Alienation as our present destiny is achieved only by outrageous violence perpetrated by human beings on human beings.
Although the masters make the rules for the wise men and the fools got nothing, Ma, to live up to.
By alienation is meant a mode of experience in which the person experiences himself as an alien. He has become, one might say, estranged from himself. He does not experience himself as the center of his world, as the creator of his own acts — but his acts and their consequences have become his masters, whom he obeys, or whom he may even worship. The alienated person is out of touch with himself as he is out of touch with any other person. He, like the others, is experienced as things are experienced; with the senses and with common sense, but at the same time without being related to oneself and to the world outside positively.
Human beings are compelled to live within a lie, but they can be compelled to do so only because they are in fact capable of living in this way. Therefore not only does the system alienate humanity, but at the same time alienated humanity supports this system as its own involuntary master plan, as a degenerate image of its own degeneration, as a record of people's own failure as individuals.
The most dangerous aspect of present-day life is the dissolution of the feeling of individual responsibility. Mass solitude has done away with any difference between the internal and the external, between the intellectual and the physical.
There is no religion in which everyday life is not considered a prison; there is no philosophy or ideology that does not think that we live in alienation.
There is only one way left to escape the alienation of present day society: to retreat ahead of it.
We are bemused and crazed creatures, strangers to our true selves, to one another, and to the spiritual and material world — mad, even, from an ideal standpoint we can glimpse but not adopt.
Without alienation, there can be no politics.