War End Quotes

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Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.
James Baldwin
Listen up - there's no war that will end all wars.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Only the dead have seen the end of war.
Plato
I will not play at tug o' war. I'd rather play at hug o' war, Where everyone hugs Instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles And rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, And everyone grins, And everyone cuddles, And everyone wins.
Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends)
When diplomacy ends, War begins.
Adolf Hitler
If we don't end war, war will end us.
H.G. Wells
That smile could end wars and cure cancer.
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
We are Born like this Into this Into these carefully mad wars Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness Into bars where people no longer speak to each other Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings Born into this Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes
Charles Bukowski
When does a war end? When can I say your name and have it mean only your name and not what you left behind?
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
But if I'm it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I'm going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Winston S. Churchill (Their Finest Hour (The Second World War, #2))
Mankind must put an end to war - or war will put an end to mankind. [Address before the United Nations, September 25 1961]
John F. Kennedy
I will fight this war to love you, Juliette Cai. I will fight this feud to have you, because it was this feud that gave you to me, twisted as it is, and now I will take you away from it.
Chloe Gong (Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2))
A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.
George Orwell
And in the end, of course, a true war story is never about war. It's about sunlight. It's about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains and do things you are afraid to do. It's about love and memory. It's about sorrow. It's about sisters who never write back and people who never listen.
Tim O'Brien
I no longer feel allegiance to these monsters called human beings, despise being one myself. I think that Peeta was onto something about us destroying one another and letting some decent species take over. Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children’s lives to settle its differences. You can spin it any way you like. Snow thought the Hunger Games were an efficient means of control. Coin thought the parachutes would expedite the war. But in the end, who does it benefit? No one. The truth is, it benefits no one to live in a world where these things happen.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
It wasn't so easy though, ending the war. A war is a huge fire; the ashes from it drift far, and settle slowly.
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
At the end as at the start, and through all the in-betweens, I love you.
Amal El-Mohtar (This is How You Lose the Time War)
A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.
Aldous Huxley (Ends and Means)
Is there a word for the moment you win tug-of-war? When the weight gives, and all that extra rope comes hurtling towards you, how even though you've won, you still end up with muddy knees and burns on your hands? Is there a word for that? I wish there was.
Sarah Kay (No Matter the Wreckage)
Das war ein Vorspiel nur; dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen." (Almansor)
Heinrich Heine (Gesammelte Werke)
We have struck back. We have declared war on any being that dares to think they can wipe us out without a fight. No matter how celestial, no matter how powerful they are, this is our home and we will fight to keep it.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.
Ron Paul (End the Fed)
The silence just allowed the echoes of the question to play out in Nox’s mind, reminding him of his own unwinnable war against the never-ending tide of conmen and criminals. He was trying to clean up these parts, but every time he rubbed away a stain, he found another layer of dirt beneath. So, you could give up—or you could keep on scrubbing.
Dean F. Wilson (Coilhunter (The Coilhunter Chronicles, #1))
When a war was ended, the men lost their lives. But the women lost everything else.
Natalie Haynes (A Thousand Ships)
The first time it was reported that our friends were being butchered there was a cry of horror. Then a hundred were butchered. But when a thousand were butchered and there was no end to the butchery, a blanket of silence spread. When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out "stop!" When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.
Bertolt Brecht (Selected Poems)
If you need to stop an asteroid, you call Superman. If you need to solve a mystery, you call Batman. But if you need to end a war, you call Wonder Woman.
Gail Simone
I've learned two things in my life. One that love is the beginning and end of all meaning. And two that it is the same thing whatever shape our souls have taken on this journey. Love is love. Is love.
Clive Barker
He had killed his way across the world; he had gone to war and back more times than he cared to remember. And despite it all, despite the rage and despair and ice he’d wrapped around his heart, he’d still found Aelin. Every horizon he’d gazed toward, unable and unwilling to rest during those centuries, every mountain and ocean he’d seen and wondered what lay beyond … It had been her. It had been Aelin, the silent call of the mating bond driving him, even when he could not feel it. They’d walked this dark path together back to the light. He would not let the road end here.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult - to begin a war and to end it.
Alexis de Tocqueville
All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.
Blaise Pascal
Yes, I am finally a match for Amy. The other morning I woke up next to her, and I studied the back of her skull. I tried to read her thoughts. For once I didn't feel like I was staring into the sun. I'm rising to my wife's level of madness. Because I can feel her changing me again: I was a callow boy, and then a man, good and bad. Now at last I'm the hero. I am the one to root for in the never-ending war story of our marriage. It's a story I can live with. Hell, at this point, I can't imagine my story without Amy. She is my forever antagonist. We are one long frightening climax.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I'm not going to sacrifice love, real love, for any *%@$n' war or any friend, or any business, because in the end you're alone at night.
John Lennon
Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.
Muhammad Ali
It is easier to start a war than to end it.
Gabriel García Márquez
Why is it the songs all end with the good people winning, but in life they don't?" They don't make songs when the good lose," I muttered. "They make war chants against the bad. So there won't be any songs for us.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1-2))
War is an episode, a crisis, a fever the purpose of which is to rid the body of fever. So the purpose of a war is to end the war.
William Faulkner (A Fable)
I'm not giving up You're not giving in This battle will turn into a war Before I let it come to an end.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
Listen up—there’s no war that will end all wars,’ Crow tells me. ‘War breeds war. Lapping up the blood shed by violence, feeding on wounded flesh. War is a perfect, self-contained being. You need to know that.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
I hadn't found out yet that mankind consists of two very different races, the rich and the poor. It took me ... and plenty of other people . . . twenty years and the war to learn to stick to my class and ask the price of things before touching them, let alone setting my heart on them.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
The war which is coming Is not the first one. There were Other wars before it. When the last one came to an end There were conquerors and conquered. Among the conquered the common people Starved. Among the conquerors The common people starved too.
Bertolt Brecht (Poems 1913-1956)
When the war has lasted twenty years... the dragonets will come. When the land is soaked in blood and tears... the dragonets will come. Find the SeaWing egg of deepest blue. Wings of night shall come to you. The largest egg in mountain high will give to you the wings of sky. For wings of earth, search through the mud for an egg the color of dragon blood. And hidden alone from the rival queens, the SandWing egg awaits unseen. Of three queens who blister and blaze and burn, two shall die and one shall learn if she bows to a fate that is stronger and higher, she'll have the power of wings of fire. Five eggs to hatch on brightest night, five dragons born to end the fight. Darkness will rise to bring the light. The dragonets are coming....
Tui T. Sutherland (The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire, #1))
Any humane and reasonable person must conclude that if the ends, however desireable, are uncertain and the means are horrible and certain, these means must not be employed.
Howard Zinn (Passionate Declarations: Essays on War and Justice)
Now do you see why war irritates me? It's always the same. A lot of people get killed, but in the end, the whole thing is settled at the conference table. The notion of having the conference first doesn't seem to occur to people.
David Eddings (Belgarath the Sorcerer)
In religion, as in war and everything else, comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth -- only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
But the greatest battle of all is with yourself—your weaknesses, your emotions, your lack of resolution in seeing things through to the end. You must declare unceasing war on yourself.
Robert Greene (The 33 Strategies of War)
If the universe were static, I could stand anywhere in this world and I swear my line of sight would end on you. I swear I'd find you in the dark.
Nina Varela (Iron Heart (Crier's War, #2))
I am the force of creation, I am the end and the beginning. The world is a painting and I hold the brush. I am a god.
R.F. Kuang (The Burning God (The Poppy War, #3))
I also felt that Ron and Hermione would have gotten divorced. I'm sorry, I just do. The end of Harry Potter did feel ultimately to me...just the fact everybody had married everybody. The books were so real and so grounded in what things are really like when you're that age, she nailed that so beautifully. And then there was this slightly fantastical ending. I know that was there for her to say, 'Really, I mean it, no more books,' but you do sort of go, people who were in a war are different from people who haven't been, and how does it affect them? But am I going to second-guess my favorite writer? I think not.
Joss Whedon
He could melt glaciers with that smile. End wars. Resolve the national debt crisis.
Kristen Proby (Come Away with Me (With Me in Seattle, #1))
In meinem Innern ahnte ich, dass ich vom Weg abgekommen war. Das Problem war nur, dass ich nicht wusste, wann und wo. Ich wusste nicht mal mehr, von welchem Weg.
Benedict Wells (Vom Ende der Einsamkeit)
The search for Nirvana, like the search for Utopia or the end of history or the classless society, is ultimately a futile and dangerous one. It involves, if it does not necessitate, the sleep of reason. There is no escape from anxiety and struggle.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Death is the enemy. But the enemy has superior forces. Eventually, it wins. And in a war that you cannot win, you don’t want a general who fights to the point of total annihilation. You don’t want Custer. You want Robert E. Lee, someone who knows how to fight for territory that can be won and how to surrender it when it can’t, someone who understands that the damage is greatest if all you do is battle to the bitter end.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
I've always had a theory that some of us are born with nerve endings longer than our bodies
Joy Harjo (In Mad Love and War)
In case you haven't noticed, as the result of a shamelessly rigged election in Florida, in which thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily disenfranchised, we now present ourselves to the rest of the world as proud, grinning, jut-jawed, pitiless war-lovers with appalling powerful weaponry - who stand unopposed. In case you haven't noticed, we are now as feared and hated all over the world as the Nazi's once were. And with good reason. In case you haven't noticed, our unelected leaders have dehumanized millions and millions of human beings simply because of their religion and race. We wound 'em and kill 'em and torture 'em and imprison 'em all we want. Piece of cake. In case you haven't noticed, we also dehumanize our own soldiers, not because of their religion or race, but because of their low social class. Send 'em anywhere. Make 'em do anything. Piece of cake. The O'Reilly Factor. So I am a man without a country, except for the librarians and a Chicago paper called "In These Times." Before we attacked Iraq, the majestic "New York Times" guaranteed there were weapons of destruction there. Albert Einstein and Mark Twain gave up on the human race at the end of their lives, even though Twain hadn't even seen the First World War. War is now a form of TV entertainment, and what made the First World War so particularly entertaining were two American inventions, barbed wire and the machine gun. Shrapnel was invented by an Englishman of the same name. Don't you wish you could have something named after you? Like my distinct betters Einstein and Twain, I now give up on people too. I am a veteran of the Second World War and I have to say this is the not the first time I surrendered to a pitiless war machine. My last words? "Life is no way to treat an animal, not even a mouse." Napalm came from Harvard. Veritas! Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations and made it all their own?
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
It's clearly a crisis of two things: of consciousness and conditioning. We have the technological power, the engineering skills to save our planet, to cure disease, to feed the hungry, to end war; But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must decondition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior. And, it's not easy.
