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95,124. Repression is the only lasting philosophy. Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
49,363. Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. (Dissent & Oppression & Government & Control & Terror & Repression & Opposition) Harry S Truman 1950
49,478. It certainly was no good just thinking about a new society, or trying to attract others to it by example. Exploiters who amassed their power and wealth by robbing workers were not sentimental or namby-pamby about it. They would hold on to their wealth and power, if they had to, by force. They would never surrender that power and wealth, however intellectually or morally unjustifiable it was. It was up to the exploited class – the working class – to seize the means of production in a revolution. No one could do it for them. Socialism could not be introduced by Utopians, dictators, benevolent or otherwise, or by reforming intellectuals and politicians. The first precondition for socialism was that the wealth of society had to be taken over by the workers ...
While reforms are carried out in the name of workers by someone from on high, the muck of ages sticks to them. The hierarchies created by exploitation encourage even the most degraded and exploited worker to seek someone else whom he can insult and bully as he himself is insulted and bullied. In such circumstances, workers will take pride in things of which there is nothing to be proud: the colour of their skin, their sex, nationality, birthplace or God. These are selected for them by custom, inheritance or superstition, and have nothing to do with their abilities or characters. They are the muck of ages. How are they to be shaken off? Is someone else to do it for the workers? Or should they do it themselves, by organising their producing power, their own strikes, demonstrations and protests? (Revolution & Work & Wealth & Bully & Repression & Oppression & Socialism & Working Class) Paul Foot, The Case for Socialism ch1
87,010. In Romania, the regime of Nicolai Ceausescu was briefly feted in the West because, allegedly, it challenged its Russian masters. Yet the Ceausescu regime had become a caricature of an exploiting tyranny. Ceausescu bent all his energies to storing up more wealth for himself, his family and his associates out of the surplus his government and secret police wrenched from the already impoverished Romanian workers and peasants. On his command, 80,000 people were forcibly moved from their homes to make way for the most grotesque and luxurious palace in all Europe. And this was merely the dictator’s second home! He selected from orphanages the cream of his secret police so that they could regard him and his wife as their Father and Mother. He sprayed them with privileges of every kind – the secret police were even better fed and clothed than the captains of industry. He published phoney statistics suggesting the economy was permanently growing and even rigged the weather reports. Workers’ resistance – such as the miners’ strikes in the early 1980s – was put down with the most appalling repression.
What Ceausescu did in Romania was only a more monstrous replica of what Honecker was doing in East Germany, Husak in Czechoslovakia or Zhikov in Bulgaria. Yet somehow socialists everywhere, duped by the old formulas of public ownership and ‘planning’, continued to pretend that these regimes were in some way ‘better’ or ‘more working-class’ than the regimes of the West.
The argument cut little ice with the oppressed people of Eastern Europe. On the contrary, as the repression and corruption grew, so the very notion of socialism, so repeatedly ascribed to the regimes themselves, became anathema. (Romania & Oppression & Repression) ibid. chapter 3
49,556. Central to the idea of socialism is understanding that things will change – one day the people at the top who are now doing the bashing will be bashed by people at the bottom. I am greatly helped by the fact that I lived through the 1970s when we believed revolution was imminent.
When I joined Socialist Worker in October 1972 I was confident that a revolution was coming. Events seemed to confirm it, and even right wingers said the same. If you have lived through that, it is easier to see it happening again. Everything in our history points to the fact that things will swing around, and all kinds of hopes and optimisms flourish again. Although the 1990s were depressing in some respects, not a single thing has happened to make me doubt that things will change in our direction. It will happen very unexpectedly and catch us by surprise, so we must be prepared, be bigger and win more influence inside the working class. (Revolution & Repression & Working Class & Socialism) Paul Foot, Tribune of the People
49,984. When five or six million adult people in a population of some forty million adults are struggling on the very rim of existence, utterly without hope, the people with property get scared.
The greater their property, the more ill-gotten their gains, the more scared they become. They seek for their protection bodies of armed and powerful men who will keep the mob at bay. The more desperate the mob become, the more repressive is the power ranged against them. (Poverty & Repression & Mob & Fear) Paul Foot, Confessions & Repressions, 1988
49,481. The man of ease, who, by his warm fireside,
To deeds of charitable intercourse
And bare fulfilment of the common laws
Of decency and prejudice, confines
The struggling nature of his human heart,
Is duped by their cold sophistry; he sheds
A passing tear purchance upon the wreck
Of earthly peace, when near his dwelling’s door
The frightful waves are driven – when his son
Is murdered by the tyrant, or religion
Drives his wife raving mad. But the poor man,
Whose life is misery, and fear and care;
Whom the morn wakens but to fruitless toil
Who ever hears his famished offspring scream;
Whom their pale mother’s uncomplaining gaze
For ever meets, anti the proud rich man’s eye
Flashing command, and the heartbreaking scene
Of thousands like himself: – he little heeds
The rhetoric of tyranny. His hate
Is quenchless as his wrongs: he laughs to scorn
The vain and bitter mockery of words,
Feeling the horror of the tyrant’s deeds,
And unrestrained but by the arm of power,
That knows and dreads his enmity. (Revolution & Oppression & Repression & Tyranny) Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab
50,215. There is no escape – man drags man down, or man lifts man up. Booker T Washington
28,598. You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him. (Slavery & Oppression & Repression) Booker T Washington
50,216. King Arthur [grabs Dennis]: Shut up! Will you shut up!
Dennis: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
King Arthur: Shut up!
Dennis: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I’m being repressed! (Violence & Repression) Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1975 starring Graham Chapman & John Cleese & Terry Gilliam & Eric Idle & Terry Jones & Michael Palin & Neil Innes Connie Booth et al, directors Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones
50,217. The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression. (Repression & Liberty) W E B du Bois
50,218. If repression has indeed been the fundamental link between power, knowledge, and sexuality since the classical age, it stands to reason that we will not be able to free ourselves from it except at a considerable cost. Michel Foucault
50,219. Bras are a ludicrous invention; but if you make bralessness a rule, you’re just subjecting yourself to yet another repression. (Repression & Breast) Germaine Greer
50,220. There are men – now in power in this country – who do not respect dissent, who cannot cope with turmoil, and who believe that the people of America are ready to support repression as long as it is done with a quiet voice and a business suit. (Repression & Dissent) John Lindsay
50,221. As a tactic, violence is absurd. No-one can compete with the Government in violence, and the resort to violence, which will surely fail, will simply frighten and alienate some who can be reached, and will further encourage the ideologists and administrators of forceful repression. (Repression & Violence) Noam Chomsky
50,222. My own feeling is that one should refuse to participate in any activity that implements American aggression – thus tax refusal, draft refusal, avoidance of work that can be used by the agencies of militarism and repression, all seem to me essential. (Repression & US Empire) Noam Chomsky
107,097. Killing is just superficial; it’s just the icing on the cake. I mean there’s plenty of repression short of killing. And it’s tough. People lose their jobs, they get blacklisted … There’s all kinds of ways of getting rid of people who are troublemakers from kindergarten up. And organising succeeds when people are willing to face those pressures and overcome them. And it’s hard to know what the secret is; sometimes people do it … For us it’s a picnic; what we call repression, in most of the world would be called a gift. I mean, go to a place like El Salvador and try to organise there, there’s it’s not a matter of they don’t like you, you end up in a ditch cut to pieces after torture – that’s what it means to organise there: they still do it, they keep coming back. (Organise & Solidarity & Activism & Trade Unions & Industrial Action & Protest & Repression) Noam Chomsky, lecture Deterring Democracy, 1992
94,831. The Colombia operation illustrates other facets of the drug war. The military aid program for Colombia finances murderous and repressive elements of the military with ties to the drug business and landowners. (Colombia & Repression) Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy
94,832. On September 3, two days before President Bush’s dramatic call to battle, the army and the Department of Security Administration (DAS) ransacked homes of peasants in one region, arresting forty laborers ... In Medellin, seventy activists and civic leaders were arrested in poor neighborhoods. Elsewhere at the same time two union leaders, one an attorney for the union, were assassinated and another disappeared. (Colombia & Repression) ibid.
94,836. The result of the prevailing misery has been violence, including la Violencia of the 1940s and 1950s, which took hundreds of thousands of lives. (Colombia & Repression) ibid.