Words of Wisdom

I'm feeling a little out of it today, so I thought I'd spend some time reading something light and fluffy. I chose Voyage of the Space Beagle by A. E. van Vogt, first published in 1939.

A couple of choice quotes (emphasis mine):

For better or worse, the fight usually takes place within the framework of a legal system that tends to protect the entrenched minority. [...] Sooner or later, one group gains ascendancy. Once in office, the leaders restore "order" in so savage a bloodletting that the millions are cowed. Swiftly, the power group begins to restrict activities. The licensing systems and other regulative measures necessary to any organized society become tools of suppression and monopoly. It becomes difficult, then impossible, for the individual to engage in new enterprise. 
In the long run, however, there can be no excuse for any individual not knowing what it is possible for him to know. Why shouldn't he? Why should he stand under the sky of his planet and look up at it with the stupid eyes of superstition and ignorance, deciding vital issues on the basis of somebody's fooling him?
Needless to say, in light of so many things, big or small, this didn't prove to be the escapism that I was hoping for.