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Edward Abbey Quotes


An American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues and criticism of public land policies.
(1927 - 1989)

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A drink a day keeps the shrink away.
 

A great thirst is a great joy when quenched in time.
 

A knowledge of the true age of the earth and of the fossil record makes it impossible for any balanced intellect to believe in the literal truth of every part of the Bible in the way that fundamentalists do. And if some of the Bible is manifestly wrong, why should any of the rest of it be accepted automatically?
 

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
[Patriotism]
 

Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State.
 

According to the current doctrines of mysticoscientism, we human animals are really and actually nothing but 'organic patterns of nodular energy composed of collocations of infinitesimal points oscillating on the multi-dimensional coordinates of the space-time continuum'. I'll have to think about that. Sometime. Meantime, I'm going to gnaw on this sparerib, drink my Blatz beer, and contemplate the a posteriori coordinates of that young blonde over yonder, the one in the tennis skirt, tying her shoelaces.
 

All living things on earth are kindred.
 

An empty man is full of himself.
 

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

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.
 

Balance, that's the secret. Moderate extremism.
 

Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination.
 

Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.
 

Civilization is a youth with a molotov cocktail in his hand. Culture is the Soviet tank or L.A. cop that guns him down.
 

Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an inner tube; there are some things one would rather have done than do.
 

Counterpart to the knee-jerk liberal is the new knee-pad conservative, always groveling before the rich and powerful.
 

Each thing in its way, when true to its own character, is equally beautiful.
 

Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism) require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. Thus the fear and hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward.
 

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!
[Nature]
 

Freedom begins between the ears.
 


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