Francois-Marie Arouet
1694 - 1778

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

-- Francois-Marie Arouet, better known by his pen name Voltaire

No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.

-- A. J. P. Taylor

The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other - instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.

-- Edward Abbey

He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.

-- Albert Einstein

In war, truth is the first casualty.

-- Aeschylus

Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.

-- Ernest Hemingway

The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.

-- Robert Lynd

When the rich make war, it's the poor that die.

-- Jean-Paul Sartre

Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood...to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out...and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel...And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man" -- with his mouth.

-- Mark Twain

The practice of violence, like all action, changes the world, but the most probable change is a more violent world.

-- Hannah Arendt

All wars are wars among thieves who are too cowardly to fight and therefore induce the young manhood of the whole world to do the fighting for them.

-- Emma Goldman

Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. (...)
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

-- Hermann Goering; in an interview with Gustave Gilbert during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials


Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
1706 - 1790

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.

-- Benjamin Franklin

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

-- Evelyn Beatrice Hall, English writer

Freedom only for the members of the government, only for the members of the Party - though they are quite numerous - is no freedom at all. Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters.

-- Rosa Luxemburg

And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.

-- John Steinbeck (East of Eden)

Freedom defined is freedom denied.

-- Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, The Illuminatus! Trilogy

Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.

-- Gerald Ford

I have never believed that man's freedom consisted in doing what he wants, but rather in never doing what he does not want to do.

-- Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.

-- Frank Zappa



John Maynard Keynes
1883 - 1946

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.

-- John Maynard Keynes

I worked at a factory owned by Germans, at coal pits owned by Frenchmen, and at a chemical plant owned by Belgians. There I discovered something about capitalists. They are all alike, whatever the nationality. All they wanted from me was the most work for the least money that kept me alive. So I became a communist.

-- Nikita Khrushchev

Corporations care very much about maintaining the myth that government is necessarily ineffective, except when it is spending money on the military-industrial complex, building prisons, or providing infrastructural support for the business sector.

-- Michael Lerner

Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.

-- Bertrand Russell

Fascism is capitalism plus murder.

-- Upton Sinclair

For capitalism, war and peace are business and nothing but business.

-- Karl Liebknecht

Capitalism attacks and destroys all the finer sentiments of the human heart; it ruthlessly sweeps away old traditions and ideas opposed to its progress, and it exploits and corrupts those things once held sacred.

-- Daniel De Leon

Capitalism is not about free competitive choices among people who are reasonably equal in their buying and selling of economic power, it is about concentrating capital, concentrating economic power in very few hands using that power to trash everyone who gets in their way.

-- David Korten

Capitalism works better from every perspective when the economic decision makers are forced to share power with those who will be affected by those decisions.

-- Barney Frank



Arthur Schopenhauer
1788 - 1860

Nationalism is having the ego to think of the 191 countries you could have been born in, you happened to be born into the one that is the best.

-- Clint Borgen

Nationalism ... is like cheap alcohol. First it makes you drunk, then it makes you blind, then it kills you.

-- Dan Fried, US diplomat

It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars.

-- Arthur C. Clarke

To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography.

-- George Santayana

Religion and nationalism, as well as any custom and any belief however absurd and degrading, if it only connects the individual with others, are refuges from what man most dreads: isolation.

-- Erich Fromm

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, I am a citizen of the world.

-- Socrates

The cheapest form of pride however is national pride. For it betrays in the one thus afflicted the lack of individual qualities of which he could be proud, while he would not otherwise reach for what he shares with so many millions. He who possesses significant personal merits will rather recognise the defects of his own nation, as he has them constantly before his eyes, most clearly. But that poor beggar who has nothing in the world of which he can be proud, latches onto the last means of being proud, the nation to which he belongs to. Thus he recovers and is now in gratitude ready to defend with hands and feet all errors and follies which are its own.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer


Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein
1879 - 1955

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

-- Steven Weinberg, American physicist

All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.

-- Marie-Henri Beyle, better known by his penname Stendhal

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind, that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.

-- H. L. Mencken

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.

-- Napoleon Bonaparte

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

-- Albert Einstein

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

-- Blaise Pascal

Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion - several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.

-- Mark Twain

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.

-- Anonymous


Mark Twain

Mark Twain
1835 - 1910

Life's tragedy is that we get old to soon and wise too late.

-- Benjamin Franklin

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

-- Oscar Wilde

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.

-- Mark Twain

Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success.

-- Oscar Wilde

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

-- Wynn Catlin

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

-- Mark Twain

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.

-- Mahatma Gandhi

If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

-- Anatole France

It always seemed strange to me that the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, aquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and selfinterest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.

-- John Steinbeck

The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.

-- Fiedrich Hegel

All great truths begin as blasphemies.

-- George Bernard Shaw