Top Despotism Quotes

Browse top 69 famous quotes and sayings about Despotism by most favorite authors.

Favorite Despotism Quotes

1. "As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.' When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy."
Author: Abraham Lincoln
2. "As God can protect his people under the greatest despotism, so the utmost civil liberty is no safety to them without the immediate protection of his Almighty arm. I fear that Christians in this country have too great a confidence in political institutions . . . [rather] than of the government of God."
Author: Alexander Carson
3. "I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest; his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, he is close to them, but he does not see them; he touches them, but he does not feel them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country."
Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
4. "Despotism alone can provide that atmosphere of secrecy which favors crooked dealing and enables the freebooters of finance to make illicit fortunes."
Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
5. "The doctrine of blind obedience and unqualified submission to any human power, whether civil or ecclesiastical, is the doctrine of despotism, and ought to have no place among Republicans and Christians."
Author: Angelina Grimke
6. "Despotism isn't nearly as bad as it's cracked up to be."
Author: Arabella Weir
7. "Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms."
Author: Aristotle
8. "When I'm making something, I've always felt in charge and therefore able to call the shots. But what you've got to do is stop that turning into arrogance or despotism!"
Author: Armando Iannucci
9. "Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism. Fellow Republicans, it is the cause of Republicanism to resist concentrations of power, private or public, which enforce such conformity and inflict such despotism. It is the cause of Republicanism to ensure that power remains in the hands of the people."
Author: Barry M. Goldwater
10. "The supreme mystery of despotism, its prop and stay, is to keep men in a state of deception, and with the specious title of religion to cloak the fear by which they must be held in check, so that they will fight for their servitude as if for salvation."
Author: Baruch Spinoza
11. "When a fixed code of laws, which must be observed to the letter, leaves no further care to the judge than to examine the acts of citizens and to decide whether or not they conform to the law as written; then the standard of the just or the unjust, which is to be the norm of conduct for the ignorant as well as for the philosophic citizen, is not a matter of controversy but of fact; then only are citizens not subject to the petty tyrannies of the many which are the more cruel as the distance between the oppressed and the oppressor is less, and which are far more fatal than those of a single man, for the despotism of many can only be corrected by the despotism of one; the cruelty of a single despot is proportioned, not to his might, but to the obstacles he encounters."
Author: Cesare Beccaria
12. "To add to our misery and despair, a bloated aristocracy has sent to China - the greatest and oldest despotism in the world - for a cheap working slave."
Author: Denis Kearney
13. "I always said a good despotism was the best form of government; and I am twice as much in favour of it now I see what a quorum is!"
Author: Elizabeth Gaskell
14. "Is not liberty the destruction of all despotism - including, of course, legal despotism?"
Author: Frederic Bastiat
15. "Man does not necessarily begin with despotism because he is barbarous, but very often finds his way to despotism because he is civilised. He finds it because he is experienced; or, what is often much the same thing, because he is exhausted"
Author: G.K. Chesterton
16. "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism."
Author: George Washington
17. "The Greeks made Space the subject-matter of a science of supreme simplicity and certainty. Out of it grew, in the mind of classical antiquity, the idea of pure science. Geometry became one of the most powerful expressions of that sovereignty of the intellect that inspired the thought of those times. At a later epoch, when the intellectual despotism of the Church, which had been maintained through the Middle Ages, had crumbled, and a wave of scepticism threatened to sweep away all that had seemed most fixed, those who believed in Truth clung to Geometry as to a rock, and it was the highest ideal of every scientist to carry on his science 'more geometrico."
Author: Hermann Weyl
18. "Pour un pauvre être écrasé par les différents despotismes qui, peu ou prou, pèsent sur toutes les jeunesses, le premier usage du libre arbitre, exercé même sur des riens, apportait à Tâme je ne sais quel épanouissement."
Author: Honoré De Balzac
19. "The right-wing Tories and the conservative Whigs fought Napoleon as the Usurper and the Enemy of the Established Order; the liberal Tories and the radical Whigs fought him as the Betrayer of the Revolution and the Enslaver of Europe; they were all agreed in fighting him, and his notion that their disagreement signified national disunion was mere wishful thinking. All dictators since his time have fallen into the same trap: themselves blind to the values of liberty, they cannot conceive that people who disagree on its meaning can nevertheless unite in upholding their freedoms against patent despotism."
