Government Corruption Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Government Corruption. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
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Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
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No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious & charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
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The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
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Tacitus (The Annals of Imperial Rome)
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When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not Guilty'.
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Theodore Roosevelt
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Dear Government... I'm going to have a serious talk with you if I ever find anyone to talk to.
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Stieg Larsson (The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2))
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It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
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Mark Twain
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No amount of me trying to explain myself was doing any good. I didn't even know what was going on inside of me, so how could I have explained it to them?
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Sierra D. Waters (Debbie.)
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When one gets in bed with government, one must expect the diseases it spreads.
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Ron Paul
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To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism.
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G. Edward Griffin
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The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.
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Adolf Hitler
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All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.
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Frank Herbert (Chapterhouse: Dune (Dune #6))
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In a world too often governed by corruption and arrogance, it can be difficult to stay true to one’s philosophical and literary principles.
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Lemony Snicket (The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #12))
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The Second Amendment is timeless for our Founders grasped that self-defense is three-fold: every free individual must protect themselves against the evil will of the man, the mob and the state.
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Tiffany Madison
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My biggest problem with modernity may lie in the growing separation of the ethical and the legal
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms)
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Most gun control arguments miss the point. If all control boils fundamentally to force, how can one resist aggression without equal force? How can a truly β€œfree” state exist if the individual citizen is enslaved to the forceful will of individual or organized aggressors? It cannot.
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Tiffany Madison
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Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.
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Theodore Roosevelt
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I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such: because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well-administred; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administred for a Course of Years and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.
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Benjamin Franklin
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Whereas it appeareth that however certain forms of government are better calculated than others to protect individuals in the free exercise of their natural rights, and are at the same time themselves better guarded against degeneracy, yet experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, ....whence it becomes expedient for promoting the publick happiness that those persons, whom nature hath endowed with genius and virtue, should be rendered by liberal education worthy to receive, and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens, and that they should be called to that charge without regard to wealth, birth or accidental condition of circumstance.
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Thomas Jefferson (Writings: Autobiography / Notes on the State of Virginia / Public and Private Papers / Addresses / Letters)
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A president cannot defend a nation if he is not held accountable to its laws.
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DaShanne Stokes
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...they say if you don't vote, you get the government you deserve, and if you do, you never get the results you expected.
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E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
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The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosityβ€”a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.
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Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
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Are there good governments and bad governments? No, there are only bad governments and worse governments.
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Charles Bukowski (The Most Beautiful Woman in Town & Other Stories)
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To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.
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George Orwell (1984)
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The more you can escape from how horrible things really are, the less it's going to bother you...and then, the worse things get.
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Frank Zappa
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A system is corrupt when it is strictly profit-driven, not driven to serve the best interests of its people.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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In poor countries, officials receive explicit bribes; in D.C. they get the sophisticated, implicit, unspoken promise to work for large corporations
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms)
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The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.
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H.L. Mencken (A Mencken Chrestomathy)
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At times there's something so precise and mathematically chilling about nationalism. Build a dam to take away water AWAY from 40 million people. Build a dam to pretend to BRING water to 40 million people. Who are these gods that govern us? Is there no limit to their powers?
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Arundhati Roy (The Cost of Living)
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They want us to be afraid. They want us to be afraid of leaving our homes. They want us to barricade our doors and hide our children. Their aim is to make us fear life itself! They want us to hate. They want us to hate 'the other'. They want us to practice aggression and perfect antagonism. Their aim is to divide us all! They want us to be inhuman. They want us to throw out our kindness. They want us to bury our love and burn our hope. Their aim is to take all our light! They think their bricked walls will separate us. They think their damned bombs will defeat us. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that my soul and your soul are old friends. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that when they cut you I bleed. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that we will never be afraid, we will never hate and we will never be silent for life is ours!
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Kamand Kojouri
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When you're dealing with frauds and liars, listen more to what they don't say than what they do.
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DaShanne Stokes
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Our freedoms are vanishing. If you do not get active to take a stand now against all that is wrong while we still can, then maybe one of your children may elect to do so in the future, when it will be far more riskier β€” and much, much harder.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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The worship of the state is the worship of force. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men. The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments. The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.
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Ludwig von Mises
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Weak men cannot handle power. It will either crush them, or they will use it to crush others
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Jocelyn Murray (The English Pirate)
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By this means the government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people, and not one man in a million will detect the theft.
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John Maynard Keynes (The Economic Consequences of the Peace)
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Absolute power corrupts absolutely; and if you surrender your personal responsibility to a government which promises to take care of you, they will only take care of themselves.
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Howard Nemerov
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Truth is hard, propaganda is cheap.
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DaShanne Stokes
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. . . in no instance has a system in regard to religion been ever established, but for the purpose, as well as with the effect of its being made an instrument of intimidation, corruption, and delusion, for the support of depredation and oppression in the hands of governments.
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Jeremy Bentham (Constitutional Code; For the Use All Nations and All Governments Professing Liberal Opinions Volume 1)
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Instead of politicians, let the monkeys govern the countries; at least they will steal only the bananas!
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Mehmet Murat ildan
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Is ours a government of the people, by the people, for the people, or a kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?
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Thomas Love Peacock
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Profit should never come at the cost of human blood. Any government that places profit before people is pure evil.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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Today I wore a pair of faded old jeans and a plain grey baggy shirt. I hadn't even taken a shower, and I did not put on an ounce of makeup. I grabbed a worn out black oversized jacket to cover myself with even though it is warm outside. I have made conscious decisions lately to look like less of what I felt a male would want to see. I want to disappear.
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Sierra D. Waters (Debbie.)
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Schools train you to be ignorant with style [...] they prepare you to be a usable victim for a military industrial complex that needs manpower. As long as you're just smart enough to do a job and just dumb enough to swallow what they feed you, you're going to be alright [...] So I believe that schools mechanically and very specifically try and breed out any hint of creative thought in the kids that are coming up.
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Frank Zappa
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When picking a leader, choose a peacemaker. One who unites, not divides. A cultured leader who supports the arts and true freedom of speech, not censorship.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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If Congress refuse to listen to and grant what women ask, there is but one course left then to pursue. What is there left for women to do but to become the mothers of the future government?
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Victoria Claflin Woodhull
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Leadership by deception isn't leadership. It's fraud.
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DaShanne Stokes
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Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens; and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite public agents to corruption, plunder and waste.
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Thomas Jefferson
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Intimidated, old traumas triggered, and fearing for my safety, I did what I felt I needed to do.
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Sierra D. Waters (Debbie.)
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Failing to indict a criminal sitting president sends the message that those in power are above the law.
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DaShanne Stokes
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Fascism thrives in obscurity and darkness.
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DaShanne Stokes
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Corrupt and incompetent police officers have a long history of being protected by their colleagues, police internal affairs and the government.
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Steven Magee
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Ethics and oversight are what you eliminate when you want absolute power.
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DaShanne Stokes
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Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.
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Milton Friedman
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She still remembers the effect a certain book can have on people at the right time in their lives. A book, at its most mundane,can be a loaded gun. At its most powerful, it can split the trunk of a tree, mend a broken heart, heal the sick, and topple a corrupt government.
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Don Borchert (Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library)
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The words consent of the governed have become an empty phrase. Our textbooks on political science and economics are obsolete. Our nation has been hijacked by oligarchs, corporations, and a narrow, selfish, political, and economic elite, a small and privileged group that governs, and often steals, on behalf of moneyed interests. This elite, in the name of patriotism and democracy, in the name of all the values that were once part of the American system and defined the Protestant work ethic, has systematically destroyed our manufacturing sector, looted the treasury, corrupted our democracy, and trashed the financial system. During this plundering we remained passive, mesmerized by the enticing shadows on the wall, assured our tickets to success, prosperity, and happiness were waiting around the corner.
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Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
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What is it about the government and its agents and employees that they can lie to us with impunity, but we risk being sent to jail if we lie to them?
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Andrew P. Napolitano (Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History)
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Whether voting Republican or Democrat, the result is the same: A corrupt corporate government.
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Steven Magee
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Our will is always for our own good, but we do not always see what that is; the people is never corrupted, but it is often deceived..." (Bk2:3)
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract)
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Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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Corruption is uniquely reprehensible in a democracy because it violates the system's first principle, which we all learned back in the sunshiny days of elementary school: that the government exist to serve the public, not particular companies or individuals or even elected officials.
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Thomas Frank (The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule)
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When a plutocracy is disguised as a democracy, the system is beyond corrupt.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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We can't just sit on our asses and not live our lives while we're trying to expose a corrupt government.
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C.B. Lee (Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, #1))
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Our government, National and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests. Exactly as the special interests of cotton and slavery threatened our political integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit. We must drive the special interests out of politics.
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Theodore Roosevelt
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When avarice takes the lead in a state, it is commonly the forerunner of its fall.
