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Ellen Kushner

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In a city where most of the wealth is controlled by a small few, certain things are overlooked, particularly when it comes to the assertion of privilege.
Part IV, Chapter V (p. 385)

Ellen Kushner

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The tide of undecipherable signatures of mutinous adolescents which has washed over and bitten into the facades of monuments and the surface of public vehicles in the city where I live: graffiti as an assertion of disrespect, yes, but most of all simply an assertion... the powerless saying: I'm here, too.

Susan Sontag

The elaborate financial interdependence of the modern world has grown up in spite of ourselves. Men are fundamentally just as disposed as they were at any time to take wealth that does not belong to them. But their relative interest in the matter has changed.
In very primitive conditions robbery is a moderately profitable enterprise. Where the rewards of labor are small and uncertain, and where all wealth is portable, the size of a manís wealth depends a good deal on the size of his club and the agility with which he wields it. But to the man whose wealth so largely depends upon his credit, dishonesty has become as precarious and profitless as honest toil was in more primitive times. The instincts of the City man may at bottom be just as predatory as those of the robber baron, but taking property by force has been rendered impossible by the force of commercial events.

Norman Angell

You won't find a new country, won't find another shore.
This city will always pursue you.
You'll walk the same streets, grow old
in the same neighbourhoods, turn grey in these same houses.
You'll always end up in this city. Don't hope for things elsewhere:
there's no ship for you, there's no road.
Now that you've wasted your life here, in this small corner,
you've destroyed it everywhere in the world.

Constantine P. Cavafy

And at the chime of the city clock
Put up your road block.
Hang on to your crown.
For a stone in a tin can
Is wealth to the city man
Who leaves his armour down.

Nick Drake

In order for a slave--or, for that matter, a slaveholder--to become free, a series of successive perceptions must be realized. First, the person must perceive that the owners (and slaves) are merely human, that is, putting all rhetoric aside, that there exists a dichotomy of privilege and exploitation, and that the privilege is a result of exploitation. ... The second realization is, once again, that the owners and slaves are merely human, meaning this time that the exploitation and consequent privilege are not inevitable, but the result of social arrangements and force (as well as a huge dollop of bad luck on the part of those enslaved). ... The third realization is yet again that the owners are merely human, by which I now mean they are vulnerable. Wealth does not protect them.

Derrick Jensen
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