„The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and constitution embraced. No one loves armed missionaries; the first lesson of nature and prudence is to repulse them as enemies.“

—  Maximilien Robespierre, Original French: La plus extravagante idée qui puisse naître dans la tête d'un politique est de croire qu'il suffise à un peuple d'entrer à main armée chez un peuple étranger, pour lui faire adopter ses lois et sa constitution. Personne n'aime les missionnaires armés; et le premier conseil que donnent la nature et la prudence, c'est de les repousser comme des ennemis. Sur la guerre (1ère intervention), a speech to the Jacobin Club (2 January 1792)
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„One isn't born one's self. One is born with a mass of expectations, a mass of other people's ideas — and you have to work through it all.“

—  V.S. Naipaul Trinidadian-British writer of Indo-Nepalese ancestry 1932
As quoted in "V.S. Naipaul in Search of Himself: A Conversation" with Mel Gussow, The New York Times, (24 April 1994) http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/06/07/specials/naipaul-conversation.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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Donald Tsang photo

„The life expectancy in Hong Kong is among the highest in the world … you can come to only one conclusion: we have the most environmentally friendly place for people, for executives, for Hong Kong people to live“

—  Donald Tsang Hong Kong politician 1944
Statement during a Business for Clear Air conference, as quoted in "Tsang hit for 'naive' comments" by Mimi Lau in The Standard (28 November 2006) http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=11&art_id=32856&sid=11078442&con_type=1&d_str=20061128&sear_year=2006

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Enrico Fermi photo

„Such a weapon goes far beyond any military objective and enters the range of very great natural catastrophes. By its very nature it cannot be confined to a military objective but becomes a weapon which in practical effect is almost one of genocide.“

—  Enrico Fermi Italian physicist 1901 - 1954
Context: Such a weapon goes far beyond any military objective and enters the range of very great natural catastrophes. By its very nature it cannot be confined to a military objective but becomes a weapon which in practical effect is almost one of genocide. It is clear that the use of such a weapon cannot be justified on any ethical ground which gives a human being a certain individuality and dignity even if he happens to be a resident of an enemy country... The fact that no limits exist to the destructiveness of this weapon makes its very existence and the knowledge of its construction a danger to humanity as a whole. It is necessarily an evil thing considered in any light. On the Hydrogen bomb in a minority addendum http://honors.umd.edu/HONR269J/archive/GACReport491030.html (co-authored with I. I. Rabi) to an official General Advisory Committee report for the Atomic Energy Commission (30 October 1949)

Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay photo

„People crushed by law have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws.“

—  Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay British historian and Whig politician 1800 - 1859
According to Kenneth Owen Morgan (The Illustrated History of Britain (1984) p. 421) this was said by Macaulay in 1832. If so, he was quoting a letter written by Edmund Burke in 1777.

William Osler photo

„One of the first essentials in securing a good-natured equanimity is not to expect too much of the people amongst whom you dwell.“

—  William Osler Canadian pathologist, physician, educator, bibliophile, historian, author, cofounder of Johns Hopkins Hospital 1849 - 1919
Context: Let me recall to your minds an incident related of that best of men and wisest of rulers, Antoninus Pius, who, as he lay dying, in his home at Loriam in Etruria, summed up the philosophy of life in the watchword, Aequanimitas. … Natural temperament has much to do with its development, but a clear knowledge of our relation to our fellow-creatures and to the work of life is also indispensable. One of the first essentials in securing a good-natured equanimity is not to expect too much of the people amongst whom you dwell.

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„Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature.“

—  Hans Morgenthau American political scientist 1904 - 1980
Context: Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature. In order to improve society it is first necessary to understand the laws by which society lives. The operation of these laws being impervious to our preferences, men will challenge them only at the risk of failure. Realism, believing as it does in the objectivity of the laws of politics, must also believe in the possibility of developing a rational theory that reflects, however imperfectly and one-sidedly, these objective laws. It believes also, then, in the possibility of distinguishing in politics between truth and opinion — between what is true objectively and rationally, supported by evidence and illuminated by reason, and what is only a subjective judgment, divorced from the facts as they are and informed by prejudice and wishful thinking. Six Principles of Political Realism http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/morg6.htm, § 1.

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„The framers of our Constitution firmly believed that a republican government could not endure without intelligence and education generally diffused among the people.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant 18th President of the United States 1822 - 1885
Context: The framers of our Constitution firmly believed that a republican government could not endure without intelligence and education generally diffused among the people. The Father of his Country, in his Farewell Address, uses this language: Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

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