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Quotes - November 2014

Alexei Muravsky

I feel like my life has taken a turn. I’m heading down a road I’ve never been on before. Nothing is familiar. The signs don’t make sense. Do I get off the road, or do I keep riding? Do I go alone or take others with me? Who do I trust for the journey? I now understand why being a leader requires isolation. I have to remove myself from those whose lives were affected by my decisions. Those I love as well as those I hate. It’s getting more and more difficult to be a brother when my decisions are the ones a father has to make. By the time you’re old enough to make sense of this life, you’ll know everything about me— the things I’m proud of and the things I regret— and then you’ll be faced with your own decisions. And as much as I want to help you, tell you what to do, those choices will be yours alone. The only advice I can give you, sons, is to examine who you are as men. Figure out what’s important to you. Know yourselves. Don’t be swayed by fear or history or the opinions of outsiders. Find your own truth. It will lead you to the things you love.
— Jackson 'Jax' Teller, SOA, Season 6, Episode 1

Better a declared enemy than a doubtful ally.
— Napoleon via Vincent Cronin, Napoleon

I never fucked anybody over in my life didn’t have it coming to them. You got that? All I have in this world is my balls and my word and I don’t break them for no one. Do you understand?
— Tony Montana, Scarface

She knew from personal experience how crime existed only to the degree that the law cooperated with it. She showed me how, in the country’s entire social, political and economic structure, the criminal, the law, and the politicians were actually inseparable partners.
— Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

The practical revolutionary will understand Goethe’s “conscience is the virtue of observers and not of agents of action”; in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of a decision that is consistent both with one’s individual conscience and the good of mankind. The choice must always be for the latter. Action is for mass salvation and not for the individual’s personal salvation.
— Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.
— Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

This book proposes a third model. The model this book proposes is the model of the amateur and the professional. The thesis of this book is that what ails you and me has nothing to do with being sick or being wrong. What ails us is that we are living our lives as amateurs. The solution, this book suggests, is that we turn pro.
— Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro

In this antique garden, Michael Corleone learned about the roots from which his father grew. That the word “Mafia” had originally meant place of refuge. Then it became the name for the secret organization that sprang up to fight against the rulers who had crushed the country and its people for centuries… Faced with the savagery of this absolute power, the suffering people learned never to betray their anger and their hatred for fear of being crushed. They learned never to make themselves vulnerable by uttering any sort of threat since giving such a warning insured a quick reprisal.
— Mario Puzo, The Godfather

I saw this guy in a windbreaker who popped up alongside the car and jammed a gun against the side of my head. For a second I thought it was over. Then he screamed, ‘Make one move, motherfucker, and I’ll blow you away!’ That’s when I began to relax. That’s when I knew they were cops. Only cops talk that way. If it had been wiseguys, I wouldn’t have heard a thing. I would have been dead.
— Henry Hill via Nicholas Pileggi, Wiseguy

Enemies of truth. Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.
— Friedrich Nietzsche, Man Alone with Himself

Propagandists have shown us that if one repeats the same thing with vigor over and over again – whether or not it be true – people will believe them… In general, the higher the level of intelligence of one’s audience, the less successful mere forceful assertions will be.
— Dale Carnegie, Public Speaking for Success

The thinkers of the Enlightenment, culminating in Marx, preserved Socrates’ ultimate goals but forgot his insistence that nature made them impossible for men at large.
— Allan Bloom, The Republic of Plato, Interpretive Essay

An outsider could challenge the whole from a position of power, because he had been able to construct a world of his own.
— Christian Meier, Caesar

Luck is the good fortune you determine for yourself: and good fortune consists in good inclinations of the soul, good impulses, good actions.
— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Generations of men establish a growing mastery over the earth, but they are destined to become fossils in its soil.
— Will & Ariel Durant, The Lessons of History

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