We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century some idea of what we are like. I have prepared one of my own. In it, I have placed some rather large samples of dynamite, gunpowder, and nitroglycerin. My time capsule is set to go off in the year 3000. It will show them what we are really like.
If a woman gets nervous, she’ll eat or go shopping. A man will attack a country — it’s a whole other way of thinking.
Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purpose is beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works.
“Among the Reasons God May Temporarily Be Unavailable to Bless America”: (1) because God has had it up to here with the assumption that prayers for national exemption from pain and tragedy deserve an answer; (2) because God is too busy processing Americans’ prayers for their high-school football teams; (3) because God takes for granted that the bombs falling on Kabul are America’s real prayers; (4) because such a tasteless and lurid efflorescence of red, white, and blue (including flags wrapped around church steeples) gives God a massive headache.
The United States is like the guy at the party who gives cocaine to everybody and still nobody likes him.
To some men peace merely means the liberty to exploit other people without fear of retaliation or interference. To others peace means the freedom to rob others without interruption. To still others it means the leisure to devour the goods of the earth without being compelled to interrupt their pleasures to feed those whom their greed is starving. And to practically everybody peace simply means the absence of any physical violence that might cast a shadow over lives devoted to the satisfaction of their animal appetites for comfort and leisure. Many men like these have asked God for what they thought was “peace” and wondered why their prayer was not answered. They could not understand that it actually was answered. God left them with what they desired, for their idea of peace was only another form of war.
Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing, and dancing sooner than of war.
People who consider themselves so different from their named enemies should plant a crop and work a field together. During the labor, they would talk about children and find the common ground of parenting. At the harvest, they would hold cooperation in their hands as they offer up with pride a melon or squash. . . . Has the society of human beings become too complex to realize such simplicity?
Work went on monotonously, and our constant hunger was wrenching. Rice powder and bran, which I sometimes roasted in an attempt to give it some flavor, had torn my insides to shreds. One morning I didn’t have the strength to get up, and no one came to see what had happened to me. Everyone was so used to having people just disappear.
He whose belly is full believes not him whose belly is empty.
We are afraid of religion because it interprets rather than just observes. Religion does not confirm that there are hungry people in the world; it interprets the hungry to be our brethren whom we allow to starve.
Independence? That’s a middle-class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.
Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.