The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.

— Edward Abbey

The most jaw-dropping Edward Abbey quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious.

But the stupid have an answer for every question.

230

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.

132

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

120

In the first place you can't see anything from a car;

you've got to get out of the goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you'll begin to see something, maybe. Probably not.

103

I hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.

97

Come with me, the river said, close your eyes and quiet your limbs and float with me into the wonder and mystery of the canyons, see the unknown and the little known, look upon the stone gods face to face, see Medusa, drink my waters, hear my song, feel my power, come along and drift with me toward the distant, ultimate and legendary sea.

90

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

88

The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyong reach;

it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.

88

The desert wears... a veil of mystery. Motionless and silent it evokes in us an elusive hint of something unknown, unknowable, about to be revealed. Since the desert does not act it seems to be waiting -- but waiting for what?

85

Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.

83

The industrial way of life leads to the industrial way of death.

From Shiloh to Dachau, from Antietam to Stalingrad, from Hiroshima to Vietnam and Afghanistan, the great specialty of industry and technology has been the mass production of human corpses.

72

The one thing ... that is truly ugly is the climate of hate and intimidation, created by a noisy few, which makes the decent majority reluctant to air in public their views on anything controversial. ... Where all pretend to be thinking alike, it's likely that no one is thinking at all.

71

About Edward Abbey

Quotes 628 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.

61

The only thing worse than a knee-jerk liberal is a knee-pad conservative.

56

The ideal society can be described, quite simply, as that in which no man has the power of means to coerce others.

53

Trout fishing. One must be a stickler for proper form. Use nothing but #4 blasting caps, or a hand grenade, if handy, or at a pool well-lined with stone, one blast from a .44 magnum will bring a few stunned brookies quietly to the surface.

52

Why is it that the destruction of something created by humans is called vandalism, yet the destruction of something created by God is called development?

50

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.

48

Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit.

47

In the dog-eat-dog economy, the Doberman is boss.

40

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.

40

To meet God or Medusa face to face, even if it means risking everything human in myself. I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and yet somehow survives still intact individual, separate. Paradox and bedrock.

35

A world without huge regions of total wilderness would be a cage;

a world without lions and tigers and vultures and snakes and elk and bison would be - will be - a human zoo. A high-tech slum.

31

If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies' territory, we must accept the fact that the grizzlies, from time to time, will harvest a few trespassers.

26

The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.

25

Defiance is beautiful. The defiance of power, especially great or overwhelming power, exalts and glorifies the rebel.

24

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.

24

Night and day the river flows. If time is the mind of space, the River is the soul of the desert. Brave boatmen come, they go, they die, the voyage flows on forever. We are all canyoneers. We are all passengers on this little mossy ship, this delicate dory sailing round the sun that humans call the earth. Joy, shipmates, joy.

23

Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.

23

Walking takes longer... than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed.

22

The real work of men was hunting meat.

The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information.

21

A leader leads from in front, by the power of example.

A ruler pushes from behind, by means of the club, the whip, the power of fear.

21

The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws.

21

I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars.

21

The purpose of love, sex, and marriage is the production and raising of children. But look about you: Most people have no business having children. They are unqualified, either genetically or culturally or both, to reproduce such sorry specimens as themselves. Of all our privileges, the license to breed is the one most grossly abused.

20

It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it.

20

When I write "paradise" I mean not only apple trees and golden women but also scorpions and tarantulas and flies, rattlesnakes and Gila monsters, sandstorms, volcanoes and earthquakes, bacteria and bear, cactus, yucca, bladderweed, ocotillo and mesquite, flash floods and quicksand, and yes - disease and death and the rotting of flesh.

19

In the Soviet Union, government controls industry.

In the United States, industry controls government. That is the principal structural difference between the two great oligarchies of our time.

19

I want my body to help fertilize the growth of a cactus or cliff rose or sagebrush or tree.

18

Why wilderness? Because we like the taste of freedom; because we like the smell of danger.

17

The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life forms. Love flowers best in openness and freedom.

17

When the philosopher's argument becomes tedious, complicated, and opaque, it is usually a sign that he is attempting to prove as true to the intellect what is plainly false to common sense.

16

From the point of view of a tapeworm, man was created by God to serve the appetite of the tapeworm.

16

We are kindred all of us, killer and victim, predator and prey, me and the sly coyote, the soaring buzzard, the elegant gopher snake, and trembling cottontail, the foul worms that feed on our entrails; all of them, all of us. Long live diversity, long live the earth!

16

Homosexuality, like androgyny, might be an instinctive racial response to overpopulation, crowding, and stress. Both flourish when empire reaches its apogee.

16

There never was a good war or a bad revolution.

15

Are people more important than the grizzly bear? Only from the point of view of some people.

15

The city itself swung slowly toward us silent as a dream.

No sign of life but puffs of steam from skyscraper chimneys, the motion of the traffic. The mighty towers stood like tombstones in a graveyard, leaning against the sky and waiting for -- for what? Someday we'll know.

15

Hierarchical institutions are like giant bulldozers -- obedient to the whim of any fool who takes the controls.

15
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