Terence McKenna
I've always welcomed war, but when the last battle ends, what life is left for a warrior?
Andrea Cremer (Bloodrose (Nightshade #3; Nightshade World #6))
There's a part of me that's convinced this everlasting war will end when I coax a smile out of that girl.
Rick Yancey (The Last Star (The 5th Wave, #3))
Once war is forced upon us, there is no alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War’s very object is victory-not prolonged indecision.
Douglas MacArthur
..when a war ends, what does that look like exactly? do the cells in the body stop detonating themselves? does the orphanage stop screaming for its mother? when the sand in the desert has been melted down to glass and our reflection is not something we can stand to look at does the white flag make for a perfect blindfold? yesterday i was told a story about this little girl in Iraq, six-years-old, who cannot fall asleep because when she does she dreams of nothing but the day she watched her dog eat her neighbor's corpse. if you told her war is over do you think she can sleep?
Andrea Gibson (The Madness Vase)
Mirror sighed. "I believe everyone deserves a happily ever after. But I think that happy endings don't just happen by accident- you can't wait for one. You have to make them happen.
Michael Buckley (The Everafter War (The Sisters Grimm #7))
This massive ascendancy of corporate power over democratic process is probably the most ominous development since the end of World War II, and for the most part "the free world" seems to be regarding it as merely normal.
Wendell Berry (Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food)
I will fight this war to love you, Juliette Cai.
Chloe Gong (Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2))
But we all still have the ability to choose, in the end.
Victoria Aveyard (War Storm (Red Queen, #4))
Everything ends in death, everything. Death is terrible.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
I am a man, not a movement,” he said. “But if a movement is what it takes to end this war, then I will play my part.
Victoria Schwab (Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2))
I never killed anybody and I never developed an intense level of hatred for the enemy. Because my war ended before I ever put on a uniform; I was on active duty all my time at school; I killed my enemy there.
John Knowles (A Separate Peace)
Only the dead have seen the end of war.
George Santayana (Soliloquies in England & Later Soliloquies (1922))
Now at this very moment I knew that the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death. So we had won after all! ... How long the war would last or in what fashion it would end no man could tell, nor did I at this moment care ... We should not be wiped out. Our history would not come to an end ... Hitler's fate was sealed. Mussolini's fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to a powder. All the rest was merely the proper application of overwhelming force.
Winston S. Churchill
I know there's no way I can convince you this is not one of their tricks, but I don't care, I am me. My name is Valerie, I don't think I'll live much longer and I wanted to tell someone about my life. This is the only autobiography ill ever write, and god, I'm writing it on toilet paper. I was born in Nottingham in 1985, I don't remember much of those early years, but I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tuttlebrook, and she use to tell me that god was in the rain. I passed my 11th lesson into girl's grammar; it was at school that I met my first girlfriend, her name was Sara. It was her wrists. They were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that is was an adolescent phase people outgrew. Sara did, I didn't. In 2002 I fell in love with a girl named Christina. That year I came out to my parents. I couldn't have done it without Chris holding my hand. My father wouldn't look at me, he told me to go and never come back. My mother said nothing. But I had only told them the truth, was that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free. I'd always known what I wanted to do with my life, and in 2015 I starred in my first film, "The Salt Flats". It was the most important role of my life, not because of my career, but because that was how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed, I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again. We moved to a small flat in London together. She grew Scarlet Carsons for me in our window box, and our place always smelled of roses. Those were there best years of my life. But America's war grew worse, and worse. And eventually came to London. After that there were no roses anymore. Not for anyone. I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like collateral and rendition became frightening. While things like Norse Fire and The Articles of Allegiance became powerful, I remember how different became dangerous. I still don't understand it, why they hate us so much. They took Ruth while she was out buying food. I've never cried so hard in my life. It wasn't long till they came for me.It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years, I had roses, and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An Inch, it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you. -Valerie
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
A pair of starfighters. Jedi starfighters. Only two. Two is enough. Two is enough because the adults are wrong, and their younglings are right. Though this is the end of the age of heroes, it has saved its best for last.
Matthew Woodring Stover (Revenge of the Sith (Star Wars: Novelizations, #3))
Every war is ironic because every war is worse than expected. Every war constitutes an irony of situation because its means are so melodramatically disproportionate to its presumed ends.
Paul Fussell (The Great War and Modern Memory)
When she moves, I realize her hair is different too. The gray ends are gone, replaced by a beautiful, familiar purple. I love it.
Victoria Aveyard (War Storm (Red Queen, #4))
...I knew in the end the guilt of one side did not prove the innocence of the other.
Sara Nović (Girl at War)
One word can end a fight; One hug can start a friendship; One smile can bring Unity; One person can change your entire life!
Israelmore Ayivor
The end of love looks like the beginning of war
Bangambiki Habyarimana (The Great Pearl of Wisdom)
Once upon a time there were two countries, at war with each other. In order to make peace after many years of conflict, they decided to build a bridge across the ocean. But because they never learned each other’s language properly, they could never agree on the details, so the two halves of the bridge they started to build never met. To this day the bridge extends far into the ocean from both sides, and simply ends half way, miles in the wrong direction from the meeting point. And the two countries are still at war.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
It's an Irish story, love, Mrs. Wylltson said. We don't do happy endings.
Kersten Hamilton (Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars, #1))
I always wondered why the makers leave housekeeping and cooking out of their tales. Isn't it what all the great wars and battles are fought for -- so that at day's end a family may eat together in a peaceful house?
Ursula K. Le Guin (Voices (Annals of the Western Shore, #2))
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
Winston S. Churchill (The Second World War: Alone)
Civilization, in fact, grows more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Wars are no longer waged by the will of superior men, capable of judging dispassionately and intelligently the causes behind them and the effects flowing out of them. The are now begun by first throwing a mob into a panic; they are ended only when it has spent its ferine fury.
H.L. Mencken (In Defense Of Women)
She doesn't know I cry for the changing times. That just as I reread favourite books, some small part of me hoping for a different ending, I find myself hoping against hope that the war will never come. That this time, somehow, it will leave us be.
Kate Morton (The House at Riverton)
If the afterlife really is a big war,” Kaladin said, “then I hope I end up in Damnation. At least there I might be able to get a wink or two of sleep.
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
How often we sin, how much we deceive, and all for what?... All will end in death, all!
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
That letter was your whole future, you daft prince." "It was my past. I lost that the night my parents died. But I found you, Deryn. Maybe I wasn't meant to end the war, but I was meant to find you. I know that. You've saved me from having any reason to keep going." "We save each other. That's how it works.
Scott Westerfeld (Goliath (Leviathan, #3))
I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.
E.M. Forster (Howards End)
America I've given you all and now I'm nothing... I can't stand my own mind. America when will we end the human war? Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
Allen Ginsberg
One of these days they'll be making a film where the whole human race gets wiped out in a nuclear war, but everything works out in the end.
Haruki Murakami (A Wild Sheep Chase (The Rat, #3))
She fit her head under his chin, and he could feel her weight settle into him. He held her tight and words spilled out of him without prior composition. And this time he made no effort to clamp them off. He told her about the first time he had looked on the back of her neck as she sat in the church pew. Of the feeling that had never let go of him since. He talked to her of the great waste of years between then and now. A long time gone. And it was pointless, he said, to think how those years could have been put to better use, for he could hardly have put them to worse. There was no recovering them now. You could grieve endlessly for the loss of time and the damage done therein. For the dead, and for your own lost self. But what the wisdom of the ages says is that we do well not to grieve on and on. And those old ones knew a thing or two and had some truth to tell, Inman said, for you can grieve your heart out and in the end you are still where you are. All your grief hasn't changed a thing. What you have lost will not be returned to you. It will always be lost. You're left with only your scars to mark the void. All you can choose to do is go on or not. But if you go on, it's knowing you carry your scars with you. Nevertheless, over all those wasted years, he had held in his mind the wish to kiss her on the back of her neck, and now he had done it. There was a redemption of some kind, he believed, in such complete fulfillment of a desire so long deferred.
Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain)
My name is Hazel. I started out as an idea, but I ended up something more. Not much more, to be honest. It's not like I grow up to become some great war hero or any sort of all important savior... but thanks to these two, at least I get to grow old. Not everybody does.
Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Volume 1)
Mortals aren't meant to love perfection. It disillusions and destroys them in the end.
Julie Berry (Lovely War)
They say we have we created the man to end all wars; I say we have created a man to end all worlds.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
Not marble nor the gilded monuments Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme, But you shall shine more bright in these contents Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time. When wasteful war shall statues overturn And broils roots out the work of masonry, Nor mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory. 'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room Even in the eyes of all posterity That wear this world out to the ending doom. So, till judgement that yourself arise, You in this, and dwell in lovers eyes.
William Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Sonnets)
Ronan Lynch lived with every sort of secret. His first secret was himself. He was brother to a liar and brother to an angel, son of a dream and son of a dreamer. He was a warring star full of endless possibilities, but in the end, as he dreamt in the backseat on the way to the Barns that night, he created only this...
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
You must learn to end the wars in your world by ending them in your minds.
Barbara Marciniak (Family of Light: Pleiadian Tales and Lessons in Living)
A real man doesn’t lie about how he feels. He tells the world he loves someone and dares his enemies to hurt the woman he adores. A brave man has holes in his armor but goes to war anyway. A fierce man isn’t afraid to love someone even though he knows there’s an ending down the road. That’s what it means to be a real man.
Penelope Sky (Buttons & Pain (Buttons, #3))
In the dull twilight of the winter afternoon she came to the end of a long road which had begun the night Atlanta fell. She had set her feet upon that road a spoiled, selfish and untried girl, full of youth, warm of emotion, easily bewildered by life. Now, at the end of the road, there was nothing left of that girl. Hunger and hard labor, fear and constant strain, the terrors of war and the terrors of Reconstruction had taken away all warmth and youth and softness. About the core of her being, a shell of hardness had formed and, little by little, layer by layer, the shell had thickened during the endless months.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
The problem with surviving was that you ended up with the ghosts of everyone you’d ever left behind riding on your shoulders.
Paolo Bacigalupi (The Drowned Cities (Ship Breaker, #2))
If the world were a paradise of luxury and ease, a land flowing with milk and honey, where every Jack obtained his Jill at once and without any difficulty, men would either die of boredom or hang themselves; or there would be wars, massacres, and murders; so that in the end mankind would inflict more suffering on itself than it has now to accept at the hands of Nature.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Studies in Pessimism)
God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.
