The West Quotes

Quotes tagged as "the-west" (showing 1-30 of 31)
Cormac McCarthy
“Here beyond men's judgments all covenants were brittle.”
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Theodor W. Adorno
“What can oppose the decline of the west is not a resurrected culture but the utopia that is silently contained in the image of its decline.”
Theodor W. Adorno

Bill Bryson
“People in the West like to shoot things. When they first got to the West they shot buffalo. Once there were 70 million buffalo on the plains and then the people of the West started blasting away at them. Buffalo are just cows with big heads. If you've ever looked a cow in the face and seen the unutterable depths of trust and stupidity that lie within, you will be able to guess how difficult it must have been for people in the West to track down buffalo and shoot them to pieces. By 1895, there were only 800 buffalo left, mostly in zoos and touring Wild West shows. With no buffalo left to kill, Westerners started shooting Indians. Between 1850 and 1890 they reduced the number of Indians in America from two million to 90,000.

Nowadays, thank goodness, both have made a recovery. Today there are 30,000 buffalo and 300,000 Indiands, and of course you are not allowed to shoot either, so all the Westerners have left to shoot at are road signs and each other, both of which they do rather a lot. There you have a capsule history of the West.”
Bill Bryson

Thomas Sowell
“It takes no more research than a trip to almost any public library or college to show the incredibly lopsided coverage of slavery in the United States or in the Western Hemisphere, as compared to the meager writings on even larger number of Africans enslaved in the Islamic countries of the Middle East and North Africa, not to mention the vast numbers of Europeans also enslaved in centuries past in the Islamic world and within Europe itself. At least a million Europeans were enslaved by North African pirates alone from 1500 to 1800, and some Europeans slaves were still being sold on the auction blocks in the Egypt, years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed blacks in the United States.”
Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals

Albert Camus
“Actual freedom has not increased in proportion to man's awareness of it.”
Albert Camus, The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“The communist regime in the East could stand and grow due to the enthusiastic support from an enormous number of Western intellectuals who felt a kinship and refused to see communism's crimes. When they no longer could do so, they tried to justify them.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Rebecca Solnit
“Recently, a lot of Americans have swapped the awkward phrase 'same-sex marriage' for the term 'marriage equality'. This phrase is ordinarily implied to mean that same-sex couples will have the rights different-sexed couples do. But it could also mean that marriage is between equals. That's not what traditional marriage was. Throughout much of history in the west, the laws defining marriage made the husband essentially an owner and the wife a possession. Or the man a boss and the woman a slave.”
Rebecca Solnit, Men Explain Things to Me

Fulton J. Sheen
“The modern world, which denies personal guilt and admits only social crimes, which has no place for personal repentance but only public reforms, has divorced Christ from His Cross; the Bridegroom and Bride have been pulled apart. What God hath joined together, men have torn asunder. As a result, to the left is the Cross; to the right is Christ. Each has awaited new partners who will pick them up in a kind of second and adulterous union. Communism comes along and picks up the meaningless Cross; Western post-Christian civilization chooses the unscarred Christ.

Communism has chosen the Cross in the sense that it has brought back to an egotistic world a sense of discipline, self-abnegation, surrender, hard work, study, and dedication to supra-individual goals. But the Cross without Christ is sacrifice without love. Hence, Communism has produced a society that is authoritarian, cruel, oppressive of human freedom, filled with concentration camps, firing squads, and brain-washings.

The Western post-Christian civilization has picked up the Christ without His Cross. But a Christ without a sacrifice that reconciles the world to God is a cheap, feminized, colourless, itinerant preacher who deserves to be popular for His great Sermon on the Mount, but also merits unpopularity for what He said about His Divinity on the one hand, and divorce, judgment, and hell on the other. This sentimental Christ is patched together with a thousand commonplaces, sustained sometimes by academic etymologists who cannot see the Word for the letters, or distorted beyond personal recognition by a dogmatic principle that anything which is Divine must necessarily be a myth. Without His Cross, He becomes nothing more than a sultry precursor of democracy or a humanitarian who taught brotherhood without tears.”
Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ

Imre Kertész
“The West in general should stand up more for its own values. It is not always worthwhile to compromise.”
Imre Kertész

John L. Esposito
“As we have seen in the data, resentment against the West comes from what Muslims perceive as the West's hatred and denigration of Islam; the Western belief that Arabs and Muslims are inferior,; and their fear of Western intervention, domination, or occupation. (p. 141)”
John L. Esposito, Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aldo Leopold
“If education really educates, there will, in time, be more and more citizens who understand that relics of the old West add meaning and value to the new. Youth yet unborn will pole up the Missouri with Lewis and Clark, or climb the Sierras with James Capen Adams, and each generation in turn will ask: Where is the big white bear? It will be a sorry answer to say he went under while conservationists weren't looking.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

Wallace Stegner
“Homesickness is a great teacher. It taught me, during an endless rainy fall, that I came from the arid lands, and like where I came from. I was used to dry clarity and sharpness in the air. I was used to horizons that either lifted into jagged ranges or rimmed the geometrical circle of the flat world. I was used to seeing a long way. I was used to earth colors--tan, rusty red, toned white--and the endless green of Iowa offended me. I was used to a sun that came up over mountains and went down behind other mountains. I missed the color and smell of sagebrush, and the sight of bare ground.”
Wallace Stegner, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs

Iain M. Banks
“There is something about the very idea of a city which is central to the understanding of a planet like Earth, and particularly the understanding of that part of the then-existing group-civilization which called itself the West. That idea, to my mind, met its materialist apotheosis in Berlin at the time of the Wall.

Perhaps I go into some sort of shock when I experience something deeply; I'm not sure, even at this ripe middle-age, but I have to admit that what I recall of Berlin is not arranged in my memory in any normal, chronological sequence. My only excuse is that Berlin itself was so abnormal - and yet so bizarrely representative - it was like something unreal; an occasionally macabre Disneyworld which was so much a part of the real world (and the realpolitik world), so much a crystallization of everything these people had managed to produce, wreck, reinstate, venerate, condemn and worship in their history that it defiantly transcended everything it exemplified, and took on a single - if multifariously faceted - meaning of its own; a sum, an answer, a statement no city in its right mind would want or be able to arrive at.”
Iain M. Banks, The State of the Art

“Cultures that do not wish to exist cannot be dissuaded from destroying themselves.”
David P. Goldman, How Civilizations Die

Francis Parker Yockey
“Two ideas are opposed — not concepts or abstractions, but Ideas which were in the blood of men before they were formulated by the minds of men. The Resurgence of Authority stands opposed to the Rule of Money; Order to Social Chaos, Hierarchy to Equality, socio-economico-political Stability to constant Flux; glad assumption of Duties to whining for Rights; Socialism to Capitalism, ethically, economically, politically; the Rebirth of Religion to Materialism; Fertility to Sterility; the spirit of Heroism to the spirit of Trade; the principle of Responsibility to Parliamentarism; the idea of Polarity of Man and Woman to Feminism; the idea of the individual task to the ideal of ‘happiness’; Discipline to Propaganda-compulsion; the higher unities of family, society, State to social atomism; Marriage to the Communistic ideal of free love; economic self-sufficiency to senseless trade as an end in itself; the inner imperative to Rationalism.”
Francis Parker Yockey, Imperium

Arundhati Roy
“In India we're fighting to retain a wilderness that we have. Whereas in the west, it's gone. Every person that's walking down the street is a walking bar code. You can tell where their clothes are from, how much they cost, which designer made which shoe, which shop you bought each item from. Everything is civilized and tagged and valued and numbered and put in it's place. Whereas in India, the wilderness still exists-the unindoctrinated wilderness of the mind, full of untold secrets and wild imaginings.”
Arundhati Roy

Verlyn Klinkenborg
“How these humans dispose themselves! Unlike anything else in creation. Or rather like everything else in creation all at once. Legs of one beast. Arms of another. Proportions all awry to a tortoise's eye. Torso too squat. Too little neck. Vastly too much leg. Hands like creatures unto themselves. Senses delicately balanced. And yet each sense dulled by mental acuity. Reason in place of a good nose. Logic instead of a tail. Faith instead of the certain knowledge of instinct. Superstition instead of a shell.”
Verlyn Klinkenborg, Timothy, or Notes of an Abject Reptile

