Michel Foucault:

Parrhesia is a kind of verbal activity in which the speaker has a specific relationship with the truth through frankness, a certain connection with one's own life through danger, a certain type of relationship with oneself and others through criticism (self-criticism or criticism of others), and a specific relationship with moral law through freedom and duty. More precisely, parrhesia is a verbal activity in which a speaker expresses their personal relationship with the truth and risks their life because they recognize that telling the truth is a duty to help others (or oneself) live better. In parrhesia, the speaker uses their freedom and chooses frank speech instead of persuasion, truth instead of falsehood or silence, the risk of death instead of life and safety, criticism instead of flattery, and moral duty instead of personal gain or moral apathy.

Giordano Bruno:

Asking power to reform power... How naive!

Louis-Ferdinand Céline:

Do they kill enough poor people? It's not certain... What kind of question is that? Should we perhaps slaughter all those who don't understand? Let new poor ones be born and continue until those who joke arrive, all the way... Like mowing the meadows until the grass is really right, really tender.

Oscar Wilde:

The form of government that suits the artist best is the absence of any government.

George Steiner:

I would start with one of the shortest and simplest words in the vocabulary: the word "no." We have lost the art of saying "no." No to the brutality of politics, no to the madness of economic injustices that surround us, no to the invasion of bureaucracy in our daily lives. No to the idea that wars, hunger, and child slavery can be accepted as normal. There is a huge need to start saying that word again. And yet, we are incapable of it. Believe me, I am dismayed by the acquiescence of so many decent people, transformed into champions of fatalism. Declaring openly their skepticism about the futility of protest, as if protesting had become embarrassing.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger:

DEFENSE OF WOLVES AGAINST SHEEP... (text too long to be fully translated here)

Friedrich Nietzsche:

Faith in truth begins with doubt in all the "truths" believed up to that moment.

Bertolt Brecht:

In dark times... (text too long to be fully translated here)

Lewis Mumford:

Let's stop fooling ourselves. At the very moment Western nations abandoned the ancient regime of absolute government, operating under a once divine king, they were reinstating the same system in a much more efficient form through their technology. They reintroduced military-style coercions in the organization of a factory no less stringent than in that of the new trained, uniformed, and regulated army. During the transitional phases of the last two centuries, the ultimate trend of this system could be in doubt, as there were strong democratic reactions in many areas. However, with the merger of a scientific ideology, liberated from theological restrictions or humanistic purposes, authoritarian techniques found a tool at hand that has now given them absolute control over physical energies of cosmic dimensions. The inventors of nuclear bombs, space rockets, and computers are the pyramid builders of our era: psychologically inflated by a similar myth of unlimited power, boasting through their science of their growing omnipotence, if not omniscience, driven by obsessions and compulsions no less irrational than those of previous absolute systems, particularly the notion that the system itself must be expanded at any final cost to life.

Through mechanization, automation, cybernetic direction, this authoritarian technique has finally overcome its most serious weakness: its original dependence on resistant servomechanisms, sometimes actively disobedient, still human enough to harbor purposes that do not always coincide with those of the system.

Like the oldest form of authoritarian technique, this new technology is wonderfully dynamic and productive: its power in every form tends to increase without limits, in quantities that defy assimilation and defeat control, whether in the production of scientific knowledge or industrial assembly lines. Maximizing energy, speed, or automation, without reference to the complex conditions supporting organic life, have become ends in themselves. As in the oldest forms of authoritarian technique, the weight of employment, judging by national budgets, is directed towards absolute instruments of destruction, designed for absolutely irrational purposes, whose main byproduct would be the mutilation or annihilation of the human race. Even Ashurbanipal and Genghis Khan carried out their bloody operations within normal human limits.

The center of authority in this new system is no longer a visible personality, an omnipotent king: even in totalitarian dictatorships, the center now resides in the system itself, invisible but omnipresent. All its human components, including the technical and managerial elite, even the sacred priesthood of science, which alone has access to the secret knowledge through which total control is now rapidly taking place, are trapped by the very perfection of the organization they invented. Like the Pharaohs of the age of pyramids, these servants of the system identify its goods with their own type of well-being: as for the divine king, their praise of the system is an act of self-worship. And again, like the king, they are under the grip of an irrational compulsion to expand their means of control and broaden the scope of their authority. In this new system-centered collective, this Pentagon of power, there is no visible presence issuing commands: unlike the God of Job, the new deities cannot be faced, much less challenged. Under the pretext of saving labor, the ultimate purpose of this technique is to supplant life, or rather, transfer the attributes of life to the machine and the mechanical collective, allowing only what of the organism can be controlled and manipulated.