I confidently predict the collapse of capitalism and the beginning of history. Something will go wrong in the machinery that converts money into money, the banking system will collapse totally, and we will be left having to barter to stay alive. Those who can dig in their garden will have a better chance than the rest. I’ll be all right; I’ve got a few veg.
—Margaret Drabble (b.1939) English Novelist, Biographer, Critic, Short Story Writer
Though the Jazz Age continued it became less and less an affair of youth. The sequel was like a children’s party taken over by the elders.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) American Novelist
My advice to people today is as follows: If you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, and drop out.
—Timothy Leary (1920–96) American Psychologist, Author
The 1950s to me is darkness, hidden history, perversion behind most doors waiting to creep out. The 1950s to most people is kitsch and Mickey Mouse watches and all this intolerable stuff…
—James Ellroy (b.1948) American Crime Fiction Writer, Essayist
The horror of the Twentieth Century was the size of each new event, and the paucity of its reverberation.
—Norman Mailer (1923–2007) American Novelist, Journalist, Playwright
People today are still living off the table scraps of the sixties. They are still being passed around — the music and the ideas.
—Bob Dylan (b.1941) American Singer-songwriter
We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had much.
—John Kenneth Galbraith (1908–2006) Canadian-Born American Economist
It is in our interests to let the police and their employers go on believing that the Underground is a conspiracy, because it increases their paranoia and their inability to deal with what is really happening. As long as they look for ringleaders and documents they will miss their mark, which is that proportion of every personality which belongs in the Underground.
—Germaine Greer (b.1939) Australia Academic, Journalist, Scholar, Writer
I was lucky enough to see with my own eyes the recent stock-market crash, where they lost several million dollars, a rabble of dead money that went sliding off into the sea. Never as then, amid suicides, hysteria, and groups of fainting people, have I felt the sensation of real death, death without hope, death that is nothing but rottenness, for the spectacle was terrifying but devoid of greatness… I felt something like a divine urge to bombard that whole canyon of shadow, where ambulances collected suicides whose hands were full of rings.
—Federico Garcia Lorca (1898–1936) Spanish Poet
The last best hope of earth, two trillion dollars in debt, is spinning out of control, and all we can do is stare at a flickering cathode-ray tube as Ollie “answers” questions on TV while the press, resolutely irrelevant as ever, asks politicians if they have committed adultery. From V-J Day 1945 to this has been, my fellow countrymen, a perfect nightmare.
—Gore Vidal (1925–48) American Novelist, Essayist, Journalist, Playwright