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Think Again: The ...
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David Foster Wallace
“Alls I’m—or think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good it happened? No way. But did you ever read Victor Frankl? Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book. Frankl was in a camp in the Holocaust and the book comes out of that experience, it’s about his experience in the human Dark Side and preserving his human identity in the face of the camp’s degradation and violence and suffering total ripping away his identity. It’s a totally great book and now think about it, if there wasn’t a Holocaust there wouldn’t be a Man’s Search for Meaning.”
David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: Stories

“In a sense, the farmer was the looniest speculator in a nation overrun with them. He was wagering he would master this fathomlessly intricate global game, pay off his many debts, and come out with enough extra to play another round. On top of that, he was betting on the kindness of Mother Nature, always supremely risky. But the farmer had no choice if he hoped to sustain himself and a way of life, the family farm. Instead, he was drawn into a kind of social suicide. The family farm and the whole network of small-town life that it patronized were being washed away into the rivers of capital and credit that flowed toward the railroads, banks, and commodity exchanges, toward the granaries, wholesalers, and numerous other intermediaries that stood between the farmer and the world market. Disappearing into all the reservoirs of capital accumulation, the family farm increasingly remained a privileged way of life only in sentimental memory.

Perversely the dynamic Lincoln had described as the pathway out of dependency—spending a few years earning wages, saving up, buying a competency, and finally hiring others—now operated in reverse. Starting out as independent farmers, families then slipped inexorably downward, first mortgaging the homestead, then failing under intense pressure to support that mortgage (they called themselves “mortgage slaves”) and falling into tenancy—or into sharecropping if in the South—and finally ending where Lincoln’s story began, as dispossessed farm and migrant laborers.”
Steve Fraser, The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power

Upton Sinclair
“In the year 1819 an act of Parliament was proposed limiting the labor of children nine years of age to four-teen hours a day. This would seem to have been a reasonable provision, likely to have won the approval of Christ; yet the bill was violently opposed by Christian employers, backed by Christian clergymen. It was interfering with freedom of contract, and therefore with the will of Providence; it was anathema to an established Church, whose function was in 1819, as it is in 1918, and was in 1918 B. C., to teach the divine origin and sanction of the prevailing economic order.”
Upton Sinclair, The Profits of Religion

Michel Houellebecq
“As I got older, I also found myself agreeing more with Nietzsche, as is no doubt inevitable once your plumbing starts to fail.”
Michel Houellebecq, Soumission

Angela Y. Davis
“Mass imprisonment generates profits as it devours social wealth, and thus it tends to reproduce the very conditions that lead people to prison. There are thus real and often quite complicated connections between the deindustrialization of the economy—a process that reached its peak during the 1980s—and the rise of mass imprisonment, which also began to spiral during the Reagan-Bush era.”
Angela Y. Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?

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