- Oderint, dum metuant.
Let them hate, so long as they fear.
c.86 bc Roman poet and dramatist: from Atreus, in Seneca Dialogues bks. 3–5 170–
- A government of laws, and not of men.
Boston Gazette (1774) no. 7; later incorporated in the Massachusetts Constitution (1780); see Ford 1735–1826 American Federalist statesman, 2nd President 1797–1801: in
- The happiness of society is the end of government.
Thoughts on Government (1776) 1735–1826 American Federalist statesman, 2nd President 1797–1801:
- Cicero found himself frequently confounded by Antonius. Antonius heartily agreed with him that the budget should be balanced, that the Treasury should be refilled, that public debt should be reduced, that the arrogance of the generals should be tempered and controlled, that assistance to foreign lands should be be curtailed lest Rome became bankrupt, that the mobs should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence, and that prudence and frugality should be put into practice as soon as possible.
usually wrongly attributed to Cicero following Congressional Record 25 April 1968, in the form ‘The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome should become bankrupt, the mobs should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence’. However the passage is not found in Cicero's works and appears to derive from this historical novel based on his life
A Pillar of Iron (1965) ch. 51 1900–85 English-born American writer:
- The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.
The Man who was Thursday (1908) ch. 11 1874–1936 English essayist, novelist, and poet:
- My faith in the people governing is, on the whole, infinitesimal; my faith in The People governed is, on the whole, illimitable. 1812–70 English novelist: speech at Birmingham and Midland Institute, 27 September 1869
- A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money.
on federal spending 1896–1969 American Republican politician: attributed, perhaps apocryphal
- No Government can be long secure without a formidable Opposition.
Coningsby (1844) bk. 2, ch. 1 1804–81 British Tory statesman and novelist; Prime Minister 1868, 1874–80:
- Though God hath raised me high, yet this I count the glory of my crown: that I have reigned with your loves. 1533–1603 English monarch, Queen of England and Ireland from 1558: The Golden Speech, 1601
- The State is not ‘abolished’, it withers away.
Anti-Dühring (1878) pt. 3, ch. 2 1820–95 German socialist:
- If the Government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have.
If Elected (1960) 1909–2006 American Republican statesman, 38th President 1974–7: John F. Parker
- The state is like the human body. Not all of its functions are dignified.
Les Opinions de M. Jerome Coignard (1893) 1844–1924 French novelist and man of letters:
- My people and I have come to an agreement which satisfies us both. They are to say what they please, and I am to do what I please.
his interpretation of benevolent despotism 1712–86 Prussian monarch, King from 1740: attributed
- Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the cock-up theory.
Observer 17 March 1985 1932– British journalist: in
- I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government rather than another. It is of no moment to the happiness of an individual.
Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) 31 March 1772 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: James Boswell
- …Duas tantum res anxius optat,
Panem et circenses.
Only two things does he [the modern citizen] anxiously wish for—bread and circuses.
c.ad 60–c.140 Roman satirist: Satires no. 10, l. 80
- I work for a Government I despise for ends I think criminal. 1883–1946 English economist: letter to Duncan Grant, 15 December 1917
- How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read.
Aphorisms and More Aphorisms (1909) 1874–1936 Austrian satirist:
- We give the impression of being in office but not in power. 1942– British Conservative politician: speech in the House of Commons, 9 June 1993
- While the State exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no State.
State and Revolution (1919) ch. 5 1870–1924 Russian revolutionary:
- Gouverner, c'est choisir.
To govern is to choose.
Maximes et Réflexions (1812 ed.) ‘Politique: Maximes de Politique’ no. 19 1764–1830 French soldier and writer:
- The reluctant obedience of distant provinces generally costs more than it [the territory] is worth.
Essays Contributed to the Edinburgh Review (1843) vol. 2 ‘The War of Succession in Spain’ 1800–59 English politician and historian:
- Because it is difficult to join them together, it is much safer for a prince to be feared than loved, if he is to fail in one of the two.
The Prince (written 1513) ch. 8 (tr. Allan Gilbert) 1469–1527 Italian political philosopher and Florentine statesman:
- If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
The Federalist (1788) no. 51 1751–1836 American Democratic Republican statesman, 4th President 1809–17:
- big brother is watching you.
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) pt. 1, ch. 1 1903–50 English novelist:
- The best government is that which governs least.
United States Magazine and Democratic Review (1837) introduction; see Thoreau 1813–95 American journalist and diplomat: in
- Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise.
Common Sense (1776) ch. 1 1737–1809 English political theorist:
- When, in countries that are called civilized, we see age going to the workhouse and youth to the gallows, something must be wrong in the system of government.
The Rights of Man pt. 2 (1792) 1737–1809 English political theorist:
- A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
Everybody's Political What's What? (1944) ch. 30 1856–1950 Irish dramatist:
- Sixty days of an unjust ruler are much better than one night of lawlessness.
Book of Divinely Ordered Politics (c.1311–15) 1263–1328 Syrian theologian:
- A fainéant government is not the worst government that England can have. It has been the great fault of our politicians that they have all wanted to do something.
Phineas Finn (1869) ch. 13 1815–82 English novelist:
- Governments need both shepherds and butchers.
c.1735–50) in T. Besterman (ed.) Voltaire's Notebooks (2nd ed., 1968) vol. 2 1694–1778 French writer and philosopher: ‘The Piccini Notebooks’ (