Department of Political Science


George's Favourite Public Administration Sound Bites

(in chronological order)

George Candler

Last edited February 2012

Plato (circa 380 BC)

What I say is that 'just' and 'right' means nothing but what is in the interest of the stronger party. -- The Republic.

Aristotle (circa 340 BC)

Man is by nature a political animal.

We make war that we may live in peace. -- Politics.

Jesus (circa 30 AD)

On stem cell research:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.  Jeremiah 1:5
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.  Luke 2:21

On homosexuality:

Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.  Leviticus 18:22

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.  Leviticus 20:13


On slavery:

All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered.  1 Timothy 6:1

Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.  Leviticus 25:14

For this reason, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. As he began settling his accounts, a man who owed ten thousand talents was brought to him.  Because he was not able to repay it, the lord ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, children, and whatever he possessed, and repayment to be made.  Matthew 18:23-5

When you go out to do battle with your enemies and the Lord your God allows you to prevail and you take prisoners, if you should see among them an attractive woman whom you wish to take as a wife, you may bring her back to your house. She must shave her head, trim her nails, discard the clothing she was wearing when captured, go to your house, and lament for her father and mother for a full month. After that you may have sexual relations with her and become her husband and she your wife.  Deuteronomy 21:10-13


On wealth and poverty: 

Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."  Matthew 19:21

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  Matthew 19:24 

He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich-both come to poverty.  Proverbs 22:16

Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.  Luke 6: 31-2.

He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.  Proverbs 21:17


On tax cuts

And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's. And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marveled at his answer, and held their peace.  Luke 20 (and Matthew 22, Mark 12)

Niccolo Machiavelli the actions of men, and especially of princes, from which there is no appeal, the end justifies the mean. Let a prince therefore aim at conquering and maintaining the state, and the means will always be judged honourable and praised by every one. -- The Prince (1532).

Thomas Hobbes

Thereby it is manifest, that during the time men live without a common Power to keep them in awe, they are in that condition which is called Warre; and such a warre, as is of every man, against every man. And life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish and short. -- Leviathan (1651).

John Locke

The great and chief end, therefore, of men's uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property; to which in the state of nature there are many things wanting. -- Second Treatise of Government (1690).

David Hume

Whatever definition we may give of liberty, we should be careful to observe two requisite circumstances; first, that it be consistent with plain matter of fact; secondly, that it be consistent with itself.  If we observe these circumstances, and render our definition intelligible, I am persuaded that all mankind will be found of one opinion with regard to it. --  An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748).


"It is demonstrable...that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for all being created for an end, all is necessarily for the best end. Observe, that the nose has been formed to bear spectacles—thus we have spectacles. Legs are visibly designed for stockings, and we have stockings. Stones were made to be hewn, and to construct castles—therefore my lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Pigs were made to be eaten—therefore we eat pork all the year round. Consequently they who assert that all is well have said a foolish thing, they should have said all is for the best." -- Professor Pangloss, in Candide (1759).

"That's true enough," said Candide; "but we must go and work in the garden." -- Candide, in Candide (1759).

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one part of the citizens to give it to another.

Money is always to be found when men are to be sent to the frontiers to be destroyed, but when the object is to preserve them it is no longer so.

I have taken St. Thomas of Didymus for my patron saint, who always insisted on an examination with his own hands.

Define your terms, you will permit me to say, or we shall never understand one another.

It is far better to be silent than to increase the quantity of bad books. -- Miscellany.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.

I assume that men reach a point where the obstacles to their preservation in a state of nature prove greater than the strength that each man has to preserve himself in that state the only way in which they can preserve themselves is by uniting their separate powers in a combination strong enough to overcome any resistance, uniting them so that their powers are directed by a single motive and act in concert. -- The Social Contract (1762).

Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (1776)

Adam Smith

This disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect, persons of poor and mean condition, though necessary both to establish and to maintain distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our sentiments. -- The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759).

What are the common wages of labour, depends everywhere upon the contract usually made between those two parties, whose interests are by no means the same.  The workmen desire to get as much, the masters to give as little as possible.  The former are disposed to combine in order to raise, the latter in order to lower the wages of labour.  It is not difficult to see which of the two parties (masters and workmen) must, upon all ordinary occasions, have the advantage in the dispute, and force the other into compliance with their terms.  The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorizes, or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen...

This division of labour, from which so many advantages are derived, is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which foresees and intends that general opulence to which it gives occasion.  It is the necessary, though very slow and gradual, consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility; the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another...


No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, cloath and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, cloathed and lodged.


But the annual revenue of every society is always precisely equal to the exchangeable value of the whole annual produce of its industry, or rather is precisely the same thing with that exchangeable value. As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.


According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings: first, the duty of protecting the society from violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every member of it, or the duty or establishing an exact administration of justice; and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions, which it can never be in the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain; because the profit could never repay the expence to any individual or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society. --  The Wealth of Nations (1776).

U.S. Constitution

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and provide the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution of the United States of America (1789).

Mary Wollstonecraft

The civilized women of the present century, with a few exceptions, are only anxious to insure love, when they ought to cherish a nobler ambition, and by their ambitions and virtues exact respect.

...genteel woman are, literally speaking, slaves to their bodies, and glory in their subjection. -- A Vindication of the Right of Women (1792).


David Ricardo


The friends of humanity cannot but wish that in all countries the labouring classes should have a taste for comforts and enjoyments, and that they should be stimulated by all legal means in their exertions to procure them.

Under a system of perfectly free commerce, each country naturally devotes its capital and labour to such employments as are most beneficial to each. This pursuit of individual advantage is admirably connected with the universal good of the whole. By stimulating industry, by regarding ingenuity, and by using most efficaciously the peculiar powers bestowed by nature, it distributes labour most effectively and most economically: while, by increasing the general mass of productions, it diffuses general benefit, and binds together by one common tie of interest and intercourse, the universal society of nations throughout the civilized world. It is this principle which determines that wine shall be made in France and Portugal, that corn shall be grown in America and Poland, and that hardware and other goods shall be manufactured in England.  --  On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1821).

