More of The Hippest Things Anybody Ever Said About Politics

The people in Berkeley and in New York don’t need my pictures. That’s not where the battle’s going to be won. Tom Laughlin (of the Billy Jack movies)

The U.S. is putting together a constitution for Iraq. Why don’t we just give them ours? Think about it – it was written by very smart people, it’s served us well for over two hundred years, and besides, we’re not using it anymore. Jay Leno

Just because something works doesn’t mean it is desirable. Sy Leon

A piece of blank paper is the only thing in the world I have a serious ambition to control. Peter Levi

When Dick Nixon was going like this and smiling, what do you think he was telling you? ‘Fuck you four times.’ Swami X

Isn’t it absolutely essential to keep a fierce Left and a fierce Right, both on their toes and each terrified of the other? That’s how we get things done. Any opposition … is represented as a Left racket in the Right papers and a Right racket in the Left papers. … Of course we’re nonpolitical. The real power always is. C.S. Lewis in That Hideous Strength, 1945

The government can’t give out more than it takes in, and since the process of taking and redistributing costs something, the government actually gives out less than it takes in. This is why all “share the wealth” programs are actually “share the poverty” scams. Jim Lewis

Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind, it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate – and quickly. Lazarus Long

In my grandparents’ generation, they felt enlightened to know multiple languages and have lived in several lands. Now today, there are dummies who can’t even spell or speak in English properly but they feel threatened by Spanish or Korean. Everything is a threat to some people. Marc Madow

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies. Groucho Marx

From time to time, writers have engaged in politics. Its effect on them as writers has been injurious. W. Somerset Maugham

Being in politics is like being a football coach; you have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important. Eugene McCarthy

Autonomy and cooperation make government irrelevant. Luke McGuff

Think like a free man and you will not be a slave. Menander

Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. H.L. Mencken

I’d be perfectly fine with all the rules and red tape if we didn’t have to wait in line for so long that the people in the line eventually develop their own regional dialect. Dennis Miller

I regard politics as a thoroughly foul, rotten world. We get nowhere through politics. It debases everything. Henry Miller

Government is the only agency that can take a useful commodity like paper, slap some ink on it, and make it totally worthless. Ludwig von Mises

Revolutionaries’ love is not something isolated from their activities, but rather is related to their political ideals. Tina Modotti

The one must be sacrificed for the good of the many, until the many are all sacrificed, one by one. Ward Moore and Avram Davidson

Conservativism used to be defined by a fear, if not a loathing, of government. Now conservatives pay deference to the state. Bill Moyers

The enemy is not conservatism. The enemy is not liberalism. The enemy is bullshit. Lars Erik Nelson

I don’t believe democracy should have a totally professional military force. I believe the military should be in large number made up of people who don’t want to be there and will help make the generals honest. Willie Nelson

I would be willing to get along with less information about this or that officeholder’s tax return or bedroom activities if I could get him or her to speak more clearly about maters of public policy. Edwin H. Newman

To have a career you need a society to have it in. You go off and you make works of art and you present them here. You’re glad to be making a contribution. America doesn’t provide that society any more. Phil Ochs

We conservatives don’t have gulags because they aren’t tax deductible. You can’t leverage gulag assets, and gulag merchandising rights are worth zilch. P.J. O’Rourke

People took politics seriously in those days. They used to start storing up rotten eggs weeks before an election. George Orwell

History is a bloody testament that sincerity can achieve atrocities which cynicism could never conceive. Jack Parsons

With my own weapons, design and color, I have wanted to conquer the conscience of mankind, so that this knowledge can lead us each day a step ahead on the road of liberty. Pablo Picasso

I’m more comfortable allowing individuals to be stupid, than requiring they not be. Brick Pillow

Prisons and schools are baby-sitting institutions so that we don’t glut the labor market. Baba Ram Dass

It is not self-sacrifice to die protecting that which you value: If the value is great enough, you do not care to exist without it. This applies to any alleged sacrifice for those one loves. Ayn Rand

(re: NATO, IMF, World Bank, GATT, WTO)
One of the oddities of the political situation in the United States since [WWII] has been the persistent belief on some sections of the right that the creation of these and similar international institutions are threats to America; when it is these institutions – backed up by force, over and covert, which have enabled the United States to consume substantially more than its share of the world’s energy and minerals. Robin Ramsey

I don’t wave a flag for anything. I’m a musician. Keith Richards

Of course, like the cliché’ moth courting the trite candle, the lit-up libertarian runs a constant risk. Is it not finer, however, to sizzle whole in the flame of freedom than to slowly stew to pieces in one’s own diminishing juices? Tom Robbins

I don’t make jokes, I just watch the government and report the facts. Will Rogers

Liberal – one whose heart is in the right place, but whose head is not. L.A. Rollins

Events are only real in the present tense – before they happen they’re hype, and after they happen they’re spin. Douglas Rushkoff

The criminal law can be used to prevent anti-social action on the part of those who do not belong to the government. Bertrand Russell

Much of the difficulty in attempting to restructure American and other societies arises from this resistance by groups with vested interests in the status quo. Significant change might require those who are now high in the hierarchy to move downward many steps. This seems to them undesirable and is resisted. Carl Sagan

Politicians fuck with people. That’s what they do. That’s their job. Every day they get up and wonder who they’re gonna fuck with that day. They they go and do it. John Sandford

I have a friend who’s collecting unemployment insurance. This guy has never worked so hard in his life as he has to to keep this thing going. He’s down there every week, waiting in the line and getting interviews and making up all these lies about looking for jobs. If they had any idea of the effort and energy that he is expending to avoid work, I’m sure they’d give him a raise. Jerry Seinfeld

