The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first.
The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?
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.
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.
The lesson we are indebted to Egypt for, our future generations learned that in the face of oppression silence is never golden.
The people come to understand that wealth is not the fruit of labour but the result of organised, protected robbery. Rich people are no longer respectable people; they are nothing more than flesh eating animals, jackals and vultures which wallow in the people's blood.
I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you.... What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.I began to ask each time: What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth? Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, disappeared or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end.And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution. And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.
The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people around specific goals. You have to wake the people up first, then you'll get action.
For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and to provide for it.
A revolution is coming – a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough, compassionate if we care enough, successful if we are fortunate enough – but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character, we cannot alter its inevitability.
Let us be today’s Christians. Let us not take fright at the boldness of today’s church. With Christ’s light let us illuminate even the most hideous caverns of the human person: torture, jail, plunder, want, chronic illness. The oppressed must be saved, not with a revolutionary salvation, in mere human fashion, but with the holy revolution of the Son of Man, who dies on the cross to cleanse God’s image, which is soiled in today’s humanity, a humanity so enslaved, so selfish, so sinful.
In that moment, I understand the way that the noblest yearning for duty and sacrifice can be mixed up with all that is savage and shameful, like in the Bible, where a just and merciful God tells you to kill everyone, kill the children, kill the livestock, kill John Polling, leave nothing alive to sully this pure and just world. Except when it's all done you find out that wasn't really God after all, just some politician, or maybe it was God, but he taps you on the shoulder and says, 'No, dude, that isn't what I meant,' and leaves you sitting in a Dairy Queen in Bothell with blood on your hands and no further orders...
Question everything—no matter how beloved, or how long-held, or how exalted—without apology. Only those who build their world upon lies need fear an inquisitive mind. The truth will remain, even after a storm of doubt and revolution has washed over it. Only illusions need be protected. The truth need not be defended; it existed before us and will continue to exist after us.
Those who had fought for what they called the revolution maintained a great pride: the pride of being on the correct side of the front lines. Ten or twelve years later (around the time of our story) the front lines began to melt away, and with them the correct side. No wonder the former supporters of the revolution feel cheated and are quick to seek substitute fronts; thanks to religion they can (in their role as atheists struggling against believers) stand again on the correct side and retain their habitual and precious sense of their own superiority.But to tell the truth, the substitute front was also useful to others, and it will perhaps not be too premature to disclose that Alice was one of them. Just as the directress wanted to be on the correct side, Alice wanted to be on the opposite side. During the revolution they had nationalized her papa's shop, and Alice hated those who had done this to him. But how should she show her hatred? Perhaps by taking a knife and avenging her father? But this sort of thing is not the custom in Bohemia. Alice had a better means for expressing her opposition: she began to believe in God.
It was not often that Flay approved of happiness in others. He saw in happiness the seeds of independence, and in independence the seeds of revolt. But on an occasion such as this it was different, for the spirit of convention was being rigorously adhered to, and in between his ribs Mr. Flay experienced twinges of pleasure.
Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.
They want us to be afraid. They want us to be afraid of leaving our homes. They want us to barricade our doors and hide our children. Their aim is to make us fear life itself! They want us to hate. They want us to hate 'the other'. They want us to practice aggression and perfect antagonism. Their aim is to divide us all! They want us to be inhuman. They want us to throw out our kindness. They want us to bury our love and burn our hope. Their aim is to take all our light! They think their bricked walls will separate us. They think their damned bombs will defeat us. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that my soul and your soul are old friends. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that when they cut you I bleed. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that we will never be afraid, we will never hate and we will never be silent for life is ours!
It sounded like walls tumbling, liberty bells chiming, government buildings being stormed.It sounded like a revolution.It sounded like hope.
But in the midst of this decaying, burning city, there are pockets of hope. It can be found in the tiny dark rooms in underground bars, where women with short hair cheer on men in dresses. It can be felt in abandoned cinemas where anonymous strangers fall in love if only for a few moments, and in the living rooms where families crowd around, drinking sweet black tea and Skyping their homesick relatives so that together they can watch the long, rambling talk shows that go on all night.