T.T The Philosophy of Freaks T.T – Politics, People and Power

~ Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire by Salvador Dali

~

Who is wise? He that learns from everyone.

Who is powerful? He that governs his passions.

Who is rich? He that is content.

Who is that? Nobody.

~ Benjamin Franklin

~

On politics in general:

  1. Politics, noun, A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
  2. Politics – the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.[1]
  3. A politician will always be there when he needs you.
  4. Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even when there’s no river.[2]
  5. Politicians are like diapers – they should be changed regularly and for the same reason.
  6. Every politician is emphatically a promising politician.[3]
  7. Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him.[4]
  8. There is no connection between the political ideas of our educated class and the deep places of our imagination.[5]
  9. Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.[6]
  10. Political ability is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterward to explain why it didn’t happen.[7]

On civil and public servants:

  1. Some civil servants are neither servants nor civil.[8]
  2. If there’s anything a public servant hates to do, it’s something for the public.[9]

On democracies:

  1. Democracy means government by discussion but it is only effective if you stop people talking.[10]
  2. Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.[11]
  3. Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they’ve told you what you think it is you want to hear.[12]
  4. Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.[13]
  5. High hopes were once formed of democracy; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.[14]
  6. It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.[15]

 ~

On aristocracies:

  1. An aristocracy in a republic is like a chicken whose head has been cut off; it may run about in a lovely way, but in fact it’s dead.[16]
  2. There is always more brass than brains in an aristocracy.[17]

On conservatives:

  1. Conservative, noun. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.[18]
  2. A conservative is someone who admires radicals a century after they’re dead.
  3. A conservative believes in the present what liberals forced on the world in the past.
  4. A conservative is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run.[19]

 ~

On autocracies, communists, Marxists and the lot:

  1. In an autocracy, one person has his way; in an aristocracy, few people have their way; in a democracy no one has his way.[20]
  2. A communist is one who has nothing and wishes to share it with the world.
  3. The Marxist law of distribution of wealth is that shortages will be divided equally among the peasants.[21]
  4. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.[22]

On the best form of government:

  1. Ask the rich for an answer – they all want aristocracy. Ask the people – they want democracy. Only monarchs want monarchy. Provided Marcus Aurelius is monarch; for otherwise, what difference does it make to a poor man whether he is devoured by a lion or by a hundred rats?[23]
  2. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul an always depend on the support of Paul.[24]
  3. The Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: if it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.[25]
  4. The government solution to the problem is usually as bad as the problem.[26]
  5. A political leader must keep looking over his shoulder all the time to see if the boys are still there. If they aren’t still there, he’s no longer a political leader.[27]
  6. There are only two forces that unite men – fear and interest.[28]
  7. The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong.[29]

 ~ The Menaced Assassin by Rene Magritte


[1] Oscar Ameringer, 1870-1943, American Socialist leader and author.

[2] Nikita Khrushchev, remark at Glen Cove, New York, 1960.

[3] G. K. Chesterton, The Red Moon of Meru.

[4] Charles de Gaulle, quoted in Newsweek, 1962.

[5] Lionel Trilling, The Liberal Imagination, 1950.

[6] Sir Ernest Benn, quoted in the Observer, 1930.

[7] Attributed to Winston Churchill.

[8] Attributed to Winston Churchill.

[9] Kin Hubbard, 1868 – 1930, American humorist.

[10] Clement Attlee, British Labour politician, speech at Oxford, 1957.

[11] H. L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956

[12] Alan Coren, Daily Mail, 1975.

[13] G.K. Chesterton, The New York Times, 1931.

[14] Oscar Wilde, The Soul of man under Socialism, 1891.

[15] Winston Churchill, speech in the House of Commons, November 1947.

[16] Nancy Mitford, Noblesse Oblige, 1956.

[17] Oscar Wilde, Vera, or The Nihilists, 1883.

[18] Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911.

[19] Elbert Hubbard, The Notebook, 1927.

[20] Celia Green, The Decline and Fall of Science.

[21] Attributed to John Guftason.

[22] Attributed to Winston Churchill.

[23] Attributed to Voltaire.

[24] George Bernard Shaw, Everybody’s Political What’s What? 1944.

[25] Ronald Reagan commenting on the Democratic Government, Republican President, 1981-9.

[26] Attributed to Milton Friedman, American Economist.

[27] Bernard Baruch, 1870-1965, American businessman and stateman.

[28] Attributed to Napoleon.

[29] Attributed to Winston Churchill.

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