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Quotes on politics

Posted by Richard on October 9, 2005

My post of famous gun nut quotes was a big hit, so I’m doing it again — this time, some quotes I like relating to politics. Plus an off-the-wall question at the end.

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.
— Ferdinand Lundberg, Politicians and Other Scoundrels

Politicians never accuse you of "greed" for wanting other people’s money — only for wanting to keep your own money. 
— Joseph Sobran

The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.

If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.
— Thomas Jefferson

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
— C. S. Lewis

The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.
— Will Rogers

An infallible method of conciliating a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured.
— Konrad Adenauer

The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.
— Thucydides

From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.
— F.A. Hayek

The test for whether one is living in a police state is that those who are charged with enforcing the law are allowed to break the laws with impunity.
— Jon Rowland

Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.
— Edward Abbey

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
— George Bernard Shaw

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
— James Madison

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
— Benjamin Franklin

Liberty, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts that the heavens have given to mankind; the treasures of the earth and sea cannot equal it: for liberty, as for honor, you can and should risk your life…
— Don Quijote de la Mancha

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
— Thomas Jefferson

Communism is a murderous failure. Socialism is communism with movie stars.
— Anonymous

Most of us could get along better with much less government than we have; there are others though who seem to require lifelong shepherding from pre-natal care to the electric chair. It makes no sense to talk of self-government to a man who cannot even govern his own behavior. 
— Paul Kirchner

The ultimate consequence of protecting men from the results of their own folly is to fill the world with fools.
— Herbert Spencer

Of course, intellectuals pay lip service to free elections but in practice have a profound (if secret) hatred of democracy. They cannot believe that their votes should count for no more than the votes of "uneducated" people who run small businesses, work on farms and in factories and have never read Proust.
— Paul Johnson

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place. 
— Frédéric Bastiat

Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman’s tool is values; the bureaucrat’s tool is fear.
— Ayn Rand

They say that power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely…. so where does that put God? 
— Steven Wright

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2 Responses to “Quotes on politics”

  1. jed said

    The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.

    — Tacitus

    It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

    — Thomas Sowell

    Politicians are interested in people. Not that this is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.”

    — P.J. O’Rourke

  2. Anonymous said

    Excellent choices, Jed!

    That Tacitus always cracks me up. No, wait… that’s O’Rourke.

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