“Perhaps a revolution can overthrow autocratic despotism and profiteering or power-grabbing oppression, but it can never truly reform a manner of thinking; instead, new prejudices, just like the old ones they replace, will serve as a leash for the great unthinking mass.” – Immanuel Kant, “An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment?” (trans. Ted Humphrey)

“The Chicago accent was most widespread during the city’s industrial heyday. Blue-collar work and strong regional speech are closely connected: if you graduated from high school in the 1960s, you didn’t need to go to college, or even leave your neighborhood, to get a good job, and once you got that job, you didn’t have to talk to anyone outside your house, your factory, your tavern, or your parish. A regular Joe accent was a sign of masculinity and local cred, bonding forces important for the teamwork of industrial labor. A 1970s study of steelworker families on Chicago’s East Side by linguist Robin Herndobler found that women were less likely than their husbands to say ‘dese, dem, and dose,’ because they dealt with doctors, teachers, and other professionals. After the mills closed, kids went to college, where they learned not to say ’dat,’ and took office jobs requiring interaction with people outside the neighborhood.” – Edward McClelland, How to Speak Midwestern

“Nobody knows what should be done, in spite of all the talk. The young ones get mad because they’ve no money to spend. Their whole life depends on spending money, and now they’ve got none to spend. That’s our civilisation and our education: bring up the masses to depend entirely on spending money, and then the money gives out.” – D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

“When a democracy sends riot police to beat old ladies over the head with batons and stop them from voting, something has gone badly wrong. . . . A well-run democracy must abide by the rule of law. That is what protects democratic liberties, not least the freedom of minorities to express discontent. . . . Democracy rests on the consent of the governed.” – “How to Save Spain,” The Economist, October 7th, 2017

“1841, June 20: The Texas-Santa Fe Expedition leaves Austin for Santa Fe. Historians argue over whether it was a trading force or an armed invasion. Anyway, General Hugh McLeod commanded 300 Texans. Three Texas commissioners tagged along to carry out the political aims of the invading/trading caravan. However, the expedition lost its way and was starving near modern-day Tucumcari, New Mexico, when it surrendered in October to a much smaller Mexican force. A death march then started toward El Paso, Chihuahua. Texans who died along the road had their ears cut off and strung on a piece of rawhide as proof that none had escaped.” – Leon Metz, El Paso Chronicles

“A modern literary intellectual lives and writes in constant dread—not, indeed, of public opinion in the wider sense, but of public opinion within his own group. As a rule, luckily, there is more than one group, but also at any given moment there is a dominant orthodoxy, to offend against which needs a thick skin and sometimes means cutting one’s income in half for years on end.” – George Orwell, “Writers and Leviathan”

“Much of what goes by the name of pleasure is simply an effort to destroy consciousness. If one started by asking, what is man? what are his needs? how can he best express himself? one would discover that merely having the power to avoid work and live one’s life from birth to death in electric light and to the tune of tinned music is not a reason for doing so. Man needs warmth, society, leisure, comfort and security: he also needs solitude, creative work and the sense of wonder. If he recognised this he could use the products of science and industrialism eclectically, applying always the same test: does this make me more human or less human? He would then learn that the highest happiness does not lie in relaxing, resting, playing poker, drinking and making love simultaneously. And the instinctive horror which all sensitive people feel at the progressive mechanisation of life would be seen not to be a mere sentimental archaism, but to be fully justified. For man only stays human by preserving large patches of simplicity in his life, while the tendency of many modern inventions—in particular the film, the radio and the aeroplane—is to weaken his consciousness, dull his curiosity, and, in general, drive him nearer to the animals.” – George Orwell, “Pleasure Spots”

“The great age of democracy and of national self-determination was the age of the musket and the rifle. After the invention of the flintlock, and before the invention of the percussion cap, the musket was a fairly efficient weapon, and at the same time so simple that it could be produced almost anywhere. Its combination of qualities made possible the success of the American and French revolutions, and made a popular insurrection a more serious business than it could be in our own day. After the musket came the breech-loading rifle. This was a comparatively complex thing, but it could still be produced in scores of countries, and it was cheap, easily smuggled and economical of ammunition. Even the most backward nation could always get hold of rifles from one source or another, so that Boers, Bulgars, Abyssinians, Moroccans—even Tibetans—could put up a fight for their independence, sometimes with success. But thereafter every development in military technique has favoured the State as against the individual, and the industrialised country as against the backward one. There are fewer and fewer foci of power.” – George Orwell, “You and the Atomic Bomb”

“All left-wing parties in the highly industrialized countries are at bottom a sham, because they make it their business to fight against something which they do not really wish to destroy. They have internationalist aims, and at the same time they struggle to keep up a standard of life with which those aims are incompatible.” – George Orwell, “Rudyard Kipling”

“In the long run—it is important to remember that it is only in the long run—the working class remains the most reliable enemy of Fascism, simply because the working-class stands to gain most by a decent reconstruction of society. Unlike other classes or categories, it can’t be permanently bribed. To say this is not to idealize the working class.” – George Orwell, “Looking Back on the Spanish War”

“The Philosophers’ scorn of wealth was but their secret ambition to exalt their merit above fortune by deriding those blessings which Fate denied them. It was a ruse to shield them from the sordidness of poverty, and a subterfuge to attain that distinction which they could not achieve by wealth.” – François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims (trans. John Heard)

“Lord knows what he does that I don’t know and Im to be slooching around down in the kitchen to get his lordship his breakfast while hes rolled up like a mummy will I indeed did you ever see me running id just like to see myself at it show them attention and they treat you like dirt I don’t care what anybody says itd be much better for the world to be governed by the women in it you wouldnt see women going and killing one another and slaughtering when do you ever see women rolling around drunk like they do or gambling every penny they have and losing it on horses yes because a woman whatever she does she knows where to stop sure they wouldnt be in the world at all only for us they don’t know what it is to be a woman and a mother how could they where would they all of them be if they hadnt had a mother to look after them” – James Joyce, Ulysses

“Swans on the river, moving with calm dignity, pretending they are doing something else, while all the time, like the noisy, desperately fluttering seagulls, they too search for food. They eat discreetly with beaks below water, so as not to be seen in the undignified act of feeding, which humans parade in public places without feeling any shame.” – Nanos Valaoritis, “Problems of an Empire”