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Alexander Hamilton
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Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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Your god, sir, is the World. In my eyes, you, too, if not an infidel, are an idolater. I conceive that you ignorantly worship: in all things you appear to me too superstitious. Sir, your god, your great Bel, your fish-tailed Dagon, rises before me as a demon. You, and such as you, have raised him to a throne, put on him a crown, given him a sceptre. Behold how hideously he governs! See him busied at the work he likes best -- making marriages. He binds the young to the old, the strong to the imbecile. He stretches out the arm of Mezentius and fetters the dead to the living. In his realm there is hatred -- secret hatred: there is disgust -- unspoken disgust: there is treachery -- family treachery: there is vice -- deep, deadly, domestic vice. In his dominions, children grow unloving between parents who have never loved: infants are nursed on deception from their very birth: they are reared in an atmosphere corrupt with lies ... All that surrounds him hastens to decay: all declines and degenerates under his sceptre. Your god is a masked Death.
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Charlotte BrontΓ« (Shirley)
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All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corrupt-able. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.
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Frank Herbert (Chapterhouse: Dune (Dune, #6))
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Our country must morally re-arm. We cannot run a country where virtue is vice and vice is virtue. We cannot live in a country where the looters of yester-years assume they have undergone a Pauline conversion because they are in opposition and oppose the Government of the day. Some of our richest men and women are to be found in politics and their creed is, thou shall reap what thou hath not sown.
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Patrick L.O. Lumumba
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Imagine all contradictions, all possible incompatibilities--you will find them in the government, in the law-courts, in the churches, in the public shows of this droll nation.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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A system is corrupt when it is strictly profit-driven, not driven to serve the best interests of its people, but those of multinational corporations.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you – you know your nation is doomed.
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Ayn Rand
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In the tired hand of a dying man, Theodore Senior had written: "The 'Machine politicians' have shown their colors... I feel sorry for the country however as it shows the power of partisan politicians who think of nothing higher than their own interests, and I feel for your future. We cannot stand so corrupt a government for any great length of time.
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Edmund Morris (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt)
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Every culture has its southerners -- people who work as little as they can, preferring to dance, drink, sing brawl, kill their unfaithful spouses; who have livelier gestures, more lustrous eyes, more colorful garments, more fancifully decorated vehicles, a wonderful sense of rhythm, and charm, charm, charm; unambitious, no, lazy, ignorant, superstitious, uninhibited people, never on time, conspicuously poorer (how could it be otherwise, say the northerners); who for all their poverty and squalor lead enviable lives -- envied, that is, by work-driven, sensually inhibted, less corruptly governed northerners. We are superior to them, say the northerners, clearly superior. We do not shirk our duties or tell lies as a matter of course, we work hard, we are punctual, we keep reliable accounts. But they have more fun than we do ... They caution[ed] themselves as people do who know they are part of a superior culture: we mustn't let ourselves go, mustn't descend to the level of the ... jungle, street, bush, bog, hills, outback (take your pick). For if you start dancing on tables, fanning yourself, feeling sleepy when you pick up a book, developing a sense of rhythm, making love whenever you feel like it -- then you know. The south has got you.
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Susan Sontag (The Volcano Lover)
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Leaders will love to be poor and see their people rich, than to be rich and see their people poor. This is their mission.
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Israelmore Ayivor (Leaders' Ladder)
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When the President does it , that means that it is not illegal.
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Richard M. Nixon
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Accepting fraud from our leaders means accepting fraud in our personal lives.
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DaShanne Stokes
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Just as it is impossible to know when a swimming fish is drinking water, so it is impossible to find out when a government servant is stealing money
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Chanakya (The Arthashastra)
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It is not a single crime when a child is photographed while sexually assaulted (raped.) It is a life time crime that should have life time punishments attached to it. If the surviving child is, more often than not, going to suffer for life for the crime(s) committed against them, shouldn't the pedophiles suffer just as long? If it often takes decades for survivors to come to terms with exactly how much damage was caused to them, why are there time limits for prosecution?
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Sierra D. Waters (Debbie.)
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Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back! Surely, comrades," cried Squealer almost pleadingly
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George Orwell (Animal Farm)
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The biggest criminals that I have met in life are working for the government. They make mass murderers look like amateurs.
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Steven Magee
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Global betterment is a mental process, not one that requires huge sums of money or a high level of authority. Change has to be psychological.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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Laws become fragile under the influence of dictators.
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Wayne Gerard Trotman
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The common and continual mischief's [sic] of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and the duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it. It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion.
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George Washington (Washington's farewell address: delivered to Congress on September 19, 1796)
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I believe in political equality. But there are two opposite reasons for being a democrat. You may think all men so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth, and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice. That is, in my opinion, the false, romantic doctrine of democracy. On the other hand, you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his fellows. That I believe to be the true ground of democracy. I do not believe that God created an egalitarian world. I believe the authority of parent over child, husband over wife, learned over simple to have been as much a part of the original plan as the authority of man over beast. I believe that if we had not fallen...patriarchal monarchy would be the sole lawful government. But since we have learned sin, we have found, as Lord Acton says, that 'all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' The only remedy has been to take away the powers and substitute a legal fiction of equality. The authority of father and husband has been rightly abolished on the legal plane, not because this authority is in itself bad (on the contrary, it is, I hold, divine in origin), but because fathers and husbands are bad. Theocracy has been rightly abolished not because it is bad that learned priests should govern ignorant laymen, but because priests are wicked men like the rest of us. Even the authority of man over beast has had to be interfered with because it is constantly abused.
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C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)
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The USA government sure do like their propaganda feeds! Unfortunately, too much propaganda does create the scenario where no one believes anything that they say. It's just like Pinocchio.
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Steven Magee
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There are honest politicians. They haven't won the elections yet.
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Ljupka Cvetanova (The New Land)
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Democracy doesn't mean spreading terror.
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DaShanne Stokes
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The more laws that are created, the closer we get to lawlessness.
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J.S.B. Morse (Gods of Ruin)
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Liberty is a constant battle between government; who would limit it, people; who would concede it, and patriots; who would defend it.
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Samuel R. Young Jr.
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Behind the facade of elected government are a bunch of corporate controlled gangsters running the country.
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Steven Magee
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Politics doesn't corrupt people, people corrupt politics.
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Amit Kalantri
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You've sinned, I suppose, but your punishment has been out of all proportion. They have turned you into something other than a human being. You have no power of choice any longer. You are committed to socially acceptable acts, a little machine capable only of good.
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Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
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Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature such as self preservation? (CIA Document, Project ARTICHOKE, MORI ID 144686, 1952) As cited by Dr Ellen P. Lacter, p57
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Orit Badouk Epstein (Ritual Abuse and Mind Control: The Manipulation of Attachment Needs)
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The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens ... Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.
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Leo Tolstoy (The Gospel in Brief)
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Fascism is when corporations become the government.
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Bill Maher
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Leaders say "no" to corruption. Anyone playing a role in governance, and is not ready to do this is not a leader.
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Israelmore Ayivor (Leaders' Ladder)
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Corrupt governments are run by corrupt politicians that run corrupt law enforcement agencies.
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Steven Magee
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The biggest mistake that you will make in life is believing that governments act in the public interest.
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Steven Magee
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Any government that places profit before people is pure evil.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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Sino nga ba ang learning disabled, β€˜yung mga hirap mag-aral o β€˜yun mga walang natutunan? Ano ang pinagkaiba ng out-of-school youth na shoplifter at Harvard-graduate na corrupt government official bukod sa mas mayaman β€˜yung pangalawa?
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Bob Ong (ABNKKBSNPLAKo?! (Mga Kwentong Chalk ni Bob Ong))
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Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
β€œ
Plato argued that good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will always find a way around law. By pretending that procedure will get rid of corruption, we have succeeded only in humiliating honest people and provided a cover of darkness and complexity for the bad people. There is a scandal here, but it's not the result of venal bureaucrats. (1994) p. 99
”
”
Philip K. Howard (The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America)
β€œ
Now the primary requirement of a AI based system is that not only it should serve humanity but also should not do any harm to the human liberty, society, environment and the humanity at large. Moreover, AI should act morally, socially, responsibly and compassionately. It should also prevent humanity from corrupt governments and other evil forces. This is Compassionate Artificial Superintelligence or "AI 5.0
”
”
Amit Ray (Compassionate Artificial Superintelligence AI 5.0)
β€œ
The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state.
”
”
Tacitus
β€œ
The worst thing about corruption as a system of governance, Didier once said, is that it works so well.
”
”
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
β€œ
If you want to be lied to, all you have to do is believe everything that the government tells you.
”
”
Steven Magee
β€œ
I may be Anti-Big Government, but only because I am Pro-Human.
”
”
Gary Hopkins
β€œ
Why does a government agency that has no connection with my community have the right to dictate what is appropriate for it?
”
”
Simon S. Tam
β€œ
Politicized science is like a prostitute with an STD. You know she has been fucked by a dirty politician.
”
”
A.E. Samaan
β€œ
If your government keep making big mistakes and in return you keep supporting your government, then you are the biggest mistake for your country!
”
”
Mehmet Murat ildan
β€œ
Censorship exists to protect corruption.