Bono
Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. What remains in the bum or studiedly jocular desperation of one who is aware of the obscene Presence in the corner of the room and knows that the door is locked, that there aren’t any windows. And now the thing bears down on him. He feels a hand on his sleeve, smells a stinking breath, as the executioner’s assistant leans almost amorously toward him. “Your turn next, brother. Kindly step this way.” And in an instant his quiet terror is transmuted into a frenzy as violent as it is futile. There is no longer a man among his fellow men, no longer a rational being speaking articulately to other rational beings; there is only a lacerated animal, screaming and struggling in the trap. For in the end fear casts out even a man’s humanity. And fear, my good friends, fear is the very basis and foundation of modern life. Fear of the much touted technology which, while it raises out standard of living, increases the probability of our violently dying. Fear of the science which takes away the one hand even more than what it so profusely gives with the other. Fear of the demonstrably fatal institutions for while, in our suicidal loyalty, we are ready to kill and die. Fear of the Great Men whom we have raised, and by popular acclaim, to a power which they use, inevitably, to murder and enslave us. Fear of the war we don’t want yet do everything we can to bring about.
Aldous Huxley (Ape and Essence)
Science is still only a candle glimmering in a great pitch-dark cavern.
Mario Vargas Llosa (The War of the End of the World)
There are times when the end justifies the means. But when you build an argument based on a whole series of such times, you may find that you've constructed an entire philosophy of evil." --Luke Skywalker
Aaron Allston (Legacy of the Force: Betrayal (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, #1))
At the end of a criminal’s life, it’s always the small mistake, the coincidence, the lark. The time we got too comfortable, the time we slipped up, the time someone aimed a little to the left. I’ve heard Grandad’s war stories a thousand times. How they finally got Mo. How Mandy almost got away. How Charlie fell. Birth to grave, we know it’ll be us one day. Our tragedy is that we forget it might be someone else first.
Holly Black (Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3))
The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties is knowledge of the enemy; and this knowledge can only be derived, in the first instance, from the converted spy. Hence it is essential that the converted spy be treated with the utmost liberality.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Although the scythe isn't pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of, say, a peasants' revolt will know that in skilled hands it is fearsome.
Terry Pratchett (Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1))
After all, words are what remain when all the deeds have been done. Words can shatter faith; start a war; change the course of history. A story can make your heart beat faster; topple walls; scale mountains - hey, a story can even raise the dead. And that's why the King of Stories ended up being the King of the gods; because writing history and making history are only the breadth of a page apart.
Joanne Harris (The Gospel of Loki (Loki, #1))
Sometime, somewhere, life always comes to a fight, and peace always comes to an end.
Rachel Caine (Lord of Misrule (The Morganville Vampires, #5))
Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action. Do it or don't do it. It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don't do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself,. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet. You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God. Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle)
I, too, have felt that the war goes on and on. When my son, Ian, died at El Alamein-- side by side with... visitors offering their condolences, thinking to comfort me, said, "Life goes on." What nonsense, I thought, of course it doesn't. It's death that goes on; Ian is dead now and will be dead tomorrow and nexe year and forever. There's no end to that. But perhaps there will be an end to the sorrow of it.
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
He thinks Goliath can end the war," Alek managed at last. "The man wants peace!" "As do we all," Count Volger said. "But there are many ways to end a war. Some are more peaceful than others.
Scott Westerfeld (Goliath (Leviathan, #3))
A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean. At its cradle (to repeat a thoughtful adage) religion stands, and philosophy accompanies it to the grave. In the beginning of all cultures a strong religious faith conceals and softens the nature of things, and gives men courage to bear pain and hardship patiently; at every step the gods are with them, and will not let them perish, until they do. Even then a firm faith will explain that it was the sins of the people that turned their gods to an avenging wrath; evil does not destroy faith, but strengthens it. If victory comes, if war is forgotten in security and peace, then wealth grows; the life of the body gives way, in the dominant classes, to the life of the senses and the mind; toil and suffering are replaced by pleasure and ease; science weakens faith even while thought and comfort weaken virility and fortitude. At last men begin to doubt the gods; they mourn the tragedy of knowledge, and seek refuge in every passing delight. Achilles is at the beginning, Epicurus at the end. After David comes Job, and after Job, Ecclesiastes.
Will Durant (Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization, #1))
Individual cultures and ideologies have their appropriate uses but none of them erase or replace the universal experiences, like love and weeping and laughter, common to all human beings.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
I can't keep my head above water one minute to the next: it's not just the parties and the goo-gooing with what's-her-name, I've got the decide how long the Five Hundredth Anniversary Parade is going to be and where does it start and when does it start and which nobleman gets to march in front of which other nobleman so that everyone's still speaking to me at the end of it, plus I've got a wife to murder and a country to frame for it, plus I've got to get the war going once that's all happened, and all this is stuff I've got to do myself. Here's what it all comes down to: I'm just swamped, Ty.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
It was hard to live through the early 1940s in France and not have the war be the center from which the rest of your life spiraled. Marie-Laure still cannot wear shoes that are too large, or smell a boiled turnip, without experiencing revulsion. Neither can she listen to lists of names. Soccer team rosters, citations at the end of journals, introductions at faculty meetings – always they seem to her some vestige of the prison lists that never contained her father’s name.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale." George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences. To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot . . . PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose! . . . So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation. They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reasons that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass! There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
It was how wars really ended, Dieffenbaker supposed -- not at truce tables but in cancer wards and office cafeterias and traffic jams. Wars died one tiny piece at a time, each piece something that fell like a memory, each lost like an echo that fades in winding hills. In the end even war ran up the white flag. Or so he hoped. He hoped that in the end even war surrendered.
Stephen King (Hearts in Atlantis)
If the idea of loving those whom you have been taught to recognize as your enemies is too overwhelming, consider more deeply the observation that we are all much more alike than we are unalike.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
Why do we fight, Kal? Why do we keep going?” “I don’t know,” Kaladin whispered. “I’ve forgotten.” “It’s so we can be with each other.” “They all die, Tien. Everyone dies.” “So they do, don’t they?” “That means it doesn’t matter,” Kaladin said. “None of it matters.” “See, that’s the wrong way of looking at it.” Tien held him tighter. “Since we all go to the same place in the end, the moments we spent with each other are the only things that do matter. The times we helped each other.
Brandon Sanderson (Rhythm of War (The Stormlight Archive, #4))
Anyone who thinks politics equals power has no understanding of either politics or power. The games of politics are sponsored by the powerful, and are designed to deliver a single end - to secure their power.
Graeme Rodaughan (The Day Guard (The Metaframe War, #4))
A voice within me is sobbing, "You see that's what's become of you. You're surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people who dislike you, and all because you don't listen to the advice of your own better half." Believe me, I'd like to listen, but it doesn't work, because if I'm quiet and serious, everyone thinks I'm putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I'm not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be sick, stuff me with aspirins and setatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can't keep it up anymore, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, an finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I'd like to be and what I could be if . . . if only there were no other people in the world. Yours, Anne M. Frank.
Anne Frank
...We got it all wrong, there was no alien swarm descending from the sky in their flying saucers or big metal walkers like something out of Star Wars or cute little wrinkly E.T.s who just wanted to pluck a couple of leaves, eat some Reese's Pieces, and go home. That's not how it ends.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
Lay down Your tired & weary head my friend. We have wept too long Night is falling And you are only sleeping We have come to this journey's end It's time for us to go To meet our friends Who beckon us To jump again From across a distant sky A C-130 comes to carry us Where we shall all wait For the final green light In the light of The pale moon rising I see far on the horizon Into the world of night and darkness Feet and knees together Time has ceased But cherished memories still linger This is the way of life and all things We shall meet again You are only sleeping.
José N. Harris (Mi Vida)
What is bad? What is good? What should one love, what hate? Why live, and what am I? What is lie,what is death? What power rules over everything?" he asked himself. And there was no answer to any of these questions except one, which was not logical and was not at all an answer to these questions. This answer was: "You will die--and everything will end. You will die and learn everything--or stop asking.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
The living and the dead, The awake and the sleeping, The young and the old are all one and the same. When the ones change, they become the others. When those shift again, they become these again. God is day and night. God is winter and summer. God is war and peace. God is fertility and famine. He transforms into many things. Day and night are one. Goodness and badness are one. The beginning and the end of a circle are one.
Yukio Mishima (The Temple of Dawn (The Sea of Fertility, #3))
It is an inside joke of history that all its most exciting adventures inevitably end their careers as homework. Beheadings, rebellions, thousand-year wars, incest on the royal throne, electricity, art, opera, dogs in outer space.
B.J. Novak (One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories)
Such beauty, he thought, was too perfect to have come about by mere chance. That day in the center of the Pacific was, to him, a gift crafted deliberately, compassionately, for him and Phil. Joyful and grateful in the midst of slow dying, the two men bathed in that day until sunset brought is, and their time in the doldrums, to an end.
Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption)
if you hurt deeply, then it means you love deeply too. love is powerful thing, Jaron. In the end, love will help you win this war." I chuckled, "that'd be a fine new strategy, I think. When the enemy wields a sword against me, I'll simply express my love for them. They'll be so shocked, they'll collapse on the spot and the victory will be mine." "I daresay you will be the first to claim victory that way
Jennifer A. Nielsen (The Shadow Throne (Ascendance, #3))
Sadism dominates the culture. It runs like an electric current through reality television and trash-talk programs, is at the core of pornography, and fuels the compliant, corporate collective. Corporatism is about crushing the capacity for moral choice and diminishing the individual to force him or her into an ostensibly harmonious collective. This hypermasculinity has its logical fruition in Abu Ghraib, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our lack of compassion for our homeless, our poor, the mentally ill, the unemployed, and the sick. ... We accept the system handed to us and seek to find a comfortable place within it. We retreat into the narrow, confined ghettos created for us and shut our eyes to the deadly superstructure of the corporate state.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac. In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. Political language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind. War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. (On the manipulation of language for political ends.) We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.
George Orwell (Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays)
Throw away too much of your past and you abandon the person who walked those days. When you pare away at yourself you can reinvent, that’s true enough, but such whittling always seems to reveal a lesser man, and promises to leave you with nothing at the end.
Mark Lawrence (The Liar's Key (The Red Queen's War, #2))
Perhaps one day, all these conflicts will end, and it won't be because of great statesmen or churches or organisations like this one. It'll be because people have changed. They'll be like you, Puffin. More a mixture. So why not become a mongrel? It's healthy.
