„Plutocracy is not an American word but it's become an American phenomenon.“

—  Bill Moyers, Context: Ed Murrow told his generation of journalists bias is okay as long as you don't try to hide it. So here, one more time, is mine: plutocracy and democracy don't mix. Plutocracy, the rule of the rich, political power controlled by the wealthy. Plutocracy is not an American word but it's become an American phenomenon. Back in the fall of 2005, the Wall Street giant Citigroup even coined a variation on it, plutonomy, an economic system where the privileged few make sure the rich get richer with government on their side. By the next spring, Citigroup decided the time had come to publicly "bang the drum on plutonomy." … over the past 30 years the plutocrats, or plutonomists — choose your poison — have used their vastly increased wealth to capture the flag and assure the government does their bidding. … This marriage of money and politics has produced an America of gross inequality at the top and low social mobility at the bottom, with little but anxiety and dread in between, as middle class Americans feel the ground falling out from under their feet. … Like those populists of that earlier era, millions of Americans have awakened to a sobering reality: they live in a plutocracy, where they are disposable. Then, the remedy was a popular insurgency that ignited the spark of democracy. Now we have come to another parting of the ways, and once again the fate and character of our country are up for grabs. … Democracy only works when we claim it as our own. Last episode of Bill Moyers Journal (30 April 2010) http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04302010/transcript2.html · video http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04302010/watch2.html
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„In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book? Or goes to an American play? or looks at an American picture or statue?“

—  Sydney Smith English writer and clergyman 1771 - 1845
Context: In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book? Or goes to an American play? or looks at an American picture or statue? What does the world yet owe to American physicians or surgeons? What new substances have their chemists discovered? Or what old ones have they advanced? What new constellations have been discovered by the telescopes of Americans? Who drinks out of American glasses? Or eats from American plates? Or wears American coats or gowns? or sleeps in American blankets? Finally, under which of the old tyrannical governments of Europe is every sixth man a slave, whom his fellow-creatures may buy and sell and torture? Referring to the lack of established culture and the established institution of slavery in the United States, in "Review of Seybert’s Annals of the United States", published in The Edinburgh Review (1820)

George S. Patton photo
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Hillary Clinton photo
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„Henceforth, no decent citizen owes one scrap of allegiance (if he ever did) to American law, American custom or American institutions.“

—  Dave Dellinger American activist 1915 - 2004
Context: The way of life that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki and is reported to have roasted alive a million people in Tokyo overnight is international and dominates every nation of the world, but we live in the United States, so our struggle is here. With this way of life, death would be more appropriate. There could be no truce or quarter. The prejudices of patriotism, the pressures of our friends and fear of unpopularity and death should not hold us back any longer. It should be total war against the economic and political and social system which is dominant in this country. The American system has been destroying human life in peace and in war, at home and abroad for decades. Now it has produced the growing infamy of atom bombing. Besides these brutal facts, the tidbits of democracy mean nothing. Henceforth, no decent citizen owes one scrap of allegiance (if he ever did) to American law, American custom or American institutions.

Stuart Davis photo

„I paint what I see in America, in other words I paint the American scene.“

—  Stuart Davis American painter 1892 - 1964
Cited in: Ian Chilvers, "Davis, Stuart," in: The Oxford Dictionary of Art, (2994). p. 195

E. B. White photo

„Americans are willing to go to enormous trouble and expense defending their principles with arms, very little trouble and expense advocating them with words.“

—  E. B. White American writer 1899 - 1985
Context: Americans are willing to go to enormous trouble and expense defending their principles with arms, very little trouble and expense advocating them with words. Temperamentally we are ready to die for certain principles (or, in the case of overripe adults, send youngsters to die), but we show little inclination to advertise the reasons for dying. "The Thud of Ideas," The New Yorker (23 September 1950)

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Warren G. Harding photo

„I don't know much about Americanism, but it's a damn good word with which to carry an election.“

—  Warren G. Harding American politician, 29th president of the United States (in office from 1921 to 1923) 1865 - 1923
Actually an exchange between journalist Talcott Williams and Sen. Boies Penrose (1919) What is Americanism?<br/>Damn if I know, but it's going to be a damn good word with which to carry an election.

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Revilo P. Oliver photo
William S. Burroughs photo

„Faced by the actual practice of freedom, the French and American revolutions would be forced to stand by their words.“

—  William S. Burroughs American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer 1914 - 1997
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„It seems to be a law of American life that whatever enriches us anywhere except in the wallet inevitably becomes uneconomic.“

—  Russell Baker writer and satirst from the United States 1925
Letter to the editor [untitled], The New York Times (1968-03-24)

Henry David Thoreau photo
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Dennis Prager photo

„American values, or Americanism, refers to what I call the "American Trinity": "Liberty," "In God We Trust," and "E Pluribus Unum" ("Out of Many, One"), the three values that appear on all American coins.“

—  Dennis Prager American writer, speaker, radio and TV commentator, theologian 1948
Dennis Prager. Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph https://books.google.com/books?id=aAFSQWdwexEC, 2012.

Sergei Eisenstein photo

„American capitalism finds its sharpest and most expressive reflection in the American cinema.“

—  Sergei Eisenstein Soviet filmmaker 1898 - 1948
Sergei Eisenstein (1957) Film form [and]: The film sense; two complete and unabridged works. p. 196

Ralph Ellison photo

„When American life is most American it is apt to be most theatrical.“

—  Ralph Ellison American novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer 1914 - 1994
"Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke" (1958), in The Collected Essays, ed. John F. Callahan (New York: Modern Library, 1995), p. 108.

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