65 Edward Abbey Quotes On Success In Life

Edward Paul Abbey was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues and criticism of public land policies. His best-known works include Desert Solitaire, a non-fiction autobiographical account of his time as a park ranger at Arches National Park considered to be an iconic work of nature writing and a staple of early environmentalist writing; the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by environmentalists and groups defending nature by various means, also called eco-warriors; his novel Hayduke Lives!; and his essay collections Down the River (with Henry Thoreau & Other Friends) (1982) and One Life at a Time, Please (1988). These Edward Abbey quotes will motivate you.

Best Edward Abbey Quotes

  1. “The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.” ~ Edward Abbey
  2. “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” ~ Edward Abbey
  3. “To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious. But the stupid have an answer for every question.” ~ Edward Abbey
  4. “The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.” ~ Edward Abbey
  5. “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” ~ Edward Abbey

  6. “The one thing … that is truly ugly is the climate of hate and intimidation, created by a noisy few, which makes the decent majority reluctant to air in public their views on anything controversial. … Where all pretend to be thinking alike, it’s likely that no one is thinking at all.” ~ Edward Abbey
  7. “Why is it that the destruction of something created by humans is called vandalism, yet the destruction of something created by God is called development?” ~ Edward Abbey
  8. “If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers, and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule: That was the American dream.” ~ Edward Abbey
  9. “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” ~ Edward Abbey

  10. “May your rivers flow without end… down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs… where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you-beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.” ~ Edward Abbey
  11. “Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic….So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.” ~ Edward Abbey
  12. “Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.” ~ Edward Abbey

  13. “I have been called a curmudgeon, which my obsolescent dictionary defines as a “surly, illmannered, badtempered fellow.” … Nowadays, curmudgeon is likely to refer to anyone who hates hypocrisy, cant, sham, dogmatic ideologies, the pretenses and evasions of euphemism, and has the nerve to point out unpleasant facts and takes the trouble to impale these sins on the skewer of humor and roast them over the fires of empiric fact, common sense, and native intelligence. In this nation of bleating sheep and braying jackasses, it then becomes an honor to be labeled curmudgeon.” ~ Edward Abbey
  14. “It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and
    preserve it.” ~ Edward Abbey
  15. “My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation’s history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.” ~ Edward Abbey
  16. “There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated… To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.” ~ Edward Abbey
  17. “I’m tired of doing what I don’t want to do to live the way I don’t want to live.” ~ Edward Abbey

  18. “Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.” ~ Edward Abbey
  19. “I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars.” ~ Edward Abbey
  20. “May your trails be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and only slightly uphill. May the wind bring rain for the slickrock potholes fourteen miles on the other side of yonder blue ridge. May God’s dog serenade your campfire, may the rattlesnake and the screech owl amuse your reverie, may the Great Sun dazzle your eyes by day and the Great Bear watch over you by night.” ~ Edward Abbey
  21. “Truth is always the enemy of power. And power the enemy of truth.” ~ Edward Abbey

  22. “Government: If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated. If you attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested. If you resist arrest, you will be clubbed. If you defend yourself against clubbing, you will be shot dead. These procedures are known as the Rule of Law.” ~ Edward Abbey
  23. “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” ~ Edward Abbey
  24. “Only the half-mad are wholly alive.” ~ Edward Abbey
  25. “There is no force more potent in the modern world than stupidity fueled by greed.” ~ Edward Abbey
  26. “Representative government has broken down. Our politicians represent not the people who vote for them but the commercial interests who finance their election campaigns. We have the best politicians that money can buy.” ~ Edward Abbey
  27. “Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit.” ~ Edward Abbey

  28. “Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit.” ~ Edward Abbey
  29. “Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.” ~ Edward Abbey
  30. “A leader leads from in front, by the power of example. A ruler pushes from behind, by means of the club, the whip, the power of fear.” ~ Edward Abbey
  31. “Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.” ~ Edward Abbey
  32. “How to Overthrow the System: brew your own beer; kick in your Tee Vee; kill your own beef; build your own cabin and piss off the front porch whenever you bloody well feel like it.” ~ Edward Abbey
  33. “There is beauty, heartbreaking beauty, everywhere.” ~ Edward Abbey

  34. “The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws.” ~ Edward Abbey
  35. “What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote.” ~ Edward Abbey
  36. “Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and esthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one.” ~ Edward Abbey
  37. The earth is not a mechanism but an organism, a being with its own life and its own reasons, where the support and sustenance of the human animal is incidental. If man in his newfound power and vanity persists in the attempt to remake the planet in his own image, he will succeed only in destroying himself – not the planet. The earth will survive our most ingenious folly.” ~ Edward Abbey
  38. “Football is a game for trained apes. That, in fact, is what most of the players are — retarded gorillas wearing helmets and uniforms. The only thing more debased is the surrounding mob of drunken monkeys howling the gorillas on.” ~ Edward Abbey
  39. “In the American Southwest, I began a lifelong love affair with a pile of rock.” ~ Edward Abbey

