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6,095 quotations, showing Stevenson to Taylor

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Stevenson, Adlai
Since the beginning of time, governments have been mainly engaged in kicking people around. The astonishing achievement of modern times in the Western world is the idea that the citizens should do the kicking.

Democracy cannot be saved by supermen, but only by the unswerving devotion and goodness of millions of little men.

The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.

Bad administration ... can destroy good policy; but good administration can never save bad policy.

Sep. 11, 1952 - from a speech delivered in Los Angeles
A politician is a statesman who approaches every question with an open mouth.

The anatomy of patriotism is complex. But surely intolerance and public irresponsibility cannot be cloaked in the shining armour of rectitude and righteousness. Nor can the denial of the right to hild ideas that are different - the freedom of man to think as he pleases. To strike freedom of the mind with the fist of patriotism is an old and ugly subtlety.

Aug. 27, 1952 - from a speech to the American Legion Convention in New York
The vigour of our political life, our capacity for change, our cultural, scientific, and industrial achievements, all derive from free inquiry, from the free mind, from imagination, resourcefulness, and daring of men who are not afraid of new ideas. Most all of us favour free enterprise for business. Let us also favour free enterprise for the mind.

Aug. 27, 1952 - from a speech to the American Legion Convention in New York
It is always accounted a virtue in a man to love his country. With us it is now something more than a virtue. It is a necessity, a condition of survival. ... Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something; it is the love of something.

Aug. 27, 1952 - from a speech to the American Legion Convention in New York
He who slings mud generally loses ground.

Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse.




Man is a strange animal, he doesn't like to read the handwriting on the wall until his back is up against it.

When an American says he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun or the wide rising plains, the mountains and the seas. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

Oct. 1952 - from a speech delivered in Detroit
It is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them.

Aug 27, 1952 - from a speech to the American Legion Convention in New York
If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is no barking dog to be tethered on a 10-foot chain.

Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.

Communism is the corruption of a dream of justice.

1951 - from a speech
In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take.

There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.

We have confused the free with the free and easy.




Laws are never as effective as habits.

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions.

Stevenson, Robert Louis
Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.

The cruelest lies are often told in silence.

1881 - from Virginibus Puerisque
... the political soil itself steals forth by imperceptible degrees, like a travelling glacier, carrying on its bosom not only political parties but their flag-posts and cantonments; so that what appears to be an eternal city founded on hills is but a flying island of Laputa. It is for this reason in particular that we are all becoming Socialists without knowing it ...

Apr. 1887 - from "The Day After Tomorrow", published in Contemporary Review
Stewart, James K.
Poverty doesn't cause crime. Crime causes poverty -- or more precisely, crime makes it harder to break out of poverty. The vast majority of poor people are honest, law-abiding citizens whose opportunities for advancement are stunted by the drug dealers, muggers, thieves, rapists, and murderers who terrorize their neighborhoods.

1986 - from an essay in Policy Review
Crime is the ultimate tax on enterprise. It must be reduced or eliminated before poor people can fully share in the American dream.

1986 - from an essay in Policy Review
Stewart, Potter
The right to enjoy property without unlawful deprivation, no less than the right to speak out or the right to travel, is, in truth, a 'personal right.'

1972 - from Lynch vs. HFC
Newspapers, television networks, and magazines have sometimes been outrageously abusive, untruthful, arrogant, and hypocritical. But it hardly follows that elimination of a strong and independent press is the way to eliminate abusiveness...

In fact, a fundamental interdependence exists between the personal right to liberty and the personal right to property.




Swift justice demands more than just swiftness.

Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.

Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritative regime.

Stigler, George
In the long run ... workers and consumers are the main beneficiaries [of capitalism] - easier jobs, higher incomes, and so forth. That is the main performance of the system. The businessman can make a killing, but it's a small killing compared to society's killing. Henry Ford made a lot of money making cars at one time, but that was a small advantage to him compared to the benefit to millions of people who for the first time in their lives were emancipated from common public carriers and could live where they wanted, move at the hours they wanted, to the places they wanted. Ford collected a billion bucks, but that was peanuts compared to the benefits.

