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Politics and Government Quotes


Top 35 Politics and Government Quotes


No 1 (Best quote!)Politics and Government Quotes

Government of the people by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American president, pictured right.



No 2Politics and Government Quotes

Every country has the government it deserves.

- Joseph de Maistre (1753–1821), French writer and diplomat, pictured right.



No 3Politics and Government Quotes

Therefore, the good of man must be the end [i.e. objective] of the science of politics.

- Aristotle (384–322 BC), Greek philosopher, pictured right.


Other views on the purpose of government are:

 Politics and Government Quotes

The happiness of society is the end of government.

- John Adams (1735–1826), pictured right, American president


Politics and Government Quotes

The ultimate aim of government is... to free every man from fear.

- Benedict (or Baruch) Spinoza (1632-77) , pictured right, Dutch philosopher


Politics and Government Quotes

The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third,

- Voltaire (1694–1778), pictured right, French writer and philosopher


Politics and Government Quotes

It is the duty of government to make it difficult for people to do wrong, easy to do right,

- William Gladstone (1809-1898), pictured right, British prime minister



Politics and Government Quotes

Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants.

- Edmund Burke (1729-97), pictured right, Irish-born British philosopher and politician


Politics and Government Quotes

The first duty of government is to see that people have food, fuel and clothes. The second, that they have means of moral and intellectual education.

- John Ruskin (1819-1900), pictured right, English writer and philosopher



No 4Politics and Government Quotes

The best government is that which governs least.

- John L. O'Sullivan (1813–95), pictured right, American journalist and diplomat, pictured right.


Politics and Government Quotes

Henry David Thoreau (1817-62), pictured right, in his essay, Civil Disobedience (1849), put it like this:

I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least’…Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, - ‘That government is best which governs not at all’.



No 5Politics and Government Quotes

A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes, will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.

- John Stuart Mill, pictured right, On Liberty (1859)



No 6Politics and Government Quotes

Tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right.

- John Locke (1632-1704), English philosopher, pictured right.



No 7Politics and Government Quotes

No state can exist without the confidence of the people.

- Confucius (551–479 BC), Chinese philosopher, pictured right.


Politics and Government Quotes

Similarly Edmund Burke (1729–97), pictured right, the Irish born British politician and philosopher, argues that you can’t successfully govern people by force:

A nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered.



No 8Politics and Government Quotes

Taxation without representation is tyranny.

- James Otis (1725–83), American politician, pictured right.



No 9Politics and Government Quotes

Politics is the art of the possible.

- Otto von Bismarck (1815–98), pictured right, German leader.



No 10Politics and Government Quotes

Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary,

- Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971)), pictured right, American theologian.



No 11Politics and Government Quotes

In politics the middle way is none at all.

- John Adams (1735–1826), American president, pictured right.



No 12Politics and Government Quotes

Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking,

- Clement Attlee (1883–1967)), pictured right, British prime minister.



No 13Politics and Government Quotes

Governments need both shepherds and butchers.

- Voltaire (1694–1778), French writer and philosopher, pictured right.


Politics and Government Quotes

R. A. (‘Rab’) Butler (1902–82)), pictured right, the British politician, agrees:

In politics you must always keep running with the pack. The moment that you falter and they sense that you are injured, the rest will turn on you like wolves



No 14Politics and Government Quotes

Information is the currency of democracy.

- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American president, pictured right.



No 15Politics and Government Quotes

He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.

(from the 1905 play Major Barbara)

- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), pictured right, Irish writer.



No 16Politics and Government Quotes

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

- Ronald Reagan (1911–2004), American president, pictured right.



No 17

All political revolutioPolitics and Government Quotesns, not affected by foreign conquest, originate in moral revolutions.

- John Stuart Mill (1806-73), English philosopher (pictured right).



No 18Politics and Government Quotes

Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.

- Mao Zedong (1893–1976), Chinese Communist leader, pictured right.


Mao also says something similar:

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun



No 19Politics and Government Quotes

A week is a long time in politics.,

- Harold Wilson (1916–95), British prime minister, pictured right.



No 20Politics and Government Quotes

Politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.

- Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970), French president, pictured right.



No 21Politics and Government Quotes

Let the people rule. (political campaign slogan)

- Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)), pictured right, American president.



No 22Politics and Government Quotes

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), pictured right, the American president.



No 23Politics and Government Quotes

The real safeguard of democracy... is education.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), pictured right, American president.



No 24Politics and Government Quotes

Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice.

- Harry S. Truman (1864-1972), pictured right, American president.



No 25Politics and Government Quotes

Nothing that can be morally wrong can be politically right.

- William Gladstone (1809-98), pictured right, British prime minister.



No 26Politics and Government Quotes

Less government in business and more business in government.

- Henry Ford (1863-1947), pictured right, American car maker.



No 27Politics and Government Quotes

The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest

 - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), pictured right, the American president.



No 28Politics and Government Quotes

Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness,

- Thomas (Tom) Paine (1737-1809), pictured right, English philosopher.



No 29Politics and Government Quotes

There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses,

- Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), pictured right, American president.



No 30Politics and Government Quotes

I wish to be a Member of Parliament to have my share of doing good and resisting evil.

- Edmund Burke (1729-97), pictured right, Irish-born British Member of Parliament (inscribed on his statue in Bristol, England).


No 31

Politics and Government Quotes

Government is the strongest of which every man feels a part.

 - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), pictured right, the American president.



No 32Politics and Government Quotes

Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809), English philosopher, pictured right.



No 33

Politics and Government Quotes

Government is not the solution to a problem. Government is the problem.

- Ronald Reagan (1911–2004), pictured right, the American president, agrees:



No 34Politics and Government Quotes

If you want to succeed in politics, you must keep your conscience well under control.

- David Lloyd George (1863-1945), Welsh-born British prime minister, pictured right.



No 35

Politics and Government Quotes

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.

- Groucho Marx (1890-1977), pictured right, American comedian and film and TV star.

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