„If you'd given me the choice of going out and beating four men and smashing a goal in from thirty yards against Liverpool or going to bed with Miss World, it would have been a difficult choice. Luckily, I had both.“
In the book The Afterlife by Paul Morley " http://footyfactor.com/tag/the-afterlife", Footy Factor (April 23, 2009).
„No other power under heaven could bring a man out of a place like that. Men were killed on both sides of me; and I was the biggest and the most exposed of all. Over thirty machine guns were maintaining rapid fire at me, point-blank from a range of about twenty-five yards.“
— Alvin C. York United States Army Medal of Honor recipient 1887 - 1964
Addendum to the account of 8 October 1918.
Context: After the Armistice was signed, I was ordered to go back to the scene of my fight with the machine guns. General Lindsey and some other generals went with me.
We went over the ground carefully. The officers spent a right smart amount of time examining the hill and the trenches where the machine guns were, and measuring and discussing everything.
And then General Lindsey asked me to describe the fight to him. And I did. And then he asked me to march him out just like I marched the German major out, over the same ground and back to the American lines.
Our general was very popular. He was a natural born fighter and he could swear just as awful as he could fight. He could swear most awful bad.
And when I marched him back to our old lines he said to me, "York, how did you do it?" And I answered him, "Sir, it is not man power. A higher power than man power guided and watched over me and told me what to do." And the general bowed his head and put his hand on my shoulder and solemnly said, "York, you are right."
There can be no doubt in the world of the fact of the divine power being in that. No other power under heaven could bring a man out of a place like that. Men were killed on both sides of me; and I was the biggest and the most exposed of all. Over thirty machine guns were maintaining rapid fire at me, point-blank from a range of about twenty-five yards.
„My feeling about the war was — given a choice between these two things — obviously I want to see a world with much better choices than that — but given that was the choice we were confronted with, the best way through it was to try to find out what Iraqis prefer.“
— Johann Hari British journalist 1979
Interview from the Leeds Student: Part One, JohannHari.com, November 27, 2005, 2007-01-26 http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=733,
„In other words, given a choice between anarchism and anarchy, most anarchists would go for the anarchism ideology and subculture rather than take a dangerous leap into the unknown, into a world of stateless liberty.“
— Bob Black American anarchist 1951
Anarchism And Other Impediments To Anarchy (1985)
Context: The history of anarchism is a history of unparalleled defeat and martyrdom, yet anarchists venerate their victimized forebears with a morbid devotion which occasions suspicion that the anarchists, like everybody else, think that the only good anarchist is a dead one. Revolution — defeated revolution — is glorious, but it belongs in books and pamphlets. In this century — Spain in 1936 and France in 1968 are especially clear cases — the revolutionary upsurge caught the official, organized anarchists flat-footed and initially non-supportive or worse. The reason is not far to seek. It's not that all these ideologues were hypocrites (some were). Rather, they had worked out a daily routine of anarchist militancy, one they unconsciously counted on to endure indefinitely since revolution isn't really imaginable in the here-and-now, and they reacted with fear and defensiveness when events outdistanced their rhetoric.
In other words, given a choice between anarchism and anarchy, most anarchists would go for the anarchism ideology and subculture rather than take a dangerous leap into the unknown, into a world of stateless liberty.
— Richard Dawkins English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author 1941
On a hypothetical fetus with Down syndrome https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins/statuses/502106262088466432 (20 August 2014)
„I have been writing & speaking what were once called novelties, for twenty five or thirty years, & have not now one disciple. Why? Not that what I said was not true; not that it has not found intelligent receivers but because it did not go from any wish in me to bring men to me, but to themselves.“
— Ralph Waldo Emerson American philosopher, essayist, and poet 1803 - 1882
1820s, Journals (1822–1863)
Context: I have been writing & speaking what were once called novelties, for twenty five or thirty years, & have not now one disciple. Why? Not that what I said was not true; not that it has not found intelligent receivers but because it did not go from any wish in me to bring men to me, but to themselves. I delight in driving them from me. What could I do, if they came to me? — they would interrupt and encumber me. This is my boast that I have no school & no follower. I should account it a measure of the impurity of insight, if it did not create independence.
„The most difficult art is not in the choice of men, but in giving to the men chosen the highest service of which they are capable.“
— Napoleon I of France French general, First Consul and later Emperor of the French 1769 - 1821
Napoleon : In His Own Words (1916)
— Jean De La Fontaine French poet, fabulist and writer. 1621 - 1695
Book I (1668), Dedication "To Monseigneur the Dauphin".
Context: History some truths contains, which well may serve
For lessons. In my work you will observe
Ev'ry thing speaks — yea e'en the very fish —
And what they say, to ev'ry man a dish
Serves up; and I of animals make choice
That men may get instruction from their voice.
„I didn't want a world in which I had to choose between blind human babies and tortured monkey ones. To be frank, that's the sort of choice I expect science to protect me from, not give me.“
Source: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
„If we were bees, ants, or Lacedaemonian warriors, to whom personal fear does not exist and cowardice is the most shameful thing in the world, warring would go on forever. But luckily we are only men — and cowards.“
— Erwin Schrödinger Austrian physicist 1887 - 1961
Mind and Matter (1958)
— George Best British footballer 1946 - 2005
Reported in " The things they say: George Best http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/news/newsid=1085364.html", FIFA.com (July 31, 2009).
— Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
— Dwight D. Eisenhower American general and politician, 34th president of the United States (in office from 1953 to 1961) 1890 - 1969
Address in Pittsburgh http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/education/bsa/citizenship_merit_badge/eisenhower_citizenship_quotations.pdf (9 October 1956)
„At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work – as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for – the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?“
At dawn of day, when you dislike being called, have this thought ready: "I am called to man's labour; why then do I make a difficulty if I am going out to do what I was born to do and what I was brought into the world for?(Farquharson translation)
Ὄρθρου, ὅταν δυσόκνως ἐξεγείρῃ, πρόχειρον ἔστω ὅτι ἐπὶ ἀνθρώπου ἔργον ἐγείρομαι· ἔτι οὖν δυσκολαίνω, εἰ πορεύομαι ἐπὶ τὸ ποιεῖν ὧν ἕνεκεν γέγονα καὶ ὧν χάριν προῆγμαι εἰς τὸν κόσμον; ἢ ἐπὶ τοῦτο κατεσκεύασμαι, ἵνα κατακείμενος ἐν στρωματίοις ἐμαυτὸν θάλπω;
Meditations (c. 121–180 AD), Book V
— Henry James American novelist, short story author, and literary critic 1843 - 1916
Notebook entry, Boston, (25 November 1881).
„Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought of half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.“
— Charlotte Whitton Canadian politician 1896 - 1975
Quoted in Canada Month, June 1963
„Maybe -- I am not affirming it -- these (NGO people) are carrying out some criminal actions to draw attention against me, against the government of Brazil. There is a war going on in the world against Brazil, an information war.“
— Jair Bolsonaro Brazilian president elect 1955
On 21 August 2019, claiming that NGOs were starting the fires in the Amazon rainforest. Bolsonaro says Brazil lacks means to fight Amazon fires, backtracks on NGO accusations https://www.france24.com/en/20190822-bolsonaro-brazil-lacks-resources-fight-amazon-fires. France 24 (22 August 2019).
„I am an optimist and I believe that together we shall be able now to make the right historical choice so as not to miss the great chance at the turn of centuries and millenia and make the current extremely difficult transition to a peaceful world order.“
— Mikhail Gorbachev General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 1931
Nobel Address (1991)
Context: I am an optimist and I believe that together we shall be able now to make the right historical choice so as not to miss the great chance at the turn of centuries and millenia and make the current extremely difficult transition to a peaceful world order. A balance of interests rather than a balance of power, a search for compromise and concord rather than a search for advantages at other people's expense, and respect for equality rather than claims to leadership — such are the elements which can provide the groundwork for world progress and which should be readily acceptable for reasonable people informed by the experience of the twentieth century.
The future prospect of truly peaceful global politics lies in the creation through joint efforts of a single international democratic space in which States shall be guided by the priority of human rights and welfare for their own citizens and the promotion of the same rights and similar welfare elsewhere. This is an imperative of the growing integrity of the modern world and of the interdependence of its components.