InSights

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“Let no man turn aside, ever so slightly, from the broad path of honour, on the plausible pretence that he is justified by the goodness of his end. All good ends can be worked out by good means.” –English novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” –Greek philosopher Plato (c. 428-348 B.C.)

“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.” — English writer G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

“There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus and upset the convictions and debauch the emotions of an audience not practiced in the tricks and delusions of oratory.” –American author and humorist Mark Twain (1835-1910

“I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity…. [It] would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded.” –President Franklin Pierce (1804-1869)

“I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge in benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds…. I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution.” –President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)

“[Monday was] Labor Day, I suppose set by [an] Act of Congress. Everything we do nowadays is either by, or against, Acts of Congress. How Congress knew anything about Labor is beyond us.” –American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935)

I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty.” –President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

He is the richest man in the esteem of the world who has gotten most. He is the richest man in the esteem of heaven who has given most.” –English preacher Frederick Brotherton Meyer (1847-1929)

“Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” –Scottish philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790)

“It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.” –British novelist C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

“The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles.” –Russian novelist and historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)

“You raise your voice when you should reinforce your argument.” –English author Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. … We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?” –George Orwell, “1984”

How did it happen? How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power? In part, we were swindled. There are occasions when we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government. But let us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are. All too often we have put men in office who have suggested spending a little more on this, a little more on that, who have proposed a new welfare program, who have thought of another variety of ‘security.’ We have taken the bait, preferring to put off to another day the recapture of freedom and the restoration of our constitutional system.” –U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)

“The history of the race, and each individual’s experience, are thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.” –American author and humorist Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“If falsehood, like truth, had but one face, we would be more on equal terms. For we would consider the contrary of what the liar said to be certain. But the opposite of truth has a hundred thousand faces and an infinite field.” –French writer Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592)

“Men hate those to whom they have to lie.” –French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

“The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.” –economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” –President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

“When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘present’ or ‘not guilty.'” –President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

“There is good news from Washington today. The Congress is deadlocked and can’t act.” –American humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935)

“Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism…. A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers.” –English writer Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

“To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.” –American teacher, writer and philosopher Bronson Alcott (1799-1888)

“Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.” –German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1834)

“Back in the thirties we were told we must collectivize the nation because the people were so poor. Now we are told we must collectivize the nation because the people are so rich.” –American author and commentator William F. Buckley Jr. (1925-2008)

“It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.” –novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

“Be extremely subtle, to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.” –Sun-Tzu (c. 544-496 BC)

“The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most necessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.” –economist Adam Smith (1723-1790)

“People unfit for freedom — who cannot do much with it — are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a ‘have’ type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities. The desire for power is basically an attribute of a ‘have not’ type of self.” –writer and philosopher Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. … We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end.” –English author George Orwell (1903-1950)

“No greater wrong can ever be done than to put a good man at the mercy of a bad, while telling him not to defend himself or his fellows; in no way can the success of evil be made surer or quicker.” –President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.” –British publisher and writer Ernest Benn (1875-1954)

“The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.” –American journalist H. L. Mencken (1880-1856)

“Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created. Creation comes before distribution — or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary. Yet we are taught to admire the second-hander who dispenses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible. We praise an act of charity. We shrug at an act of achievement.” –novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

“If our economy of freedom fails to distribute wealth as ably as it has created it, the road to dictatorship will be open to any man who can persuasively promise security to all.” — psychologist and philosopher Will Durant (1885-1981)

“The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else.” –French economist, statesman and author Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

“He who does not bellow out the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.” –French poet, essayist and editor Charles Peguy (1873-1914)

“The dilemma … is between the democratic process of the market in which every individual has his share and the exclusive rule of a dictatorial body. Whatever people do in the market economy is the execution of their own plans. In this sense every human action means planning. What those calling themselves planners advocate is not the substitution of planned action for letting things go. It is the substitution of the planner’s own plan for the plans of his fellowmen. The planner is a potential dictator who wants to deprive all other people of the power to plan and act according to their own plans. He aims at one thing only: the exclusive absolute preeminence of his own plan.” –Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

“Men use thought only to justify their wrongdoings, and speech only to conceal their thoughts.” –French writer Voltaire (1694-1778)

“Words, like eyeglasses, blur everything that they do not make more clear.” –French writer Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)

“We resent all criticism which denies us anything that lies in our line of advance.” –American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“If you ever injected truth into politics, you would have no politics.” –American humorist Will Rogers
(1879-1935)

“A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt dangerous.” –Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

“Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.” –American Poet Robert Frost (1874-1963)

“Life is not holding a good hand; Life is playing a poor hand well.” –Danish proverb

“We shall return to proven ways — not because they are old, but because they are true.” –Barry Goldwater

“Never assume the obvious is true.” –William Safire

“Those are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others.” –Groucho Marx

“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” –writer Peter Drucker (1909-2005)

“Time and money spent in helping men do more for themselves is far better than mere giving.” –Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford (1863-1947)

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” –President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” –British author and economist Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

“Reaching consensus in a group is often confused with finding the right answer.” –American writer Norman Mailer (1923-2007)

“If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.” –American author and humorist Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“What has always made the state a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven.” –German poet Friedrich Holderlin (1770-1843)

“Governments do not govern, but merely control the machinery of government, being themselves controlled by the hidden hand.” –English Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

“The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it.” –American writer H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

“Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.” –American author Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)

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