Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Archibald Alison

There is no unmixed good in human affairs; the best principles, if pushed to excess, degenerate into fatal vices. Generosity is nearly allied to extravagance; charity itself may lead to ruin; the sternness of justice is but one step removed from the severity of oppression. It is the same in the political world; the tranquillity of despotism resembles the stagnation of the Dead Sea; the fever of innovation the tempests of the ocean It would seem as if, at particular periods, from causes inscrutable to human wisdom, a universal frenzy seizes mankind; reason, experience, prudence, are alike blinded; and the very classes who are to perish in the storm are the first to raise its fury.

Character | Charity | Excess | Experience | Extravagance | Fury | Generosity | Good | Innovation | Justice | Mankind | Oppression | Principles | Prudence | Prudence | Reason | Tranquility | Wisdom | World |

Floyd Dell

Most of what we object to as misconduct in children is a natural rebellion against the intrusion of an unimaginative adult despotism in their lives.

Children | Object | Rebellion | Wisdom |

Edward Everett

Beneath a free government there is nothing but the intelligence of the people to keep the people’s peace. Order must be preserved, not by a military police or regiments of horse-guards, but by the spontaneous concert of a well-informed population, resolved that the rights which have been rescued from despotism shall not be subverted by anarchy.

Anarchy | Government | Intelligence | Nothing | Order | Peace | People | Rights | Wisdom | Government |

Abraham Lincoln

Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority, held in restraint by constitutional checks, and imitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does, of necessity, fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible; the rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy, or despotism in some form, is all that is left.

Anarchy | Majority | Necessity | People | Restraint | Rule | Wisdom |

Abraham Lincoln

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? ... Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us... Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.

Cunning | Destroy | Genius | God | Liberty | Love | Rights | Spirit | Wisdom | God |

Thomas Jefferson

Timid men… prefer the calm despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty.

Liberty | Men |

Joseph Addison

Education is leading human souls to what is best, and no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate, no despotism can enslave.

Crime | Destroy | Education | Enemy |

John Stuart Mill

Even despotism does not produce its worst effects, so long as individuality exists under it; and whatever crushes individuality is despotic, by whatever name it may be called, and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

God | Individuality | Men | Will | God |

John Stuart Mill

The despotism of custom is everywhere the standing hindrance to human advancement.

Custom |

Kahlil Gibran

They have exiled me now from their society and I am pleased, because humanity does not exile except the one whose noble spirit rebels against despotism and oppression. He who does not prefer exile to slavery is not free by any measure of freedom, truth and duty.

Duty | Freedom | Humanity | Oppression | Slavery | Society | Spirit | Truth | Society |

Antoine de Rivarol, also known as Comte de Rivarol

The despotism of will in ideas is styled plan, project, character, obstinacy; its despotism in desires is called passion.

Character | Ideas | Passion | Plan | Will |

Gouverneur Morris

For avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy ... the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments.

Anarchy | Hope | Religion |

Joseph Gerrald

True religion, like all free governments, appeals to the understanding for its support, and not to the sword. All systems, whether civil or moral, can only be durable in proportion as they are founded on truth and calculated to promote the good of mankind. This will account to us why governments suited to the great energies of man have always outlived the perishable things which despotism has erected. Yes, this will account to us why the stream of Time, which is continually washing away the dissoluble fabrics of superstitions and impostures, passes without injury by the adamant of Christianity.

Good | Man | Truth | Understanding | Will |

Joseph de Maistre, fully Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre

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.

People |

Jean-François de La Harpe

Superstition changes a man to a beast, fanaticism makes him a wild beast, and despotism a beast of burden.

Fanaticism | Man |

Maximilien Robespierre, fully Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre

It has been said that terror is the principle of despotic government. Does your government therefore resemble despotism? Yes, as the sword that gleams in the hands of the heroes of liberty resembles that with which the henchmen of tyranny are armed ... The government of the revolution is liberty's despotism against tyranny. Is force made only to protect crime.

Force | Government | Liberty | Revolution | Terror | Tyranny | Government |

Percy Bysshe Shelley

This is the day, which down the void abysm At the Earth-born’s spell yawns for Heaven’s despotism And Conquest is dragged captive through the deep: Love, from its awful throne of patient power In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour Of dread endurance, from the slippery, steep, And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs And folds over the world its healing wings.

Conquest | Dread | Power | Wise | World |

Samuel Eliot Morison

Dream dreams and write them aye, but live them first.

Freedom | Nations | Plenty | Power |