Quotes About Extremism

Quotes tagged as "extremism" (showing 1-30 of 86)
Salman Rushdie
“From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Margaret Atwood
“There were a lot of gods. Gods always come in handy, they justify almost anything.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

Richard Dawkins
“The take-home message is that we should blame religion itself, not religious extremism - as though that were some kind of terrible perversion of real, decent religion. Voltaire got it right long ago: 'Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.' So did Bertrand Russell: 'Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do.”
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Bertrand Russell
“The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.”
Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays

Voltaire
“What can you say to a man who tells you he prefers obeying God rather than men, and that as a result he's certain he'll go to heaven if he cuts your throat?”
Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary

Clint Eastwood
“Extremism is so easy. You've got your position, and that's it. It doesn't take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right you meet the same idiots coming around from the left.

(Interview, Time Magazine, February 20, 2005)”
Clint Eastwood

Theodore Roosevelt
“Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Salman Rushdie
“Fundamentalism isn't about religion, it's about power.”
Salman Rushdie

C.S. Lewis
“Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one's first feeling, 'Thank God, even they aren't quite so bad as that,' or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything -- God and our friends and ourselves included -- as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Barry M. Goldwater
“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”
Barry M. Goldwater

Guy de Maupassant
“Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched."

[My Uncle Sosthenes]”
Guy de Maupassant, The Complete Short Stories Vol. 2 of 3

Aberjhani
“In the days when hyenas of hate suckle the babes of men, and jackals of hypocrisy pimp their mothers’ broken hearts, may children not look to demons of ignorance for hope.”
Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams

Christopher Hitchens
“Now is as good a time as ever to revisit the history of the Crusades, or the sorry history of partition in Kashmir, or the woes of the Chechens and Kosovars. But the bombers of Manhattan represent fascism with an Islamic face, and there's no point in any euphemism about it. What they abominate about 'the West,' to put it in a phrase, is not what Western liberals don't like and can't defend about their own system, but what they do like about it and must defend: its emancipated women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state. Loose talk about chickens coming home to roost is the moral equivalent of the hateful garbage emitted by Falwell and Robertson, and exhibits about the same intellectual content.”
Christopher Hitchens

Honoré de Balzac
“How did you get back?' asked Vautrin.
'I walked,' replied Eugene.
'I wouldn't like half-pleasures, myself,' observed the tempter. 'I'd want to go there in my own carriage, have my own box, and come back in comfort. All or nothing, that's my motto.'
'And a very good one,' said Madame Vauquer.”
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot

Christopher Hitchens
“During the Bosnian war in the late 1990s, I spent several days traveling around the country with Susan Sontag and her son, my dear friend David Rieff. On one occasion, we made a special detour to the town of Zenica, where there was reported to be a serious infiltration of outside Muslim extremists: a charge that was often used to slander the Bosnian government of the time. We found very little evidence of that, but the community itself was much riven as between Muslim, Croat, and Serb. No faction was strong enough to predominate, each was strong enough to veto the other's candidate for the chairmanship of the city council. Eventually, and in a way that was characteristically Bosnian, all three parties called on one of the town's few Jews and asked him to assume the job. We called on him, and found that he was also the resident intellectual, with a natural gift for synthesizing matters. After we left him, Susan began to chortle in the car. 'What do you think?' she asked. 'Do you think that the only dentist and the only shrink in Zenica are Jewish also?' It would be dense to have pretended not to see her joke.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

“All extreme opinions consume themselves.”
Marty Rubin

“Looking at Great-Great Grandpa Baldwin's photograph, I think to myself: You've finally done it. It took four generations, but you've finally goddamned done it. Gotten that war against reason and uppity secularists you always wanted. Gotten even for the Scopes trial, which they say was one of many burrs under your saddle until your last breath. Well, rejoice, old man, because your tribes have gathered around America's oldest magical hairball of ignorance and superstition, Christian fundamentalism, and their numbers have enabled them to suck so much oxygen out of the political atmosphere that they are now acknowledged as a mainstream force in politics. Episcopalians, Jews, and affluent suburban Methodists and Catholics, they are all now scratching their heads, sweating, and swearing loudly that this pack of lower-class zealots cannot possibly represent the mainstream--not the mainstream they learned about in their fancy sociology classes or were so comfortably reassured about by media commentators who were people like themselves. Goodnight, Grandpa Baldwin. I'll toast you from hell.”
Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War

Michael Muhammad Knight
“You know,” said Jehangir, breaking the silence, “it's only Muslims who use the term 'innovation' to mean something bad.”
Michael Muhammad Knight, The Taqwacores

Philip K. Dick
“But, he thought, what does it mean, insane? A legal definition. What do I mean? I feel it, see it, but what is it?

He thought, It is something they do, something they are. It is their unconsciousness. Their lack of knowledge about others. Their not being aware of what they do to others, the destruction they have caused and are causing. No, he thought. That isn't it. I don't know; I sense it, I intuit it. But -- they are purposelessly cruel... is that it? No, God, he thought. I can't find it, make it clear. Do they ignore parts of reality? Yes. But it is more. It is their plans. Yes, their plans. The conquering of the planets. Something frenzied and demented, as was their conquering of Africa, and before that, Europe and Asia.