Jeremy Bentham is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong. -- A Fragment on Government (1823).

Tocqueville, Alexis de

In no country in the world has the principle of association been more successfully used or applied to a greater multitude of objects than in America. Besides the permanent associations which are established by law under the names of townships, cities, and counties, a vast number of others are formed and maintained by the agency of private individuals. -- Democracy in America (1831).

Charles Dickens

"If the law supposes that, the law is a ass—a idiot." -- The character Mr. Bumble, in Oliver Twist (1838).

John Stuart Mill

The social arrangements of modern Europe commenced from a distribution of property which was the result, not of just partition, or acquisition by industry, but of conquest and violence: and notwithstanding what industry has been doing for many centuries to modify the work of force, the system still retains many and large traces of its origin.

Unlike the laws of Production, those of Distribution are partly of human institution: since the manner in which wealth is distributed in any given society, depends on the statutes or usages therein obtaining. -- Principles of Political Economy with some of their Applications to Social Philosophy (1848).

The most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its powers. -- On Liberty (1859).

Utility holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. -- Utilitarianism (1863).

Karl Marx (and Frederich Engels)

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of spiritless conditions. It is the opium of the people. -- Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law (1844).

The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas: i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. -- The German Ideology (1846).

The history of all existing society is the history of class struggles.

The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.


The cheap prices of (the bourgeoisie's) commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeoisie mode of production.


The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together.


The theory of the Communists may be summed up in this single sentence: Abolition of private property.


Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE! -- The Communist Manifesto (1848).


"In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly -- only then then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!"  --  Critique of the Gotha Programme (1867).


Charles Darwin


In order that primeval men, or the apelike progenitors of man, should become social, they must have acquired the same instinctive feelings, which impel other animals to live in a body; and they no doubt exhibited the same general disposition. They would have felt uneasy when separated from their comrades, for whom they would have felt some degree of love; they would have warned each other of danger, and have given mutual aid in attack or defence. All this implies some degree of sympathy, fidelity, and courage. Such social qualities, the paramount importance of which to the lower animals is disputed by no one, were no doubt acquired by the progenitors of man in a similar manner, namely, through natural selection, aided by inherited habit. When two tribes of primeval man, living in the same country, came into competition, if (other circumstances being equal) the one tribe included a great number of courageous, sympathetic and faithful members, who were always ready to warn each other of danger, to aid and defend each other, this tribe would succeed better and conquer the other. -- The Descent of Man (1871).


Alfred Marshall


It is true that many of the largest fortunes are made by speculation rather than by truly constructive work: and much of this speculation is associated with anti-social strategy, and even with evil manipulation of the sources from which ordinary investors derive their guidance.


It has been left for our own generation to perceive all the evils which arose from the suddenness of this increase of economic freedom. Now first are we getting to understand the extent to which the capitalist employer, untrained to his new duties, was tempted to subordinate the wellbeing of his workpeople to his own desire for gain; now first are we learning the importance of insisting that the rich have duties as well as rights in their individual and in their collective capacity.

Next we must take account of the fact that a stronger incentive will be required to induce a person to pay a given price for anything if he is poor than if he is rich.  A shilling is the measure of less pleasure, or satisfaction of any kind, to a rich man than to a poor one...  In other words, the richer a man becomes the less is the marginal utility of money to him…This involves the consideration that a pound’s worth of satisfaction to an ordinary poor man is a much greater thing than a pound’s worth of satisfaction to an ordinary rich man. -- Principles of Economics (1890).

Woodrow Wilson

The bulk of mankind is rigidly unphilosophical, and nowadays the bulk of mankind votes.

This is why there should be a science of administration which shall seek to straighten the paths of government, to make its business less unbusinesslike; to strengthen and purify its organization, and to crown its duties with dutifulness.  This is one reason why there is such a science.


The problem is to make public opinion efficient without suffering it to be meddlesome.  Directly exercised, in the oversight of the daily details and in the choice of the daily means of government, public criticism is of course a clumsy nuisance, a rustic handling of delicate machinery.  But, as superintending the greater forces of formative policy alike in politics and administration, public criticism is altogether safe and beneficent, altogether indispensable.  Let administrative study find the best means for giving public criticism this control and for shutting it out from all other interference.


It is the more necessary to insist upon thus putting away all prejudices against looking anywhere in the world but at home for suggestions in this study, because nowhere else in the world of politics, it would seem, can we make use of the historical, comparative method more safely than in this province of administration


Steady, hearty allegiance to the policy of the government they serve will constitute good behavior.  That policy will have no taint of officialism about it.  It will not be the creation of permanent officials, but of statesmen whose responsibility to public opinion will be direct and inevitable.  Bureaucracy can exist only where the whole service of the state is removed from the common political life of the people, its chiefs as well as its rank and file.  Its motives, its objects, its policy, its standards, must be bureaucratic. --  Political Science Quarterly 2 (1887).

Government should not be made an end in itself; it is a means only -- a means to be freely adapted to advance the best interests of the social organism. The state exists for the sake of society, not society for the sake of the state. --  The State: Elements of Historical and Practical Politics (1911)

Joseph Conrad

Now when I was a little chap I had a passion for maps. I would look for hours at South America, or Africa, or Australia, and lose myself in all the glories of exploration. At that time there were many blank spaces on the earth, and when I saw one that looked particularly inviting on a map (but they all look that) I would put my finger on it and say, When I grow up I will go there. -- The narrator, in Heart of Darkness (1902).

Max Weber

Let us now try to clarify the points in which the Puritan idea of the calling and the premium it placed upon ascetic conduct was bound directly to influence the development of a capitalistic way of life. As we have seen, this asceticism turned with all its force against one thing: the spontaneous enjoyment of life and all it had to offer. -- The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904).

Office holding is a 'vocation.'  This is shown, first, in the requirement of a firmly prescribed course of training…  Furthermore, the position of the official is in the nature of a duty...  Entrance into an office, including one in the private economy, is considered an acceptance of a specific obligation of faithful management in return for a secure existence. --  Bureaucracy (1946).

Alberto Torres

The state in Brazil is a dissolute factor.  The deleterious  influence of anti-social interests, created and nourished in turn by the public power from the towns to the union, on the life of the Brazilian people is a fact whose reach is not yet understood by observers of our public affairs.  This regime should be substituted with another... --  O Problema Nacional Brasileiro  (1914, my translation).

Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov)

I hope to put forward a thesis which explains the substance of terror, its necessity and limits, and provides justification for it.

...only revolutionary law and revolutionary conscience can more or less determine the limits within which (terror) should be applied. -- Letter to D. I. Kautsky, 17 May 1922.

A.C. Pigou

...there is wide agreement that the State should protect the interests of the future in some degree against the effects of our irrational discounting and of our preferences for ourselves over our descendants.  The whole movement for “conservation” in the United States is based on this conviction.  It is the clear duty of Government, which is the trustee for unborn generations as well as for its present citizens, to watch over, and, if need be, by legislative enactment, to defend, the exhaustible natural resources of the country from rash and reckless spoliation.

...the services rendered by women enter into the dividend [or GNP] ...when they are rendered in exchange for wages, whether in the factory or in the home, but do not enter into it when they are rendered by mothers and wives gratuitously to their own families.  Thus, if a man marries his housekeeper or his cook, the national dividend is diminished.

The art of spending money, not merely among the poor, but among all classes, is very much less developed than the art of making it.  The investments which people make in industry are usually made with the help of specialists, who are in competition with one another and among whom bad judgment ultimately means elimination; but the investments which people make in their own capacities are conducted by themselves -- that is to say, by persons who are not specialists, acting in circumstances where the selective influence of competition is excluded. -- The Economics of Welfare (1920).

Under the influence of the Russian experiment, the definition of general socialism has been modified.  Twenty years ago there was talk of central planning.  Socialism entails, it was the held, (1) the extrusion of private profit-making, in the sense of one man or group hiring other men and selling their output for profit to a third party; and (2) the public or collective ownership of the means of production (other than human beings).  Neither of these requirements singly make necessary any form of central planning; nor do the two together.  Thus the extrusion of profit-making by itself could be accomplished through the organization of all industries in independent consumers’ co-operative societies, municipal enterprises and public boards; the choice between these forms being made to suit the special conditions of the several industries.

It is plain that particular socialized industries may, indeed must, exist – witness the armed forces, the Royal Mint, structures such as lighthouses – in a capitalist sea.

The uneven distribution of post-tax available income brings it about that large masses of productive resources are devoted to satisfying the whims of the rich – providing them with expensive motor cars, fine houses fashionable dresses and so on – while large numbers of people are inadequately fed, clothed, housed, and educated. -- Socialism versus Capitalism (1937).

John Maynard Keynes

In the long run we are all dead. -- A Tract on Monetary Reform (1923).

Broadly speaking, therefore, an increase of output cannot occur unless by the operation of one or other of three factors.  Individuals must be induced to spend more out of their existing incomes; or the business world must be induced, either by increased confidence in the prospects or by a lower rate of interest, to create additional current incomes in the hands of their employees, which is what happens when either the working or the fixed capital of the country is being increased; or public authority must be called in aid to create additional current incomes through the expenditure of borrowed or printed money.  In bad times the first factor cannot be expected to work on a sufficient scale.  The second factor will come in as the second wave of attack on the slump after the tide has been turned by the expenditures of public authority.  It is, therefore, only from the third factor that we can expect the initial major impulse. --  Open letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, New York Times, 31 December 1933.

The outstanding faults of the economic society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes. The State will have to exercise a guiding influence on the propensity to consume. Furthermore I conceive that a somewhat comprehensive socialisation of investment will prove the only means of securing an approximation to full employment; though this need not exclude all manner of compromises and of devices by which public authority will co-operate with private initiative. But beyond this no obvious case is made out for a system of State Socialism which would embrace most of the economic life of the community. It is not the ownership of the instruments of production which it is important for the State to assume. If the State is able to determine the aggregate amount of resources devoted to augmenting the instruments and the basic rate of reward to those who own them, it will have accomplished all that is necessary. Moreover, the necessary measures of socialisation can be introduced gradually and without a break in the general traditions of society.

The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. -- The General Theory... (1936).


I.G. Gibbon


Knowing is not doing.  It is the doing that matters in administration.  The distinction is fundamental to the whole question of the measure to which 'public administration'  be taught...


It is essential, for the best development of the technique of administration and, therefore, for the advancement of learning in it, that there should be definite arrangements among those who are engaged in practical work for the examination of experience and for bringing out its lessons.


Herein lies one of the principal justifications of the Institute of Public Administration, whose labours, if it plays its part worthily, will form an integral part in providing material for the education of men in public administration.  Without provision of this kind, and it need not depend wholly on the activities of this Institute, there will always be grave risk, that the teaching of public administration will become a matter of dry bones. --  Public Administration 4 (1926).


Martha Ornstein

[Scientific societies] contributed to the general enlightenment by dispelling popular errors, and at times endeavored to reach the public by means of lectures.  But first and foremost they developed the scientific laboratory, created the national observatory, devised, perfected, and standardized instruments, originated and insisted on exact methods of experimentation, and thus established permanently the laboratory method as the only true means of scientific study. --  The Role of Scientific Societies in the Seventeenth Century (1928).

Fernando Pessoa

Neither pleasure, nor glory, nor power.  Freedom, only freedom.

Some have a great dream in life and fall short of it.  Others have no dream, and also fall short of it.

Nothing disgusts me more than the words of social ethics.  The very word 'duty' is unpleasant to me, like an unwanted guest.  But the terms 'civic duty', 'solidarity' 'humanitarianism' and others of the same stripe nauseate me like rubbish dumped from a window right on top of me.  I'm offended by the implicit assumption that these expressions pertain to me, and that I should find them worthwhile and even meaningful.

To need to dominate others is to need others.  The man in charge is dependent. -- The Book of Disquietude (c. 1930).

Mao Ze Dung

Every communist must grasp the truth, 'political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.' -- Speech, 6 November 1938.

