There are three ways by which an individual can get wealthy — by work, by gift and by theft. And clearly, the reason why the workers get so little is that the beggars and thieves get so much.
— Henry George (1939-1897), American economist
The rulers of the state are the only ones who would have the privilege of lying, either at home or abroad; they may be allowed to lie for the good of the State.
— Plato (428-348 B.C.), Athenian philosopher, “The Republic”
Democracy is hypocrisy without limitation.
— Iskander Mirza (1899-1969), president of Pakistan, quoted in Time, Oct. 20, 1958
The remedy in the United States is not less liberty but real liberty — an end to the brutal intolerance of churchly hooligans and flag-waving corporations and all the rest of the small but bloody despots who have made the word Americanism a synonym for coercion and legal crime.
— Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), American poet, essayist
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
— Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), German-born American political philosopher
Bolshevism is knocking at our gates, we can’t afford to let it in …. We must keep America whole and safe and unspoiled. We must keep the worker away from red literature and red ruses; we must see that his mind remains healthy.
— Al Capone (1899-1947), American gangster, contribution to “Liberty” magazine
What I find most repulsive in America is not the extreme freedom reigning there, but the shortage of guarantees against tyranny.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, (1805-1859), French statesman
Must conservatism always be in the hands of cavemen or brutal enemies of the spirit?
— Thomas Mann (1875-1950), German novelist
No case whatever can be made out for the statement that a nation cannot do without common thieves and homocidal ruffians. But an overwhelming case can be meade out for the statement that no nation can prosper or even continue to exist without heretics and advocates of shockingly immoral doctrines.
— George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Irish dramatist
An unexamined idea, to paraphrase Socrates, is not worth having; and a society whose ideas are never explored for possible error may eventually find its foundations insecure.
— Mark Van Doren (1894-1973), American poet, critic