Kazuo Ishiguro (When We Were Orphans)
this is the 21st century and we need to redefine r/evolution. this planet needs a people’s r/evolution. a humanist r/evolution. r/evolution is not about bloodshed or about going to the mountains and fighting. we will fight if we are forced to but the fundamental goal of r/evolution must be peace. we need a r/evolution of the mind. we need a r/evolution of the heart. we need a r/evolution of the spirit. the power of the people is stronger than any weapon. a people’s r/evolution can’t be stopped. we need to be weapons of mass construction. weapons of mass love. it’s not enough just to change the system. we need to change ourselves. we have got to make this world user friendly. user friendly. are you ready to sacrifice to end world hunger. to sacrifice to end colonialism. to end neo-colonialism. to end racism. to end sexism. r/evolution means the end of exploitation. r/evolution means respecting people from other cultures. r/evolution is creative. r/evolution means treating your mate as a friend and an equal. r/evolution is sexy. r/evolution means respecting and learning from your children. r/evolution is beautiful. r/evolution means protecting the people. the plants. the animals. the air. the water. r/evolution means saving this planet. r/evolution is love.
Assata Shakur
It occurs to me how close happiness and sadness are. So closely knitted together. Such a thin line, a thread-like divide that in the midst of emotions, it trembles, blurring the territory of exact opposites ... how quickly a moment of love was snapped away to a moment of hate ... Of how love and war stand upon the very same foundations. How, in my darkest moments, my most fearful times, when faced, became my bravest. When feeling at your weakest you end up showing more strength, when at your lowest are suddenly lifted above higher than you've ever been. They all border one another, the opposites, and how we can be altered. Despair can be altered by one simple smile offered by a stranger; confidence can become fear by the arrival of one uneasy presence. ... How similar emotions are.
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
When You Have Forgotten Sunday: The Love Story -- And when you have forgotten the bright bedclothes on a Wednesday and a Saturday, And most especially when you have forgotten Sunday -- When you have forgotten Sunday halves in bed, Or me sitting on the front-room radiator in the limping afternoon Looking off down the long street To nowhere, Hugged by my plain old wrapper of no-expectation And nothing-I-have-to-do and I’m-happy-why? And if-Monday-never-had-to-come— When you have forgotten that, I say, And how you swore, if somebody beeped the bell, And how my heart played hopscotch if the telephone rang; And how we finally went in to Sunday dinner, That is to say, went across the front room floor to the ink-spotted table in the southwest corner To Sunday dinner, which was always chicken and noodles Or chicken and rice And salad and rye bread and tea And chocolate chip cookies -- I say, when you have forgotten that, When you have forgotten my little presentiment That the war would be over before they got to you; And how we finally undressed and whipped out the light and flowed into bed, And lay loose-limbed for a moment in the week-end Bright bedclothes, Then gently folded into each other— When you have, I say, forgotten all that, Then you may tell, Then I may believe You have forgotten me well.
Gwendolyn Brooks (The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks)
Cristina looked after Emma, her hand going to the pendant at her own throat. It was silver, in the shape of a circle with a rose inside it. The rose was wrapped around with thorny briars. Words were written in Latin on the back: she didn’t need to look at them to know them. She’d known them all her life. Blessed be the Angel my strength who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. The rose for Rosales, the words for Raziel, the Angel who had created the Shadowhunters a thousand years ago. Cristina had always thought Emma fought for her parabatai and for revenge, while she fought for family and faith. But maybe it was all the same thing: maybe it was all love, in the end.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
Rose Tyler: The time war ends. Emperor Dalek: I will not die! I cannot diieee! [we see Rose's eyes light up, and the Dalek Emperor and his entire fleet disappear in an explosion of golden dust] The Doctor: Rose, you've done it, now stop. [Rose stares straight ahead] The Doctor: Just let go. Rose Tyler: How can I let go of this? I bring life. [we see Jack start breathing again and open his eyes] The Doctor: But this is wrong! You can't control life and death! Rose Tyler: But I can. The sun and the moon, the day and night... but why do they hurt? [she is crying] The Doctor: The power's gonna kill you and it's my fault! Rose Tyler: I can see everything... all that is... all that was... all that ever could be. The Doctor: [stands up] But that's what *I* see. All the time. And doesn't it drive you mad? Rose Tyler: [Rose nods, barely able to speak] My head... The Doctor: Come here. Rose Tyler: ...is killing me. The Doctor: I think you need a Doctor. [He leans down and kisses her, and the golden light transfers from her to him through their lips]
Russell T. Davies
Females create life, males end it. War, crime, violence, are primarily male franchises. Man shit. It’s nature’s supreme joke. Deep in the womb, men start out as the good thing, and wind up as the crappy thing. Not all men. Just enough. Just enough to fuck things up.
George Carlin (When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?)
Jiang was wrong. She was not dabbling in forces she could not control, for the gods were not dangerous. The gods had no power at all, except what she gave them. The gods could affect the universe only through humans like her. Her destiny had not been written in the stars, or in the registers of the Pantheon. She had made her choices fully and autonomously. And though she called upon the gods to aid her in battle, they were her tools from beginning to end. She was no victim of destiny. She was the last Speerly, commander of the Cike, and a shaman who called the gods to do her bidding. And she would call the gods to do such terrible things.
R.F. Kuang (The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1))
Above all, what you have as young people that's vitally needed to make social change, is impatience. You want it to happen now. There have to be enough people that say, "We want it now, in our lifetime. " We want to see apartheid in South Africa come down right now. We want to see the war in Central America stop right now. We want the CIA off our campus right now. We want an end to sexual harassment in our communities right now. Be adventurists in the sense of being bold and daring. Be opportunists and seize this opportunity, this moment in history, to go out and save our country. It's your turn now.
Abbie Hoffman
I think I can understand that feeling about a housewife’s work being like that of Sisyphus (who was the stone rolling gentleman). But it is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, miners, cars, government etc exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? As Dr. Johnson said, “To be happy at home is the end of all human endeavour”. (1st to be happy to prepare for being happy in our own real home hereafter: 2nd in the meantime to be happy in our houses.) We wage war in order to have peace, we work in order to have leisure, we produce food in order to eat it. So your job is the one for which all others exist…
C.S. Lewis (Letters of C. S. Lewis (Edited, with a Memoir, by W. H. Lewis))
Will we turn our backs on science because it is perceived as a threat to God, abandoning all the promise of advancing our understanding of nature and applying that to the alleviation of suffering and the betterment of humankind? Alternatively, will we turn our backs on faith, concluding that science has rendered the spiritual life no longer necessary, and that traditional religious symbols can now be replaced by engravings of the double helix on our alters? Both of these choices are profoundly dangerous. Both deny truth. Both will diminish the nobility of humankind. Both will be devastating to our future. And both are unnecessary. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate and beautiful - and it cannot be at war with itself. Only we imperfect humans can start such battles. And only we can end them.
Francis S. Collins (The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief)
It is something great and greatening to cherish an ideal; to act in the light of truth that is far-away and far above; to set aside the near advantage, the momentary pleasure; the snatching of seeming good to self; and to act for remoter ends, for higher good, and for interests other than our own.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
There will be hatred. There will be war. The country will fight itself to pieces. It will starve its people, ravage its land, poison its breath. Shanghai will fall and break and cry. But alongside everything, there has to be love - eternal, undying, enduring. Burn through vengeance and terror and warfare. Burn through everything that fuels the human heart and Sears it red, burn through everything that covers the outside with hard muscle and tough sinew. Cut down deep and grab what beats beneath, and it is love that will survive after everything else has perished.
Chloe Gong (Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2))
This was another of our fears: that Life wouldn't turn out to be like Literature. Look at our parents--were they the stuff of Literature? At best, they might aspire to the condition of onlookers and bystanders, part of a social backdrop against which real, true, important things could happen. Like what? The things Literature was about: Love, sex, morality, friendship, happiness, suffering, betrayal, adultery, good and evil, heroes and villains, guilt and innocence, ambition, power, justice, revolution, war, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, the individual against society, success and failure, murder, suicide, death, God.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
Paint ghosts over everything, the sadness of everything. We made ourselves cold. We made ourselves snow. We smuggled ourselves into ourselves. Haunted by each other’s knowledge. To hide somewhere is not surrender, it is trickery. All day the snow falls down, all night the snow. I try to guess your trajectory and end up telling my own story. We left footprints in the slush of ourselves, getting out of there.
Richard Siken (War of the Foxes)
Once upon a time, [...]. There was a world that was perfectly made and full of birds and striped creatures and lovely things like honey lilies and star tenzing and weasels— [...] And this world already had light and shadow, so it didn't need any rouge stars to come and save it, and it had no use for bleeding suns or weeping moons, either, and most important, it had never known war, which is a terrible and wasteful thing that no world needs. It had earth and water, air and fire, all four elements, but it was missing the last element. Love. [...] And so this paradise was like a jewel box without a jewel. There it lay, day after day of rose-colored dawns and creature sounds and strange perfumes, and waited for lovers to find it and fill it with their happiness. The end. [...] The story is unfinished. The world is still waiting.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
Well, I’ve been a musician my whole life. When I was two, I would sing the theme from Star Wars in my crib; my mom taped it for proof. Then, when I was five, I asked for a violin. No one knew why I would want one, but my wish was granted and I ended up a classically trained fiddler by age 12. The only problem with that was, when you’re a classical violinist, everybody expects you to be satisfied with playing Tchaikovsky for the rest of your life, and saying you want to play jazz, rock, write songs, sing your songs, hook up your fiddle to a guitar amp, sleep with your 4-track recorder, mess around with synths, dress like Tinkerbell in combat boots, AND play Tchaikovsky is equivalent to spitting on the Pope.
Emilie Autumn
He ran as he'd never run before, with neither hope nor despair. He ran because the world was divided into opposites and his side had already been chosen for him, his only choice being whether or not to play his part with heart and courage. He ran because fate had placed him in a position of responsibility and he had accepted the burden. He ran because his self-respect required it. He ran because he loved his friends and this was the only thing he could do to end the madness that was killing and maiming them.
Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn)
In moments Akiva was up in the ether, scarcely feeling the sting of ice crystals in the thin air. He let his glamour fall away, and his wings were like sheets of fire sweeping the black of the heavens. He moved at speed, onward toward another human city to find another doorway bitter with the devil's magic, and after that another, until all bore the black handprint....Once all the doors were marked, the end would begin. And it would begin with fire.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
Do not mistake me, Inrithi. In this much Conphas is right. You are all staggering drunks to me. Boys who would play at war when you should kennel with your mothers. You know nothing of war. War is dark. Black as pitch. It is not a God. It does not laugh or weep. It rewards neither skill not daring. It is not a trial of souls, nor the measure of wills. Even less is it a tool, a means to some womanish end. It is merely the place where the iron bones of the earth meet the hollow bones of men and break them. You have offered me war, and I have accepted. Nothing more. I will not regret your losses. I will not bow my head before your funeral pyres. I will not rejoice at your triumphs. But I have taken the wager. I will suffer with you. I will put Fanim to the sword, and drive their wives and children to the slaughter. And when I sleep, I will dream of their lamentations and be glad of heart.
