"A Radical is a man with both feet firmly planted in the air."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Radio Speech (1939).
"...this word ideology ... usually has signified a dogmatic political theory which is an endeavor to substitute secular goals and doctrines for religious goals and doctrines; and which promises to overthrow present dominations so that the oppressed may beliberated. Ideology's promises are what [J.L.] Talmon calls 'political messianism.' The ideologue promises salvation in this world, hotly declaring that there exists no other realm of being. ...ideologues ... corrupt the vision of salvation through grace in death into false promises of complete happiness in this mundane realm.
"Ideology, in short, is a political formula that promises mankind an earthly paradise; but in cruel fact what ideology has created is a series of terrestrial hells."
Russell Kirk, THE POLITICS OF PRUDENCE (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1993).
"Helvetius and Rousseau preached to the French nation liberty, till they made them the most mechanical slaves; equality, till they destroyed all equity; humanity, till they became weasels and African panthers; and fraternity, till they cut one another's throats like Roman gladiators."
John Adams, APHORISMS (1776-1821).
"So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot."
George Orwell, INSIDE THE WHALE AND OTHER ESSAYS (1940).
"I never could understand the doctrine of the perfectibility of the human mind. Despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratical council, an oligarchical junto, and a single emperor. Equally arbitrary, cruel, bloody, and every respect diabolical. No man is more sensible than I am of the service to science ... and liberty that would have been rendered by the [French] encyclopedists and economists, by Voltaire, D'Alembert, Buffon, Diderot, Rousseau, La Lande, Frederic and Catherine, if they had possessed common sense. But they were all totally destitute of it. They seemed to believe that whole nations and continents had been changed in their principles, opinions, habits, and feelings by the sovereign grace of their almighty philosophy. They had not considered the force of early education on the minds of millions."
John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson (1814).
"The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism."
Sir William Osler, MONTREAL MEDICAL JOURNAL (September, 1902).
"The greatest horrors in the history of mankind are not due to the ambition of the Napole- ons or the vengeance of the Agamemnons, but to the doctrinaire philosophers. The theories of the sentimentalist Rousseau inspired the integrity of the passionless Robespierre. The cold-blooded calculations of Karl Marx led to the judicial and business-like operations of the Checka."
Aleister Crowley, THE CONFESSIONS OF ALEISTER CROWLEY (1929).
"I do not believe in looking about for some panacea or cure-all on which we should stake our credit and fortunes trying to sell it like a patent medicine to all and sundry. We ought not to seek after some rigid, symetrical form of doctrine, such as delights the minds of Socialists and Communists. Our own feelings and the British temperament are quite different. So are our aims. We seek a free and varied society, where there is room for many kinds of men and women to lead happy, honorable and useful lives. We are funda- mentally opposed to all systems of rigid uniformity in our national life and we have grown great as a nation by indulging tolerance, rather than logic."
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, Speech, Conservative Party Annual Conference (1946).
"Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that today is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity."
William Howard Taft, "Popular Government" (1913).
"Socialists make the mistake of confusing individual worth with success. They believe you cannot allow people to succeed in case those who fail feel worthless."
Kenneth Baker, Quoted in THE LONDON OBSERVER (July 13, 1986).
"Those who seek to live your lives for you, to take your liberties in return for relieving you of your responsibilities--those who elevate the state and downgrade the citizen--must see ultimately a world in which earthly power can be substituted for divine will. This nation was founded upon the rejection of that notion and upon the acceptance of God as the author of freedom.
Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their version of heaven on earth. They are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies.
"Absolute power does corrupt. And those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.
"Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality.
"Equality, rightly understood, as our Founding Fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences.
"Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.
"It is the cause of Republicanism to resist concentrations of power, private, or public, which enforce such conformity and inflict such despotism."
"It is the cause of Republicanism to restore clear understanding of the tyranny of man over man in the world at large. It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony--if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression.
"It is the cause of Republicanism to remind ourselves and the world that only the strong can remain free--that only the strong can keep the peace!"
Barry Morris Goldwater, Acceptance Speech, Republican National Convention, San Francisco, California (1964).
"Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. It is a heritage of communism, but they don't seem to see this."
Doris Lessing, THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES (May 10, 1992).