Their view; it is cosmic. Not a man here, a child there, but an abstraction : race, land. Volk. Land. Blut. Ehre. Not of honourable men but of Ehre itself, hounor; the abstract is real, the actual is invisible to them. Die Güte, but not good men, this good man. It is their sense of space and time.”
Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle

“In 1969 the Khmer Rouge numbered only about 4,000. By 1975 their numbers were enough to defeat the government forces. Their victory was greatly helped by the American attack on Cambodia, which was carried out as an extension of the Vietnam War. In 1970 a military coup led by Lon Nol, possibly with American support, overthrew the government of Prince Sihanouk, and American and South Vietnamese troops entered Cambodia.

One estimate is that 600,000 people, nearly 10 per cent of the Cambodian population, were killed in this extension of the war. Another estimate puts the deaths from the American bombing at 1000,000 peasants. From 1972 to 1973, the quantity of bombs dropped on Cambodia was well over three times that dropped on Japan in the Second World War.

The decision to bomb was taken by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and was originally justified on the grounds that North Vietnamese bases had been set up in Cambodia. The intention (according to a later defence by Kissinger’s aide, Peter W. Rodman) was to target only places with few Cambodians: ‘From the Joint Chiefs’ memorandum of April 9, 1969, the White House selected as targets only six base areas minimally populated by civilians. The target areas were given the codenames BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, SUPPER, SNACK, and DESSERT; the overall programme was given the name MENU.’ Rodman makes the point that SUPPER, for instance, had troop concentrations, anti-aircraft, artillery, rocket and mortar positions, together with other military targets.

Even if relatively few Cambodians were killed by the unpleasantly names items on the MENU, each of them was a person leading a life in a country not at war with the United States. And, as the bombing continued, these relative restraints were loosened.

To these political decisions, physical and psychological distance made their familiar contribution. Roger Morris, a member of Kissinger’s staff, later described the deadened human responses:

Though they spoke of terrible human suffering reality was sealed off by their trite, lifeless vernacular: 'capabilities', 'objectives', 'our chips', 'giveaway'. It was a matter, too, of culture and style. They spoke with the cool, deliberate detachment of men who believe the banishment of feeling renders them wise and, more important, credible to other men… They neither understood the foreign policy they were dealing with, nor were deeply moved by the bloodshed and suffering they administered to their stereo-types.

On the ground the stereotypes were replaced by people. In the villages hit by bombs and napalm, peasants were wounded or killed, often being burnt to death. Those who left alive took refuge in the forests. One Western ob-server commented, ‘it is difficult to imagine the intensity of their hatred to-wards those who are destroying their villages and property’. A raid killed twenty people in the village of Chalong. Afterwards seventy people from Chalong joined the Khmer Rouge.

Prince Sihanouk said that Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger created the Khmer Rouge by expanding the war into Cambodia.”
Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century

H.G. Wells
“The queer thing is that we do trust you," said Bodisham. "In spite of your -- extremism."

"You'd better," said Rud with grim conviction. "I'm right. What is extremism? The whole truth and nothing but the truth. I ask you."

"It's because of his extremism you trust him," said Chiffan. "It's because in the last resort we believe in his indiscretion, and know he won't fail us even if we fail ourselves. All leadership is extravagance. Extra-vagance. Going a bit ahead."

Rud did not quite understand that. "It's because you know I'm right," he said.

"It's because," said Chiffan, letting his thoughts run away with him," to make a new world, the leader must be a fundamentally destructive man, a recklessly destructive man. He breaks his way through the jungle and we follow...We cannot do without you, Rud.”
H.G. Wells, The Holy Terror

Gregory David Roberts
“Fanaticism is the opposite of love. A wise man once told me - he's a Muslim, by the way - that he has more in common with a rational, reasonable-minded Jew than he does with a fanatic from his own religion. He has more in common with a rational, reasonable-minded Christian or Buddhist or Hindu than he does with a fanatic of his own religion. In fact, he has more in common with a rational, reasonable-minded atheist than he does with a fanatic of his own religion.”
Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

Criss Jami
“The fans are always more radical than that which they are fans.”
Criss Jami

Criss Jami
“For what religion has never had sects? Rest assured, Extremism is always the derrière.”
Criss Jami

Salman Rushdie
“Don't let the zealots make Muslim a terrifying word."

[1,000 Days 'Trapped Inside a Metaphor' (Columbia University / The New York Times, December 12, 1991)]”
Salman Rushdie

“Bands of armed ideological examiners revoking the streets of Pakistan is not the rights answer to the fight against extremism.”
Arzak Khan

Joe Hill
“Fear does not incline people to be moderate in their use of extreme tactics.”
Joe Hill, The Fireman

Abhijit Naskar
“The dangerous enemies of your species are fundamentalism, intolerance, separatism, extremism, hostility and prejudicial fear, be it religious, atheistic or political.”
Abhijit Naskar

“Socialism, communism, and fascism are the political manifestations of unachievable ideals, carried to genocidal extremes.”
Mike Klepper

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