Up Voting Quotes

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Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.
David Foster Wallace (Up, Simba!)
Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.
Terry Pratchett (Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1))
Every election is determined by the people who show up.
Larry J. Sabato (Pendulum Swing)
And, you know, politics aside, the success of Sarah Palin and women like her is good for all women - except, of course —those who will end up, you know, like, paying for their own rape ‘kit ‘n’ stuff, But for everybody else, it’s a win-win. Unless you’re a gay woman who wants to marry your partner of 20 years - whatever. But for most women, the success of conservative women is good for all of us. Unless you believe in evolution. You know - actually, I take it back. The whole thing’s a disaster.
Tina Fey
Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That's the paradox of making small improvements.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Our freedoms are vanishing. If you do not get active to take a stand now against all that is wrong while we still can, then maybe one of your children may elect to do so in the future, when it will be far more riskier — and much, much harder.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I was raised the old-fashioned way, with a stern set of moral principles: Never lie, cheat, steal or knowingly spread a venereal disease. Never speed up to hit a pedestrian or, or course, stop to kick a pedestrian who has already been hit. From which it followed, of course, that one would never ever -- on pain of deletion from dozens of Christmas card lists across the country -- vote Republican.
Barbara Ehrenreich
I am naïve and I have fucked up but I tell you something else. I believe in change. I don't mind getting my hands dirty because my hands are dirty already. I don't mind giving my life to this because I'm only alive because of the compassion and love of others.
Russell Brand
Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions, for safety in the streets, for child care, for social welfare, for rape crisis centres, women's refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says, 'Oh, I'm not a feminist', I ask, 'Why? What's your problem?
Dale Spender (Man Made Language)
We live in a society where too many women tear each other down instead of raising each other up. That's absurd to me. We need to empower one another, teach future generations of girls that it's important to stand together. Once upon a time, we had a common goal and a common enemy. We were burning bras, and fighting for the right to vote. Now we're body shaming each other on social media and blaming the mistress if our man cheats.
Elle Kennedy (The Chase (Briar U, #1))
Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.
Noam Chomsky
You want to know about voting. I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground night-club filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pitbulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand new sexual organs you did not even know existed. So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard)
Remember, the people who know me are the ones who are free to live and love without any agenda." "Is that what it means to be a Christian?" It sounded kind of stupid as Mack said it, but it was how he was trying to sum everything up in his mind. "Who said anything about being a Christian? I'm not a Christian." The idea struck Mack as odd and unexpected and he couldn't keep himself from grinning. "No, I suppose you aren't." They arrived at the door of the workshop. Again Jesus stopped. "Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslim, Democrats, Republicans, and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some were bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraquis, Jews and Palistinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved." "Does that mean," asked Mack, "that all roads will lead to you?" "Not at all," smiled Jesus as he reached for the door handle to the shop. "Most roads don't lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
Since childhood, I’d believed it was important to speak out against bullies while also not stooping to their level. And to be clear, we were now up against a bully, a man who among other things demeaned minorities and expressed contempt for prisoners of war, challenging the dignity of our country with practically his every utterance. I wanted Americans to understand that words matter—that the hateful language they heard coming from their TVs did not reflect the true spirit of our country and that we could vote against it. It was dignity I wanted to make an appeal for—the idea that as a nation we might hold on to the core thing that had sustained my family, going back generations. Dignity had always gotten us through. It was a choice, and not always the easy one, but the people I respected most in life made it again and again, every single day. There was a motto Barack and I tried to live by, and I offered it that night from the stage: When they go low, we go high.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
When picking a leader, choose a peacemaker. One who unites, not divides. A cultured leader who supports the arts and true freedom of speech, not censorship.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust. In very field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.
A Dalit Scholar in his suicide note
Anybody who thinks that 'it doesn't matter who's President' has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid war on the other side of the world--or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property--or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons--or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.
Hunter S. Thompson
You cannot be afraid to speak up and speak out for what you believe. You have to have courage, raw courage.
John Lewis
How about we play without special abilities?” she suggested. “That’ll make it fair for everyone.” Fitz shrugged. “I’m up for the challenge if you are.” “Lame. I vote for The Unstoppable Team Keefe! Or Team Foster-Keefe if you’re one of those egomaniacs who needs your name in there. I can share some credit.
Shannon Messenger (Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #2))
I thought that you had stood up for the free will & rights of humans in this town.” “Depends on the human,” Claire said. “As far as I know, Hitler had a heartbeat, and I wouldn’t vote him to be in charge.
Rachel Caine (Daylighters (The Morganville Vampires, #15))
Whether voting Republican or Democrat, the result is the same: A corrupt corporate government.
Steven Magee
Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
We must try again to be alive to what the people of our country really long for in our national life: forgiveness and grace, maturity and wisdom. ...Our political leaders will know our priorities only if we tell them, again and again, and if those priorities begin to show up in the polls.
Peggy Noonan (Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now)
We could choose to be a nation that extends care, compassion, and concern to those who are locked up and locked out or headed for prison before they are old enough to vote. We could seek for them the same opportunities we seek for our own children; we could treat them like one of “us.” We could do that. Or we can choose to be a nation that shames and blames its most vulnerable, affixes badges of dishonor upon them at young ages, and then relegates them to a permanent second-class status for life. That is the path we have chosen, and it leads to a familiar place.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Break ups aren't fair. Why does only one person have power? We both agreed to start dating. Why do you get to make the decision to end it? Shouldn't it be a joint decision too? Relationships aren't a democracy. Not everyone gets an equal vote.
Alyssa Rose Ivy (Focus (The Crescent Chronicles, #2))
We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world—a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, and that is how history will judge us. . . . No redeeming social value. Just whores. Get out of our way, or we’ll kill you. Well, shit on that dumbness. George W. Bush does not speak for me or my son or my mother or my friends or the people I respect in this world. We didn’t vote for these cheap, greedy little killers who speak for America today—and we will not vote for them again in 2002. Or 2004. Or ever. Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush? They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us—they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis. And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them.
Hunter S. Thompson (Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century)
Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the welder, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
When you vote, you only change the names of the cabinet. When you shoot, you pull down governments, inaugurate new epochs, abolish old orders and set up new.
George Bernard Shaw (Major Barbara)
Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up.
B.R. Ambedkar (Writings And Speeches: A Ready Reference Manual)
It struck me just how young he was—no more than seventeen. Older than my mortal form, yes, but not by much. This young man had lost his mother. He had survived the harsh training of Lupa the wolf goddess. He’d grown up with the discipline of the Twelfth Legion at Camp Jupiter. He’d fought Titans and giants. He’d helped save the world at least twice. But by mortal standards, he was barely an adult. He wasn’t old enough to vote or drink.
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
They had signs about baby killers and murderers and whatever, protesting the troops who were going over to fight. They were protesting the wrong people. We didn’t vote in Congress; we didn’t vote to go to war. I signed up to protect this country. I do not choose the wars.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper)
Belize: Hell or heaven? [Roy indicates "Heaven" through a glance] Belize: Like San Francisco. Roy Cohn: A city. Good. I was worried... it'd be a garden. I hate that shit. Belize: Mmmm. Big city. Overgrown with weeds, but flowering weeds. On every corner a wrecking crew and something new and crooked going up catty corner to that. Windows missing in every edifice like broken teeth, fierce gusts of gritty wind, and a gray high sky full of ravens. Roy Cohn: Isaiah. Belize: Prophet birds, Roy. Piles of trash, but lapidary like rubies and obsidian, and diamond-colored cowspit streamers in the wind. And voting booths. Roy Cohn: And a dragon atop a golden horde. Belize: And everyone in Balencia gowns with red corsages, and big dance palaces full of music and lights and racial impurity and gender confusion. And all the deities are creole, mulatto, brown as the mouths of rivers. Race, taste and history finally overcome. And you ain't there. Roy Cohn: And Heaven? Belize: That was Heaven, Roy.
