Historically, the most terrible things—war, genocide, and slavery—have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience
Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody’s power, that is not easy
One need not hope in order to undertake, nor succeed in order to persevere
The general ethos of the people they have to govern determines the behavior of politicians
That's the genius of our ruling class. They're so brilliant that no one knows they even exist. The political-science professors, perfectly sane men, look at me with wonder when I talk about the ruling class in America. They say, "You are one of those conspiracy theorists. You think there's a headquarters and they get together at the Bohemian Grove and run the United States." Well, they do get together at the Bohemian Grove and do a lot of picking of Secretaries of State, anyway. But they don't have to conspire. They all think alike. It goes back to the way we're raised, the schools we went to--after all, I'm a reluctant member of this group. You don't have to give orders to the editor of The New York Times. He is in place because he will respond to a crisis the way you want him to, as will the President, as will the head of the Chase Manhattan Bank.
To some degree it matters who's in office, but it matters more how much pressure they're under from the public.
There are some things in our world, there are some things in our nation to which I’m proud to be maladjusted, to which I call upon all men of goodwill to be maladjusted until the good society is realized. I must honestly say to you that I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism and the self defeating effects of physical violence
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. ... If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets or steal bread
Greed and competition are not the result of immutable human temperament; greed and fear of scarcity are in fact being continuously created and amplified as a direct result of the money we are using. We can produce more than enough food to feed everyone, and enough work for everybody in the world, but there is clearly not enough money to pay for it all. The job of the central banks is to create and maintain this scarcity, and the direct consequence of this is that we have to fight with each other in order to survive
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it
The actors for freedom are oppressed by the talkers and the verbal professors of freedom
A little rebellion now and then is a good thing
...if civilisation is to advance at all in the future, it must be through the help of women, women freed of their political shackles, women with full power to work their will in society. It was rapidly becoming clear to my mind that men regarded women as a servant class in the community, and that women were going to remain in the servant class until they lifted themselves out of it
Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything