Of course, we [ with Edward Herman] have a purpose: namely, to encourage readers to undertake what might be called "a course in intellectual self-defense," and to suggest ways to proceed; in other words, to help people undermine the dedicated efforts to "manufacture consent" and to turn them into passive objects rather than agents who control their own fate.
Unlike most wars, which make rotten fiction in themselves - all plot and no characters, or made-up characters - Vietnam seems to be the perfect mix: the characters make the war, and the war unmakes the characters. The gods, fates, furies had a relatively small hand in it. The mess was man-made, a synthetic, by think tank out of briefing session.
See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all the day he fears, not being immortal nor divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds. Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.
One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society; it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine.
Fate, they say, fate- the clay that molds the events of your life, and it was the same fate that had thrown the stone of her heart on the building of his expectations. But then wasn't it his fault that he had constructed the building of glass? Hadn't he failed to cement the bricks of his love with trust and colour them with security? There was no insurance for broken hearts, no ointment for wounded souls and there would never be one, he knew.