Joseph Schumpeter

...the democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions which realizes the common good by making the people itself decide issues through the election of individuals who are to assemble in order to carry out its will.

The opening up of new markets, foreign or domestic, and the organizational development from the craft shop and factory to such concerns as U.S. Steel illustrate the same process of industrial mutation–if I may use that biological term–that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. It is what capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to live in.  -- Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942).

Friedrich Hayek

If 'capitalism' means here a competitive system based on free disposal of private property, it is far more important to realize that only within this system is democracy possible. When it becomes dominated by a collectivist creed, democracy will inevitably destroy itself. -- The Road to Serfdom (1944).

Robert Walker

The abilities which enable a [person] to stand out in governmental administration and to exercise influence on policy matters, either at a low or a high grade, are difficult to define precisely.  They include such things as initiative and resourcefulness; exercise of good judgment; the ability to grasp a problem and suggest a workable approach to its solution; the ability to read discriminately and to write well; an appreciation of the limitations on administrative action in a democracy; an understanding of the present role of government (including administration) in society in terms both of historical evolution and of a realistic approach to political action. --  American Political Science Review 39/5 (1945).

Hugh McLennan

Let the rest of the world murder itself through war, cheat itself in business, destroy its peace with new inventions and the frantic American rush after money.  Quebec remembered God and her own soul, and these were all she needed.

The Scriptures... had left no doubt that it was easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  But the Lord, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, had never said it was impossible. --  Two Solitudes (1945).

Victor Nunes Leal

Para os amigos pão, para os inimigos pau." [Translation: for friends bread, for enemies the stick (a beating)]--  Coronelismo (1948).

Norton Long

The lack of a budgetary theory (so frequently deplored) is not due to any incapacity to apply rational analysis to the comparative contribution of the various activities of government to a determinate hierarchy of purposes.  It more probably stems from a frankly fastidious distaste for the frank recognition of the budget as a politically expedient allocation of resources. -- Public Administration Review 9 (1949).

Ben Chifley

I try to think of the Labour movement, not as putting an extra sixpence into somebody's pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister or Premier, but as a movement bringing something better to the people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of the people. We have a great objective - the light on the hill - which we aim to reach by working the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the Labour movement would not be worth fighting for.  If the movement can make someone more comfortable, give to some father or mother a greater feeling of security for their children, a feeling that if a depression comes there will be work, that the government is striving its hardest to do its best, then the Labour movement will be completely justified. -- Speech (1949).

Von Mises, Ludwig

Human action is necessarily always rational... The ultimate end of action is always the satisfaction of some desires of the acting man. Since nobody is in a position to substitute his own value judgments for those of the acting individual, it is vane to pass judgment on other peoples' aims and volitions. No man is qualified to declare what would make another man happier or less discontented. -- Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (1949).

The worst of these delusions is the idea that 'nature' has bestowed upon every man certain rights. -- The Anti-Capitalist Mentality (1956).

George Orwell

Blackwhite... Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this.  But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary.  This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known... as doublethink.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them...  To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies--all this is indispensably necessary. -- 1984 (1949).

Napoleon decreed that there should be a full investigation into Snowball's activities. With his dogs in attendance he set out and made a careful tour of inspection of the farm buildings, the other animals following at a respectful distance. At every few steps Napoleon stopped and snuffed the ground for traces of Snowball's footsteps, which, he said, he could detect by the smell. He snuffed in every corner, in the barn, in the cow-shed, in the henhouses, in the vegetable garden, and found traces of Snowball almost everywhere. He would put his snout to the ground, give several deep sniffs, and exclaim in a terrible voice, "Snowball! He has been here! I can smell him distinctly!" and at the word "Snowball" all the dogs let out blood-curdling growls and showed their side teeth. -- Animal Farm (1945).

As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.  They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them.  They are "only doing their duty", as the saying goes...  One cannot see the modern world as it is unless one recognizes the overwhelming strength of patriotism, national loyalty.

The British working class are now better off in almost all ways than they were thirty years ago.  This is partly due to the efforts of the Trade Unions, but partly due to the mere advance of physical science.  It is not always realized that within rather narrow limits the standard of life of a country can rise without a corresponding rise in real-wages...  However unjustly a society is organized, certain technical advances are bound to benefit the whole community, because certain kinds of goods are necessarily held in common.

A Socialist Party which genuinely wished to achieve anything would have started by facing several facts which to this date are considered unmentionable in left-wing circles.  It would have recognized that England is more united than most countries, that the British workers have a great deal to lose besides their chains, and that the differences in outlook and habits between class and class are rapidly diminishing. -- The Lion and the Unicorn (1941).

Alberto Guerreiro Ramos

Weberian sociology is a tool, an instrument that can be utilized in the organization of society.-- Revista de Serviço Público (1946, my translation).

There is today a contradiction between the ideas and the facts of our race relations.  In the ideological plane, ‘whiteness’ is still dominant as a criterion of social esthetics.  In the plane of facts, people of black origins are dominant in Brazilian society…

My thesis is that, in the present conditions of Brazilian society, there exists a social pathology of the ‘white’ Brazilian and, particularly, of the ‘white’ of the 'North’ and ‘Northeast’…  This pathology consists in that, in Brazil, principally in these regions, people of lighter pigmentation tend to manifest, in their esthetic self-image, a protest against themselves, against their objective ethnic condition.  And it is this disequilibrium, truly collectively in Brazil, that I consider pathological. --  Introducao Critica a Sociologia Brasileira (1954, my translation).

Sociological reduction… is a procedure for the critical assimilation of the foreign experience.  Sociological reduction does not imply isolationism, or the romantic exaltation of the local, regional or national.  It is, on the contrary, driven by an aspiration to the universal, mediated by the local, regional or national.  It is not opposed to the practice of transplantation, but seeks to submit this to the purifying criteria of selectivity. --  A Reducao Sociologica (1958, my translation).

