Sometimes the difference between two candidates is an important one in the immediate sense, and then I believe trying to get somebody into office, who is a little better, who is less dangerous, is understandable. But never forgetting that no matter who gets into office, the crucial question is not who is in office, but what kind of social movement do you have. Because if you have a powerful social movement, it doesn't matter who is in office.
Richard Nixon was not the lesser evil, he was the greater evil, but in his administration the war was finally brought to an end, because he had to deal with the power of the anti-war movement as well as the power of the Vietnamese movement. I will vote, but always with a caution that voting is not crucial, and organizing is the important thing.
richard quotesnixon quoteslesser quotesevil quotesgreater quotesadministration quoteswar quotesfinally quotesbrought quotesend quotesdeal quotespower quotesantiwar quotesmovement quotesvietnamese quotesmovement quotesvote quotescaution quotesvoting quotescrucial quotesorganizing quotesimportant quotesthing quotes
No doubt that anarchist ideas are frightening to those in power. People in power can tolerate liberal ideas. They can tolerate ideas that call for reforms, but they cannot tolerate the idea that there will be no state, no central authority. So it is very important for them to ridicule the idea of anarchism to create this impression of anarchism as violent and chaotic. It is useful for them.
doubt quotesanarchist quotesideas quotesfrightening quotespower quotespeople quotespower quotestolerate quotesliberal quotesideas quotescall quotesreforms quotesidea quotesstate quotescentral quotesauthority quotesimportant quotesridicule quotesanarchism quotescreate quotesimpression quotesviolent quoteschaotic quotes
The idea of direct action against the evil that you want to overcome is a kind of common denominator for anarchist ideas and anarchist movements. I think one of the most important principles of anarchism is that you cannot separate means and ends. Anarchism requires means and ends to be in line with one another. I think this is in fact one of the distinguishing characteristics of anarchism.
idea quotesdirect quotesaction quotesevil quotesovercome quoteskind quotescommon quotesdenominator quotesanarchist quotesideas quotesmovements quotesimportant quotesprinciples quotesanarchism quotesseparate quotesmeans quotesends quotesanarchism quotesrequires quotesends quotesline quotesfact quotesdistinguishing quotescharacteristics quotesanarchism quotes
The function of traditional history is to create a citizenry that looks to the top - the president, Congress, the Supreme Court - to make the important decisions. That's what traditional history is all about: the laws that were passed, the decisions made by the court. So much of history is built around "the great men." All of that is very anti-democratic.
function quotestraditional quoteshistory quotescreate quotescitizenry quotestop quotespresident quotescongress quotessupreme quotescourt quotesmake quotesimportant quotesdecisions quoteslaws quotespassed quotesdecisions quotesmade quotescourt quotesbuilt quotesgreat quotesmen quotesantidemocratic quotes
futility quotesarmed quotesforce quotesultimately quotesimportant quotesfact quoteswar quotestime quotesinevitably quotesresults quotesindiscriminate quoteskilling quoteslarge quotesnumbers quotespeople quotesput quotesbluntly quotesterrorism quoteswar quotesterrorism quotescontradiction quotesterms quotes
When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not fall in meekly behind them. We who protest...are not politicians. We are citizens. Whatever politicians may do, let them first feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not for what is winnable, in a shamefully timorous Congress.
social quotesmovement quotesadopts quotescompromises quoteslegislators quotesforgotten quotesrole quotespush quoteschallenge quotespoliticians quotesfall quotesmeekly quotesprotestare quotespoliticians quotescitizens quotespoliticians quotesfeel quotesfull quotesforce quotescitizens quotesspeak quoteswinnable quotesshamefully quotestimorous quotescongress quotes
Scholars, who pride themselves on speaking their minds, often engage in a form of self-censorship which is called "realism." To be "realistic" in dealing with a problem is to work only among the alternatives which the most powerful in society put forth. It is as if we are all confined to a, b, c, or d in the multiple choice test, when we know there is another possible answer. American society, although it has more freedom of expression than most societies in the world, thus sets limits beyond which respectable people are not supposed to think or speak.
scholars quotespride quotesspeaking quotesminds quotesengage quotesform quotesselfcensorship quotescalled quotesrealism quotesrealistic quotesdealing quotesproblem quoteswork quotesalternatives quotespowerful quotessociety quotesput quotesconfined quotesb quotesc quotesd quotesmultiple quoteschoice quotestest quotesanswer quotesamerican quotessociety quotesfreedom quotesexpression quotessocieties quotesworld quotessets quoteslimits quotesrespectable quotespeople quotessupposed quotesspeak quotes
The democratic principle, enunciated in the words of the Declaration of Independence, declared that government was secondary, that the people who established it were primary. Thus, the future of democracy depended on the people, and their growing consciousness of what was the decent way to relate to their fellow human beings all over the world.
