"The government is huge, stupid, greedy and makes nosy, officious and dangerous intrusions into the smallest corners of life--this much we can stand. But the real problem is that government is boring. We could cure or mitigate the other ills Washington visits on us if we could only bring ourselves to pay attention to Washington itself. But we cannot."
"...if I were to be murdered I would not want my murderer executed. I would not want my death avenged. Especially by government--which can't be trusted to control its own bureaucrats or collect taxes equitably or fill a pothole, much less decide which of its citizens to kill."
"[Panurge] spent everything in a thousand little banquets and joyous feasts open to all comers, particularly jolly companions, young lasses, and delightful wenches, and in clearing his lands, burning the big logs to sell the ashes, taking money in advance, buying dear, selling cheap, and eating his wheat in the blade."
"Therefore, you will take note here my Drinkers, that the means of holding and maintaining a newly conquered country is not (as was the mistaken opinion of tyrannical minds--to their misery and dishonor) by pillaging, forcing, crushing with levies, ruining, mistreating and ruling with rods of steel: in brief, eating and devouring their peoples, such as Homer calls the evil king Demovore, which is to say eater of peoples."
"The descendants of Holy Roman Empire monarchies became feeble-minded in the twentieth century, and after World War I had been done in by the democracies; some were kept on to entertain the tourists, like the one they have in England."
"Those words freedom and opportunity do not mean a license to climb upwards by pushing other people down. Any paternalistic system that tries to provide for security for everyone from above only calls for an impossible task and a regimentation utterly uncongenial to the spirit of our people."
"In this nation I see tens of millions of its citizens, a substantial part of its whole population, who at this very moment are denied the greater part of what the very lowest standards of today call the necessities of life. I see one third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
"I have come to the conclusion that the closer people are to what may be called the front lines of government ... the easier it is to see the immediate underbrush, the individual tree trunks of the moment, and to forget the nobility the usefulness and the wide extent of the forest itself.... They forget that politics after all is only an instrument through which to achieve Government."
"Of course we will continue to work for cheaper electricity in the homes and on the farms of America; for better and cheaper transportation; for low interest rates; for sounder home financing; for better banking; for the regulation of security issues; for reciprocal trade among nations and for the wiping out of slums. And my friends, for all of these we have only begun to fight."
"We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.... [The organized moneyed people] are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred.... I should like to have it said of my second administration that these forces met their master."
"The more I have studied American history and the more clearly I have seen what the problems are. I do believe that the common denominator of our great men in public life has not been mere allegiance to one political party but the disinterested devotion with which they have strived to serve the whole country. And the relative unimportance that they have ascribed to politics compared with the paramount importance of Government."