”
”
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
β€œ
All systems are corrupt. All governments and all laws exist to benefit those in power.
”
”
D.D. Webb (The Gods are Bastards)
β€œ
[Two respondents] minimized the assimilationist implications of the dominant account; Russ Silver rejects the idea entirely. 'I have no interest in being accepted. I consider this system corrupt, and I don't want to be accepted by it. We're in this together. Faggots, junkies, women, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, don't you see it? Don't you see that our white male government doesn't care about us? When I say this it shocks coat-and-tie lesbians and gay men everywhere. Well, I'm sorry, folks; if you had AIDS you would know what I know: The government doesn't give a goddamn cent for a faggot's life.
”
”
Vera Whisman (Queer by Choice: Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Politics of Identity)
β€œ
if we believe that murder is wrong and not admissible in our society, then it has to be wrong for everyone, not just individuals but governments as well. And I end by challenging people to ask themselves whether we can continue to allow the government, subject as it is to every imaginable form of inefficiency and corruption, to have such power to kill. (p. 130)
”
”
Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate)
β€œ
The government of my country snubs honest simplicity but fondles artistic villainy, and I think I might have developed into a very capable pickpocket if I had remained in the public service a year or two.
”
”
Mark Twain
β€œ
Government scientists are commonly as corrupt as the corporate government that employs them.
”
”
Steven Magee
β€œ
It’s government people, not rich people, who have the power to coerce and make our lives miserable. Coercive power goes a long way toward explaining political corruption.
”
”
Walter E. Williams (American Contempt for Liberty (Hoover Institution Press Publication Book 661))
β€œ
No truth, no equality. No equality, no justice. No justice, no peace. No peace, no love. No love, only darkness.
”
”
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
β€œ
John was still making comments regarding violent things that he shouldn't, but I hoped he was just being a big mouth. Nobody was going to listen to me anyway.
”
”
Sierra D. Waters (Debbie.)
β€œ
In a society where the majority choose charisma over character, democracy does more harm than good to the actual progress of that society
”
”
Abhijit Naskar
β€œ
Then, too, the senate has a rule that no point is discussed on the same day it is brought up, but rather it is put off till the next meeting; they do this so that someone who blurts out the first thing that occurs to him will not proceed to think up arguments to defend his position instead of looking for what is of use to the commonwealth, being willing to damage the public welfare rather than his own reputation, ashamed, as it were, in a perverse and wrong-headed way, to admit that his first view was short-sighted. From the start such a person should have taken care to speak with deliberation rather than haste.
”
”
Thomas More (Utopia)
β€œ
What do you mean by sound government?' Good public order, no corruption in high places, freedom from fear and war and crime, a reasonably equitable distribution of wealth and resources, concern for the individual life.' Then we haven't got sound government.
”
”
P.D. James
β€œ
By making the government a combination of elected officials and citizen-backed initiatives and referenda, there can truly be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
”
”
Victoria Stoklasa (Sign It Into Law: How to Put Your Petition on the Ballot)
β€œ
We live in truly unbelievable times. Autism is an epidemic in most western countries, western governments are nothing more than corrupt corporations, and corporations are routinely suppressing information regarding the toxicity of many common household items. The result is that many people are unnecessarily suffering from easily preventable developmental problems, sickness and cancer.
”
”
Steven Magee
β€œ
The story of my birth that my mother told me went like this: "When you were coming out I wasn't ready yet and neither was the nurse. The nurse tried to push you back in, but I shit on the table and when you came out, you landed in my shit." If there ever was a way to sum things up, the story of my birth was it.
”
”
Sierra D. Waters (Debbie.)
β€œ
It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth cannot be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of societyβ€”the farmers, mechanics, and laborersβ€”who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government.
”
”
Andrew Jackson
β€œ
How do you survive for years in prison? You don’t think about years, or months, or weeks. You think about todayβ€”how to get through it, how to survive it. When you wake up tomorrow, another day is behind you. The days add up; the weeks run together; the months become years. You realize how tough you are, how you can function and survive because you have no choice.
”
”
John Grisham (The Racketeer)
β€œ
What I feel inspired to write today is this deep emotional dissatisfaction with the reality of our times--corruption of government--fake people--sick values--and unconscious people living meaningless lives
”
”
Eustice Conway
β€œ
For a government,' said the god, 'is nothing but a mirror of your minds--tyrannical for tyrants--hypocritical for hypocrites --corrupt for those who are indifferent--extravagant and wasteful for the selfish--strong and honorable only toward honest men.
”
”
Talbot Mundy (Om, the Secret of Ahbor Valley)
β€œ
Because I took an oath to help people. To protect them from The League and any corrupt government. (Devyn) Yeah, and I know people better than to believe that for even an instant. Altruism is dead. People use and they take until you’re nothing but a bleeding corpse on the ground at their feet. (Alix)
”
”
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Ice (The League: Nemesis Rising #3, The League: Nemesis Legacy #2))
β€œ
This week, Zuma was quoted as saying, 'When the British came to our country, they said everything we are doing was barbaric, was wrong, inferior in whatever way.' But the serious critique of Zuma is not about who is a barbarian and who is civilised. It is about good governance, and this is a universal value, as relevant to an African village as it is to Westminster. If you are unable to keep your appetites in check, you are inevitably going to live beyond your means. And this means you are going to become vulnerable to patronage and even corruption. That is why Jacob Zuma's 'polygamy' is his achilles heel.
”
”
Mark Gevisser
β€œ
While yes we can both agree the sudden recovery of this footage smells not a little, and that we appear to be bits of tinfoil-on-string to some malevolent government kitten, yes yes yes but, Borlu, however they've come by this evidence, this is the correct decision.
”
”
China MiΓ©ville (The City & the City)
β€œ
First, our enemies were the natives, then they were the Nazis, then after a while it was the communists. Finally, at the pinnacle of what we’re calling civilization, our enemies are the Islamic terrorists. Our enemies seem to change over the course of history along with our ways of fighting them. But what hasn't changed is government profit; politicians and leaders seem to always be getting richer by the blood of our soldiers. Makes you wonder who the real enemy has been all this time.
”
”
Bruce Crown (Forlorn Passions)
β€œ
It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as [inherently] exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.
”
”
Vladimir Putin
β€œ
Humans are capable of so much more. Power mongers like you have stripped away what is most valuable to us, the importance of our heritage and family values. We have been robbed of this, blinded by your authority, while you encourage us to burry ourselves in debt and rely on our corrupt governments. Men and women around the world have been forced to work long hours to keep up with inflated debts, all the while abandoning the families they struggle to support. History repeats, and repeats. It’s time to break the cycle and start anew.
”
”
Aaron B. Powell (Doomsday Diaries IV: Luke and the Lion)
β€œ
What are the present governments of Europe, but a scene of iniquity and oppression? What is that of England? Do not its own inhabitants say, It is a market where every man has his price, and where corruption is common traffic, at the expense of a deluded people? No wonder, then, that the French Revolution is traduced.
”
”
Thomas Paine (Rights of Man)
β€œ
Have you ever wondered to yourself why it is that all people like me seem to have learned from you is how to imprison and murder each other, how to govern badly, and how to take the wealth of our country and place it in Swiss bank accounts? Have you ever wondered why it is that all we seem to have learned from you is how to corrupt our societies and how to be tyrants? You will have to accept that this is mostly your fault
”
”
Jamaica Kincaid (A Small Place)
β€œ
We cannot, of course, expect every leader to possess the wisdom of Lincoln or Mandela’s largeness of soul. But when we think about what questions might be most useful to ask, perhaps we should begin by discerning what our prospective leaders believe it worthwhile for us to hear. Do they cater to our prejudices by suggesting that we treat people outside our ethnicity, race, creed or party as unworthy of dignity and respect? Do they want us to nurture our anger toward those who we believe have done us wrong, rub raw our grievances and set our sights on revenge? Do they encourage us to have contempt for our governing institutions and the electoral process? Do they seek to destroy our faith in essential contributors to democracy, such as an independent press, and a professional judiciary? Do they exploit the symbols of patriotism, the flag, the pledge in a conscious effort to turn us against one another? If defeated at the polls, will they accept the verdict, or insist without evidence they have won? Do they go beyond asking about our votes to brag about their ability to solve all problems put to rest all anxieties and satisfy every desire? Do they solicit our cheers by speaking casually and with pumped up machismo about using violence to blow enemies away? Do they echo the attitude of Musolini: β€œThe crowd doesn’t have to know, all they have to do is believe and submit to being shaped.”? Or do they invite us to join with them in building and maintaining a healthy center for our society, a place where rights and duties are apportioned fairly, the social contract is honored, and all have room to dream and grow. The answers to these questions will not tell us whether a prospective leader is left or right-wing, conservative or liberal, or, in the American context, a Democrat or a Republican. However, they will us much that we need to know about those wanting to lead us, and much also about ourselves. For those who cherish freedom, the answers will provide grounds for reassurance, or, a warning we dare not ignore.
