"This, then, is the human problem: there is a price to be paid for every increase in consciousness. We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain. By remembering the past we can plan for the future. But the ability to plan for the future is offset by the “ability” to dread pain and to fear of the unknown. Furthermore, the growth of an acute sense of the past and future gives us a corresponding dim sense of the present. In other words, we seem to reach a point where the advantages of being conscious are outweighed by its disadvantages, where extreme sensitivity makes us unadaptable."
— Alan Wilson Watts (via quotesaficionado)
Anarchists, I discovered, did not believe in anarchy as it is usually defined — disorder, disorganization, chaos, confusion, and everyone doing as they like. On the contrary, they believed that society should be organized in a thousand different ways, that people had to cooperate in work and in play, to create a good society. But anarchists insisted, any organization must avoid hierarchy and command from the top; it must be democratic, consensual, reaching decisions through constant discussion and argument.
He continued, ‘What attracted me to anarchism was its rejection of any bullying authority — the authority of the state, of the church, or the employer. Anarchism believes that if we can create an egalitarian society without extremes of poverty and wealth, and join hands across all national boundaries, we will not need police forces, prisons, armies, or war, because the underlying causes of these will be gone.’
— Professor Howard Zinn (via lunaseas)
"What would you think of man who not only kept an arsenal in his home, but was collecting, at enormous financial sacrifice, a second arsenal to protect the first one? What would you say if this man so frightened of his neighbors that they in turn were collecting weapons to protect themselves from him? What if this man spent ten times as much money on his expensive weapons as he did on the education of his children? What if one of his children criticized his hobby and he called that child a traitor and a bum and disowned it and took another child who had obeyed him faithfully and armed that child and sent it out into the world to attack neighbors? What would you say about a man who introduces poisons into the water he drinks and the air he breathes? What if this man not only is feuding with the people on his block but also involves himself in the quarrels of others in distant parts of the city and even the suburbs? Such a man would clearly be a paranoid schizophrenic, with homicidal tendencies."
— Robert Anton Wilson - Leviathan (via mavenmemnon)
"You know, people sometimes say I broke an “oath of secrecy,” that was one of the early charges leveled against me. But it’s a fundamental misunderstanding, because there is no oath of secrecy for people who work in the intelligence community. You’re asked to sign a civil agreement, called “Standard Form 312,” which basically says, if you disclose classified information they can sue you, they can do this, that and the other. And you stand at risk of going to jail. But you are also asked to take an oath, and that’s the oath of service. The oath of service is not to secrecy; it’s to the Constitution—to protect it against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That’s the oath that I kept, that James Clapper and Keith Alexander did not."
Edward Snowden interviewed by Katrina vanden Heuvel and Stephen F. Cohen in The Nation. Edward Snowden Speaks: A Sneak Peek at an Exclusive Interview
We recently met with the courageous whistleblower for over three hours in Moscow for a wide-ranging conversation on surveillance, technology and politics.
"I happen to know all the details about what happened, but I have no idea how to recount them in a manner that will make sense to most readers. For instance, I am not even sure who I am, and my embarrassment on that matter makes me wonder if you will believe anything I will reveal. Worse yet, I am at the moment very conscious of a squirrel—in Central Park, just off Sixty-eight Street, in New York City—that is leaping from one tree to another…"
— The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid/The Golden Apple/Leviathan
by Robert Shea, Robert Anton Wilson (via quotestotheleftoftheline)
"We live in an age of artificial scarcity, maintained by ignorance and fear. The government has been paying farmers not to grow food for fifty years—while millions starve. Labor unions, business and government conspire to hold back the Microprocessor Revolution—because none of them know how to deal with the massive unemployment it will cause. (Fuller’s books could tell them.) The utilities advertise continually that “solar power is at least forty years in the future” when my friend Karl Hess, and hundreds of others, already live in largely solar-powered houses. These propaganda advertisements are just a delaying action, because the utilities still haven’t figured out how to put a meter between us and the sun."
— Robert Anton Wilson, Right Where You Are Sitting Now: Further Tales of the Illuminati. Berkeley, CA: Ronin Pub., 1993. p. 144. (via thewriterscaravan)