Timeless political wisdom (cautionary note)

Dr. Weeks Comment:   remember that our Founding Fathers  created, not a democracy,  but rather  a republic. ( http://www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/repvsdem.htm)


Aristophanes wrote:

“You have all the characteristics of a popular politician:

a horrible voice, bad breeding, and a vulgar manner.”

Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

George Bernard Shaw


‘The average person should never watch while sausage is being made or a

law is being passed. ”

“Vote: the only commodity that is peddleable without a license.”

“I have said there that when Europe gets a ruler lodged in her gullet,

there is no help for it but a bloody revolution; here we go and get a

great big, emetical ballot, and heave it up.”

“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


“I think it is not wise for an emperor, or a king, or a president, to

come down into the boxing ring, so to speak, and lower the dignity of

his office by meddling in the small affairs of private citizens.”

“That’s the difference between governments and individuals. Governments

don’t care, individuals do.”

“The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely

food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.”

“To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad

government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals.”

“The new political gospel: public office is private graft.”

” In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in

almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without

examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the

questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand

from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a

brass farthing.

“…one of the first achievements of the legislature was to institute a

ten-thousand-dollar agricultural fair to show off forty dollars’

worth of pumpkins in- however, the Territorial legislature was usually

spoken of as the “asylum”.”

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning

religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the


“Yes, you are right – I am a moralist in disguise; it gets me into heaps

of trouble when I go thrashing around in political questions.”

“History has tried hard to teach us that we can’t have good government

under politicians. Now, to go and stick one at the very

head of the government couldn’t be wise.”


“The mania for giving the Government power to meddle with the private

affairs of cities or citizens is likely to cause endless

trouble, through the rivalry of schools and creeds that are anxious to

obtain official recognition, and there is great danger that our

people will lose our independence of thought and action which is the

cause of much of our greatness, and sink into the

helplessness of the Frenchman or German who expects his government to

feed him when hungry, clothe him when naked, to

prescribe when his child may be born and when he may die, and, in fine,

to regulate every act of humanity from the cradle to the

tomb, including the manner in which he may seek future admission to


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

– H.L. Mencken

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