Tony Kushner (Angels in America)
Religion... has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever... If someone votes for a party that you don't agree with, you're free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down you are free to have an argument about it. But on the other hand if somebody says 'I must [not] move a light switch on a Saturday', you say, 'I respect that'... Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn't be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn't be.
Douglas Adams
The truth is that the hard-fought victories of the Civil Rights Movement caused a reaction that stripped Brown of its power, severed the jugular of the Voting Rights Act, closed off access to higher education, poured crack cocaine into the inner cities, and locked up more black men proportionally than even apartheid-era South Africa.
Carol Anderson (White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide)
Grown ups don't believe in Santa Claus. They vote.
Pierre Desproges
Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops.
Kate Sheppard
Oh, September! It is so soon for you to lose your friends to good work and strange loves and high ambitions. The sadness of that is too grown-up for you. Like whiskey and voting, it is a dangerous and heady business, as heavy as years. If I could keep your little tribe together forever, I would. I do so want to be generous. But some stories sprout bright vines that tendril off beyond our sight, carrying the folk we love best with them, and if I knew how to accept that with grace, I would share the secret.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
I call it treason against rock 'n' roll because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics. ... When I was a kid and my parents started talking about politics, I'd run to my room and put on the Rolling Stones as loud as I could. So when I see all these rock stars up there talking politics, it makes me sick. .... If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal.
Alice Cooper
Most likely they told her a whole lot of damned things she wasn't allowed to do, for a range of different reasons. But she damned well did them all the same. A few years after she was born they were still telling girls they couldn't vote in the bleeding elections, but now the girls do it all the same. That's damned well how you stand up to bastards who tell you what you can and and't do. You bloody do those things all the bloody same.
Fredrik Backman (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
You don’t give up on democracy every time you lose a vote”, Ethel said crisply.
Ken Follett (Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2))
To vastly improve your country and truly make it great again, start by choosing a better leader. Do not let the media or the establishment make you pick from the people they choose, but instead choose from those they do not pick.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
A self-destructive man feels completely alienated, utterly alone. He's an outsider to the human community. He thinks to himself, "I must be insane." What he fails to realize is that society has, just as he does, a vested interest in considerable losses and catastrophes. These wars, famines, floods and quakes meet well-defined needs. Man wants chaos. In fact, he has to have it. Depression, strife, riots, murder - all this dread. We're irresistibly drawn to that almost orgiastic state created out of death and destruction. It's in all of us. We revel in it. Sure, the media tries to put a sad face on these things and paints them up as great human tragedies. But we all know the function of the media has never been to eliminate the evils of the world - no! Their job is to persuade us to accept those evils and get used to living with them. The powers that be want us to be passive observers, and they haven't given us any other options outside the occasional, purely symbolic, participatory act of voting. "You want the puppet on the right or the puppet on the left?" I feel that the time has come to project my own inadequacies and dissatisfactions into the sociopolitical and scientific schemes, let my own lack of a voice be heard.
Richard Linklater
A 1-watt laser is an extremely dangerous thing. It’s not just powerful enough to blind you—it’s capable of burning skin and setting things on fire. Obviously, they’re not legal for consumer purchase in the US. Just kidding! You can pick one up for $300. Just do a search for “1-watt handheld laser.” So, suppose we spend the $2 trillion to buy 1-watt green lasers for everyone. (Memo to presidential candidates: This policy would win my vote.)
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
I must be losing patience with my fellow humans," Miss Beryl went on. "Anymore I'm all for executing people who are mean to children. I used to favor just cutting off their feet. Now I want to rid the world of them completely. If this keeps up I'll be voting Republican soon.
Richard Russo (Nobody's Fool (Sully #1))
Well, we do the things they weren't able to. We vote because they can no longer vote. We look at the ocean because they can't. We think about them when we put up a Christmas tree, and later when we sit there and gaze at the lights. We do all the things they can't. That is how we love them when they're gone.
Ethan Joella (A Little Hope)
That day, I learned that I could be a giver by simply bringing a smile to another person. The ensuing years have taught me that a kind word, a vote of support is a charitable gift. I can move over and make another place for someone. I can turn my music up if it pleases, or down if it is annoying. I may never be known as a philanthropist, but I certainly am a lover of mankind, and I will give freely of my resources.
Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
The Chancellor looked down at the empty table for a minute. Then he shrugged, looked up, and gave a surprisingly jaunty smile. "All in favor of admitting first-term Kvothe's reckless use of sympathy as proof of mastery of basic principles of sympathy vote by show of hands.
Patrick Rothfuss
...the way I figure, no man has the right to be ignorant. In a country like this, ignorance is a crime. If a man is going to vote, if he's going to take part in his country and its government, then it's up to him to understand.
Louis L'Amour (Sackett (The Sacketts, #8))
The people of today would rather stand next to a man with no substance but covered in gold, rather than the man with substance and wisdom of gold. What if God was dressed as a carpenter with dirty nails and beaten boots? Would you recognize your Maker? Would you give him your time? Your vote? A cup of tea or water? Only those with truth in them will recognize truth. And you must learn to recognize all that is untrue to get the truth.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Try to roll with the punches. Keep your chin up. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Vote Democrat in every election. Ride your bike in the park. Dream about my perfect, golden body. Take your vitamins. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Pull for the Mets. Watch a lot of movies. Don’t work too hard at your job. Take a trip to Paris with me. Come to the hospital when Rachel has her baby and hold my grandchild in your arms. Brush your teeth after every meal. Don’t cross the street on a red light. Defend the little guy. Stick up for yourself. Remember how beautiful you are. Remember how much I love you. Drink one Scotch on the rocks every day. Breathe deeply. Keep your eyes open. Stay away from fatty foods. Sleep the sleep of the just. Remember how much I love you.
Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies)
In my high school yearbook I was voted third runner-up for “Most Casual.” I never figured out if that meant most casual in dress or in overall manner. In any case, I didn’t come in first. I guess the two ahead of me wanted it less.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
I think when it comes to females in the media you’ll see something that kind of upsets me which is that females are pinned up against each other more so than men. You know, for example like you never see online “vote for who has the better butt - this actor or this actor.” It’s always like this female singer and this female singer. And you get to vote. I mean, it’s daily I see these things and these polls like “let us know who’s sexier, who’s the hotter momma” and I just don’t see it like “who’s the hotter dad” you know? I think that one thing that I do believe as a feminist is that in order for us to have gender equality we have to stop making it a girl fight and we have to stop being so interested in seeing girls trying to tear each other down, it has to be more about cheering each other on as women. That’s just kind of how I feel about it.