John Ralston Saul
“In the West, of course, God has been dead for some time. What remains is religion as social belief, which is at best a moral code and at worst social etiquette.”
John Ralston Saul, Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West

“Historically, people move west more than east. People go east only when invited. When opportunity knocks.
People go west when all bets are off: a reputation in ruins, a love gone wrong. When they need to save their sorry souls, folks head for the frontier.”
Karen Hines, Drama: Pilot Episode

Louis-Ferdinand Céline
“   "Fine! Fine! I'm listening...but it's not very interesting!...
   "Oh, that's what you think! that's what you think! but nothing is very interesting, dear Professor Y! jot this down! take some notes!"
   "What notes?"
   "Just write!...that if it weren't for wars, alcohol, blood pressure and cancer, the people in our atheistic Europe would soon be bored to death of life!”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Conversations with Professor Y

Howard W. French
“I sketched North America onto my crude and now crowded map, and Hao was astounded to learn that it was not a piece of Europe, as he had always assumed.”
Howard W. French, China's Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa

Kenichi Fukui
“As is known worldwide, Japan has tried to catch up with the western countries since the beginning of this century by importing science from them.”
Kenichi Fukui

“Colorado and Wyoming are America’s highest states, averaging 6,800 feet and 6,700 feet above sea level. Utah comes in third at 6,100 feet, New Mexico, Nevada, and Idaho each break 5,000 feet, and the rest of the field is hardly worth mentioning. At 3,400 feet, Montana is only half as high as Colorado, and Alaska, despite having the highest peaks, is even further down the list at 1,900 feet. Colorado has more fourteeners than all the other U.S. states combined, and more than all of Canada too. Colorado’s lowest point (3,315 feet along the Kansas border) is higher than the highest point in twenty other states. Rivers begin here and flow away to all the points of the compass. Colorado receives no rivers from another state (unless you count the Green River’s’ brief in and out from Utah).Wyoming’s Wind River Range is the only mountain in North America that supplies water to all three master streams of the American West: Missouri, Colorado, and Columbia rivers.”
Keith Meldahl, Rough-Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains

Martin Heidegger
“But neither will anyone ask us whether we will it or do not will it when the spiritual strength of the West fails and the West starts to come apart at the seams, when this moribund pseudocivilization collapses into itself, pulling all forces into confusion and allowing them to suffocate in madness.
Whether such a thing occurs or does not occur, this depends solely on whether we as a historical-spiritual Volk will ourselves, still and again, or whether we will ourselves no longer. Each individual has a part in deciding this, even if, and precisely if, he seeks to evade this decision.
But it is our will that our Volk fulfill its historical mission.”
Martin Heidegger, The Self-Assertion of the German University

Terry Eagleton
“In post-Nietzschean spirit, the West appears to be busily undermining its own erstwhile metaphysical foundations with an unholy mélange of practical materialism, political pragmatism, moral and cultural relativism, and philosophical skepticism.”
Terry Eagleton

“It is a truism, easily forgotten, that the West, in its modern phase, has not stood still. Also easily forgotten is the fact that "the West" is a relative concept only. Without an "East" or a "non-West" to compare it with, it would quite simply not exist; there would be no word for it in our vocabulary. If the concept of the West did not exist, of course, the spatial variations within the geographical area now subsumed under "the West" would loom larger in our minds. The difference between France and America might seem just as great as those between China and the West.”
Paul A. Cohen, Discovering History in China: American Historical Writing on the Recent Chinese Past

Jack Kerouac
“I walked around the sad honkytonks of Curtis Street; young kids in jeans and red shirts; peanut shells, movie marquees, shooting parlours. Beyond the glittering street was darkness, and beyond the darkness the West. I had to go.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Martin Jacques
“We all know what is meant by the term 'international community,' don't we? It's the West, of course, nothing more, nothing less. Using the term 'international community' is a way of dignifying the West, of globalising it, of making it sound more respectable, more neutral and high-faluting.”
Martin Jacques

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