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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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|Samuel Adams||How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!|
|Samuel Adams||Governors have no Right to seek and take what they please; by this, instead of being content with the Station assigned them, that of honorable Servants of the Society, they would soon become Absolute Masters, Despots,and Tyrants. Hence, as a private Man has a Right to say what Wages he will give in his private Affairs, so has a Community to determine what they will give and grant of their Substance for the Administration of public Affairs.|
|Fisher Ames||Liberty has never lasted long in a democracy, nor has it ever ended in anything better than despotism.|
|Fisher Ames||[O]ur sages in the great [constitutional] convention...|
intended our government should be a republic
which differs more widely from a democracy
than a democracy from a despotism.
The rigours of a despotism often... oppress only a few,
but it is the very essence and nature of a democracy,
for a faction claiming to oppress a minority, and
that minority the chief owners of the property
and truest lovers of their country.
|Aristotle||The three aims of the tyrant are, one, the humiliation of his subjects; he knows that a mean-spirited man will not conspire against anybody; two, the creation of mistrust among them; for a tyrant is not to be overthrown until men begin to have confidence in one another -- and this is the reason why tyrants are at war with the good; they are under the idea that their power is endangered by them, not only because they will not be ruled despotically, but also because they are too loyal to one another and to other men, and do not inform against one another or against other men -- three, the tyrant desires that all his subjects shall be incapable of action, for no one attempts what is impossible and they will not attempt to overthrow a tyranny if they are powerless.|
|Frederic Bastiat||Actually, it is not strange that during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the human race was regarded as inert matter, ready to receive everything -- form, face, energy, movement, life -- from a great prince or a great legislator or a great genius. These centuries were nourished on the study of antiquity. And antiquity presents everywhere -- in Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome -- the spectacle of a few men molding mankind according to their whims, thanks to the prestige of force and of fraud. But this does not prove that this situation is desirable. It proves only that since men and society are capable of improvement, it is naturally to be expected that error, ignorance, despotism, slavery, and superstition should be greatest towards the origins of history. The writers quoted above were not in error when they found ancient institutions to be such, but they were in error when they offered them for the admiration and imitation of future generations. Uncritical and childish conformists, they took for granted the grandeur, dignity, morality, and happiness of the artificial societies of the ancient world. They did not understand that knowledge appears and grows with the passage of time; and that in proportion to this growth of knowledge, might takes the side of right, and society regains possession of itself.|
|Frederic Bastiat||In short, is not liberty the freedom of every person to make full use of his faculties, so long as he does not harm other persons while doing so? Is not liberty the destruction of all despotism -- including, of course, legal despotism? Finally, is not liberty the restricting of the law only to its rational sphere of organizing the right of the individual to lawful self-defense; of punishing injustice?|
|Hilaire Belloc||Never could an increase of comfort or security be a sufficient good to be bought at the price of liberty.|
|Isaiah Berlin||The first people totalitarians destroy or silence are men of ideas and free minds.|
|Ambrose Bierce||An election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods.|
|Sir William Blackstone||That the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.|
|George W. Bush||We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans,|
and confront the worst threats before they emerge.
|George W. Bush||Today the Justice Department did issue a blanket alert. It was in recognition of a general threat we received. This is not the first time the Justice Department have acted like this. I hope it is the last. But given the attitude of the evildoers, it may not be.|
|George W. Bush||I don’t give a goddamn. I’m the President|
and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way. ...
Stop throwing the Constitution in my face.
It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!
|George W. Bush||Saddam Hussein's regime is a gray and gathering danger.|
|George W. Bush||I want him [Saddam Hussein]. I want -- I want justice. |
There is an old poster seen out west.
As I recall, it said, Wanted Dead or Alive.
|George W. Bush||I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office and foreign policy matters with war on my mind.|
|George W. Bush||There will be no going back to the era before September 11th, 2001, to false comfort in a dangerous world.|
|George W. Bush||There are some who feel like that, you know, the conditions are such that they can attack us there [in Iraq]. My answer is, 'Bring 'em on.' |
|George W. Bush||Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.|
|George W. Bush||Our enemies are a radical network of terrorists -- |
and every government that supports them.
