A man who has spent his primal strength in
journeying in one direction
has not much strength left for
reversing his course.
–Thomas Hardy, from
Far From the Madding Crowd
The poetry of motion is a phrase much in use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the night, and, first enlarging the consciousness with a sense of difference from the mass of civilized mankind, who are horizontal and disregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars.
–Thomas Hardy, from Far From the Madding Crowd
The aim and result of war necessarily is not peace but victory, and any victory won by violence necessarily justifies the violence that won it and leads to further violence. If we are serious about innovation, must we not conclude that we need something new to replace our perpetual “war to end war”?
–Wendell Berry, from “Thoughts in the Presence of Fear”
The average man is what his environment and his superstitions have made him; and their function is to make him an ass. He can’t add up three or four new circumstances together and perceive what they mean; it is beyond him. He is not capable of observing for himself. He has to get everything at second hand. If what are miscalled the lower animals were as silly as man is, they would all perish from the earth in a year.
–Mark Twain, from “The Appetite Cure”
|(Image credit: Slobodan Dimitrov)|
He, who before was the money owner, now strides in front as capitalist; the possessor of labour power follows as his labourer. The one with an air of importance, smirking, intent on business; the other, timid and holding back, like one who is bringing his own hide to market and has nothing to expect but–a hiding.
–Karl Marx, from Capital
|(Image Credit: Duncan Rawlinson)|
It is only in folk tales, children’s stories, and the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it takes willful and dedicated ignorance to fail to perceive them.