Beginning of Chapter Quotes from Unraveling: Book 1

Below are the chapter titles and quotes that introduce them in Unraveling: Book 1. I chose them to reflect developments in Jesse’s character and also as they provide deeper context for the circumstances that he faces or other people that he becomes involved with. I also find that the quotes, which touch upon large social, political and economic trends, present a compelling contrast to the plot of the first book of Unraveling. Jesse’s story does deal with existential issues, but is more like the No Exit of Al-Sadiiq Banks than the No Exit of Jean-Paul Sartre.


“…All human life, from the very beginning of its development within capitalist society, has undergone an impoverishment. More than this, capitalist society is death organized with all the appearances of life. Here it is not a question of death as the extinction of life, but death-in-life, death with all the substance and power of life. The human being is dead and is no more than a ritual of capital. Young people still have the strength to refuse this death; they are able to rebel against domestication. They demand to live. But to those great numbers of smugly complacent people, who live on empty dreams and fantasies, this demand, this passionate need just seems irrational, or, at best, a paradise which is by definition inaccessible.”

– Jacques Camatte

Primitive Accumulation

“One capitalist always kills many.”

– Karl Marx


“Young people everywhere have been allowed to choose between love and a garbage disposal unit. Everywhere they have chosen the garbage disposal unit. A totally different spiritual attitude has become essential – and it can only be brought into being by making our unconscious desires conscious and by creating entirely new ones.”

– Guy Debord


“During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditions called war; and such a war is of every man against every man… Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues.”

– Thomas Hobbes


“Citizens with a conscience are not going to ignore wrong-doing simply because they’ll be destroyed for it: the conscience forbids it.”

– Edward Snowden

Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

“What kind of society isn’t structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of system.”

– Milton Friedman


“He who does not know how to deceive does not know how to rule.”

-Rafael Trujillo


“What do I care about the law. Ain’t I got the power?”

– Cornelius Vanderbilt


“True capitalists reinvest their surplus into the community. They don’t have to be coerced through increased taxation.”

-Adam Smith