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387 pages, Paperback
First published May 1, 1974
‘There is nothing you can do that profit does not enter into, and fear of loss, and wish for power. You cannot say good morning without knowing which of you is 'superior' to the other, or trying to prove it. You cannot act like a brother to other people, you must manipulate them, or command them, or obey them, or trick them. You cannot touch another person, yet they will not leave you alone. There is no freedom.’
’You the possessors are the possessed. You are all in jail. Each alone, solitary, with a heap of what he owns. You live in prison, die in prison. It is all I can see in your eyes—the wall, the wall!’
“It’s always easier not to think for oneself. Find a nice safe hierarchy and settle in. Don’t make changes, don’t risk disapproval, don’t upset your syndics. It’s always easiest to let yourself be governed.”
“Like all walls it was ambiguous, two-faced. What was inside it and what was outside it depended upon which side of it you were on.”
(Image from https://www.david-lupton.com/folio-so...)
“Well, this. That we’re ashamed to say we’ve refused a posting. That the social conscience completely dominates the individual conscience, instead of striking a balance with it. We don’t cooperate—we obey. We fear being outcast, being called lazy, dysfunctional, egoizing. We fear our neighbor’s opinion more than we respect our own freedom of choice. You don’t believe me, Tak, but try, just try stepping over the line, just in imagination, and see how you feel.“
“The wall shut in not only the landing field but also the ships that came down out of space, and the men that came on the ships, and the worlds they came from, and the rest of the universe. It enclosed the universe, leaving Anarres outside, free.
Looked at from the other side, the wall enclosed Anarres: the whole planet was inside it, a great prison camp, cut off from other worlds and other men, in quarantine.”
“I never thought before,” said Tirin unruffled, “of the fact that there are people sitting on a hill, up there, on Urras, looking at Anarres, at us, and saying, ‘Look, there’s the Moon.’ Our earth is their Moon; our Moon is their earth.”
“Where, then, is Truth?” declaimed Bedap, and yawned.
“In the hill one happens to be sitting on,” said Tirin.
“You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them. By refusing to think, refusing to change.”
“We’ve let cooperation become obedience. On Urras they have government by the minority. Here we have government by the majority. But it is government! The social conscience isn’t a living thing any more, but a machine, a power machine, controlled by bureaucrats!”
“We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.”
“Because there is nothing, nothing on Urras that we Anarresti need! We left with empty hands, a hundred and seventy years ago, and we were right. We took nothing. Because there is nothing here but States and their weapons, the rich and their lies, and the poor and their misery. There is no way to act rightly, with a clear heart, on Urras. There is nothing you can do that profit does not enter into, and fear of loss, and the wish for power. You cannot say good morning without knowing which of you is ‘superior’ to the other, or trying to prove it. You cannot act like a brother to other people, you must manipulate them, or command them, or obey them, or trick them. You cannot touch another person, yet they will not leave you alone. There is no freedom. It is a box—Urras is a box, a package, with all the beautiful wrapping of blue sky and meadows and forests and great cities. And you open the box, and what is inside it? A black cellar full of dust, and a dead man. A man whose hand was shot off because he held it out to others.”
(Image from https://www.david-lupton.com/folio-so...)
“But he felt more strongly the need that had brought him across the dry abyss from the other world, the need for communication, the wish to unbuild walls.”
“He was alone, here, because he came from a self-exiled society. He had always been alone on his own world because he had exiled himself from his society. The Settlers had taken one step away. He had taken two. He stood by himself, because he had taken the metaphysical risk. And he had been fool enough to think that he might serve to bring together two worlds to which he did not belong.”
“We have nothing but our freedom. We have nothing to give you but your own freedom. We have no law but the single principle of mutual aid between individuals. We have no government but the single principle of free association. We have no states, no nations, no presidents, no premiers, no chiefs, no generals, no bosses, no bankers, no landlords, no wages, no charity, no police, no soldiers, no wars. Nor do we have much else. We are sharers, not owners. We are not prosperous. None of us is rich. None of us is powerful. If it is Anarres you want, if it is the future you seek, then I tell you that you must come to it with empty hands. You must come to it alone, and naked, as the child comes into the world, into his future, without any past, without any property, wholly dependent on other people for his life. You cannot take what you have not given, and you must give yourself. You cannot buy the Revolution. You cannot make the Revolution. You can only be the Revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
"But it's true, chronosophy does involve ethics. Because our sense of time involves our ability to separate cause and effect, means and end. The baby, agan, the animal, they don't see the difference between what they do now and what will happen because of it. They can't make a pulley, or promise. We can. Seeking the difference between now and not now, we can make the connection. And there morality enters in. Responsibility. To say that a good end will follow from a bad means is just like saying that if I pull a rope on this pulley it will lift the weight on that one. To break a promise is to deny the reality of the past; therefore it is to deny the hope of a real future. If time and reason are functions of each other, if we are creatures of time, then we had better know it, and try to make the best of it. To act responsibly."
