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6,095 quotations, showing Abbey to Alfred the Great

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Abbey, Edward
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.

1979 - from Abbey's Road
Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.

Society is like a stew. If you don’t keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.

Abbott, Sir John J.C.  
I hate politics, and what are considered their appropriate methods.

Jun. 4, 1891 - from a letter witten just days before he became Prime Minister of Canada
Aboud, Frances  
There is little support for the widespread assumption that children acquire their racial attitudes from parents and friends. ... Prejudice is biological. ... It's not hatred of the others, it's suspicion of differences. ... Eight is the age of reason. [Children] come out of their egocentric state and realize that there are other perspectives.

Jun. 23, 2001 - quoted in "P is for Prejudice" by Allen Abel, published in Saturday Night Magazine
Prejudice isn't entirely due to ignorance. A lot of teachers feel, 'Our goal is to make kids more knowledgeable, so we'll just give kids more knowledge.' But that ... can make kids more prejudiced.

Jun. 23, 2001 - quoted in "P is for Prejudice" by Allen Abel, published in Saturday Night Magazine
Abram, Morris B.
A painting on a canvas of infinite size, worked on eternally, would be without focus, meaning and probably without beauty. A painting, as life, needs limits.

from a column in the Wall Street Journal
Achard, Marcel
The bedfellows politics made are never strange. It only seems that way to those who have not watched the courtship.

Acheson, Dean
The great corrupter of public man is the ego. . . . Looking at the mirror distracts one's attention from the problem.

Apr. 22, 1966 - from a speech to the Society of American Historians, as reported in The Wall Street Journal

Controversial proposals, once accepted, soon become hallowed.

Mar. 31, 1962 - from a speech in Independence, Missouri
Acton, Lord John Emerich
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Apr. 05, 1887 - from a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton
That great political idea, sanctifying freedom and consecrating it to God, teaching men to treasure the liberties of others as their own, and to defend them for the love of justice and charity more than as a claim of right, has been the soul of what is great and good in the progress of the last two hundred years.

For centuries it was never discovered that education was a function of the State, and the State never attempted to educate. But when modern absolutism arose, it laid claim to everything on behalf of the sovereign power... When the revolutionary theory of government began to prevail, and Church and State found that they were educating for opposite ends and in a contradictory spirit, it became necessary to remove children entirely from the influence of religion.

Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is the highest political end.

1907 - from The History of Freedom
Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern.

There are no public, as distinct from private, objects worthy to be purchased at the expense of souls. Consequently the interest of individuals is above the exclusive interest of the state. The power of the whole is not to be set in the balance for a moment with freedom - that is, the conscience of the subject - and those who act on other principle are the worst of criminals.

Liberty is the highest political end of man...[but] no country can be free without religion. It creates and strengthens the notion of duty. If men are not kept straight by duty, they must be by fear. The more they are kept by fear, the less they are free. The greater the strength of duty, the greater the liberty.

Liberty is the prevention of control by others. This requires self-control and, therefore, religious and spiritual influences; education, knowledge, well-being.

Adams, Abigail
These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great challenges are formed . . . great necessities call out great virtues.

Jan. 19, 1780 - from a letter to John Quincy Adams
We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.

from a letter to John Adams
Wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great virtues.

Adams, Douglas
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

1992 - from Mostly Harmless
Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

1979 - from The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
I've always felt the worst way to alert people to... issues is to bang them around the head with it. If you bang people around their heads, they're liable to put their heads somewhere else.

Apr. 5, 2001 - from "Parrots, the Universe and Everything," a speech about the environment and his book Last Chance to See, delivered at the University of California, quoted in its Daily Nexus
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

1990 - from Last Chance to See
Mortal terror is not the best state of mind in which to try and frame intelligent answers.

1990 - from Last Chance to See
The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making.

1990 - from Last Chance to See
Adams, Henry Brooke
Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.

They know enough who know how to learn.

1906 - from The Education of Henry Adams
Chaos often breeds life when order breeds habit.

