Monday, January 10, 2011
If civilization has an opposite, it is war. Of those two things, you have either one, or the other. Not both. --Character of Genly Ai, p. 101.
How does one hate a country, or love one? ... I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls on the side of a certain plowland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where the name ceases to apply? What is love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing. Is it simply self-love? That's a good thing, but one mustn't make virtue of it, or a profession. ... Insofar as I love life, I love the hills of the Domain of Estre, but that sort of love does not have a boundary-line of hate. And beyond that, I am ignorant, I hope. ...
A man who doesn't detest a bad government is a fool. And if there were such a thing as a good government on earth, it would be a great joy to serve it. --Character of Estraven, pp. 212-3.
Source: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (New York: Ace, 2000).