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206 mush quotations of 6,095, showing Lenin to United Nations

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If you have wondered how we strayed so far from the ideas that made our western democratic societies great, read on. The quotations below reveal the thinking (or lack of it!) of leaders and opinion-shapers of our time.

In a few cases, the quotations are from people now reviled by our society. Read these in the context of today's world of ever-growing and ever-encroaching governments.

Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich
 It is true that liberty is precious - so precious that it must be rationed.

quoted in Soviet Communism, by Sidney and Beatrice Webb
 Why should freedom of speech and freedom of press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?

quoted in Political Power and the Press (1972) by William Small
Mahoney, Kathleen  
 Formal equality is based on the notion that equality will be achieved as long as all people are treated the same under the law. Substantive equality is based on the notion that equality will be achieved by ensuring the impact of laws is fair.

from a column in the National Post
Manley, John  
 Arguably high tax levels, if anything, should increase productivity because it would drive innovation in order to lower other costs.

Dec. 04, 1998 - quoted in The National Post while Minister of Trade and Economic Development
Marx, Karl
 The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.

McCune, Shirley
 [Education] What we're into is a total restructuring of society.

1989 - from her speech at the National Governor's Conference in Wichita, Kansas
McDonough, Alexa  
 The spectator sport in Canada is hockey, not the sexual activities of our leaders. ... The Canadian people aren't nearly as starry-eyed in believing politicians are perfect. They hold a more healthy notion of their politicians as human beings.

Sep. 19, 1998 - quoted in the Toronto Globe and Mail responding to a question about U.S. president Bill Clinton's lying under oath about his sexual affair with a young intern in the Oval Office
McLean, Al  
 [Asked about his conduct and chances for being elected] My conduct has nothing to do with me.

Jun. 15, 2000 - quoted in "Possible Alliance candidate? McLean’s musings cause stir", published in the Orillia Packet and Times
McLellan, Anne  
 Despite what Canadians might say, putting kids in jail, though necessary, is not an effective response to youth crime. ... the get tough approach isn't really what Canadians want.

Feb. 24, 2000 - from a speech to youth delegates at a conference on justice
Mulroney, Martin Brian  
 I am not ideologically opposed to anything unless it doesn't work.

1992 - In an interview with CBC News anchor Peter Mansbridge

 [Defending free trade?] Throughout our history, trade has been critical to Canada's livelihood. Now, almost one third of what we produce is exported. Few countries in the world are so dependent on trade. This trend ultimately threatens the jobs of many Canadians and the living standards of the nation as a whole. We must confront this threat. We must reverse this trend.

 Are we making proper use of taxpayers' money by giving a bank president, say, at $500,000 or $600,000 a year, a baby bonus?... I don't know the answer.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
 [After a televised debate on women's issues] How did you like my courageous silence on abortion?

Aug. 15, 1984 - quoted by Michael Gratton in So, What Are The Boys Saying? page 54
 Okay, we’ve won. What do we do now?

quoted by Michael Gratton in So, What Are The Boys Saying?, page 55
 [On the patronage appointment of one-time Liberal cabinet minister Bryce Mackasey by short-lived Liberal prime minister John Turner] There's no whore like an old whore. If I'd been in Bryce's place, I would have been the first with my nose in the trough, just like all the rest of them.

Jul. 15, 1984 - quoted by Michael Gratton in So, What Are The Boys Saying?, page 26
Musgrove, F.
 It is the business of education in our social democracy to eliminate the influence of parents on the life chances of the young.

1965 - from The Family, Education and Society, Routledge and Paul, London
Mussolini, Benito
 All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

his oft-repeated slogan for the totalitarian state he created
 The truth is that men are tired of liberty.

 Fascism affirms the immutable, beneficial, fruitful inequality of men.

quoted by C.R. Brand in "Quotations about Equality and Community"
Nixon, Richard Milhouse
 When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.

May. 19, 1977 - from an interview with David Frost

O'Connor, Carroll
 A working man who's a right-winger makes no sense.

2001 - quoted in the National Post
Potter, C.F.
 Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?

1930 - from Humanism: A New Religion
Pulitzer, Joseph
 The newspaper that is true to its highest mission will concern itself with the things that ought to happen tomorrow, or the next month, or the next year, and will seek to make what ought to happen come to pass ... the highest mission of the press is to render public service.

Quayle, J. Danford
 Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children. It's a unique profession and, by golly, I hope when they go into the teaching field that they do have that zeal and they do have that mission and they do believe in teaching our kids and they're not getting into this just as a job or a way to put food on the table.

Sep. 18, 1990 - quoted in Esquire Magazine, Aug. 1992
 Let me say it one more time. It is ill-rel-e-vant.

Oct. 10, 1988 - quoted in the Washington Post testily responding to questions about his parents' involvement in the John Birch Society
 Votes are like trees, if you are trying to build a forest. If you have more trees than you have forests, then at that point the pollsters will probably say you will win.

1988 - quoted in Newsweek Magazine
 It shows 'us vs. them,' and I'm on the 'us' side.