|Father Robert F. Capon||The world looks as if it has been left in the custody of trolls.|
|Nicolas-Sebasstien Chamfort||Only the history of free peoples is worth our attention; the history of men under a despotism is merely a collection of anecdotes.|
|William Ellery Channing||The worst tyrants are those which establish themselves in our own breasts.|
|Sir Winston Churchill||You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken – unspeakable! – fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse – a little tiny mouse! – of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.|
|Sir Winston Churchill||The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.|
|Alan Corenk||Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear.|
|Charles de Gaulle||In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.|
|Estienne de la Boétie||However, there is satisfaction in examining what they get out of all this torment, what advantage they derive from all the trouble of their wretched existence. Actually the people never blame the tyrant for the evils they suffer, but they do place responsibility on those who influence him; peoples, nations, all compete with one another, even the peasants, even the tillers of the soil, in mentioning the names of the favorites, in analyzing their vices, and heaping upon them a thousand insults, a thousand obscenities, a thousand maledictions. All their prayers, all their vows are directed against these persons; they hold them accountable for all their misfortunes, their pestilences, their famines; and if at times they show them outward respect, at those very moments they are fuming in their hearts and hold them in greater horror than wild beasts. This is the glory and honor heaped upon influential favorites for their services by people who, if they could tear apart their living bodies, would still clamor for more, only half satiated by the agony they might behold. For even when the favorites are dead those who live after are never too lazy to blacken the names of these people-eaters with the ink of a thousand pens, tear their reputations into bits in a thousand books, and drag, so to speak, their bones past posterity, forever punishing them after their death for their wicked lives.|
|Antoine De Saint-Exupery||True, it is evil that a single man should crush the herd, but see not there the worse form of slavery, which is when the herd crushes out the man.|
|Charles-Louis de Secondat||In republican governments, men are all equal; equal they are also in despotic governments: in the former, because they are everything; in the latter, because they are nothing.|
|Alexis de Tocqueville||[Some people] have a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom. I believe that it is easier to establish an absolute and despotic government amongst a people in which the conditions of society are equal, than amongst any other; and I think that, if such a government were once established amongst such a people, it would not only oppress men, but would eventually strip each of them of several of the highest qualities of humanity. Despotism, therefore, appears to me peculiarly to be dreaded in democratic times.|
|Declaration of Independence||But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.|
|Justice William O. Douglas||Those in power need checks and restraints lest they come to identify the common good for their own tastes and desires, and their continuation in office as essential to the preservation of the nation.|
|William O. Douglas||A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left.|
|Frederick Douglass||Let us render the tyrant no aid; let us not hold the light by which he can trace the footprints of our flying brother.|
|Dr. Jack Down||[W]e continue to evolve a cute little concept of a changing legal accommodation named the “Living Constitution Theory” which is only a perversion stating, “To heck with what our Constitution says; we in power will twist it to suit our ideas anytime and every time we so choose.”|
|W. E. B. Du Bois||It is the growing custom to narrow control, concentrate power, disregard and disfranchise the public; and assuming that certain powers by divine right of money-raising or by sheer assumption, have the power to do as they think best without consulting the wisdom of mankind.|
|Alexandre Dumas||Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest.|
|Felix Frankfurter||A court which yields to the popular will thereby licenses itself to practice despotism, for there can be no assurance that it will not on another occasion indulge its own will.|
|Frederick the Great||I begin by taking.|
I shall find scholars later
to demonstrate my perfect right.
|Freeman’s Journal||The freemen of America will remember, that it is very easy to change a free government into an arbitrary, despotic, or military one: but it is very difficult, almost impossible to reverse the matter -- very difficult to regain freedom once lost.|
|Rick Gaber||The United States was supposed to have a limited government because the founders knew government power attracts demagogues and despots as surely as horse manure attracts horseflies.|
|Khalil Gibran||If it’s a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.|
|Joseph Paul Goebbels||The war made possible for us the solution of a whole series of problems that could never have been solved in normal times.|
|Stephen P. Halbrook||Such questions have never been discussed in scholarly publications because the Nazi laws, policies, and practices have never been adequately documented. The record establishes that a well-meaning liberal republic would enact a gun control act that would later be highly useful to a dictatorship.|
|Friedrich August von Hayek||Even more significant of the inherent weakness of the collectivist theories is the extraordinary paradox that from the assertion that society is in some sense more than merely the aggregate of all individuals their adherents regularly pass by a sort of intellectual somersault to the thesis that in order that the coherence of this larger entity be safeguarded it must be subjected to conscious control, that is, to the control of what in the last resort must be an individual mind. It thus comes about that in practice it is regularly the theoretical collectivist who extols individual reason and demands that all forces of society be made subject to the direction of a single mastermind, while it is the individualist who recognizes the limitations of the powers of individual reason and consequently advocates freedom as a means for the fullest development of the powers of the interindividual process.|
|Friedrich August von Hayek||Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one's government is not necessarily to secure freedom.|
|Friedrich August von Hayek||By giving the government unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal; and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.|