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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.
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|Bruce Ackerman||There is simply no escaping the fact that the fate of the Constitution is in our hands -- as voters, representatives, justices. If we allow ourselves to abuse the tradition of higher lawmaking, the very idea that the Constitution can be viewed as the culminating expression of a mobilized citizenry will disintegrate. After all, the American Republic is no more eternal than the Roman -- and it will come to an end when American citizens betray their Constitution’s fundamental ideals and aspirations so thoroughly that existing institutions merely parody the public meanings they formerly conveyed.|
|Lord Acton||Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.|
|Franklin P. Adams||Prohibition is an awful flop. We like it. |
It can't stop what it's meant to stop. We like it.
It's left a trail of graft and slime,
It don't prohibit worth a dime,
It's filled our land with vice and crime.
Nevertheless, we're for it.
|John Adams||Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.|
|John Adams||Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.|
|John Quincy Adams||Law logic -- an artificial system of reasoning, exclusively used in courts of justice, but good for nothing anywhere else.|
|Aesop||Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.|
|Aesop||I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath.|
|Gary Allen||If one understands that Socialism is not a “share the wealth” program but is in reality a method to consolidate and control the wealth, then the seeming paradox of super rich men promoting Socialism becomes no paradox at all. Instead it becomes logical, even the perfect tool of power-seeking megalomaniacs. Communism, or more accurately Socialism, is not a movement of the down-trodden masses but of the economic elite.|
|American Bar Association||I shall not counsel or maintain any suit or proceeding which shall appear to me to be unjust, nor any defense except such as I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land.|
|Oscar Ameringer||Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.|
|Hannah Arendt||In politics, love is a stranger, and when it intrudes upon it nothing is being achieved except hypocrisy. All the characteristics you stress in the Negro people: their beauty, their capacity for joy, their warmth, and their humanity, are well-known characteristics of all oppressed people. They grow out of suffering and they are the proudest possession of all pariahs. Unfortunately, they have never survived the hour of liberation by even five minutes. Hatred and love belong together, and they are both destructive; you can afford them only in private and, as a people, only so long as you are not free.|
|Hannah Arendt||The law of progress holds that everything now must be better than what was there before. Don’t you see if you want something better, and better, and better, you lose the good. The good is no longer even being measured.|
|Hannah Arendt||The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie -- a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days -- but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.|
|Hannah Arendt||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.|
|Hannah Arendt||Totalitarianism begins in contempt for what you have. The second step is the notion: “Things must change—no matter how, Anything is better than what we have.” Totalitarian rulers organize this kind of mass sentiment, and by organizing it articulate it, and by articulating it make the people somehow love it. They were told before, thou shalt not kill; and they didn’t kill. Now they are told, thou shalt kill; and although they think it’s very difficult to kill, they do it because it’s now part of the code of behavior. They learn whom to kill and how to kill and how to do it together. This is the much talked about Gleichschaltung—the coordination process. You are coordinated not with the powers that be, but with your neighbor—coordinated with the majority. But instead of communicating with the other you are now glued to him. And you feel of course marvelous. Totalitarianism appeals to the very dangerous emotional needs of people who live in complete isolation and in fear of one another.|
|Aristotle||A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious.|
|Thurman Arnold||It is a part of the function of “law” to give recognition to ideas representing the exact opposite of established conduct. Most of the complications arise from the necessity of pretending to do one thing, while actually doing another.|
|Isaac Asimov||Politically popular speech has always been protected: even the Jews were free to say ‘Heil Hitler.’|
|Saint Augustine||An apt and true reply was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride. “What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.”|
|Roger Bacon||There are in fact four very significant stumblingblocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, longstanding custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge.|
|Walter Bagehot||So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience tells them it is wrong.|
|Walter Bagehot||Persecution in intellectual countries produces a superficial conformity, but also underneath an intense, incessant, implacable doubt.|
|Russell Baker||Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.|
|William Barr||In the past, when societies are threatened by moral chaos, the overall social costs of licentiousness and irresponsible personal conduct becomes so high that society ultimately recoils and reevaluates the path they are on. But today – in the face of all the increasing pathologies – instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have the State in the role of Alleviator of Bad Consequences. We call on the State to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility. So the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion. The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites. The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the State to set itself up as the ersatz husband for single mothers and the ersatz father to their children. The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with the wreckage. While we think we are solving problems, we are underwriting them. We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on whom we depend.|
