Power rests on nothing other than people’s consent to submit, and each person who refuses to submit to tyranny reduces it by one two-hundred-and-fifty-millionth, whereas each who compromises only increases it.
The pessimist is the man who believes things couldn’t possibly be worse, to which the optimist replies: ‘Oh yes they could!’
What was this trial needed for? Only to punish one person? No, there is a principle here, a kind of philosophy. Behind the accusation, presented, there stands another, unpresented. Our society is still sick. I will never renounce my convictions and I will express them.
This dream of absolute, universal equality is amazing, terrifying, and inhuman. And the moment it captures people’s minds, the result is mountains of corpses and rivers of blood.
I did not think our demonstration was pointless and now I am certain it wasn’t. The people on the street will remember that they witnessed a free demonstration. They will remember that this forgotten method of protest still exists. And you, citizen judge, will not forget either this case or us. Later, you too will think about the people who went out to give public expression to their opinions and whom you tried for doing so. Therefore our demonstration was by no means pointless.
The great truth was that it was not rifles, not tanks, and not atom bombs that created power. Power depended upon public obedience, upon a will to submit.
Take a good look, my friend, look closely into the eyes of your workmates, look at the crowds of people thronging the streets, going to the movies, at football matches ... What can you tell them in a skimpy leaflet, or even via all the radio stations of the Soviet Union? They know, my friend. They keep quiet because they know, not because they don’t know. Can you blame them?
Justice is always naive and self-confident; believing that it will immediately win once recognized. That is the reason why the forces of Justice are so poorly organized. On the other hand, the Evil is cynic, sly and fantastically organized. It never ever has the illusion of the ability to stand on its own feet and to win in a fair competition. That is why it is ready to use any kind of means without hesitation. And of course it does - under the banners of the noblest ideas.
The protest becomes a necessity from within. This is when the real leaders will appear – in the moment of the confrontation! The real leaders cannot appear in the peaceful time; nor can the serious opposition emerge from within the peaceful atmosphere.
Investigation is a subtle process, requiring patience and fine analytical ability, as well as a skill in cultivating one’s sources. When torture is condoned, these rare talented people leave the service, having been outstripped by less gifted colleagues with their quick-fix methods, and the service itself degenerates into a playground for sadists.
I strongly recommend that White House lawyers think about another flood of lawsuits, not from detainees but from the men and women in your armed services or the CIA agents who have been or will be engaged in cruel, inhumane or degrading practices. Our rich experience in Russia has shown that many will become alcoholics or drug addicts, violent criminals or, at the very least, despotic and abusive fathers and mothers.
The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer —- What is to be done? Uncouple the last carriage, liquidate the rich, take away their wealth and distribute it among the poor. And they start to uncouple the carriages. ”But the spoils are soon spent, and people start to notice inequality again —- again there are rich and poor. So they uncouple the next carriage, and then the next, without end, because absolute equality has still not been achieved. ”Is it really surprising that whenever you get striving for equality and fraternity, the guillotine appears on the scene?”People attain absolute equality only in the graveyard, and if you want to turn your country into a gigantic graveyard, go ahead, join the socialists.
There are some days in history when the destiny of whole continents is pre-determined for many decades to come. One would not find these dates in an encyclopaedia, neither would students spend sleepless nights before exams memorising them. Only the few, the chosen, know and honour those dates.
I think we have a gulag in European Union also, an intellectual gulag known as political correctness. When anyone tries to speak their mind on race or gender, of if their views differ from those approved, they will be ostracized.
With his back to the wall a man understands: ‘I am the people, I am the nation, I am the party, I am the class, and there is nothing else at all.’ And an astonishing thing happens. In fighting to preserve his integrity, he is simultaneously fighting for his people, his class, or his party. It is such individuals who win the right for their communities to live—even, perhaps, if they are not thinking of it at the time.