Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category


“They say it ain’t guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people.
But having a gun sure helps.”

–from the novel FKA USA


FOURTH OF JULY, n. Independence Day. A day set aside to celebrate the throwing off of foreign tyranny and its replacement by domestic tyranny.

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–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary, the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary

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Speaking of Bierce, here’s an apropos definition from his Dictionary:

Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one anxious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last refuge of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first.

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(And don’t miss The Onion‘s Independence Day salute to America, “U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths.”)

 


“You stand at the threshold of the Temple of Mota, Lord of Lords . . .

“He could not recall such a god, but it did not matter. These sallow creatures had a thousand strange gods. Three things only do slaves require, food, work, and their gods, and of the three, their gods must never be touched, else they grow troublesome. So said the Precepts for Ruling.”

–Robert Heinlein, The Day After Tomorrow (1949)

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Amusingly, “mota” is border Spanish for marijuana.

The quote itself is quite reminiscent of Edward Gibbon’s comment in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

“The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.”

 


Da Pope

“All feminism ends up being [a type of] machismo with a skirt.”

–Pope Francis, speaking to the Vatican’s conference on pederasty, quoted by Daniel Verdú on the El País site

(Note: The quote in Spanish is “Todo feminismo acaba siendo un machismo con falda.”)


Salom Mesa Espinoza

“I come from the social subsoil, and my ideas embrace political struggle. . . . to procure a revolutionary order, to leave behind justice for my equals; but the results of the political struggle in which I’ve been an actor haven’t served these ends, but on the contrary it’s served to turn me into an animal, to debase me, to corrupt and degrade the sons of the people. And as an honest man — which I’ve always wanted people to see me as — I had to break with that which life itself showed to be evil. In may case, conventional [electoral] politics.

“The legal [political] parties in which I participated were generous with me. The first, Acción Democrática, made me councilor for the Federal District and later a deputy to the Congress, and for it I spilled my blood. The second Movimiento Electoral del Pueblo, made me a deputy for the Federal District three consecutive times, and the final time nominated me and secured my election while I was imprisoned. It conducted a vigorous and and valiant campaign for my freedom, and its president doctor Luís B. Prieto harshly criticized the government and vehemently demanded my release. I’m profoundly grateful to the MEP and Doctor Prieto, and I won’t forget that.

“But for me social struggle makes sense [only] if it tends in the direction of human emancipation; and forty-four years of party militancy, surrounded in the vast majority by good people, has convinced me that we’ll never reach emancipation through political action, that the sons of the people, like me, should have nothing to do with [electoral] politics nor with government. Our mission is that of destroying the ruling political and social order so as to later construct a just order.”

–Salom Mesa Espinoza, La vida me lo dijo, elogio a la anarquía (rough translation: Life told me this, elegy to anarchy)

(quoted by Rodolfo Montes de Oca in Venezuelan Anarchism: The History of a Movement, which will go to press later this month)

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Venezuelan Anarchism front cover

 


Ambrose Bierce

“When the anointed minister of Heaven spreads his palms and uprolls his eyes to beseech a general blessing or a special advantage, is he the celebrant of a hollow, meaningless rite, or the dupe of a false premise? One does not know, but if one is not a fool one does know that his every resultless petition proves him by the inexorable laws of logic to be one or the other.”

–Ambrose Bierce, Selected Works


Margaret Atwood

“Watch out for the leaders . . . and the led, then the tyrants and the slaves.

Then the massacres. That’s how it always goes.”

–“Crake” in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

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MAGAbomber’s van

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Some of Trump’s “very fine people”