“Poetry and Revolution Before Breakfast”. (From Desert Solitaire).
“If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers, and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule: that was the American dream”.
“High technology has done us one great service. It has taught us the delight of performing simple and primordial tasks – chopping wood, building a fire, drawing water from a spring”.
“How to overthrow the system: brew your own beer; kick in your Tee Vee; kill your own beef; build your own cabin and piss off the front porch whenever you bloody well feel like it”.
“Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second”.
Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. Of course, people with guns kill more people. But that’s only natural. It’s hard. But it’s fair.
The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an “equalizer.” Egalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny”.
“One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am –a reluctant enthusiast…a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still there. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards”.
“Once upon a time, I dreamed of becoming a great man. Later, a great man. Now, finally, I find it difficult enough and honor enough to be – a man”.
“There comes a time in the life of us all when we must lay aside our books or put down our tools and leave our place of work and walk forth on the road to meet the enemy face-to-face. Once and for all and at last”
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* Anyone interested in more quotes from Edward Abbey should pick up a copy of “A Voice Crying In The Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto): Notes From A Secret Journal”. It is “…a collection of lively, outrageous, drop-dead funny, tick-you-off sayings, observations, musings, and aphorisms about life, death, beer drinking, religion, music, literature, the environment, and just about everything else”.
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