„Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms“

Robert A. Heinlein photo
Robert A. Heinlein4
1907 - 1988
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William Pfaff photo
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„Violence, contrary to popular belief, is not part of the anarchist philosophy. It has repeatedly been pointed out by anarchist thinkers that the revolution can neither be won, nor the anarchist society established and maintained, by armed violence. Recourse to violence then is an indication of weakness, not of strength, and the revolution with the greatest possibilities of a successful outcome will undoubtedly be the one in which there is no violence, or in which violence is reduced to a minimum, for such a revolution would indicate the near unanimity of the population in the objectives of the revolution. … Violence as a means breeds violence; the cult of personalities as a means breeds dictators--big and small--and servile masses; government--even with the collaboration of socialists and anarchists--breeds more government. Surely then, freedom as a means breeds more freedom, possibly even the Free Society! To Those who say this condemns one to political sterility and the Ivory Tower our reply is that 'realism' and their 'circumstantialism' invariably lead to disaster. We believe there is something more real, more positive and more revolutionary to resisting war than in participation in it; that it is more civilised and more revolutionary to defend the right of a fascist to live than to support the Tribunals which have the legal power to shoot him; that it is more realistic to talk to the people from the gutter than from government benches; that in the long run it is more rewarding to influence minds by discussion than to mould them by coercion.“

—  Vernon Richards British activist 1915 - 2001
"Anarchism and violence" in What Is Anarchism?: An Introduction by Donald Rooum, ed. (London: Freedom Press, 1992, 1995) pp. 50-51.

Stephen Hawking photo

„The world has changed far more in the past 100 years than in any other century in history. The reason is not political or economic but technological — technologies that flowed directly from advances in basic science.“

—  Stephen Hawking British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author 1942
From Hawking's article A Brief History of Relativity http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,993018-6,00.html, in Time magazine (31 December 1999)

Robert A. Heinlein photo
Angela Merkel photo

„History has often showed us the strength of the forces that are unleashed by the yearning for freedom.“

—  Angela Merkel Chancellor of Germany 1954
Context: History has often showed us the strength of the forces that are unleashed by the yearning for freedom. It moved people to overcome their fears and openly confront dictators such as in about 22 years ago. […] The yearning for freedom cannot be contained by walls for long. It was this yearning that brought down the Iron Curtain that divided Germany and Europe, and indeed the world, into two blocs. Remarks by President Obama and Chancellor Merkel in an Exchange of Toasts on June 07, 2011. http://www.newsroomamerica.com/story/137358/remarks_by_president_obama_and_chancellor_merkel_in_an_exchange_of_toasts.html

Ronald Reagan photo

„Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay the price.“

—  Ronald Reagan American politician, 40th president of the United States (in office from 1981 to 1989) 1911 - 2004
Context: If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay the price.

Emil M. Cioran photo
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Jimmy Carter photo

„I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around
the world, this administration has been the worst in history...
The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by
previous administrations, including those of George H. W. Bush
and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the
most disturbing to me.“

—  Jimmy Carter American politician, 39th president of the United States (in office from 1977 to 1981) 1924
Context: Who ever decided that Americans were so bad off in the seventies anyway? From the right-wing revisionist propaganda that has become accepted as fact, you'd think that Americans under President Carter were suffering through something like the worst of the Weimar Republic combined with the Siege of Leningrad. The truth is that on a macroeconomic level, the difference between the Carter era and the Reagan era was minimal. For instance, economic growth during the Carter Administration averaged 2.8 percent annually, while under Reagan, from 1982 to 1989, growth averaged 3.2 percent. Was it really worth killing ourselves over that extra.4 percent of growth? For a lucky few, yes. On the other key economic gauge, unemployment, the Carter years were actually better than Reagan's, averaging 6.7 pervent annually during his "malaise-stricken" term as compared to an average 7.3 percent unemployment rate during the glorious eight-year reign of Ronald Reagan. Under Carter, people worked less, got far more benefits, and the country grew almost the same average annual rate as Reagan. On the other hand, according to the Statistical Abstract of the United States for 1996, under Reagan life got worse for those who had it worse: the number of people below the poverty line increased in almost every year from 1981 (31.8 million) to 1992 (39.3 million). And yet, we are told America was in decline until Reagan came to power and that the country was gripped by this ethereal malaise. Where was this malaise? Whose America was in decline? The problem with the 1970s wasn't that America was in decline, it was that the plutocracy felt itself declining. And in the plutocrats' eyes, their fortunes are synonymous with America's. Mark Ames, Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion: From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond (2005), p. 99

Napoleon I of France photo

„Conflict... is a theme that has occupied the thinking of man more than any other, save only God and love.“

—  Anatol Rapoport Russian-born American mathematical psychologist 1911 - 2007
Context: Conflict... is a theme that has occupied the thinking of man more than any other, save only God and love. In the vast output of discourse on the subject, conflict has been treated in every conceivable way. It has been treated descriptively, as in history and fiction; it has been treated in an aura of moral approval, as in epos; with implicit resignation, as in tragedy; with moral disapproval, as in pacifistic religions. There is a body of knowledge called military science, presumably concerned with strategies of armed conflict. There are innumerable handbooks, which teach how to play specific games of strategy. Psychoanalysts are investigating the genesis of "fight-like" situations within the individual, and social psychologists are doing the same on the level of groups and social classes. p. 11

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Richard Kemp photo
Douglas MacArthur photo

„I have constantly called for the new political decisions essential to a solution.
Efforts have been made to distort my position. It has been said, in effect, that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes. … But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.“

—  Douglas MacArthur U.S. Army general of the army, field marshal of the Army of the Philippines 1880 - 1964
Context: We could hold in Korea by constant maneuver and in an approximate area where our supply line advantages were in balance with the supply line disadvantages of the enemy, but we could hope at best for only an indecisive campaign with its terrible and constant attrition upon our forces if the enemy utilized its full military potential. I have constantly called for the new political decisions essential to a solution. Efforts have been made to distort my position. It has been said, in effect, that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes. … But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.

James M. McPherson photo
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