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All governments require enemy governments.

EDWARD ABBEY, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Everybody's Political What's What

All government — indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act — is founded on compromise and barter.

EDMUND BURKE, second speech on Conciliation with America, 1775

The larger the slice taken by government, the smaller the cake available for everyone.

MARGARET THATCHER, Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World

The Government simply cannot make up their mind, or they cannot get the Prime Minister to make up his mind. So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech in the House of Commons, Nov. 12, 1936

The Government is a servant and never should be anything but a servant. The moment the people become adjuncts to government, then the law of retribution begins to work, for such a relation is unnatural, immoral, and inhuman.

HENRY FORD, introduction, My Life and Work

The government is us; we are the government, you and I.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, speech at Asheville, North Carolina, Sep. 9, 1902

All government is cruel; for nothing is so cruel as impunity.


Let a ruler base his government upon virtuous principles, and he will be like the pole-star, which remains steadfast in its place, while all the host of stars turn towards it.

CONFUCIUS, The Wisdom of Confucius

There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

AYN RAND, Atlas Shrugged

A wise Government seeks to provide the opportunity through which the best of individual achievement can be obtained, while at the same time it seeks to remove such obstruction, such unfairness as springs from selfish human motives.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Address at San Diego Exposition, Oct. 2, 1935

What, then, is the government? An intermediary body established between the subjects and the sovereign for their mutual communication, a body charged with the execution of the laws and the maintenance of freedom, both civil and political.

JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right

We assert the province of government to be to secure the people in the enjoyment of their unalienable rights. We throw to the winds the old dogma that governments can give rights.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, during her trial for voting in the presidential election of Nov. 1872

The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves -- in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, fragment of a speech from July 1, 1854, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln

But if safety be their common concern, the good of the governors must correspond with the good of the governed, and the interest of the servant must coincide with the interest of the master.


But whether we've won or lost, we need to trust that the government is acting for the (politically) correct reasons: liberal, if liberals have won; conservative, if conservatives have won; libertarian, if libertarians have won. We need to believe that the government is tracking the sort of interests it was intended to track.... When the actions of government conflict with those expectations, we will look beyond trust, for other reasons, to see whether they might explain the puzzle. Other reasons, such as money in the wrong places. When we find it--when we see that money was in the wrong place--it will affect us. It will weaken our trust in government. It will undermine our motivation to engage.

LAWRENCE LESSIG, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It

Whether government be a good or a bad thing, it is fair that men of equal abilities and virtues should equally share in it; that they should receive the advantage of it as their right, or bear the burden of it as their duty.


A general government shall do all those things which pertain to it, and all the local governments shall do precisely as they please in respect to those matters which exclusively concern them.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech at Columbus, Ohio, September 16, 1859

Mix and knead together all the state business as you do for your sausages. To win the people, always cook them some savory that pleases them.



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