Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.
The only way we'll get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressed people in the world. We are blood brothers to the people of Brazil, Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba -- yes Cuba too.
Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.
A child who does not think about what happens around him and is content with living without wondering whether he lives honestly is like a man who lives from a scoundrel's work and is on the road to being a scoundrel.
Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle.
She smiled. She knew she was dying. But it did not matter any longer. She had known something which no human words could ever tell and she knew it now. She had been awaiting it and she felt it, as if it had been, as if she had lived it. Life had been, if only because she had known it could be, and she felt it now as a hymn without sound, deep under the little whole that dripped red drops into the snow, deeper than that from which the red drops came. A moment or an eternity- did it matter? Life, undefeated, existed and could exist. She smiled, her last smile, to so much that had been possible.
But love, like the sun that it is, sets afire and melts everything. what greed and privilege to build up over whole centuries the indignation of a pious spirit, with its natural following of oppressed souls, will cast down with a single shove.
Unity is a great thing and a great slogan. But what the workers’ cause needs is the unity of Marxists, not unity between Marxists, and opponents and distorters of Marxism.
And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride. This god, this one word: 'I.
And yet we have what purports, or professes, or is claimed, to be a contract—the Constitution—made eighty years ago, by men who are now all dead, and who never had any power to bind us, but which (it is claimed) has nevertheless bound three generations of men, consisting of many millions, and which (it is claimed) will be binding upon all the millions that are to come; but which nobody ever signed, sealed, delivered, witnessed, or acknowledged; and which few persons, compared with the whole number that are claimed to be bound by it, have ever read, or even seen, or ever will read, or see.
We awaken by asking the right questions. We awaken when we see knowledge being spread that goes against our own personal experiences. We awaken when we see popular opinion being wrong but accepted as being right, and what is right being pushed as being wrong. We awaken by seeking answers in corners that are not popular. And we awaken by turning on the light inside when everything outside feels dark.
To live in any true sense of the word is to reject others; to accept them, one must be able to renounce, to do oneself violence, to act against one's own nature, to weaken oneself; we conceive freedom only for ourselves - we extend it to our neighbours only at the cost of exhausting efforts; whence the precariousness of liberalism, a defiance of our instincts, a brief and miraculous success, a state of exception, at the antipodes of our deepest imperatives.
For everyone now strives most of all to seperate his person, wishing to experience the fullness of life within himself, and yet what comes of all his efforts is not the fullness of life, but full suicide, for instead of the fullness of self-definition, they fall into complete isolation.
A truly good person will speak truth, act with truth, and stand for Truth. A truly good person is not afraid to think from their heart; therefore, allowing nonconformist decisions, viewpoints, and perspectives to lead their life. By following their heart, they stand with their conscience, and only with God.
You have the right to promote your own happiness just like everyone else, just like me. Your present dream has been shattered, but you can dream another. You should know that 'you can't relive old dreams.' Even if you force them to come true, they won't bring you happiness.
If the single man plants himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abides, this huge world will come around to him.
Our focus should be on making the most of our own lives, regardless of whether we start at the bottom or the top- not on envying the advantages and achievements of others.
And even when they refuse to listen, I'll keep talking anyway, hoping on a slim chance that the things inside my head are worth something to someone.
What could be more fundamental to our sense of meaning and purpose than a conception of whether the strivings of the human race over long stretches of time have left us better or worse off? How, in particular, are we to make sense of modernity—of the erosion of family, tribe, tradition, and religion by the forces of individualism, cosmopolitanism, reason, and science?
The worship of the state is the worship of force. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men. The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inﬂicted by bad governments. The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.
A man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages, he chooses between life and death. A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems, it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism, it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.
If you want to be a slave in life, then continue going around asking others to do for you. They will oblige, but you will find the price is your choices, your freedom, your life itself. They will do for you, and as a result you will be in bondage to them forever, having given your identity away for a paltry price. Then, and only then, you will be a nobody, a slave, because you yourself and nobody else made it so.
The truth is, one who seeks to achieve freedom by petitioning those in power to give it to him has already failed, regardless of the response. To beg for the blessing of “authority” is to accept that the choice is the master’s alone to make, which means that the person is already, by definition, a slave.
Writing of only one small part of the broader problem, namely the single-minded pursuit of individualistic 'rights,' [Don] Feder is not wrong to conclude: Absent a delicate balance--rights and duties, freedom and order--the social fabric begins to unravel. The rights explosion of the past three decades has taken us on a rapid descent to a culture without civility, decency, or even that degree of discipline necessary to maintain an advanced industrial civilization. Our cities are cesspools, our urban schools terrorist training camps, our legislatures brothels where rights are sold to the highest electoral bidder.
Perhaps, there is no such person who can be called truly free, but only those who can be deemed so by comparison.
Freedom may never be conceived merely negatively, as the absence of compulsion. Freedom conceived intersubjectively distinguishes itself from the arbitrary freedom of the isolated individual. No one is free until we are all free.
He had understood long ago that the past was no better than the present. That was as plain as day. One had to try to escape, to wrestle free from every era, so as not to be devoured by it.
Phrases like 'the team spirit' are always employed to cut across individualism, love and personal loyalties.
When I was a student, there wasn't a single thing we did that was unrelated to others. It was all for the Emperor, or parents, or the country, or society—everything was other-centered, which means that all educated men were hypocrites. When society changed, this hypocrisy ceased to work, and as a result, self-centeredness was gradually imported into thought and action, and egoism became enormously over-developed. Instead of the old hypocrites, now all we've got are out-and-out rogues. Do you see what I mean by that?
But once I could look back on it in a calmer frame of mind, it struck me that his motive was surely not so simple and straightforward. Had it resulted from a fatal collision between reality and ideals? Perhaps—but this was still not quite it. Eventually, I began to wonder whether it was not the same unbearable loneliness that I now felt that had brought K to his decision.