Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government.
Henry David Thoreau
More quotes by Henry David Thoreau
Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.
It is interesting to observe with what singular unanimity the farthest sundered nations and generations consent to give completeness and roundness to an ancient fable, of which they indistinctly appreciate the beauty or the truth. By a faint and dream-like effort, though it be only by the vote of a scientific body, the dullest posterity slowly add some trait to the mythus. As when astronomers call the lately discovered planet Neptune; or the asteroid Astr.
The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.
More quotes about Politics
If you think about the way the society works in general, it works pretty much the way the founding fathers said. The society should be governed by those who own it, and they intend to follow Adam Smith’s vile maxim. That’s at the core of things.
Poland should be strong and prosperous and independent and play its proper role as a great nation in the heart of Europe.
The argument for liberty is an argument against the use of coercion to prevent others from doing better.
For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ‘brainwashing under freedom’ to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments.
I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government other than another. It is of no moment to the happiness of an individual.
Here at home, when Americans were standing in long lines to give blood after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we squandered an obvious opportunity to make service a noble cause again, and rekindle an American spirit of community.
To choose one’s victims, to prepare one’s plan minutely, to slake an implacable vengeance, and then to go to bed … There is nothing sweeter in the world.
The executive branch tries to follow policies of plausible deniability, which means that messages are given to the CIA to do things but without a paper trail, without a record. When the story comes out later it looks as if the CIA is doing things on their own.
The ability to compromise is not a diplomatic politeness toward a partner but rather taking into account and respecting your partner’s legitimate interests.
The U.S. will not permit constructive programs in its own domains, so it must ensure that they are destroyed elsewhere to terminate ‘the threat of a good example’.
We can win an awful lot of people into the political spectrum, by offering something that is … radical.
Take the firearms first, and then go to court. A lot of times by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court to get the due process procedures, I like taking the guns early … Take the gun first, go through due process second.
If you quietly accept and go along no matter what your feelings are, ultimately you internalize what you’re saying, because it’s too hard to believe one thing and say another. I can see it very strikingly in my own background. Go to any elite university and you are usually speaking to very disciplined people, people who have been selected for obedience. And that makes sense. If you’ve resisted the temptation to tell the teacher, ‘You’re an asshole,’ which maybe he or she is, and if you don’t say, ‘That’s idiotic,’ when you get a stupid assignment, you will gradually pass through the required filters. You will end up at a good college and eventually with a good job.