”
”
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
β€œ
Discerning the difference between a dictator and a leader is quite easy. The former cannot help but see β€˜leading’ and β€˜serving’ as stark contradictions that by their very nature are utterly incompatible. The latter can’t tell the difference
”
”
Craig D. Lounsbrough
β€œ
I was right outside the NSA [on 9/11], so I remember the tension on that day. I remember hearing on the radio, 'the plane's hitting,' and I remember thinking my grandfather, who worked for the FBI at the time, was in the Pentagon when the plane hit it...I take the threat of terrorism seriously, and I think we all do. And I think it's really disingenuous for the government to invoke and sort-of scandalize our memories to sort-of exploit the national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through -- and to justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don't need to give up, and that our Constitution says we should not give up.
”
”
Edward Snowden
β€œ
Strictly enforce the scale of "fixed responsibility." The first and foremost level of responsibility is with the individual himself; the second level is the family; then the church; next the community, finally the county, and, in a disaster or emergency, the state. Under no circumstances is the federal government to become involved in public welfare. The Founders felt it would corrupt the government and also the poor. No Constitutional authority exists for the federal government to participate in charity or welfare.
”
”
W. Cleon Skousen (The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World)
β€œ
Plato is fully convinced that philosophers cannot quietly retire from politics because they distain its rampant corruption. Philosophers will inevitably be victimized by unjust governments and perhaps martyred.
”
”
Jason Reza Jorjani (Lovers of Sophia)
β€œ
The only person on this ship who gets paid for what they do is you, Alix. The rest of us live off our trust funds and we use those funds for our humanitarian missions. I do what I do because I can’t stand to see innocent people bullied by a corrupt government. I don’t want to see a baby starve and die because some fat politician wants to work its parents into the ground for a mineral most of them can’t even pronounce. (Devyn)
”
”
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Ice (The League: Nemesis Rising #3, The League: Nemesis Legacy #2))
β€œ
The bigger the government, the more the corruption. It's almost never mentioned, and it might be the biggest of the ten principles that I am speaking of…Do you know who has created the greatest evils of history? Big governments. Big SECULAR governments. Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, all big States. Why would anybody trust the big state? It's amazing how many callers have imbued the college message that more people have been killed by religion than anything else in history. NO. More people have been killed by governments than anything else in history…….and just in the 20th century alone, and none of them were religious. You don't learn THAT in college.
”
”
Dennis Prager
β€œ
Because the state uses violence to achieve its ends, and there is no rational end to the use of violence, states grow until they destroy civilized interactions through the corruption of money, contracts, honesty, family and self-reliance. No state in history has ever been contained. It’s only taken a little more than a century for the US – founded on the idea of limited government, to break the bonds of the constitution, institute the income tax, take control of the money supply and the educational system and begin its catastrophic expansion.
”
”
Stefan Molyneux
β€œ
Most USA citizens never realize that the systems of public protection are essentially useless until they try to use them. At that point they learn the hard way that government agencies like OSHA, FCC, FDA, police internal affairs, disability, and the like do not work for them.
”
”
Steven Magee
β€œ
Those people who live in an Independent nation should know how important it is to support independence not only in the government but also in arts, literature, films, newspapers, and business. Innovation, growth, and self-motivation comes from independent artists, journalists, authors, and inventors; not from the Big What which has held 90% of the market since the 1900s. Encourage innovation by supporting the Indies. That's where new opportunities are found!
”
”
Kailin Gow
β€œ
Throughout history, government has proved to be the chief instrument for thwarting man’s liberty. Government represents power in the hands of some men to control and regulate the lives of other men. And power, as Lord Acton said, corrupts men. β€œAbsolute power,” he added, β€œcorrupts absolutely.
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”
Barry M. Goldwater (Conscience of a Conservative)
β€œ
The fact that some governments, churches and numerous corrupted individuals have tried to reduce such behavior from criminal offence to personal privilege dose not change the nature nor the seriousness of the practice. This woe is pronounced upon those who would pervert standards of mortality and decency. They seek man’s approval of that which God had condemned. They have been successful in getting legislation passed to make such perversion legal and acceptable by society.
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”
Spencer W. Kimball
β€œ
What if we were to subject public servants like politicians to a battery of psychological tests like the MMPI? Maybe we could determine which of them were more likely to become corrupt and save them the trouble of lengthy, expensive campaigns where they are ultimately harassed by greedy corporations.
”
”
Aaron B. Powell (Quixotic)
β€œ
Perpetual war allows globalists to continue funding dirty black-ops drug smuggling, corrupt banking practices, political bribes, and assassinations. Perpetual war can be seen as an excuse for spying on Americans, militarizing police agencies, and laws allowing the federal government to declare any American citizen an β€œenemy combatant” and holding them without warrant or habeas corpus as well as spying with drones. With
”
”
Jim Marrs (Population Control: How Corporate Owners Are Killing Us)
β€œ
Overborrowing or overlending? Lenders encourage indebtedness because it is profitable. Developing country governments are sometimes even pressured to overborrow ... Even without corruption, it is easy to be influenced by Western businessmen and financiers ... Countries that aren't sure that borrowing is worth the rist are told how important it is to establis a credit rating: borrow even if you really don't need the money.
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”
Joseph E. Stiglitz (Making Globalization Work)
β€œ
As opposition leader, [Stephen Harper] wrote in the Montreal Gazette in the year before he came to power: 'Information is the lifeblood of a democracy. Without adequate access to key information about government policies and programs, citizens and parliamentarians cannot make informed decisions and incompetent or corrupt governments can be hidden under a cloak of secrecy.' When he became prime minister, his attitude appeared to undergo a shift of considerable proportions. It often took the Conservatives twice as long as previous governments to handle access requests. Sometimes it took six months to a year.
”
”
Lawrence Martin (Harperland: The Politics Of Control)
β€œ
I spent the beginning of my focus on activism by doing what most everyone else was doing; blaming other people and institutions. Don’t like the war? Let’s blame the president, congress, or lobbyists. Don’t like ecological disregard? Let’s blame this or that corrupt corporation or some regulatory body for poor performance. Don’t like being poor and socially immobile? Let’s blame government coercion and interference in this free market utopia everyone keeps talking about. The sobering truth of the matter is that the only thing to blame is the dynamic, causal unfolding of system expression itself on the cultural level. In other words, none of us create or do anything in isolation – it’s impossible. We are system-bound both physically and psychologically; a continuum. Therefore our view of causality with respect to societal change can only be truly productive if we seek and source the most relevant sociological influences we can and begin to alter those effects from the root causes.
”
”
Peter Joseph
β€œ
Make no mistake. The greatest destroyer of ecology. The greatest source of waste, depletion and pollution. The greatest purveyor of violence, war, crime, poverty, animal abuse and inhumanity. The greatest generator of personal and social neurosis, mental disorders, depression, anxiety. Not to mention the greatest source of social paralysis, stopping us from moving into new methodologies for personal health, global sustainability and progress on this planet, is not some corrupt government or legislation. Not some rogue corporation or banking cartel. Not some flaw of human nature and not some secret cabal that controls the world. It is the socioeconomic system itself at its very foundation.
”
”
Peter Joseph
β€œ
(...) ha! what is hope? a butterfly in a box of demons, and nothing escapes the dark untainted, a mockery of politics and greed stamped with treason and dipped in myths and force-fed brainwashing going off after a time for the grand massacre of faith, humanity, and still we search, scorched feet for life but find only fake plastic trees satirical, ludicrous, and ironic
”
”
Moonie
β€œ
With the land and possession of America rapidly passing into the hands of a favored few; with great corporations taking the place of individual effort; with the small shops going down before the great factories and department stores; with thousands of men and women in idleness and want; with wages constantly tending to a lower level; ... with bribery and corruption openly charged, constantly reiterated by the press, and universally believed; and above all and more than all, with the knowledge that the servants of the people, elected to correct abuses, are bought and sold in legislative halls at the bidding of corporations and individuals: with all these notorious evils sapping the foundations of popular government and destroying personal liberty, some rude awakening must come. And if it shall come, ... when you then look abroad over the ruin and desolation, remember the long years in which the storm was rising, and do not blame the thunderbolt.
”
”
Clarence Darrow
β€œ
Now, are those engaged in the business of governing any different by nature from those they govern?" "Yes. They're prideful and tend to sexual misconduct. Also, the situation of being in government tends to drive you mad." "But are they more virtuous or more intelligent? Or more compassionate?" "Ha!" "Let's call that one a 'no.
”
”
Nick Harkaway (The Gone-Away World)
β€œ
I personally never expected anything of Obama, and wrote about it before the 2008 primaries. I thought it was smoke and mirrors [...] I don't usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this 'hopey changey' stuff, she was right, there was nothing there. And it was understood by the people who run the political system, and so it's no great secret that the US electoral system is mainly a public relations extravaganza...it's sort of a marketing affair.
”
”
Noam Chomsky
β€œ
It's because of my grandfather that I became a Young Avenger. But it's hard sometimes, to be a black kid carrying a name like "Patriot". I remember talking to Captain America about before he died, and he explained what Patriotism meant to him... It wasn't about blindly supporting your government. It was about knowing what your country could be, what it should be... And trying to lead it there through your example. And holding it accountable when it failed. I remember he said: "There's noting patriotic about corruption or cover-ups... or defending them. But exposing them, well, that takes a hero.
”
”
Ed Brubaker (Young Avengers Presents #1)
β€œ
By the time Cheryl Hersha came to the facility, knowledge of multiple personality was so complete that doctors understood how the mind separated into distinct ego states, each unaware of the other. First, the person traumatized had to be both extremely intelligent and under the age of seven, two conditions not yet understood though remaining consistent as factors. The trauma was almost always of a sexual nature… (p52)
”
”
Cheryl Hersha (Secret Weapons: How Two Sisters Were Brainwashed to Kill for Their Country)
β€œ
Our system was not set up to for the government to be able to do with a man's kingdom what they want. It was set up to protect that man's kingdom, to allow him to feel that his borders, no matter how great or small, would always be secure and that he would always be allowed to defend them. The Supreme Court took that right away with their eminent domain ruling back in 2005. The governments have taken advantage of that eminent domain ruling, and you, the media, have failed at protecting citizens.
”
”
Tit Elingtin (Eminent Domain)
β€œ
Here then is an infallible criterion, by which the nation may judge of the intentions of those who govern it ... if they corrupt the morals of the people, spread a taste for luxury, effeminacy, a rage for licentious pleasures, - if they stimulate the higher orders to a ruinous pomp and extravagance, - beware, citizens! beware of those corruptors! they only aim at purchasing slaves in order to exercise over them an arbitrary sway.
”
”
Emer de Vattel (The Law of Nations)
β€œ
The power of the corrupt governments and entrenched corporations feels inevitable. No doubt so did the rule of kings and landowners before them. But I know better now. I know there is a greater power, and it is ours. The greater power is us. And that is the world we will build out here, somewhere, when we bring all our pieces back together. A future made of light.
”
”
Kameron Hurley (The Light Brigade)
β€œ
[I]f the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.
”
”
Noah Webster
β€œ
I never favored any political party. Being a conservative or a liberal, a Republican or a Democrat, these are just labels that people use to categorize each other so that they can quickly decide whether or not they want to listen to what they have to say. Politicians are not interested in empathizing with each other. They simply try to do as little as possible in the way of serving the public while building their reputation among their peers, amassing power and wealth that is unimaginable to the common American citizen that they supposedly represent.
”
”
Aaron B. Powell (Oneiric: Stories)
β€œ
Jefferson feared that Hamilton had plans radically at odds with the Constitution. As he saw it, Hamilton wanted to warp the federal government out of constitutional shape, converting it into a copy of the British government, built on debt, corruption, and influence. Hamilton's goal, Jefferson charged, was to ally the rich and well born with the government at the people's expense, creating a corrupt aristocracy leagued with the government against the people and destroying the virtue that was the basis of republican government. Only a republic could preserve liberty, Jefferson insisted, and only virtue among the people could preserve a republic.
”
”
R.B. Bernstein (Thomas Jefferson (Oxford Portraits))
β€œ
In response to my question about how we might rein in the empire, he said, "That's why I'm meeting with you. Only you in the United States can change it. Your government created this problem and your people must solve it. You've got to insist that Washington honor its commitment to democracy, even when deomcratically elected leaders nationalize your corrupting corporations. You must take control of your corporations and your government. The people of the United States have a great deal of power. You need to come to grips with this. There's no alternative. We in Brazil have our hands tied. So do the Venezeulans. And the Nigerians. It's up to you.
”
”
John Perkins (The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals & the Truth about Global Corruption)
β€œ
He is blinded and nothing will open his eyes,nothing can,after having had truths so long before him in vain.--He will marry her and poor and miserable.God grant that her influence do not make him cease to be respectable!"---She looked over the letter again."So very fond of me!tis"nonsense all.She loves nobody but herself and her brother.Her friends leading her astray for years!She is quite as likely to have led them astray. They have all,perhaps, been corrupting one another;but if they are so much fonder of her than she is of them,she is the less likely to have been hurt except by their flattery.The only woman in the world,whom he could ever think of as a wife.....I firmly believe it.It is an attachment to govern his whole life. Accepted or refused,his heart is wedded to her for ever.The loss of Mary,I must consider as comprehending the loss of Crawford and Fanny.Edmund you do not know me.The families would never be connected,if you did not connected them. Oh!write,write.Finish it at once.Let there be an end of this suspense.Fix, commit,condemn yourself."-Fanny Price
”
”
Jane Austen (Mansfield Park)
β€œ
Imagine a problem in psychology: to find a way of getting people in our day and age - Christians, humanitarians, nice, kind people - to commit the most heinous crimes without feeling any guilt. There is only one solution - doing just what we do now: you make them governors, superintendents, officers or policemen, a process which, first of all, presupposes acceptance of something that goes by the name of government service and allows people to be treated like inanimate objects, precluding any humane or brotherly relationships, and, secondly, ensures that people working for this government service must be so interdependent that responsibility for any consequences of the way they treat people never devolves on any one of them individually.
”
”
Leo Tolstoy (Resurrection)
β€œ
All the methods of appointing authorities that have been tried, divine right, and election, and heredity, and balloting, and assemblies and parliaments and senateβ€”all have proved ineffectual. Everyone knows that not one of these methods attains the aim either of entrusting power only to the incorruptible, or of preventing power from being abused. Everyone knows on the contrary that men in authorityβ€”be they emperors, ministers, governors, or police officersβ€”are always, simply from the possession of power, more liable to be demoralized, that is, to subordinate public interests to their personal aims than those who have not the power to do so. Indeed, it could not be otherwise.
”
”
Leo Tolstoy (The Kingdom of God Is Within You)
β€œ
Reconstruction ended when Southern whites enacted laws that had the practical effect of banning black citizens from voting. White southerners propagated the myth that this was necessary because black citizens were unable to self-govern; in the histories advanced at the time, Reconstruction was represented as a time of unparalleled political corruption, with stability restored only when whites were again given full power.
”
”
Jason F. Stanley (How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them)
β€œ
Though, like Everhard, they did not dream of the nature of it, there were men, even before his time, who caught glimpses of the shadow. John C. Calhoun said: "A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various and powerful interests, combined into one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks." And that great humanist, Abraham Lincoln, said, just before his assassination: "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
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Jack London (The Iron Heel)
β€œ
The oil and gas industryβ€”left to its own devicesβ€”will mindlessly follow its own nature. It will make tons of money. It will corrode and corrupt and sabotage democratic governance. It will screw up andβ€”in the endβ€”fatally injure the whole freaking planet. And yes, it will also provide oil and gas along the way! And jobs for the workers who produce those things for it. The end-times battle that we’re engaged in now is to figure out how to get along without oil and gasβ€”and we’re plugging away but still a ways off from thatβ€”and, in the meantime, commit to a whole new level of constraint and regulatory protection against this singularly destructive industry to minimize its potential harms.
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Rachel Maddow (Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth)
β€œ
In The Bloudy Tenent, Williams points out that Constantine "did more to hurt Christ Jesus than the raging fury of the most bloody Neroes." at least under the Christian persecutor Nero, who was rumored to have had the Apostle Paul beheaded and Saint Peter crucified upside down, Christianity was a pure (if hazardous) way of life. But when Constantine himself converted to Christianity, that's when the Church was corrupted and perverted by the state. Williams explains that under Constantine, "the gardens of Christ's churches turned into the wildernesss of national religion, and the world (under Constantine's dominion) to the most unchristian Christendom." Legalizing, legitimizing the Church turned Christianity into just another branch of government enforced by "the sword of civil power," i.e., through state-sponsored violence.
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Sarah Vowell (The Wordy Shipmates)
β€œ
What do you have to forget or overlook in order to desire that this dysfunctional clan once more occupies the White House and is again in a position to rent the Lincoln Bedroom to campaign donors and to employ the Oval Office as a massage parlor? You have to be able to forget, first, what happened to those who complained, or who told the truth, last time. It's often said, by people trying to show how grown-up and unshocked they are, that all Clinton did to get himself impeached was lie about sex. That's not really true. What he actually lied about, in the perjury that also got him disbarred, was the women. And what this involved was a steady campaign of defamation, backed up by private dicks (you should excuse the expression) and salaried government employees, against women who I believe were telling the truth. In my opinion, Gennifer Flowers was telling the truth; so was Monica Lewinsky, and so was Kathleen Willey, and so, lest we forget, was Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who says she was raped by Bill Clinton. (For the full background on this, see the chapter 'Is There a Rapist in the Oval Office?' in the paperback version of my book No One Left To Lie To. This essay, I may modestly say, has never been challenged by anybody in the fabled Clinton 'rapid response' team.) Yet one constantly reads that both Clintons, including the female who helped intensify the slanders against her mistreated sisters, are excellent on women's 'issues.
