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6,095 quotations, showing Ali to Aristotle

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Ali, Mohammed
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

1978 - quoted in TIME Magazine
The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.

Alighieri, Dante
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those, who in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.

Allen, Ethan
Those who invalidate reason ought seriously to consider whether they argue against reason with or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principle that they are laboring to dethrone: but if they argue without reason (which, in order to be consistent with themselves they must do), they are out of reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument.

quoted in The Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan
Allen, Fred
A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.

Imitation is the sincerest form of television.

Allen, George
Today the primary threat to the liberties of the American people comes not from communism, foreign tyrants or dictators. It comes from the tendency on our own shores to centralize power, to trust bureaucracies rather than people.

Allen, Ralph  
No matter what we choose to say of it, Canada is a whole series of accidents. If it should expire in its present form the world would survive and so, almost certainly, would Canada's separate parts. I don't expect my children to suffer much if Quebec should withdraw or Canada withdraw from Quebec. ... Yet it's been a lovely place to grow up in, whether it was an accident or not.

1967 - from The Man From Oxbow
Allen, William R.
Certainly, it is a world of scarcity. But the scarcity is not confined to iron ore and arable land. The most constricting scarcities are those of character and personality.

Jan. 1993 - from "Bunnie Rabbit, Winnie, and the Grand Plan" published in California Political Review
Allenbaugh, Eric
Continuing to cling to the patterns you know inhibits your ability to discover what you don't know.

from Wake-Up Calls



Allport, Gordon W.
College professors are suspect because whenever emotion is in control, anti-intellectualism prevails.

1958 - from The Nature of Prejudice, Doubleday, p. 246
Allston, John
If you don't control your mind, someone else will.

The only thing you take with you when you're gone is what you leave behind.

Ambedkar, Bhimrao Ramji
Despotism does not cease to be despotism because it is elective. Nor does despotism become agreeable because the despots belong to our own kindred. To make it subject to election is no guarantee against despotism. The real guaranty against despotism is to confront it with the possibility of its dethronement, of its being laid low, of its being superseded by a rival party.

Men are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering.

Freedom of mind is the real freedom. A person whose mind is not free though he may not be in chains, is a slave, not a free man.

Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules, it ceases to be a religion, as it kills responsibility which is an essence of the true religious act.

Indifferentism is the worst kind of disease that can affect people.

A great man is different from an eminent one in that he is ready to be the servant of the society.

American Psychological Association
Severely deprived, neglectful or abusive environments must have negative effects on a great many aspects of development, including intelligence. Beyond that minimum, however, the role of family experience is now in serious dispute.

1995 - from Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns - Report of a Task Force established by the Board of the Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association



Ameringer, Oscar
Politics--the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.

Ames, Fisher
Liberty has never lasted long in a democracy, nor has it ever ended in anything better than despotism.

We are sliding down the mire of a democracy that pollutes the morals of the people before it swallows up their freedoms.

The leaders of the French Revolution excited the poor against the rich; this made the rich poor, but it never made the poor rich.

Amiel, Barbara  
You're considered to have a rare kind of social disease if you espouse neo-conservative ideas in Canada.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
The feminist reign of terror in Canada is such that it is better to proceed with charges of sexual assault that are patently false than risk feminist wrath if support is withdrawn from a so-called victim... As evidentiary procedure changes to create kangaroo courts for accused males, our female judges, female Crown attorneys and female elites remain mostly silent.

Jul. 11, 1994 - from a column in Maclean's Magazine
[Feminist writer Kathleen] Mahoney sneers at 'formal equality' as a right-wing concept that must be replaced by 'substantive equality' -- a code for statistical parity, with quotas and privileges for women. These feminists are, in fact, promoting gender wars. They have already played havoc with the workplace and had a very adverse influence on such major institutions as the military, and, of course, the judiciary -- not to mention the family. Far from nation-building, they are destructive of the nation and highly detrimental to the fabric of our society. Like all ideologues, they have structured a universe in which everything proves whatever they wish it to prove and it is all used to structure a matriarchical system in which they will be able to wield almost unchecked power through intimidation, the establishment of standards and structures of morality that suit their ideology and function to their own benefit.

