Friday, January 18, 2008

Dead Guy Quote (6)

"Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." -- Malcolm X

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thank you for reminding me of the Stoics. I refer you to a study by James Bond Stockdale, Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior, published by Stanford's Hoover Institution, an extraordinary recount of how Stockdale used Stoic ethics to survive his imprisonment in Vietnam.

Mom said...

Dear Son:

I will call California and ask him to order you a copy of Stockdale's book from the Hoover Institute. And, though I know you have a bit of disdain for "popular" authors, I'm sending you a copy of Tom Wolfe's "A Man in Full" as its characters are greatly influenced by Epictetus and the Stoics (though it seems to me that "Embrace the Suck" and "Seeking the noble in an ignoble world" evidence your understanding and appreciation of such already!)

With great pride and respect and love,

Anonymous said...

Epictetus says:"Therefore take the decision right now that you must live as a full-grown man, as a man who is making progress..." You and your men surely are LT. Also remembered that Epictetus has always been best understood by soldiers and in fact used such service as one of the metaphors in his philosophy. I looked it up: Do you not know that life is a soldier's service? One man must keep guard, another go out to reconnoitre, another take the field. It is not possible for all to stay where they are, nor is it better so. But you neglect to fulfill the orders of the general and complain, when some severe order is laid upon you; you do not understand to what a pitiful state you are bringing the army so far as in you lies; you do not see that if all follow your example there will be no one to dig a trench, or raise a palisade, no one to keep night watch or fight in the field, but every one will seem an unserviceable soldier...So too it is in the world; each man's life is a campaign, and a long and varied one. It is for you to play the soldier's part - do everything at the General's bidding, divining his wishes, if it be possible." Sorry for the long post but what a pleasure to read such thoughtful and literate work. Gracias.

Anonymous said...

An exceptional discussion and I can think of none more vital as you and your Gravediggers experience, as did Malcolm X, your own growth in identity, intellectual and spiritual powers. Make dignity your country and manhood your government as did he and Epictetus. All my best regards.

Anonymous said...

I need to go back to school. I related the quote to the Nevada caucus. But it works there too. Thanks Lt G.

Anonymous said...

It is a discussion as timeless as the Greek philosophers and as timely as Malcolm X's call to action and the present political debate. It is as current as yesterday, when a 92 year old man in a small, South Carolina town made his way from his pew to his Church's alter to urge the congregation's rejection of the establishment's submission to fear and dependency. It is as ancient as Ecciesiastes 3:1-8: "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun. A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal ... a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance ... a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to lose and a time to seek; a time to rend and a time to sew; a time to keep silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace."