Archive

Quotes

All the ills of democracy can be cured by more democracy.

—Al Smith, 1933

Why has the government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.

—Alexander Hamilton, 1787

Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

—Ambrose Bierce, 1906

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

—Ambrose Bierce, 1906

Written laws are like spiderwebs: they will catch, it is true, the weak and poor but would be torn in pieces by the rich and powerful.

—Anacharsis, c. 550 BC

The U.S. presidency is a Tudor monarchy plus telephones.

—Anthony Burgess, 1972

There is nothing more tyrannical than a strong popular feeling among a democratic people.

—Anthony Trollope, 1862

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

—Aristophanes, c. 424 BC

Whether for good or evil, it is sadly inevitable that all political leadership requires the artifices of theatrical illusion. In the politics of a democracy, the shortest distance between two points is often a crooked line.

—Arthur Miller, 2001

Envy is the basis of democracy.

—Bertrand Russell, 1930

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

—Catherine the Great, c. 1796

Treaties, you see, are like girls and roses: they last while they last.

—Charles de Gaulle, 1963

The Revolution is made by man, but man must forge his revolutionary spirit from day to day.

—Ernesto Che Guevara, 1968