Gore Vidal quotes

from his book The Decline and Fall of the American Empire


"In almost every case [where the United States has fought wars] our overwhelming commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights has required us to support those regimes that would deny freedom, democracy and human rights to their own people.'


"The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity-much less dissent. "


" Television in the early 1950s ceased to be a novelty and became the principle agent for the simultaneous marketing of consumer goods and of national security state opinion."


"Every four years the naive half who vote are encouraged to believe that if we can elect a really nice man or woman President everything will be all right. But it won't be. Any individual who is able to raise $25 million to be considered presidential is not going to be much use to the people at large. He will represent oil, or aerospace, or banking, or whatever moneyed entities are paying for him. Certainly he will never represent the people of the country, and they know it. Hence, the sense of despair throughout the land as incomes fall, businesses fail and there is no redress."


" The war on drugs has nothing at all to do with drugs. It is part of an all-out war on the American people by a government interested only in control.


" "Liberal" comes from the Latin liberalis, which means pertaining to a free man. In politics, to be liberal is to want to extend democracy through change and reform. One can see why that word had to be erased from our political lexicon.


" Another of our agreed-upon fantasies is that we do not have a class system in the United States. The Few who control the Many through Opinion have simply made themselves invisible. They have convinced us that we are a classless society in which everyone can make it."


" The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric bronze-age text known as the Old Testament, three antihuman religions have evolved -- Judaiism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, lliterally, patriarchial -- God is the omnipotent father -- hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delagates."


" When the white race broke out of Europe 500 years ago, it did many astounding things all over the globe. Inspired by a raging sky-god, the whites were able to pretend that their conqueats were in order to bring the One God to everyone, particularly those with older and subtler religions."


" Thomas Paine, when asked his religion, said he subscribed only to the religion of humanity."

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