Your favorite historical quotes.

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The Romulan Republic
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Your favorite historical quotes.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-08-23 11:07am

Just a thread to post your favorite quotes from the annals of history.

I'll start it off with a few of mine (some of them have been past sigs of mine):

First some Lincoln, because if ever we've had a great President who was also a great poet, it was Abraham Lincoln:

"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it, 'all men are created equal, except negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read, 'all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.' When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy."


"I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."-Abraham Lincoln, first Inaugural Address.


"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said: 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'"-Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address.


"Well, Grant, we've had the Devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."
-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum."-James L. Petigru, upon South Carolina's session from the Union. :D

"But at that moment I glanced round at the crowd that had followed me. It was an immense crowd, two thousand at the least and growing every minute. It blocked the road for a long distance on either side. I looked at the sea of yellow faces above the garish clothes-faces all happy and excited over this bit of fun, all certain that the elephant was going to be shot. They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick. They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all. The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly. And it was at this moment, as I stood there with the rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man's dominion in the East. Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd — seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the ‘natives’, and so in every crisis he has got to do what the ‘natives’ expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. I had got to shoot the elephant. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle. A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things. To come all that way, rifle in hand, with two thousand people marching at my heels, and then to trail feebly away, having done nothing — no, that was impossible. The crowd would laugh at me. And my whole life, every white man's life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at."-George Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant."


"No one I met at this time - doctors, nurses, practicantes, or fellow-patients - failed to assure me that a man who is hit through the neck and survives it is the luckiest creature alive. I could not help thinking that it would be even luckier not to be hit at all."-George Orwell on being shot, Homage to Catalonia.


"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..."-Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence.


"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."-Martin Luther King Jr.


"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill."-Sun Tzu, The Art of War.


"Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon
July1969, A.D.
We came in peace for all Mankind."
-Apollo 11 plaque.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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FaxModem1
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Re: Your favorite historical quotes.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-08-25 08:10am

I'll add some good old FDR:

"True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

"If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Re: Your favorite historical quotes.

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-08-25 10:00am

I'll share a couple, one inspiring and one darkly funny:

"Earth is the cradle of Mankind - but we cannot live in the cradle forever" - Tsiolkovsky

"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!" - Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty RN, Battlecruiser Fleet, at the Battle of Jutland
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Your favorite historical quotes.

Post by Gandalf » 2019-08-25 05:23pm

Over time my favourite historical quotes have come to be those which illuminate just how shitty society's "heroes" are. Here's an example:
Thomas Jefferson wrote:Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made ... will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race. To these objections, which are political, may be added others, which are physical and moral. The first difference which strikes us is that of colour. ... They have less hair on the face and body. They secrete less by the kidnies, and more by the glands of the skin, which gives them a very strong and disagreeable odour. This greater degree of transpiration renders them more tolerant of heat, and less so of cold, than the whites. Comparing them by their faculties of memory, reason, and imagination, it appears to me that in memory they are equal to the whites; in reason much inferior, as I think one could scarcely be found capable of tracing and comprehending the investigations of Euclid: and that in imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous. The Indians, with no advantages ... will often carve figures on their pipes not destitute of design and merit. They will crayon out an animal, a plant, or a country, so as to prove the existence of a germ in their minds which only wants cultivation. They astonish you with strokes of the most sublime oratory; such as prove their reason and sentiment strong, their imagination glowing and elevated. ... Misery is often the parent of the most affecting touches in poetry. ... We know that among the Romans, about the Augustan age especially, the condition of their slaves was much more deplorable than that of the blacks on the continent of America.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

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Re: Your favorite historical quotes.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-10-08 09:22pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-08-25 10:00am
I'll share a couple, one inspiring and one darkly funny:

"Earth is the cradle of Mankind - but we cannot live in the cradle forever" - Tsiolkovsky
I have actually told my Mum, semi-seriously, that if I die that's the quote I want on my tombstone.
Gandalf wrote:Snip Jefferson being a Rat Bastard
Yeah. The worst part is, from some of his writings you can tell that Jefferson knew that slavery was wrong. And he did it anyway, because he couldn't see past his own racism and his own self-interest. To me that's if anything worse than a man who is simply ignorant and believes that his prejudice and exploitation are just how things are supposed to be.

