A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help. I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics.
Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full.
Leon Trotsky, Trostky’s Testament, 1940. (via drugsareasin)

I take myself more seriously than I take other people and I take myself less seriously than other people take themselves.

Here, in this moral subjectivity, was the root of the peasant’s instinctive anarchism. He lived outside the realm of the state’s laws – and that is where he chose to stay. Centuries of serfdom had bred within the peasant a profound mistrust of all authority outside his own village. What he wanted was volia, the ancient peasant concept of freedom and autonomy without restraints from the powers that be. ‘For hundreds of years’, wrote Gorky, ‘the Russian peasant has dreamt of a state with no right to influence the will of the individual and his freedom of action, a state without power over man.’ That peasant dream was kept alive by the subversive tales of Stenka Razin and Emelian Pugachev, those peasant revolutionaries of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, who mythical images continued as late as the 1900s to be seen by the peasants flying as ravens across the Volga announcing the advent of utopia. And there were equally fabulous tales of a ‘Kingdom of Opona’, somewhere on the edge of the flat earth, where the peasants lived happily, undisturbed by gentry or state. Groups of peasants even set out on expeditions in the far north in the hope of finding this arcadia.
I do not fall in love for precise reasons (her lips, her smile …) - it is because I already love her that her lips, etc. attract me.
Slavoj Zizek, Event: Philosophy In Transit
Fascism has opened up the depths of society for politics. Today, not only in peasant homes but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside of the twentieth century the tenth or thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic power of signs and exorcisms. The Pope of Rome broadcasts over the radio about the miraculous transformation of water into wine. Movie stars go to mediums. Aviators who pilot miraculous mechanisms created by man’s genius wear amulets on their sweaters. What inexhaustible reserves they possess of darkness, ignorance and savagery! Despair has raised them to their feet, fascism has given them a banner. Everything that should have been eliminated from the national organism in the form of cultural excrement in the course of normal development of society has now come gushing out from the throat; capitalist society is puking up the undigested barbarism. Such is the physiology of National Socialism.
Leon Trotsky (1933)