"(According to Machiavelli) Simplicity and consistency – what most of us would call political morality – are not possible for a Prince, because his acts invariably change the context in which subsequent acts must take place. He continually creates his own reality. That is the nature of power. By necessity, in order to adjust to the changes created by his own acts, he must dissemble, shift, appear to be virtuous when he is not. The delayed, two-pronged wit in Machiavelli was produced by his dynamic notion of reality, in which one exercise of power always sets the ground for the next."

— “Great Books”, David Denby

"Frustrated by the practical life of politics, in which he had suffered many defeats, Plato had established a school in Athens, the Academy, part of whose purpose was to train a new generation of political leaders; (Socrates) Republic can be considered as a kind of guidebook to their education."

— “Great Books”, David Denby

"Actually the movement to abolish black slavery in the south is deeply unpopular. It is not that New Yorkers so much like the institution of slavery as they dislike the sort of righteous people who want to abolish it."

— "Burr” – Gore Vidal

"Interjecting a brief homily on the art of politics, (Long) declared: “What the politician had better do is stay a politician. That is law number one with him – the law of self-preservation.”"

— “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams

"You will find that you cannot do without politicians. They are a necessary evil in this day and time. You may not like getting money from one source and spending it for another. But the thing for the school people to do is that if the politicians are going to steal, make them steal for the schools."

— “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams

"

Long: “They say they don’t like my methods. Well, I don’t like them either. I really don’t like to have to do things the way I do. I’d much rather get up before the legislature and say, ‘Now this is a good law and it’s for the benefit of the people, and I’d like you to vote for it in the interest of the public welfare.’ Only I know that laws ain’t made that way. You’ve got to fight fire with fire.

I’d rather violate every one of the damn conventions and see my bills passed, than sit back in my office, all nice and proper, and watch ‘em die.

Everything I did, I’ve had to do with one hand, because I’ve had to fight with the other.”

"

— “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams

"The conservatives still did not realise that this governor was not going to be satisfied by the sound of his own voice."

— “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams

"

‘Show us not the aim without the way.
For ends and means on earth are so entangled
That changing one, you change the other too;
Each different path brings other ends in view.’

FERDINAND LASSALLE: Franz von Sickingen

"

— “Darkness At Noon” - Arthur Koestler

"

‘The greatest criminals in history,’ Ivanov went on, ‘are not of the type Nero and Fouché, but of the type Gandhi and Tolstoy. Gandhi’s inner voice has done more to prevent the liberation of India than the British guns. To sell oneself for thirty pieces of silver is an honest transaction; but to sell oneself to one’s own conscience is to abandon mankind. History is a priori amoral; it has no conscience. To want to conduct history according to the maxims of the Sunday school means to leave everything as it is. You know that as well as I do. You know the stakes in this game, and here you come talking about Bogrov’s whimpering… .’


Rubashov shrugged his shoulders. ‘Admit,’ he said, ‘that humanism and politics, respect for the individual and social progress, are incompatible. Admit, that Gandhi is a catastrophe for India; that chasteness in the choice of means leads to political impotence. In negatives we agree. But look where the other alternative has led us… .’

‘Well,’ asked Ivanov. ‘Where?’

Rubashov rubbed his pince-nez on his sleeve, and looked at him shortsightedly. ‘What a mess,’ he said, ‘what a mess we have made of our golden age.’

"

— “Darkness At Noon” - Arthur Koestler

"‘The greatest criminals in history,’ Ivanov went on, ‘are not of the type Nero and Fouché, but of the type Gandhi and Tolstoy. Gandhi’s inner voice has done more to prevent the liberation of India than the British guns. To sell oneself for thirty pieces of silver is an honest transaction; but to sell oneself to one’s own conscience is to abandon mankind. History is a priori amoral; it has no conscience. To want to conduct history according to the maxims of the Sunday school means to leave everything as it is. You know that as well as I do. You know the stakes in this game, and here you come talking about Bogrov’s whimpering… .’"

— “Darkness At Noon” - Arthur Koestler

"‘My point is this,’ he said; ‘one may not regard the world as a sort of metaphysical brothel for emotions. That is the first commandment for us. Sympathy, conscience, disgust, despair, repentance, and atonement are for us repellent debauchery. To sit down and let oneself be hypnotized by one’s own navel, to turn up one’s eyes and humbly offer the back of one’s neck to Gletkin’s revolver – that is an easy solution. The greatest temptation for the like of us is: to renounce violence, to repent, to make peace with oneself. Most great revolutionaries fell before this temptation, from Spartacus to Danton and Dostoyevsky; they are the classical form of betrayal of the cause. The temptations of God were always more dangerous for mankind than those of Satan. As long as chaos dominates the world, God is an anachronism; and every compromise with one’s own conscience is perfidy. When the accursed inner voice speaks to you, hold your hands over your ears… .’"

— “Darkness At Noon” - Arthur Koestler

"‘Yet I would do it again,’ he said to himself. ‘It was necessary and right. But do I perhaps owe you the fare all the same? Must one also pay for deeds which were right and necessary?’"

— “Darkness At Noon” - Arthur Koestler

"‘Nobody can rule guiltlessly.’ SAINT-JUST"

— “Darkness At Noon” - Arthur Koestler

"

I happen to like Stanislas/Constantine. When dealing with an incensed young Bosnian who accused him of being a government stooge, he responds with some gravity by saying:

“Yes. For the sake of my country, and perhaps a little for the sake of my soul, I have given up the deep peace of being in opposition.”

This is one of the more profoundly mature, and also among the most tragic, of the signals that (Rebecca) West’s ear was attuned to pick up.

"

“Arguably: Selected Essays” - Christopher Hitchens

'The Deep Peace of Being In Opposition' - yes I think this describes it well. 

"

“Yeah, and he wanted the one last damned thing you can’t inherit. And you know what it is?” He started at Adam’s face.

“What?” Adam said, after a long pause.

“Goodness. Yeah, just plain, simple goodness. Well you can’t inherit that from anybody. You gotta make it, Doc. If you want it. And you got to make it out of badness. Badness. And you know why, Doc?” He raised his bulk up in the broken-down wreck of an overstuffed chair he was in, and leaned forward, his hands on his knees, his elbows cocked out, his head out-thrust and the hair coming down to his eyes, and stared into Adam’s face. “Out of badness,” he repeated. “And you know why? Because there isn’t anything else to make it out of.”

"

— “All the King’s Men” – Robert Penn Warren