Quotes Categories

Oppression Quotes

You know, it's not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself.

Author: James Baldwin (1924-1987)

Profession: American Author

All oppression creates a state of war.

Author: Simone De Beauvoir (1908-1986)

Profession: French Novelist, Essayist

Everybody knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression; if you hold down one thing, you hold down the adjoining.

Author: Saul Bellow (1915)

Profession: American Novelist

Ours is the century of enforced travel of disappearances. The century of people helplessly seeing others, who were close to them, disappear over the horizon.

Author: John Berger (1926)

Profession: British Actor, Critic

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

Author: Steven Biko (1946-1977)

Profession: South African Political Activist

Nature in darkness groans and men are bound to sullen contemplation in the night: restless they turn on beds of sorrow; in their inmost brain feeling the crushing wheels, they rise, they write the bitter words of stern philosophy and knead the bread of knowledge with tears and groans.

Author: William Blake (1757-1827)

Profession: British Poet, Painter

Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.

Author: Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Profession: French General, Emperor

They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords. Lords without anger and honor, who dare not carry their swords. They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes; They look at our labor and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.

Author: Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Profession: British Author

Tyranny destroys or strengthens the individual; freedom enervates him, until he becomes no more than a puppet. Man has more chances of saving himself by hell than by paradise.

Author: E. M. Cioran (1911)

Profession: Rumanian-born French Philosopher

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.

Author: Frederick Douglass

Profession: American Abolitionist, Journalist

The will to domination is a ravenous beast. There are never enough warm bodies to satiate its monstrous hunger. Once alive, this beast grows and grows, feeding on all the life around it, scouring the earth to find new sources of nourishment. This beast lives in each man who battens on female servitude.

Author: Andrea Dworkin (1946)

Profession: American Feminist Critic

You may try but you can never imagine what it is to have a man's form of genius in you, and to suffer the slavery of being a girl.

Author: George Eliot (1819-1880)

Profession: British Novelist

We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again.

Author: Nathanael Greene


You cannot raise the standard against oppression, or leap into the breach to relieve injustice, and still keep an open mind to every disconcerting fact, or an open ear to the cold voice of doubt.

Author: Learned Hand

Profession: American Judge

True enough, the country is calm. Calm as a morgue or a grave, would you not say?

Author: Vaclav Havel (1936)

Profession: Czech Playwright, President