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Government Quotes

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Government, to be safe and to be free, must consist of representatives having a common interest and a common feeling with the represented... No government extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific can be fit to govern me or those whom I represent. There is death in the pot, compound it how you will. See quote detail

Governments are necessarily continuing concerns. They have to keep going in good times and in bad. They therefore need a wide margin of safety. If taxes and debt are made all the people can bear when times are good, there will be certain disaster when times are bad.

Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich need no protection - they have many friends and few enemies.

He that would govern others, first should be the master of himself, richly endued with depth of understanding and height of knowledge.

Here is my first principle of foreign policy: good government at home.

I resent at any time or any place the attitude that the safety of this country depends on any man holding his job. No man has achieved that strength, and this country has not deteriorated to that weakness.

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.  If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.

I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it.

If 'pro' is the opposite of 'con' what is the opposite of 'progress'?

If human beings are fundamentally good, no government is necessary; if they are fundamentally bad, any government, being composed of human beings, would be bad also.

If men were angels, no government would be necessary.

If we can develop a class of educated men with nothing else to do but to better government, we ought to use them; and we ought to use them by having the profession of the politician recognized as essential to the welfare of the Republic.

In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?

It does not matter whether the right to govern is hereditary or obtained with the consent of the governed. A State is absolute in the sense which I have in mind when it claims the right to a monopoly of all the force within the community, to make war, to make peace, to conscript life, to tax, to establish and dis-establish property, to define crime, to punish disobedience, to control education, to supervise the family, to regulate personal habits, and to censor opinions. The modern State claims all of these powers, and, in the matter of theory, there is no real difference in the size of the claim between communists, fascists, and democrats. See quote detail

It is among the evils, and perhaps not the smallest, of democratic governments, that the people must feel before they will see. - When this happens, they are roused to action. - Hence it is that those kinds of government are too slow.

It is better for a city to be governed by a good man than even by good laws.

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

It is hard to feel individually responsible with respect to the invisible processes of a huge and distant government.

It is to self-government, the great principle of popular representation and administration, the system that lets in all to participate in its counsels, that we owe what we are, and what we hope to be.

It may pass for a maxim in state, that the administration cannot be placed in too few hands, nor the legislation in too many.

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