... the active-minded young man should ask of his teacher only mastery of his tools. The young man himself, the subject of education, is a certain form of energy; the object to be gained is economy of his force; the training is partly the clearing away of obstacles, partly the direct application of effort. Once acquired, the tools and models may be thrown away.

Feb. 16, 1907 - from the preface to The Education of Henry Adams
Politics... [have] always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

1906 - from The Education of Henry Adams
Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

1906 - from The Education of Henry Adams
All State education is a sort of dynamo machine for polarizing the popular mind; for turning and holding its lines of force in the direction supposed to be most effective for State purposes.

1906 - from The Education of Henry Adams
Power is poison. Its effect on presidents has always been tragic.

Chaos was the law of nature; order was the dream of man.

1906 - from The Education of Henry Adams
Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.

Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces. The men become every year more and more creatures of force, massed about central powerhouses. The conflict is no longer between the men, but between the motors that drive the men, and the men tend to succumb to their own motive forces.

Adams, John
All sober inquirers after truth, ancient and modern, pagan and Christian, have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue.

1776 - from Thoughts on Government
Public virtue cannot exist without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics.

Apr. 16, 1776 - from a letter to Mercey Warren
There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

Liberty can not be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Oct. 11, 1798 - from an address to the military, quoted in The Works of John Adams
All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America rise ... from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.

1787 - from a letter to Thomas Jefferson
[The U.S. Congress] Oh! the wisdom, the foresight and the hindsight and the rightsight and the leftsight, the northsight and the southsight, and the eastsight and the westsight that appeared in that august assembly.

Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would.

Sep. 5, 1763 - from a letter published in the Boston Gazette
Unbridled passions produce the same effects, whether in a king, nobility, or a mob. The experience of all mankind has proved the prevalence of a disposition to use power wantonly. It is therefore as necessary to defend an individual against the majority (in a democracy) as against the king in a monarchy.

As the happiness of the people is the sole end of government, so the consent of the people is the only foundation of it.

1774 - from a Proclamation adopted by the Council of Massachusetts Bay

Adams, John Quincy
Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.

Feb. 6, 1775 - from "Novanglus" in the Boston Gazette
When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have... a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean the characters and conduct of their rulers.

Posterity - you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.

As the happiness of the people is the sole end of government, so the consent of the people is the only foundation of it.

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.

Adams, Michael  
Canadians' enthusiasm for ... new technologies, and their growing ability to form their own networks rather than rely on historical institutions, is contributing to the 'values tribalization' of the country. Once defined by our race, religion or region, now we define ourselves by our values, by our personal priorities and by our life choices.

1997 - from Sex in the Snow
Increasingly, Canadians are giving up on traditional religious dogma in favour of a less guilt-ridden sprituality. Growing numbers of hedonistic and experience-seeking Canadians reject the existence of a devil or Hell.

1997 - from Sex in the Snow
The critics of our post-modern culture see it as poor, narcissistic, trivial and ultimately meaningless. The believe that there are no more great ideas, nor great men to advance them, only "empowered" consumers in a futile quest for the god they abandoned in pursuit of the good life in shopping centres and television sitcoms.

1997 - from Sex in the Snow

... consensus on social values is determined less and less by demographic factors. Among older Canadians, differences in social values are largely determined by such demographic variables such as gender, education and income, but this is less true among younger groups.

1997 - from Sex in the Snow
North of the 49th parallel we value equality, south of it, they treasure freedom.

1997 - from Sex in the Snow
Adams, Phelps
Capitalism and communism stand at opposite poles. Their essential difference is this: The communist, seeing the rich man and his fine home, says: "No man should have so much." The capitalist, seeing the same thing, says: "All men should have as much."

Adams, Samuel
It requires time to bring honest men to think & determine alike even in important matters. Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason. Events which excite those feelings will produce wonderful effects.

Apr. 30, 1776 - from a letter to Samuel Cooper
A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader... If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.

Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.

