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(Click on * for 8.5 X 11 PDF to print)

Exploitation, alienation, poverty, disempowerment, fragmenting and debilitating labor, production for the profit of a few -- much less harsh homelessness, starvation, and degradation -- are not like gravity. They arise from institutional relations established by human beings. New institutions, also established by human beings, can generate other vastly superior outcomes. Defining and working to attain those new institutions ought to be our economic agenda.
-- Michael Albert

I think it must be conceded that it is possible to create a society in which the response to market failure is not a swing to socialism, but an exacerbation of individual efforts to stay ahead by making and spending yet more money. Does the public health service have long waiting lists and inadequate facilities? Buy private insurance. Has public transport broken down? Buy a car for each member of the family above driving age. Has the countryside been built over or the footpaths eradicated? Buy some elaborate exercise machinery and work out at home. Is air pollution intolerable? Buy an air-filtering unit and stay indoors. Is what comes out of the tap foul to the taste and chock-full of carcinogens? Buy bottled water. And so on. We know it can all happen because it has: I have been doing little more than describing Southern California. Now it is worth noticing two things about the private substitutes that I have described. The first is that in the aggregate they are probably much more expensive than would be the implementation of the appropriate public policy. The second is that they are extremely poor replacements for the missing outcomes of good public policy. Nevertheless, it is plain that the members of a society can become so alienated from one another, so mistrustful of any form of collective action, that they prefer to go it alone.
-- Brian Barry


* "The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence."
~ Thomas Berry


By alienation is meant a mode of experience in which the person experiences himself as an alien. He has become, one might say, estranged from himself. He does not experience himself as the center of his world, as the creator of his own acts -- but his acts and their consequences have become his masters, whom he obeys, or whom he may even worship. The alienated person is out of touch with himself as he is out of touch with any other person. He, like the others, is experienced as things are experienced; with the senses and with common sense, but at the same time without being related to oneself and to the world outside positively.
-- Erich Fromm
Human beings are compelled to live within a lie, but they can be compelled to do so only because they are in fact capable of living in this way. Therefore not only does the system alienate humanity, but at the same time alienated humanity supports this system as its own involuntary master plan, as a degenerate image of its own degeneration, as a record of people's own failure as individuals.
-- Vaclav Havel

“We have to heal our wounded world.
The chaos, despair, and senseless destruction we see today
are a result of the alienation that people feel from each other and their environment.”
-- Michael Jackson

Family traditions counter alienation and confusion.
They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world.
-- Susan Lieberman

Young alienation, disappointment and heartache is all a part of the first real growing up that we do.
-- Judd Nelson

“When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that, in our democracy, government is us.”
-- Barack Obama

In our hectic, fast-paced, consumer-driven society, it's not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed, isolated, alone, and even alienated. Many are re-discovering the healing and empowering role that community can bring to our lives. The sense of belonging we feel when we make the time to take an active role in our communities can give us a deeper sense of meaning and purpose.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

I don't want to express alienation. It isn't what I feel. I'm interested in various kinds of passionate engagement. All my work says be serious, be passionate, wake up.
-- Susan Sontag

Another cause for the increase in alienation and cynicism
is a feeling that too many policy decisions that affect individuals
have been taken out of any system that has accountability or that they can influence.
-- Robert Teeter

"A reform in the system of criminal jurisprudence, by which the death penalty shall no longer be inflicted . . . and by which our so-called prisons shall be virtually transformed into vast reformatory workshops, from which the unfortunate may emerge to be useful members of society, instead of the alienated citizens they now are."
-- Victoria Woodhull

Kids | Youth | Adults | Calendar | Quotes | Heroes | Stories | The EMILY Fund | Scholarships
DO ONE THING and BetterWorld Kids Clubs are projects of The EMILY Fund (The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.)
Hero portraits are included for illustration purposes only - no celebrity endorsement implied

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