nolite confidere in principibus.
Put not your trust in Princes.
Psalms 146:3 (Septuagint 145:3, Vulgate 145:2)
For wherever violence is used, and injury done, though by hands appointed to administer Justice, it is still violence and injury, however colour'd with the Name, Pretences, or Forms of Law, the end whereof being to protect and redress the innocent, by an unbiassed application of it, to all who are under it; wherever that is not bona fide done, War is made upon the Sufferers, who having no appeal on Earth to right them, they are left to the only remedy in such Cases, an appeal to Heaven.
John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, §20
At left: the Liberty Tree Flag of 1775
...universal spying as the principle of government. People were encouraged -- and compelled -- to spy upon one another, but this was obviously not how the state defended itself against real dangers; rather, it was a way of pushing the principle of totalitarianism to its extreme. As citizens, people were supposed to live in a perfect unity of goals, desires, and thoughts -- all expressed through the mouth of the leader. As individuals, however, they were expected to hate one another and to live in constant mutual hostility. Only thus could the isolation of individuals from one another achieve perfection. In fact, the unattainable ideal of the system seems to have been one where everyone is at the same time an inmate of a concentration camp and a secret police agent.
Leszek Koakowski (1927-2009), "The Marxist Roots of Stalinism," 1975, Is God Happy? Selected Essays, Basic Books, 2013, pp.100-101
A prince who is not wise himself cannot be wisely counseled...
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince [Daniel Donno translation, Bantam, 1981, p. 82]
How small of all that human hearts endure, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure! Still to ourselves in every place consigned, Our own felicity we make or find. With secret course, which no loud storms annoy, Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
The statesman who should attempt to direct people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.
It is clear to me now that the
Republic no longer functions.
Queen Amidala [Natalie Portman, Star Wars, The Phantom Menace, 1999]
Three things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me, the moral law within me, and the Bank of England.
Enklinobarangus (), with apologies to Immanuel Kant
Minds are of three kinds: one is capable of thinking for itself; another is able to understand the thinking of others; and a third can neither think for itself nor understand the thinkings of others. The first is of the highest excellence, the second is excellent, and the third is worthless.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince [Daniel Donno translation, Bantam, 1981, p. 80]
People who openly despise individualism, liberalism, limited government, civil society, and the armed self-defense of citizens have no business calling others "Fascists" or "Nazis." Yet it is their favorite accusation.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.
Alexander Tytler (variously attributed)