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YOU ARE HERE > COMMUNITY > ETHICS > REFERENCE > SPEECHES > QUOTES
Gettysburg Address > I have a dream > Quotes
 
Quotes

Perhaps, you have a responsibility to be informed, to know for yourself. To know the truth. And then, perhaps you must decide with your own conscience and your personal energy and your resources what you should do."
Isabel Allende, author
*****

" Americans are the best entertained and the least informed people in the world."
Neil Postman
*****

" As long as an economic system provides an acceptable degree of security, growing material wealth and opportunity for further increase for the next generation, the average American does not ask who is running things or what goals are being pursued."
Daniel R. Fusfeld, Friendly Fascism
*****

" The most esteemed journalists are precisely the most servile. For it is by making themselves useful to the powerful that they gain access to the 'best' sources."
Walter Karp, Harpers magazine
*****

" I have the greatest admiration for your propaganda. Propaganda in the West is carried out by experts who have had the best training in the world -- in the field of advertizing -- and have mastered the techniques with exceptional proficiency ... Yours are subtle and persuasive; ours are crude and obvious ... I think that the fundamental difference between our worlds, with respect to propaganda, is quite simple. You tend to believe yours ... and we tend to disbelieve ours."
Soviet correspondent based five years in the U.S.
*****
" Freedom of the Press is meaningless if nobody asks a question."
Ani DiFranco, songwriter/singer, from her song Serpentine

*****

"Governments lie."
I.F. Stone
*****

" The greatest threats to U.S. society are not coming from "terrorists" or "rogue nations" abroad. They are coming from the words and actions of elected officials here at home. Actions of the Department of Justice - emboldened by the USA-Patriot Act passed by Congress last fall - threaten to turn the U.S. into a permanent security state.
Likewise, the greatest threats to global peace - and to human development and security worldwide - are coming from U.S. policymakers carrying out their lawful duties."
Friends Committee on National Legislation
*****

" To oppose the policies of a government does not mean you are against the country or the people that the government supposedly represents. Such opposition should be called what it really is: democracy, or democratic dissent, or having a critical perspective about what your leaders are doing. Either we have the right to democratic dissent and criticism of these policies or we all lie down and let the leader, the Fuhrer, do what is best, while we follow uncritically, and obey whatever he commands. That's just what the Germans did with Hitler, and look where it got them."
Michael Parenti, author
*****

" Terrorism has replaced Communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country, for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil liberties at home. It serves the same purpose, serving to create hysteria."
Howard Zinn
*****

" The U.S. ranks last among developed countries in the percentage of its GNP (0.11%) given in aid. On average, governments in the European Union contribute three times as much of their GNP (0.33%) in non-military foreign aid."
Friends Committee on National Legislation
" Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power."
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), Fascist Dictator of Italy
*****

" You don't need a totalitarian dictatorship like Hitler's to get by with murder ... you can do it in a democracy as long as the Congress and the people Congress is supposed to represent don't give a damn?"
William Shirer, author, 1973
*****

" Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied. "
Arthur Miller, playwright
*****

" Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."
Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, at the
Nuremberg Trials after World War II

*****

" It would be easy for us, if we do not learn to understand the world and appreciate the rights, privileges and duties of all other countries and peoples, to represent in our power the same danger to the world that Fascism did."
Ernest Hemingway
*****

" The corporations of America today effectively oversee the Congress, and the regulatory agencies and indeed the presidency itself."
E.L. Doctorow, author
"We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom, or uphold human rights. We are hated because our government denies these things to people in Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism and in the future, nuclear terrorism."
Robert Bowman, Vietnam Veteran, bishop of the United Catholic Church in Melbourne Beach, FL.
*****

" Patriotism itself - love of one's country and one's people - is a natural and reasonable human feeling. But patriotism which measures one's country by military superiority over all rivals regardless of consequence is irrational... There is surely a more rational form of patriotism that searches for excellence in social, economic and moral spheres rather than in weapon systems."
Thomas Bodenheimer and Robert Gould, Rollback
*****

" The goal of conservative rulers around the world, led by those who occupy the seats of power in Washington, is the systematic rollback of democratic gains, public services, and common living standards around the world."
Michael Parenti
*****

" The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought."
Emma Goldman, American anarchist and feminist, 1869-1940
*****

" Far from being the terrorists of the world, the Islamic peoples have been its victims, principally the victims of U.S. fundamentalism, whose power, in all its forms-military, strategic, and economic-is the greatest source of terrorism on Earth.... People are neither still nor stupid. They see their independence compromised, their resources and land and the lives of their children taken away, and their accusing fingers increasingly point north: to the great enclaves of plunder and privilege. Inevitably, terror breeds terror and more fanaticism. But how patient the oppressed have been. Their distant voices of rage are now heard; the daily horrors in faraway brutalized places have at last come home."
John Pilger, author - Hidden Agendas
*****
 
" The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology. "
Michael Parenti
*****

