Government Quotes

Quotes tagged as "government" (showing 61-90 of 1,702)
Frank Herbert
“Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class -- whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy.”
Frank Herbert, Children of Dune

Kurt Vonnegut
“I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale."
George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences.
To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot . . .
PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose! . . .
So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation.
They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reasons that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass!
There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.”
Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

George Washington
“Nothing can illustrate these observations more forcibly, than a recollection of the happy conjuncture of times and circumstances, under which our Republic assumed its rank among the Nations; The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epoch when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period, the researches of the human mind, after social happiness, have been carried to a great extent, the Treasures of knowledge, acquired by the labours of Philosophers, Sages and Legislatures, through a long succession of years, are laid open for our use, and their collected wisdom may be happily applied in the Establishment of our forms of Government; the free cultivation of Letters, the unbounded extension of Commerce, the progressive refinement of Manners, the growing liberality of sentiment... have had a meliorating influence on mankind and increased the blessings of Society. At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own.

[Circular to the States, 8 June 1783 - Writings 26:484--89]”
George Washington, Writings

Ron Paul
“When one gets in bed with government, one must expect the diseases it spreads.”
Ron Paul

Margaret Atwood
“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Edward R. Murrow
“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”
Edward R. Murrow

Charles Manson
“Total paranoia is just total awareness.”
Charles Manson

Graham Chapman
Dennis the Peasant: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
Arthur: Be quiet!
Dennis: You can't expect to wield supreme power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!”
Graham Chapman, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Book): Mønti Pythøn Ik Den Hølie Gräilen

Leo Tolstoy
“Writing laws is easy, but governing is difficult.”
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

George Orwell
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.”
George Orwell, 1984

H.L. Mencken
“The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.”
H.L. Mencken, Minority Report

Max Stirner
“The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime.”
Max Stirner

Otto von Bismarck
“Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best”
Otto von Bismarck

Daniel Webster
“I apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe. Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and become the instruments of their own undoing. Make them intelligent, and they will be vigilant; give them the means of detecting the wrong, and they will apply the remedy.”
Daniel Webster

Jon Stewart
“To the people who are upset about their hard-earned tax money going to things they don’t like: welcome to the f*cking club. Reimburse me for the Iraq war and oil subsidies, and diaphragms are on me!”
Jon Stewart

Matt Taibbi
“In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.”
Matt Taibbi, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

Frédéric Bastiat
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
Frédéric Bastiat

John Steinbeck
“I find out of long experience that I admire all nations and hate all governments”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Ronald Reagan
“Government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them.”
Ronald Reagan

Albert Einstein
“The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced”
Albert Einstein

Robert A. Heinlein
“Government! Three fourths parasitic and the other fourth Stupid fumbling.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Thomas Jefferson
“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”
Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Kevin Alan Lee
“In my opinion, our health care system has failed when a doctor fails to treat an illness that is treatable.”
Kevin Alan Lee, The Split Mind: Schizophrenia from an Insider's Point of View

Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a disgrace, that two become a lawfirm, and that three or more become a congress. -John Adams”
Sherman Edwards, 1776

Abraham Lincoln
“You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.”
Abraham Lincoln

C.S. Lewis
“I believe in political equality. But there are two opposite reasons for being a democrat. You may think all men so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth, and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice. That is, in my opinion, the false, romantic doctrine of democracy. On the other hand, you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his fellows.
That I believe to be the true ground of democracy. I do not believe that God created an egalitarian world. I believe the authority of parent over child, husband over wife, learned over simple to have been as much a part of the original plan as the authority of man over beast. I believe that if we had not fallen...patriarchal monarchy would be the sole lawful government. But since we have learned sin, we have found, as Lord Acton says, that 'all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' The only remedy has been to take away the powers and substitute a legal fiction of equality. The authority of father and husband has been rightly abolished on the legal plane, not because this authority is in itself bad (on the contrary, it is, I hold, divine in origin), but because fathers and husbands are bad. Theocracy has been rightly abolished not because it is bad that learned priests should govern ignorant laymen, but because priests are wicked men like the rest of us. Even the authority of man over beast has had to be interfered with because it is constantly abused.”
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Adam Smith
“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations
“I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
Thomas Jefferson, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, Volume 10: 1 May 1816 to 18 January 1817

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