R. Scott Bakker (The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing, #1))
I have a good friend in the East, who comes to my shows and says, you sing a lot about the past, you can't live in the past, you know. I say to him, I can go outside and pick up a rock that's older than the oldest song you know, and bring it back in here and drop it on your foot. Now the past didn't go anywhere, did it? It's right here, right now. I always thought that anybody who told me I couldn't live in the past was trying to get me to forget something that if I remembered it it would get them serious trouble. No, that 50s, 60s, 70s, 90s stuff, that whole idea of decade packaging, things don't happen that way. The Vietnam War heated up in 1965 and ended in 1975-- what's that got to do with decades? No, that packaging of time is a journalist convenience that they use to trivialize and to dismiss important events and important ideas. I defy that.
Utah Phillips
And you rage and scream and reach through the Force to crush the shadow who has destroyed you, but you are so far less now than what you were, you are more than half machine, you are like a painter gone blind, a composer gone deaf, you can remember where the power was but the power you can touch is only a memory, and so with all your world-destroying fury it is only droids around you that implode, and equipment, and the table on which you were strapped shatters, and in the end, you cannot touch the shadow. In the end you don't even want to. In the end, you do not even want to. In the end, the shadow is all you have left. Because the shadow understands you, the shadow forgives you, the shadow gathers you unto itself—And within your furnace heart, you burn in your own flame.
Matthew Woodring Stover (Revenge of the Sith (Star Wars: Novelizations, #3))
How do you turn catastrophe into art? Nowadays the process is automatic. A nuclear plant explodes? We'll have a play on the London stage within a year. A President is assissinated? You can have the book or the film or the filmed book or booked film. War? Send in the novelists. A series of gruesome murders? Listen for the tramp of the poets. We have to understand it, of course, this catastrophe; to understand it, we have to imagine it, so we need the imaginative arts. But we also need to justify it and forgive it, this catastrophe, however minimally. Why did it happen, this mad act of Nature, this crazed human moment? Well, at least it produced art. Perhaps, in the end, that's what catastrophe is for.
Julian Barnes (A History of the World in 10½ Chapters)
[Pascal] was the first and perhaps is still the most effective voice to be raised in warning of the consequences of the enthronement of the human ego in contradistinction to the cross, symbolizing the ego's immolation. How beautiful it all seemed at the time of the Enlightenment, that man triumphant would bring to pass that earthly paradise whose groves of academe would ensure the realization forever of peace, plenty, and beatitude in practice. But what a nightmare of wars, famines, and folly was to result therefrom.
Malcolm Muggeridge (The End of Christendom)
Maybe we are a little crazy. After all, we believe in things we don't see. The Scriptures say that faith is "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Heb. 11:1). We believe poverty can end even though it is all around us. We believe in peace even though we hear only rumours of wars. And since we are people of expectation, we are so convinced that another world is coming that we start living as if it were already here.
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
Good evening, London. I would introduce myself, but truth to tell, I do not have a name. You can call me “V”. Since mankind’s dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We’ve seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse. In anarchy, there is another way. With anarchy, from rubble comes new life, hope reinstated. They say anarchy’s dead, but see…reports of my death were…exaggerated. Tomorrow, Downing Street will be destroyed, the Head reduced to ruins, an end to what has gone before. Tonight, you must choose what comes next. Lives of our own, or a return to chains. Choose carefully. And so, adieu.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both *may* be, and one *must* be, wrong. God cannot be *for* and *against* the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party - and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaption to effect His purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true - that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By His mere great power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either *saved* or *destroyed* the Union without human contest. Yet the contest began, And, having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.
Abraham Lincoln
In past ages, a war, almost by definition, was something that sooner or later came to an end, usually in unmistakable victory or defeat. In the past, also, war was one of the main instruments by which human societies were kept in touch with physical reality. All rulers in all ages have tried to impose a false view of the world upon their followers, but they could not afford to encourage any illusion that tended to impair military efficiency. So long as defeat meant the loss of independence, or some other result generally held to be undesirable, the precautions against defeat had to be serious. Physical facts could not be ignored. In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four. Inefficient nations were always conquered sooner or later, and the struggle for efficiency was inimical to illusions. Moreover, to be efficient it was necessary to be able to learn from the past, which meant having a fairly accurate idea of what had happened in the past. Newspapers and history books were, of course, always coloured and biased, but falsification of the kind that is practiced today would have been impossible. War was a sure safeguard of sanity, and so far as the ruling classes were concerned it was probably the most important of all safeguards. While wars could be won or lost, no ruling class could be completely irresponsible.
George Orwell (1984)
Battles are all about strategy, and strategy pivots on priorities. Since my priorities were Prince Jalan, Prince Jalan, and Prince Jalan, with “looking good” a distant fourth, I took the opportunity to resume running away. I find that the main thing about success is the ability to act in the moment. A hero attacks in the moment; a good coward runs in it. The rest of the world waits for the next moment and ends up as crow food.
Mark Lawrence (Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War, #1))
Society can give its young men almost any job and they'll figure how to do it. They'll suffer for it and die for it and watch their friends die for it, but in the end, it will get done. That only means that society should be careful about what it asks for. ... Soldiers themselves are reluctant to evaluate the costs of war, but someone must. That evaluation, ongoing and unadulterated by politics, may be the one thing a country absolutely owes the soldiers who defend its borders.
Sebastian Junger (War)
If I told you to jump, would you ask how high? Or would you just jump? If there were no reason behind it, would you still take the leap? What if I told you that at the end, there would be nothing? What if you made a splash on the world and lived in an eternal state of floating? Would you make waves? What if you couldn't float? What if air lost the battle, and you lost the war? Would you want to know what was on the other side? Would you care? Or would you just jump... because I was the one that asked you?
Jay McLean (More Than Enough (More Than, #5))
Terrorism” is a word that has become a plague on our vocabulary, the excuse and reason and moral permit for state-sponsored violence— our violence—which is now used on the innocent of the Middle East ever more outrageously and promiscuously. Terrorism, terrorism, terrorism. It has become a full stop, a punctuation mark, a phrase, a speech, a sermon, the be-all and end-all of everything that we must hate in order to ignore injustice and occupation and murder on a mass scale. Terror, terror, terror, terror. It is a sonata, a symphony, an orchestra tuned to every television and radio station and news agency report, the soap-opera of the Devil, served up on prime-time or distilled in wearyingly dull and mendacious form by the right-wing “commentators” of the American east coast or the Jerusalem Post or the intellectuals of Europe. Strike against Terror. Victory over Terror. War on Terror. Everlasting War on Terror. Rarely in history have soldiers and journalists and presidents and kings aligned themselves in such thoughtless, unquestioning ranks.
Robert Fisk (The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East)
It is the story that lies around the edges of the photographs, or at the end of newspaper account. It's about the lies we tell others to protect them, and about the lies we tell ourselves in order not to acknowledge what we can't bear: that we are alive, for instance, and eating lunch, while bombs are falling, and refugees are crammed into camps, and the news comes toward us every hour of the day. And what, in the end, do we do?
Sarah Blake (The Postmistress)
We want different things. Men want to have sex with a woman. Then they want to have sex with another woman. And then another. Then they want to eat cornflakes and sleep for a while, and then they want to have sex with another woman, and another, until they die. Women,’ and I thought I’d better pick my words carefully when describing a gender I didn’t belong to, ‘want a relationship. They may not get it, or they may sleep with a lot of men before they do get it, but ultimately that’s what they want. That’s the goal. Men do not have goals. Natural ones. So they invent them, and put them at either end of a football pitch. And then they invent football. Or they pick fights, or try and get rich, or start wars, or come up with any number of daft bloody things to make up for the fact that they have no real goals.’ ‘Bollocks,’ said Ronnie. ‘That, of course, is the other main difference.
Hugh Laurie (The Gun Seller)
Do you ever feel lost?” The question hangs between us, intimate, awkward only on my end. He doesn’t scoff as Tactus and Fitchner would, or scratch his balls like Sevro, or chuckle like Cassius might have, or purr as Victra would. I’m not sure what Mustang might have done. But Roque, despite his Color and all the things that make him different, slowly slides a marker into the book and sets it on the nightstand beside the four-poster, taking his time and allowing an answer to evolve between us. Movements thoughtful and organic, like Dancer’s were before he died. There’s a stillness in him, vast and majestic, the same stillness I remember in my father. “Quinn once told me a story.” He waits for me to moan a grievance at the mention of a story, and when I don’t, his tone sinks into deeper gravity. “Once, in the days of Old Earth, there were two pigeons who were greatly in love. In those days, they raised such animals to carry messages across great distances. These two were born in the same cage, raised by the same man, and sold on the same day to different men on the eve of a great war. “The pigeons suffered apart from each other, each incomplete without their lover. Far and wide their masters took them, and the pigeons feared they would never again find each other, for they began to see how vast the world was, and how terrible the things in it. For months and months, they carried messages for their masters, flying over battle lines, through the air over men who killed one another for land. When the war ended, the pigeons were set free by their masters. But neither knew where to go, neither knew what to do, so each flew home. And there they found each other again, as they were always destined to return home and find, instead of the past, their future.
Pierce Brown (Golden Son (Red Rising Saga, #2))
Now that the wars are coming to an end, I wish you to prosper in peace. May all mortals from now on live like one people in concord and for mutual advancement. Consider the world as your country, with laws common to all and where the best will govern irrespective of tribe. I do not distinguish among men, as the narrow-minded do, both among Greeks and Barbarians. I am not interested in the descendance of the citizens or their racial origins. I classify them using one criterion: their virtue. For me every virtuous foreigner is a Greek and every evil Greek worse than a Barbarian. If differences ever develop between you never have recourse to arms, but solve them peacefully. If necessary, I should be your arbitrator.
