Top 10 Gore Vidal Quotes
#10 - DENTED HUMAN TOYS
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"It is marvelous indeed to watch on television the rings of Saturn close; and to speculate on what we may yet find at galaxy's edge. But in the process, we have lost the human element; not to mention the high hope of those quaint days when flight would create 'one world.' Instead of one world, we have 'star wars,' and a future in which dumb dented human toys will drift mindlessly about the cosmos long after our small planet's dead."—Armageddon?, 1987

#09 - CHERISHED BELIEFS
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"Laughing at someone else is an excellent way of learning how to laugh at oneself, and questioning what seem to be the absurd beliefs of another group is a good way of recognizing the potential absurdity of many of one's own cherished beliefs." —Homage to Daniel Shays, 1972

#08 - DISSENT
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"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." —A View from the Diner's Club, 1991

#07 - PUBLIC OPINION
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"At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition, misinformation, and prejudice." —"Sex and the Law," Partisan Review, Summer 1965

#06 - AMNESIA
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"Happily for the busy lunatics who rule over us, we are permanently the United States of Amnesia. We learn nothing because we remember nothing . . . We have ceased to be a nation under law but instead a homeland where the withered Bill of Rights, like a dead trumpet vine, clings to our pseudo-Roman columns." —"The State of the Union," The Nation, September 13, 2004

#05 - INTERCHANGEABLE
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"Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and interchangeable candidates." —A View from the Diner's Club, 1991

#04 - GREATEST DISASTER
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"The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved—Judaism, Christianity, Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal—God is the Omnipotent Father—hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates. The sky-god is a jealous god, of course. He requires total obedience from everyone on earth, as he is in place not for just one tribe but for all creation. Those who would reject him must be converted or killed for their own good. Ultimately, totalitarianism is the only sort of politics that can truly serve the sky-god's purpose." —"America First? America Last? America at Last?", Lowell Lecture, Harvard University, 1992

#03 - DECADENT
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"As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: You liberate a city by destroying it. Words are used to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests. Finally, words must be so twisted as to justify an empire that has now ceased to exist, much less make sense." —Imperial America, 2004

 

#02 - IMPERIAL BLUEPRINT
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"In 1950 the American republic was quietly retired and its place taken by the National Security State, set up secretly and outlined in a document not to be made public for twenty-five years, the National Security Council Memorandum 68. War and Navy Departments were combined into a single 'Defense' Department while the CIA, an unconstitutional secret police, was invented. The NSC-68 established the imperial blueprint that governed the world until the recent crack-up of the Soviet Union, which happened not as a result of our tactics of ongoing wars, and an arms race that they could not afford, but was due to the internal fragility of an artificial state which was, in a sense, a crude mirror of our own, now falling apart, as well, through debt and internal ethnic wars." —"Truman," The Independent Magazine, October 3, 1992

#01 - SEA OF EVASIONS
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"It is difficult to find a reputable American historian who will acknowledge the crude fact that a Franklin Roosevelt, say, wanted to be President merely to wield power, to be famed and to be feared. To learn this simple fact one must wade through a sea of evasions: history as sociology, leaders as teachers, bland benevolence as a motive force, when, finally, power is an end to itself, and the instinctive urge to prevail the most important single human trait, the necessary force without which no city was built, no city destroyed." —Robert Graves and the Twelve Caesars, 1959

 

User Comments - Add a Comment
For your consideration... - 2014-01-21 09:42:39

Twain would have loved Vidal.