"Political tags -- such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth -- are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."
by:
Robert A. Heinlein
(1907-1988) American writer
Source:
The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Oroville WA      
 -- L.P., Kirkland      
 -- Marilyn, Toronto      
 -- Paul Phelan, Philadelphia, PA      
 -- jim k, Austin,Tx      
I only give a three because there is no divide. They all want people controlled, maybe sometimes in different ways and for different reasons but politics and its policies are all about controll and mastery of our lives, environment, social interaction etcetera. I think he is wrong about people who have no such desire.
 -- Waffler, Smith     
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    I would like to see more control at the state level and a whole lot less from DC.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    I'm visiting Vermont and here is a fine example how community living without the dictates of DC and corporate America creates its own economy - there is no labeling. I don't believe the general populous thinks like that they are more likey to fall into the category of intolerance period. Ignorance is our biggest enemy.
     -- Anonymous     
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    Waffler, THINK! The reason we have so many different approaches in politics is because everyone wants their own will to prevail. Some want social programs that will care for everyone from cradle to grave, others want the freedom to take care of themselves, their families and their businesses without interference. One side caters to those that wish to remain children all their life and the other believes in personal responsibility. The later takes effort and education. The former is a thumb sucking leech on society.
     -- Carol, Georgia     
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    I am not surprised at all that Waffler proves his philosophy of control over others. He cannot believe there are those that do not want to control others!! LOL Interestingly, the US Constitution was written to PROTECT the rights of the People FROM the control of other people acting in an official capacity. The Law of the land LIMITS what the officials may control and specifically mentions several areas in which the officials are not given ANY power to control. It is greed and selfishness that fuels those control freaks who are always coming up with new reasons why we cannot be trusted with our own power (i.e. our skills and labours, property and money, our food and drink) -- as if THEY could be trusted. I am truly amazed that people will follow such arrogance, but I guess human beings can be domesticated like any other beast of burden -- and that is something we should always remember: we can be conditioned for servitude by those that wish to rule... if we let them.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The problem with those who want to control the society is that they will not go away. They are forcing their fantasies down our throats taking advantage of our tolerance for idiots.
     -- GunnyCee, Durham     
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    That there is "I" and all of the tags might be applied to that "I". It's good to think that we are all free of prejudice. But when it comes down to it, anybody who's different to the "I" is competition. I am probably all of those tags at one time or another. It depends on the scenario posed. I found most of Mr. Heinlein's writing to be fiction and consequently after "Stranger in a strange land", became so popular his writing showed it to be just that. ..... "I could grok, that" ;-]
     -- Jamie, Nelson     
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    Carol in Georgia...you go! :)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    I am a Canadian,90 yrs. of age. I was in WW2 a Flyer, shot down in German occupied France and became a POW. I wrote " A Canadian Creed" http://www.CanadianCreed.ca The Canadian Charter Of Rights and Freedoms is the finest document of what freedom ought to mean.
     -- Albert Ludwig, Calgary, Alberta     
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    Thank you, Albert. I think Canadians and Americans alike have forgotten our founding, core principles. We have become lazy in our prosperity while the enemy has been slowly chipping away at the walls. The principle that you have the right to speak your mind, think your thoughts, and practice your religion has been under attack in Canada and the USA. Your generation fought your battles long ago, now we have to fight ours. I appreciate your example.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Those who want to control others remind me of those petulant, snot-nosed, tattle tales and hall monitors we all knew as children. They are small, petty, and envious. They would destroy everyone around them to inflate their own self esteem. They are bullies one and all. We all know how to take care of bullies though, don't we?
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    Above is the reason we (The US) will implode. The Constitution was and is to stop the majority ruling on the Natural rights of all people. Carol, yes, I can understand your comments, but they are in my opinion Fascist and without a true understanding of lifes rich and beautiful complexes - sad, really sad...
     -- Anonymous     
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    A logical corollary to this Heinlein quote is one from Edmund Burke. “Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
     -- Dave in PA, Coatesville, Pa     
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    Carol is Sarah Palin just a poser while claiming to be a "conservative" what ever that means. She supports and increases the public dole in Alaska so that every man woman and child gets $2,000 or so from the oil companies. Which side would you say she is on? Our friends for whom we bleed and die, the Kuwaitis, do the same thing with their oil money. So which are these two sides really? Archer tries to control me and get me off of these pages, he says that no one on here will be swayed by me, and on one post he indicated that he was sick of my truth telling. He simply cannot get his ideas or opinions to be the controlling ones and it drives him up a wall.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, Carol told you to "Think" and this is what you have come up with? LOL! What does Palin have to do with this quote or any of the comments? Nothing. How in the world could I control you, Waffler? It is YOU who spouts the control of others, not me. Why would I want to 'get you off these pages'? Your comments merely prove my point! I suppose you get a kick out of thinking that you are driving someone up the wall with your 'truth-telling' -- funny, really funny! Please keep it up. I think you do actually sway some people -- your comments are often so unbalanced and full of double-speak that few can truly embrace them, Please, Waffler, keep your 'truthiness' alive! ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I think that all people have that desire to control people, but some have come to realize the harm -- in Christian terms, the sin -- of the desire to control others. There is also some ambiguity. The verb "to control" has an agent as well as an object -- "...want people to be controlled" *by* someone. I think there is a difference in substance between a person wanting to control himself (self-control based upon acknowledgement of something beyond himself) and a person wanting to control others (or have others controlled).
     -- CBI, Albuquerque, NM     
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    The petty hall monitors mentioned remind me of the model of the "ideal" communist citizen. The concept also reminds me of the what good shock troops and storm troopers our educational system is developing (in many ways like the Hitler youth). There are so many publicly educated people out there who over the past 40 years have been waiting to be activated. this has now happened by our "leaders" in Washington. These folks in theory now become the unwitting shock troops of the NWO. They will also become the petty party commissars in our current state of Socialist decline along the "long March" to the planned Communist "utopian" society. We are rapidly approaching critical mass on this slide to serfdom and soon we will have, if not already, reached a point of no return. The buzz word now used by the Obama administration is "Paternalistic Coercion". Kiss the Constitution and your freedoms goodbye!
     -- ---J, Oceanport, NJ     
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    AMEN !
     -- Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT     
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    Amen!

    "Freedom is not free!" In fact, it is VERY expensive.
     -- Bruski, Naples FL     
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    There is always a choice to be made. " With a firm reliance in Divine Providence. " Most forget the odds we faced as a young upstart of a nation. Affection of, is the dupe of misdirection. Salesman beware, the customer is Pissed Off !
    One is either free or not ! Some with a high degree of education understand well the price of Independence ! and choose otherwise. Security !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    There is yet another class of people: those that want to be controlled. There are plenty who dread liberty, they just want a benevolent master. This attitude can only survive and reproduce in an environment of master-servant cultures -- having a 'patron' is common in Latin American culture, thus the influx of immigrants not conditioned to self-determination often end up immediately on the government dole -- and if they vote, they will vote to keep it.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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