Jan. 01, 1984 - from an interview published in Reason Magazine
Stirner, Max
The State calls its own violence, law; but that of the individual, crime.

Stock, Brian  
The greatest threat to Canadian survival is not the lack of a national identity but the ignorance of Canadian history and the institutions in the United States.

Stockman, David A.
Implicit in the conservatism of the Right is a profound regard for the complexity and fragility of the social and economic order; and a consequent fear that policy interventions may do more harm and injustice than good. By contrast, the activist impulses of the Left derive from the view that a free society is the natural incubator of ills and injustices. The Left assumes that society has an infinite capacity to absorb the changes it imposes on it.

1986 - from The Triumph of Politics
None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers... People are getting from A to B and it's not clear how they are getting there...

Dec. 1981 - quoted in "The Education of David Stockman" by William Greider, published in The Atlantic Magazine
The conservative opposition helped build the American welfare state brick by brick during the three decades prior to 1980. The Reagan Revolution failed because the Republican Party decided to stick with its own historic handiwork.

1986 - from The Triumph of Politics
The actual electorate ... is not interested in this doctrine [of reductions in the size of government and its spending]; when it is interested at all, it is interested in getting help from the government to compensate for a perceived disadvantage. Consequently, the spending politics of Washington do reflect the heterogeneous and parochial demands that arise from the diverse, activated ... electorate across the land. What you see done in the halls of the politicians may not be wise, but it is the only real and viable definition of what the electorate wants.

1986 - from The Triumph of Politics



Stone, I.F.
I feel like a swimmer under water who must rise to the surface or his lungs will burst. Whatever the consequences, I must say what I really feel after seeing the Soviet Union and carefully studying the statements of its leading officials. This is not a good society, and it is not led by honest men.

May 28, 1956 - from I.F. Stone Weekly (Stone was an avowed communist until he wrote this)
The first rule of journalism is that governments lie. All governments lie.

Stone, Peter
I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress!

1969 - from the character John Adams in the musical comedy 1776
Story, Joseph
That government can scarcely deemed to be free, where the rights of property are left solely dependent upon the will of a legislative body without any restraint. The fundamental maxims of a free government seem to require the rights of personal liberty and private property should be held sacred.

Stossel, John
I started out by viewing the marketplace as a cruel place, where you need intervention by government and lawyers to protect people. But after watching the regulators work, I have come to believe that markets are magical and the best protectors of the consumer.

from an interview in The Oregonian newspaper
Stowe, Harriet Beecher  
Think of your freedom every time you see Uncle Tom's Cabin; and let it be a memorial to put you all in mind to follow in his steps, and be as honest and faithful and Christian as he was.

Strauss, Leo
Liberal relativism has its roots in the natural right tradition of tolerance or in the notion that everyone has a natural right to the pursuit of happiness as he understands happiness; but in itself it is a seminary of intolerance.

from Natural Right and History
Absolute tolerance is altogether impossible; the allegedly absolute tolerance turns into ferocious hatred of those who have stated clearly and most forcefully that there are unchangeable standards founded in the nature of man and the nature of things.

from Liberalism Ancient and Modern
Strossen, Nadine
It's common to say that we have to choose between freedom of speech or equality, that if you really care about equality you can't possibly be devoted to the First Amendment. I absolutely reject that as a philosophical matter and as a practical matter in the hate-speech context. ...I think it's insulting to women, racial minorities--to anybody--to say that we have to choose between freedom of speech and equal opportunity.

Oct. 01, 1994 - from an interview published in Reason Magazine
Strunsky, Simeon
If you want to understand democracy, spend less time in the library with Plato and more time in the buses with people.




To renew ties with the past may not always be daydreaming; it may be tapping old sources of strength for new tasks.

Sulzberger, Arthur Hays
Along with responsible newspapers we must have responsible readers.

A man's judgment cannot be better than the information on which he has based it...[G]ive him no news or present him only with distorted and incomplete data, with ignorant, sloppy or biased reporting, with propaganda and deliberate falsehoods, and you destroy his whole reasoning process and make him something less than a man.

