„If I were in authority in Singapore indefinitely without having to ask those who are governed whether they like what is being done, then I have not the slightest doubt that I could govern much more effectively in their interests.“

—  Lee Kuan Yew, Radio Interview, 1960. Quoted in South-East Asia: A Political Profile, Damien Kingsbury (2001, p. 337)
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Lee Kuan Yew
1923 - 2015
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„The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Context: The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them. Letter to Colonel Edward Carrington (16 January 1787) Lipscomb & Bergh ed. 6:57

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„Those who have hitherto governed“

—  R. H. Tawney English philosopher 1880 - 1962
Context: Those who have hitherto governed the nation, believing, and believing with justice, that ignorance and docility go hand in hand, have taken care to ration the education of the workers in doses small enough to be innocuous to the established order.

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„As for the Rosenkavalier waltzes... how could I have done those without a thought of the laughing genius of Vienna?“

—  Richard Strauss German composer and orchestra director 1864 - 1949
On Johann Strauss, page 77. Originally written in 1925.

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Martti Ahtisaari photo

„Since I know that about a million people have been killed by the government of Iraq, I do not need much those weapons of mass destruction.“

—  Martti Ahtisaari Finnish politician and former President of Finland 1937
Defending the US government decision to invade Iraq, as quoted in "Nobel Finn" in Wall Street Journal (11 October 2008) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122367870922824537.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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„I would rather have a government run like hell by Filipinos than a government run like heaven by any foreigner.“

—  Manuel L. Quezon president of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944 1878 - 1944
Context: It is true, and I am proud of it, that I once said, “I would rather have a government run like hell by Filipinos than a government run like heaven by Americans.” I want to tell you that I have, in my life, made no other remark which went around the world but that. There had been no paper in the United States, including a village paper, which did not print that statement, and I also had seen it printed in many newspapers in Europe. I would rather have a government run like hell by Filipinos than a government run like heaven by any foreigner. I said that once; I say it again, and I will always say it as long as I live. Speech on Civil Liberties http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1939/12/09/speech-of-president-quezon-on-civil-liberties-december-9-1939/, delivered on the occasion of the interuniversity oratorical contest held under the auspices of the Civil Liberties Union at the Ateneo auditorium, Manila, on December 9, 1939

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„You have to be prepared for the consequences. I honestly do not know if civil disobedience has any effect on the government. I can promise you it has a great effect on the person who chooses to do it.“

—  Martin Sheen American actor 1940
Context: It is one of the only tools that is available to us where you can express a deeply personal, deeply moral opinion and be held accountable. You have to be prepared for the consequences. I honestly do not know if civil disobedience has any effect on the government. I can promise you it has a great effect on the person who chooses to do it. On nonviolent civil disobedience

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„To speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.“

—  Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862 American poet, essayist, naturalist, and abolitionist 1817 - 1862
Context: To speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? — in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.

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