Author: J. Christopher Herold
20. "Just as Napoleon was the sole authority in the state, so the husband and father was to exercise authority over his family. Unfortunately the only possible result of despotism on either level is hypocrisy."
Author: J. Christopher Herold
21. "With its passive and unobtrusive despotism, the camera governed the smallest spaces of our lives. Even in the privacy of our own homes we had all been recruited to play our parts in what were little more than real-life commercials. As we cooked in our kitchens we were careful to follow the manufacturer's instructions, as we made love in our bedrooms we embraced within a familiar repertoire of gestures and affections. The medium of film had turned us all into minor actors in an endlessly running daytime serial. In the future, airliners would crash and presidents would be assassinated within agreed conventions as formalised as the coronation of a tsar."
Author: J.G. Ballard
22. "Despotism can only exist in darkness, and there are too many lights now in the political firmament, to permit it to remain anywhere, as it has heretofore done, almost everywhere."
Author: James Madison
23. "Though it was undeclared, there was a new world war being waged, where fundamental decency and respect for human rights were under assault by forces of intolerance, despotism, and blind fervor. And while its battles were sometimes waged in plain sight-- in New York City, in Iraq-- its greater struggle was carried on invisibly, fought in secret, its heroes unknown, its villains hidden."
Author: James Rollins
24. "From being a movement aiming for universal freedom, communism turned into a system of universal despotism. That is the logic of utopia."
Author: John Nicholas Gray
25. "No longer enslaved or made dependent by force of law, the great majority are so by force of poverty; they are still chained to a place, to an occupation, and to conformity with the will of an employer, and debarred, by the accident of birth both from the enjoyments, and from the mental and moral advantages, which others inherit without exertion and independently of desert. That this is an evil equal to almost any of those against which mankind have hitherto struggled, the poor are not wrong in believing. Is it a necessary evil? They are told so by, those who do not feel it---by those who have gained the prizes in the lottery of life. But it was also said that slavery, that despotism, that all the privileges of oligarchy, were necessary."
Author: John Stuart Mill
26. "Whatever crushes individuality is despotism."
Author: John Stuart Mill
27. "Man is insatiable for power; he is infantile in his desires and, always discontented with what he has, loves only what he has not. People complain of the despotism of princes; they ought to complain of the despotism of man."
Author: Joseph De Maistre
28. "Europeans have sometimes been beguiled by a despotism that comes concealed in the seductive form of an ideal – as it did in the cases of Hitler and Stalin. This fact may remind us that the possibility of despotism is remote neither in space nor in time."
Author: Kenneth Minogue
29. "Whatever they say about it, but being altruistic is not so simple for everyone. Not to look and sound like despotism, altruism must be learnt, and it's a long way, which in fact begins from our egoism, for really, a human can't love others if he doesn't love himself first."
Author: Lara Biyuts
30. "The steward, according to custom, had stopped all the clocks. This, in the language of Narouz, said, "Your stay with us is so brief, let us not be reminded of the flight of the hours. God made eternity. Let us escape from the despotism of time altogether." These ancient and hereditary politenesses filled Nessim with emotion."
Author: Lawrence Durrell
31. "In his book "Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift", Paul Rahe writes, "Human dignity is bound up with taking responsibility for conducting one's own affairs." But today the state cocoons "one's own affairs" so thoroughly as to remove almost all responsibility from modern life, and much of human dignity with it. And, if personal consequences have been all but abolished, societal consequences are harder to dodge...A society of children cannot survive, no matter how all-embracing the government nanny."
Author: Mark Steyn
32. "And now the minister prayed. A good, generous prayer it was, and went into details: it pleaded for the church, and the little children of the church; for the other churches of the village; for the village itself; for the county; for the State; for the State officers; for the United States; for the churches of the United States; for Congress; for the President; for the officers of the Government; for poor sailors, tossed by stormy seas; for the oppressed millions groaning under the heel of European monarchies and Oriental despotisms; for such as have the light and the good tidings, and yet have not eyes to see nor ears to hear withal; for the heathen in the far islands of the sea; and closed with a supplication that the words he was about to speak might find grace and favor, and be as seed sown in fertile ground, yielding in time a grateful harvest of good. Amen."
Author: Mark Twain
33. "Puterea absoluta e într-adevar un lucru ideal, când se afla în mâini sigure. Despotismul cerului e singura guvernare desavârsita. Un despotism pamântean ar fi cea mai desavârsita guvernare pamânteasca, daca ar exista aceleasi conditii - adica daca despotul ar fi cel mai desavârsit exemplar al spetei umane si daca viata sa ar fi vesnica. Dar, întrucât un om perfect este pieritor si orice-ar face tot trebuie sa moara, lasându-si stapânirea în mâinile unui mostenitor imperfect - un despotism pamântean nu numai ca e o forma rea de guvernare, ci e chiar cea mai rea forma posibila."
Author: Mark Twain
34. "Religions are the cradles of despotism."
Author: Marquis De Sade
35. "Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism."
Author: Mary McCarthy
36. "Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism."
Author: Michel Foucault
37. "This society [Jesuits] has been a greater calamity to mankind than the French Revolution, or Napoleon's despotism or ideology. It has obstructed the progress of reformation and the improvement of the human mind in society much longer and more fatally.{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, November 4, 1816. Adams wrote an anonymous 4 volume work on the destructive history of the Jesuits}"
Author: Napoleon
38. "The only clear expression of intellectual dissent from hydraulic despotism occurred in the southern half of the coastal lands of the eastern Mediterranean, called variously Canaan, Palestine, Israel, Judah, and today, Israel again. Here and in a satellite Jewish colony in Iraq, between 800 and 500 B.C., visionaries ("the Prophets") -- namely Amos, Ezekiel, Isaiah (at least two different writers writing under this name), and Jeremiah -- wrote elegant poems calling for social justice in the world and a freer, more open and humanitarian society."
Author: Norman F. Cantor
39. "The central government was a despotism tempered by military rebellion and assassination and replacement of one scurvy lot of ruling dynasts by another. But the high politics of the city of Rome little affected the lives of the masses or even of the provincial nobility. It was the wonderful army that provided the continuity and peace that this vast population enjoyed."
Author: Norman F. Cantor
40. "It is not the unloved who initiate disaffection, but those who cannot love because they love only themselves. It is not the helpless, subject to terror, who initiate terror, but the violent, who with their power create the concrete situation which begets the 'rejects of life.' It is not the tyrannized who initiate despotism, but the tyrants. It is not those whose humanity is denied them who negate humankind, but those who denied that humanity (thus negating their own as well). Force is used not by those who have become weak under the preponderance of the strong, but by the strong who have emasculated them."
Author: Paulo Freire
41. "No despotism, no privileged monopolies, no police societies, no divine rights of the emirs or feudal landlords or shady priests and sheikhs. All had the same equal footing—the rich and the poor, the noble and the common."
Author: Rami Ollaik
42. "It is our pride that the Great Satan (U.S.) and the head of despotism, corruption and arrogance in modern times considers us as an enemy that should be listed in the terrorism list."
Author: Sayed Hassan Nasrallah
43. "William: "I'm sure we can all pull together, sir."Vetinari: "Oh, I do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions."
Author: Terry Pratchett
44. "The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading subjugation on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it: for man is an imitative animal."
Author: Thomas Jefferson
45. "Resolved ... that it would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism — free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence;"
Author: Thomas Jefferson
46. "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty."
Author: Thomas Jefferson
47. "It is not because a part of the government is elective, that makes it less a despotism, if the persons so elected possess afterwards, as a parliament, unlimited powers. Election, in this case, becomes separated from representation, and the candidates are candidates for despotism."
Author: Thomas Paine
48. "You who are Prejudice, Abuse, Ignominy, Oppression, Iniquity, Despotism, Injustice, Fanaticism, beware of the wide-eyed urchin. He will grow up."
Author: Victor Hugo
49. "...she felt in her mind the consciousness that she was entitled to hold a higher rank from her merit, than the arbitrary despotism of religious prejudice permitted her to aspire to."
Author: Walter Scott
50. "The chains of military despotism, once fastened upon a nation, ages might pass away before they could be shaken off."
Author: William Henry Harrison

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