Alexander the Great
And there in the middle, high above Prechistensky Boulevard, amidst a scattering of stars on every side but catching the eye through its closeness to the earth, its pure white light and the long uplift of its tail, shone the comet, the huge, brilliant comet of 1812, that popular harbinger of untold horrors and the end of the world. But this bright comet with its long, shiny tail held no fears for Pierre. Quite the reverse: Pierre’s eyes glittered with tears of rapture as he gazed up at this radiant star, which must have traced its parabola through infinite space at speeds unimaginable and now suddenly seemed to have picked its spot in the black sky and impaled itself like an arrow piercing the earth, and stuck there, with its strong upthrusting tail and its brilliant display of whiteness amidst the infinity of scintillating stars. This heavenly body seemed perfectly attuned to Pierre’s newly melted heart, as it gathered reassurance and blossomed into new life.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
It was true what Jim said, this wasn’t the end but the beginning. But the wars would end one day and Jim would come then, to the island they would share. One day surely the wars would end, and Jim would come home, if only to lie broken in MacMurrough’s arms, he would come to his island home. And MacMurrough would have it built for him, brick by brick, washed by the rain and the reckless sea. In the living stream they’d swim a season. For maybe it was true that no man is an island: but he believed that two very well might be.
Jamie O'Neill (At Swim, Two Boys)
Some people go through the heavy stuff. They fight in wars. They're in jail. They start a business and it gets shut down by gangsters. They end up hustling their ass in a foreign country. It's one long list of setbacks and humiliations. But it doesn't touch them, not really. They're having an adventure. It's like: What's next? And then there's other people who are just trying to live quietly, they stay out of trouble, they're maybe ten years old, or fourteen, and one Friday morning at 9:35 something happens to them, something private, something that breaks their heart. Forever.
Michel Faber (The Book of Strange New Things)
In the mid 1980's I was asked by an american legal institution known as the Christic Legal Institute to compile a comic book that would detail the murky history of the C.I.A., from the end of the second world war, to the present day. Covering such things as the heroin smuggling during the Vietnam war, the cocaine smuggling during the war in Central America, the Kennedy assasination and other highlights. What I learned during the frankly horrifying research that I had to slog through in order to accomplish this, was that yes, there is a conspiracy, in fact there are a great number of conspiracies that are all tripping each other up. And all of those conspiracies are run by paranoid fantasists, and ham fisted clowns. If you are on a list targeted by the C.I.A., you really have nothing to worry about. If however you have a name similar to someone on a list targeted by the C.I.A., then you are dead? The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory, is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not The Iluminati, or The Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory. The truth is far more frightening. Nobody is in control. The world is rudderless...
Alan Moore
God created every man to be free. The ability to choose whether to live free or enslaved, right or wrong, happy or in fear is something called freewill. Every man was born with freewill. Some people use it, and some people use any excuse not to. Nobody can turn you into a slave unless you allow them. Nobody can make you afraid of anything, unless you allow them. Nobody can tell you to do something wrong, unless you allow them. God never created you to be a slave, man did. God never created division or set up any borders between brothers, man did. God never told you hurt or kill another, man did. And in the end, when God asks you: "Who told you to kill one of my children?" And you tell him, "My leader." He will then ask you, "And are THEY your GOD?
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Ironically, the universities have trained hundreds of thousands of graduates for jobs that soon will not exist. They have trained people to maintain a structure that cannot be maintained. The elite as well as those equipped with narrow, specialized vocational skills, know only how to feed the beast until it dies. Once it is dead, they will be helpless. Don’t expect them to save us. They do not even know how to ask the questions, And when it all collapses, when our rotten financial system with its trillions in worthless assets implode and our imperial wars end in humiliation and defeat, the power elite will be exposed as being as helpless, and as self-deluded, as the rest of us.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
By creating a new mythos - that is, a change in the way we perceive reality, the way we see ourselves, and the ways we behave - la mestiza creates a new consciousness. The work of mestiza consciousness is to break down the subject/object duality that keeps her prisoner and to show in the flesh and through the images in her work how duality is transcended. The answer to the problem between the white race and the colored, between males and females, lies in healing the split that originates in the very foundation of our lives, our culture, our languages, our thoughts. A massive uprooting of dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness is the beginning of a long struggle, but one that could, in our best hopes, bring us to the end of rape, of violence, of war.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
He bent down, scratched the black dirt into his fingers. He was beginning to warm to it; the words were beginning to flow. No one in front of him was moving. He said, "This is free ground. All the way from here to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow. No man born to royalty. Here we judge you by what you do, not by what your father was. Here you can be something. Here's a place to build a home. It isn't the land--there's always more land. It's the idea that we all have value, you and me, we're worth something more than the dirt. I never saw dirt I'd die for, but I'm not asking you to come join us and fight for dirt. What we're all fighting for, in the end, is each other.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
My Angel, My greatest hope is that you never have to read this. Vee knows to give you this letter only if my feather is burned and I’m chained in hell or if Blakely develops a devilcraft prototype strong enough to kill me. When war between our races ignites, I don’t know what will become of our future. When I think about you and our plans. I feel a desperate aching. Never have I wanted things to turn out right as as I do now. Before I leave this world, I need to make certain you know that all my love belongs to you. You are the same to me now as you were before you swore the Changeover Vow. You are mine. Always. I love the strength, courage, and gentleness of your soul. I love your body too. How could someone so sexy and perfect be mine? With you I have purpose-someone to love, cherish and protect. There are secrets in my past that weigh on your mind. You've trusted me enough not to ask about them, and it's your faith that has made me a better man. I don’t want to leave you with anything hidden between us. I told you I was banished from heaven for falling in love with a human girl. The I way I explained it, I risked everything to be with her. I said those words because they simplified my motivations. But they weren't the truth. The truth is I had become disenchanted with the archangels’s shifting goals and wanted to push back against them and their rules. That girl was an excuse to let go of an old way of living and accept a new journey that would eventually lead me to you. I believe in destiny, Angel. I believe every choice I've made has brought me closer to you. I looked for you for a very long time. I may have fallen from heaven but I fell for you. I will do whatever it takes to make sure you win this war. Nephilim will come out on top. You’ll fulfill your vow to the Black Hand and be safe. This is my priority even if the cost is my life. I suspect this will make you angry. It may be hard to forgive me. I promised that we would be together at the end of this and you may resent me for the breaking that vow. I want you to know I did everything to keep my word. As I write this I am going over ever possibility that will see us through this. I hope I find a way. But if this choice I have to make comes down to your or me, I choose you. I always have. All my love, Patch
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
The problem is, it's just not enough to live according to the rules. Sure, you manage to live according to the rules. Sometimes it's tight, extremely tight, but on the whole you manage it. Your tax papers are up to date. Your bills paid on time. You never go out without your identity card (and the special little wallet for your Visa!). Yet you haven’t any friends. The rules are complex, multiform. There’s the shopping that needs doing out of working hours, the automatic dispensers where money has to be got (and where you so often have to wait). Above all there are the different payments you must make to the organizations that run different aspects of your life. You can fall ill into the bargain, which involves costs, and more formalities. Nevertheless, some free time remains. What’s to be done? How do you use your time? In dedicating yourself to helping people? But basically other people don’t interest you. Listening to records? That used to be a solution, but as the years go by you have to say that music moves you less and less. Taken in its widest sense, a spot of do-it-yourself can be a way out. But the fact is that nothing can halt the ever-increasing recurrence of those moments when your total isolation, the sensation of an all-consuming emptiness, the foreboding that your existence is nearing a painful and definitive end all combine to plunge you into a state of real suffering. And yet you haven’t always wanted to die. You have had a life. There have been moments when you were having a life. Of course you don't remember too much about it; but there are photographs to prove it. This was probably happening round about the time of your adolescence, or just after. How great your appetite for life was, then! Existence seemed so rich in new possibilities. You might become a pop singer, go off to Venezuela. More surprising still, you have had a childhood. Observe, now, a child of seven, playing with his little soldiers on the living room carpet. I want you to observe him closely. Since the divorce he no longer has a father. Only rarely does he see his mother, who occupies an important post in a cosmetics firm. And yet he plays with his little soldiers and the interest he takes in these representations of the world and of war seems very keen. He already lacks a bit of affection, that's for sure, but what an air he has of being interested in the world! You too, you took an interest in the world. That was long ago. I want you to cast your mind back to then. The domain of the rules was no longer enough for you; you were unable to live any longer in the domain of the rules; so you had to enter into the domain of the struggle. I ask you to go back to that precise moment. It was long ago, no? Cast your mind back: the water was cold.
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
Our contemporaries are constantly wracked by two warring passions: they feel the need to be led and the desire to remain free. Unable to destroy either of these contrary instincts, they seek to satisfy both at once. They imagine a single, omnipotent, tutelary power, but one that is elected by the citizens. They combine centralization with popular sovereignty. This gives them some respite. They console themselves for being treated as wards by imagining that they have chosen their own protectors. Each individual allows himself to be clapped in chains because that the other end of the chain is held not by a man or a class but by the people themselves.
Alexis de Tocqueville
They can fatten me up. They can give me a full body polish, dress me up, and make me beautiful again. They can design dream weapons that come to life in my hands, but they will never again brainwash me into the necessity of using them. I no longer feel allegiance to these monsters called human beings, despite being one myself. Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifies its children’s lives to settle its differences. You can spin it any way you like. Snow thought the Hunger Games were an efficient means of control. Coin thought the parachutes would expedite the war. But in the end, who does it benefit? No one. The truth is, it benefits no one to live in a world where these things happen.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
The greatest book in the world, the Mahabharata, tells us we all have to live and die by our karmic cycle. Thus works the perfect reward-and-punishment, cause-and-effect, code of the universe. We live out in our present life what we wrote out in our last. But the great moral thriller also orders us to rage against karma and its despotic dictates. It teaches us to subvert it. To change it. It tells us we also write out our next lives as we live out our present. The Mahabharata is not a work of religious instruction. It is much greater. It is a work of art. It understands men will always fall in the shifting chasm between the tug of the moral and the lure of the immoral. It is in this shifting space of uncertitude that men become men. Not animals, not gods. It understands truth is relative. That it is defined by context and motive. It encourages the noblest of men - Yudhishtra, Arjuna, Lord Krishna himself - to lie, so that a greater truth may be served. It understands the world is powered by desire. And that desire is an unknowable thing. Desire conjures death, destruction, distress. But also creates love, beauty, art. It is our greatest undoing. And the only reason for all doing. And doing is life. Doing is karma. Thus it forgives even those who desire intemperately. It forgives Duryodhana. The man who desires without pause. The man who precipitates the war to end all wars. It grants him paradise and the admiration of the gods. In the desiring and the doing this most reviled of men fulfils the mandate of man. You must know the world before you are done with it. You must act on desire before you renounce it. There can be no merit in forgoing the not known. The greatest book in the world rescues volition from religion and gives it back to man. Religion is the disciplinarian fantasy of a schoolmaster. The Mahabharata is the joyous song of life of a maestro. In its tales within tales it takes religion for a spin and skins it inside out. Leaves it puzzling over its own poisoned follicles. It gives men the chance to be splendid. Doubt-ridden architects of some small part of their lives. Duryodhanas who can win even as they lose.