Generally I argue that a market-centered theory of organizations is applicable not to all, but only to a special type of activity.  Attempts to apply its principles to all forms of activity are hindering the actualization of possible new social systems needed to overcome the basic dilemmas of our society.  I further contend that the model of manpower and resource allocation prescribed by this dominant organization theory is not mindful of ecological requirements and is therefore not commensurate with the potentialities of the contemporary state of productive capabilities.  Finally, I suggest that the manner in which the dominant model is taught is deceptive and has disastrous consequences since the limits of its functional character are not acknowledged.

...substantive theory as conceived here implies an ethical superordination of political theory upon any eventual discipline bearing upon human associated life. 

The alternative model of social science outlined in this book is not anti-market.  Moreover my criticism of contemporary market-centered society should not be interpreted as an advocacy of the elimination of the market as a functional social system. Rather it acknowledges as an asset for all future times the main accidental outcome of the history of the market system, namely the creation of unprecedented processing capabilities which, if used correctly, can liberate mankind from the drudgery of laboring for the sake of sheer survival.  Finally, in relation to the market system, my analysis even has a conservative overtone.  It suggests that, purged of its unqualified expansionist trends and of its political and social abuses, the modern market may very well be the most viable and effective way devised to date to undertake mass production, the delivery of goods and services, and the organization of certain types of economizing social systems. -- The New Science of Organizations (1981).

Paul Appleby

The individual citizen finds it hard to understand why the government doesn't do what he wishes it to do.  Or a single pressure group, feeling deeply about some problem, can't quite become reconciled to the fact that the government doesn't accept its particular proposal.  Sometimes, indeed, efforts are made to compel the government to accept some group proposal.  Yet any of us, in a relaxed mood, would agree that each citizen's share of influence would be only one hundred and forty-five millionth of all citizen influence...

In every case the principal roles of the especially responsible citizens who are officials are: to bring into focus -- to resolve and integrate -- these popularly-felt needs; to give specific form to responses of the government designed to meet the needs; to inject foresight and concern for factors not readily visible to citizens at large; to try so to organize governmental responses as to secure at least majority consensus or consent. 

Citizens, thus, like Congress, are constantly delegating their powers in order to preserve them.  Some they delegate to courts, some to legislative bodies, some to executive officials and agencies, saying each time in effect, "We cannot normally give enough attention to those matters, and we are delegating a tentative responsibility to you; whenever we do not approve of your handling of them we will assert our control.  -- Policy and Administration (1949).

John Kenneth Galbraith

In our time the ancient and useful distinction between Left and Right has developed a color which also makes it nearly useless.  To many the notion of the “Left” connotes some alignment, direct or vague, with communism and in any case there is an old tendency to associate it with political positions derived from Marx.  The Right for many has become synonymous with blind reaction.

In the competitive model, intervention by the state in the economy was excluded with equal rigor whether the motives of the state were assumed to be malevolent or benign.  The model was formulated in a day when good intentions by the state and its servants could not be assumed. -- American Capitalism (1952).

A central problem of the productive society is what it produces.  This manifests itself in an implacable tendency to provide an opulent supply of some things and a niggardly yield of others.  This disparity carries to the point where it is a cause of social discomfort and social unhealth.  The line which divides the area of wealth from the area of poverty is roughly that which divides privately produced and marketed goods from publicly rendered services.

All private wants, where the individual can choose, are thought inherently superior to all public desires which must be paid for by taxation and with an inevitable component of compulsion. -- The Affluent Society (1958).

Economics and particularly the imagery of choice in the market puts the business firm similarly in the service of a higher deity.  In consequence it is not responsible – or is only minimally responsible – for what it does.  It responds to the theistic instruction of the market.  If the goods that it produces or the services that it renders are frivolous or lethal or do damage to air, water, landscape or the tranquility of life, the firm is not to blame.  This reflects the public choice.

The control of the economic system by the individual – by the consumer or citizen – does not mean that power is distributed equally.  It is a well-established point that the citizen who votes ten times in an election has, all else equal, ten times more power than the citizen who votes only once. ...power still rests with the individual.  It is only that, in the exercise of that power, some individuals are more equal than others. -- Economics and the Public Purpose(1973).

The service of the accepted image of economic life to the political needs of the business firm -- the large corporation in particular -- is, in fact, breathtaking.  Broadly speaking, it removes from the corporation all power to do wrong and leaves with it only the power to do right.

With Das Kapital and the Bible, Wealth of Nations enjoys the distinction of being one of the three books that people may refer to at will without feeling they should have read it. -- Annals of an Abiding Liberal (1979).

Socialism, the comprehensive operation or control of industry by the state, existed in superbly attractive form in oratory, in literature and in belief, but in its administrative complexity and call upon the sense of social responsibility of the citizen it was not a viable design...

Nothing is more damaging to successful development than incompetent, irresponsible and corrupt government...

In India I was constantly impressed by the tendency of individuals of the utmost goodwill to assume that their own particular American interest or occupation was uniquely appropriate to the local scene.  If he or she was an expert in the United States in business management, poultry husbandry, home economics or veterinary medicine, this automatically achieved relevance in India.  There are many types of imperialism; that which expresses the importance of personal competence or enthusiasm is not the least intrusive in effect...

Poverty is not a central issue in the main current of economics and economic policy.  The poor do not get many pages in the college textbooks or much attention in the scholarly journals...

In the dominant economic tradition there can be well-expressed sympathy for the deprived, but the policy and action needed to help them are not discussed in the mainstream...

A highly effective design for avoiding succor to the poor is to put forward the higher claims of war, defense, the military...  It is by no means incidental that much military expenditure, that for sophisticated weapons in particular, rewards a comfortably affluent part of the larger population.  Far better that, it is held, than spending that impairs the character of the poor...

The rich or the merely affluent, facing, along with the camel, the eye of that biblical needle, do not take readily to the risk from personal demise...  In the time of the Vietnam war the more fortunate youth in American universities were the focal point of resistance.  Nor do they now show much enthusiasm for service in the armed forces.  That, it is thought, is for the less favored, the minorities and the poor. --  A Journey Through Economic Time (1994).

