The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do. ~ Samuel P. Huntington
We’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy. ~Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General
Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy. ~John Pierpont Morgan
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country. ~Thomas Jefferson
If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom.
~ Robert Frost
CITIZENSHIP IN A REPUBLIC
It is not the critic who counts: not the man (or woman) who points out how the strong man (person) stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man (or woman) who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself (herself) for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he (she) fails, at least he (or she) fails while daring greatly, so that his (her) place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt. “Citizenship in a Republic,” Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
THOSE WHO GAMBLE WITH OTHERS LIVES SHOULD STAKE THEIR OWN
A time will come when a politician who has willfully made war and promoted international dissension will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide. It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men’s (other’s) lives should not stake their own. ~ H.G. Wells
GOOD PEOPLE LET THEIR INSTITUTIONS DO THEIR SINNING FOR THEM
American preachers have a task more difficult, perhaps, than those faced by us under South Africa’s apartheid, or Christians under Communism.
We had obvious evils to engage; you have to unwrap your culture from years of red, white and blue myth. You have to expose, and confront, the great disconnect between the kindness, compassion and caring of most American people, and the ruthless way American power is experienced, directly and indirectly, by the poor of the earth.
You have to help good people see how they have let their institutions do their sinning for them. This is not easy among people who really believe that their country does nothing but good, but it is necessary, not only for their future, but for us all.
~Peter Storey, former president of the Methodist Church of South Africa
STATES GET AWAY WITH MURDER
How many does it take to metamorphose wickedness into righteousness? One man must not kill. If he does, it is murder…. But a state or nation may kill as many as they please, and it is not murder. It is just, necessary, commendable, and right. Only get people enough to agree to it, and the butchery of myriads of human beings is perfectly innocent. But how many does it take?
~ Adin Ballou, The Non-Resistant, 5 February 1845
VIOLENCE IS SHROUDED IN JUSTIFYING MYTHS
There have been periods of history in which episodes of terrible violence occurred but for which the word violence was never used…. Violence is shrouded in justifying myths that lend it moral legitimacy, and these myths for the most part kept people from recognizing the violence for what it was. The people who burned witches at the stake never for one moment thought of their act as violence; rather they thought of it as an act of divinely mandated righteousness. The same can be said of most of the violence we humans have ever committed.