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No matter how paranoid or conspiracy minded you are, what the government actually is doing is worse than you imagine. William Blum
Every time any church gets control of government the people suffer. It has always happened. That’s why our Founding Fathers established a country where that was not supposed to happen, where everybody was free to worship at the altar of their choice. Bill Cooper
I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. George Carlin
The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government. Martin Luther King, cited King in the Wilderness, Sky Atlantic 2018
‘Governments will never save the people. They exist to exploit and destroy the people. There is but one force that can save the people and that is the people themselves.’ Ethel McDonald, cited An Anarchist’s Story: Ethel McDonald, 2006
Give evidence at a Select Committee in the House of Commons … Public Bodies: Quangos: they’re looking at patronage … they’re looking at the appointments’ system … Mark Thomas Comedy Product s6e6, Channel 4 2002
There’s about a 1,000 of them. There’s 30,000 people who sit on them … They’ve got budgets of billions … It’s like the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List … They’ve got more power than MPs … ibid.
They have the ‘Government Wine Committee’ … ibid.
My government will sell off water and electricity, legalise burglary by MI5, introduce football membership cards, scrap employment protection and destroy Kent. In fact my government will do anything it damn well pleases. Spitting Image s5e5, Queen’s speech, ITV 1988
To see the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and to observe the implicit submission with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is brought about, we shall find, that as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. ’Tis therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular. David Hume
The power of the Sword is, and ever hath been, the Foundation of all Titles to Government. David Hume
Classical liberal; second, libertarian socialist; third, state socialist; fourth, state capitalist: I want to consider each in turn. Noam Chomsky, New York Poetry Center 1970, lecture ‘Government in the Future’
Industry can only be democratically owned and controlled by the workers electing directly from their own ranks industrial administrative committees. ibid.
It’s a bit difficult to take seriously arguments about efficiency in a society that devotes such enormous resources to waste and destruction. ibid.
You can’t vote the rascals out because you never voted them in in the first place: the corporate executive and the corporate lawyers and so on who overwhelmingly staff the executive assisted increasingly by a university-based mandarin class – these people remain in power no matter whom you elect. ibid.
Such ideas have ample resonance until today, including Locke’s stern doctrine that common people should be denied the right even to discuss public affairs. This doctrine remains a basic principle of modern democratic states, now implemented by a variety of means to protect the operations of the state from public scrutiny: classification of documents on the largely fraudulent pretext of national security, clandestine operations, and other measures to bar the rascal multitude from the political arena. Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy
After the American revolution, rebellious and independent farmers had to be taught by force that the ideals expressed in the pamphlets of 1776 were not to be taken seriously. The common people were not to be represented by countrymen like themselves, that know the people’s sores, but by gentry, merchants, lawyers, and others who hold or serve private power. Jefferson and Madison believed that power should be in the hands of the ‘natural aristocracy’. ibid.
These studies demonstrate fairly persuasively that there is systematic, sustained and dedicated commitment to assist, to retain, to entrench the tragic farce of popular government without popular information. Noam Chomsky, lecture July 1995, ‘Protecting Corporate Power Against Democracy’
The government has a defect: it’s potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they’re pure tyrannies. So therefore you want to keep corporations invisible and focus all anger on the government. Noam Chomsky
Whatever the strength of the army and the ubiquitousness of the secret police which such a government may have at its disposal, it would be naive to believe that those instruments of physical oppression can suffice. Such a government can maintain itself in power only if it succeeds in making people believe that it performs an important social function which could not be discharged in its absence. Alexander Gerschenkron
There can be no form of government without its proper mysteries ... Ignorance, and admiration arising from ignorance, are the parents of civil devotion and obedience. Clement Walker, historian
The arts of power and its minions are the same in all countries and in all ages. It marks a victim; denounces it; and excites the public odium and the public hatred, to conceal its own abuses and encroachments. Henry Clay, 1777-1852
The lessons of paternalism ought to be unlearned and the better lesson taught that, while the people should patriotically and cheerfully support their government, its functions do not include the support of the people. Grover Cleveland, 1837-1908
Experience hath shewn that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. Thomas Jefferson
Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General Government. Thomas Jefferson
Believing ... that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. Thomas Jefferson
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas Jefferson
Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours its own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich on the poor. Thomas Jefferson, letter 1787
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson
A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference. Thomas Jefferson