War Quotes (displaying: 121 - 150 of 6791 quotes )
No matter how inflexibly the world was clamoring for war and heroism, honor and other outmoded ideals, no matter how remote and unlikely every voice that apparently spoke up for humanity sounded, all of that was merely superficial, just as the question of the external and political aims of the war remained superficial. Deep down, something was evolving. Something like a new humanity. Because I could see people, and a number of them died alongside me, who had gained the new emotional insight that hatred and rage, killing and destroying, were not linked to the specific objects if that rage. No, the objects, just like the aims, were completely accidental. Those primal feelings, even the wildest of them, weren't directed against the enemy; their bloody results were merely an outward materialization of people's inner life, the split within their souls, which desired to rage and kill, destroy and die, so that they could be reborn.
You're obliged to pretend respect for people and institutions you find 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 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.
We must take arms each and every day, perhaps knowing that the battle cannot be entirely won, but fight we must, if only a gentle bout. The smallest effort to win means, at the end of each day, a sort of victory. Remember that pianist who said that if he did not pratice every day he would know, if he did not practice for two days, the critics would know, after three days, his audiences would know.A variation of this is true for writers. Not that your style, whatever that is, would melt out of shape in those few days.But what would happen is that the world would catch up with and try to sicken you. If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy, or both.
The war, therefore if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that the hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word "war," therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that is exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and has been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three superstates, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed forever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This--although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense--is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE.
The next morning, very early, you and I went to the old pine-tree. Your little legs were going along so fast that it made me quite dizzy to look at them. Long before we came to the place I had to carry you - you had such a terrible stitch! At last we caught sight of him. His branches were all waving and his head was high in the air. When he saw us he bowed most graciously, but very proudly. I stole along ever so quietly with you in my arms, and, sure enough, there were the sparrows sitting in the branches. They did not seem at all shy, and how glad we both were. The old pine-tree looked just like you do when you have had a cold bath and Mummy has put you in a clean starched frock, and a petticoat that sticks out all round. You look as though you never made mud pies in your life and would rather die than tread in the puddles.
I have received your new book against the human race, and thank you for it. Never was such a cleverness used in the design of making us all stupid. One longs, in reading your book, to walk on all fours. But as I have lost that habit for more than sixty years, I feel unhappily the impossibility of resuming it. Nor can I embark in search of the savages of Canada, because the maladies to which I am condemned render a European surgeon necessary to me; because war is going on in those regions; and because the example of our actions has made the savages nearly as bad as ourselves. [in response to Rousseau's "The Social Contract"]
Homer was wrong," wrote Heracleitus of Ephesus. "Homer was wrong in saying: 'Would that strife might perish from among gods and men!' He did not see that he was praying for the destruction of the universe; for if his prayer were heard, all things would pass away." These are the words on which the superhumanists should meditate. Aspiring toward a consistent perfection, they are aspiring toward annihilation. The Hindus had the wit to see and the courage to proclaim the fact; Nirvana, the goal of their striving, is nothingness. Wherever life exists, there also is inconsistency, division, strife.
Great engines crawled across the field; and in the midst was a huge ram, great as a forest-tree a hundred feet in length, swinging on mighty chains. Long had it been forging in the dark smithies of Mordor, and its hideous head, founded of black steel, was shaped in the likeness of a ravening wolf; on it spells of ruin lay. Grond they named it, in memory of the Hammer of the Underworld of old. Great beasts drew it, orcs surrounded it, and behind walked mountain-trolls to wield it.
What is war?' I asked.Oh, it's a messy, stupid business,' he said, 'Two sides wave flags and beat drums and shoot one another dead. It always begins this way, making speeches, talking about rights, and all that sort of thing.'But what is it for? What do they get out of it?'I don't know,' he said. 'To tell you the truth, I don't think they know themselves.
What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war. Surely so many countries can't all be worth dying for.
slowly she spread her arms and stood there swan-like, radiating a pride in her young perfection that lit a warm glow in Carlyle's heart. "We're going through the black air with our arms wide," she called, "and our feet straight out behind like a dolphin's tail, and we're going to think we'll never hit the silver down there till suddenly it'll be all warm round us and full of little kissing, caressing waves." Then she was in the air, and Carlyle involuntarily held his breath. He had not realized that the dive was nearly forty feet. It seemed an eternity before he heard the swift compact sound as she reached the sea. And it was with his glad sigh of relief when her light watery laughter curled up the side of the cliff and into his anxious ears that he knew he loved her.
The Greatest Generation? They tell me I am a member of the greatest generation. That's because I saw combat duty as a bombardier in World War 11. But I refuse to celebrate "the greatest generation" because in so doing we are celebrating courage and sacrifice in the cause of war. And we are miseducating the young to believe that military heroism is the noblest form of heroism, when it should be remembered only as the tragic accompaniment of horrendous policies driven by power and profit. The current infatuation with World War 11 prepares us--innocently on the part of some, deliberately on the part of others--for more war, more military adventures, more attempts to emulate the military heroes of the past.
What I felt for you was a combination of respect and affection. There was a closeness I felt through intimate interaction. The affection part is all over with. All that remains is the respect. If I put my arms around you and told you that I missed you, I would be lying. You're alright with me and I wish you well. But you're not me and that makes you one of them and you can only get so close.
She stood straight and still, her arms at her side. Her eyebrows had the graceful arch of a raptor's wings in flight. Her green eyes came unafraid to his. The connection was so intense that it threatened to drain his sense of self. He felt that he had always known her, that she had always been a part of him, that her needs were his needs. She held him with her gaze as surely as a grip of iron would, searching his eyes as if searching his soul, seeking an answer to something. I am here to help you, he said in his mind. He meant it more than any thought he had ever had.The intensity of her gaze relaxed, loosening its hold on him. In her eyes he saw something that attracted him more than anything else. Intelligence. He saw it flaring there, burning in her, and through it all he felt an overriding sense of her integrity. Richard felt safe.
The line between the Rebel and Union element in Georgetown was so marked that it led to divisions even in the churches. There were churches in that part of Ohio where treason was preached regularly, and where, to secure membership, hostility to the government, to the war and to the liberation of the slaves, was far more essential than a belief in the authenticity or credibility of the Bible. There were men in Georgetown who filled all the requirements for membership in these churches.
So successfully have we disguised from ourselves the intensity of our own feelings, the sensibility of our own hearts, that plays in the tragic tradition have begun to seem untrue. For a couple of hours we may surrender ourselves to a world of fiercely illuminated values in conflict, but when the stage is covered and the auditorium lighted, almost immediately there is a recoil of disbelief. "Well, well!" we say as we shuffle back up the aisle, while the play dwindles behind us with the sudden perspective of an early Chirico painting. By the time we have arrived at Sardi's, if not as soon as we pass beneath the marquee, we have convinced ourselves once more that life has as little resemblance to the curiously stirring and meaningful occurrences on the stage as a jingle has to an elegy of Rilke.