Imprisonment Quotes

Quotes tagged as "imprisonment" Showing 1-30 of 78
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein.

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities

Criss Jami
“I'm convinced that most men don't know what they believe, rather, they only know what they wish to believe. How many people blame God for man's atrocities, but wouldn't dream of imprisoning a mother for her son's crime?”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Howard Zinn
“I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions--poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed--which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.

It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity.”
Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times

Thomas A. Edison
“I have always been interested in this man. My father had a set of Tom Paine's books on the shelf at home. I must have opened the covers about the time I was 13. And I can still remember the flash of enlightenment which shone from his pages. It was a revelation, indeed, to encounter his views on political and religious matters, so different from the views of many people around us. Of course I did not understand him very well, but his sincerity and ardor made an impression upon me that nothing has ever served to lessen.

I have heard it said that Paine borrowed from Montesquieu and Rousseau. Maybe he had read them both and learned something from each. I do not know. But I doubt that Paine ever borrowed a line from any man...

Many a person who could not comprehend Rousseau, and would be puzzled by Montesquieu, could understand Paine as an open book. He wrote with a clarity, a sharpness of outline and exactness of speech that even a schoolboy should be able to grasp. There is nothing false, little that is subtle, and an impressive lack of the negative in Paine. He literally cried to his reader for a comprehending hour, and then filled that hour with such sagacious reasoning as we find surpassed nowhere else in American letters - seldom in any school of writing.

Paine would have been the last to look upon himself as a man of letters. Liberty was the dear companion of his heart; truth in all things his object.

...we, perhaps, remember him best for his declaration:

'The world is my country; to do good my religion.'

Again we see the spontaneous genius at work in 'The Rights of Man', and that genius busy at his favorite task - liberty. Written hurriedly and in the heat of controversy, 'The Rights of Man' yet compares favorably with classical models, and in some places rises to vaulting heights. Its appearance outmatched events attending Burke's effort in his 'Reflections'.

Instantly the English public caught hold of this new contribution. It was more than a defense of liberty; it was a world declaration of what Paine had declared before in the Colonies. His reasoning was so cogent, his command of the subject so broad, that his legion of enemies found it hard to answer him.

'Tom Paine is quite right,' said Pitt, the Prime Minister, 'but if I were to encourage his views we should have a bloody revolution.'

Here we see the progressive quality of Paine's genius at its best. 'The Rights of Man' amplified and reasserted what already had been said in 'Common Sense', with now a greater force and the power of a maturing mind. Just when Paine was at the height of his renown, an indictment for treason confronted him. About the same time he was elected a member of the Revolutionary Assembly and escaped to France.

So little did he know of the French tongue that addresses to his constituents had to be translated by an interpreter. But he sat in the assembly. Shrinking from the guillotine, he encountered Robespierre's enmity, and presently found himself in prison, facing that dread instrument.

But his imprisonment was fertile. Already he had written the first part of 'The Age of Reason' and now turned his time to the latter part.

Presently his second escape cheated Robespierre of vengeance, and in the course of events 'The Age of Reason' appeared. Instantly it became a source of contention which still endures. Paine returned to the United States a little broken, and went to live at his home in New Rochelle - a public gift. Many of his old companions in the struggle for liberty avoided him, and he was publicly condemned by the unthinking.

{The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}”
Thomas A. Edison, Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison

Wynonna Judd
“Most of us are imprisoned by something. We're living in darkness until something flips on the switch.”
Wynonna Judd

Solomon Northup
“...So we passed, handcuffed and in silence, through the streets of Washington, through the Captial of a nation, whose theory of government, we are told, rests on the foundation of man's inalienable right to life, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of happiness! Hail! Columbia, happy land, indeed!”
Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave

Robert G. Ingersoll
“The history of man is simply the history of slavery, of injustice and brutality, together with the means by which he has, through the dead and desolate years, slowly and painfully advanced. He has been the sport and prey of priest and king, the food of superstition and cruel might. Crowned force has governed ignorance through fear. Hypocrisy and tyranny—two vultures—have fed upon the liberties of man. From all these there has been, and is, but one means of escape—intellectual development. Upon the back of industry has been the whip. Upon the brain have been the fetters of superstition. Nothing has been left undone by the enemies of freedom. Every art and artifice, every cruelty and outrage has been practiced and perpetrated to destroy the rights of man. In this great struggle every crime has been rewarded and every virtue has been punished. Reading, writing, thinking and investigating have all been crimes.

Every science has been an outcast.

All the altars and all the thrones united to arrest the forward march of the human race. The king said that mankind must not work for themselves. The priest said that mankind must not think for themselves. One forged chains for the hands, the other for the soul. Under this infamous regime the eagle of the human intellect was for ages a slimy serpent of hypocrisy.

The human race was imprisoned. Through some of the prison bars came a few struggling rays of light. Against these bars Science pressed its pale and thoughtful face, wooed by the holy dawn of human advancement. Bar after bar was broken away. A few grand men escaped and devoted their lives to the liberation of their fellows.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, The Liberty Of Man, Woman And Child

Oscar Wilde
“The worst of it is that I am perpetually being punished for nothing; this governor loves to punish, and he punishes by taking my books away from me. It's perfectly awful to let the mind grind itself away between the upper and nether millstones of regret and remorse without respite; with books my life would be livable -- any life.”
Oscar Wilde

M.T. Anderson
“The worst stage was when one could tell she was still awake and almost alert, but she knew that nothing worked. Imprisoned. She was imprisoned. In a statue like the Sphinx. Looking out from the eyes. Her own mind, at that point, was as small and bewildered as a little fly. Behind great battlements.”
M.T. Anderson, Feed

Pat Barker
“They were men, and free. I was a woman, and a slave. And that’s a chasm no amount of sentimental chit-chat about shared imprisonment should be allowed to obscure.”
Pat Barker, The Silence of the Girls

Wes  Moore
“Poverty is so concentrated because it is generational and, research shows, created with relentless intention.”
Wes Moore, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

'SON of GOD' P.S.Jagadeesh Kumar
“The best examples for lifetime imprisonment is the God in the temple and the dead body in the cemetery”
P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar

Anton Chekhov
“The State is not God. It has no right to take away that which it cannot give back, if it should so desire.”
Anton Chekhov, The Bet

Wes  Moore
“Our society's insistence on limiting help to those who "deserve it," as indicated by their status in the labor market, has a profound impact on the capacity of those living in deep poverty to escape ... we also cannot defend the inhumane debate about who are the deserving versus the undeserving poor.”
Wes Moore

Umberto Eco
“the given language is power because it compels me to use already formulated stereotypes, including words themselves, and that it is structured so fatally that, slaves inside it, we cannot free ourselves outside it, because outside the given language there is nothing.

How can we escape what Barthes calls, Sartre-like, this huis clos? By cheating. You can cheat the given language. This dishonest and healthy and liberating trick is called literature.”
Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality

Wes  Moore
“Some critics will counter that poverty is a choice made by those that are lazy or who lack the desire to change their loves for the better. I agree that poverty is a choice. But that choice is not made by the people who live under its oppressive effects. Rather, the choice is ours. It's the choice of government that represents our priorities and allocates our investments. Its a choice reinforced by the companies we patronize and the organizations we support.”
Wes Moore, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

Wes  Moore
“… our fates are profoundly intertwined. We have to take care of one another.”
Wes Moore, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

Wes  Moore
“… the criminal justice system affects more than the men whose lives are irrevcocably changed when they encounter the system.”
Wes Moore, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

Wes  Moore
“The truth is that our individual efforts are important but insufficient. Our collective action -- the leaders we elect, the institutions administered in the name of the People, the other stanchions at the table --- offers an opportunity for bigger, longer-lasting action.”
Wes Moore, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

Wes  Moore
“Throw the bums out" and "Drain the swamp" are popular political slogans. But it's not enough to move people around in a bureaucracy if you don't change the underlying values and let those values reshape tactics and procedures.”
Wes Moore, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

Wes  Moore
“Our country has a long history, and for much of it the intentional policy of the United States was to create hierarchies of people based on their class, race, and gender.”
Wes Moore, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

Wes  Moore
“The stigma and lifelong negative bias that results from even a fleeting encounter with the criminal justice system is absolutely life changing.”
Wes Moore, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

Wes  Moore
“(his) actions also underscore the limits of symbolic gestures toward social justice that we also often see in the world of philanthropy. We often pay homage to what needs to change and attempt half measures, but we rarely challenge our own complicity in the structural inequities.”
Wes Moore, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City

Chris Womersley
“To be imprisoned is to spend all one’s time longing for the life one can no longer experience. - Adam Lesage”
Chris Womersley, City of Crows

Mukta Singh-Zocchi
“These days of internment are long. I do miss the falling blossoms, the manifold seasons of life, the thousand glances from the grand seductress – the world. But now all is uncertain.”
Mukta Singh-Zocchi, Game of Big Numbers

Craig D. Lounsbrough
“Be careful that the decisions that you ‘make’ are not forging the chains that you cannot ‘unmake’ because those are the chains that will eventually ‘unmake’ you.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough

“Let us evade the grueling imprisonment of our mental cage and invade the explosive power of love. Only by redirecting lost momentum to positive thinking we can restrengthen the mold of our trust. (“Le ciel c’est l’autre”)”
Erik Pevernagie

Ryū Murakami
“People who thought it fun to keep tegu lizards in cases too small for them displayed a mentality exactly like that of his parents. “It’s so cute!” they cooed as they fed the thing or gave it water or moved its case into the sunlight or warmed it with lamps. Even under the best conditions, lizards and tortoises never lived as long in captivity as in the wild; these people were slowly but surely killing the pets they found so adorable.”
Ryū Murakami, From the Fatherland, with Love

Henry David Thoreau
“I also have in mind that seemingly wealthy, but most terribly impoverished class of all, who have accumulated dross, but not know not how to use it, or get rid of it, and thus have forged their own golden or silver fetters.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden & Civil Disobedience

Kenneth Eade
“Putting a man’s life to waste is not justice.”
Kenneth Eade, An Evil Trade

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