If we had done as the kings told us five hundred years ago, we should all have been slaves. If we had done as the priest told us, we should all have been idiots. If we had done as the doctors told us, we should all have been dead. We have been saved by disobedience. We have been saved by the splendid thing called independence, and I want to see more of it. I want to see children raised so that they will have it.
Every crime is born of necessity. If you want less crime, you must change the conditions. Poverty makes crime. Want, rags, crusts, failure, misfortune — all these awake the wild beast in man, and finally he takes, and takes contrary to law, and becomes a criminal. And what do you do with him? You punish him. Why not punish a man for having consumption? The time will come when you will see that that is just as logical.
El Tornillo walks the streets of Melo. People in town think he's crazy. He carries a mirror in his hand and he looks at himself with furrowed brow. He doesn't take his eyes off the mirror. "What are you doing, Tornillo?" "I'm here," he says, "keeping watch on the enemy.
The real existence of an enemy upon whom one can foist off everything evil is an enormous relief to one's conscience. You can then at least say, without hesitation, who the devil is; you are quite certain that the cause of your misfortune is outside, and not in your own attitude.
The struggle to save the global environment is in one way much more difficult than the struggle to vanquish Hitler, for this time the war is with ourselves. We are the enemy, just as we have only ourselves as allies. In a war such as this, then, what is victory and how will we recognize it?