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Niccolò Machiavelli Quotes

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian philosopher, historian, writer, diplomat, civil servant and humanist. Machiavelli was a founder of what we call modern political science. He is known for his political realism.

Machiavelli’s best-known work called “The Prince” is still very popular. It is a manual to keeping the political power. Although it is written in the form of a manual for a monarch, “The Prince” also contains arguments and explanations why republican regimes are superior.

Niccolò Machiavelli Quotes

If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.

— Niccolò Machiavelli

Never was anything great achieved without danger.

— Niccolò Machiavelli

The sinews of war are not gold, but good soldiers; for gold alone will not procure good soldiers, but good soldiers will always procure gold.

— Niccolò Machiavelli

One should never allow chaos to develop in order to avoid going to war, because one does not avoid a war but instead puts it off to his disadvantage.

— Niccolò Machiavelli

Some princes, so as to hold securely the state, have disarmed their subjects…. But when you disarm them, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you. And because the government cannot remain unarmed, it follows that the government turns to hired police. Therefore a wise prince has always distributed arms to the general population.

— Niccolò Machiavelli

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

— Niccolò Machiavelli

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success and more dangerous to carry through, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has against him those who benefited from the old system; while those who should benefit from the new are only lukewarm friends, being suspicious, as men generally are, of something new and not yet experienced. In speaking of innovations, it is first necessary to establish whether the innovators depend upon the strength of others or their own…in the first case, things always go badly for them, in the second, they almost always succeed. From this comes the fact that all armed prophets were victorious and the unarmed came to ruin.

— Niccolò Machiavelli

It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.

— Niccolò Machiavelli

Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised.

— Niccolò Machiavelli
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Edmund Burke Quotes

Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797) was an Irish author, statesman, political theorist, philosopher and orator. He served in the British House of Commons for many years.

Burke is known for supporting American Revolutionaries, and arguing against the French Revolution, which made him the leading figure of the “Old Whigs” – the conservative fraction of his party. Charles James Fox led the “New Whigs” – the pro-French Revolution fraction. Burke is considered the founder of modern conservatism. In 1790, he published his best know work “Reflections on the Revolution in France”.

Edmund Burke Quotes

A law against property is a law against industry.

— Edmund Burke

It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.

— Edmund Burke

One that confounds good and evil is an enemy to the good.

— Edmund Burke, On the Impeachment of Warren Hastings

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.

— Edmund Burke, Speech on the Middlesex Elections (1771)

Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.

— Edmund Burke, Speech on the Bill for the Relief of Protestant Dissenters

A nation without means of reform is without means of survival.

— Edmund Burke

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.

— Edmund Burke

Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, can never willingly abandon it.

— Edmund Burke

The most important of all revolutions, which may be dated from that day, I mean a revolution in sentiments, manners, and moral opinions.

— Edmund Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution

The true danger is, when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.

— Edmund Burke, Letter to Sheriffs (II 249).

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

— Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents

Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.

— Edmund Burke

The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.

— Edmund Burke, Letter to Thomas Mercer

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.

— Edmund Burke

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

— Edmund Burke

Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises; for never intending to go beyond promises, it costs nothing.

— Edmund Burke

It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tells me I ought to do.

— Edmund Burke

All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.

— Edmund Burke
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H.L. Mencken Quotes

H. L. Mencken (1880 –1956) was an American satirist, essayist, journalist and magazine editor.

Mencken commented literature, politics, music and pseudo-experts. He was skeptical of populism, organized religion, economic theories, and very critical of creationism, Christian fundamentalism, and anti-intellectualism. Mencken’s books are still very popular. He is best known for his multi-volume study “The American Language”.

 H.L. Mencken Quotes

Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping, and unintelligent.

— H. L. Mencken

If a politician can hold his job by lying, he will hold it by lying; if lying peters out, he will try to hold it by embracing new truths.

— H. L. Mencken

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

— H. L. Mencken

Men in the mass never brook the destructive discussion of their fundamental beliefs, and that impatience is naturally most evident in those societies in which men in the mass are most influential. Democracy and free speech are not facets of one gem; democracy and free speech are eternal enemies.

— H. L. Mencken, Introduction to The Antichrist

All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him.

— H. L. Mencken, Smart Set (December 1919)

People constantly speak of ‘the government’ doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men.

— H. L. Mencken

The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.

— H. L. Mencken

The average man doesn’t want to be free. He wants to be safe.

— H. L. Mencken

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule- and both commonly succeed, and are right.

— H. L. Mencken

The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God’s children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil.

— H. L. Mencken

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.

— H. L. Mencken

Good government is that which delivers the citizen from the risk of being done out of his life and property too arbitrarily and violently.

— H. L. Mencken

Any man who inflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.

— H. L. Mencken

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind – that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.

— H. L. Mencken

What is the professor’s function? To pass on to numskulls a body of so-called knowledge that is fragmentary, unimportant, and largely untrue.

— H. L. Mencken

The objection to Puritans is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that they try to make us do as they think.

— H. L. Mencken

We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

— H. L. Mencken

A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.

— H. L. Mencken

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

— H. L. Mencken

I can’t imagine a genuinely intelligent boy getting much out of college, even out of a good college, save it be a cynical habit of mind.

— H. L. Mencken

Alone among the animals, man has the capacity to invent imaginary worlds, and is always making himself unhappy by trying to move into them.

— H. L. Mencken

There is something even more valuable to civilization than wisdom, and that is character.

— H. L. Mencken

I have little belief in human progress. The human race is incurably idiotic. It will never be happy.

— H. L. Mencken

Do not overestimate the decency of the human race.

— H. L. Mencken

I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.

— H. L. Mencken

Judge: a law student who marks his own papers.

— H. L. Mencken

There is only one justification for having sinned, and that is to be glad of it.

— H. L. Mencken

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.

— H. L. Mencken, Smart Set (December 1919)

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration – courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth.

— H. L. Mencken

All government, of course, is against liberty.

— H. L. Mencken

Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.

— H. L. Mencken

It doesn’t take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause.

— H. L. Mencken

As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

— H. L. Mencken, “Bayard vs. Lionheart” – Baltimore Evening Sun, 26 July, 1920

Alone among the animals, man has the capacity to invent imaginary worlds, and is always making himself unhappy by trying to move into them.

— H. L. Mencken

The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.

— H. L. Mencken

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

— H. L. Mencken

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

— H. L. Mencken

Love is like war; easy to begin but very hard to stop.

— H. L. Mencken

Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.

— H. L. Mencken
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An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.

— Confucius