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Quotes

Quote #1

I'm saying I made a lot of people rich: border guards, bureaucrats, police, even the mayor. These were still good times for China, where the best way to honor Chairman Mao's memory was to see his face on as many hundred yuan notes as possible. (2.2.8)

A lesson in irony. The border guards try to feed their desire for self-preservation by acquiring money. Sadly, the way they acquired said money actually put their, and the rest of the human race's, self-preservation at risk. In a word, karma.

Quote #2

Now, even if this wasn't a territorial hit, even if it was a religious or tribal revenge killing, no one just abandons fifty kilos of prime, raw, Bad Brown, or perfectly good assault rifles, or expensive personal trophies like watches, mini disc players, and GPS locaters. (2.3.4)

MacDonald doesn't see the usual evidence self-preservation (i.e. someone taking the things that'll obviously net them some cash). To his well-trained eyes, that's the first sign that things are amiss.

Quote #3

Thank God there is no cure for rabies. A cure would make people buy it only if they thought they were infected. But a vaccine! That's preventative! People will keep taking that as long as they're afraid it's out there! (3.3.5)

How pervasive is our need for self-preservation? So pervasive that Mr. Scott can exploit it to make himself a mint.

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