Individualism and identity - Quotes from Science Fiction
21.02.2012, 20:03

Individualism and identity - Quotes from Science Fiction

A lot of quotations carefully collected from a very big amount of books and divided by categories.

Have fun reading it, this is really interesting and breathtaking!

Individualism, which in your day was the animating idea of society, not only was fatal to any vital sentiment of brotherhood and common interest among living men, but equally to any realization of the responsibility of the living for the generation to follow.

- Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward, 2000-1887 (1888)

No planet, no universe, is greater to a man than his own ego, his own observing self.

- Theodore Sturgeon, ''Thunder and Roses'' (1947)

They say no one human being ever did anything. They say it takes a hundred pairs of hands to build a house, ten thousand pairs to build a ship. They say a single pair is not only useless - it's evil. All humanity is a thing made up of many parts. No part is good by itself. Any part that wants to go off by itself hurts the whole main thing - the thing that has become so great.

- Theodore Sturgeon, ''Mr. Costello, Hero'' (1953)

He had returned to the group - but he carried with him the seeds of individualism, the deadly, contagious germ we Terrans spread everywhere.

- Robert Silverberg, ''Alaree'' (1958)

I'm not much but I'm all I have.

- Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip (1964)

Everyone says ''we'' these days, Paul thought absently. Nobody says ''I.'' Everyone represents some formless, irresponsible group and nobody represents themselves.

- Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson, The Ganymede Takeover (1967)

All these political movements and philosophies and ideals, all these wars - only illusions. Don't trouble your inner peace; there's no right and wrong, no win or lose. There're only individual men and each one is completely - completely! - alone.

- Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson, The Ganymede Takeover (1967)

I will not make any deals with you. I've resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own.

- George Markstein and David Tomblin, ''Arrival,'' episode of The Prisoner (1968)

He didn't know who he was when she met him - well, not many people did.

- Theodore Sturgeon, ''Slow Sculpture'' (1970)

The duty of the individual is to accept no rule, to be the initiator of his own acts, to be responsible. Only if he does so will the society live, and change, and adapt, and survive.

- Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (1974)

If one thing had been learned from the bloody history of mankind, it was that only individual human beings mattered: however eccentric their beliefs might be, they must be safeguarded, so long as they did not conflict with wider but equally legitimate interests.

- Arthur C. Clarke, The Fountains of Paradise (1979)

Nothing in those years matched the impact of the equable, incontrovertible statement that I did not matter, that my life was of no moment to anyone but myself.We accept that only one person in a million has real importance to the race but each of us remains the centre of his universe, the pivot of energy and mind. That man told me in a single sentence that the world would not flicker if I ceased to exist, that it would have affected nothing if I had never existed and that my continued existence would affect nothing in the stream of time.

- George Turner, Drowning Towers (1987)

''You,'' said Sally Mills, ''are very strange.'' ''Only,'' said Dirk, ''as strange as I need to be.''

- Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988)

She felt as though she'd had three lives, each walled away from the others by something she couldn't name, and no hope of wholeness, ever.

- William Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988)

Human beings do metamorphose. They change their identity constantly. However, each new identity thrives on the delusion that it was always in possession of the body it has just conquered.

- Orson Scott Card, Xenocide (1991)

What makes you think human beings are sentient and aware? There's no evidence for it. Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told - and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their ''beliefs.'' The reason is that beliefs guide behavior, which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion.

- Michael Crichton, The Lost World (1995)

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