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Quotations from
Edward Abbey

[1927-89]

Edward Abbey postcard      Edward Abbey stood for the wilderness against government and private despoilers, and is an example to this day of irascible and unceasing activism.

Links are provided below for further investigation.
The references to WMail issues indicate quotes that appeared in the free monthly 'WMail' ezine
connected with the revolutionary "Working Minds Philosophy of Empowerment" created by G.E. Nordell.

After WMail Issue #72 in October 2007, essays & quotations & news are being posted to the Dateline Chamesa blog

Edward Abbey entry at Wikipedia

Edward Abbey Page at 'Readers of The Purple Sage' Western Bookstore




"We can have wilderness without freedom; we can have wilderness without
human life at all; but we cannot have freedom without wilderness."  {Issue #12}
•      •
"Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up,
you get a lot of scum on top.”  {Issues #31 & #43}
•      •
"Wilderness, in America or anywhere else, is the only thing left that is worth saving.”  {Issue #43}
•      •
"Though men now possess the power to dominate and exploit every corner of the natural world,
nothing in that fact implies that they have the right or the need to do so.”  {Issue #43}
•      •
"I write to entertain my friends and to exasperate our enemies. I write to make a difference.”  {Issue #43}
•      •
"If you don't stand for something, you stand for nothing."  {Issue #43}
•      •
"Only the half-mad are wholly alive."  {Issue #43}
•      •
"Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.”  {Issue #43}
•      •
"There was a time when men loved ideas . . . Now, they get by with slogans."  {Issue #43}
•      •
"Nature is indifferent to our love, but never unfaithful.”  {Issue #43}
•      •
"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."  {Issue #43}
•      •
"Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years
of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests,
politicians, generals, and county commissioners."  {Issue #43}
•      •
"Stupidity is a powerful force in human affairs."  {Issue #54}
•      •
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."  {Issue #58}
•      •
"The working man must take over the workplace."  {Issue #62}
•      •
“When there is no joy there can be no courage, and without courage all other virtues are useless.”
{blog 10/2007}
•      •
“If death is truly the worst that can happen to a man, there is nothing to fear. But death is not the worst.”   {blog 9/2008}
•      •
“There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience.
And then there is California.”  {blog 12/2009}
•      •
“Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.”  {blog 10/2011 & 9/2012}
•      •
“One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity,
there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.”  {blog 10/2012}
•      •
“An empty man is full of himself.”  {blog 9/2013}
•      •
“Our 'neoconservatives' are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.”  {blog 11/2013}

'Cactus Ed' Quotations Not Yet Used on the Blog

"For myself I hold no preferences among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.
Bricks to all greenhouses! Black thumb and cutworm to the potted plant!"

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."

"That which today calls itself science gives us more and more information,
an indigestible glut of information, and less and less understanding."

"The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders."

"The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other
– instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals."

"What is the purpose of the giant sequoia tree? The purpose of the giant sequoia tree
is to provide shade for the tiny titmouse."

"Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves,
even fewer are wise enough to rule others."

"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen,
government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets."

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