Quotes

I like quotes. As readers of The Great Game would attest, sometimes too much 🙂 To me, they represent our links to the past. We ignore the wisdom of those that came before us at our peril. On this page, I wanted to assemble some of my favorite quotes. You’ll find rather disproportionate representation of the American founders – I stand in awe before their courage, wisdom, and lack of hunger for power.

“I believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling.”  Thomas Jefferson

“Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience” – Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”  Alexis De Tocqueville

“Hell isn’t merely paved with good intentions; it’s walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too.”  Aldous Huxley

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.” Abraham Lincoln

“There is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”  H. L. Mencken

“Cowardice is the most terrible of vices.”  Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

“The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”  Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”  Thomas Jefferson

We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.”  Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

“… the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the nation all the time, loyalty to the government when it deserves it.”  Mark Twain

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”  – George Washington

“Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”  Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”  Thomas Jefferson

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  Lord Acton

There is no perfection only life” Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness Of Being

We — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage.”  Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Address

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