There is no greater impotence in all the world like knowing you are right and that the wave of the world is wrong, yet the wave crashes upon you.
If 40 million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one.
After a great blow, or crisis, after the first shock and then after the nerves have stopped screaming and twitching, you settle down to the new condition of things and feel that all possibility of change has been used up. You adjust yourself, and are sure that the new equilibrium is for eternity. . . . But if anything is certain it is that no story is ever over, for the story which we think is over is only a chapter in a story which will not be over, and it isn’t the game that is over, it is just an inning, and that game has a lot more than nine innings. When the game stops it will be called on account of darkness. But it is a long day.
The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.
We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that perhaps we are in danger of forgetting that the Bill of Rights, which cost so much blood to establish, is still worth fighting for.
Under current law, it is a crime for a private citizen to lie to a government official, but not for a government official to lie to the people.
I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
We’ve got to make change our national pastime and hold protests more regularly than weekend parties.
I don’t give a hoot. Not since 1959. That was the last one I gave. Wait! I think I gave a hoot in 1967. Just one. As a favor to a friend. But that was it. I’m not even sure I have any left.
The greatest test of courage on the earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.
If we are ever in doubt what to do, it is a good rule to ask ourselves what we shall wish on the morrow that we had done.
If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.
I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.
Anyone who talks about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life — without grasping what is subversive about love and positive in the refusal of constraints — has a corpse in his mouth.
The Zen master would say if you want to change government, you have to aim at changing corporations, and if you want to change corporations, you first have to change the consumers. Whoa, wait a minute! The consumer? That’s me. You mean I’m the one who has to change?
Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work — that goes on, it adds up.
Even if I do not see the fruits, the struggle has been worthwhile. If my life has taught me anything, it is that one must fight.
Never despair! but, if you do, / Work on in your despair.
In a nation of millions, and in a world of billions, the individual is still the first and basic agent of change.
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.