He therefore is the truest friend to liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man...

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds...

He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard for his country. There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country, who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections.

The right to freedom being the gift of God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.

Nov. 20, 1772
The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks: We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present; let us therefore be aware of it. Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeathed to us from the former, for the sake of the latter, instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance.

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Aug. 1, 1776
Adams, William
Faith is a continuation of reason.

Addams, Jane
America's future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live.

Addington, Henry
I hate liberality - nine times out of ten it is cowardice, and the tenth time lack of principle.

Addison, Joseph
Ridicule is generally made use of to laugh men out of virtue and good sense, by attacking everything praiseworthy in human life.

Adenauer, Konrad
The art of politics consists in knowing precisely when it is necessary to hit an opponent slightly below the belt.

We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon.

Adler, Alfred
It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.

1939 - from Alfred Adler

Adler, Mortimer
Not to engage in this pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men.

... the basic natural right that a just society of government should try to secure - and aid or abet - for every individual is not, and cannot be, the right to happiness, but is rather the right to its pursuit.

1996 - from The Time of Our Lives
He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.

from Agamemnon
It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.

Men often applaud an imitation and hiss the real thing.

c. 500 B.C. - from "The Buffoon and the Countrymen" in Aesop's Fables
Those who voluntarily put power into the hands of a tyrant or an enemy, must not wonder if it be at last turned against themselves.

Yield to all and you will soon have nothing to yield.

c. 500 B.C. - from "The Man and His Two Wives" in Aesop's Fables
Afanassiev, J.
Our system has generated a category of individuals supported by society and more interested in taking than in giving. This is the consequence of a policy of so-called egalitarianism which has ... totally invaded Soviet society. ... That society is divided into two parts-those who decide and distribute, and those who are commanded and who receive-constitutes one of the major brakes on the development of our society.

1991 - cited in Le Court Vingtième Siècle, La Tour d'Aigues
Aguyo, Albert  
Before Canada jeopardizes its scientific future and compromises its scientific community to achieve short-term budgetary solutions, it must recognize that the funding of university science is both a government responsibility and a long-range investment. Without government support, Canada's university science infrastructure will erode, and along with it, the country's competitiveness in a world economy increasingly based on knowledge.

Jan. 10, 1997 - Science Magazine editorial (with Richard A. Murphy)
Aiken, George D.
I'm not very keen for doves or hawks. I think we need more owls.

Jan. 1966 - speaking of the Vietnam war

If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other causes for prejudice by noon.

Aiken, Howard
Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats.

Ajzenstat, Janet  
Preventing our democratically elected representatives from defining the public good in the area of social and economic policy can never be acceptable. If we introduce the Social Charter we lose the right that is the essence of democracy in a country like Canada, to live under laws freely determined by our elected representatives.

Jan. 15, 1998 - from "We Don't Need Another Charter", essay for The Canadian Conservative Forum
Under a justiciable Social Charter the final determination about services and spending will lie with the courts. Judges, not the legislatures, will determine who gets what, when and how much.

Jan. 15, 1998 - from "We Don't Need Another Charter", essay for The Canadian Conservative Forum
A liberal democracy can only thrive where there is open debate on political alternatives. It is essential that the electorate should be able to choose freely between parties supporting the welfare state and parties recommending retrenchment and the transfer of responsibilities to the private sphere. It is intolerable to suggest that the people's elected representatives should be bound in the straitjacket of a constitution that sets out one particular ideological program.

Jan. 15, 1998 - from "We Don't Need Another Charter", essay for The Canadian Conservative Forum
Alcott, Amos Bronson
The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence.

What makes bitter things sweet? Hunger.

Alexander, Scott
The basic rule of free enterprise: You must give in order to get.

Alexander, Shana
Trying to squash a rumor is like trying to unring a bell.

Alfred the Great
The saddest thing about any man is that he be ignorant -- and the most exciting thing is that he knows.

quoted in The Year 1000 by Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger, Little, Brown and Co.