Taylor Swift
When the middle classes get passionate about politics, they're arguing about their treats—their tax breaks and their investments. When the poor get passionate about politics, they're fighting for their lives. Politics will always mean more to the poor. Always. That's why we strike and march, and despair when our young say they won't vote. That's why the poor are seen as more vital, more animalistic. No classical music for us—no walking around National Trust properties or buying reclaimed flooring. We don't have nostalgia. We don't do yesterday. We can't bear it. We don't want to be reminded of our past, because it was awful: dying in means, and slums, without literacy, or the vote. Without dignity. It was all so desperate then. That's why the present and the future is for the poor—that's the place in time for us: surviving now, hoping for better later. We live now—for our instant, hot, fast treats, to pep us up: sugar, a cigarette, a new fast song on the radio. You must never, never forget when you talk to someone poor, that it takes ten times the effort to get anywhere from a bad post code. It's a miracle when someone from a bad post code gets anywhere, son. A miracle they do anything at all.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
That day, I learned that I could be a giver simply by bringing a smile to another person. The ensuing years have taught me that a kind word or a vote of support can be a charitable gift. I can move over and make another place for another to sit. I can turn my music up if it pleases, or down if it is annoying. I may never be known as a philanthropist, but I certainly want to be known as charitable.
Maya Angelou (Mom & Me & Mom)
Understanding America for the Non-American Black: Thoughts on the Special White Friend One great gift for the Zipped-Up Negro is The White Friend Who Gets It. Sadly, this is not as common as one would wish, but some are lucky to have that white friend who you don’t need to explain shit to. By all means, put this friend to work. Such friends not only get it, but also have great bullshit-detectors and so they totally understand that they can say stuff that you can’t. So there is, in much of America, a stealthy little notion lying in the hearts of many: that white people earned their place at jobs and schools while black people got in because they were black. But in fact, since the beginning of America, white people have been getting jobs because they were white. Many whites with the same qualifications but Negro skin would not have the jobs they have. But don’t ever say this publicly. Let your white friend say it. If you make the mistake of saying this, you will be accused of a curiosity called “playing the race card.” Nobody quite knows what this means. When my father was in school in my NAB (Non American Black) country, many American Blacks could not vote or go to good schools. The reason? Their skin color. Skin color alone was the problem. Today, many Americans say that skin color cannot be part of the solution. Otherwise it is referred to as a curiosity called “reverse racism.” Have your white friend point out how the American Black deal is kind of like you’ve been unjustly imprisoned for many years, then all of a sudden you’re set free, but you get no bus fare. And, by the way, you and the guy who imprisoned you are now automatically equal. If the “slavery was so long ago” thing comes up, have your white friend say that lots of white folks are still inheriting money that their families made a hundred years ago. So if that legacy lives, why not the legacy of slavery? And have your white friend say how funny it is, that American pollsters ask white and black people if racism is over. White people in general say it is over and black people in general say it is not. Funny indeed. More suggestions for what you should have your white friend say? Please post away. And here’s to all the white friends who get it.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
In the natural sciences, some checks exist on the prolonged acceptance of nutty ideas, which do not hold up well under experimental and observational tests and cannot readily be shown to give rise to useful working technologies. But in economics and the other social studies, nutty ideas may hang around for centuries. Today, leading presidential candidates and tens of millions of voters in the USA embrace ideas that might have been drawn from a 17th-century book on the theory and practice of mercantilism, and multitudes of politicians and ordinary people espouse notions that Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and others exploded more than two centuries ago. In these realms, nearly everyone simply believes whatever he feels good about believing.
Robert Higgs
Hector, I have to ask. Do you want to be an emperor? Because I could make you one. You could be my equal in rank, with just as much authority. Tristán still owes me votes on the Quorum. We could ram an edict through—” “No need,” he says, reaching up to brush my bottom lip with his thumb. “I’m a good leader, but you’re a great ruler. I am strong enough—man enough—to be subject to you.
Rae Carson (The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3))
The way we’ve set up corporations, even a majority vote of stockholders cannot demand that a corporation’s policies reflect the public good or preserve the environment for future use. That’s because profit is the one and only motive. It’s up to government and it’s up to people to protect the public interest. Corporations are simply not allowed to.
David Suzuki (From Naked Ape to Superspecies: Humanity and the Global Eco-Crisis)
We cannot, of course, expect every leader to possess the wisdom of Lincoln or Mandela’s largeness of soul. But when we think about what questions might be most useful to ask, perhaps we should begin by discerning what our prospective leaders believe it worthwhile for us to hear. Do they cater to our prejudices by suggesting that we treat people outside our ethnicity, race, creed or party as unworthy of dignity and respect? Do they want us to nurture our anger toward those who we believe have done us wrong, rub raw our grievances and set our sights on revenge? Do they encourage us to have contempt for our governing institutions and the electoral process? Do they seek to destroy our faith in essential contributors to democracy, such as an independent press, and a professional judiciary? Do they exploit the symbols of patriotism, the flag, the pledge in a conscious effort to turn us against one another? If defeated at the polls, will they accept the verdict, or insist without evidence they have won? Do they go beyond asking about our votes to brag about their ability to solve all problems put to rest all anxieties and satisfy every desire? Do they solicit our cheers by speaking casually and with pumped up machismo about using violence to blow enemies away? Do they echo the attitude of Musolini: “The crowd doesn’t have to know, all they have to do is believe and submit to being shaped.”? Or do they invite us to join with them in building and maintaining a healthy center for our society, a place where rights and duties are apportioned fairly, the social contract is honored, and all have room to dream and grow. The answers to these questions will not tell us whether a prospective leader is left or right-wing, conservative or liberal, or, in the American context, a Democrat or a Republican. However, they will us much that we need to know about those wanting to lead us, and much also about ourselves. For those who cherish freedom, the answers will provide grounds for reassurance, or, a warning we dare not ignore.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy...
Alexander Fraser Tytler
If I could remove one thing from the world and replace it with something else, I would erase politics and put art in its place. That way, art teachers would rule the world. And since art is the most supreme form of love, beautiful colors and imagery would weave bridges for peace wherever there are walls. Artists, who are naturally heart-driven, would decorate the world with their love, and in that love — poverty, hunger, lines of division, and wars would vanish from the earth forever. Children of the earth would then be free to play, imagine, create, build and grow without bloodshed, terror and fear.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Today Congress operates not as the Framers intended, but in the shadows, where it dreams up its most notorious and oppressive laws, coming into the light only to trumpet the genius and earnestness of its goings-on and to enable members to cast their votes. The people are left lamebrained and dumbfounded about their "representatives'" supposed good deeds, which usually take the form of omnibus bills numbering in hundreds if not thousands of pages, and utterly clueless about the effects these laws have on their lives. Of course, that is the point. The public is not to be informed but indoctrinated, manipulated and misled.
Mark R. Levin (The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic)
[P]eople only make decisions based on what they know. You can have everyone in the country vote freely and democratically and still come up with the wrong answer - if the information they base that decision on is wrong. People don't want the truth [when] it is complicated. They don't want to spend years debating an issue. They want it homogenized, sanitized, and above all, simplified into terms they can understand...Governments are often criticized for moving slowly, but that deliberateness, it turns out, is their strength. They take time to think through complex problems before they act. People, however, are different. People react first from the gut and then from the head...give that knee-jerk reflex real power to make its overwhelming will known as a national mandate instantly and you can cause a political riot. Combine these sins - simplification of information and instant, visceral democratic mandates - and you lose the ability to cool down. There is no longer deliberation time between events that may or may not be true and our reaction to them. Policy becomes instinct rather than thought.
