(Photo from jamesmcgillis.com)
Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 - March 14, 1989) was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views. His best known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by radical environmental groups, and the non-fiction work Desert Solitaire. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
(Today is also the birthday of Albert Einstein)
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State.
Among politicians and businessman, Pragmatism is the current term for 'To hell with our children.'
An economic system which can only expand or expire must be false to all that is human.
An empty man is full of himself.
Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.
Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.
Capitalism: Nothing so mean could be right. Greed is the ugliest of the capital sins.
Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life...
Counterpart to the knee-jerk liberal is the new knee-pad conservative, always groveling before the rich and powerful.
Freedom begins between the ears.
God is a sound people make when they're too tired to think anymore.
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
Heaven is home. Utopia is here. Nirvana is now.
I once sat on the rim of a mesa above the Rio Grande for three days and nights, trying to have a vision. I got hungry and saw God in the form of a beef pie.
I'm in favor of animal liberation. Why? Because I'm an animal.
If man in his newfound power and vanity persists in the attempt to remake the planet in his own image, he will succeed only in destroying himself- not the planet. The earth will survive our most ingenious folly.
In a nation of sheep, one brave man forms a majority.
In metaphysics, the notion that earth and all that's on it is a mental construct is the product of people who spend their lives inside rooms. It is an indoor philosophy.
Music clouds the intellect but clarifies the heart.
My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation's history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.
Nothing could be older than the daily news, nothing deader than yesterday's newspaper.
One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothing can beat teamwork.
One thing more dangerous than getting between a grizzly sow and her cub is getting between a businessman and a dollar bill.
Original sin, the true original sin, is the blind destruction for the sake of greed of this natural paradise which lies all around us- if only we were worthy of it.
Orthodoxy is a relaxation of the mind accompanied by a stiffening of the heart.
Our 'neoconservatives' are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.
Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second.
Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
The distrust of wit is the beginning of tyranny.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders.
The industrial way of life leads to the industrial way of death.
The longest journey begins with a single step, not with the turn of an ignition key.
The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages- as if the savages weren't dangerous enough already.
The more corrupt a society, the more numerous its laws.
There is no force more potent in the modern world than stupidity fueled by greed.
There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.
We live in a time of twin credulities: the hunger for the miraculous combined with a servile awe of science. The mating of the two gives us superstition plus scientism- a Mongoloid metaphysic.
We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may not ever need to go there.
We're all undesirable elements from somebody's point of view.
Whatever we cannot easily understand we call God; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues.
When a dog howls at the moon, we call it religion. When he barks at strangers, we call it patriotism.
When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.
When the biggest, richest, glassiest buildings in town are the banks, you know that town's in trouble.
When the situation is hopeless, there's nothing to worry about.
Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and esthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one.
Where there is no joy there can be no courage; and without courage all other virtues are useless.
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.
You can't study the darkness by flooding it with light.