Its particularly interesting to me to compare Jefferson and Lincoln. Both admired the ideals that Jefferson put forth in the Declaration of Independence- Jefferson gave them voice and Lincoln reinterpreted them and gave them new life (Lincoln once said something to the effect that every political feeling he ever had came from the Declaration of Independence, IIRC). Both were at a similar place at one point (Jefferson at the end of his career and Lincoln at the start of his) regarding slavery- recognizing that it was wrong, but still being unable to see a society where blacks and whites could coexist. Both men foresaw slavery's fall, and both supported "colonization" of blacks back to Africa. But while Jefferson, a slave holder, was unable to see past his prejudices and his self-interest on the subject, Lincoln's views ultimately evolved, to support emancipation and black troops, reject colonization during the war, and finally to broach the topic of black voting rights/citizenship (in a speech shortly before his death). Note that the last likely cost Lincoln his life, and John Wilkes Booth was in the audience and upon hearing that Lincoln supported "n**ger citizenship" vowed to kill him.

So Jefferson to me symbolizes America's failure to live up to its high ideals, while Lincoln symbolizes the country's capacity to be inspired by those ideals to grow into something better than it is.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Your favorite historical quotes.

Post by Proletarian » 2019-11-01 04:48pm

The famous opening paragraphs of The Eighteenth Brumaire Of Louis Napoleon by Karl Marx.
Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language. Thus Luther put on the mask of the Apostle Paul, the Revolution of 1789-1814 draped itself alternately in the guise of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and the Revolution of 1848 knew nothing better to do than to parody, now 1789, now the revolutionary tradition of 1793-95. In like manner, the beginner who has learned a new language always translates it back into his mother tongue, but he assimilates the spirit of the new language and expresses himself freely in it only when he moves in it without recalling the old and when he forgets his native tongue.

When we think about this conjuring up of the dead of world history, a salient difference reveals itself. Camille Desmoulins, Danton, Robespierre, St. Just, Napoleon, the heroes as well as the parties and the masses of the old French Revolution, performed the task of their time – that of unchaining and establishing modern bourgeois society – in Roman costumes and with Roman phrases. The first one destroyed the feudal foundation and cut off the feudal heads that had grown on it. The other created inside France the only conditions under which free competition could be developed, parceled-out land properly used, and the unfettered productive power of the nation employed; and beyond the French borders it swept away feudal institutions everywhere, to provide, as far as necessary, bourgeois society in France with an appropriate up-to-date environment on the European continent. Once the new social formation was established, the antediluvian colossi disappeared and with them also the resurrected Romanism – the Brutuses, the Gracchi, the publicolas, the tribunes, the senators, and Caesar himself. Bourgeois society in its sober reality bred its own true interpreters and spokesmen in the Says, Cousins, Royer-Collards, Benjamin Constants, and Guizots; its real military leaders sat behind the office desk and the hog-headed Louis XVIII was its political chief. Entirely absorbed in the production of wealth and in peaceful competitive struggle, it no longer remembered that the ghosts of the Roman period had watched over its cradle.
Everytime I think of this I am reminded of the way that for example the New Deal period bedecked itself architecturally with occasional throwbacks to Rome, the way Ronald Reagan called on the then-living memory of Franklin Roosevelt to institute his own, very different, realignment, etc. The history of America bears all this out.
All theories (bourgeois, fascist, Stalinist, Labourite, left-wing, or far-leftist) which somehow glorify and praise the proletariat as it is and claim for it the positive role of defending values and regenerating society, are anti-revolutionary.
- Gilles Dauvé

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Re: Your favorite historical quotes.

Post by Raw Shark » 2019-11-01 04:56pm

I'll go ahead and be the first to draw upon Old Hickory here, because of course I will because crazy knows crazy: "John C. Calhoun. If you secede from my union, I will secede your head from the rest of your body." Not agreeing with the murderous lunatic, but well-spoken.

"Do I really look like a guy with a plan? Y'know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! Y'know, I just do things..." --The Joker

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Re: Your favorite historical quotes.

Post by TheFeniX » 2019-11-04 01:12pm

I prefer quotes of the nature that show things don't really change. Such as this one attributed to Socrates:
The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.
Or this one:
I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on
frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond
words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and
respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise
[disrespectful] and impatient of restraint" (Hesiod, 8th century BC).
Of course, the veracity of these quotes and who they are attributed to is near impossible to show, but they aren't exactly surprising statements. My grandmother (and now mother has taken up the mantle having hit >65) complained all the time about how the next generation is going to ruin everything they "built." NOTE: the men in my family just don't/didn't talk much.

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