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6,095 quotations, showing Thomas to Tutu

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Thomas, Debi
I tell people I'm too stupid to know what's impossible. I have ridiculously large dreams, and half the time they come true.

Thomas, Lewis
It is in our collective behaviour that we are most mysterious.

1974 - from "Computers" in The Lives of a Cell
I am a member of a fragile species, still new to the earth, the youngest creatures of any scale, here only a few moments as evolutionary time is measured, a juvenile species, a child of a species. We are only tentatively set in place, error-prone, at risk of fumbling, in real danger at the moment of leaving behind only a thin layer of our fossils...

1992 - from The Fragile Species
Our behaviour toward each other is the strangest, most unpredictable, and almost entirely unaccountable of all of the phenomena with which we are obliged to live.

1983 - from Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony
Thomas, Norman
Dissent ... is a right essential to any concept of the dignity and freedom of the individual; it is essential to the search for truth in a world wherein no authority is infallible.

The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism', they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.

1936 - from an interview during the presidential campaign
Thompson, Robert  
The Americans are our best friends - whether we like it or not.

Thoreau, Henry David
Trade and commerce, if they were not made of india-rubber, would never manage to bounce over obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way; and if one were to judge these men wholly by the effects of their actions and not partly by their intentions, they would deserve to be classed and punished with those mischievous persons who put obstructions on the railroads.

There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.

1849 - from "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience"
Any truth is better than make-believe... rather than love, than money than fame, give me truth.

... government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way. It does not keep the country free....It does not educate.

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but religiously follows the new.

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.

That government is best which governs least.

1949 - from "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience"
When were the good and the brave ever in a majority?

When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man?

What does education often do? It makes a straight cut ditch of a free meandering brook.

The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free.

Men have become the tools of their tools.

Our life is frittered away by detail...Simplify, simplify.

There is an incessant influx of novelty into the world, and yet we tolerate incredible dullness.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

1854 - from Walden
Thornburgh, Richard
If we want to lose the war on drugs, just leave it to law enforcement.

Mar. 19, 1989 - on the television program ABC This Week
Thornton, James
Intelligence....is distributed in every society in a way which, when depicted on a graph, appears as a bell-shaped curve. That such a distribution characterizes all societies is not a new discovery by any means. Almost 100 years ago the philosopher Pareto wrote of just such an intelligence bell curve in his Les Systèmes Socialistes, a book intended to expose the dangerous illogic inherent in Marxism.

1995 - from New American II
Thornton, Mark
No government intervention has been so widely debunked as the minimum wage... Like inflation, an increase in the minimum wage is a stealthy tax increase as well... Elites in both [U.S. federal political] parties love new government revenue, but they prefer to get it inconspicuously. If a tax increase can be passed off as a wage increase--and create the impression that government has done workers a favor--it's a winner all around. But don't call it a help to the poor who are fired or never hired, or whose higher earnings are taxed away, never to be seen again.

Nov. 1996 - from "Minimum Wage, Minimum Tax", published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute
Thorsell, William  
Achieving the last five percent of a goal costs at least 30 percent of the effort and risks 100 percent of the project.

Feb. 2, 2001 - from "The costs of getting to perfection", published in the Globe and Mail
The incidence of wife abuse may differ significantly among Canadians of various ethnic backgrounds, but unless it be aboriginals, the media shy away from reporting it. Drug trafficking and racketeering may be dominated by Canadians (or refugee claimants) with ties to particular countries, but the media rarely note these peculiarities. A rising incidence of armed robbery with violence may be traced in significant part to a particular immigrant community, but the media will almost never investigate the possibility ... We practice a double standard in this kind of reporting, and so doing, we practice bad journalism.

... governments ban the keeping of ethnic data in relation to crime, educational attainment or family breakdown, and journalists are generally pleased to accept these conditions because they, too, fear the scourge of racism and do not want to play any part in contributing to it. Understandable as this is, it is a mistake, especially for journalists. It is the very purpose to report the whole truth about significant social, economic and political events. Had we decided 25 years ago that the truth about conditions on native reserves and territories was "too hot to handle" - in effect, that the public cold not be trusted with the truth - we would have been cruelly derelict in our duty to Canadian society, including the aboriginals.