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Christopher Hitchens
β€œ
As the liberal sees it, the task of the state consists solely and exclusively in guaranteeing the protection of life, health, liberty, and private property against violent attacks. Everything that goes beyond this is an evil. A government that, instead of fulfilling its task, sought to go so far as actually to infringe on personal security of life and health, freedom, and property would, of course, be altogether bad. Still, as Jacob Burckhardt says, power is evil in itself, no matter who exercises it. It tends to corrupt those who wield it and leads to abuse. Not only absolute sovereigns and aristocrats, but the masses also, in whose hands democracy entrusts the supreme power of government, are only too easily inclined to excesses.
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Ludwig von Mises (Liberalism: The Classical Tradition)
β€œ
In effect, the large bureaucracies of the powerful subsidize the mass media, and gain special access by their contribution to reducing the media's costs of acquiring the raw materials of, and producing, news. The large entities that provide this subsidy become "routine" news sources have privileged access to the gates. Non-routine sources must struggle for access, and may be ignored by the arbitrary decision of the gatekeepers. It should also be noted that in the case of the largesse of the Pentagon and the State Department's Office of Public Diplomacy, the subsidy is at the taxpayers' expense, so that, in effect, the citizenry pays to be propagandized in the interest of powerful groups such as military contractors and other sponsors of state terrorism.
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Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media)
β€œ
...I realized that my father, of all these men, was the most obstinate, helplessly bonded to his better instincts and their excessive demands. I only then understood that he had quit his job not merely because he was fearful of what awaited us down the line should we agree like the others to be relocated, but because, for better or worse, when he was bullied by superior forces that he deemed corrupt it was his nature not to yield--in this instance, to resist either running away to Canada, as my mother urged our doing, or bowing to a government directive that was patently unjust. There were two types of strong men: those like Uncle Monty And Abe Steinheim, remorseless about their making money, and those like my father, ruthlessly obedient to their idea of fair play.
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Philip Roth (The Plot Against America)
β€œ
Radical change is scary. It’s terrifying, actually. And the feminism I support is a full-on revolution. Where women are not simply allowed to participate in the world as it already existsβ€”an inherently corrupt world, designed by a patriarchy to subjugate and control and destroy all challengersβ€”but are actively able to re-shapeit. Where women do not simply knock on the doors of churches, of governments, of capitalist marketplaces and politely ask for admittance, but create their own religious systems, governments, and economies. My feminism is not one of incremental change, revealed in the end to be The Same As Ever, But More So. It is a cleansing fire.
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Jessa Crispin (Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto)
β€œ
He was the most contradictory of men. A champion of extending freedom and democracy to even the poorest of whites, Jackson was an unrepentant slaveholder. A sentimental man who rescued an Indian orphan on a battlefield to raise in his home, Jackson was responsible for the removal of Indian tribes from their ancestral lands. An enemy of Eastern financial elites and a relentless opponent of the Bank of the United States, which he believed to be a bastion of corruption, Jackson also promised to die, if necessary, to preserve the power and prestige of the central government. Like us and our America, Jackson and his America achieved great things while committing grievous sins.
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Jon Meacham (American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House)
β€œ
There is coming a day, when freedom will just be a essence of the mind, an inner dwelling that was once physically attainable. They will tell you where you can live, and what you can wear and drive, what and how much you can eat and drink, and how to purchase those. They will strip you of your religion, race, gender, national origin, age, color, creed, views and power, and have control of the population. They will set in a new world order, and put you in the back of the line, marked and branded. Everything before will be erased, and the new will be manipulated. And what you believe most, can only be kept secret, for all must fall in line of their govern. Anything outside will be abolished. Even death, will be sought, but restrained. They will execute complete and total control over everything, and be sole owners of your soul. The light, that once guided will go dim, and liberty will be like an unwilled bird, suppressed in the cage of your ribs; wings cut off.
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Anthony Liccione
β€œ
Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief and noted orator, tried to unite the Indians against the white invasion: The way, and the only way, to check and to stop this evil, is for all the Redmen to unite in claiming a common and equal right in the land, as it was at first and should be yet; for it was never divided, but belongs to all for the use of each. That no part has a right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangersβ€”those who want all and will not do with less. Angered when fellow Indians were induced to cede a great tract of land to the United States government, Tecumseh organized in 1811 an Indian gathering of five thousand, on the bank of the Tallapoosa River in Alabama, and told them: β€œLet the white race perish. They seize your land; they corrupt your women, they trample on the ashes of your dead! Back whence they came, upon a trail of blood, they must be driven.
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Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
β€œ
If better conditions will make the poor more fit to govern themselves, why should not better conditions already make the rich more fit to govern them? On the ordinary environment argument the matter is fairly manifest. The comfortable class must be merely our vanguard in Utopia...Is there any answer to the proposition that those who have had the best opportunities will probably be our best guides? Is there any answer to the argument that those who have breathed clean air had better decide for those who have breathed foul? As far as I know, there is only one answer, and that answer is Christianity. Only the Christian Church can offer any rational objection to a complete confidence in the rich. For she has maintained from the beginning that the danger was not in man's environment, but in man. Further, she has maintained that if we come to talk of a dangerous environment, the most dangerous environment of all is the commodious environment...Christianity even when watered down is hot enough to boil all modern society to rags. The mere minimum of the Church would be a deadly ultimatum to the world. For the whole modern world is absolutely based on the assumption, not that the rich are necessary (which is tenable), but that the rich are trustworthy, which (for a Christian) is not tenable. You will hear everlastingly, in all discussions about newspapers, companies, aristocracies, or party politics, this argument that the rich man cannot be bribed. The fact is, of course, that the rich man is bribed; he has been bribed already. That is why he is a rich man. The whole case for Christianity is that a man who is dependent upon the luxuries of this life is a corrupt man, spiritually corrupt, politically corrupt, financially corrupt. There is one thing that Christ and all the Christian saints have said with a sort of savage monotony. They have said simply that to be rich is to be in peculiar danger of moral wreck.
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G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
β€œ
Government as we now know it in the USA and other economically advanced countries is so manifestly horrifying, so corrupt, counterproductive, and outright vicious, that one might well wonder how it continues to enjoy so much popular legitimacy and to be perceived so widely as not only tolerable but indispensable. The answer, in overwhelming part, may be reduced to a two-part formula: bribes and bamboozlement (classically "bread and circuses"). Under the former rubric falls the vast array of government "benefits" and goodies of all sorts, from corporate subsidies and privileges to professional grants and contracts to welfare payments and health care for low-income people and other members of the lumpenproletariat. Under the latter rubric fall such measures as the government schools, the government's lapdog news media, and the government's collaboration with the producers of professional sporting events and Hollywood films. Seen as a semi-integrated whole, these measures give current governments a strong hold on the public's allegiance and instill in the masses and the elites alike a deep fear of anything that seriously threatens the status quo.
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Robert Higgs
β€œ
What better weapon than the human brain? The human brain was Mrs Twartski's and Wiezenslowski's domain. The children who were used were the castaways of the United States government, like dogs abandoned and a vet's office. Mrs. Twartski read the letter out loud, slowly and carefully enunciating every word in her thick Polish accent. The German scientists were looking for children who could learn quickly, were between ages four and twelve, and could withstand being famished without dying. Deutschland were paying dollar $50,000 per subject. Everyone in living room exactly Mrs. Twartski and all my aunts let out a huge "Ahhh". My sister's and my eyes grew wide because we had no idea what this meant or why the adults were so excited. Then my sister's eyes narrowed as if she knew something that I didn't yet, as if she had just figured something out.
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Wendy Hoffman (The Enslaved Queen: A Memoir about Electricity and Mind Control)
β€œ
What is so often said about the solders of the 20th century is that they fought to make us free. Which is a wonderful sentiment and one witch should evoke tremendous gratitude if in fact there was a shred of truth in that statement but, it's not true. It's not even close to true in fact it's the opposite of truth. There's this myth around that people believe that the way to honor deaths of so many of millions of people; that the way to honor is to say that we achieved some tangible, positive, good, out of their death's. That's how we are supposed to honor their deaths. We can try and rescue some positive and forward momentum of human progress, of human virtue from these hundreds of millions of death's but we don't do it by pretending that they'd died to set us free because we are less free; far less free now then we were before these slaughters began. These people did not die to set us free. They did not die fighting any enemy other than the ones that the previous deaths created. The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names. Solders are paid killers, and I say this with a great degree of sympathy to young men and women who are suckered into a life of evil through propaganda and the labeling of heroic to a man in costume who kills for money and the life of honor is accepting ordered killings for money, prestige, and pensions. We create the possibility of moral choice by communicating truth about ethics to people. That to me is where real heroism and real respect for the dead lies. Real respect for the dead lies in exhuming the corpses and hearing what they would say if they could speak out; and they would say: If any ask us why we died tell it's because our fathers lied, tell them it's because we were told that charging up a hill and slaughtering our fellow man was heroic, noble, and honorable. But these hundreds of millions of ghosts encircled the world in agony, remorse will not be released from our collective unconscious until we lay the truth of their murders on the table and look at the horror that is the lie; that murder for money can be moral, that murder for prestige can be moral. These poor young men and woman propagandized into an undead ethical status lied to about what is noble, virtuous, courageous, honorable, decent, and good to the point that they're rolling hand grenades into children's rooms and the illusion that, that is going to make the world a better place. We have to stare this in the face if we want to remember why these people died. They did not die to set us free. They did not die to make the world a better place. They died because we are ruled by sociopaths. The only thing that can create a better world is the truth is the virtue is the honor and courage of standing up to the genocidal lies of mankind and calling them lies and ultimate corruptions. The trauma and horrors of this century of staggering bloodshed of the brief respite of the 19th century. This addiction to blood and the idea that if we pour more bodies into the hole of the mass graves of the 20th century, if we pour more bodies and more blood we can build some sort of cathedral to a better place but it doesn't happen. We can throw as many young men and woman as we want into this pit of slaughter and it will never be full. It will never do anything other than sink and recede further into the depths of hell. We can’t build a better world on bodies. We can’t build peace on blood. If we don't look back and see the army of the dead of the 20th century calling out for us to see that they died to enslave us. That whenever there was a war the government grew and grew. We are so addicted to this lie. What we need to do is remember that these bodies bury us. This ocean of blood that we create through the fantasy that violence brings virtue. It drowns us, drowns our children, our future, and the world. When we pour these endless young bodies into this pit of death; we follow it.
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Stefan Molyneux
β€œ
The Constitution is a limitation of the government, not on private individuals--that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government--that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizens' protection against the government. Instead of being a protector of man's rights, the government is becoming their most dangerous violator; instead of guarding freedom, the government is establishing slavery; instead of protecting men from the initiators of physical force, the government is initiating physical force and coercion in any manner and issue it pleases; instead of serving as the instrument of objectivity in human relationships, the government is creating a deadly, subterranean reign of uncertainty and fear, by means of nonobjective laws whose interpretation is left to the arbitrary decisions of random bureaucrats; instead of protecting men from injury by whim, the government is arrogating to itself the power of unlimited whim--so that we are fast approaching the stage of ultimate inversion; the stage where the government is "free" to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may only act by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of humanity, the stage of rule by brute force.
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Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
β€œ
To consider the world in its length and breadth, its various history, the many races of man, their starts, their fortunes, their mutual alienation, their conflicts; and then their ways, habits, governments, forms of worship; their enterprises, their aimless courses, their random achievements, and acquirements, the impotent conclusion of long-standing facts, the tokens so faint and broken of a superintending design, the blind evolution of what turn out to be great powers or truths, the progress of things, as if from unreasoning elements, not toward final causes, the greatness and littleness of man, his far-reaching aims, his short duration, the curtain hung over his futurity, the disappointments of life, the defeat of good, the success of evil, physical pain, mental anguish, the prevalence of sin, the pervading idolatries, the corruptions, the dreary hopeless irreligion, that condition of the whole race, so fearfully yet exactly described in the Apostle's words, "having no hope and without God in the world," - all this is a vision to dizzy and appall; and inflicts upon the mind the sense of a profound mystery, which is absolutely beyond human solution.
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John Henry Newman
β€œ
Most people who wonder why our politics are so corrupt can’t draw the line from racist theories of limited democracy to today’s system, but the small group of white men who are funding the effort to turn back the clock on political equality can lay claim to a long ideological pedigree: from the original property requirement to people like John C. Calhoun, who advocated states’ rights and limited government in defense of slavery, to the Supreme Court justices who decided Shelby County and Citizens United. Over the past few decades, a series of money-in-politics lawsuits, including Citizens United, have overturned anticorruption protections, making it possible for a wealthy individual to give more than $3.5 million to a party and its candidates in an election cycle, for corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums to get candidates elected or defeated, and for secret money to sway elections. The result is a racially skewed system of influence and electoral gatekeeping that invalidates the voices of most Americans.
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Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together)
β€œ
Poverty doesn't scare me, ignorance does. Work doesn't scare me, laziness does. Pleasure doesn't scare me, pain does. Charity doesn't scare me, weakness does. Chastisement doesn't scare me, flattery does. Friendship doesn't scare me, betrayal does. Enmity doesn't scare me, anger does. Marriage doesn't scare me, divorce does. Love doesn't scare me, heartache does. Sex doesn't scare me, parenting does. Ambition doesn't scare me, envy does. Adversity doesn't scare me, boredom does. Risk doesn't scare me, cowardice does. Competition doesn't scare me, mediocrity does. Defeat doesn't scare me, weakness does. Misfortune doesn't scare me, bitterness does. Maturing doesn't scare me, infirmity does. Life doesn't scare me, regret does. Aging doesn't scare me, death does. Existence doesn't scare me, oblivion does. War doesn't scare me, bloodshed does. Government doesn't scare me, corruption does. Politics doesn't scare me, manipulation does. Revolution doesn't scare me, tyranny does. Rebellion doesn't scare me, slavery does. Ideology doesn't scare me, fanaticism does. Religion doesn't scare me, immorality does. Faith doesn't scare me, hopelessness does. Morality doesn't scare me, evil does. God doesn't scare me, extremism does.
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Matshona Dhliwayo
β€œ
True choice requires that a person have the ability to choose an option and not be prevented from choosing it by any external force, meaning that a system tending too far toward either extreme will limit People’s opportunities. Also, both extremes can produce additional problems in practice. Aside from the fact that a lack of β€œfreedom to” can lead to privation, suffering, and death for those who can’t provide for themselves, it can also lead to a de facto plutocracy. The extremely wealthy can come to wield disproportionate power, enabling them to avoid punishment for illegal practices or to change the law itself in ways that perpetuate their advantages at the cost of others, a charge often levied against the β€œrobber baron” industrialists of the late nineteenth century. A lack of β€œfreedom from,” on the other hand, can encourage people to do less work than they’re capable of since they know their needs will be met, and it may stifle innovation and entrepreneurship because people receive few or no additional material benefits for exerting additional effort. Moreover, a government must have extensive power over its people to implement such a system, and as can be seen in the actions of the majority of communist governments in the past, power corrupts.
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Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
β€œ
[Free trade agreements] are trade agreements that don't stick to trade…they colonize environmental labor, and consumer issues of grave concern (in terms of health safety, and livelihoods too) to many, many hundreds of millions of people - and they do that by subordinating consumer, environmental, and labor issues to the imperatives and the supremacy of international commerce. That is exactly the reverse of how democratic societies have progressed, because over the decades they've progressed by subordinating the profiteering priorities of companies to, say, higher environmental health standards; abolition of child labor; the right of workers to have fair worker standards…and it's this subordination of these three major categories that affect people's lives, labor, environment, the consumer, to the supremacy and domination of trade; where instead of trade getting on its knees and showing that it doesn't harm consumers - it doesn't deprive the important pharmaceuticals because of drug company monopolies, it doesn't damage the air and water and soil and food (environmentally), and it doesn't lacerate the rights of workers - no, it's just the opposite: it's workers and consumers and environments that have to kneel before this giant pedestal of commercial trade and prove that they are not, in a whole variety of ways, impeding international commerce…so this is the road to dictatorial devolution of democratic societies: because these trade agreements have the force of law, they've got enforcement teeth, and they bypass national courts, national regulatory agencies, in ways that really reflect a massive, silent, mega-corporate coup d'etat…that was pulled off in the mid-1990's.
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Ralph Nader
β€œ
I was also part of a post-Vietnam generation that had learned to question its own government and saw how - from the rise of McCarthyism to support for South Africa's apartheid regime - Cold War thinking had often led America to betray its ideals. This awareness didn't stop me from believing we should contain the spread of Marxist totalitarianism. But it made me wary of the notion that good resided only on our side and bad on theirs, or that a people who'd produced Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky were inherently different from us. Instead, the evils of the Soviet system struck me as a variation on a broader human tragedy: The way abstract theories and rigid orthodoxy can curdle into repression. How readily we justify moral compromise and relinquish our freedoms. How power can corrupt and fear can compound and language can be debased. None of that was unique to Soviets or Communisists, I thought; it was true for all of us. The brave struggle of dissidents behind the Iron Curtain felt of a piece with, rather than distinct from, the larger struggle for human dignity taking place elsewhere in the world - including America.
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Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
β€œ
As the seemingly well-intentioned French journalist spoke about Africa’s scarcity and its limited resources, Nine smiled to himself almost condescendingly. He considered such statements an absolute joke. Africa did not, nor did it ever have, limited resources. Nine knew something the journalist obviously didn’t: Africa was the most abundantly resourced continent on the planet bar none. Like the despots who ruled much of the region, and the foreign governments who propped them up, he knew there was more than enough wealth in Africa’s mineral resources such as gold, diamonds and oil – not to mention the land that nurtured these resources – for every man, woman and child. He thought it unfortunate Africa had never been able to compete on a level playing field. The continent’s almost unlimited resources were the very reason foreigners had meddled in African affairs for the past century or more. Nine knew it was Omega’s plan, and that of other greedy organizations, to siphon as much wealth as they could out of vulnerable Third World countries, especially in Africa. The same organizations had the formula down pat: they indirectly started civil wars in mineral-rich regions by providing arms to opposing local factions, and sometimes even helped to create famines, in order to destabilize African countries. This made the targeted countries highly vulnerable to international control. Once the outside organizations had divided and conquered, they were then able to plunder the country’s resources.
