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Quotes / Cold War

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Literature

"What do you think spies are: priests, saints and martyrs? They’re a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors too, yes; pansies, sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives."

Live-Action TV

Number Two: It doesn't matter which "side" runs the Village.
Number Six: It's run by one side or the other.
Two: Oh, certainly, but both sides are becoming identical. What in fact has been created is an international community — a perfect blueprint for world order. When the sides facing each other suddenly realize that they're looking into a mirror, they will see that this is the pattern for the future.
Six: The whole world as the Village?
The Prisoner, "The Chimes of Big Ben"

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Donna Moss: It was people pushing paper around fifty years ago. Why does it matter?
Sam Seaborn: It was high treason, and it mattered a great deal. This country is an idea, and one that's lit the world for two centuries. And treason against that idea is not just a crime against the living. This ground holds the graves of people who died for it, who gave what Lincoln called the last full measure of devotion, of fidelity.
The West Wing, "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail"

Music

"For might makes right,
And 'til they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
'Til somebody we like can be elected"
Tom Lehrer, "Send The Marines", That Was the Year That Was

"So, come all you good travelers, and fellow travelers too
Yes, and travel all around the world, see every country through
I'd surely like to come along and see what may be new
But my passport's disappearing as I sing these words to you
Well, there really is no need to travel to these evil lands
Yes, and though the list grows larger you must try to understand
Try hard not to worry if someday you should hear
The whole world is off limits, visit Disneyland this year"
Phil Ochs, "Ballad Of William Worthy"
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Newspaper Comics

Calvin: I'll be the fearless American defender of liberty and democracy, and you can be the loathsome godless communist oppressor. We're at war, so if you get hit with a dart, you're dead and the other side wins, OK?
Hobbes: Gotcha.
Calvin: GO!
[they shoot each other simultaneously]
Calvin: Kind of a stupid game, isn't it?

Video Games

"Kids like you, you expect heroes! We're fighting a war out there! I'll be a hero and I'll lose! And what'll we have? Communism in Ohio! People sharing! Nobody buying stuff, that kind of bullshit!"

"Every era needs its symbols to control the people: Whether it be the Stars and Stripes... Or the Hammer and Sickle."

Web Original

"The Cold War began following the end of World War II when the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR or the Soviet Union) emerged as the world's two superpowers, and subsequently the world's greatest prick-waving competition began...The Cold War eventually ended in victory for the United States, when the Soviet Union's cock got so big it eventually got erectile dysfunction and then proceeded to shit all over itself like a dying star as a result."

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"This is one of the more amusing episodes in the history of the series, but it has potentially serious undertones. It seems to reduce the ideological conflicts the series normally presents (democracy versus autocracy) to mere gang warfare – with each side simply grabbing for its 'piece of the action.' The suggestion seems to be that the two sides in the Cold War may be no better than gangsters themselves."
Paul A. Cantor , on Star Trek: The Original Series ("A Piece of the Action"), Gilligan Unbound

Web Video

Yahtzee: Everyone was living with the Cold War over their heads at the time. A lot of people were brought up thinking they were gonna get atomized any day now.
Gabriel: That'd be an interesting way to live. I'd be a way bigger dick.
Let's Play Dreamweb

"Yeah! They're not an expansionist, propaganda-spewing, corrupt Communist nation any more! They're an expansionist, propaganda-spewing, corrupt capitalist nation. Boo-yah! We totally won that war!"
SFDebris on Star Trek: Voyager ("Future's End")

"Oh, it's the two global superpowers. They're having a friendly debate over which economic system is good and which one is an evil virus of Satan. And they both have atom bombs. FIGHT! Wait, no, that would be the end of the world. Let's just keep it cool and spy on each other instead. And make sure we have enough atom bombs."

Western Animation

Winston Churchill: Finally, Germany, Japan, and Italy have been beaten, and the planet is once again safe for democracy!
Joseph Stalin: That's what you think, comrade. Heheheheheheh.
Histeria!!, "World War II"

Real Life

"If you start throwing hedgehogs under me, I shall throw a couple of porcupines under you."

“The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision...Of course, over time, even two armed blind men can do enormous damage to each other, not to speak of the room.”
Henry Kissinger

"We escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion."
Eric Schlosser, Command and Control

"When I was in the White House, I was confronted with the challenge of the Cold War. Both the Soviet Union and I had 30,000 nuclear weapons that could destroy the entire earth and I had to maintain the peace."

“American foreign policy was a mirror image of Russian foreign policy: whatever the Russians did, we did in reverse. American domestic policies were conducted under a kind of upside-down Russian veto: no man could be elected to public office unless he was on record as detesting the Russians, and no proposal could be enacted, from a peace plan at one end to a military budget at the other, unless it could be demonstrated that the Russians wouldn't like it."
Archibald MacLeish

"We were then, without public debate, committed to a never-ending war, even though the management knew that the enemy was no match for us, economically or militarily. But, through relentless CIA 'disinformation,' they managed to convince us that what was weak was strong, and that the Russians were definitely coming. 'Build backyard shelters against the coming atomic war!' A generation was well and truly traumatized."
Gore Vidal, Dreaming War

"In my view, it's a dungeon. It's a dungeon with a certain degree of social services...On the other hand, the United States has created the image of a Soviet threat for the same reasons that they created the image of an American threat: as a way for us to justify intervention and aggression in our own domains."
—-Noam Chomsky in 1985

"Admittedly, besides its moral failure, communism failed in its crusade to convert the whole world...But communism's impact was and still is enormous. In addition to provoking significant changes in capitalist economies, such as vastly increased military spending and the growth of a military-industrial complex, the USSR's existence changed Western social development in fundamental ways.
Labor reform in the West in the past century came about under the threat of a radicalized international labor movement protected and supported by the USSR. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal was in part meant to steal the thunder of radicals who looked to Moscow and therefore could not be ignored. Social goals that are commonplace today, including women's rights and racial integration, were planks of the Communist Party platform long before mainstream American parties took them seriously. It was Communists who first went to the American South and began organizing African-Americans and poor whites around issues of social justice. The more politically acceptable young people who followed them in The '60s are heroes today. On the international scene the Soviet Union provided support for Nelson Mandela and other reformers. Communism made life difficult for Western establishments, and it is doubtful that reforms would have come when they did if the USSR had not existed. Communists always rejected reform in favor of revolution. Ironically, however, the existence of the Soviet Union helped the capitalist West reform itself and avoid the bloody revolutions of the East. Twentieth-century communism was no passing illusion; its legacies are everywhere."
J. Arch Getty, The Future Did Not Work.

Except in their Balkan guerrilla strongholds, the communists made no attempt to establish revolutionary regimes...The communist revolutions actually made (Yugoslavia, Albania, China) were made '''against''' Stalin's advice. The Soviet view was that, both internationally and within each country, post-war politics should continue within the framework of the all-embracing anti-fascist alliance, i.e. it looked forward to a long-term coexistence, or rather symbiosis, of capitalist and communist systems...This optimistic scenario soon disappeared into the night of the Cold War, so completely that few remember that Stalin urged the Yugoslav communists to keep the monarchy or that in 1945 British communists were opposed to the break-up of the Churchill wartime coalition, i.e. to the electoral campaign which was to bring the Labour government to power. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Stalin meant all this seriously, and tried to prove it by dissolving the Comintern in 1943, and the Communist Party of the U.S.A. in 1944...For practical purposes, as dissident revolutionaries recognized, it was a permanent goodbye to world revolution.
Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes


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