Tarun J. Tejpal (The Alchemy of Desire)
What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me? I could invent a teakettle that reads in Dad’s voice, so I could fall asleep, or maybe a set of kettles that sings the chorus of “Yellow Submarine,” which is a song by the Beatles, who I love, because entomology is one of my raisons d’être, which is a French expression that I know. Another good thing is that I could train my anus to talk when I farted. If I wanted to be extremely hilarious, I’d train it to say, “Wasn’t me!” every time I made an incredibly bad fart. And if I ever made an incredibly bad fart in the Hall of Mirrors, which is in Versailles, which is outside of Paris, which is in France, obviously, my anus would say, “Ce n’étais pas moi!” What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboard down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.
Jonathan Safran Foer
When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees. After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her. Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart. She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard...
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Theres nothing more efficient than honesty and nothing more powerful than vulnerability because, vulnerability reveals everyone in your life who will abuse power immediately and almost irrevocably. Theres nothing weaker than hiding your vulnerability because, it means a refusal to stare at those who abuse power and see them for who they are which means they still have power and control over you. Nothing is stronger than vulnerability. Nothing more clarifying. Nothing is clearer than vulnerability, and if you hide who you are you are just making a tombstone of your everyday actions because you dont exist in hiding and you're letting the past rob you. Exercise the power of vulnerability. When you are vulnerable you are signaling to your system that the past is over and done! That you're no longer a victim! That you're no longer trapped in a destructive and abusive environment! vulnerability means it's over, it's done. The war is over but, if you continue to use the same defenses that you had in the past all you're telling your whole body is that the past is not over. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Be open and show your heart. That's the best way of telling your heart that the tigers are no longer in the grass. I'm telling you, just take it for a spin. Vulnerability and openness will get you what you want in your life and hiding will only get you the feeling of being prey from here until the end of your life.
Stefan Molyneux
Citizens of Luna, I ask that you stop what you’re doing to listen to this message. My name is Selene Blackburn. I am the daughter of the late Queen Channary, niece to Princess Levana, and the rightful heir to Luna’s throne. You were told that I died thirteen years ago in a nursery fire, but the truth is that my aunt, Levana, did try to kill me, but I was rescued and taken to Earth. There, I have been raised and protected in preparation for the time when I would return to Luna and reclaim my birthright. In my absence, Levana has enslaved you. She takes your sons and turns them into monsters. She takes your shell infants and slaughters them. She lets you go hungry, while the people in Artemisia gorge themselves on rich foods and delicacies. But Levana’s rule is coming to an end. I have returned and I am here to take back what’s mine. Soon, Levana is going to marry Emperor Kaito of Earth and be crowned the empress of the Eastern Commonwealth, an honor that could not be given to anyone less deserving. I refuse to allow Levana to extend her tyranny. I will not stand aside while my aunt enslaves and abuses my people here on Luna, and wages a war across Earth. Which is why, before an Earthen crown can be placed on Levana’s head, I will bring an army to the gates of Artemisia. I ask that you, citizens of Luna, be that army. You have the power to fight against Levana and the people that oppress you. Beginning now, tonight, I urge you to join me in rebelling against this regime. No longer will we obey her curfews or forgo our rights to meet and talk and be heard. No longer will we give up our children to become her disposable guards and soldiers. No longer will we slave away growing food and raising wildlife, only to see it shipped off to Artemisia while our children starve around us. No longer will we build weapons for Levana’s war. Instead, we will take them for ourselves, for our war. Become my army. Stand up and reclaim your homes from the guards who abuse and terrorize you. Send a message to Levana that you will no longer be controlled by fear and manipulation. And upon the commencement of the royal coronation, I ask that all able-bodied citizens join me in a march against Artemisia and the queen’s palace. Together we will guarantee a better future for Luna. A future without oppression. A future in which any Lunar, no matter the sector they live in or the family they were born to, can achieve their ambitions and live without fear of unjust persecution or a lifetime of slavery. I understand that I am asking you to risk your lives. Levana’s thaumaturges are powerful, her guards are skilled, her soldiers are brutal. But if we join together, we can be invincible. They can’t control us all. With the people united into one army, we will surround the capital city and overthrow the imposter who sits on my throne. Help me. Fight for me. And I will be the first ruler in the history of Luna who will also fight for you.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Once upon a time, there was only darkness, and there were monsters vast as worlds who swam in it. They were the Gibborium, and they loved the darkness because it concealed their hideousness. Whenever some other creature contrived to make light, they would extinguish it. When stars were born, they swallowed them, and it seemed that darkness would be eternal. But a race of bright warriors heard of the Gibborium and traveled from their far world to do battle with them. The war was long, light against dark, and many warriors were slain. In the end, when they vanquished the monsters, there were a hundred left alive, and these hundred were the godstars, who brought light to the universe. They made the rest of the stars, including our sun, and there was no more darkness, only endless light. They made children in their image- seraphim - and sent them down to beat light to the worlds that spun in space, and all was good. But one day, the last of the Gibborium, who was called Zamzumin, persuaded them that shadows were needed, that they would make the light seem brighter by contrast, and so the godstars brought shadows into being. But Zamzumin was a trickster. He needed only a shred of darkness to work with. He breathed life into the shadows, and as the godstars had made the seraphim in their own image, so did Zamzumin make the chimaera in his, and so they were hideous, and forever after the seraphim would fight on the side of light, and the chimaera for dark, and they would be enemies until the end of the world.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
They have no idea what a bottomless pit of misery I am. They will have to do more and more and more...but they don’t know how enormous my need is. They don’t know how much I will demand from them before I can even think about getting better. They do not know that this is not some practice fire drill meant to prepare them for the real inferno, because the real thing is happening right now. All the bells say: too late. Its much too late and I’m sure that they are still not listening. They still don’t know that they need to do more and more and more, they need to try to get through to me until they haven’t slept or eaten or breathed fresh air for days, they need to try until they’ve died for me. They have to suffer as I have. And even after they’ve done that, there will still be more. They will have to rearrange the order of the cosmos, they will have to end the cold war...they will have to cure hunger in Ethiopia, and end the sex trade in Thailand and stop torture in Argentina. They will have to do more then they ever thought they could if they want me to stay alive. They have no idea how much energy and exasperation I am willing to suck out of them until I feel better. I will drain them and drown them until they know how little of me there is left even after I’ve taken everything they’ve got to give me because I hate them for not knowing.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves, And ye that on the sands with printless foot Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him When he comes back; you demi-puppets that By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make, Whereof the ewe not bites, and you whose pastime Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid, Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimm’d The noontide sun, call’d forth the mutinous winds, And ‘twixt the green sea and the azured vault Set roaring war: to the dread rattling thunder Have I given fire and rifted Jove’s stout oak With his own bolt; the strong-based promontory Have I made shake and by the spurs pluck’d up The pine and cedar: graves at my command Have waked their sleepers, oped, and let ‘em forth By my so potent art. But this rough magic I here abjure, and, when I have required Some heavenly music, which even now I do, To work mine end upon their senses that This airy charm is for, I’ll break my staff, Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, And deeper than did ever plummet sound I’ll drown my book.
William Shakespeare (The Tempest)
Father! My father knows the proper way The nation should be run; He tells us children every day Just what should now be done. He knows the way to fix the trusts, He has a simple plan; But if the furnace needs repairs, We have to hire a man. My father, in a day or two Could land big thieves in jail; There's nothing that he cannot do, He knows no word like "fail." "Our confidence" he would restore, Of that there is no doubt; But if there is a chair to mend, We have to send it out. All public questions that arise, He settles on the spot; He waits not till the tumult dies, But grabs it while it's hot. In matters of finance he can Tell Congress what to do; But, O, he finds it hard to meet His bills as they fall due. It almost makes him sick to read The things law-makers say; Why, father's just the man they need, He never goes astray. All wars he'd very quickly end, As fast as I can write it; But when a neighbor starts a fuss, 'Tis mother has to fight it. In conversation father can Do many wondrous things; He's built upon a wiser plan Than presidents or kings. He knows the ins and outs of each And every deep transaction; We look to him for theories, But look to ma for action
Edgar A. Guest
The greatest barrier I have met is the almost total absence from the minds of my audience of any sense of sin... The early Christian preachers could assume in their hearers, whether Jews, Metuentes, or Pagans, a sense of guilt. (That this was common among Pagans is shown by the fact that both Epicureanism and the mystery religions both claimed, though in different ways, to assuage it.) Thus the Christian message was in those days unmistakably the Evangelium, the Good News. It promised healing to those who knew they were sick. We have to convince our hearers of the unwelcome diagnosis before we can expect them to welcome the news of the remedy. The ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man, the roles are quite reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge; if God should have a reasonable defense for being the god who permits war, poverty, and disease, he is ready to listen to it. The trial may even end in God’s acquittal. But the important thing is that man is on the bench and God is in the dock.