"You see," he said, "what we're after is to remind ourselves that we didn't come to Anarres for safety, but for freedom. If we must all agree, all work together, we're no better than a machine. If an individual can't work in solidarity with his fellows, it's his duty to work alone. His duty and his right, We have been denying people that right. We've been saying, more and more often, you must work with the others, you must accept the rule of the majority. But any rule is tyranny. The duty of the individual is to accept no rule, to be the initiator of his own acts, to be responsible. Only if he does so will the society live, and change, and adapt, and survive. We are not subjects of a State founded upon law, but members of a society founded upon revolution. Revolution is our obligation: our hope of evolution."
“My world, my Earth, is a ruin. A planet spoiled by the human species. We multiplied and gobbled and fought until there was nothing left, and then we died. We controlled neither appetite nor violence; we did not adapt. We destroyed ourselves. But we destroyed ourselves first. There are no forests left on my Earth.”
“We don’t count relatives much; we are all relatives, you see.”
He tried to read an elementary economics text; it bored him past endurance, it was like listening to somebody interminably recounting a long and stupid dream.Goodreads friends, in all seriousness, tell me what I am missing that led you to rate this so highly. I feel like I am the only one seeing the Emperor's bare ass here.
“Freedom is that recognition of each person’s solitude which alone transcends it.”
“Kimoe’s ideas never seemed to be able to go in a straight line; they had to walk around this and avoid that, and then they ended up smack against a wall. There were walls around all his thoughts, and he seemed utterly unaware of them, though he was perpetually hiding behind them.”
“One need only act, without fear of punishment and without hope of reward: act from the center of one's soul.”
“I thought I knew what ‘realism’ was,” Keng said. She smiled, but it was not an easy smile.
“How can you, if you don’t know what hope is?”
“They say there is nothing new under any sun. But if each life is not new, each single life, then why are we born?”
“You cannot buy the Revolution. You cannot make the Revolution. You can only be the Revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”
«Δεν είναι τόσο όμορφα. Είναι ένας κόσμος άσχημος. Όχι σαν αυτόν εδώ. Στην Ανάρες τα πάντα είναι σκόνη και ξεραμένοι λόφοι. Όλα μίζερα, όλα ξερά. Και οι άνθρωποι δεν είναι όμορφοι. Έχουν χοντρά χέρια και χοντρά πόδια… Αλλά δεν έχουν μεγάλες κοιλιές. Λερώνονται πολύ και κάνουν μπάνιο μαζί… Οι πόλεις είναι μικρές και καταθλιπτικές. Δεν υπάρχουν παλάτια. Η ζωή είναι μονότονη κι η δουλειά σκληρή. Δεν μπορείς να αποκτήσεις πάντα όσα θέλεις ή όσα έχεις ανάγκη, γιατί ποτέ δεν υπάρχουν αρκετά. Σ’ εσάς, στον Γιουράς, όλα είναι αρκετά. Αρκετός αέρας, αρκετή βροχή, αρκετό χορτάρι, ωκεανοί, τροφή, μουσική, κτίρια, εργοστάσια, μηχανήματα, βιβλία, ρούχα, ιστορία. Είστε πλούσιοι, κατέχετε. Εμείς είμαστε φτωχοί, μας λείπουν πολλά. Εσείς έχετε, εμείς δεν έχουμε. Τα πάντα είναι όμορφα εδώ. Εκτός από τα πρόσωπα. Στην Ανάρες τίποτα δεν είναι όμορφο, τίποτα εκτός από τα πρόσωπα. Τα άλλα πρόσωπα, οι άντρες και οι γυναίκες. Αυτό είναι και το μόνο που έχουμε, ο ένας έχει τον άλλον. Εσείς εδώ κοιτάζετε τα κοσμήματα, εμείς εκεί πάνω κοιτάζουμε τα μάτια. Και μες τα μάτια βλέπουμε το μεγαλείο, το μεγαλείο του ανθρώπινου πνεύματος. Γιατί οι άντρες μας και οι γυναίκες μας είναι ελεύθεροι.. δεν κατέχον τίποτα, είναι ελεύθεροι. Κι εσείς οι κατέχοντες, είστε και κατεχόμενοι. Είστε όλοι φυλακισμένοι. Καθένας σας είναι μόνος, μοναχικός, με το σωρό των πραγμάτων που κατέχει. Ζείτε στη φυλακή, πεθαίνετε στη φυλακή. Μονάχα αυτό μπορώ να δω στα μάτια σας… τον τοίχο, τον τοίχο! »