Tracy Hickman (The Immortals)
Our way was to share a fire until it burned down, ayi? To speak to each other until every person was satisfied. Younger men listened to older men. Now the Beelezi tell us the vote of a young, careless man counts the same as the vote of an elder.' In the hazy heat Tata Ndu paused to take off his hat, turn it carefully in his hands, then replace it above the high dome of his forehead. No one breathed. 'White men tell us: Vote, bantu! They tell us: You do not all have to agree, ce n'est pas necessaire! If two men vote yes and one says no, the matter is finished. A bu, even a child can see how that will end. It takes three stones in the fire to hold up the pot. Take one away, leave the other two, and what? The pot will spill into the fire.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
What's a „culture“? Look it up. „A group of micro-organisms grown in a nutrient substance under controlled conditions“. A squirm of germs on a glass slide is all, a laboratory experiment calling itself a society. Most of us wrigglers make do with life on the slide; we even agree to feel proud of that „culture“. Like slaves voting for slavery or brains for lobotomy, we kneel down before the god of all moronic micro-organisms and pray to be homogenized or killed or engineered; we promise to obey.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
Bond came to the conclusion that Tilly Masterton was one of those girls whose hormones had got mixed up. He knew the type well and thought they and their male counterparts were a direct consequence of giving votes to women and 'sex equality.' As a result of fifty years of emancipation, feminine qualities were dying out or being transferred to the males. Pansies of both sexes were everywhere, not yet completely homosexual, but confused, not knowing what they were. The result was a herd of unhappy sexual misfits--barren and full of frustrations, the women wanting to dominate and the men to be nannied. He was sorry for them, but he had no time for them.
Ian Fleming (Goldfinger (James Bond, #7))
As societies trivialize traditional values, we witness a flow of immense suffering. We anguish, for instance, over what happens to the unborn, who cannot vote, and to children at risk. We weep over children having children and children shooting children. Often secular remedies to these challenges are not based on spiritual principles. To borrow a metaphor—secular remedies resemble an alarmed passenger traveling on the wrong train who tries to compensate by running up the aisle in the opposite direction! Only the acceptance of the revelations of God can bring both direction and correction and, in turn, bring a ‘brightness of hope’ (2 Ne. 31:20). Real hope does not automatically ‘spring eternal’ unless it is connected with eternal things!
Neal A. Maxwell
Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.
Henry Grady Weaver (The Mainspring of Human Progress)
We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements—transportation, communications, and all other industries; agriculture, medicine, education, entertainment, protecting the environment; and even the key democratic institution of voting—profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
He could not believe that ordinary people in the Culture really wanted the war, no matter how they had voted. They had their communist Utopia. They were soft and pampered and indulged, and the Contact section’s evangelical materialism provided their conscience-salving good works. What more could they want? The war had to be the Mind’s idea; it was part of their clinical drive to clean up the galaxy, make it run on nice, efficient lines, without waste, injustice or suffering. The fools in the Culture couldn’t see that one day the Minds would start thinking how wasteful and inefficient the humans in the Culture themselves were.
Iain Banks (Consider Phlebas (Culture, #1))
Side note: Down here, you're either an Amundsen guy, a Shackleton guy, or a Scott guy. Amundsen was the first to reach the Pole, but he did it by feeding dogs to dogs, which makes Amundsen the Michael Vick of polar explorers: you can like him, but keep it to yourself, or you'll end up getting into arguments with a bunch of fanatics. Shackleton is the Charles Barkley of the bunch: he's a legend, all-star personality, but there's the asterisk that he never reached the Pole, i.e. won a championship. How this turned into a sports analogy, I don't know. Finally, there's Captain Scott, canonized for his failure, and to this day never fully embraced because he was terrible with people. He has my vote, you understand.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
In those years I did not care to enjoy sex, only to have it. That is what seeing Alex again on Fifth Avenue brought back to me - a youth of fascinated, passionless copulation. There they are, figures in a discoloured blur, young men and not so young, the nice ones with automobiles, the dull ones full of suspicions and stinginess. By asking a thousand questions of many heavy souls, I did not learn much. You receive biographies interesting mainly for their coherence. So many are children who from the day of their birth are growing up to be their parents. Look at the voting records, inherited like flat feet.
Elizabeth Hardwick (Sleepless Nights)
A final irony has to do with the idea of political responsibility. Christians are urged to vote and become involved in politics as an expression of their civic duty and public responsibility. This is a credible argument and good advice up to a point. Yet in our day, given the size of the state and the expectations that people place on it to solve so many problems, politics can also be a way of saying, in effect, that the problems should be solved by others besides myself and by institutions other than the church. It is, after all, much easier to vote for a politician who champions child welfare than to adopt a baby born in poverty, to vote for a referendum that would expand health care benefits for seniors than to care for an elderly and infirmed parent, and to rally for racial harmony than to get to know someone of a different race than yours. True responsibility invariably costs. Political participation, then, can and often does amount to an avoidance of responsibility.
James Davison Hunter (To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World)
Thus, it is a political axiom that power follows property. But it is now a historical fact that the means of production are fast becoming the monopolistic property of Big Business and Big Government. Therefore, if you believe in democracy, make arrangements to distribute property as widely as possible. Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you want to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society's merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
Many social justice or social activist movements have been rooted in a position. A position is usually against something. Any position will call up its opposition. If I say up, it generates down. If I say right, it really creates left. If I say good, it creates bad. So a position creates its opposition. A stand is something quite distinct from that. There are synonyms for “stand” such as “declaration” or “commitment,” but let me talk for just a few moments about the power of a stand. A stand comes from the heart, from the soul. A stand is always life affirming. A stand is always trustworthy. A stand is natural to who you are. When we use the phrase “take a stand” I’m really inviting you to un-cover, or “unconceal,” or recognize, or affirm, or claim the stand that you already are. Stand-takers are the people who actually change the course of history and are the source of causing an idea’s time to come. Mahatma Gandhi was a stand-taker. He took a stand so powerful that it mobilized millions of people in a way that the completely unpredictable outcome of the British walking out of India did happen. And India became an independent nation. The stand that he took… or the stand that Martin Luther King, Jr. took or the stand that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony took for women’s rights—those stands changed our lives today. The changes that have taken place in history as a result of the stand-takers are permanent changes, not temporary changes. The women in this room vote because those women took so powerful a stand that it moved the world. And so the opportunity here is for us to claim the stand that we already are, not take a position against the macro economic system, or a position against this administration, although some of you may have those feelings. What’s way more powerful than that is taking a stand, which includes all positions, which allows all positions to be heard and reconsidered, and to begin to dissolve. When you take a stand, it actually does shift the whole universe and unexpected, unpredictable things happen.