" The United States is no longer the nation its citizens once thought: a place, unlike most others in the world, free from censorship and thought police, where people can say what they want, when they want to, about their government... Until the citizens of this land aggressively defend their First Amendment rights of free speech, there is little hope that the march to censorship will be reversed. The survival of the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights is at stake."
Angus Mackenzie, Secrets - CIA's War at Home
*****

" I believe the profligate waste of our resources on irrelevant weapons systems and the Asian economic meltdown, as well as the continuous trail of military 'accidents' and of terrorist attacks on American installations and embassies, are all portents of a twenty-first century crisis in America's empire, an empire based on the projection of military power to every corner of the world and on the use of American capital and markets to force global economic integration on our terms, at whatever costs to others."
Chalmers Johnson - Blowback
*****

" America, like Britain before her, is now the great defender of the Status Quo. She has committed herself against revolution and radical change in the underdeveloped world because independent governments would destroy the world economic and political system, which assures the United States its disproportionate share of economic and political power ... America's preeminent wealth depends upon keeping things in the underdeveloped world much as they are, allowing change and modernization to proceed only in a controlled, orderly, and nonthreatening way."

Richard Barnet, Intervention and Revolution
*****

" [True] liberty...means allowing people freely to say things you do not want to hear."
George Orwell

" In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the l990s it triumphed over democracy. "
David Korten, The Post-Corporate World
*****

" The U.S. government leaders ... have created an idol, the military machine. They require the people of this country to sacrifice to this idol. Not only tax dollars, but the lives and futures of the nation's young people, the health of communities and society, and the well-being of natural resources and the environment are all offered up at the altar of military might."
Friends Committee on National Legislation
*****

" To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Theodore Roosevelt
*****

" The only thing worth globalizing is dissent."

Arundhati Roy, author

*****
" Only corporate America enjoys representation by the Congresses and presidents that it pays for in an arrangement where no one is entirely accountable because those who have bought the government also own the media."
Gore Vidal, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace
*****

" The interests of the corporation state are to convert all the riches of the earth into dollars."
William O. Douglas, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1969

"The illegal we can do right now; the unconstitutional will take a little longer."
Henry Kissinger
*****

" Until we go through it ourselves, until our people cower in the shelters of New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere while the buildings collapse overhead and burst into flames, and dead bodies hurtle about and, when it is over for the day or the night, emerge in the rubble to find some of their dear ones mangled, their homes gone, their hospitals, churches, schools demolished - only after that gruesome experience will we realize what we are inflicting on the people of Indochina ..."
William Shirer, author, 1973
*****

" They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin, 1759
*****

" The awful scenes of death and suffering we were witnessing on our television screens have been going on in other parts of the world for a long time, and only now can we begin to know what people have gone through, often as a result of our policies."
Howard Zinn, after the 9-11 WTC destruction in New York
*****

" The American people ought to know that it is not them, but their government's policies, that are so hated."
Arundhati Roy, author
*****

" The crimes of the U.S. throughout the world have been systematic, constant, clinical, remorseless, and fully documented but nobody talks about them. "
Harold Pinter, playwrite
" Rogue states that are internally free - and the U.S. is at the outer limits in this respect - must rely on the willingness of the educated classes to produce accolades and tolerate or deny terrible crimes."
Noam Chomsky, Rogue States
*****

" Leaders symbolize what the country stands for. As corruption becomes routine in Washington in both parties, it trickles down as a corrupting influence in everyone's lives... Democracy is the ultimate casualty, and the sapping of democratic life is the most serious contribution of corporate ascendancy to our spiritual decline. As democracy ebbs, Americans retreat into private cocoons, feeling helpless to make a difference... In a democracy, civic participation and the belief in one's ability to contribute to the common good is the most important guarantor of public morality. When that belief fades, so too does the vision of the common good itself."
Charles Derber, Corporation Nation
*****

" The U. S. stands on the threshold of a permanent state of war and a permanent war economy."
Friends Committee on National Legislation
*****

" Multi-billion-dollar multinational corporations view the exploitation of the world's sick and dying as a sacred duty to their shareholders."
John le Carre' - author
*****

" No form of government, once in power, can be trusted to limit its own ambition, to extend freedom and to wither away. This means that it is up to the citizenry, those outside of power, to engage in permanent combat with the state, short of violent, escalatory revolution, but beyond the gentility of the ballot-box, to insure justice, freedom and well being."
Howard Zinn, on the need for dissent and non-violent protest
*****

" The greatest danger we have now is militarism in America. We have this huge, overpowering, unbelievably expensive military establishment... Seasoned U.S. Ieaders have warned against the threat of a huge military establishment to the liberty of our citizens. I fear that from this we are going to get even more militarism. That is, more and more functions-including domestic police functions-will be transferred from civilian institutions to the military, and the military will have ever greater authority in our society."
Chalmers Johnson, author - Blowback,
In These Times magazine
*****
"Our leaders are cruel because only those willing to be inordinately cruel and remorseless can hold positions of leadership in the foreign policy establishment ... People capable of expressing a full human measure of compassion and empathy toward faraway powerless strangers ... do not become president of the United States, or vice president, or secretary of state, or national security adviser or secretary of the treasury. Nor do they want to."
William Blum, Rogue State
*****

" The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
John Kenneth Galbraith, economist and author
*****

" Each party [Democratic and Republican] has assumed the mantle of fiscal responsibility while accusing the other of reckless spending. Yet both parties have proposed irresponsibly high levels of military spending at the expense of programs that meet the needs of society's most vulnerable members."
Friends Committee on National Legislation
*****

" The corporation is not a person and it does not live. It is a lifeless bundle of legally protected financial rights and relationships brilliantly designed to serve money and its imperatives. It is money that flows in its veins, not blood. The corporation has neither soul nor conscience."
David Korten, The Post-Corporate World
*****

" We now live in a state of permanent war - a global arms industry, apparently the largest single international business, must have its products used up so more can be sold. There must be profits for the capitalists and jobs for the proles... Are we not still in Caligula's Rome?
New Internationalist magazine
*****

" In many respects, we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena. In our society, corporations and the wealthy enjoy a power every bit as immense as that assumed to have been enjoyed by the lords and royalty of feudal times."
Robert W. McChesney, Rich Media, Poor Democracy
"Those in power are blind devotees to private enterprise. They accept that degree of socialism implicit in the vast subsidies to the military-industrial-complex, but not that type of socialism which maintains public projects for the disemployed and the unemployed alike."
William O. Douglas, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1969
*****

" Think for yourselves, do not uncritically accept what you are told, and do what you can to make the world a better place, particularly for those who suffer and are oppressed."
Noam Chomsky
*****

" Our rulers for more than half a century have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government has done to other people."
Gore Vidal, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace
*****

" Today, as in the Gilded Age, we live in a world where a morality of personal responsibility rubs shoulders with a culture of greed and of flagrant social irresponsibility. Now as then, business has shed its collective responsibility for employees - just as government has for its citizens."
Charles Derber, Corporation Nation
*****

" If envy were the cause of terrorism, Beverly Hills [and] Fifth Avenue ... would have become targets long ago. "
Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek
*****

" Political freedom has given way to guilt by association. Due process has given way to detention on the Attorney General's say-so. Public scrutiny has given way to secret detentions and secret trials. Equal protection under law has given way to ethnic profiling."
The Nation magazine - about how Sept.11 attack has allowed the government to take away Americans' civil liberties
*****

" The greatest crime since World War II has been U.S. foreign policy. "
Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General

"A properly functioning system of indoctrination has a variety of tasks. Its primary target are the "stupid and ignorant masses". They must be kept that way; marginalized, and isolated. Ideally, each person should be alone in front of the TV screen watching sports, soap operas, or comedies, deprived of organizational structures that permit individuals lacking resources to discover what they think and believe in, to engage in interaction with others, to formulate their own concerns and programs, and to act to realize them. This hapless multitude are the proper targets of the mass media and a public education system geared to obedience and training in needed skills, including the skill of repeating patriotic slogans on timely occasions."
Noam Chomsky
*****

" Our upside down welfare state is "socialism for the rich, free enterprise for the poor." The great welfare scandal of the age concerns the dole we give rich people."
William O. Douglas, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1969
*****

" Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead
*****

" The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power. "
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt - on the threat to democracy by corporate power
*****

" The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent."
Gore Vidal, novelist and critic
*****

" We pretend not to understand the linkages between our comfortable standard of living and the dictatorships we impose and protect through an international military presence."
Jerry Fresia, author of Toward an American Revolution

*****

"If we'd been born where they were born and taught what they were taught, we would believe what they believe.
A sign inside a church in Northern Ireland, explaining the origin of intolerance and hate
*****

" The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. "
Noam Chomsky
*****

" Since 1945 this country ... has sought not the delicate balance of power but a position of commanding superiority in weapons technology, in the regulation of the international economy, and in the manipulation of the internal politics of other countries."
Richard Barnet, Intervention and Revolution
*****

" The problem in defense is how far you can go [in military spending] without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without. "
President Dwight Eisenhower, 1953
*****

" If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves."
Howard Zinn, historian and author
*****

" U.S. Ieaders commit war crimes as a matter of institutional necessity, as their imperial role calls for keeping subordinate peoples in their proper place and assuring a "favorable climate of investment" everywhere. They do this by using their economic power, but also ... by supporting Diem, Mobutu, Pinochet, Suharto, Savimbi, Marcos, Fujimori, Salinas, and scores of similar leaders. War crimes also come easily because U.S. Ieaders consider themselves to be the vehicles of a higher morality and truth and can operate in violation of law without cost. It is also immensely helpful that their mainstream media agree that their country is above the law and will support and rationalize each and every venture and the commission of war crimes. "
Edward Herman, political economist and author
 
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