democratic quotesprinciple quotesenunciated quoteswords quotesdeclaration quotesindependence quotesdeclared quotesgovernment quotessecondary quotespeople quotesestablished quotesprimary quotesfuture quotesdemocracy quotesdepended quotespeople quotesgrowing quotesconsciousness quotesdecent quotesrelate quotesfellow quoteshuman quotesbeings quotesworld quotes
Nations are not communities and never have been. The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals the fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such as world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners.
nations quotescommunities quoteshistory quotescountry quotespresented quotesfamily quotesconceals quotesfierce quotesconflicts quotesinterest quotesexploding quotesrepressed quotesconquerors quotesconquered quotesmasters quotesslaves quotescapitalists quotesworkers quotesdominators quotesdominated quotesrace quotessex quotesworld quotesconflict quotesvictims quotesexecutioners quotesjob quotesthinking quotespeople quotesalbert quotescamus quotessuggested quotesside quotesexecutioners quotes
I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we should not give up the game before all the cards have been played. The metaphor is deliberate; life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any chance of winning. To play, to act, is to create at least a possibility of changing the world.
I came to the conclusion that war was an unacceptable way of solving whatever problems there were in the world--that there would be problems of tyranny, of injustice, of nations crossing frontiers and that injustice and tyranny should not be tolerated and should be fought and resisted, but the one thing that must not be used to solve that problem is war. Because war is inevitably the indiscriminate killing of large numbers of people. And that fact overwhelms whatever moral cause is somewhere buried in the history of that war.
conclusion quoteswar quotesunacceptable quotessolving quotesproblems quotesworldthat quotestyranny quotesinjustice quotesnations quotescrossing quotesfrontiers quotesinjustice quotestyranny quotestolerated quotesfought quotesresisted quotesthing quotessolve quotesproblem quoteswar quotesinevitably quotesindiscriminate quoteskilling quoteslarge quotesnumbers quotespeople quotesfact quotesoverwhelms quotesmoral quotesburied quoteshistory quotes
I would prefer to use a very inclusive definition of the working class. I'd like to include all of those people who are, if they're not exploited by an immediate employer over them, they're exploited by the system and therefore have a cause to want to change the system. Having a very inclusive definition of the working class creates a great opportunity for organizing people.
There is a power that can be created out of pent-up indignation, courage, and the inspiration of a common cause, and that if enough people put their minds and bodies into that cause, they can win. It is a phenomenon recorded again and against in the history of popular movements against injustice all over the world.
If history is to be creative, to anticipate a possible future without denying the past, it should, I believe, emphasize new possibilities by disclosing those hidden episodes of the past when, even if in brief flashes, people showed their ability to resist, to join together, occasionally to win. I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past's fugitive movements of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare.
history quotescreative quotesanticipate quotesfuture quotesdenying quotespast quotesemphasize quotespossibilities quotesdisclosing quoteshidden quotesepisodes quotespast quotesflashes quotespeople quotesshowed quotesability quotesresist quotesjoin quotesoccasionally quoteswin quotessupposing quoteshoping quotesfound quotespasts quotesfugitive quotesmovements quotescompassion quotessolid quotescenturies quoteswarfare quotes
It is possible, reading standard histories, to forget half the population of the country. The explorers were men, the landholders and merchants men, the political leaders men, the military figures men. The very invisibility of women, the overlooking of women, is a sign of their submerged status.
reading quotesstandard quoteshistories quotesforget quoteshalf quotespopulation quotescountry quotesexplorers quotesmen quoteslandholders quotesmerchants quotespolitical quotesleaders quotesmilitary quotesfigures quotesmen quotesinvisibility quoteswomen quotesoverlooking quotessign quotessubmerged quotesstatus quotes
We've never had our injustices rectified from the top, from the president or Congress, or the Supreme Court, no matter what we learned in junior high school about how we have three branches of government, and we have checks and balances, and what a lovely system. No. The changes, important changes that we've had in history, have not come from those three branches of government. They have reacted to social movements.
injustices quotesrectified quotestop quotespresident quotescongress quotessupreme quotescourt quotesmatter quoteslearned quotesjunior quoteshigh quotesschool quotesbranches quotesgovernment quoteschecks quotesbalances quoteslovely quotessystem quotesimportant quoteshistory quotesgovernment quotesreacted quotessocial quotesmovements quotes
The First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights in the United States Constitution were being violated in Albany again and again freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the equal protection of the laws I could count at least 30 such violations. Yet the president, sworn to uphold the Constitution, and all the agencies of the United States government at his disposal, were nowhere to be seen.
