Not a penny of the pay, not a second on the day. (Speech just before the 1926 General Strike). -
Why can’t people live with each other in peace? Why must everything be destroyed? Why must people go hungry while surplus food elsewhere in the world rots away? Oh why must people be so crazy?
Nothing I can say or do can change the structure of the Universe. But maybe, by raising my voice, I can help the greatest of all causes; goodwill among men and peace on earth.
In the service of the people we followed such a policy that socialism would not lose its human face. (Rudé Pravo 1968).
They, the poor, have to labour in the face of the majestic equality of the law, which forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. (Le Lys rouge 1894).
Discontent arises from a knowledge of the possible, as contrasted with the actual. (In Place of Fear 1952).
From the moment when a subordinate class becomes really independent and dominant, calling into being a new type of State, the need arises concretely, of building a new intellectual and moral order, i.e. a new type of society, and hence the need to elaborate the most universal concepts, the most refined and decisive ideological weapons. (Prison Notebooks 1926-1937).
Therefore, the good of man must be the objective of the science of politics. (Nichomachean Ethics).
My faith in the people governing is, on the whole, infinitesimal; my faith in the people governed is, on the whole, illimitable. (Speech 1869).
The extension of women’s rights is the basic principle of social progress. (Théorie des Quatre Mouvements 1808).
Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking. (Speech 1957).
Never lose your temper with the press or the public is a major rule of political life. (Votes for Women 31 March 1911).
Every court of criminal justice must have the power of correcting the greatest and dangerous of all abuses of the forms of law - that of the protracted imprisonment of the accused, untried, perhaps not intended ever to be tried, it may be, not informed of the nature of the charge against him, or the name of the accuser.
It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees! (Speech 1936).
We know that the organised workers of the country are our friends. As for the rest, they don’t matter a tinker’s cuss. (Speech 1947).
Anarchism, then, really, stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraints of government. (Anarchism and Other Essays 1910).
I am little concerned with beauty or perfection. I don’t care for the great centuries. All I care about is life, struggle, intensity. I am at ease in my generation.(My Hates 1866).
There never has been a war yet which, if the facts had been put calmly before the ordinary folk, could not have been prevented. The common man I think, is the great protection against war. (Speech 1945).
While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a sole in prison, I am not free. (Speech at his trial 14 September 1918).
Naturally, the workers are perfectly free; the manufacturer does not force them to take his materials and his cards, but he says to them...If you don’t like to be frizzled in my frying pan, you can take a walk into the fire.
You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. (O’ Flaherty VC 1919).
No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions or outlawed or exiled or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.
A week is a long time in politics. (1964).
Freedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be. (Nobody Knows My Name 1961).
The worker is the slave of capitalist society, the female worker is the slave of that slave. (The reconquest of Ireland 1915)
Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains. (The Social Contract 1762).
When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die. (Le Diable et le bon Dieu 1951).
I will die like a true-blue rebel. Don’t waste any time in mourning - organize. (Telegram 1915).
Government and co-operation are in all things the laws of life; anarchy and competition the laws of death. (Unto this Last 1862).
The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it. (Theses on Feuerbach 1845).
Women, even more than the working class, is the great unknown quantity of the race. (Speech 11 April 1914).
In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat. (Attributed).
For what were all these country patriots born? To hunt, and vote, and raise the price of corn? (The Age of Bronze 1823).
We shouldn’t have all these campaigns to get the Birmingham Six released if they’d been hanged. They’d have been forgotten and the whole community would be satisfied. (Spectator 18 August 1990).
The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation, because in the degradation of women the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source. (Speech 1848).
The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fell. He frees himself and shows the way to others. Freedom and slavery are mental states. (Non violence in peace and war 1949).
We are not fighting for integration, nor are we fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as human beings. We are fighting for human rights. (Speech 1964).
The socialist system will eventually replace the capitalist system; this is an objective law independent of man’s will. However much the reactionaries try to hold back the wheel of history, sooner or later revolution will take place and will inevitably triumph. (Speech 1957).
A free man can survive, a free spirit can exist. There is no human being that can destroy the freedom of speech, the will of freedom, the man who wants to be free. Am I a hero? I think all those who are standing behind me and supporting me, all those who continue to be my friends for 18 years, all are heroes. Speech by Mordechai Vanunu on leaving prison. 21 April 2004.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. (Speech 1963).
It is justice not charity that is wanting in the world. (Vindication of the Rights of Women 1796).
The guilt of Stalin and his immediate entourage before the Party and the people for the mass repressions and lawlessness they committed is enormous and unforgivable. (Speech 1987).
Political liberty in a citizen is that tranquillity of spirit which comes from the opinion each one has of his security, and in order for him to have this liberty the government must be such that one citizen cannot fear another citizen. (The Spirit of the Laws 1748).
As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.
We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all. (Speech 1956).
Peace is not the product of fear Peace is not the silence of cemeteries Peace is not the result of violent oppression Peace is not the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all Peace is dynamic Peace is generosity It is right and it is duty In it each one feels at home.
Wars are popular. Contractors make profits; the aristocracy glean honour. (Labour Leader 11 March 1915).
All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer. (Attributed 1828).
One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule, by giving mankind an ass for a lion. (Common Sense 1776).
Society in almost every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. (Common Sense 1776).
The crisis that we inherit when we come to power will be the occasion for fundamental change and not the excuse for postponing it. (Speech 1973).
The single most important impediment to global institutions is the concept of "my country, right or wrong".
Women constitute half the world’s population, perform nearly two-thirds of its work hours, receive one-tenth of the world’s income and own less than one-hundredth of the world’s property. (UN Report 1960).
The whole struggle of our Party (and of the working class movement in Europe generally) must be directed against opportunism. The latter is not a current of opinion, not a tendency; it (opportunism) has now become the organised tool of the bourgeoisie within the working class movement. (Letter to David Wijnkoop)
The art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to the other. (Dictionnaire philosophique 1764).
The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line - the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea. (The Souls of Black Folk 1905).
Forsooth, brothers, fellowship is heaven, and lack of fellowship is hell: fellowship is life, and lack of fellowship is death. (Dream of John Ball 1888).