Society quotes

To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.
To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished.
It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored.
That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.
- Why, how can you ask such a question? You are a republican.
- A republican! Yes; but that word specifies nothing. Res publica; that is, "the public thing". Now, whoever is interested in public affairs - no matter under what form of government - may call himself a republican. Even kings are republicans.
- Well! You are a democrat?
- No.
- What! You would have a monarchy?
- No.
- A Constitutionalist?
- God forbid.
- Then you are an aristocrat?
- Not at all!
- You want a mixed form of government?
- Even less.
- Then what are you?
- I am an anarchist.
When politics and home life have become one and the same, when economic problems have been solved in such a way that individual and collective interests are identical – all constraints having disappeared – it is evident that we will be in a state of total liverty or anarchy. I preach emancipation to the proletaires; association to the labourers. It is the liberty that is the mother, not the daughter, of order. Either Property will overrule the Republic, or the Republic will overrule Property. There will no longer be nationality, no longer fatherland, in the political sense of the words: they will mean only places of birth. Whatever a man’s race or colour, he is really a native of the universe; he has citizen’s rights everywhere. The conclusion is that government can never be revolutionary quite simply because it is government.
Society alone, the masses armed with their intelligence, can create revolution; society alone is able to deploy all its spontaneity, to analyse and explain the mystery of its destiny and its origin, to change its faith and its philosophy, because it alone is capable of fighting against its originator and to bear its fruit.
Governments are God's scourge, established to discipline the world: do you really expect them to destroy themselves, to create freedom, to make revolution?
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice..., the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man. True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that
men have died to win them.
The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.
I sometimes think that the saving grace of America lies in the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualities - a sense of humor and a sense of proportion. We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of nations far away. We have learned that we must live as men, and not as ostriches nor as dogs in the manger. We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community. We have faith that future generations will know that here, in the middle of the twentieth century, there came a time when men of good will found a way to unite, and produce, and fight to destroy the forces of ignorance, and intolerance, and slavery, and war. There is a mysterious cycle in human events.
To some generations much is given.
Of other generations much is expected.
This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.
In this world of ours in other lands, there are some people, who, in times past, have lived and fought for freedom, and seem to have grown too weary to carry on the fight. They have sold their heritage of freedom for the illusion of a living. They have yielded their democracy.
I believe in my heart that only our success can stir their ancient hope. They begin to know that here in America we are waging a war against want and destitution and economic demoralization. It is more than that; it is a war for the survival of democracy. We are fighting to save a great and precious form of government for ourselves and for the world.
No realistic American can expect from a dictator's peace international generosity, or return of true independence, or world disarmament, or freedom of expression, or freedom of religion, or even good business. Such a peace would bring no security for us or for our neighbors. Those, who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out. It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.
The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it. Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring factions. The defeats and victories of the fellows at the top aren't always defeats and victories for the fellows at the bottom. The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn't hear, doesn't speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn't know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions.
The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics.
The imbecile doesn't know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.
First of all, they came to take the gypsies
and I was happy because they pilfered.
Then they came to take the Jews and I said nothing,
because they were unpleasant to me.
Then they came to take homosexuals,
and I was relieved, because they were annoying me.
Then they came to take the Communists,
and I said nothing because I was not a Communist.
One day they came to take me,
and there was nobody left to protest.
Some party hack decreed that the people had lost the government's confidence and could only regain it with redoubled effort. If that is the case, would it not be be simpler, if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another?