Archive | governance

The human race is governed by its imagination.

The human race is governed by its imagination. – Napoleon What does that mean? I can’t imagine what he could possibly have meant. Well, sarcasm aside, the human imagination is responsible for almost everything we have. Someone had to imagine light at night to see in the dark before candles or light bulbs could be […]

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In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?

In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery? – Saint Augustine What does that mean? In a much longer passage, this quote has an example of a pirate who has been captured and brought before Alexander The Great. The pirate said in his defense that the only difference between himself and Alexander […]

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We need values based on common sense, experience and scientific findings, what I refer to as secular ethics.

We need values based on common sense, experience and scientific findings, what I refer to as secular ethics. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This is an interesting quote, coming from a person considered very spiritual. It is the practical side of ethics. No theory, no belief, just rock solid ethics. Many religious based ethics […]

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A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right.

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right. – Thomas Paine What does that mean? This is another Twitter friendly quote, a longer version is as follows: “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises […]

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Whenever the speech is corrupted so is the mind.

Whenever the speech is corrupted so is the mind. – Seneca What does that mean? This quote is a cold hard truth, and one that is recognized by many people. It is a method which is regularly used to manipulate people all over the world. It was one of the core concepts of a book by […]

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Modesty forbids what the law does not.

Modesty forbids what the law does not. – Seneca What does that mean? Whether you call it modesty, correct behavior, or something else, this quote is about doing the right thing. This is separate, or at least it is often different from what the law says we are required to do, or forbidden to do. And […]

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The innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions.

The innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? This quote is about the difficulties faced by a new ruler. With a new ruler come new rules, and the status quo is overturned. Those who have been doing well, the quote says, are going […]

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If an injury is to be inflicted on an enemy, it is to be so severe, that the enemy’s retaliation need not be feared.

If an injury is to be inflicted on an enemy, it is to be so severe, that the enemy’s retaliation need not be feared. – Niccolò Machiavelli This quote is also seen stated as “If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.” […]

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A return to first principles in a Republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man.

 A return to first principles in a Republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? The more complete version of the quote is “A return to first principles in a Republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an […]

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The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.

The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? This is the classic “pull off the bandage” issue. Do you pull it off quickly and get it over with, or do you pull a little bit at […]

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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty.

Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty. – Henry Martyn Robert What does that mean? This quote is from the guy who wrote Robert’s Rules of Order. It was patterned after the way Congress was run, but adapted for use […]

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Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.

Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? This may come as somewhat shocking to some people, and painfully obvious to many others. Anyone who has been following the violence by the Syrian government against it’s own people knows exactly what this quote means. For those […]

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It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law.

It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law. – Thomas Hobbes What does that mean? Think about that for a moment. It would be nice if wisdom wrote the law, wouldn’t it? How many of you can think of some silly law that might have had a reason for existing, but is just […]

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When neither their property nor their honor is touched the marjority of men live content.

When neither their property nor their honor is touched the majority of men live content. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? This is another Twitter-friendly quote excerpt : “It makes him hated above all things, as I have said, to be rapacious, and to be a violator of the property and women of his subjects, from both of […]

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It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken

It is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor drunken. – Aristotle What does that mean? If I had been thinking, this would have been posted on the 31st of December, where it would have been a bit more topical. However, with the events of New Years Eve still fresh […]

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