I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong.
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.
Since the end of human action, as distinct from the end products of fabrication, can never be reliably predicted, the means used to achieve political goals are more often than not of greater relevance to the future world than the intended goals.
The only justification for repressive institutions is material and cultural deficit. But such institutions, at certain stages of history, perpetuate and produce such a deficit, and even threaten human survival.
For legends attract the very best in our times, just as ideologies attract the average, and the whispered tales of gruesome secret powers behind the scenes attract the very worst.
"The Origins of Totalitarianism"
Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it.
When it gets down to having to use violence, then you're playing the system's game. The establishment will irritate you - pull your beard-flick your face - to make you fight. Because once they've got you violent, then they know how to handle you.
Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.
When does a kid get to sit in a yard with a stick anymore? You know, just sit there with a fucking stick. Do today's kids even know what a stick is? You know, you sit in the yard with a stick and you dig a fucking hole; and you look at the hole and you look at the stick and you have a little fun.
The easy possibility to write letters must - seen theoretically - have brought a terrible disruption of the souls into the world. It is communication with ghosts, and not just with the ghost of the receiver, but with one's own ghost as well, which develops under the hand in the letter one is writing, or even in a series of letters, where on letter substantiates the other and can call on it as witness. How could the idea come up that humans can communicate with each other through letters! One can think of a person that is far away, or touch a person that is close by, everything else is above the power of humans. But writing letters means to bare oneself in front of the ghosts, which they are greedily waiting for. Written kisses don't arrive at their place, but get drunk out by the ghosts on the way. Because of this plentiful food they multiply so outrageously. Humanity is feeling that and fighting against it, it has, to disable the ghostly between humans, and to achieve the natural communication, the peace of souls, invented the train, the car, the airplane, but it's too late, apparently they are inventions made while falling, the opponent is so much calmer and stronger, and invented after mail the telegraph, the telephone, wireless telegraphy. The ghosts won't starve, but we will perish.
letter to Milena Jesenská (March 1922)
People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don't think that's true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.
Good works, because they must be forgotten instantly, can never become part of the world; they come and go, leaving no trace. They truly are not of this world.
"The Human Condition"
If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one.
Wise souls leaving self behind, move forward.
Setting self aside, stay centered.
Why let the self go? To keep what the soul needs.
If I defected at all, I defected from the government to the public.
The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.
Imperialism was born when the ruling class in capitalist production came up against national limitations to its economic expansion. The bourgeoisie turned to politics out of economic necessity; for if it did not want to give up the capitalist system whose inherent law is constant economic growth, it had to impose this law upon its home governments and to proclaim expansion to be an ultimate political goal of foreign policy.
"The Origins of Totalitarianism"
There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are "just" because the law makes them so.
They told white workers who were earning pennies an hour, "Hey, you think you’re in trouble, but you’re better off than the blacks who can’t drink at a water fountain or go to your school." And they told straight people, "You’re better off than those gay people", right? And they pitted men against women. They’re always playing one group against another. Rich got richer — everybody else was fighting each other. Our job is to build a nation in which we all stand together, as one people.
I can understand the hesitation of my generation, indeed it is no longer mere hesitation; it is the thousandth forgetting of a dream dreamt a thousand times and forgotten a thousand times; and who can damn us merely for forgetting for the thousandth time?
"Investigations of a Dog"
Compare mathematics and the political sciences - it's quite striking. In mathematics, in physics, people are concerned with what you say, not with your certification. But in order to speak about social reality, you must have the proper credentials, particularly if you depart from the accepted framework of thinking. Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is the concern for content. One might even argue that to deal with substantive issues in the ideological disciplines may be a dangerous thing, because these disciplines are not simply concerned with discovering and explaining the facts as they are; rather, they tend to present these facts and interpret them in a manner that conforms to certain ideological requirements, and to become dangerous to established interests if they do not do so.
In September [2002] the government announced the national security strategy. That is not completely without precedent, but it is quite new as a formulation of state policy. What is stated is that we are tearing the entire system of the international law to shreds, the end of UN charter, and that we are going to carry out an aggressive war - which we will call "preventive" - and at any time we choose, and that we will rule the world by force. In addition, we will assure that there is never any challenge to our domination because we are so overwhelmingly powerful in military force that we will simply crush any potential challenge. That caused shudders around the world, including the foreign policy elite at home which was appalled by this. It is not that things like that haven't been heard in the past. Of course they had, but it had never been formulated as an official national policy. I suspect you will have to go back to Hitler to find an analogy to that.

Now, when you propose new norms in the international behavior and new policies you have to illustrate it, you have to get people to understand that you mean it. Also you have to have what a Harvard historian called an "exemplary war", a war of example, which shows that we really mean what we say. And we have to choose the right target. The target has to have several properties. First it has to be completely defenseless. No one would attack anybody who might be able to defend themselves, that would be not prudent. Iraq meets that perfectly... And secondly, it has to be important. So there will be no point invading Burundi, for example. It has to be a country worthwhile controlling, owning, and Iraq has that property too.
I remember once asking my mother, ‘How did you do in your studies?’ She replied, ‘What are you talking about? How could you study under those conditions?’.

When she saw the segregation of African-Americans, whether at a lunch counter or in the school system, that was, for her, like the prologue to the Nazi holocaust. Whereas many Jews now say, Never compare (Elie Wiesel’s refrain, ‘It’s bad, but it’s not The Holocaust’), my mother’s credo was, Always compare. She gladly and generously made the imaginative leap to those who were suffering, wrapping and shielding them in the embrace of her own suffering.

For my mother, the Nazi holocaust was a chapter in the long history of the horror of war. It was not itself a war – she was emphatic that it was an extermination, not a war – but it was a unique chapter within the war. So for her, war was the ultimate horror. When she saw Vietnamese being bombed during the Vietnam War, it was the Nazi holocaust. It was the bombing, the death, the horror, the terror, that she herself had passed through. When she saw the distended bellies of starving children in Biafra, it was also the Nazi holocaust, because she remembered her own pangs of hunger in the Warsaw Ghetto.
People who call themselves supporters of Israel are actually supporters of its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction.