not care if they speak ill or well of you; it will seem like someone else's business. ... So here: it becomes such a habit with us not to reply that it seems as if they are not addressing us at all. This may seem impossible to those of us who are very sensitive and not capable of great mortification. It is indeed difficult at first, but I know that, with the Lord's help, the gradual attainment of this freedom, and of renunciation and self-detachment, is quite possible.
Teresa of Ávila
I wish I could answer your question. All I can say is that all of us, humans, witches, bears, are engaged in a war already, although not all of us know it. Whether you find danger on Svalbard or whether you fly off unharmed, you are a recruit, under arms, a soldier." "Well, that seems kinda precipitate. Seems to me a man should have a choice whether to take up arms or not." "We have no more choice in that than in whether or not to be born." "Oh, I like choice, though," he said. "I like choosing the jobs I take and the places I go and the food I eat and the companions I sit and yarn with. Don't you wish for a choice once in a while ?" She considered, and then said, "Perhaps we don't mean the same thing by choice, Mr. Scoresby. Witches own nothing, so we're not interested in preserving value or making profits, and as for the choice between one thing and another, when you live for many hundreds of years, you know that every opportunity will come again. We have different needs. You have to repair your balloon and keep it in good condition, and that takes time and trouble, I see that; but for us to fly, all we have to do is tear off a branch of cloud-pine; any will do, and there are plenty more. We don't feel cold, so we need no warm clothes. We have no means of exchange apart from mutual aid. If a witch needs something, another witch will give it to her. If there is a war to be fought, we don't consider cost one of the factors in deciding whether or not it is right to fight. Nor do we have any notion of honor, as bears do, for instance. An insult to a bear is a deadly thing. To us... inconceivable. How could you insult a witch? What would it matter if you did?" "Well, I'm kinda with you on that. Sticks and stones, I'll break yer bones, but names ain't worth a quarrel. But ma'am, you see my dilemma, I hope. I'm a simple aeronaut, and I'd like to end my days in comfort. Buy a little farm, a few head of cattle, some horses...Nothing grand, you notice. No palace or slaves or heaps of gold. Just the evening wind over the sage, and a ceegar, and a glass of bourbon whiskey. Now the trouble is, that costs money. So I do my flying in exchange for cash, and after every job I send some gold back to the Wells Fargo Bank, and when I've got enough, ma'am, I'm gonna sell this balloon and book me a passage on a steamer to Port Galveston, and I'll never leave the ground again." "There's another difference between us, Mr. Scoresby. A witch would no sooner give up flying than give up breathing. To fly is to be perfectly ourselves." "I see that, ma'am, and I envy you; but I ain't got your sources of satisfaction. Flying is just a job to me, and I'm just a technician. I might as well be adjusting valves in a gas engine or wiring up anbaric circuits. But I chose it, you see. It was my own free choice. Which is why I find this notion of a war I ain't been told nothing about kinda troubling." "lorek Byrnison's quarrel with his king is part of it too," said the witch. "This child is destined to play a part in that." "You speak of destiny," he said, "as if it was fixed. And I ain't sure I like that any more than a war I'm enlisted in without knowing about it. Where's my free will, if you please? And this child seems to me to have more free will than anyone I ever met. Are you telling me that she's just some kind of clockwork toy wound up and set going on a course she can't change?" "We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not, or die of despair. There is a curious prophecy about this child: she is destined to bring about the end of destiny. But she must do so without knowing what she is doing, as if it were her nature and not her destiny to do it. If she's told what she must do, it will all fail; death will sweep through all the worlds; it will be the triumph of despair, forever. The universes will all become nothing more than interlocking machines, blind and empty of thought, feeling, life...
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
In 1994, Friedman wrote a memo marked “Very Confidential” to Raymond, Mortimer, and Richard Sackler. The market for cancer pain was significant, Friedman pointed out: four million prescriptions a year. In fact, there were three-quarters of a million prescriptions just for MS Contin. “We believe that the FDA will restrict our initial launch of OxyContin to the Cancer pain market,” Friedman wrote. But what if, over time, the drug extended beyond that? There was a much greater market for other types of pain: back pain, neck pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia. According to the wrestler turned pain doctor John Bonica, one in three Americans was suffering from untreated chronic pain. If that was even somewhat true, it represented an enormous untapped market. What if you could figure out a way to market this new drug, OxyContin, to all those patients? The plan would have to remain secret for the time being, but in his memo to the Sacklers, Friedman confirmed that the intention was “to expand the use of OxyContin beyond Cancer patients to chronic non-malignant pain.” This was a hugely audacious scheme. In the 1940s, Arthur Sackler had watched the introduction of Thorazine. It was a “major” tranquilizer that worked wonders on patients who were psychotic. But the way the Sackler family made its first great fortune was with Arthur’s involvement in marketing the “minor” tranquilizers Librium and Valium. Thorazine was perceived as a heavy-duty solution for a heavy-duty problem, but the market for the drug was naturally limited to people suffering from severe enough conditions to warrant a major tranquilizer. The beauty of the minor tranquilizers was that they were for everyone. The reason those drugs were such a success was that they were pills that you could pop to relieve an extraordinary range of common psychological and emotional ailments. Now Arthur’s brothers and his nephew Richard would make the same pivot with a painkiller: they had enjoyed great success with MS Contin, but it was perceived as a heavy-duty drug for cancer. And cancer was a limited market. If you could figure out a way to market OxyContin not just for cancer but for any sort of pain, the profits would be astronomical. It was “imperative,” Friedman told the Sacklers, “that we establish a literature” to support this kind of positioning. They would suggest OxyContin for “the broadest range of use.” Still, they faced one significant hurdle. Oxycodone is roughly twice as potent as morphine, and as a consequence OxyContin would be a much stronger drug than MS Contin. American doctors still tended to take great care in administering strong opioids because of long-established concerns about the addictiveness of these drugs. For years, proponents of MS Contin had argued that in an end-of-life situation, when someone is in a mortal fight with cancer, it was a bit silly to worry about the patient’s getting hooked on morphine. But if Purdue wanted to market a powerful opioid like OxyContin for less acute, more persistent types of pain, one challenge would be the perception, among physicians, that opioids could be very addictive. If OxyContin was going to achieve its full commercial potential, the Sacklers and Purdue would have to undo that perception.
Patrick Radden Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty)