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- "The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses."
- "I'm here to change the world, and if I am not, I am probably wasting my time."
- "You've got to own what you do, rather than work and let somebody else make the profit off of it. And you've got to fight in this culture to hang on to your own soul, to hang on to your own creativity. Once I got into this folk music world and understood what I could do and that it belonged to me, I looked back on my years of employment with absolute horror. It was bondage, wage slavery. Sure, if somebody else is making the rules every day, it's a little bit easier, and you can turn your mind off. But none of my parts -- my intellect, my curiosity -- was being served by that experience. When I got out in the world as a free man, I found that all of my parts were being used."
- “But if it’s true that the only true life I had was the life of my brain, what sense does it make to hand that brain to somebody for eight hours a day for their particular use on the presumption that, at the end of the day, they will give it back in an unmutilated condition? Fat chance!”
- "The state can't give you freedom, and the state can't take it away. Freedom is something you're born with, and then one day someone tries to deny it. The extent to which you resist is the extent to which you are free."
- "But they lived those extraordinary lives that can never be lived again. And in the living of them, they gave me a history that is more profound, more beautiful, more powerful, more passionate, and ultimately more useful, than the best damn history book I ever read.
- I coulda got mad. But then I had to stop and think, well, what did he get in school? What did he get in his work experience? What did he get even from his own union, that gave him some tools to understand what he was seeing?