We first crush people to the earth, and then claim the right of trampling on them forever, because they are prostrate.
In the era of imperialism, businessmen became politicians and were acclaimed as statesmen, while statesmen were taken seriously only if they talked the language of successful businessmen.
The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes.
We estimate the wisdom of nations by seeing what they did with their surplus capital.
If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircles us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snake.
I look at the politics of this country as a game that is played on the people, this illusion of choice. It’s interesting that the important things have been reduced in number: oil companies, communications, pharmaceuticals, insurance, banking, accounting, all these firms have been merged and reduced. The choices are very limited. But if you want a bagel, we’ve got twenty-six flavors. There are four hundred kinds of mustard in this country. These are the illusions of choice. I don’t really think choice is here to any substantive degree.
America: a country where everything is done to prove life isn’t tragic.
Haven’t you ever noticed how highways always get beautiful near the state capital?
The more we take the welfare of others to heart and work for their benefit, the more benefit we derive for ourselves. This is a fact we can see. And the more selfish we remain and self-centered, the more selfish our way of life is, the lonelier we feel and the more miserable. This is also a fact we can see.
What is sacred about all of our lives, even those of us who would never dream of using such a word for it, is that God speaks to us through what happens to us — even through such unpromising events as walking up the road to get the mail out of the mailbox, maybe, or seeing something in the TV news that brings you up short, or laughing yourself silly with a friend. If skeptics ask to be shown an instance of God speaking to them in their lives, I suggest that they pay closer attention to the next time when, for unaccountable reasons, they find tears in their eyes.
For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.
No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.
The meeting of a customer and a clerk across the service counter in a store is as significant as two leaders of nations meeting over a conference table in search of peace. If peace and understanding is possible, it must occur in the moment that is present. It can occur only when relationship is real and unconditional. Relationship begins with thoughtless awareness, an openness that sees and hears with humility, and a consideration that has already forgiven all things that the mind might present as a barrier to unity.
Do not expect Plato’s ideal republic; be satisfied with even the smallest step forward, and consider this no small achievement.
If you assume that there’s no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance you may contribute to making a better world. That’s your choice.
Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
Instead of bucking your head against a stone wall . . . sit quietly with hands folded and wait for the wall to crumble. If you’re willing to wait an eternity, it may happen in the twinkling of an eye. For walls often give way quicker than the proud spirit which rules us. Don’t sit and pray that it will happen! Just sit and watch it happen.