War is an evil thing; but to submit to the dictation of other states is worse.... Freedom, if we hold fast to it, will ultimately restore our losses, but submission will mean permanent loss of all that we value.... To you who call yourselves men of peace, I say: You are not safe unless you have men of action on your side.

c. 413 BC - from The History of the Peloponnesian War

As the revolutionary spirit grew in intensity, men surpassed their predecessors in the ingenuity of their plots and the brutality of their revenge. Words no longer meant what they had before, but were distorted to serve personal and party purposes; recklessness was called loyal courage; prudent delay, cowardice; restraint, weakness of will; frantic energy, true manliness. The ties of party were stronger than those of family, because a partisan would act without daring to ask why. No agreements were binding if there was opportunity of breaking them successfully.

c. 413 BC - from The History of the Peloponnesian War
Thurber, James
This is the posture of fortune's slave: one foot in the gravy, one foot in the grave.

1956 - from "The Mouse and the Money" in Further Fables for Our Time
The difference between our decadence and the Russians is that while theirs is brutal, ours is apathetic.

You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.

1945 - from The Thurber Carnival
Thurman, Howard
It is a strange freedom to be adrift in the world of men without a sense of anchor anywhere. Always there is a need of mooring, the need for the firm grip on something that is rooted and will not give. The urge to be accountable to someone, to know that there is an answer that must be given, cannot be denied. The deed a man performs must be weighed in the balance held by another's hand. The very spirit of a man tends to panic from the desolation of going nameless up and down the streets of other minds where no salutation greets and no friendly recognition makes secure. It is a strange freedom to be adrift in the world of men.

1973 - from The Inward Journey
Tillinac, Denis
The man of the Left, having digested Marx, rolls up his sleeves and decides to 'change life'; the man of the Right, having ridden with d'Artagnan, prepares to raise the tone of his own life. On the Left, the belief that happiness is achievable through collective action. On the Right, the obvious fact that no human being can ever escape from the shackles of his own angels and demons. On the Left, the project; on the Right, the demand. On the Left, the weight of an ideology. On the Right, the grace of solitary vigour. On the Left, quantifiable certainties; on the Right, the glorious uncertainty of sport. On the Left, committees; on the Right, the Musketeers.

Tito, Josip Broz
Any movement in history which attempts to perpetuate itself, becomes reactionary.

Tobey, Charles W.
A democratic government is only as strong as the alert conscience of its people.

Toffler, Alvin
Man has a limited biological capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock.

1970 - from Future Shock
You can use all the quantitative data you can get, but you still have to distrust it and use your own intelligence and judgment.

quoted In Quotable Business (1992), Louis Boone, ed.

Knowledge is the most democratic source of power.

1990 - from Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century
The Law of Raspberry Jam - The wider any culture is spread, the thinner it gets.

1964 - from The Culture Consumers
[In Future Shock] we said ... that the period we are moving into is not the period of the crisis of communism or the crisis of capitalism, but the general crisis of industrialism. ... We thought, okay, we've got that problem solved, let's go on to other problems. We were young, and still willing to listen to linear economic extrapolations. ... Acceleration itself has effects on the system.

The master conflict of the 21st century will not between cultures but between the three supercivilizations - between agrarianism and industrialism and post-industrialism. Each of these have different interests. They need different resources. They view reality from different perspectives. Even their conceptions of time, and of history, differ.

Unemployment has gone from quantitative to qualitative.

Tolstoy, Leo
I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.

I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means - except by getting off his back.

1886 - from What Then Must We Do?
Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless.

Tomlin, Lily
I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.

Ninety eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.

Tompkins, Jimmy J.  
The essence of democracy is that people are intelligent enough to manage their affairs in such a way that, in case of necessity, the right man appears at the right time and in response to the express will of the people.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
The very nature of democracy is opposed to dictatorship, no matter how benign the dictator. The sure builder of democracy will realize that the quickest way of achieving his program is to go down and build up the crowd into fit instruments for putting across its ideals. Any other method of procedure would be like building a foundation on sand.

May. 05, 1935 - from his pamphlet The Technique of Democracy, Consumers Cooperative
No body of men is worthy of a socially just society unless it is able to merit it by its intelligence and its moral backbone. If they got it otherwise they would not appreciate it nor long maintain it.