C.S. Lewis (God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics)
Anyone can practice some nonviolence, even soldiers. Some army generals, for example, conduct their operations in ways that avoid killing innocent people; this is a kind of nonviolence. To help soldiers move in the nonviolent direction, we have to be in touch with them. If we divide reality into two camps - the violent and the nonviolent - and stand in one camp while attacking the other, the world will never have peace. We will always blame and condemn those we feel are responsible for wars and social injustice, without recognizing the degree of violence in ourselves. We must work on ourselves and also with those we condemn if we want to have a real impact. It never helps to draw a line and dismiss some people as enemies, even those who act violently. We have to approach them with love in our hearts and do our best to help them move in a direction of nonviolence. If we work for peace out of anger, we will never succeed. Peace is not an end. It can never come about through non-peaceful means.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Love in Action: Writings on Nonviolent Social Change)
At this stage of the game, I don’t have the time for patience and tolerance. Ten years ago, even five years ago, I would have listened to people ask their questions, explained to them, mollified them. No more. That time is past. Now, as Norman Mailer said in Naked and the Dead, ‘I hate everything which is not in myself.’ If it doesn’t have a direct bearing on what I’m advocating, if it doesn’t augment or stimulate my life and thinking, I don’t want to hear it. It has to add something to my life. There’s no more time for explaining and being ecumenical anymore. No more time. That’s a characteristic I share with the new generation of Satanists, which might best be termed, and has labeled itself in many ways, an ‘Apocalypse culture.’ Not that they believe in the biblical Apocalypse—the ultimate war between good and evil. Quite the contrary. But that there is an urgency, a need to get on with things and stop wailing and if it ends tomorrow, at least we’ll know we’ve lived today. It’s a ‘fiddle while Rome burns’ philosophy. It’s the Satanic philosophy. If the generation born in the 50’s grew up in the shadow of The Bomb and had to assimilate the possibility of imminent self destruction of the entire planet at any time, those born in the 60’s have had to reconcile the inevitability of our own destruction, not through the bomb but through mindless, uncontrolled overpopulation. And somehow resolve in themselves, looking at what history has taught us, that no amount of yelling, protesting, placard waving, marching, wailing—or even more constructive avenues like running for government office or trying to write books to wake people up—is going to do a damn bit of good. The majority of humans have an inborn death wish—they want to destroy themselves and everything beautiful. To finally realize that we’re living in a world after the zenith of creativity, and that we can see so clearly the mechanics of our own destruction, is a terrible realization. Most people can’t face it. They’d rather retreat to the comfort of New Age mysticism. That’s all right. All we want, those few of us who have the strength to realize what’s going on, is the freedom to create and entertain and share with each other, to preserve and cherish what we can while we can, and to build our own little citadels away from the insensitivity of the rest of the world.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
Halfway home, the sky goes from dark gray to almost black and a loud thunder snap accompanies the first few raindrops that fall. Heavy, warm, big drops, they drench me in seconds, like an overturned bucket from the sky dumping just on my head. I reach my hands up and out, as if that can stop my getting wetter, and open my mouth, trying to swallow the downpour, till it finally hits me how funny it is, my trying to stop the rain. This is so funny to me, I laugh and laugh, as loud and free as I want. Instead of hurrying to higher ground, I jump lower, down off the curb, splashing through the puddles, playing and laughing all the way home. In all my life till now, rain has meant staying inside and not being able to go out to play. But now for the first time I realize that rain doesn't have to be bad. And what's more, I understand, sadness doesn't have to be bad, either. Come to think of it, I figure you need sadness, just as you need the rain. Thoughts and ideas pour through my awareness. It feels to me that happiness is almost scary, like how I imagine being drunk might feel - real silly and not caring what anybody else says. Plus, that happy feeling always leaves so fast, and you know it's going to go before it even does. Sadness lasts longer, making it more familiar, and more comfortable. But maybe, I wonder, there's a way to find some happiness in the sadness. After all, it's like the rain, something you can't avoid. And so, it seems to me, if you're caught in it, you might as well try to make the best of it. Getting caught in the warm, wet deluge that particular day in that terrible summer full of wars and fires that made no sense was a wonderful thing to have happen. It taught me to understand rain, not to dread it. There were going to be days, I knew, when it would pour without warning, days when I'd find myself without an umbrella. But my understanding would act as my all-purpose slicker and rubber boots. It was preparing me for stormy weather, arming me with the knowledge that no matter how hard it seemed, it couldn't rain forever. At some point, I knew, it would come to an end.
Antwone Quenton Fisher (Finding Fish: A Memoir)
For most of my life, I would have automatically said that I would opt for conscientious objector status, and in general, I still would. But the spirit of the question is would I ever, and there are instances where I might. If immediate intervention would have circumvented the genocide in Rwanda or stopped the Janjaweed in Darfur, would I choose pacifism? Of course not. Scott Simon, the reporter for National Public Radio and a committed lifelong Quaker, has written that it took looking into mass graves in former Yugoslavia to convince him that force is sometimes the only option to deter our species' murderous impulses. While we're on the subject of the horrors of war, and humanity's most poisonous and least charitable attributes, let me not forget to mention Barbara Bush (that would be former First Lady and presidential mother as opposed to W's liquor-swilling, Girl Gone Wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I'm sorry, that's not fair. I've no idea if she smokes.) When the administration censored images of the flag-draped coffins of the young men and women being killed in Iraq - purportedly to respect "the privacy of the families" and not to minimize and cover up the true nature and consequences of the war - the family matriarch expressed her support for what was ultimately her son's decision by saying on Good Morning America on March 18, 2003, "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? I mean it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" Mrs. Bush is not getting any younger. When she eventually ceases to walk among us we will undoubtedly see photographs of her flag-draped coffin. Whatever obituaries that run will admiringly mention those wizened, dynastic loins of hers and praise her staunch refusal to color her hair or glamorize her image. But will they remember this particular statement of hers, this "Let them eat cake" for the twenty-first century? Unlikely, since it received far too little play and definitely insufficient outrage when she said it. So let us promise herewith to never forget her callous disregard for other parents' children while her own son was sending them to make the ultimate sacrifice, while asking of the rest of us little more than to promise to go shopping. Commit the quote to memory and say it whenever her name comes up. Remind others how she lacked even the bare minimum of human integrity, the most basic requirement of decency that says if you support a war, you should be willing, if not to join those nineteen-year-olds yourself, then at least, at the very least, to acknowledge that said war was actually going on. Stupid fucking cow.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
The Battle of Gettysburg was fought in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 18-something-or-nother. The year doesn‘t matter.They considered it the turning point of the war, and President Lincoln showed up to give his big speech. Who really cares what it was called? I don‘t. After it was all over and the North won, Congress passed the 13th amendment to free the slaves. It outlawed owning another person, yada, yada, yada, but it was a waste of time. All of it. Every bit. Completely pointless. All those people died and it didn't change anything, because it doesn't work if they don't enforce it. They just ignore it, turn their backs and say it‘s not their problem, but it is. It's everyone's problem. They can say slavery ended all they want, but that doesn't make it true. People lie. They'll tell you what they think you wanna hear, and you‘ll believe it. Whatever makes you feel better about your dismal little lives. So, whatever. Go on being naive. Believe what the history book tells you if you want. Believe what Mrs. Anderson wants me to tell you about it. Believe the land of the free, blah, blah, blah, star spangled banner bullshit. Believe there aren‘t any slaves anymore just because a tall guy in a big ass top hat and a bunch of politicians said so. But I won‘t believe it, because if I do too, we‘ll all fucking be wrong, and someone has to be right." -Carmine DeMarco
J.M. Darhower (Sempre (Sempre, #1))
I once expected to spend seven years walking around the world on foot. I walked from Mexico to Panama where the road ended before an almost uninhabited swamp called the Choco Colombiano. Even today there is no road. Perhaps it is time for me to resume my wanderings where I left off as a tropical tramp in the slums of Panama. Perhaps like Ambrose Bierce who disappeared in the desert of Sonora I may also disappear. But after being in all mankind it is hard to come to terms with oblivion - not to see hundreds of millions of Chinese with college diplomas come aboard the locomotive of history - not to know if someone has solved the riddle of the universe that baffled Einstein in his futile efforts to make space, time, gravitation and electromagnetism fall into place in a unified field theory - never to experience democracy replacing plutocracy in the military-industrial complex that rules America - never to witness the day foreseen by Tennyson 'when the war-drums no longer and the battle-flags are furled, in the parliament of man, the federation of the world.' I may disappear leaving behind me no worldly possessions - just a few old socks and love letters, and my windows overlooking Notre-Dame for all of you to enjoy, and my little rag and bone shop of the heart whose motto is 'Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.' I may disappear leaving no forwarding address, but for all you know I may still be walking among you on my vagabond journey around the world." [Shakespeare & Company, archived statement]
George Whitman
As observers of totalitarianism such as Victor Klemperer noticed, truth dies in four modes, all of which we have just witnessed. The first mode is the open hostility to verifiable reality, which takes the form of presenting inventions and lies as if they were facts. The president does this at a high rate and at a fast pace. One attempt during the 2016 campaign to track his utterances found that 78 percent of his factual claims were false. This proportion is so high that it makes the correct assertions seem like unintended oversights on the path toward total fiction. Demeaning the world as it is begins the creation of a fictional counterworld. The second mode is shamanistic incantation. As Klemperer noted, the fascist style depends upon “endless repetition,” designed to make the fictional plausible and the criminal desirable. The systematic use of nicknames such as “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary” displaced certain character traits that might more appropriately have been affixed to the president himself. Yet through blunt repetition over Twitter, our president managed the transformation of individuals into stereotypes that people then spoke aloud. At rallies, the repeated chants of “Build that wall” and “Lock her up” did not describe anything that the president had specific plans to do, but their very grandiosity established a connection between him and his audience. The next mode is magical thinking, or the open embrace of contradiction. The president’s campaign involved the promises of cutting taxes for everyone, eliminating the national debt, and increasing spending on both social policy and national defense. These promises mutually contradict. It is as if a farmer said he were taking an egg from the henhouse, boiling it whole and serving it to his wife, and also poaching it and serving it to his children, and then returning it to the hen unbroken, and then watching as the chick hatches. Accepting untruth of this radical kind requires a blatant abandonment of reason. Klemperer’s descriptions of losing friends in Germany in 1933 over the issue of magical thinking ring eerily true today. One of his former students implored him to “abandon yourself to your feelings, and you must always focus on the Führer’s greatness, rather than on the discomfort you are feeling at present.” Twelve years later, after all the atrocities, and at the end of a war that Germany had clearly lost, an amputated soldier told Klemperer that Hitler “has never lied yet. I believe in Hitler.” The final mode is misplaced faith. It involves the sort of self-deifying claims the president made when he said that “I alone can solve it” or “I am your voice.” When faith descends from heaven to earth in this way, no room remains for the small truths of our individual discernment and experience. What terrified Klemperer was the way that this transition seemed permanent. Once truth had become oracular rather than factual, evidence was irrelevant. At the end of the war a worker told Klemperer that “understanding is useless, you have to have faith. I believe in the Führer.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
Around the time they were preparing Jose Arcadio for the seminary she had already made a detailed recapitulation of life in the house since the founding of Macondo and had completely changed the opinion that she had always had of its descendants. She realized that Colonel Aureliano Buendia had not lost his love for the family because he had been hardened by the war, as she had thought before, but that he had never loved anyone... Amaranta, however, whose hardness of heart frightened her, whose concentrated bitterness made her bitter, suddenly became clear to her in the final analysis as the most tender woman who had ever existed, and she understood with pitying clarity that the unjust tortures to which she had submitted Pietro Crespi had not been dictated by a desire for vengeance, as everyone had thought, nor had the slow martyrdom with which she had frustrated the life of Colonel Gerineldo Marquez been determined by the gall of her bitterness, as everyone had thought, but that both actions had been a mortal struggle between a measureless love and an invincible cowardice, and that the irrational fear that Amaranta had always had of her own tormented heart had triumphed in the end. It was during that time that Ursula began to speak Rebeca's name, bringing back the memory of her with an old love that was exalted by tardy repentance and a sudden admiration, coming to understand that only she, Rebeca , the one who had never fed of her milk but only of the earth of the land and the whiteness of the walls... Rebeca, the one with an impatient heart, the one with a fierce womb, was the only one who had the unbridled courage that Ursula had wanted for her line.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)