I have no country – and the more I see of countries the better I like the idea. line from film The Shanghai Gesture

From Nixon on, every paranoid suspicion about the dirty tricks of government had proved an underestimate. Samuel Shem

I suggest that we resist apparent solutions that require victims to surrender their freedom, and freedom of expression, as a means of survival. Mary Simmerling

Many hackers tend to be reflexive liars….at least the ones found in newspaper and TV news stories – [they] can be counted on to perform for the listener, telling the gullible just about anything he or she wishes to hear. The result has been that almost any claim, no matter how nonsensical, has been published. George Smith

It is part of the sordid reality of our times that Hollywood is about the only institution left in our country big and powerful enough to challenge the influence of state propaganda that controls our lives with hardly a murmur from the same journalists so incensed by Stone. (re the JFK film) Sam Smith

When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion. C. P. Snow

The simple truth of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

It’s amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites. Thomas Sowell

As estimated by the Bureau of National Affairs, the dollar cost of corporate crime in America is over ten times greater than the combined larcenies, thefts, robberies and burglaries committed by individuals. Gerry Spence

I used to believe that a real unitary world government would be a good idea but I changed my mind because of something Lenny Bruce said about the Soviet Union- if you want to imagine what it’s like in the Soviet Union, imagine an entire country run by the phone company. Norman Spinrad

A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years. Lysander Spooner

The average fifth-grader these days doesn’t know whether Japan is a state or a city; wonders what happens when you get to the “edge” of the United states on a map; doesn’t know, and can’t understand what a glacier is, and even believes that the government is there to protect him! Rev. Ivan Stang (The Church of the Subgenius)

Let my own life go on undisturbed, and my private affairs prosper – and I don’t give a continental whether the government is being run by a Communist, or a Seventh-Day Adventist, or a Hottentot. Gertrude Stein

A pedestal is as much a prison as any small space. Gloria Steinem

That’s how the government is. It was invented to do stuff that private enterprise doesn’t bother with, which means that there is probably no reason for it. Neal Stephenson

Good health turns out to be a positive by-product of the pursuit of other things. Edward Tenner

Any country which displays more than one statue of a living politician is a country which is headed for trouble. Paul Theroux

What is called politics is comparatively something so superficial and inhuman that practically I have never fairly recognized that it concerns me at all. Henry David Thoreau

Anyone who puts his own conscience above the state is an anarchist. Allen Thornton

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then–we elected them. Lily Tomlin

Washington is like Calcutta, full of beggars, only they wear $1500 suits and don’t say please or thank you. Traffic

Liberalism, free-thinking and open inquiry will never object to appear in company with their opposites, because they have the conceit to think that they can quell those opposites; but the opposites will not appear in conjunction with liberalism, free-thinking and open inquiry. Anthony Trollope

You may be willing to give up your rights, but I won’t let you give up MY rights. Hal Turner

The government of my country snubs honest simplicity but fondles artistic villainy. Mark Twain

Q. What’s the difference between God and the Government?
A. The lord giveth and the lord taketh away; the government taketh and giveth away. Unknown

A policeman’s job is easy only in a police state. Unknown

It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Unknown

No bird flies too high when he flies with his own wings. Unknown

You can always find free cheese in a mousetrap. Unknown

Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side. Unknown

When the government tells me not to do something I feel that it’s my patriotic duty to immediately go out and do it. Rico Vaselino

The American Revolution was over in 1781; Washington wasn’t elected our first president until 1789, and he was not elected by the people in a free election but by the select, male-only Federal Constitutional Convention. Michael Ventura

There is only one party, which is People with Money. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Third World rebels are great at exposing and overthrowing corrupt hypocritical regimes, but they seem noticeably less great at the mundane, non-negative task of then establishing a superior governing alternative. Victorious rebels, in fact, seem best at using their tough, cynical rebel-skills to avoid being rebelled against themselves – in other words, they just become better tyrants. David Foster Wallace

I am so weary about having been consistently right in all my political predictions for ten years. It is so boring seeing it all happen for the second time after one has gone through it in imagination. For you and Duff and Randolph life must be all one lovely surprise after another. Evelyn Waugh

Mom and Dad are biology, but you’re most like sick
if you get your kicks from politics.
Wean yourself now. Clean your own diapers.
Watch out for shoe tiers and nose wipers.
William Wharton in Scumbler

Fraudulence has become a national virtue and is well thought of in many circles. E. B. White

Since this is my first official government rapport I have chosen to write it by hand, because my favorite government documents are handwritten and they seem to work okay. Mason Williams

The Academy…Nobody seriously thought they’d rally behind the Branch Davidians and give the documentary Oscar to Waco: Rules of Engagement, perhaps the most chilling, revealing documentary about our present police-state mentality….Why recognize a new, present villain like the ATF….when you can trot those photogenic Nazis out, year after year?…You’d think impending murders would have some clout over ones committed fifty years ago, but nooooooooooo, not to the guys who cut the checks in Emerald City. Cintra Wilson

All governments are evil in one way or another. Leonard Woolf

In my Utopia, people would more or less give up on politics. Steve Wozniak

A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well. Stephen Wright

When you’ve seen one stifling transnational media conglomerate, you’re seen them all. Jamie Zawinski

I wouldn’t call it fascism exactly, but a political system nominally controlled by an irresponsible, dumbed down electorate who are manipulated by dishonest, cynical, controlled mass media that dispense the propaganda of a corrupt political establishment can hardly be described as democracy either. Edward Zehr