No human life, not even the life of a hermit, is possible without a world which directly or indirectly testifies to the presence of other human beings.

—Hannah Arendt, 1958

Politics is the art of the possible.

—Otto von Bismarck, 1867

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

—Lord Acton, 1887

You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.

—Mario Cuomo, 1985

Every country has the government it deserves.

—Joseph de Maistre, 1811

I am no courtesan, nor moderator, nor tribune, nor defender of the people: I am myself the people.

—Maximilien de Robespierre, 1792

Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.

—Paul Valéry, 1943

I shall be an autocrat: that’s my trade. And the good Lord will forgive me: that’s his.

—Catherine the Great, c. 1796

Sic semper tyrannis! The South is avenged.

—John Wilkes Booth, 1865

You have all the characteristics of a popular politician: a horrible voice, bad breeding, and a vulgar manner.

—Aristophanes, c. 424 BC

If you must take care that your opinions do not differ in the least from those of the person with whom you are talking, you might just as well be alone.

—Yoshida Kenko, c. 1330

He may be a patriot for Austria, but the question is whether he is a patriot for me.

—Emperor Francis Joseph, c. 1850

An appeal to the reason of the people has never been known to fail in the long run.

—James Russell Lowell, c. 1865