The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-bye to the Bill of Rights.
What chiefly distinguishes the daily press is its incurable fear of ideas, its constant effort to evade the discussion of fundamentals by translating all issues into a few elemental fears, its incessant reduction of all reflection to mere emotion.
It is the fundamental theory of all the more recent American law … that the average citizen is half-witted, and hence not to be trusted to either his own devices or his own thoughts.
When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that an old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had only one before.
The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the greatest liars: The men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.
Demagogue: One who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
It is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and everywhere, to assume … that every citizen is a criminal. Their one apparent purpose, pursued with a relentless and furious diligence, is to convert the assumption into a fact. They hunt endlessly for proofs, and, when proofs are lacking, for mere suspicions. The moment they become aware of a definite citizen, John Doe, seeking what is his right under the law, they begin searching feverishly for an excuse for withholding it from him.
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
… All the odds are on the man who is, is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily and adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more closely the inner soul of the people.
We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it.