|William Barr||One of the ironies, as some have observed, is that the secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor. It is taking on all the trappings of a religion – including inquisitions and excommunication. Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake – social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns.|
|William Barr||In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion. Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the State to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection. Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursing a deific end. They are willing to use any means necessary to gain momentary advantage in achieving their end, regardless of collateral consequences and the systemic implications. They never ask whether the actions they take could be justified as a general rule of conduct, equally applicable to all sides.|
|William Barr||The fact of the matter is that, in waging a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of ‘Resistance’ against this Administration, it is the Left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law. This highlights a basic disadvantage that conservatives have always had in contesting the political issues of the day. It was adverted to by the old, curmudgeonly Federalist, Fisher Ames, in an essay during the early years of the Republic.|
|Frédéric Bastiat||Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.|
|Frederic Bastiat||What, then, is the law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. ... since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individual groups. ... But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.|
|Frederic Bastiat||The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.|
|Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais||As long as I don't write about the government, religion, politics, and other institutions, I am free to print anything.|
|Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais||Provided I do not write about the government, or about religion, or politics, or morals, or those in power, or public bodies, or the Opera, or the other state theatres, or about anybody who is active in anything, I can print whatever I want.|
|Isaiah Berlin||But to manipulate men, to propel them toward goals which you – the social reformers – see, but they may not, is to deny their human essence, to treat them as objects without wills of their own, and therefore to degrade them.|
|Georges Bernanos||Justice in the hands of the powerful is merely a governing system like any other. Why call it justice? Let us rather call it injustice, but of a sly effective order, based entirely on cruel knowledge of the resistance of the weak, their capacity for pain, humiliation and misery.|
|Lady Marguerite Blessington||The vices of the rich and great are mistaken for error; and those of the poor and lowly, for crimes.|
|Napoleon Bonaparte||Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.|
|Kit Bond||I'm not here to say that the government is always right, but when the government tells you to do something, I'm sure you would all agree that I think you all recognize that is something you need to do.|
|Neal Boortz||Why is it when times get rough only the people have to look for ways to cut back? |
Why is this always just absolutely impossible for government?
|Neal Boortz||How many Catholic schools do you think teach the students to question the authority of the Pope? Do you believe Christian schools teach students to question or challenge the authority of Jesus Christ? Do military schools teach the cadets to challenge the authority of superior officers? Well, why should we then expect government schools to teach children to question the authority of government?|
|William E. Borah||Without an unfettered press, without liberty of speech, all of the outward forms and structures of free institutions are a sham, a pretense -- the sheerest mockery. If the press is not free; if speech is not independent and untrammeled; if the mind is shackled or made impotent through fear, it makes no difference under what form of government you live, you are a subject and not a citizen.|
|William S. Borroughs||A functioning police state needs no police.|
|James Bovard||As we learned from the Clinton administration and much of the media, a machine gun in the hands of a federal agent is now a symbol of benevolence and concern for a child's well-being.|
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis||The government is the potent omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that the end justifies the means -- to declare that the government may commit crimes -- would bring terrible retribution.|
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis||To declare that in the administration of criminal law the end justifies the means – to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure conviction of a private criminal – would bring terrible retribution.|
|Tom Braun||If you think we are free today, you know nothing about tyranny and even less about freedom.|
|Harry Browne||Being a politician means never having to say you're sorry. You don't have to say, 'I never should have voted to subsidize that ridiculous Enron project in India.' ... After all, they're greedy businessmen and you're a selfless public servant.|
|Tammy Bruce||As the organized Left gained cultural power, it turned into a monster that found perpetual victimhood, combined with thought and speech control, the most efficient way to hold on to that power. Suddenly it was the Left, the protector of liberty, that was setting rules about what could and could not be said or even thought.|
|William F. Buckley, Jr.||Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.|
|Buddha||Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good.|
|Sir Richard Francis Burton||The dearest ambition of a slave is not liberty, but to have a slave of his own.|
|George W. Bush||Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty.|
|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||We need an energy bill that encourages consumption.|