Lynne Twist
I hear of a convention to be held at Baltimore, or elsewhere, for the selection of a candidate for the Presidency, made up chiefly of editors, and men who are politicians by profession; but I think, what is it to any independent, intellegent, and respectable man what decision they may come to? Shall we not have the advantage of his wisdom and honesty, nevertheless? Can we not count upon some independent votes? Are there not many individuals in the country who do not attend conventions? But no: I find that the respectable man, so called, has immediately drifted from his position, and despairs of his country, when his country has more reason to despair of him. He forthwith adopts one of the candidates thus selected as his only AVAILABLE one, thus proving that he is himself AVAILABLE for any purposes of the demagogue. His vote is of no more worth than that of any unprincipled foreigner or hireling native, who may have been bought.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden and Other Writings)
Whenever I returned I found a city that was spineless, that couldn’t stand up to changes of season, heat, cold, and, especially, storms. Look how the station on Piazza Garibaldi was flooded, look how the Galleria opposite the museum had collapsed; there was a landslide, and the electricity didn’t come back on. Lodged in my memory were dark streets full of dangers, unregulated traffic, broken pavements, giant puddles. The clogged sewers splattered, dribbled over. Lavas of water and sewage and garbage and bacteria spilled into the sea from the hills that were burdened with new, fragile structures, or eroded the world from below. People died of carelessness, of corruption, of abuse, and yet, in every round of voting, gave their enthusiastic approval to the politicians who made their life unbearable.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay)
By nature I’m a deliberate speaker, which, by the standards of presidential candidates, helped keep my gaffe quotient relatively low. But my care with words raised another issue on the campaign trail: I was just plain wordy, and that was a problem. When asked a question, I tended to offer circuitous and ponderous answers, my mind instinctively breaking up every issue into a pile of components and subcomponents. If every argument had two sides, I usually came up with four. If there was an exception to some statement I just made, I wouldn’t just point it out; I’d provide footnotes. “You’re burying the lede!” Axe would practically shout after listening to me drone on and on and on. For a day or two I’d obediently focus on brevity, only to suddenly find myself unable to resist a ten-minute explanation of the nuances of trade policy or the pace of Arctic melting. “What d’ya think?” I’d say, pleased with my thoroughness as I walked offstage. “You got an A on the quiz,” Axe would reply. “No votes, though.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Some of you, we all know, are poor, find it hard to live, are sometimes, as it were, gasping for breath. I have no doubt that some of you who read this book are unable to pay for all the dinners which you have actually eaten, or for the coats and shoes which are fast wearing or are already worn out, and have come to this page to spend borrowed or stolen time, robbing your creditors of an hour. It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live, for my sight has been whetted by experience; always on the limits, trying to get into business and trying to get out of debt, a very ancient slough, called by the Latins aes alienum, another's brass, for some of their coins were made of brass; still living, and dying, and buried by this other's brass; always promising to pay, promising to pay, tomorrow, and dying today, insolvent; seeking to curry favor, to get custom, by how many modes, only not state-prison offences; lying, flattering, voting, contracting yourselves into a nutshell of civility or dilating into an atmosphere of thin and vaporous generosity, that you may persuade your neighbor to let you make his shoes, or his hat, or his coat, or his carriage, or import his groceries for him; making yourselves sick, that you may lay up something against a sick day, something to be tucked away in an old chest, or in a stocking behind the plastering, or, more safely, in the brick bank; no matter where, no matter how much or how little.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Be patient. Changes that alter the structure of power and widen opportunity require years of hard work, as those who toiled for the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, or have been working for the rights of the disabled and gays, would tell you. It took thirty years of continuous fulmination for women to get the right to vote; fifty years of agitation before employers were required to bargain with unionized workers. Those who benefit from the prevailing allocation of power and wealth don’t give up their privileged positions without a fight, and they usually have more resources at their disposal than the insurgents. Take satisfaction from small victories, but don’t be discouraged or fall into cynicism. And don’t allow yourself to burn out. I
Robert B. Reich (Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix them)
New Rule: Stop pretending your drugs are morally superior to my drugs because you get yours at a store. This week, they released the autopsy report on Anna Nicole Smith, and the cause of death was what I always thought it was: mad cow. No, it turns out she had nine different prescription drugs in her—which, in the medical field, is known as the “full Limbaugh.” They opened her up, and a Walgreens jumped out. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, sleeping pills, sedatives, Valium, methadone—this woman was killed by her doctor, who is a glorified bartender. I’m not going to say his name, but only because (a) I don’t want to get sued, and (b) my back is killing me. This month marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of a famous government report. I was sixteen in 1972, and I remember how excited we were when Nixon’s much ballyhooed National Commission on Drug Abuse came out and said pot should be legalized. It was a moment of great hope for common sense—and then, just like Bush did with the Iraq Study Group, Nixon took the report and threw it in the garbage, and from there the ’70s went right into disco and colored underpants. This week in American Scientist, a magazine George Bush wouldn’t read if he got food poisoning in Mexico and it was the only thing he could reach from the toilet, described a study done in England that measured the lethality of various drugs, and found tobacco and alcohol far worse than pot, LSD, or Ecstasy—which pretty much mirrors my own experiments in this same area. The Beatles took LSD and wrote Sgt. Pepper—Anna Nicole Smith took legal drugs and couldn’t remember the number for nine-one-one. I wish I had more time to go into the fact that the drug war has always been about keeping black men from voting by finding out what they’re addicted to and making it illegal—it’s a miracle our government hasn’t outlawed fat white women yet—but I leave with one request: Would someone please just make a bumper sticker that says, “I’m a stoner, and I vote.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Attempts to locate oneself within history are as natural, and as absurd, as attempts to locate oneself within astronomy. On the day that I was born, 13 April 1949, nineteen senior Nazi officials were convicted at Nuremberg, including Hitler's former envoy to the Vatican, Baron Ernst von Weizsacker, who was found guilty of planning aggression against Czechoslovakia and committing atrocities against the Jewish people. On the same day, the State of Israel celebrated its first Passover seder and the United Nations, still meeting in those days at Flushing Meadow in Queens, voted to consider the Jewish state's application for membership. In Damascus, eleven newspapers were closed by the regime of General Hosni Zayim. In America, the National Committee on Alcoholism announced an upcoming 'A-Day' under the non-uplifting slogan: 'You can drink—help the alcoholic who can't.' ('Can't'?) The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in favor of Britain in the Corfu Channel dispute with Albania. At the UN, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko denounced the newly formed NATO alliance as a tool for aggression against the USSR. The rising Chinese Communists, under a man then known to Western readership as Mao Tze-Tung, announced a limited willingness to bargain with the still-existing Chinese government in a city then known to the outside world as 'Peiping.' All this was unknown to me as I nuzzled my mother's breast for the first time, and would certainly have happened in just the same way if I had not been born at all, or even conceived. One of the newspaper astrologists for that day addressed those whose birthday it was: There are powerful rays from the planet Mars, the war god, in your horoscope for your coming year, and this always means a chance to battle if you want to take it up. Try to avoid such disturbances where women relatives or friends are concerned, because the outlook for victory upon your part in such circumstances is rather dark. If you must fight, pick a man! Sage counsel no doubt, which I wish I had imbibed with that same maternal lactation, but impartially offered also to the many people born on that day who were also destined to die on it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
It must be this overarching commitment to what is really an abstraction, to one's children right or wrong, that can be even more fierce than the commitment to them as explicit, difficult people, and that can consequently keep you devoted to them when as individuals they disappoint. On my part it was this broad covenant with children-in-theory that I may have failed to make and to which I was unable to resort when Kevin finally tested my maternal ties to a perfect mathematical limit on Thursday. I didn't vote for parties, but for candidates. My opinions were as ecumenical as my larder, then still chock full of salsa verde from Mexico City, anchovies from Barcelona, lime leaves from Bangkok. I had no problem with abortion but abhorred capital punishment, which I suppose meant that I embraced the sanctity of life only in grown-ups. My environmental habits were capricious; I'd place a brick in our toilet tank, but after submitting to dozens of spit-in-the-air showers with derisory European water pressure, I would bask under a deluge of scalding water for half an hour. My closet wafter with Indian saris, Ghanaian wraparounds, and Vietnamese au dais. My vocabulary was peppered with imports -- gemutlich, scusa, hugge, mzungu. I so mixed and matched the planet that you sometimes worried I had no commitments to anything or anywhere, though you were wrong; my commitments were simply far-flung and obscenely specific. By the same token, I could not love a child; I would have to love this one. I was connected to the world by a multitude of threads, you by a few sturdy guide ropes. It was the same with patriotism: You loved the idea of the United States so much more powerfully than the country itself, and it was thanks to your embrace of the American aspiration that you could overlook the fact that your fellow Yankee parents were lining up overnight outside FAO Schwartz with thermoses of chowder to buy a limited release of Nintendo. In the particular dwells the tawdry. In the conceptual dwells the grand, the transcendent, the everlasting. Earthly countries and single malignant little boys can go to hell; the idea of countries and the idea of sons triumph for eternity. Although neither of us ever went to church, I came to conclude that you were a naturally religious person.
