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Laurence J. Peter

Sociologist, author of The Peter Principle (1969) and other works


In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.

1969 - from The Peter Principle
Democracy is a process by which people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.

1979 - from Peter's Quotations
An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.

Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.

I have to spend so much time explaining to Americans that I am not English and to Englishmen that I am not American that I have little time left to be Canadian. On second thought, I am a true cosmopolitan-unhappy anywhere.

Many of the observations leading to the discovery of the Peter Principle were made while working for the public school systems.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Education helps one acquire a higher grade of prejudices.

Ignorance once dispelled is difficult to reestablish.