amendment quotesfourteenth quotesrights quotesunited quotesstates quotesconstitution quotesviolated quotesalbany quotesfreedom quotesspeech quotesassembly quotesequal quotesprotection quoteslaws quotescount quotes30 quotesviolations quotespresident quotessworn quotesuphold quotesconstitution quotesagencies quotesgovernment quotesdisposal quotes
For most Black people there is still poverty and desperation. The Ghettos still exist, and the proportion of Blacks in prison is still much greater than Whites. Today, there is less overt racism, but the economic injustices create an "institutional racism" which exists even while more Blacks are in high places, such as Condoleeza Rice in Bush's Administration and Obama running for President.
black quotespeople quotespoverty quotesdesperation quotesghettos quotesexist quotesproportion quotesblacks quotesprison quotesgreater quoteswhites quotestoday quotesovert quotesracism quoteseconomic quotesinjustices quotescreate quotesinstitutional quotesracism quotesexists quoteshigh quotesplaces quotescondoleeza quotesrice quotesbushs quotesadministration quotesobama quotesrunning quotespresident quotes
The courtroom is one instance of the fact that while our society may be liberal and democratic in some large and vague sense, its moving parts, its smaller chambers--its classrooms, its workplaces, its corporate boardrooms, its jails, its military barracks--are flagrantly undemocratic, dominated by one commanding person or a tiny elite of power.
courtroom quotesinstance quotesfact quotessociety quotesliberal quotesdemocratic quoteslarge quotesvague quotessense quotesmoving quotesparts quotessmaller quoteschambersits quotesclassrooms quotesworkplaces quotescorporate quotesboardrooms quotesjails quotesmilitary quotesbarracksare quotesflagrantly quotesundemocratic quotesdominated quotescommanding quotesperson quotestiny quoteselite quotespower quotes
I've always resented the smug statements of politicians, media commentators, corporate executives who talked of how, in America, if you worked hard you would become rich. The meaning of that was if you were poor it was because you hadn't worked hard enough. I knew this was a lie, about my father and millions of others, men and women who worked harder than anyone, harder than financiers and politicians, harder than anybody if you accept that when you work at an unpleasant job that makes it very hard work indeed.
resented quotessmug quotesstatements quotespoliticians quotesmedia quotescommentators quotescorporate quotesexecutives quotestalked quotesamerica quotesworked quoteshard quotesrich quotesmeaning quotespoor quotesknew quoteslie quotesfather quotesmillions quotesmen quoteswomen quotesharder quotesfinanciers quotesaccept quoteswork quotesunpleasant quotesjob quotesmakes quotes
History can come in handy. If you were born yesterday, with no knowledge of the past, you might easily accept whatever the government tells you. But knowing a bit of history-while it would not absolutely prove the government was lying in a given instance-might make you skeptical, lead you to ask questions, make it more likely that you would find out the truth.
history quoteshandy quotesborn quotesyesterday quotesknowledge quotespast quoteseasily quotesaccept quotesgovernment quotestells quotesknowing quotesbit quoteshistorywhile quotesabsolutely quotesprove quoteslying quotesinstancemight quotesmake quotesskeptical quoteslead quotesquestions quotesfind quotestruth quotes
Today everybody is talking about the fact that we live in one world; because of globalization, we are all part of the same planet. They talk that way, but do they mean it? We should remind them that the words of the Declaration [of Independence] apply not only to people in this country, but also to people all over the world. People everywhere have the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When the government becomes destructive of that, then it is patriotic to dissent and to criticize - to do what we always praise and call heroic when we look upon the dissenters and critics in totalitarian countries who dare to speak out.
today quotestalking quotesfact quoteslive quotesworld quotesglobalization quotespart quotesplanet quotestalk quotesremind quoteswords quotesdeclaration quotesindependence quotesapply quotespeople quotescountry quotesworld quotespeople quoteslife quotesliberty quotespursuit quoteshappiness quotesgovernment quotesdestructive quotespatriotic quotesdissent quotescriticize quotespraise quotescall quotesheroic quotesdissenters quotescritics quotestotalitarian quotescountries quotesdare quotesspeak quotes
If patriotism were defined, not as blind obedience to government, not as submissive worship to flags and anthems, but rather as love of one's country, one's fellow citizens (all over the world), as loyalty to the principles of justice and democracy, then patriotism would require us to disobey our government, when it violated those principles.
patriotism quotesdefined quotesblind quotesobedience quotesgovernment quotessubmissive quotesworship quotesflags quotesanthems quoteslove quotesones quotescountry quotesfellow quotescitizens quotesworld quotesloyalty quotesprinciples quotesjustice quotesdemocracy quotesrequire quotesdisobey quotesviolated quotesprinciples quotes