Let’s sum up what we’ve learned about trends in political participation. On the positive side of the ledger, Americans today score about as well on a civics test as our parents and grandparents did, though our self-congratulation should be restrained, since we have on average four more years of formal schooling than they had.33 Moreover, at election time we are no less likely than they were to talk politics or express interest in the campaign.
"To a radical, perpetually unnecessary world; to the restoration of astonishment to the heart and mystery to the mind; to wine, because it is a gift we never expected; to mushroom and artichoke; for they are incredible legacies; to improbable acids and high alcohols, since we would hardly have thought of them ourselves; and to all being, because it is superfluous... We are free: nothing is needful, everything is for joy. Let the bookkeepers struggle with the balance sheets; it is the tippler who sees the untipped Hand. God is eccentric; He has loves, not reasons. Salute!"
"We have real difficulty here because everyone thinks of changing the world, but where, oh where, are those who think of changing themselves? People may genuinely want to be good, but seldom are they prepared to do what it takes to produce the inward life of goodness that can form the soul. Personal formation into the likeness of Christ is arduous and lifelong."
"On my street, every family possesses a lawnmower that is used perhaps ten hours per summer. Each kitchen has a blender that is used at most fifteen minutes per week. At any given moment, about half the cars are parked on the street, doing nothing. Most families have their own hedge clippers, their own power tools, their own exercise equipment. Because they are unused most of the time, most of these things are superfluous. Our quality of life would be just as high with half the number of cars, a tenth of the lawnmowers, and two or three Stairmasters for the whole street.
"The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’
"What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord,
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
When you come to appear before me,
who asked this from your hand?
Trample my courts no more;
bringing offerings is futile;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation---
I cannot endure solemn assemblies
Your new moons and your appointed festivals,
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me,
I am wearing of bearing them.
When you stretch out your hands
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
"The ultimate problem in Nebraska was the absence of the kind of statewide cooperative infrastructure that elsewhere provided the agrarian movement with its vehicle of organization, it schoolroom of ideology, and its culture of self-respect. Cooperation, sometimes merely the promise of cooperation, could attract farmers to the Alliance and, under other additional influences, could propel them towards an insurgent political stance; but only the cooperative experience provided the kind of education that imparted to the political movement the form and substance of the greenback heritage.
"The ultimate victory is nailed into place, therefore, only when the population has been persuaded to define all conceivable political activity within the limits of existing custom."
"The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."
For us, this means that while corporations act like they own the commons like air or water, and can pollute it as they choose, they do not.
"The bourgeoisie of the whole world which looks complacently upon the wholesale massacre after the battle is convulsed by horror at the desecration of brick and mortar."
What is nonviolence? Does nonviolence protect property as well as people?
What about the destruction of property that erodes the foundations of a violent system?