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
Civil and voting rights for blacks didn’t come from the White House or from masses demonstrating in front of the White House. They came after the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955–56, the Freedom Rides in 1961, the Children’s Crusade in Birmingham in 1963, the Mississippi Freedom Summer and Freedom Schools in 1964, and the Selma-to-Montgomery march in 1965. In other words, they came only after hundreds of thousands of black Americans and their white supporters had accepted the challenge and risks of ourselves making or becoming the changes we want to see in the world. Women’s leadership in the public sphere didn’t come from the White House or from CEOs. It came only after millions of women came together in small consciousness-raising groups to share stories of our “second sex” lives. Today’s good news is that Americans in all walks of life have begun to create another America from the ground up in many unforeseen ways. In our bones we sense that this is no ordinary time. It is a time of deep change, not just of social structure and economy but also of ourselves.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
Reader: Will you not admit that you are arguing against yourself? You know that what the English obtained in their own country they obtained by using brute force. I know you have argued that what they have obtained is useless, but that does not affect my argument. They wanted useless things and they got them. My point is that their desire was fulfilled. What does it matter what means they adopted? Why should we not obtain our goal, which is good, by any means whatsoever, even by using violence? Shall I think of the means when I have to deal with a thief in the house? My duty is to drive him out anyhow. You seem to admit that we have received nothing, and that we shall receive nothing by petitioning. Why, then, may we do not so by using brute force? And, to retain what we may receive we shall keep up the fear by using the same force to the extent that it may be necessary. You will not find fault with a continuance of force to prevent a child from thrusting its foot into fire. Somehow or other we have to gain our end. Editor: Your reasoning is plausible. It has deluded many. I have used similar arguments before now. But I think I know better now, and I shall endeavour to undeceive you. Let us first take the argument that we are justified in gaining our end by using brute force because the English gained theirs by using similar means. It is perfectly true that they used brute force and that it is possible for us to do likewise, but by using similar means we can get only the same thing that they got. You will admit that we do not want that. Your belief that there is no connection between the means and the end is a great mistake. Through that mistake even men who have been considered religious have committed grievous crimes. Your reasoning is the same as saying that we can get a rose through planting a noxious weed. If I want to cross the ocean, I can do so only by means of a vessel; if I were to use a cart for that purpose, both the cart and I would soon find the bottom. "As is the God, so is the votary", is a maxim worth considering. Its meaning has been distorted and men have gone astray. The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree. I am not likely to obtain the result flowing from the worship of God by laying myself prostrate before Satan. If, therefore, anyone were to say : "I want to worship God; it does not matter that I do so by means of Satan," it would be set down as ignorant folly. We reap exactly as we sow. The English in 1833 obtained greater voting power by violence. Did they by using brute force better appreciate their duty? They wanted the right of voting, which they obtained by using physical force. But real rights are a result of performance of duty; these rights they have not obtained. We, therefore, have before us in English the force of everybody wanting and insisting on his rights, nobody thinking of his duty. And, where everybody wants rights, who shall give them to whom? I do not wish to imply that they do no duties. They don't perform the duties corresponding to those rights; and as they do not perform that particular duty, namely, acquire fitness, their rights have proved a burden to them. In other words, what they have obtained is an exact result of the means they adapted. They used the means corresponding to the end. If I want to deprive you of your watch, I shall certainly have to fight for it; if I want to buy your watch, I shall have to pay you for it; and if I want a gift, I shall have to plead for it; and, according to the means I employ, the watch is stolen property, my own property, or a donation. Thus we see three different results from three different means. Will you still say that means do not matter?
Mahatma Gandhi
People aren’t really needed for anything else in the Griftopia, but since Americans require the illusion of self-government, we have elections. To make sure those elections are effectively meaningless as far as Wall Street is concerned, two things end up being true. One is that voters on both sides of the aisle are gradually weaned off that habit of having real expectations for their politicians, consuming the voting process entirely as culture-war entertainment. The other is that millions of tenuously middle-class voters are conned into pushing Wall Street’s own twisted greed ethos as though it were their own. The Tea Party, with its weirdly binary view of society as being split up cleanly into competing groups of producers and parasites—that’s just a cultural echo of the insane greed-is-good belief system on Wall Street that’s provided the foundation/excuse for a generation of brilliantly complex thievery. Those beliefs have trickled down to the ex-middle-class suckers struggling to stay on top of their mortgages and their credit card bills, and the real joke is that these voters listen to CNBC and Fox and they genuinely believe they’re the producers in this binary narrative. They don’t get that somewhere way up above, there’s a group of people who’ve been living the Atlas dream for real—and building a self-dealing financial bureaucracy in their own insane image.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
Correct thinking provides a sense of certainty. Without it, we fear that faith is on life support at best, dead and buried at worst. And who wants a dead or dying faith? So this fear of losing a handle on certainty leads to a preoccupation with correct thinking, making sure familiar beliefs are defended and supported at all costs. How strongly do we hold on to the old ways of thinking? Just recall those history courses where we read about Christians killing other Christians over all sorts of disagreements about doctrines few can even articulate today. Or perhaps just think of a skirmish you’ve had at church over a sermon, Sunday-school lesson, or which candidate to vote into public office. Preoccupation with correct thinking. That’s the deeper problem. It reduces the life of faith to sentry duty, a 24/7 task of pacing the ramparts and scanning the horizon to fend off incorrect thinking, in ourselves and others, too engrossed to come inside the halls and enjoy the banquet. A faith like that is stressful and tedious to maintain. Moving toward different ways of thinking, even just trying it on for a while to see how it fits, is perceived as a compromise to faith, or as giving up on faith altogether. But nothing could be further from the truth. Aligning faith in God and certainty about what we believe and needing to be right in order to maintain a healthy faith—these do not make for a healthy faith in God. In a nutshell, that is the problem. And that is what I mean by the “sin of certainty.
Peter Enns (The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs)
Think about it: If you have saved just enough to have your own house, your own car, a modicum of income to pay for food, clothes, and a few conveniences, and your everyday responsibilities start and end only with yourself… You can afford not to do anything outside of breathing, eating, and sleeping. Time would be an endless, white blanket. Without folds and pleats or sudden rips. Monday would look like Sunday, going sans adrenaline, slow, so slow and so unnoticed. Flowing, flowing, time is flowing in phrases, in sentences, in talk exchanges of people that come as pictures and videos, appearing, disappearing, in the safe, distant walls of Facebook. Dial fast food for a pizza, pasta, a burger or a salad. Cooking is for those with entire families to feed. The sala is well appointed. A day-maid comes to clean. Quietly, quietly she dusts a glass figurine here, the flat TV there. No words, just a ho-hum and then she leaves as silently as she came. Press the shower knob and water comes as rain. A TV remote conjures news and movies and soaps. And always, always, there’s the internet for uncomplaining company. Outside, little boys and girls trudge along barefoot. Their tinny, whiny voices climb up your windowsill asking for food. You see them. They don’t see you. The same way the vote-hungry politicians, the power-mad rich, the hey-did-you-know people from newsrooms, and the perpetually angry activists don’t see you. Safely ensconced in your tower of concrete, you retreat. Uncaring and old./HOW EASY IT IS NOT TO CARE
Psyche Roxas-Mendoza
Do you have someone in mind, Galen?" Toraf asks, popping a shrimp into his mouth. "Is it someone I know?" "Shut up, Toraf," Galen growls. He closes his eyes, massages his temples. This could have gone a lot better in so many ways. "Oh," Toraf says. "It must be someone I know, then." "Toraf, I swear by Triton's trident-" "These are the best shrimp you've ever made, Rachel," Toraf continues. "I can't wait to cook shrimp on our island. I'll get the seasoning for us, Rayna." "She's not going to any island with you, Toraf!" Emma yells. "Oh, but she is, Emma. Rayna wants to be my mate. Don't you, princess?" he smiles. Rayna shakes her head. "It's no use, Emma. I really don't have a choice." She resigns herself to the seat next to Emma, who peers down at her, incredulous. "You do have a choice. You can come live with me at my house. I'll make sure he can't get near you." Toraf's expression indicates he didn't consider that possibility before goading Emma. Galen laughs. "It's not so funny anymore is it, tadpole?" he says, nudging him. Toraf shakes his head. "She's not staying with you, Emma." "We'll see about that, tadpole," she returns. "Galen, do something," Toraf says, not taking his eyes off Emma. Galen grins. "Such as?" "I don't know, arrest her or something," Toraf says, crossing his arms. Emma locks eyes with Galen, stealing his breath. "Yeah, Galen. Come arrest me if you're feeling up to it. But I'm telling you right now, the second you lay a hand on me, I'm busting this glass over your head and using it to split your lip like Toraf's." She picks up her heavy drinking glass and splashes the last drops of orange juice onto the table. Everyone gasps except Galen-who laughs so hard he almost upturns his chair. Emma's nostrils flare. "You don't think I'll do it? There's only one way to find out, isn't there, Highness?" The whole airy house echoes Galen's deep-throated howls. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he elbows Toraf, who's looking at him like he drank too much saltwater. "Do you know those foolish humans at her school voted her the sweetest out of all of them?" Toraf's expression softens as he looks up at Emma, chuckling. Galen's guffaws prove contagious-Toraf is soon pounding the table to catch his breath. Even Rachel snickers from behind her oven mitt. The bluster leaves Emma's expression. Galen can tell she's in danger of smiling. She places the glass on the table as if it's still full and she doesn't want to spill it. "Well, that was a couple of years ago." This time Galen's chair does turn back, and he sprawls onto the floor. When Rayna starts giggling, Emma gives in, too. "I guess...I guess I do have sort of a temper," she says, smiling sheepishly. She walks around the table to stand over Galen. Peering down, she offers her hand. He grins up at her. "Show me your other hand." She laughs and shows him it's empty. "No weapons." "Pretty resourceful," he says, accepting her hand. "I'll never look at a drinking glass the same way." He does most of the work of pulling himself up but can't resist the opportunity to touch her. She shrugs. "Survival instinct, maybe?" He nods. "Or you're trying to cut my lips off so you won't have to kiss me." He's pleased when she looks away, pink restaining her cheeks. "Rayna tries that all the time," Toraf chimes in. "Sometimes when her aim is good, it works, but most of the time kissing her is my reward for the pain.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I'm tired of people using their cars as biographical information centers, informing the world of their sad-sack lives and boring interests. Keep that shit to yourself. I don't want to know what college you went to, who you intend to vote for or what your plan is for world peace. I don't care if you visited the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore or the birthplace of Wink Martindale. And I'm not interested in what radio station you listen to or what bands you like. In fact, I'm not interested in you in any way, except to see you in my rearview mirror. Furthermore, I can do without your profession of faith in God, Allah, Jehova, Yahweh, Peter Cottonail or whoever the fuck it is you've turned your life over to; please keep your superstitions private. I can't tell how happy it would make me to someday drive up to a flaming auto wreck and see smoke curling up around one of those little fish symbols with Jesus written inside it. And as far as I'm concerned you can include the Darwin/fish-with-feet-evolution symbol too. Far too cute for my taste. So keep the personal and autobiographical messages to yourself. Here's an idea: maybe you could paste them up inside your car, where you can see them and I can't.
George Carlin (When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?)
New Rule: America must stop bragging it's the greatest country on earth, and start acting like it. I know this is uncomfortable for the "faith over facts" crowd, but the greatness of a country can, to a large degree, be measured. Here are some numbers. Infant mortality rate: America ranks forty-eighth in the world. Overall health: seventy-second. Freedom of the press: forty-fourth. Literacy: fifty-fifth. Do you realize there are twelve-year old kids in this country who can't spell the name of the teacher they're having sex with? America has done many great things. Making the New World democratic. The Marshall Plan. Curing polio. Beating Hitler. The deep-fried Twinkie. But what have we done for us lately? We're not the freest country. That would be Holland, where you can smoke hash in church and Janet Jackson's nipple is on their flag. And sadly, we're no longer a country that can get things done. Not big things. Like building a tunnel under Boston, or running a war with competence. We had six years to fix the voting machines; couldn't get that done. The FBI is just now getting e-mail. Prop 87 out here in California is about lessening our dependence on oil by using alternative fuels, and Bill Clinton comes on at the end of the ad and says, "If Brazil can do it, America can, too!" Since when did America have to buck itself up by saying we could catch up to Brazil? We invented the airplane and the lightbulb, they invented the bikini wax, and now they're ahead? In most of the industrialized world, nearly everyone has health care and hardly anyone doubts evolution--and yes, having to live amid so many superstitious dimwits is also something that affects quality of life. It's why America isn't gonna be the country that gets the inevitable patents in stem cell cures, because Jesus thinks it's too close to cloning. Oh, and did I mention we owe China a trillion dollars? We owe everybody money. America is a debtor nation to Mexico. We're not a bridge to the twenty-first century, we're on a bus to Atlantic City with a roll of quarters. And this is why it bugs me that so many people talk like it's 1955 and we're still number one in everything. We're not, and I take no glee in saying that, because I love my country, and I wish we were, but when you're number fifty-five in this category, and ninety-two in that one, you look a little silly waving the big foam "number one" finger. As long as we believe being "the greatest country in the world" is a birthright, we'll keep coasting on the achievements of earlier generations, and we'll keep losing the moral high ground. Because we may not be the biggest, or the healthiest, or the best educated, but we always did have one thing no other place did: We knew soccer was bullshit. And also we had the Bill of Rights. A great nation doesn't torture people or make them disappear without a trial. Bush keeps saying the terrorist "hate us for our freedom,"" and he's working damn hard to see that pretty soon that won't be a problem.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
[R]esitance is by nature reactive; it is not forward-looking. And anti-Trumpism is not a politics. My worry is that liberals will get so caught up in countering his every move, essentially playing his game, that they will fail to seize -- or even recognize -- the opportunity he has given them. Now that he has destroyed conventional Republicanism and what was left of principled conservatism, the playing field is empty. For the first time in living memory, we liberals have no ideological adversary worthy of the name. So it is crucial that we look beyond Trump. The only adversary left is ourselves. And we have mastered the art of self-sabotage. At a time when we liberals need to speak in a way that convinces people from very different walks of life, in every part of the country, that they share a common destiny and need to stand together, our rhetoric encourages self-righteous narcissism. At a moment when political consciousness and strategizing need to be developed, we are expending our energies on symbolic drama over identity. At a time when it is crucial to direct our efforts into seizing institutional power by winning elections, we dissipate them in expressive movements indifferent to the effects they may have on the voting public. In an age when we need to educate young people to think of themselves as citizens with duties toward each other, we encourage them instead to descend into the rabbit hole of the self. The frustrating truth is that we have no political vision to offer the nation, and we are thinking and speaking and acting in ways guaranteed to prevent one from emerging.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us. No philosopher can contemplate this interesting situation without beginning to reflect on what it can mean. The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence. Our rulers are theoretically “our” representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority—they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism. We might perhaps be more tolerant of rulers turning preachers if they were moral giants. But what citizen looks at the government today thinking how wise and virtuous it is? Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into demanding political solutions to social problems. To demand help from officials we rather despise argues for a notable lack of logic in the demos. The statesmen of eras past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to take over the risks of our everyday life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded to politicians seeking to bribe us with such promises with derision. Today, the demos votes for them.