May. 05, 1935 - from his pamphlet The Technique of Democracy, Consumers Cooperative
Toronto Board of Education  
 Schools are accountable for addressing the academic inequity of opportunities and outcomes for racial minority students. ... An antiracist curriculum examines issues of power and equality, and deep-seated problems related to superordination and unequal power distribution. [emphasis added]

May 1997 - quoted from Board policy document 206 in "Reading, writing and racism", by Okey Chigbo, published in The Next City Magazine, Spring 1997
Toynbee, Arnold Joseph
Civilization is a movement, not a condition; it is a voyage, not a harbor.

Trevelyan, George M.
The gods mercifully gave mankind this little moment of peace between the religious fanaticisms of the past and the fanaticisms of class and race that were speedily to arise and dominate time to come.

from English Social History
All the great religions meet on the esoteric level, and they all teach the one great maxim to mankind: "Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Do not do to others what you would not have them do to you." If we look at the world today, how many are really following that great maxim?

Jul. 23, 1983 - from a speech in London
Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading, an easy prey to sensations and cheap appeals.

from English Social History, quoted in The MacMillan Dictionary of Quotations
Trudeau, Pierre Elliot  
We are going to be governed whether we like it or not; it is up to us to see to it that we are governed no worse than is absolutely unavoidable. We must therefore concern ourselves with politics, as Pascal said, to mitigate as far as possible the damage done by the madness of our rulers.


 I was my best successor, but I decided not to succeed myself.

1984 - at a press conference announcing his resignation
The philosophy of the Liberal Party is very simple – say anything, think anything, or better still, do not think at all, but put us in power because it is we who can govern you best.

We are confronted by the ageless paradox that certain kinds of freedom, such as the freedom to pursue excellence, are impossible without rules. We limit one kind of freedom in order to promote another. The wisest among us impose rules with a light touch.

April 2, 1976 - from a speech delivered in Toronto
Essentially a constitution is designed to last a long time. Legal authority derives entirely from it, and if it is binding only for a short period it is not binding at all. A citizen - to say nothing of a power group - will not feel obliged to respect laws or governments he considers unfavourable to him if he thinks that they can be easily replaced. If the rules of the constitutional game are to be changed in any case, why not right now? A country where this mentality is prevalent oscillates between revolution and dictatorship.

1968 - from Federalism and the French Canadians, Macmillan, Toronto
The great lesson to draw from revolutions is not that they devour humanity but rather that tyranny never fails to generate them.

1958 - from "When the People Are In Power"
Canada is not a country for the cold of heart or the cold of feet.

Our strength lies in our national will to live and work together as a people. Weaken that will, that spirit of community, and you weaken Canada. Weaken Canada, and you damage all the parts, no matter how rich some of those parts may be.

Nov. 19, 1979 - from a speech delivered in Toronto
For unscrupulous politicians, there is no surer way of rousing feelings that to trumpet a call to pride of race. French Canadians will be rid of this kind of politician if the blackmail ceases, and the blackmail will cease only if Canada refuses to dance to that tune.

Sep. 28, 1992 - quoted in Maclean's Magazine
All the demands made of Canada by the Quebec nationalists can be summed up in just one: keep giving us new powers and the money to exercise them, or we'll leave. If Quebecers are offered the chance to have their cake and eat it too, naturally they will accept.

1996 - from Against the Current : Selected Writings, Gerard Pelletier, ed., McLelland and Stewart, Toronto
 [Regarding Canadian constitutional provisions which specially recognize collective rights of native people, multi-cultural rights of newer Canadians, and women's rights] The only effect of these Charter provisions is to give individuals belonging to these collectivities an additional guarantee of protection against any interpretation of the Charter whereby their rights could be overlooked.

1996 - from Against the Current : Selected Writings, Gerard Pelletier, ed., McLelland and Stewart, Toronto

 There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian. What could be more absurd than the concept of an "all-Canadian" boy or girl?

Oct. 9, 1971 - from a speech to the Ukranian-Canadian Congress
 The decision by the Canadian government that a second language be given increased official recognition is, in indirect fashion, support for the cultivation and use of many languages, because it is a breach of the monopoly position of one language and an elevation of the stature of the languages that are 'different.'

Oct. 9, 1971 - from a speech to the Ukranian-Canadian Congress
[Quebec nationalism] I am afraid that excessive preoccupation with the future of the language has made certain people forget the future of the person speaking it. A working man may care about his language and cultural values; he also cares very strongly about having a decent life with the risk of losing the little he has through some misguided political adventure.

