Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wisdom of the Ages

Some great quotations on the internet today, thanks to a challenge by Nate Hagens at The Oil Drum.

"Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion---when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing---when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors---when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you---when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice---you may know that your society is doomed."
Ayn Rand

"The survival of the fittest is the ageless law of nature, but the fittest are rarely the strong. The fittest are those endowed with the qualifications for adaptation, the ability to accept the inevitable and conform to the unavoidable, to harmonize with existing or changing conditions."
-- Dave E. Smalley

“It is difficult to be sat on all day, every day, by some other creature, without forming an opinion about them. On the other hand, it is perfectly possible to sit all day, every day, on top of another creature and not have the slightest thought about them whatsoever.”
Douglas Adams

"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money."
Apparently a native Indian saying.

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
- Nazi Reich Marshall Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg War Trials

“This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”
- "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams

"Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."
Kenneth Boulding, economist

“Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.”
Robert A. Heinlein

And my own submissions:
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
Abraham Lincoln

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