C. Wright Mills

Within American society, major national power now resides in the economic, the political, and the military domains.  Other institutions seem off to the side of modern history, and, on occasion, duly subordinated to these.  No family is as directly powerful in national affairs as any major corporation; no church is as directly powerful in the external biographies of young men in America today as the military establishment; no college is as powerful in the shaping of momentous events as the National Security Council.  Religious, educational and family institutions are not autonomous centers of national power; on the contrary, these decentralized areas are increasingly shaped by the big three, in which developments of decisive and immediate consequence now occur. -- The Power Elite (1956).

Susan Langer

A natural tendency of maturing thought toward realism... the normal growth of men's interest in facts...  To us it seems utterly unimaginable that anyone could really resist a demonstratio ad occulos and hold his deepest convictions -- those which command his actions -- on any other basis. -- Philosophy in a New Key (1957).

Dankwart Rustow

The obvious and urgent need for additional linguistic preparation is perhaps on balance the least formidable among the difficulties of data-gathering.  -- World Politics 9 (1958).

Pierre Elliott Trudeau

The state is by definition the instrument whereby human society collectively organizes and expresses itself.  A sovereign society that fears the state is a moribund society, unconvinced of the usefulness of its own existence. --  "Approaches to politics", Vrai (1958).

There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation. -- Interview, 1967.

D.J. Heasman

It seems clear to the present writer that there is a growing consensus in the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as in Canada, that public authorities should not be looking for administrative 'expertise' in their graduate entrants, but should expect them to have obtained the foundations of a liberal education and to be or become knowledgeable and thoughtful regarding the governance of man...

The university must remember that, within limits, it knows better than the student what is good for him to study and it must never allow itself to become a mere service station for the satisfaction of the technical demands of outside bodies: rather should it ensure that subjects selected by students for vocational reasons are read in an educational spirit and combined in such a way as to provide a coherent course of studies. -- Canadian Public Administration 2/4 (1959).

C. P. Snow

I believe the intellectual life of the whole of western society is increasingly being split between two polar groups…  at the one pole we have the literary intellectuals, who incidentally while no one was looking took to referring to themselves as intellectuals as though there were no others…  at the other [pole]…  physical scientists.  Between the two a gulf of mutual incomprehension – sometimes (particularly among the young) hostility and dislike, but most of all lack of understanding. -- The Two Cultures (1959).

Charles Lindblom

Making policy is at best a rough process.  Neither social scientists, nor politicians, nor public administrators yet know enough about the social world to avoid repeated error in predicting the consequences of policy moves.  A wise policy-maker consequently expects that his policies will achieve only part of what he hopes and at the same time will produce unanticipated consequences he would have preferred to avoid.  If he proceeds through a succession of incremental changes, he avoids serious lasting mistakes in several ways. -- Public Administration Review 19 (1959).

In the last century thousands of social scientists trying to practice methods much like those of the natural sciences have swarmed over institutions and social processes to try to extract exact propositions hidden to the lay mind.  For all that effort and for all its presumed usefulness, I cannot identify a single social science finding or idea that is indispensable to any social task or effort. --  Inquiry and Change (1990).

Walt Whitman Rostow

We come not to the great watershed in the life of modern societies: the take off. The take off is the interval when the old blocks and resistances to steady growth are finally overcome. The forces making for economic progress expand and come to dominate society. Growth becomes its normal condition. Compound interest becomes built, as it were, into its habits and institutional structure. -- The Stages of Economic Growth (1960).

John F. Kennedy

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.  My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. -- Inaugural address, 20 January 1961.

Martin Luther King

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -- Letter, 16 April 1963.

I have a dream that my four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. -- Speech, 28 August 1963.

Amartya Sen

The failure of the Little-Mishan criterion is particularly unfortunate, because its emphasis on the fairness of income distribution was otherwise a most welcome change in the lopsided over-Paretian world of present-day welfare economics. -- The Economic Journal 73/292 (1963).

Markets should do what markets do best, government should do what government does best... 

To be generically against markets would be almost as odd as being generically against conversations between people…  The freedom to exchange words, or goods, or gifts does not need defensive justification in terms of their being favorable but distant effects; they are part of the way human beings in society live and interact with each other (unless stopped by regulation of fiat).  The contribution of the market mechanism to economic growth is, of course, important, but this comes only after the direct significance of the freedom to interchange – words, goods, gifts – has been acknowledged...


The nature of Asian values has often been invoked in recent years to provide justification for authoritarian political arrangements in Asia.  These justifications of authoritarianism have typically come not from independent historians but from the authorities themselves...-- Development as Freedom (1999).

It is not as if ‘Asian values’, to invoke a term frequently used in contemporary debates, have all been authoritarian – and skeptical of the importance of freedom – while traditional ‘European values’ are all pro-freedom and anti-authoritarian.

there is an elementary difficulty in trying to define civilizations not in terms of the exact history of ideas and actions but in terms of broad regionality, for instance, being ‘European’ or ‘Western’, with a grossly aggregative attribution.  In this way of looking at civilizational categories, no great difficulty is seen in considering the descendants of, say, Vikings and Visigoths as proper inheritors of the electoral traditional of ancient Greece (since they are part of ‘the European stock’), even though ancient Greeks, who were very involved in intellectual exchange with other ancient civilizations to the east of south of Greece (in particular Iran, India and Egypt), see to have taken little interest in chatting up the lively Goths and Visigoths. -- The Idea of Justice (2009).

Betty Friedan

I came to realize that something is very wrong with the way American women are trying to live their lives today.  There was a strange discrepancy between the reality of our lives as women and the image to which we were trying to conform, the image that I came to call the feminine mystique. -- The Feminine Mystique (1963).

Lyndon Johnson

You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.  You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.  Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates. -- Speech, 4 June 1965.

Gerald Caiden

The study [of public administration] did not begin with Woodrow Wilson or in the modern universities. I began with the Chinese. It is mentioned in the Bible. Aristotle gave it intellectual flavour. The modern revival began with the practical reforms of the German middle-classes in the eighteenth century and was continued in Europe long before the English-speaking people worried about the inefficiency and waste of their government systems. It was not a new area but a new interest in an old subject to which new techniques, which have been developed in the meantime, could be applied. -- Public Administration (Sydney), vol. 24.

