"But here is an example of another possible orientation. In analysing a painting, one can reconstitute the latent discourse of the painter; one can try to recapture the murmur of his intentions, which are not transcribed into words, but into lines, surfaces, and colours; one can try to uncover the implicit philosophy that is supposed to form his view of the world. It is also possible to question science, or at least the opinions of the period, and to try to recognize to what extent they appear in the painter’s work. Archaeological analysis would have another aim: it would try to discover whether space, distance, depth, colour, light, proportions, volumes, and contours were not, at the period in question, considered, named, enunciated, and conceptualized in a discursive practice; and whether the knowledge that this discursive practice gives rise to was not embodied perhaps in theories and speculations, in forms of teaching and codes of practice, but also in processes, techniques, and even in the very gesture of the painter. It would not set out to show that the painting is a certain way of ‘meaning’ or ‘saying’ that is peculiar in that it dispenses with words. It would try to show that, at least in one of its dimensions, it is discursive practice that is embodied in techniques and effect. In this sense, the painting is not a pure vision that must then be transcribed into the materiality of space; nor is it freed from subsequent interpretations. it is shot through — and independently of scientific knowledge (connaissance) and philosophical themes — with the positivity of a knowledge (savoir).”

—  Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (tr. A.M. Sheridan Smith; pp. 193–94 in ISBN 0-394-71106-8)

"The corporation is the future. We need to let business run the country and establish a true meritocracy."

"Not choked by welfare, unions, ‘affirmative action’ for amputee transvestite colored homeless arachnophobes …"

"A meritocracy of acumen. A culture that is not ashamed to acknowledge that wealth attracts power …"

"… and that the wealthmakers—us—are rewarded. When a man aspires to power, I ask one simple question: ‘Does he think like a businessman?’”

Luisa rolls her napkin into a compact ball. “I ask three simple questions. how did he get that power? How is he using it? And how can it be taken off the sonofabitch?”

     —David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (p. 403 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)

I mem’ry she answered, Yay, Old Uns’ Smart mastered sicks, miles, seeds an’ made miracles ord’nary, but it din’t master one thing, nay, a hunger in the hearts o’ humans, yay, a hunger for more.

More what? I asked. Old Uns’d got ev’rythin’.

Oh, more gear, more food, faster speeds, longer lifes, easier lifes, more power, yay. Now the Hole World is big, but it weren’t big ‘nuff for that hunger what made Old Uns rip out the skies an’ boil up the seas an’ poison soil with crazed atoms an’ donkey ‘bout with rotted seeds so new plagues was borned an’ babbits was freakbirthed. Fin’ly, bit’ly, then quicksharp, states busted into bar’bric tribes an the Civ’lize Days ended, ‘cept for a few folds’n’pockets here’n’there, where its last embers glimmer.

I asked why Meronym’d never spoke this yarnin’ in the Valleys.

Valleysmen’d not want to hear, she answered, that human hunger birthed the Civ’lize, but human hunger killed it too. I know it from other tribes offland what I stayed with. Times are you say a person’s b’liefs ain’t true, they think you’re sayin’ their lifes ain’t true an’ their truth ain’t true.

Yay, she was prob’ly right.

     —David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (pp. 272-73 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)

BLACK. Things can change.

WHITE. No they cant.

BLACK. You could be wrong.

WHITE. I dont think so.

BLACK. But that aint somethin you have a lot of in your life.

WHITE. What isnt?

BLACK. Bein wrong.

WHITE. I admit it when I’m wrong.

BLACK. I dont think so.

WHITE. Well, you’re entitled to your opinion.

     —Cormac McCarthy, The Sunset Limited (p. 113 in ISBN 978-0307278364)

Our theory is simply this: a person counts as an asshole when, and only when, he systematically allows himself to enjoy special advantages in interpersonal relations out of an entrenched sense of entitlement that immunizes him against the complaints of other people. (Because assholes are by and large men, we use the masculine pronoun “he” advisedly. We will suggest that women can be assholes as well. For the time being, think of Ann Coulter. We consider the question of gender in detail in chapter 4.) Our theory thus has three main parts. In interpersonal or cooperative relations, the asshole:

  1. allows himself to enjoy special advantages and does so systematically;
  2. does this out of an entrenched sense of entitlement; and
  3. is immunized by his sense of entitlement against the complaints of other people.

—Aaron James, Assholes: A Theory, (p. 5 in ISBN 978-0-8041-7135-9)

“Once having set up her idols and built altars to them it was inevitable that she would worship there. It was inevitable that she should accept any inconsistency and cruelty from her deity as all good worshippers do from theirs. All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped. Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.”
— Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God, ch. 16 (p. 144 in ISBN 978-0-06-112006-0)
“There is a basin in the mind where words float around on thought and thought on sound and sight. Then there is a depth of thought untouched by words, and deeper still a gulf of formless feelings untouched by thought.”
— Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God, ch. 3 (p. 24 in ISBN 978-0-06-112006-0)