The world is disgracefully managed; one hardly knows to whom to complain.
Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.
I spent thirty-three years and four months in active service in the country’s most agile military force, the Marines. I served in all ranks from second lieutenant to major general. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. . . .
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals, and promotions. Looking back on it, I feel that I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three city districts. The Marines operated on three continents.
There is a strange and mighty race of people called the Americans who are rapidly becoming the coldest in the world because of this cruel, man-eating idol, lucre.
American foreign policy issues largely from a domestic mill of competing forces. If the forces are not there competing to cause us to do the right thing, invariably nothing right happens.
Throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that have made it possible for evil to triumph.
Justice is a concept. Muscle is the reality.
For, as wolves and tigers gorge themselves with flesh and lick their gory chops, so do nations gorge themselves with human victims, not in detail, but in masses, by wholesale.
It is lamentable that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.
I find patriotism not only a refuge of scoundrels but of idiots and those who like to buy their thinking ready-made each morning in the vacuous newspapers. Every decade or so governments create wars and whip up a frenzy, so that we will not notice the shortcomings of our own side and will not question the assumptions of our society and demand more rational institutions and laws.
I don’t believe there’s any problem in this country, no matter how tough it is, that Americans, when they roll up their sleeves, can’t completely ignore.
Whether the mask is labeled Fascism, Democracy, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, our great adversary remains the Apparatus — the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier or the battle lines, . . . but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this Apparatus, and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.
What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.
We need to take a leap of the imagination and envision nations as the best kinds of families: the democratic ones we are trying to create in our own lives. A hierarchical family must be changed anyway if we are to stop producing leaders whose unexamined early lives are then played out on a national and international stage. . . . Changing the way we raise children is the only long-term path to peace or arms control, and neither has ever been more crucial. As the feminist adage says, “The personal is political.”
I do not want the peace which passeth understanding; I want the understanding which bringeth peace.