Quotes on Government, Governing, Politicians and Politics

“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” Ayn Rand, “The Nature of Government”
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“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” Voltaire (1694-1778), François Marie Arouet
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“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.” Thomas Jefferson
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“We are reluctant to admit that we owe our liberties to men of a type that today we hate and fear—unruly men, disturbers of the peace, men who resent and denounce what Whitman called ‘the insolence of elected persons’—in a word, free men.” Gerald W. Johnson (1890-1980), American Freedom and the Press, 1958
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“We are the ruling race of the world. We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee, under God, of the civilization of the world. He has marked us as his chosen people. He has made us adept in government that we may administer government among savage and senile peoples.” Sen. Alfred Beveridge
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“It’s not the voting that’s democracy, it’s the counting.” Alfred Emanuel Smith, in a speech in Albany
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“We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth in a few hands, but we can’t have both.” Louis D. Brandeis
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“We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the world - no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.” Woodrow Wilson
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“We have got rid of the fetish of the divine right of kings, and that slavery is of divine origin and authority. But the divine right of property has taken its place. The tendency plainly is towards…‘a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.’” Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893), U.S. president.
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“We, as individuals, are fast losing our reputation for honest dealing. Our nation is losing its character. The loss of a firm national character, or the degradation of a nation’s honour, is the inevitable prelude to her destruction.” William Wells Brown
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“We’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy.” Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General
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“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” Thomas Jefferson
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“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the U.S. since the days of Andrew Jackson.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
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“The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.” Adolf Hitler, My New World Order, Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933
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“What experience and history teach is this—that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.” George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). German philosopher
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“When a long train of abuses and usurpations [...] evinces a design to reduce them [the people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government.” Thomas Jefferson, US Declaration of Independence
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“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.” P. J. O’Rourke (1947- ), US humorist, journalist, & political commentator
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“When governments state that certain events have not happened, and yet we have the victims before us to testify that they did, government loses its credibility, and it loses its authority. We see before us today governments that lack natural authority and have to make up for that by the use of force. They do not have the support of the people because they are not trusted by the people. We hear many fine words seeking national unity, cooperation and harmony, yet, almost in the same breath orders are given to military units to shoot civilians, protesters are rounded up, many disappear, many are tortured. No government which governs by the use of force can survive except by force. There is no going back because force begets force and the perpetrators of crimes live in fear that they might become victims in their turn.” Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo, Reconciliation Speech of 24/2/99 at St Mary’s Cathedral Hall, Sydney, NSW
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“The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.” Woodrow T. Wilson (1856-1924), 28th president of the United States
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“When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.” Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), French economist, statesman, and author, The Law, 1850
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"With numbing regularity good people were seen to knuckle under the demands of authority and perform actions that were callous and severe. Men who are in everyday life responsible and decent were seduced by the trappings of authority, by the control of their perceptions, and by the uncritical acceptance of the experimenter's definition of the situation, into performing harsh acts. A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do, irrespective of the content of the act and without limitations of conscience, so long as they perceive that the command comes from a legitimate authority." Stanley Milgram , 1965
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"The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments". Michael Parenti
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"The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves." - Dresden James.
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"All the public business in Congress now connects itself with intrigues, and there is great danger that the whole government will degenerate into a struggle of cabals."  -  John Quincy Adams- (1767-1848) 6th US President




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