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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Quotes of Dissent

The text below was emailed to me. BE

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.
~Harry S. Truman

e must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. ~Edward R. Murrow

estriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us. ~William O. Douglas

We see political leaders replacing moral imperatives with a Southern strategy. We have seen all too clearly that 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. And it is up to us to prove that they are wrong.
JOHN V. LINDSAY, mayor of New York City, speech at University of California, Berkeley, April 2, 1970

Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.
Jacob Bronowski

The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity≈much less dissent.
Gore Vidal

"May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."
: Dwight D. Eisenhower

"I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."

-James Baldwin,

I am saying voluntarily that I have sung for almost every religious group in the country, from Jewish and Catholic, and Presbyterian and Holy Rollers and Revival Churches. I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent the implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, make me less of an American.

-Pete Seeger, [from testimony for the House of Un-American Activities Committee], August 15, 1955
Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed -- and no republic can survive
No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. (about Senator Joseph McCarthy's accusations about Communism in the American government)
No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Archibald Macleish:
The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.

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