Failure seems to be regarded as the

Failure seems to be regarded as the one unpardonable crime, success as the all-redeeming virtue, the acquisition of wealth as the single worthy aim of life.  The hair-raising revelations of skullduggery and grand-scale thievery merely incite others to surpass by yet bolder outrages and more corrupt combinations.  ~Charles Francis Adams

Its difficult to view the world outside

It’s difficult to view the world outside our human context.  Staying alive and paying the bills both require our attention squarely fixed on our own business.  Our sprawling cities and suburbs are wonderful and frightening tributes to creative self-absorption.  In them, we spend our microscheduled days bustling between work and the endless details of our private lives, turning in our moments of rest to the buzzing distractions of television and computers – all accelerating toward some ultimate, unseen fulfillment of convenience and hyperreality.  Little encourages us to pause and look around, much less question the end goal of all our busyness.  Anything slower than the quick cuts of TV commercials is overwhelmed by our impatience and short attention.  Unfortunately, we might be missing something important – to our happiness and to our survival.  The purpose of this book is to help remind us.  ~From the introduction to The Sacred Earth: Writers on Nature & Spirit, edited by Jason Gardner, 1998, New World Library

I am not quite sure what the

I am not quite sure what the advantage is in having a few more dollars to spend if the air is too dirty to breathe, the water too polluted to drink, the commuters are losing out in the struggle to get in and out of the city, the streets are filthy, and the schools so bad that the young perhaps wisely stay away, and the hoodlums roll citizens for some of the dollars they saved in the tax cut.  ~John Kenneth GalbraithCUL

So long as all the increased wealth

So long as all the increased wealth which modern progress brings goes but to build up great fortunes, to increase luxury and make sharper the contrast between the House of Have and the House of Want, progress is not real and cannot be permanent.  ~Henry George, Progress and Poverty, 1879LCD

Science is now the craft of manipulation

Science is now the craft of the manipulation, substitution and deflection of the forces of nature.  What I see coming is a gigantic slaughterhouse, an Auschwitz, in which valuable enzymes, hormones, and so on will be extracted instead of gold teeth.  ~Erwin Chargaff, Columbia Forum, Summer 1969SS

Youre obliged to pretend respect for people

You’re obliged to pretend respect for people and institutions you think absurd.  You live attached in a cowardly fashion to moral and social conventions you despise, condemn, and know lack all foundation.  It is that permanent contradiction between your ideas and desires and all the dead formalities and vain pretenses of your civilization which makes you sad, troubled and unbalanced.  In that intolerable conflict you lose all joy of life and all feeling of personality, because at every moment they suppress and restrain and check the free play of your powers.  That’s the poisoned and mortal wound of the civilized world.  ~Octave Mirbeau, Torture Garden, "The Mission," Chapter 8

Food water shelter air sleep societal inflation

Food.  Water.  Shelter.  Air.  Sleep.  Societal inflation has expanded need into greed.  Suddenly the basic survival needs also include a cell phone, cable TV, and French manicured fingernails…. We’ve become the absolute biggest whiners of all human history with the absolute smallest justification for whining.  ~Charlie Diekatze

Depressed of course were all depressed weve

Depressed?  Of course we’re all depressed.  We’ve been so quickly, violently, and irreconcilably plucked from nature, from physical labor, from kinship and village mentality, from every natural and primordial anti-depressant.  The further society "progresses," the grander the scale of imbalance.  Just as fluoride is put in water to prevent dental caries, we’ll soon find government mandating Prozac in our water to prevent mental caries.  ~M. Robin D’Antan

The thoughts of plato and machiavelli dont

The thoughts of Plato and Machiavelli… don’t seem quite enough armor for a world beset with splitting the atoms, urban guerrillas, nineteen varieties of psychotherapists, amplified guitars, napalm, computers, astronauts, and an atmosphere polluted simultaneously with auto exhaust and TV commercials.  ~John Fischer