Jun. 14, 1992 - quoted in the Indianapolis Star
 I got through a number of things in the area of defense, like showing the importance of cruise missiles and getting them more accurate so that we can have precise precision.

Aug. 26, 1988 - quoted in the New York Times
 There is nothing that a good defense cannot beat a better offense. In other words, a good offense wins.

Sep. 19, 1988 - wisdom on the so-called "Star Wars" defense strategy, quoted in TIME Magazine
 Mars is essentially in the same orbit [as the Earth]... We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.

Aug. 11, 1989 - in an interview on the CNN television network

 We don't want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward.

 I support efforts to limit the terms of members of Congress, especially members of the House and members of the Senate.

 Hawaii has always been a very pivotal role in the Pacific. It is in the Pacific. It is a part of the United States that is an island that is right here.

 One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared'.

Dec. 06, 1989
 When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame! Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame!

 The loss of life will be irreplaceable.

commenting on the San Franciso earthquake
 Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.

May 20, 1992 - quoted in Esquire Magazine, August, 1992
 We're all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made.

 We are not ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.

Sep. 22, 1990
 If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.

Mar. 01, 1990 - from a speech to the Pheonix Republican Forum

 Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.

from a speech to the United Negro College Fund
 I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.

May. 22, 1989
 Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things. I have made good judgements in the past. I have made good judgements in the future.

 We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world.

Sep. 21, 1988
 We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe.

 For NASA, space is still a high priority.

Sep. 5, 1990
 It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.

Aug. 1998
 It's time for the human race to enter the solar system.

 I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.

May 8, 1989 - quoted in TIME Magazine
 We expect them [Salvadoran officials] to work toward the elimination of human rights.

 I stand by all the misstatements that I've made.

Aug. 17, 1989 - from an interview with Sam Donaldson of ABC News
 I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican.

 I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix.

 My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will, never, never surrender to what is right.

from a speech to the Christian Coalition
 I deserve respect for the things I did not do.

 This president is going to lead us out of this recovery. It will happen.

Jan. 17, 1992 - from a speech at California State University, Fresno
 The best thing about rain forests is they never suffer from drought.

 The global importance of the Middle East is that it keeps the Near East and the Far East from encroaching on each other.

 Our party has been accused of fooling the public by calling tax increases 'revenue enhancement.' Not so. No one was fooled.

 People are not homeless if they're sleeping in the streets of their own hometowns.

 Republicans have been accused of abandoning the poor. It's the other way around. They never vote for us.

 Bank failures are caused by depositors who don't deposit enough money to cover losses due to mismanagement.

 Air travel efficiency would improve if more travelers started going to less popular places.

 Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.

 The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century.

Sep. 15, 1988
 May our nation continue to be the beakon [sic] of hope to the world.

1989 - from the Quayle's Christmas card
 The future will be better tomorrow.

 A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.

 What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.

Aug. 1992 - quoted in Esquire Magazine, from a speech to the United Negro College Fund referring to their slogan, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste"
 The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make.

Rae, Bob  
 Public investment is crucial for the living standards, the salaries and incomes, the quality of life of each and every citizen in the province. We cannot afford to lose these things in a panic. My opponents think we can slash the Ontario economy to prosperity. They are wrong.

Apr. 28, 1995 - from a speech announcing the 1995 Ontario provincial election, which elected government-slashing conservatives who restored prosperity to the province
Reno, Janet
 Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal.

Dec. 1993
 The most effective means of fighting crime in the United States is to outlaw the possession of any type of firearm by the civilian populace.

1991 - from a speech to B'nai B'rith in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Robespierre, Maximilien
 The nation alone has the right to educate children.

Roosevelt, Franklin D.
 One sure way to determine the social conscience of a Government is to examine the way taxes are collected and how they are spent. And one sure way to determine the social conscience of an individual is to get his tax-reaction. Taxes, after all, are the dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.

Oct. 21, 1936 - from a campaign speech delivered in Worcester, Massacheusetts
Ruiz, Don Miguel
 ... we realize that the point of view that other people use to see the world has nothing to do with us.

1997 - from The Four Agreements
Ruskin, John
 The first duty of a State is to see that every child born therein shall be well housed, clothed, fed, and educated, till it attain years of discretion. But in order to the effecting this the Government must have an authority over the people of which we now do not so much as dream.

 Education is the leading of human souls to what is best and making what is best out of them. ... Education does not mean teaching people what they do not know. It means teaching them to behave as they do not behave.

1853 - from The Stones of Venice
Ryan, Tena
 The 'balanced' report, in some cases, may no longer be the most effective. Can we afford to wait for our audience to come to its own conclusions? I think not.

Salant, Richard
 Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have.

Schneider, Stephen
 Investigators assessing the economic costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions typically have considered the costs of reaching given targets for emissions reductions, or alternatively, the costs of given taxes on fuels that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. In my view virtually all of the models suffer from an important omission - the neglect of price-induced technological change. This omission biases upward the estimation of the costs of policies to avoid climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change policies, by raising mean prices of conventional fuels, can stimulate more rapid development of alternative, non-fossil fuel technologies and lower the prices at which these technologies break even. Such induced technological change mitigates, perhaps substantially, the cost of climate policies.

