1. "The twentieth century has not been kind to the constant human
striving for a sense of purpose in life. Two world wars, the Holocaust,
the invention of nuclear weapons, and now the global environmental crises
have led many of us to wonder if survival - much less enlightened,
joyous, and hopeful living - is possible. We retreat into the seductive
tools and technologies of industrial civilization, but that only creates
new problems as we become increasingly isolated from one another and
disconnected from our roots."
2. "Again, we must not forget the lessons of World War II. The
Resistance slowed the advance of fascism and scored important victories,
but fascism continued its relentless march to domination until the rest
of the world finally awoke and made the difference and made the defeat of
fascism its central organizing principle from 1941 through 1945."
3. "It is not necessary for the sake of nature to set up some
chimerical utopia or any new kind of social order. Nature takes care of
itself: It was a spontaneous creation that existed long before any human
society, and for countless centuries, many different kinds of human
societies coexisted with nature without doing it an excessive amount of
damage. Only with the Industrial Revolution did the effect of human
society on nature become really devastating."
4. "Modern industrial civilization, as presently organized, is
colliding violently with our planet's ecological system. The ferocity of
its assault on the earth is breathtaking, and the horrific consequences
are occurring so quickly as to defy our capacity to recognize them,
comprehend their global implications, and organize an appropriate and
timely response. Isolated pockets of resistance fighters who have
experienced this juggernaut at first hand have begun to fight back in
inspiring but, in the final analysis, woefully inadequate ways."
5. "Among the abnormal conditions present in modern industrial
society are excessive density of population, isolation of man from
nature, excessive rapidity of social change and the breakdown of natural
small-scale communities such as the extended family, the village or the
6. "All pre-industrial societies were predominantly rural. The
Industrial Revolution vastly increased the size of cities and the
proportion of the population that lives in them, and modern agricultural
technology has made it possible for the Earth to support a far denser
population than it ever did before."
7. "The positive ideal that is proposed is Nature. That is, wild
nature: those aspects of the functioning of the Earth and its living
things that are independent of human management and free of human
interference and control."
8. "Any child born into the hugely consumptionist way of life so
common in the industrial world will have an impact that is, on average,
many times more destructive than that of a child born in the developing
9. "And tragically, since the onset of the scientific and
technological revolution, it has become all too easy for ultrarational
minds to create an elaborate edifice of clockwork efficiency capable of
nightmarish cruelty on an industrial scale. The atrocities of Hitler and
Stalin, and the mechanical sins of all who helped them, might have been
inconceivable except for the separation of facts from values and
knowledge from morality."
10. "The modern individual on the other hand is threatened by many
things against which he is helpless: nuclear accidents, carcinogens in
food, environmental pollution, war, increasing taxes, invasion of his
privacy by large organizations, and nationwide social or economic
phenomena that may disrupt his way of life."
11. "Industrial society seems likely to be entering a period of
severe stress, due in part to problems of human behavior and in part to
economic and environmental problems."
12. "What does it say about our culture that personality is now
considered a technology, a tool of the trade, not only in politics but in
business and the professions? Has everyone been forced to become an
actor? In sixteenth century England, actors were not allowed to be buried
in the same cemeteries as 'God-fearing folk,' because anyone willing to
manipulate his personality for the sake of artifice, even to entertain,
was considered spiritually suspect."