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James Morcan (The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy, #1))
β€œ
What is the object of human life? The enlightened conservative does not believe that the end or aim of life is competition; or success; or enjoyment; or longevity; or power; or possessions. He believes instead, that the object of life is Love. He knows that the just and ordered society is that in which Love governs us, so far as Love ever can reign in this world of sorrows; and he knows that the anarchical or the tyrannical society is that in which Love lies corrupt. He has learnt that Love is the source of all being, and that Hell itself is ordained by Love. He understands that Death, when we have finished the part that was assigned to us, is the reward of Love. And he apprehends the truth that the greatest happiness ever granted to a man is the privilege of being happy in the hour of his death. He has no intention of converting this human society of ours into an efficient machine for efficient machine-operators, dominated by master mechanics. Men are put into this world, he realizes, to struggle, to suffer, to contend against the evil that is in their neighbors and in themselves, and to aspire toward the triumph of Love. They are put into this world to live like men, and to die like men. He seeks to preserve a society which allows men to attain manhood, rather than keeping them within bonds of perpetual childhood. With Dante, he looks upward from this place of slime, this world of gorgons and chimeras, toward the light which gives Love to this poor earth and all the stars. And, with Burke, he knows that "they will never love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate.
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Russell Kirk
β€œ
We are dealing, then, with an absurdity that is not a quirk or an accident, but is fundamental to our character as people. The split between what we think and what we do is profound. It is not just possible, it is altogether to be expected, that our society would produce conservationists who invest in strip-mining companies, just as it must inevitably produce asthmatic executives whose industries pollute the air and vice-presidents of pesticide corporations whose children are dying of cancer. And these people will tell you that this is the way the "real world" works. The will pride themselves on their sacrifices for "our standard of living." They will call themselves "practical men" and "hardheaded realists." And they will have their justifications in abundance from intellectuals, college professors, clergymen, politicians. The viciousness of a mentality that can look complacently upon disease as "part of the cost" would be obvious to any child. But this is the "realism" of millions of modern adults. There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do. How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet? The answer is not yet thinkable, and it will not be thinkable for some time -- even though there are now groups and families and persons everywhere in the country who have begun the labor of thinking it. And so we are by no means divided, or readily divisible, into environmental saints and sinners. But there are legitimate distinctions that need to be made. These are distinctions of degree and of consciousness. Some people are less destructive than others, and some are more conscious of their destructiveness than others. For some, their involvement in pollution, soil depletion, strip-mining, deforestation, industrial and commercial waste is simply a "practical" compromise, a necessary "reality," the price of modern comfort and convenience. For others, this list of involvements is an agenda for thought and work that will produce remedies. People who thus set their lives against destruction have necessarily confronted in themselves the absurdity that they have recognized in their society. They have first observed the tendency of modern organizations to perform in opposition to their stated purposes. They have seen governments that exploit and oppress the people they are sworn to serve and protect, medical procedures that produce ill health, schools that preserve ignorance, methods of transportation that, as Ivan Illich says, have 'created more distances than they... bridge.' And they have seen that these public absurdities are, and can be, no more than the aggregate result of private absurdities; the corruption of community has its source in the corruption of character. This realization has become the typical moral crisis of our time. Once our personal connection to what is wrong becomes clear, then we have to choose: we can go on as before, recognizing our dishonesty and living with it the best we can, or we can begin the effort to change the way we think and live.
”
”
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
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To understand a child we have to watch him at play, study him in his different moods; we cannot project upon him our own prejudices, hopes and fears, or mould him to fit the pattern of our desires. If we are constantly judging the child according to our personal likes and dislikes, we are bound to create barriers and hindrances in our relationship with him and in his relationships with the world. Unfortunately, most of us desire to shape the child in a way that is gratifying to our own vanities and idiosyncrasies; we find varying degrees of comfort and satisfaction in exclusive ownership and domination. Surely, this process is not relationship, but mere imposition, and it is therefore essential to understand the difficult and complex desire to dominate. It takes many subtle forms; and in its self-righteous aspect, it is very obstinate. The desire to "serve" with the unconscious longing to dominate is difficult to understand. Can there be love where there is possessiveness? Can we be in communion with those whom we seek to control? To dominate is to use another for self-gratification, and where there is the use of another there is no love. When there is love there is consideration, not only for the children but for every human being. Unless we are deeply touched by the problem, we will never find the right way of education. Mere technical training inevitably makes for ruthlessness, and to educate our children we must be sensitive to the whole movement of life. What we think, what we do, what we say matters infinitely, because it creates the environment, and the environment either helps or hinders the child. Obviously, then, those of us who are deeply interested in this problem will have to begin to understand ourselves and thereby help to transform society; we will make it our direct responsability to bring about a new approach to education. If we love our children, will we not find a way of putting an end to war? But if we are merely using the word "love" without substance, then the whole complex problem of human misery will remain. The way out of this problem lies through ourselves. We must begin to understand our relationship with our fellow men, with nature, with ideas and with things, for without that understanding there is no hope, there is no way out of conflict and suffering. The bringing up of a child requires intelligent observation and care. Experts and their knowledge can never replace the parents' love, but most parents corrupt that love by their own fears and ambitions, which condition and distort the outlook of the child. So few of us are concerned with love, but we are vastly taken up with the appearance of love. The present educational and social structure does not help the individual towards freedom and integration; and if the parents are at all in earnest and desire that the child shall grow to his fullest integral capacity, they must begin to alter the influence of the home and set about creating schools with the right kind of educators. The influence of the home and that of the school must not be in any way contradictory, so both parents and teachers must re-educate themselves. The contradiction which so often exists between the private life of the individual and his life as a member of the group creates an endless battle within himself and in his relationships. This conflict is encouraged and sustained through the wrong kind of education, and both governments and organized religions add to the confusion by their contradictory doctrines. The child is divided within himself from the very start, which results in personal and social disasters.
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J. Krishnamurti (Education and the Significance of Life)
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One wonders why no one in church history has ever been considered a heretic for being unloving. People were anathematized and often tortured and killed for disagreeing on matters of doctrine or on the authority of the church. But no one on record has ever been so much as rebuked for not loving as Christ loved. Yet if love is to be placed above all other considerations (Col. 3:14; 1 Peter 4:8), if nothing has any value apart from love (1 Cor. 13:1–3), and if the only thing that matters is faith working in love (Gal. 5:6), how is it that possessing Christlike love has never been considered the central test of orthodoxy? How is it that those who tortured and burned heretics were not themselves considered heretics for doing so? Was this not heresy of the worst sort? How is it that those who perpetrated such things were not only not deemed heretics but often were (and yet are) held up as β€œheroes of the faith”? If there is an answer to this question, I believe it lies in the deceptive power of the sword. While God uses the sword of governments to preserve law, order, and justice, as we have seen, there is a corrupting principality and power always at work. Much like the magical ring in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the sword has a demonic power to deceive us. When we pick it up, we come under its power. It convinces us that our use of violence is a justified means to a noble end. It intoxicates us with the unquenchable dream of redemptive violence and blinds us to our own iniquities, thereby making us feel righteous in overpowering the unrighteousness of others. Most of the slaughtering done throughout history has been done by people who sincerely believed they were promoting β€œthe good.” Everyone thinks their wars are just, if not holy. Marxists, Nazis, the Khmer Rouge, Islamic terrorists, and Christian crusaders have this in common.
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Gregory A. Boyd (The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church)
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Mr. President I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only difference between our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong. But though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their sect. In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other. I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another's throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good. I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad. Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die. If every one of us in returning to our Constituents were to report the objections he has had to it, and endeavor to gain partizans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects & great advantages resulting naturally in our favor among foreign Nations as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength & efficiency of any Government in procuring and securing happiness to the people, depends, on opinion, on the general opinion of the goodness of the Government, as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its Governors. I hope therefore that for our own sakes as a part of the people, and for the sake of posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this Constitution (if approved by Congress & confirmed by the Conventions) wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future thoughts & endeavors to the means of having it well administred. On the whole, Sir, I can not help expressing a wish that every member of the Convention who may still have objections to it, would with me, on this occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility, and to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.
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Benjamin Franklin
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An Act for establishing religious Freedom. Section 1 Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time; That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical; That even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the Ministry those temporary rewards, which, proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind; That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry, That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right, That it tends only to corrupt the principles of that very Religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments those who will externally profess and conform to it; That though indeed, these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; And finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
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Thomas Jefferson