Mar. 9, 1999 - from a column in the National Post newspaper
The first commandment of contemporary feminism ... is to have your cake and eat it: feminists rely on the similarity of the genders when it helps them, while they underline the dissimilarity of men and women if similarity creates a burden for them. This enables feminism to insist that men and women are exactly the same when it comes to who can be an airline pilot, but vastly different when it comes to retaining custody of the children or responding to a pass in the workplace.

Nov. 6, 1998 - from "In sickness and in wealth : The curious case of Bracklow v. Bracklow puts feminists in a quandary", published in the National Post newspaper
Of all the concepts that the totalitarian instinct of our times has bequeathed to society - including racial and gender job quotas and laws against free speech - the seemingly harmless slogan 'equal pay for work of equal value' is potentially the most destructive of a free society.

Aug. 5, 1985 - from a column in Maclean's Magazine
... this is a grievance society and that if you want to get into its leading edge you pretty well have to be a victim.

Oct. 31, 1994 - from a column in Maclean's Magazine



By now our institutions have been so affected by radical FEMINISM that it is hard to know how to countermand their grip on our lives. The first step, I should think, must be to identify what we are fighting. The civil service, the judiciary, academia, and the publicly owned media seem too slow-witted or lazy to deal with the problem. From Statistics Canada to the Law Society, we see nothing but compliance with a point of view totally at variance with our experience of life in this country.

Mar. 6, 1999 - from a column in the National Post newspaper
What many advocates of the equal-pay thesis did not seem to realize is that they are proposing a fundamental change to the way our society operates. Market forces of supply and demand are neutral. When you replace them, you are not replacing an unjust system with a just one but, instead, introducing a conscious system to replace a spontaneous one. Ultimately, you are replacing the amorality of the free market with the immorality of the regulated society. What results is theft: you rob the janitors to pay the cleaning woman.

Aug. 5, 1985 - from her column in Maclean's Magazine
We have spent like drunken sailors in order to fill the sense of 'entitlement' that our weak-tea socialism has created. We have become a country of feuding special-interest groups in which envy and resentment play more than their natural roles...

Dec. 23, 1991 - from her column in Maclean's Magazine
[In the 1970's] Canadian intellectuals adopted prisoners of conscience in South Africa. They took holidays in Cuba. A ... psychoanalyst could make quick work of this. Rich, powerful America was Castro's fiercest opponent. Canada has always been a reliable ally of the US, but any opportunity to show its independence from its southern neighbour brings on a patriotic boomlet. ... If America was trying to keep the bubonic plague out of its hemisphere, Canadians would import it just to show their independence of American foreign policy.

1997 - from a column in the Daily Telegraph of London
It is important to understand that equality for the individual as in equal opportunity or equality before the law is a classic liberal ideal, while parity for a group is at best a political and at worst a profoundly reactionary notion. Equality stresses that any qualified human being may become an engineer, plumber, prime minister or jet pilot, regardless of gender, religion or race; while parity maintains that a proportionate number from each group must achieve such positions regardless of merit or utility. The belief in parity is based to some extent on a genuine error - the view that any disparity in society has to be the result of discrimination as well as the cynical politician's view that when disparity makes some people restless it should be eliminated, even at the expense of freedom and fairness.

1992 - from her column "The Secret Agenda of Gender", published in The Spectator
Amiel, Henri Frederic
We become actors without realizing it, and actors without wanting to.

Great men are true men, the men in whom nature has succeeded. They are not extraordinary -- they are in the true order. It is the other species of men who are not what they ought to be.

What we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, the embryo, and it is the point of departure which, generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence.