Oct. 6, 1995 - from the London Times Higher Education Supplement
 [Environmental activism] We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

Oct. 1989 - quoted in Discover Magazine
Snell, Greg
 [A contemporary interpretation of the Hippocratic oath?] It is within our mandate to ration services and smoking is one way to define the patient population.

Feb. 8, 2001 - responding to questions about publicly-funded hospitals' practice of delaying or refusing surgery to patients who smoke, quoted in the National Post
Stalin, Joseph
 The state is a family, and I am your father.

Statistics Canada  
 Is this person (mark or specify more than one, if applicable): White; Chinese; South Asian (e.g., East Indian, Pakistani, Punjabi, Sri Lankan); Black (e.g., African, Haitan, Jamaican, Somali); Arab/West Asian (e.g., Armenian, Egyptian, Iranian, Lebanese, Moroccan); Filipino; South East Asian (e.g., Cambodian, Indonesian, Laotian, Vietnamese); Latin-American; Japanese; Korean; Other (specify). Note: This information is collected to support programs which promote equal opportunity for everyone to share in the social, cultural and economic life of Canada.

1996 - from the 1996 Census Form, quoted in Famous Lasting Words by John Robert Columbo
Stephanopolous, George
 The president has kept all of the promises he intended to keep.

during an interview on Larry King Live
Talbott, Strobe
 Here is one optimist's reason for believing unity will prevail ... within the next hundred years ... nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. ... A phrase briefly fashionable in the mid-20th century — 'citizen of the world' — will have assumed real meaning by the end of the 21st. All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary.

Jul. 20, 1992 - quoted in TIME Magazine
Toronto Board of Education  
 Schools are accountable for addressing the academic inequity of opportunities and outcomes for racial minority students. ... An antiracist curriculum examines issues of power and equality, and deep-seated problems related to superordination and unequal power distribution. [emphasis added]

May 1997 - quoted from Board policy document 206 in "Reading, writing and racism", by Okey Chigbo, published in The Next City Magazine, Spring 1997
Trudeau, Pierre Elliot  
 Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos. Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent.

1950 - from "Politique fonctionnelle"
 I will not leave Ottawa until the country and the government are irreversibly bilingual.

1975 - quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo

 It's made it much more difficult for us as Liberals to talk of bilingualism since Quebec has begun to talk of unilingualism.

1976 - quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
 I was my best successor, but I decided not to succeed myself.

1984 - at a press conference announcing his resignation
 [Regarding Canadian constitutional provisions which specially recognize collective rights of native people, multi-cultural rights of newer Canadians, and women's rights] The only effect of these Charter provisions is to give individuals belonging to these collectivities an additional guarantee of protection against any interpretation of the Charter whereby their rights could be overlooked.

1996 - from Against the Current : Selected Writings, Gerard Pelletier, ed., McLelland and Stewart, Toronto
 There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian. What could be more absurd than the concept of an "all-Canadian" boy or girl?

Oct. 9, 1971 - from a speech to the Ukranian-Canadian Congress
 The decision by the Canadian government that a second language be given increased official recognition is, in indirect fashion, support for the cultivation and use of many languages, because it is a breach of the monopoly position of one language and an elevation of the stature of the languages that are 'different.'

Oct. 9, 1971 - from a speech to the Ukranian-Canadian Congress
Truman, Harry S.
 The United Nations represents the idea of a universal morality, superior to the interests of individual nations...

Oct. 24, 1950 - from a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, quoted in The Road To Socialism and the New World Order by Dr. Dennis Cuddy
 ... education should aim not so much at acquisition of knowledge... there is less need to know the content of information. ... [Capitalism] lays the foundations of rivalry and aggression and encourages exaggerated consumption, making man a slave of ambition and status symbols. ... [Lifelong learning promotes] equality of end result, and not merely of opportunity... and fosters equality in terms of opinions, aspirations, motivations, and so on.

1976 - from its publication Foundations of Lifelong Learning, widely-hailed in the education movement
 Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures... It is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement.

Nov. 16, 1995 - from Article 1.1 of the "Declaration of Principles on Tolerance" [UNESCO wants us to be morally and legally required to "appreciate" as well as respect and accept cultural diversity. Ed.]
 Tolerance... involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism and affirms the standards set out in international human rights instruments.

Nov. 16, 1995 - from Article 1.3 of the "Declaration of Principles on Tolerance" [UNESCO seems to see itself defining "dogma" and standards of tolerance. Ed.]
United Nations
 Every state has the right to take the necessary steps to maintain under public control the use, posession, disposal and reservation of land. Every state has the right to plan and regulate the use of land, which is one of its most important resources, in such a way that the growth of population centers both urban and rural are based on a comprehensive land use plan.

Jun. 1976 - from its report Habitat: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, quoted by Ronald Reagan in his radio address, Nov. 30, 1976