1968 - from Federalism and the French Canadians, Macmillan, Toronto
 Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos. Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent.

1950 - from "Politique fonctionnelle"
 I will not leave Ottawa until the country and the government are irreversibly bilingual.

1975 - quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
 It's made it much more difficult for us as Liberals to talk of bilingualism since Quebec has begun to talk of unilingualism.

1976 - quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Truman, Harry S.
If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a ... government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State.

quoted in God's Providence in America's History, by Steven Dawson
 The United Nations represents the idea of a universal morality, superior to the interests of individual nations...

Oct. 24, 1950 - from a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, quoted in The Road To Socialism and the New World Order by Dr. Dennis Cuddy
If we don't have a fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a ... government which does not believe in rights for anyone except the state.

quoted in God's Providence in American History (1988) by Steven C. Dawson
In a free society, we punish a man for the crimes he commits, but never for the opinions he holds.

I can remember when a good politician had to be 75 percent ability and 25 percent actor, but I can well see the day when the reverse could be true.

It’s a recession when your neighbour loses his job. It’s a depression when you lose yours.

Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice.

Give me a one-handed economist! All my economists say, 'on the one hand ... on the other hand!'

quoted in Presidential Anecdotes by P. Boller
If you cannot convince them, confuse them.

I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.

quoted in Look Magazine
Trump, Donald
Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make.

Tse Tung, Mao
War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.

1966 - from Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung
Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

Liberalism is extremely harmful in a revolutionary collective. It is a corrosive which eats away unity, undermines cohesion, causes apathy and creates dissension.

from Selected Works Volume 2
Tuchman, Barbara
Government remains the paramount field of unwisdom because it is there that men seek power over others - and lose it over themselves.

Every successful revolution puts on in time the robe of the tyrant it has deposed.

Tucker, Benjamin R.
It is a curious fact that the two extremes of the [socialist movement] ... though united... by the common claim that labour should be put in possession of its own, are more diametrically opposed to each other in their fundamental principles of social action and their methods of reaching the ends aimed at than either is to their common enemy, existing society. They are based on two principles the history of whose conflict is almost equivalent to the history of the world since man came into it... The two principles referred to are authority and liberty, and the names of the two schools of Socialistic thought which fully and unreservedly represent one or the other are, respectively, State Socialism and Anarchism. Whoso knows that these two schools want and how they propose to get it understands the Socialistic movement. For, just as it has been said that there is no half-way house between Rome and Reason, so it may be said that there is no half-way house between State Socialism and Anarchism.

1886 - from "State Socialism and Anarchism" originally published in Instead of a Book
[Karl] Marx, [state socialism's] founder, concluded that the only way to abolish the class monopolies was to centralize and consolidate all industrial and commercial interests, all productive and distributive agencies, in one vast monopoly in the hands of the State... the remedy for monopolies is monopoly.

1886 - from "State Socialism and Anarchism" originally published in Instead of a Book
[State socialism] means the absolute control by the majority of all individual conduct. The right of such control is already admitted by the State Socialists, though they maintain that, as a matter of fact, the individual would be allowed a much larger liberty than he now enjoys. But he would only be allowed it; he could not claim it as his own. There would be no foundation of society upon a guaranteed equality of the largest possible liberty. Such liberty as might exist would exist by sufferance and could be taken away at any moment. Constitutional guarantees would be of no avail. There would be but one article in the constitution of a State Socialistic country: "The right of the majority is absolute." [This essay was written before state socialism completed its inevitable evolution to "the right of the state's managers is absolute." Ed.]

1886 - from "State Socialism and Anarchism" originally published in Instead of a Book
Tucker, Gideon J.
No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.

1866 - reported in David Friedman, The Machinery of Freedom (La Salle: Open Court, 1989), p. 146.
Tupper, Sir Charles  
The human mind naturally adapts itself to the position it occupies. The most gigantic intellect may be dwarfed by being cabin'd, cribbed and confined. It requires a great country and great circumstances to develop great men.

Turner, John  
Greed is what makes the world tick, baby.

Tutu, Desmond
We aim to remember, to forgive and to go on, with full recognition of how fragile the threads of community are.

Jan. 11, 1998 - from the article "Without Memory, There Is No Healing. Without Forgiveness, There Is No Future" published in Parade magazine