"(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

"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

"

‘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

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

— “Darkness At Noon” - Arthur Koestler

"

The danger of theoretical systems was something that Smith addressed with his own theory in part 6 of The Theory of Moral Sentiments. This section of the book was actually written after The Wealth of Nations. Moral Sentiments had been published in 1759 when Smith was teaching at Glasgow. But Smith revised it in 1789. By then he had met the physiocrats and had been exposed to their system of political economy. In part 6, titled ‘Of the Character of Virtue’, Smith located the evil of political systems in – per the great theme of Moral Sentiments – lack of imagination. Creating a theoretical political system does take imagination, but, Smith argued, there’s an unimaginative side to putting it into practice:

“From a certain spirit of system… we sometimes seem to value the means more than the end, and to be eager to promote the happiness of our fellow-creatures, rather from a view to perfect and improve a certain beautiful and orderly system, than from any immediate sense or feeling of what they either suffer or enjoy.”

Theorisers, Smith wrote, can become ‘intoxicated with the imaginary beauty of this ideal system’ until ‘that public spirit which is founded upon the love of humanity’ is corrupted by a spirit of system that ‘inflames it even to the madness of fanaticism.’

"

— "On the Wealth of Nations", P.J. O’Rourke

"

The Civil Rights Act of 1957, not in itself as revolutionary as its supporters hoped or its detractors feared, opened the door to later, more substantial legislative reparation to Blacks. Not until the next decade could Southern Black Children share a classroom with white Americans; not until the next decade could Southern Black adults eat a sandwich at the same lunch counter as whites. But in the context of the times the ‘meagre’ – (Robert) Caro’s word – 1957 Act was the indisputable first step.

Let’s dwell on the rhetoric of that moment – the limited advances that cleared the way for legal and political equality. In a 1957 speech a few hours before the vote, Johnson said, ‘I cannot follow the logic of those who say that because we cannot solve all the problems we should not try to solve any of them.’

"

— “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

"

(Isaiah) Berlin takes his analysis a step further. He writes that such a

“search for perfection does seem to me a recipe for bloodshed, no better even if it is demanded by the sincerest of idealists, the purest of heard… To force people into the neat uniforms demanded by dogmatically believed in schemes is almost always the road to inhumanity.”

"

— “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

"(Keating) said the environment movement no longer had leaders, just people ‘matching press release for release’. The lobbies thought they had a ‘moral lien’ over the environment, but they had no such thing, he said—the issue belonged to the nation."

— “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” - Don Watson

"Kenneth Arrow, the father of the theory of general equilibrium, one of the laws of free-market economics, once said, ‘Vast ills follow a belief in certainty.’"

— “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” - Don Watson

"

Paul Keating on the Left:

“What it boils down to is wider nature strips, more trees and we’ll all make wicker baskets in Balmain. Then we’ll all live in renovated terraces in Balmain and we’ll have the arts and crafts shops and everything else is bad and evil.”

“These people are trying to make my party into something other than it is… They’re appendages. That’s why I’ll never abandon ship, and never let those people capture it.”

"

— "Shut Up and Listen and You Might Learn Something" - Edna Carew and Patrick Cook

"‘SHORT FLAYS BLAIR’S “DARK MEN”’ ran the Guardian headline on 8 August. ‘Clare Short, the controversial shadow Cabinet minister, last night accused her leader’s advisers of jeopardising Labour’s chances of victory at the General Election and threatening its existence,’ the article began.28 Her accusations had been made in an interview with the New Statesman, in which she focused on ‘Blair’s misguided strategy’. She described his advisers as ‘the people in the dark’, whose ‘obsession with media and focus groups is making us look as if we want power at any price’. She said, ‘These people are making a terrible error. They think that Labour is unelectable, so they want to get something else elected, even though really it’s still the Labour Party. This is a dangerous game which assumes people are stupid … They are saying, “Vote for Tony Blair’s New Labour. We all agree that the old one was absolutely appalling and you all know that most of the people in Labour are really the old one, but we’ve got some who are nothing to do with that, vote for us!” One, it’s a lie. And two, it’s dangerous.’"

— “The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics Forever” - Philip Gould

"

"It makes you the same," Liz continued; "the same as Mundt and all the rest… . I should know, I was the one who was kicked about, wasn’t I? By them, by you because you don’t care. Only Fiedler didn’t. But the rest of you… you all treated me as if I was… nothing… just currency to pay with…. You’re all the same, Alec."

"Oh Liz," he said desperately, "for God’s sake believe me. I hate it, I hate it all, Fm tired. But it’s the world, it’s mankind that’s gone mad. We’re a tiny price to pay … but everywhere’s the same, people cheated and misled, whole lives thrown away, people shot and in prison, whole groups and classes of men written off for nothing. And you, your Party—God knows it was built on the bodies of ordinary people. You’ve never seen men die as I have, Liz… ."

"

— “The Spy Who Came in From The Cold” - John LeCarre