He explained to Atro that he now understood why the army was organized as it was. It was indeed quite necessary. No rational form of organization would serve the purpose. He simply had not understood that the purpose was to enable men with machine guns to kill unarmed men and women easily and in great quantities when told to do so. Only he still could not see where courage, or manliness, or fitness entered in.
He was appalled by the examination system, when it was explained to him, he could not imagine a greater detterent to the natural wish to learn than this pattern of cramming in information and disgorging it on demand.
If a book were written all in numbers, it would be true. It would be just. Nothing said in words ever came out quite even. Things in words got twisted and ran together, instead of staying straight and fitting together. But underneath the words, at the center, like the center of the Square, it all came out even. Everything could change, yet nothing would be lost. If you saw the numbers you could see that, the balance, the pattern. You saw the foundations of the world. And they were solid.
If you evade suffering you also evade the chance of joy. Pleasure you may get, or pleasures, but you will not be fulfilled. You will not know what it is to come home.
My world, my Earth is a ruin. A planet spoiled by the human species. We multiplied and fought and gobbled until there was nothing left, and then we died. We controlled neither appetite nor violence; we did not adapt. We destroyed ourselves. But we destroyed the world first.
Nothing said in words ever came out quite even. Things in words got twisted and ran together, instead of staying straight and fitting together.
Outside the locked room is the landscape of time, in which the spirit may, with luck and courage, construct the fragile, makeshift, improbable roads and cities of fidelity: a landscape inhabitable by human beings.
The individual cannot bargain with the State. The State recognizes no coinage but power: and it issues the coins itself.
A child free from the guilt of ownership and the burden of economic competition will grow up with the will to do what needs doing and the capacity for joy in doing it. It is useless work that darkens the heart. The delight of the nursing mother, of the scholar, of the successful hunter, of the good cook, of the skilful maker, of anyone doing needed work and doing it well, - this durable joy is perhaps the deepest source of human affection and of sociality as a whole.
The thing about working with time, instead of against it, he thought, is that it is not wasted. Even pain counts.
A scientist can pretend that his work isn't himself, it's merely the impersonal truth. An artist can't hide behind the truth. He can't hide anywhere.
There was something lacking - in him, he thought, not in the place. He was not up to it. He was not strong enough to take what was so generously offered. He felt himself dry and arid, like a desert plant, in this beautiful oasis. Life on Anarres had sealed him, closed off his soul; the waters of life welled all around him, and yet he could not drink.
And I speak of spiritual suffering! Of people seeing their talent, their work, their lives wasted. Of good minds submitting to stupid ones. Of strength and courage strangled by envy, greed for power, fear of change. Change is freedom, change is life
They knew that their anarchism was the product of a very high civilization, of a complex diversified culture, of a stable economy and a highly industrialized technology that could maintain high production and rapid transportation of goods. However vast the distances separating settlements, they held to the ideal of complex organicism.
Anyhow they're always exceptions. But most women, their only relationship to a man is having. Either owning or being owned.
When in the Land of Property think like a propertarian. Dress like one, eat like one, act like one, be one.
Dead anarchists make martyrs, you know, and keep living for centuries. But absent ones can be forgotten.
You are all in jail. Each alone, solitary, with a heap of what he owns. You live in prison, die in prison. It is all I can see in your eyes - the walls, the walls!
Excess is excrement, ... Excrement retained in the body is a poison.
You can't crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them. By refusing to think, refusing to change.
For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, the idea of earning, and you will begin to be able to think.
More Ursula K. Le Guin Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Truth - Time - Power - World - Change - Wisdom & Knowledge - Love - Imagination & Visualization - Soul - Name - Mind - Speaking - Thought & Thinking - Hell - Woman - Light - Fear - Education - View All Ursula K. Le Guin Quotations
More Ursula K. Le Guin Quotations (By Book Titles)
- A m?o esquerda da escurid?o
- A Wizard of Earthsea
- The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia
- The Left Hand of Darkness
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