  40. “How strange and wonderful is our home, our earth, with its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing and frozen liquids, its trembling plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings that hang on rocks and soar through the fog, the furry grass, the scaly seas.” ~ Edward Abbey
  41. “How strange and wonderful is our home, our earth, with its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing and frozen liquids, its trembling plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings that hang on rocks and soar through the fog, the furry grass, the scaly seas.” ~ Edward Abbey Quotes
  42. “If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies’ territory, we must accept the fact that the grizzlies, from time to time, will harvest a few trespassers.” ~ Edward Abbey
  43. “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.” ~ Edward Abbey
  44. “The rich are not very nice. That’s why they’re rich.” ~ Edward Abbey

  45. “Under the desert sun, in the dogmatic clarity, the fables of theology and the myths of classical philosophy dissolve like mist. The air is clean, the rock cuts cruelly into flesh; shatter the rock and the odor of flint rises to your nostrils, bitter and sharp. Whirlwinds dance across the salt flats, a pillar of dust by day; the thornbush breaks into flame at night. What does it mean? It means nothing. It is as it is and has no need for meaning. The desert lies beneath and soars beyond any possible human qualification. Therefore, sublime.” ~ Edward Abbey
  46. “You can’t study the darkness by flooding it with light.” ~ Edward Abbey

  47. “Strolling on, it seems to me that the strangeness and wonder of existence are emphasized here, in the desert, by the comparative sparsity of the flora and fauna: life not crowded upon life as in other places but scattered abroad in spareness and simplicity, with a generous gift of space for each herb and bush and tree, each stem of grass, so that the living organism stands out bold and brave and vivid against the lifeless sand and barren rock. The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life-forms. Love flowers best in openness and freedom.” ~ Edward Abbey
  48. “Why this cult of wilderness?… because we like the taste of freedom; because we like the smell of danger.” ~ Edward Abbey
  49. “Where all think alike there is little danger of innovation.” ~ Edward Abbey
  50. “Those who fear death most are those who enjoy life least.” ~ Edward Abbey

  51. “Recorded history is largely an account of the crimes and disasters committed by banal little men at the levers of imperial machines.” ~ Edward Abbey
  52. “A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.” ~ Edward Abbey
  53. “Only a fool is astonished by the foolishness of mankind.” ~ Edward Abbey
  54. “The purpose of love, sex, and marriage is the production and raising of children. But look about you: Most people have no business having children. They are unqualified, either genetically or culturally or both, to reproduce such sorry specimens as themselves. Of all our privileges, the license to breed is the one most grossly abused.” ~ Edward Abbey
  55. “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” ~ Edward Abbey

  56. “Night and day the river flows. If time is the mind of space, the River is the soul of the desert. Brave boatmen come, they go, they die, the voyage flows on forever. We are all canyoneers. We are all passengers on this little mossy ship, this delicate dory sailing round the sun that humans call the earth. Joy, shipmates, joy.” ~ Edward Abbey
  57. “Night and day the river flows. If time is the mind of space, the River is the soul of the desert. Brave boatmen come, they go, they die, the voyage flows on forever. We are all canyoneers. We are all passengers on this little mossy ship, this delicate dory sailing round the sun that humans call the earth. Joy, shipmates, joy.” ~ Edward Abbey
  58. “The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.” ~ Edward Abbey

  59. “The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information.” ~ Edward Abbey
  60. “We can have wilderness without freedom; we can have wilderness without human life at all, but we cannot have freedom without wilderness, we cannot have freedom without leagues of open space beyond the cities, where boys and girls, men and women, can live at least part of their lives under no control but their own desires and abilities, free from any and all direct administration by their fellow men.” ~ Edward Abbey
  61. “Abolition of a woman’s right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State.” ~ Edward Abbey
  62. “When guns are outlawed, only the Government will have guns. The Government – and a few outlaws. If that happens, you can count me among the outlaws.” ~ Edward Abbey

  63. “Defiance is beautiful. The defiance of power, especially great or overwhelming power, exalts and glorifies the rebel.” ~ Edward Abbey
  64. “So I lived alone.
    The first thing I did was take off my pants. Naturally.” ~ Edward Abbey
  65. “Come with me, the river said, close your eyes and quiet your limbs and float with me into the wonder and mystery of the canyons, see the unknown and the little known, look upon the stone gods face to face, see Medusa, drink my waters, hear my song, feel my power, come along and drift with me toward the distant, ultimate and legendary sea.” ~ Edward Abbey

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