A belief is not true because it is useful.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
For purposes of action nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.

quoted in Barnes & Noble Book of Quotations, by Robert I. Fitzhenry, 1987



Duty has the virtue of making us feel the reality of a positive world while at the same time detaching us from it.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
To be always ready a man must be able to cut a knot, for everything cannot be untied; he must know how to disengage what is essential from the detail in which it is enwrapped, for everything cannot be equally considered... To know how to be ready, is to know how to start.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
It is the lack of order which makes us slaves; the confusion of to-day discounts the freedom of tomorrow.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
He who is silent is forgotten; he who abstains is taken at his word; he who does not advance, falls back; he who stops is overwhelmed, distanced, crushed; he who ceases to grow greater becomes smaller; he who leaves off, gives up; the stationary condition is the beginning of the end.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
To judge is to see clearly, to care for what is just and therefore to be impartial, more exactly, to be disinterested, more exactly still, to be impersonal.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
We are never more discontented with others than when we are discontented with ourselves. The consciousness of wrong-doing makes us irritable, and our heart in its cunning quarrels with what is outside it, in order that it may deafen the clamor within.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
When everything has its proper place in our minds, we are able to stand in equilibrium with the rest of the world.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
Civilization is first of all a moral thing. Without truth, respect for duty, love of neighbor, and virtue, everything is destroyed. The morality of a society is alone the basis of civilization.

Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires but according to our powers.




A belief is not true because it is useful.

Amis, Kingsley
The Lefty starts from an unfocused dissatisfaction with the way things are. One need not drag Freud into the argument in order to suggest that the “way things are,” the social system, will strike the young or the youngish as a product of authority, of parents, schoolmasters, vicars and employers, the people who seem to limit freedom for the sake of doing so. Stage two prolongs this: the frustrations of trying to get on in a competitive society where most people by definition cannot get on very far. Then, like fire from heaven, the hint of an explanation and an ideology. The reason we are failing to get on, or simply not having a good enough time, is not because we are lazy and stupid but because of the system. So we now oppose the system ... An increasing bitterness develops as the system, having been repeatedly shouted at to pull itself together, chugs on much as before.

from Lucky Jim's Politics
Growing older, I have lost the need to be political, which means ... the need to be left. I am driven to grudging toleration of the Conservative Party because it is the party of non-politics, of resistance to politics.

Amory, Cleveland
Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.

The customer is always right! John Wanamaker must be turning in his grave. If you're a customer today, you're an intruder.

1979 - from The Trouble With Nowadays
Anderson, Marian
No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger than its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise.

Dec. 30, 1957 - in an interview on CBS television
Anderson, Martin
All the people I know who are driving for a form of national service, primarily want it to be compulsory. They realize that's a terrible problem politically, so they're not willing to say it. It is endangerment of freedom and the potential for indoctrination that skeptics do not like in the national service concept. However benign the program, some think it will not succeed on any meaningful scale unless is is compulsory.

Nov. 29, 1992 - from a column in the Boston Globe
Anderson, Richard D.
By covering the 'horse race' instead of the issues, the media encourage people to believe that politicians place self-interest above the public interest. The media also affect which issues people consider important, and negative advertisements discourage political participation. People learn from the media only because they know so little about politics. Were democracy deliberative, these media effects would undermine it. But democracy is not a deliberation but a contest that relies on the ability of the media to shape public opinion. The evidence for media effects is strong, but the media cannot be undermining a form of democracy that does not and cannot exist, and they do sustain the form that does.

Sep. 01, 1998 - from "The Place of the Media in Popular Democracy", an essay published in Critical Review, Fall 1998
Anderson, Walter Truett
The conservative indictment [of the abandonment of fundamental values in society] is correct, and yet the strategy that logically follows from it -- to rebuild consensus, to get a core of standard values and beliefs in place in every American mind -- is doomed to fail. To see that you only need to look at the variety of things being offered by people who are in favour of some such consensus building.

1990 - from Reality: Isn't What It Used To Be, Harper
Andretti, Mario
If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.




