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Human existence is a brutal experience to me... it's a brutal, meaningless experience - an agonizing, meaningless experience with some oases, delight, some charm and peace, but these are just small oases. Overall, it is a brutal, terrible experience, and so it [salvation] is what can you do to alleviate the agony of the human condition, the human predicament? That is what interests me the most.
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Certain things can't be approximated, so I'm always interested in getting in another way, one which makes the reader bend in closer to the scene even if that scene, especially if that scene, is painful... Brutal language isn't necessarily the most truthful way of describing a brutal moment.
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Some think that it is cruel or brutal to remove the bottom 10 percent of our people. It isn't. It's just the opposite. What I think is brutal and "false kindness" is keeping people around who aren't going to grow and prosper. There's no cruelty like waiting and telling people late into their careers that they don't belong - just when the options are limited and they're putting their children through college or paying off big mortgages.
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We generally describe the most repulsive examples of man's cruelty as brutal or bestial, implying that such behavior is characteristic of less highly developed animals than ourselves. In fact, however, the extremes of brutal behavior are confined to us: there exists no parallel in nature to our savage treatment of each other. The unmistakable truth is that man is the most vicious and cruel species that ever walked the earth.
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Man isn't a noble savage, he's an ignoble savage. He is irrational, brutal, weak, silly, unable to be objective about anything where his own interests are involved-that about sums it up. I'm interested in the brutal and violent nature of man because it's a true picture of him. And any attempt to create social institutions on a false view of the nature of man is probably doomed to failure.
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The world goes on, as stupid and brutal as tomorrow as it was today. And though I am shuddering with pain, and twisting with pain, and sobbing with pain, i laugh.Because I know now. I know the answer. I know the truth. Oh,dead man, you are dead wrong, I tell him.Can't you see? The world goes on, stupid and brutal, but I [do not. I do not.]
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[The media] cannot, month in month out and year in and year out, make the kind of untruthful, of bitter assault that they have made and not expect that brutal, violent natures, or brutal and violent characters, especially when the brutality is accompanied by a not very strong mind; they cannot expect that such natures will be unaffected by it.
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Talk about corporate greed and everything is really crucially beside the point, in my view, and really should be recognized as a very big regression from what working people, and a lot of others, understood very well a century ago. Talk about corporate greed is nonsense. Corporations are greedy by their nature. They're nothing else - they are instruments for interfering with markets to maximize profit, and wealth and market control. You can't make them more or less greedy; I mean maybe you can sort of force them, but it's like taking a totalitarian state and saying 'Be less brutal!' Well yeah, maybe you can get a totalitarian state to be less brutal, but that's not the point - the point is not to get a tyranny to be less brutal, but to get rid of it. Now 150 years ago, that was understood. If you read the labour press - there was a very lively labour press, right around here [Massachusetts] ; Lowell and Lawrence and places like that, around the mid nineteenth century, run by artisans and what they called factory girls; young women from the farms who were working there - they weren't asking the autocracy to be less brutal, they were saying get rid of it. And in fact that makes perfect sense; these are human institutions, there's nothing graven in stone about them. They [corporations] were created early in this century with their present powers, they come from the same intellectual roots as the other modern forms of totalitarianism - namely Stalinism and Fascism - and they have no more legitimacy than they do. I mean yeah, let's try and make the autocracy less brutal if that's the short term possibility - but we should have the sophistication of, say, factory girls in Lowell 150 years ago and recognize that this is just degrading and intolerable and that, as they put it 'those who work in the mills should own them ' And on to everything else, and that's democracy - if you don't have that, you don't have democracy.
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