„Generosity is a virtue for individuals, not Governments. When governments are generous it is with other people's money, other people's safety, other people's future.“

—  P. D. James, The Children of Men (1992)
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P. D. James
1920 - 2014
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Ronald Reagan photo

„We are a nation that has a government — not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people.“

—  Ronald Reagan American politician, 40th president of the United States (in office from 1981 to 1989) 1911 - 2004
1980s, First term of office (1981–1985), First Inaugural address (1981), Context: We are a nation that has a government — not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed. It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government. Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work-work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

Barack Obama photo
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Barney Frank photo

„In a free society a large degree of human activity is none of the government's business. We should make criminal what's going to hurt other people and other than that we should leave it to people to make their own choices.“

—  Barney Frank American politician, former member of the House of Representatives for Massachusetts 1940
Frank commenting on legislation to remove federal criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. CNN Newsroom : Rep. Barney Frank's Marijuana Bill http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0807/30/cnr.05.html (30 July 2008)]

Robert LeFevre photo

„We [the U. S. ] think nothing…of attempting to inflict upon other peoples forms of government ill-tailored to their needs.“

—  Ralph Peters American military officer, writer, pundit 1952
2000s, Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World (2002), p. 218

E.M. Forster photo
James P. Hogan photo

„Governments everywhere are lying to people to make them hate others that they wouldn't have any quarrel with otherwise.“

—  James P. Hogan British writer 1941 - 2010
Paths to Otherwhere (1996), Context: Governments everywhere are lying to people to make them hate others that they wouldn't have any quarrel with otherwise. You'd think they'd have learned something after two world wars, but where else can it lead than right where it's all going? Theo's right — the lunatics end up in charge of everything. Sane, normal people don't need power trips. Ch. 28; this has occurred in paraphrased form as "Sane, normal people don't need power trips. So the lunatics end up in charge of everything."

James Bovard photo

„The surest effect of exalting government is to make it easier for some people to drag others down.“

—  James Bovard American journalist 1956
From Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen (St. Martin's Press, 1999) http://www.jimbovard.com/Epigram%20page%20Freedom%20in%20Chains.htm

James Madison photo

„Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.“

—  James Madison 4th president of the United States (1809 to 1817) 1751 - 1836
1790s, Context: That the General Assembly doth particularly protest against the palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution, in the two late cases of the "Alien and Sedition Acts" passed at the last session of Congress; the first of which exercises a power no where delegated to the federal government, and which by uniting legislative and judicial powers to those of executive, subverts the general principles of free government; as well as the particular organization, and positive provisions of the federal constitution; and the other of which acts, exercises in like manner, a power not delegated by the constitution, but on the contrary, expressly and positively forbidden by one of the amendments thereto; a power, which more than any other, ought to produce universal alarm, because it is levelled against that right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been justly deemed, the only effectual guardian of every other right. Virginia Resolution of 1798 (24 December 1798) http://www.constitution.org/cons/virg1798.htm Context: Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. Federalist No. 46 (29 January 1788) Full text at Wikisource

Barack Obama photo
Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood photo

„The old phrase, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people"*, represents a true ideal. It is best for the people as a whole. It is even more clearly the best for the development of the individual man and woman. And since in the end, the character and the prosperity of the nation depend on the character of the individuals that compose it, the form of government which best promotes individual development is the best for the people as a whole.“

—  Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood lawyer, politician and diplomat in the United Kingdom 1864 - 1958
The Future of Civilization (1938), Context: In some states of society it may even be that a form of dictatorship is necessary. No doubt in the hands of an able man it may possibly be more efficient than a democratic form of administration. But in the end, I am confident that a free government is best for free people. The old phrase, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people"*, represents a true ideal. It is best for the people as a whole. It is even more clearly the best for the development of the individual man and woman. And since in the end, the character and the prosperity of the nation depend on the character of the individuals that compose it, the form of government which best promotes individual development is the best for the people as a whole. Quoting Abraham Lincoln

Walter Bagehot photo

„Free government is self-government. A government of the people by the people. The best government of this sort is that which the people think best.“

—  Walter Bagehot British journalist, businessman, and essayist 1826 - 1877
The English Constitution (1867), No. V, The House of Commons, p. 159 Cf the Gettysburg Address.

P. J. O'Rourke photo
Margaret Thatcher photo

„The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.“

—  Margaret Thatcher British stateswoman and politician 1925 - 2013
Leader of the Opposition, Context: And I will go on criticising Socialism, and opposing Socialism because it is bad for Britain – and Britain and Socialism are not the same thing... It's the Labour Government that have brought us record peace-time taxation. They’ve got the usual Socialist disease – they’ve run out of other people's money. Speech to the Conservative Party Conference (10 October 1975) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/102777 The last sentence is widely paraphrased as "The trouble/problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

Alexandre Dumas, fils photo

„Business? Why, it's very simple: business is other people's money.“

—  Alexandre Dumas, fils French writer and dramatist, son of the homonym writer and dramatist 1824 - 1895
Les affaires, c'est bien simple, c'est l'argent des autres. La Question d'argent (1857), Act II, sc. vii; translation from Frederick Brown Theater and Revolution (New York: Viking Press, 1980) p. 5.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“