Kenneth Minogue (The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life (Encounter Broadsides))
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
What a skeletal wreck of man this is. Translucent flesh and feeble bones, the kind of temple where the whores and villains try to tempt the holistic domes. Running rampid with free thought to free form, and the free and clear. When the matters at hand are shelled out like lint at a laundry mat to sift and focus on the bigger, better, now. We all have a little sin that needs venting, virtues for the rending and laws and systems and stems are ripped from the branches of office, do you know where your post entails? Do you serve a purpose, or purposely serve? When in doubt inside your atavistic allure, the value of a summer spent, and a winter earned. For the rest of us, there is always Sunday. The day of the week the reeks of rest, but all we do is catch our breath, so we can wade naked in the bloody pool, and place our hand on the big, black book. To watch the knives zigzag between our aching fingers. A vacation is a countdown, T minus your life and counting, time to drag your tongue across the sugar cube, and hope you get a taste. WHAT THE FUCK IS ALL THIS FOR? WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON? SHUT UP! I can go on and on but lets move on, shall we? Say, your me, and I’m you, and they all watch the things we do, and like a smack of spite they threw me down the stairs, haven’t felt like this in years. The great magnet of malicious magnanimous refuse, let me go, and punch me into the dead spout again. That’s where you go when there’s no one else around, it’s just you, and there was never anyone to begin with, now was there? Sanctimonious pretentious dastardly bastards with their thumb on the pulse, and a finger on the trigger. CLASSIFIED MY ASS! THAT’S A FUCKING SECRET, AND YOU KNOW IT! Government is another way to say better…than…you. It’s like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won’t stick, it’s like a whole other world where you can smell the food, but you can’t touch the silverware. Huh, what luck. Fascism you can vote for. Humph, isn’t that sweet? And we’re all gonna die some day, because that’s the American way, and I’ve drunk too much, and said too little, when your gaffer taped in the middle, say a prayer, say a face, get your self together and see what’s happening. SHUT UP! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I’m sorry, I could go on and on but their times to move on so, remember: you’re a wreck, an accident. Forget the freak, your just nature. Keep the gun oiled, and the temple cleaned shit snort, and blaspheme, let the heads cool, and the engine run. Because in the end, everything we do, is just everything we’ve done.
Stone Sour (Stone Sour)
There's one big difference between the poor and the rich,' Kite says, taking a drag from his cigarette. We are in a pub, at lunch-time. John Kite is always, unless stated otherwise, smoking a fag, in a pub, at lunch-time. 'The rich aren't evil, as so many of my brothers would tell you. I've known rich people -- I have played on their yachts -- and they are not unkind, or malign, and they do not hate the poor, as many would tell you. And they are not stupid -- or at least, not any more than the poor are. Much as I find amusing the idea of a ruling class of honking toffs, unable to put their socks on without Nanny helping them, it is not true. They build banks, and broker deals, and formulate policy, all with perfect competency. 'No -- the big difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich are blithe. They believe nothing can ever really be so bad, They are born with the lovely, velvety coating of blitheness -- like lanugo, on a baby -- and it is never rubbed off by a bill that can't be paid; a child that can't be educated; a home that must be left for a hostel, when the rent becomes too much. 'Their lives are the same for generations. There is no social upheaval that will really affect them. If you're comfortably middle-class, what's the worst a government policy could do? Ever? Tax you at 90 per cent and leave your bins, unemptied, on the pavement. But you and everyone you know will continue to drink wine -- but maybe cheaper -- go on holiday -- but somewhere nearer -- and pay off your mortgage -- although maybe later. 'Consider, now, then, the poor. What's the worst a government policy can do to them? It can cancel their operation, with no recourse to private care. It can run down their school -- with no escape route to a prep. It can have you out of your house and into a B&B by the end of the year. When the middle-classes get passionate about politics, they're arguing about their treats -- their tax breaks and their investments. When the poor get passionate about politics, they're fighting for their lives. 'Politics will always mean more to the poor. Always. That's why we strike and march, and despair when our young say they won't vote. That's why the poor are seen as more vital, and animalistic. No classical music for us -- no walking around National Trust properties, or buying reclaimed flooring. We don't have nostalgia. We don't do yesterday. We can't bear it. We don't want to be reminded of our past, because it was awful; dying in mines, and slums, without literacy, or the vote. Without dignity. It was all so desperate, then. That's why the present and the future is for the poor -- that's the place in time for us: surviving now, hoping for better, later. We live now -- for our instant, hot, fast treats, to prep us up: sugar, a cigarette, a new fast song on the radio. 'You must never, never forget, when you talk to someone poor, that it takes ten times the effort to get anywhere from a bad postcode, It's a miracle when someone from a bad postcode gets anywhere, son. A miracle they do anything at all.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
In his book Politics, which is the foundation of the study of political systems, and very interesting, Aristotle talked mainly about Athens. But he studied various political systems - oligarchy, monarchy - and didn't like any of the particularly. He said democracy is probably the best system, but it has problems, and he was concerned with the problems. One problem that he was concerned with is quite striking because it runs right up to the present. He pointed out that in a democracy, if the people - people didn't mean people, it meant freemen, not slaves, not women - had the right to vote, the poor would be the majority, and they would use their voting power to take away property from the rich, which wouldn't be fair, so we have to prevent this. James Madison made the same pint, but his model was England. He said if freemen had democracy, then the poor farmers would insist on taking property from the rich. They would carry out what we these days call land reform. and that's unacceptable. Aristotle and Madison faced the same problem but made the opposite decisions. Aristotle concluded that we should reduce ineqality so the poor wouldn't take property from the rich. And he actually propsed a visin for a city that would put in pace what we today call welfare-state programs, common meals, other support systems. That would reduce inequality, and with it the problem of the poor taking property from the rich. Madison's decision was the opposite. We should reduce democracy so the poor won't be able to get together to do this. If you look at the design of the U.S. constitutional system, it followed Madison's approach. The Madisonian system placed power in the hands of the Senate. The executive in those days was more or less an administrator, not like today. The Senate consisted of "the wealth of the nation," those who had sympathy for property owners and their rights. That's where power should be. The Senate, remember, wasn't elected. It was picked by legislatures, who were themselves very much subject to control by the rich and the powerful. The House, which was closer to the population, had much less power. And there were all sorts of devices to keep people from participation too much - voting restrictions and property restrictions. The idea was to prevent the threat of democracy. This goal continues right to the present. It has taken different forms, but the aim remains the same.
Noam Chomsky (Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire (American Empire Project))