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  The Ishmael Community: Exerpts from Daniel Quinn

Quotes from Daniel's Works

"I'm telling you this because the people of your culture are in much the same situation. Like the people of Nazi Germany, they are the captives of a story."

"I know of no such story."

"You mean you've never heard of it?"

"That's right."

Ishmael nodded. AThat's because there's no need to hear of it. There's no need to name it or discuss it. Every one of you knows it by heart by the time you're six or seven. Black and white, male and female, rich and poor, Christian and Jew, American and Russian, Norwegian and Chinese, you all hear it. And you hear it incessantly, because every medium of propaganda, every medium of education pours it out incessantly. And, hearing it incessantly, you don't listen to it. There's no need to listen to it. It's always there humming away in the background, so there's no need to attend to it at all."

Ishmael

"As long as the food remains under lock and key, the prison runs itself. The governing that you see is the prisoners governing themselves. They're allowed to do that and to live as they please within the prison. For the most part, the prisoners have chosen to be governed by men--or allowed themselves to be governed by men--but these men don't run the prison itself."

"What's the prison then?"

"The prison is your culture, which you sustain generation after generation. You yourself are learning from your parents how to be a prisoner. Your parents learned from their parents how to be a prisoner. Their parents learned from their parents how to be a prisoner. And so on, back to the beginning in the Fertile Crescent ten thousand years ago."

My Ishmael



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