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“But it was too late to save the Great Republic . She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people’s liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake in their own persons. The government was irrevocably in the hands of the prodigiously rich and their hangers-on; the suffrage was become a mere machine, which they used as they chose. There was no principle but commercialism, no patriotism but the pocket.”

—Mark Twain

 

“The Illusion of Central Position, so the theory goes, is the birthright of every baby. He enters an unknown world. He lies in a basket, or a cradle, or a clutch of straw. His eyesight is vague. Bright objects appear for his amusement, bottles and breasts for his comfort. His groping consciousness finds no reason at all to doubt the world’s consecration to his needs and purposes. His Illusion of Central Position is perfect.”

—Robert Ardrey, African Genesis

 

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