Dwight Waldo  

In sum, the Public Administrationist has an ambiguous and often uncomfortable dual second-class citizenship status: He is the academic's practical man and the public administrator's academic. --  Journal of Politics 30/2 (1968).

...moral or ethical behavior in public administration is a complicated matter, indeed, chaotic.  While some facets of the matter have been treated with insight and clarity, nothing in the way of a comprehensive and systematic treatise exists -- or if so I am unaware of it. --  The Enterprise of Public Administration (1980).

James Stenius Roberts

It is, of course, important to our foreign policy that Americans… attempt to learn indigenous languages. In the sense that it reflects an interest in a society and its culture, some language facility is important even if it is only the learning of phrases, a basic vocabulary, and some understanding of sentence structure. --Public Administration Review 29 (1969).

Gaylord Nelson

Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other human creatures. Our goal is a new American ethic that sets new standards for progress, emphasizing human dignity and well being rather than an endless parade of technology that produces more gadgets, more waste, more pollution. -- Speech, Earth Day (1972).

Joan Robinson

A universal paean was raised in praise of growth. Growth was going to solve all problems.  No need to bother about poverty. Growth will lift up the bottom and poverty will disappear without any need to pay attention to it. -- The Second Crisis of Economic Theory (1971).

Denis Goulet

Underdevelopment is shocking: the squalor, the disease, unnecessary deaths, and hopelessness of it all! No man understands if underdevelopment remains for him a mere statistic reflecting low income, poor housing, premature mortality and underemployment. The most empathetic observer can speak objectively about underdevelopment only after undergoing, personally or vicariously, the 'shock of underdevelopment.' -- The Cruel Choice (1971).

Guy Swanson

Thinking without comparisons is unthinkable.  And, in the absence of comparisons, so is all scientific thought and all scientific research. --  Comparative Methods in Sociology (1971).

W. Wronski

When the level of citizens' protest reaches the level of demands for delegation of power or citizen control, the elected official feels that the power of decision-making vested in him through the process of a democratic election is being eroded or even usurped by those who have no gumption to 'stand up and be counted' at election time...  The present public demand for greater participation in the decision-making process, once it abandons the techniques of slogan-shouting and hysterical protests, may, in my opinion, lead to the strengthening of the democratic form of government by removing political apathy." --  Canadian Public Administration 14/1 (1971).

John F. Kerry

There are all kinds of atrocities and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free-fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I took part in search-and-destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare. All of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free-fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law ... are war criminals.  How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? ... Someone has to die so President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, 'the first president to lose a war.' -- Congressional testimony, 23 April 1971.

Pogo the Possum

Yep son, we have met the enemy, and he is us. -- with help from Walt Kelly, (1971).

Malcolm Fraser

Life was not meant to be easy. -- Alfred Deakin Lecture, 20 July 1971.

E.A. Lyall

The 'policy-making process' has been categorized as a working out of the balance between 'policy analysis' and the 'play of power'.  It is necessary that those involved in this process should be trained in the techniques which allow them to carry out their policy analysis more effectively.  But it is also necessary to make them, and others too, aware that it is not only a question of policy analysis.  My personal predilection is for a situation which maximizes the role for policy analysis, but also draws the line between the two as clearly as possible so that we can see who is making the power plays which override the policy analysis.


As teachers and students of public administration in the universities, it seems to me that we do the public a greater service by seeking to make the Service public than by trying to teach the public servants how to do their job. --  Public Administration (Sydney) 31/1 (1972).

E. F. Schumacher

In the excitement over the unfolding of his scientific and technical powers, modern man has built a system of production that ravishes nature and a type of society that mutilates man. If only there were more and more wealth, everything else, it is thought, would fall into place. Money is considered to be all powerful; if it could not actually buy non-material values, such as justice, harmony, beauty or even health, it could circumvent the need for them or compensate for their loss. The development of production and the acquisition of wealth have thus become the highest goals of the modern world. This is the philosophy of materialism. -- Small is Beautiful (1973).

Chinua Achebe

The colonialist critic, unwilling to accept the validity of sensibilities other than his own, has made particular point of dismissing the African novel. He has written lengthy articles to prove its non-existence largely on the grounds that it is a peculiarly Western genre...But, in any case, did not the black people in America, deprived of their own musical instruments, take the trumpet and the trombone and blow them as they had never been blown before, as indeed they were not designed to be blown? And the result, was it not jazz? Is any one going to say that this was a loss to the world...? -- Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975).

Edward Said

Thus Orientalism is a specific kind of knowledge fashioned out of the experiences of many Europeans. Orientalism is fundamentally a political doctrine willed over the Orient because the Orient was weaker than the West. --  Orientalism (1978).

Robert Denhardt

The result of this socialization process is the widespread assumption of a particular viewpoint, a sort of organizational ethic, one which supports the extension of an organizational society and offers itself as a way of life for persons in our society.  To the extent we accept that ethic, we will come to see the world in terms of order and structure rather than conflict and change; we will come to value discipline, regulation, and obedience in contrast to independence, expressiveness, and creativity.

By portraying the individual as passively responding to the manipulation of the environment by those in control, these psychologies contribute to a condition of elite domination.  Moreover, by describing the individual as seeking merely to rationally maximize (or even "satisfice"), they characterize the individual as achieving meaning only through the acquisition of certain "utilities." -- In the Shadow of Organization (1981).

In one sense, attempting to define 'the public interest' is a little like trying to define 'love'...  Yet most of us would agree that any explanation of the human experience -- be it personal, social scientific, philosophical -- would be sorely lacking with the use of the concept of love.

Value citizenship over entrepreneurship.  The public interest is better advanced by public servants and citizens committed to making meaningful contributions to society than by entrepreneurial managers acting as if public money were their own. -- and Janet Denhardt, The New Public Service: Serving, not Steering (2003).

Ronald Reagan

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? -- Inaugural address, January 20, 1981.

I think you all know that I've always felt the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help. -- Press conference, 12 August 1986.

