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The all-men power; government over all, by all, and for the sake of all.
      - John C. Marshall,
        Pamphlet--The Relation of Slavery to a Republican Form of Government,
        a speech at the New England Anti-Slavery Convention

To make a bank, was a great plot state;
  Invent a shovel, and be a magistrate.
      - Andrew Marvell, the Younger,
        The Character of Holland

State are not made, nor patched; they grow;
  Grow slow through centuries of pain,
    And grow correctly in the main;
      But only grow by certain laws,
        Of certain bits in certain jaws.
      - John Masefield, Everlasting Mercy (st. 60)

Hope nothing from foreign governments. They will never be really willing to aid you until you have shown that you are strong enough to conquer without them.
      - Giuseppe Mazzini,
        Life and Writings--Young Italy

Virtue alone is not sufficient for the exercise of government; laws alone carry themselves into practice.
      - Mencius

If the prince of a State love benevolence, he will have no opponent in all the empire.
      - Mencius, Works (bk. IV, pt. I, ch. 7)

One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top, there is no limit to repression.
      - Henry Louis Mencken

The worst government is the most moral.
      - Henry Louis Mencken

A state which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands, even for beneficial purposes, will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.
      - John Stuart Mill

In politics it is almost a triviality to say that public opinion now rules the world. The only power deserving the name is that of masses and of governments while they make themselves the organ of the tendencies and instincts of masses.
      - John Stuart Mill

Unearned increment.
      - John Stuart Mill, Political Economy
         (bk. V, ch. II, sec. 5),
        phrase used in the land agitation of 1870-71

An aristocracy in a republic is like a chicken whose head has been cut off: it may run about in a lively way, but in fact it is dead.
      - Nancy Mitford,
        Noblesse Oblige--The English Aristocracy

The culminating point of administration is to know well how much power, great or small, we ought to use in all circumstances.
      - Charles de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat)

When a government is arrived to that degree of corruption as to be incapable of reforming itself, it would not lose much by being new moulded.
      - Charles de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat)

Republics end through luxury; monarchies through poverty.
  [Fr., Les republiques finissent par le luxe; les monarchies, par la pauvrete.]
      - Charles de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat),
        De l'Esprit (VII, ch. IV)

The deterioration of a government begins almost always by the decay of its principles.
  [Fr., La corruption de chaque gouvernement commence presque toujours par celle des principes.]
      - Charles de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat),
        De l'Esprit (VIII, ch. I)

Power is detested, and miserable is the life of him who wishes rather to be feared than to be loved.
      - Cornelius Nepos

We'll run this planet as we please, and if you don't like it, go back where we came from.
      - P.J. O'Rourke

Big Brother is watching you.
      - George Orwell (pseudonym of Eric Blair),
        1984 (pt. I, ch. 5)

Learn, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed.
  [Lat., Nescis, mi fili, quantilla sapientia regitur mundus.]
      - attributed to Count Axel von Oxenstierna (Oxenstjerna or Oxenstiern)

Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence.
      - Thomas Paine

First there is the democratic idea: that all men are endowed by their creator with certain natural rights; that these rights are alienable only by the possessor thereof; that they are equal in men; that government is to organize these natural, unalienable and equal rights into institutions designed for the good of the governed, and therefore government is to be of all the people, by all the people, and for all the people. Here government is development, not exploitation.
      - Theodore Parker, in a speech in Boston

There is what I call the American idea. . . . This idea demands, as the proximate organization thereof, a democracy,--that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government of the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness' sake I will call it the idea of Freedom.
      - Theodore Parker,
        in a speech at the New England Anti-Slavery Convention in Boston

Slavery is in flagrant violation of the institutions of America--direct government--over all the people, by all the people, for all the people.
      - Theodore Parker, Sermon (p. 14),
        delivered at Music Hall, in Boston

Democracy is direct self-government, over all the people, for all the people, for all the people, by all the people.
      - Theodore Parker,
        Sermon--On the Effect of Slavery on the American People
         (p. 5),
        delivered at Music Hall, in Boston

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