1948
Summers, Lawrence
What's the single most important thing to learn from an economics course today? What I tried to leave my students with is the view that the invisible hand is more powerful than the unhidden hand. Things will happen in well-organized efforts without direction, controls, plans. That's the consensus among economists.

1998 - quoted in The Commanding Heights by Yergen and Stanislaw, Simon and Schuster
Sumner, Charles
From the beginning of our history the country has been afflicted with compromise. It is by compromise that human rights have been abandoned.

Sumner, William
If you want war, nourish a doctrine. Doctrines are the most frightful tyrants to which men ever are subject, because doctrines get inside a man's reason and betray him against himself. Civilized men have done their fiercest fighting for doctrines.

1903 - from his book War
Sutherland, George
For the saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished freedom is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while there was still time.

Suzuki, David  
There is no direct connection between convenience and happiness.

Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Swift, Jonathon
When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"



Man is not rational - merely capable of it.

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
I am apt to think that, in the day of Judgment, there will be small allowance given to the wise for their want of morals, nor to the ignorant for their want of faith, because both are without excuse.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Invention is the talent of youth, and judgment of age; so that our judgment grows harder to please, when we have fewer things to offer it: this goes through the whole commerce of life.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Law, in a free country, is, or ought to be, the determination of the majority of those who have property in land.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Small causes are sufficient to make a man uneasy when great ones are not in the way. For want of a block he will stumble at a straw.

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Politics ... are nothing but corruptions...

from his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects"
Swindoll, Charles
A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living.




Swope, Herbert Bayard
I cannot give you a formula for success but I can give you the formula for failure - which is: Try to please everybody.

1950 - from a speech
The first duty of a newspaper is to be accurate. If it is accurate, it follows that it is fair.

Mar. 16, 1958 - from a letter to the New York Herald Tribune
Sykes, Charles J.
Not to put too fine a point on it, meaningful reform means breaking the stranglehold of the educational bureaucracy and the educationist establishment on the nation's schools. Any systematic effort to improve the schools that fails to wrest them from the 'interlocking directorate' of the special interests will run aground--as previous attempts have done when they left intact the very institutions that nurtured, sustained, and fed off of educational mediocrity.

1995 - from Dumbing Down Our Kids
The politicization of higher education - which has drawn so much criticism and publicity - has been reproduced at the elementary and secondary levels of education with little publicity or opposition, even though in many ways it is more toxic. Children in elementary school are especially defenseless against the appropriation of their education by propagandists, since they lack even the modest abililty to debate and dissent that college students occasionally still retain.

1995 - from Dumbing Down Our Kids
[Eleven maxims not taught in school] 1) Life is not fair; get used to it. 2) The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself. 3) You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school (or college). You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both. 4) If you think your teachers are tough, wait till you get a boss. S/he doesn't have tenure. 5) Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity. 6) If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them. 7) Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room. 8) Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This, of course, doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. 9) Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time. 10) Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. 11) Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

1995 - from Dumbing Down Our Kids
The plaint of the victim - "It's not my fault" - has become the loudest and most influential voice in society. Victims of parents, of families, of men, of women, of the workplace, of sex, of stress, of drugs, of food, of personal physical characteristics - these and a host of other groups are engaged in an ever-escalating fight for attention, sympathy, money and legal or government protection.

1992 - from A Nation of Victims
Privacy is like oxygen. We really appreciate it only when it is gone.

Sep. 2000 - from "Invasion of the Privacy Snatchers", published by the Hoover Institution
Anxious to protect its own secrets, the government remains jealous of the ability of citizens to keep their own. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies want to deny the rest of us the ability to encode our own communications to prevent their easy interception or reading.

Sep. 2000 - from "Invasion of the Privacy Snatchers", published by the Hoover Institution
Privacy is not an absolute; like free speech, or any other right, it must be weighed in the balance against such values as freedom of information, free trade, national security, and the publicís need to know. Indeed, there are so many competing claims that privacy can hope to survive the balancing tests only if it is well established and well understood as a basic principle. But it is neither. Its legal status is confused, at best. And among the lost arts of our age is the ability to gracefully tell another, "Itís none of your business." In part, that is because we too often forget why privacy matters.

