Government and Politics

“Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”
– “Very Christian Democracy,” Christendom in Dublin

“America is the only country ever founded on a creed.”
– “What is America?” What I Saw In America

“The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.”
– Chapter 19, What I Saw In America

“The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed.”
– Illustrated London News, July 21, 1928

“When you break the big laws, you do not get freedom; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.”
– Daily News, July 29, 1905

“When you break the big laws, you do not get freedom; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.” Click To Tweet

“Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.”
– “The New Name,” Utopia of Usurers

“If you attempt an actual argument with a modern paper of opposite politics, you will have no answer except slanging or silence.”
– Chapter 3, What’s Wrong With The World

“He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.”
– “Tennyson,” Varied Types

“You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.
– “The Wind and the Trees,” Tremendous Trifles

“For fear of the newspapers politicians are dull, and at last they are too dull even for the newspapers.”
– “On the Cryptic and the Elliptic,” All Things Considered

“When a politician is in opposition he is an expert on the means to some end; and when he is in office he is an expert on the obstacles to it.”
– Illustrated London News, April 6, 1918

“It is the mark of our whole modern history that the masses are kept quiet with a fight. They are kept quiet by the fight because it is a sham-fight; thus most of us know by this time that the Party System has been popular only in the sense that a football match is popular.”
– “Aristocracy and the Discontents,” A Short History of England

“I have formed a very clear conception of patriotism. I have generally found it thrust into the foreground by some fellow who has something to hide in the background. I have seen a great deal of patriotism; and I have generally found it the last refuge of the scoundrel.”
– The Judgement of Dr. Johnson, Act III

“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.”
– The Cleveland Press, March 1, 1921

“There cannot be a nation of millionaires, and there never has been a nation of Utopian comrades; but there have been any number of nations of tolerably contented peasants.”
– “The Religion of Small Property,” The Outline of Sanity

“All government is an ugly necessity.”
– “The Meaning of Merry England,” A Short History of England

“It is hard to make government representative when it is also remote.”
– Illustrated London News, Aug. 17, 1918

“It is a good sign in a nation when things are done badly. It shows that all the people are doing them. And it is bad sign in a nation when such things are done very well, for it shows that only a few experts and eccentrics are doing them, and that the nation is merely looking on.”
– “Patriotism and Sport,” All Things Considered

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”
– Illustrated London News, April 19, 1924