Angell, Norman
It is not the facts which guide the conduct of men, but their opinions about facts; which may be entirely wrong. We can only make them right by discussion.

God has made Canada one of those nations which cannot be conquered and cannot be destroyed, except by itself.

1913 - from "Canada's Best Service for British Ideals"
Annan, Kofi
Corruption is built on everything being in the hands of the government.

quoted in "Why the African Renaissance is Failing" by John Robson, published in The Fraser Forum, June 2000
Anthony, Susan B.
Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.

1860
Antisthenes
As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion.

Aquinas, St. Thomas
An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.

quoted by Martin Luther King, Jr. in "Letter from a Birmingham Jail,", 1963
Beware the man of one book.

... every human law has the nature of law only to the extent that it is derived from the law of nature. But if, in any point, it deviates from the law of nature, it is no longer a law but a perversion of law.

from Summa Theologiae
Count not the authorities, but weigh their truth.

Arbuthnot, John
All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.




Archbishop Wulfstan
It is no wonder that there is mishap among us: because we know full well that now for many years men have too often not cared what they did by word or deed.

c. 1014 AD - from Sermo Lupi ad Anglos
... they mumbled through their jaws where they should have cried out; also through foul pride of the people and through gluttony and manifold sins they destroyed their land and they themselves perished.

c. 1014 AD - describing the history of the Britons in Sermo Lupi ad Anglos
There is also a need that each should understand where he came from and what he is -- and what will become of him.

quoted in The Year 1000 by Robert Lacy and Danny Danziger, Little, Brown and Co.
Arendt, Hannah
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.

1968 - from On Revolution
Wherever the relevance of speech is at stake, matters become political by definition, for speech is what makes man a political being.

1958 - from The Human Condition
The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.

attributed
If men were ever to lose the appetite for meaning we call thinking, they would lose the capacity for asking all the unanswerable questions upon which every civilization is founded.

The will to power, as the modern age from Hobbes to Nietzsche understood it, far from being a characteristic of the strong, is, like envy and greed, among the vices of the weak, and possibly even their most dangerous one. Power corrupts indeed when the weak band together in order to ruin the strong, but not before.

The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide. In this sense, truth, even if it does not prevail in public, possesses an ineradicable primacy over all falsehoods.

1972 - from "Lying in Politics" in Crises of the Republic
Our tradition of political thought had its definite beginning in the teachings of Plato and Aristotle. I believe it came to a no less definite end in the theories of Karl Marx.




As witnesses not of our intentions but of our conduct, we can be true or false, and the hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil, but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.

1968 - from On Revolution
Aristophanes
The wise learn many things from their enemies.

Aristotle
The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.

350 BC - from Politics
Happiness is the exercise of vital powers along lines of excellence, in a life affording them scope.

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.

The things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.

Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses and avoids.

Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms.




Man is by nature an animal intended to live in a polis

often cited as "Man is by nature a political animal."
Where the law is not supreme there is no constitution.

Democracy arose from men thinking that if they are equal in any respect they are equal in all respects.

350 BC - from Politics
All men believe that justice means equality in some sense.... The question we must keep in mind is, equality or inequality in what sort of thing.

... laws, when good, should be supreme; and ... the magistrate or magistrates should regulate those matters only on which the laws are unable to speak with precision owing to the difficulty of any general principle embracing all particulars. ... The goodness or badness, justice or injustice, of laws varies of necessity with the constitutions of states. This, however, is clear, that the laws must be adapted to the constitutions. But if so, true forms of government will of necessity have just laws, and perverted forms of government will have unjust laws.

350 BC - from Politics
In all well-attempered governments there is nothing which should be more jealously maintained than the spirit of obedience to law, more especially in small matters; for transgression creeps in unperceived and at last ruins the state...

350 BC - from Politics
Equality consists in the same treatment of similar persons.

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.

We make war that we may live in peace.

Happiness [is] prosperity combined with virtue.