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Edward Abbey quotes (showing 1-30 of 269)

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”
Edward Abbey
“Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.”
Edward Abbey
“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”
Edward Abbey
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
Edward Abbey, The Journey Home: Some Words in Defense of the American West
“Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you -- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
Edward Abbey
“Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.”
Edward Abbey
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.”
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
“How to Overthrow the System: brew your own beer; kick in your Tee Vee; kill your own beef; build your own cabin and piss off the front porch whenever you bloody well feel like it.”
Edward Abbey
“A man could be a lover and defender of the wilderness without ever in his lifetime leaving the boundaries of asphalt, powerlines, and right-angled surfaces. We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may never need to set foot in it. We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope; without it the life of the cities would drive all men into crime or drugs or psychoanalysis.”
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
Edward Abbey
“A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.”
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
“There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who's always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated. … To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.”
Edward Abbey
“You can't study the darkness by flooding it with light.”
Edward Abbey, The Best of Edward Abbey
“Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.”
Edward Abbey
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”
Edward Abbey
“Freedom begins between the ears.”
Edward Abbey
“If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies' territory, we must accept the fact that the grizzlies, from time to time, will harvest a few trespassers.”
Edward Abbey
“The best thing about graduating from the university was that I finally had time to sit on a log and read a good book.”
Edward Abbey
“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.”
Edward Abbey
“I am not an atheist but an earthiest. Be true to the earth.”
Edward Abbey
“The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyong reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.”
Edward Abbey
“Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.”
Edward Abbey
“Our 'neoconservatives' are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.”
Edward Abbey
“If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture—that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves.”
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
“The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other - instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals. ”
Edward Abbey
“Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear-the earth remains, slightly modified. The earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break....I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, thought an illusion, and only rock is real. Rock and sun.”
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.”
Edward Abbey
“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.”
Edward Abbey
“Water, water, water....There is no shortage of water in the desert but exactly the right amount , a perfect ratio of water to rock, water to sand, insuring that wide free open, generous spacing among plants and animals, homes and towns and cities, which makes the arid West so different from any other part of the nation. There is no lack of water here unless you try to establish a city where no city should be.”
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
“A drink a day keeps the shrink away.”
Edward Abbey

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