Some of history's finest, bravest minds have called out government, the legal system, school, organized religion, the media, corporations, and various economic concerns for their roles in keeping the boot on our neck. Among those quoted in Flash Wisdom:

No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.
—Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul.
—Walt Whitman

I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man’s.
—William Blake

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
―Mother Teresa

The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle.... If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
―Frederick Douglass

It is honorable to be accused by those who deserve to be accused.
―Latin proverb

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
―Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When one has been threatened with a great injustice, one accepts a smaller as a favour.
—Jane Carlyle

These laws of yours are no different from spiders’ webs. They’ll restrain anyone weak and insignificant who gets caught in them, but they’ll be torn to shreds by people with power and wealth.

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.... Distrust all those who talk much of their justice.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

Mendoza: I am a brigand: I live by robbing the rich.
Tanner: I am a gentleman: I live by robbing the poor.
—George Bernard Shaw


In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread.
—Anatole France

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.
—Archbishop Hélder Câmara

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.
—Ivan Illich

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.
—H.G. Wells

Why is the decision by a woman to sleep with a man she has just met in a bar a private one, and the decision to sleep with the same man for $100 subject to criminal penalties?
—Anna Quindlen

If the words “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.
—Terence McKenna

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
—H.L. Mencken

Every government is run by liars, and nothing they say should be believed.
—I.F. Stone

Nobody gives you an education. If you want one, you have to take it.
—John Taylor Gatto

If we taught babies to talk as most skills are taught in school, they would memorize lists of sounds in a predetermined order and practice them alone in a closet.
—Linda Darling-Hammond

All the time you are in school, you learn through experience how to live in a dictatorship.
—Grace Llewellyn

Religions get lost as people do.
—Franz Kafka

Such religion as there can be in modern life, every individual will have to salvage from the churches for himself.
—Lin Yutang

The language of religion is divisive partly because it tries to state what cannot be stated.
—William Stafford