Sep. 2000 - from "Invasion of the Privacy Snatchers", published by the Hoover Institution
Syrus, Publius
He injures the good who spares the bad.

c. 50 B.C.



Mighty rivers can easily be leaped at their source.

from Moral Sayings
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

I often regret that I have spoken; never that I have been silent.

Szasz, Thomas Stephen
If you truly yearn to be free, you must first recognize all the ways you are unfree. Only after constructing a complete catalogue of the constraints upon you can you begin to consider which ones you can and want to diminish or eliminate and at what cost (to you and others you cherish). Your self-liberation will be complete when you are left with constraints to which you willingly, perhaps even eagerly, submit.

1990 - from The Untamed Tongue
Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.

Why do children want to grow up? Because they experience their lives as constrained by immaturity and perceive adulthood as a condition of greater freedom and opportunity. But what is there today, in America, that very poor and very rich adolescents want to do but cannot do? Not much: they can "do" drugs, "have" sex, "make" babies, and "get" money (from their parents, crime, or the State). For such adolescents, adulthood becomes synonymous with responsibility rather than liberty. Is it any surprise that they remain adolescents?

When you hear [a politician] running for office say, 'I want to serve my country,' remind yourself that what the man really means is: 'I want the country to be at my service.'

1990 - from The Untamed Tongue
Liberty and responsibility are two sides of the same coin. No policy - public or private - can increase or decrease one without increasing or decreasing the other. Human behavior has reasons, not causes.

Drug prohibition is unwise social policy for many reasons, most obviously because forbidden fruit tastes sweeter: that is, because one of the easiest ways for a person (especially a young person) to assert his autonomy is by defying authority (especially arbitrary and hypocritical authority).

The Soviet government censors the press; hence, the Russians have a samizdat (underground) press--which American presidents interpret as proof of the spiritual invincibility of the free market. The American government censors substances (drugs); hence, the Americans have a samizdat (underground) pharmacopoeia--which American presidents interpret as proof of the subversion of the free market by greedy "drug lords" and hostile foreign governments.




Tacelli, Fr. Ronald K.
...with the coming of Liberalism, there was a denial of the Christian God. And therefore equality and dignity could no longer be grounded in God's salvific plan. How then could they be grounded? Liberalism had to find a ground for equality and dignity within nature... [especially] as potential: an equality of the seeming worst with the best, an equality unverified only because of accidental circumstances, because of a lack of opportunity.

1995 - from his essay published in American Renaissance No. 6
Tacitus, Cornelius
Corruptisima republica plurimae leges. [The more corrupt a republic, the more laws.]

116 - from Annals III
Fear is not in the habit of speaking truth. When perfect sincerity is expected, perfect freedom must be allowed; nor has anyone who is apt to be angry when he hears the truth, any cause to wonder that he does not hear it.

The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.

Love of fame is the last thing even the wise give up.

from Histories
Taft, William Howard
Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that to-day is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity.

Talbott, Strobe
 Here is one optimist's reason for believing unity will prevail ... within the next hundred years ... nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. ... A phrase briefly fashionable in the mid-20th century ó 'citizen of the world' ó will have assumed real meaning by the end of the 21st. All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary.

Jul. 20, 1992 - quoted in TIME Magazine
Talleyrand, Charles Maurice de
I am more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a lion than an army of 100 lions led by a sheep.

Tasker, Peter
When government does hold the reins, the results belie all the claims made for Japanese business skills. Just before its break-up and privatization by the Nakasone administration, the Japan National Railways sported long-term debts of Y23,000,000,000,000 - more than the debts of Mexico and Argentina put together.

1987 - from Inside Japan, Sidgewick and Johnson, London
Taylor, Bayard
Fame is what you have taken, Character's what you give; When to this truth you waken, Then you begin to live.

from Improvisations