Frank Bryan and Bill Mares

Vermont... is more than just a place -- it's a state of mind. -- Real Vermonters Don't Milk Goats (1983).

Eugene (Bill) McGregor

An extraordinary knowledge disparity exists between public service careerists... and a civitas that wants problems solved.  The gap is not only large, it appears to be growing and the effects can only be worrisome.  The knowledge gap may well contribute to mistrust of institutions by citizens competent to know when things are not working but not able to say what the possibilities for successful intervention are.  The gap may explain some of the measured contempt public bureaucrats have displayed toward an unknowing and disrespectful public.

There is no escaping the democratic responsibilities of public servants.  If we really mean what we say about democracy and self-government, then a dominant ethic of public service must be that careerists keep citizens fully informed about the possibilities for public service.  The democratic point is that the public need is for intelligently organized information presented so that informed decisions can be made.  -- Public Administration Review 44 (1984).

Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira

It makes no sense to speak of development as only economic, only political, or only social; this type of compartmentalized, segmented development does not really exist except for the purposes of didactic exposition.  If economic development does not bring political and social modifications with it, if social and political development are not simultaneously the result and the cause of economic transformation, then in fact they are not development. --   Revista de Economia Politica 5/4 (1984, my translation).

A purely market, as well as a fully state-coordinated, economy never existed in history.  Both a radically liberal and a fully statist economic system are nonsense.  Markets have to be regulated and moderately adjusted by the state and the institutions of civil society.  Capitalist societies are mixed economies in which the state, market, and society’s informal mechanisms act as coordinating principles.

The republican state is a state strong enough to protect itself from private capture, defending the public patrimony against rent-seeking; it is a participatory state in which citizens organized in civil society take part in defining new policies and institutions and in exercising social accountability; it is a state that relies on government officers who, although self-interested, are also concerned with the public interest… -- Democracy and Public Management Reform (2007).

Terry Cooper

In searching for the source of legitimacy for the public administrator in a democratic society, I conclude that it is to be found in the role of the citizen. Public administrators are 'professional citizens', or 'citizen-administrators'; they are fiduciaries who are employed by the citizenry to work on their behalf.  In the words of Walzer, public administrators are to be understood as 'citizens in lieu of the rest of us'... the public administrator's role as citizen takes priority over less fundamental demands, such as organizational imperatives, pressure from politicians, or blind commitments to worthwhile values, such as efficiency, stability, orderliness, and timeliness. --  Public Administration Review, 44 (1984).

Paul Keating

If this government cannot get adjustment... and a sensible economic policy, then Australia is done for.  We will just end up being a third rate economy... a banana republic. -- Radio interview (1986).

Nuruddin Farah

Like a bewildered African national posing questions to its inefficient leadership, I kept asking, 'Where are we going?  Where are you taking me to?' -- A character in his novel Maps (1986).

Charles Ragin and Howard Becker

Qualitative researchers tend to look at cases as wholes, and they compare whole cases with each other.  While cases may be analyzed in terms of variables (for example, the presence or absence of a certain institution might be an important variable), cases are viewed as configurations -- as combinations of characteristics.  Comparison in the qualitative tradition thus involves comparing configurations.  This wholism contradicts the radically analytic approach of most quantitative work. --  What is a Case?  Exploring the Foundations of Social Theory (1987).

Norman Clark and Calestous Juma

It follows, therefore, that in order for a society to keep abreast with rapid technological change in this modern age, it must also be prepared to permit rapid organizational change -- an argument that has obvious implications for public policy since, in so far as its government departments and other relevant institutions (universities, for example) exhibit structural rigidity, it is difficult to see how a society can hope to develop technologically and hence maintain long-run economic growth. --  Long-Run Economics: An Evolutionary Approach to Economic Growth (1987).

James Q. Wilson

Citizens and taxpayers have their own global view of bureaucracy.  To them, bureaucrats are lethargic, incompetent hacks who spend their days spinning out reels of red tape and reams of paperwork, all the while going to great lengths to avoid doing the job they were hired to do.

The currency of the marketplace may be wealth, which is divided unequally, but the currency of politics is votes, which are distributed equally. -- Bureaucracy (1989).

David Weimer and Aidan Vining

Beyond raising efficiency as a goal, you can contribute to the public good by identifying other values that receive too little attention in political arenas. Are there identifiable groups that consistently suffer losses from public policies? Is adequate consideration being given to the future and the interests of future generations? -- Policy Analysis (1989).

US Federal Government Executive Order 12731

Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.  (1990).

Romeo Ocampo

"Public administration" evokes the spirit of public service in the root word, e.g., to minister to the needs of the needy rather than the demands of the greedy. -- Philippine Journal of Public Administration (1990).

Kwame Anthony Appiah

For the African intellectual, of course, the problem is whether ­- and if so, how ­- our cultures are to become modern. What is for the West a fait acompli ­- indeed, we might define modernity as the characteristic intellectual and social formation of the industrialized world -­ offers most Africans at best vistas of hope, at worst prospects to fear. -- In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture (1992).

Conversations across boundaries of identity -- whether national, religious, or something else -- begin with the sort of imaginative engagement you get when you read a novel or watch a movie or attend to a work of art that speaks from some place other than your own.    So I'm using the word 'conversation' not only for literal talk but also as a metaphor for engagement with the experience and ideas of others.  And I stress the role of the imagination here because the encounters, properly constructed, are valuable in themselves,  Conversation doesn't have to lead to consensus about anything, especially not values; it's enough that it helps people to get used to one another. -- Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (2006).

David Osborne and Ted Gaebler

We know that cynicism about government runs deep within the American soul.  We all have our favorite epitaphs: 'It's close enough for government work.'  'Feeding at the public trough.'  'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'  'My friend doesn't work: she has a job with the government.'  Our governments are in deep trouble today. -- Reinventing Government (1992).

Alan Cromer

...scientific thinking, which is analytic and objective, goes against the grain of traditional human thinking, which is associative and subjective.  Far from being a natural part of human development, science arose from unique historical factors.  And viewed against the thousands of years of human existence, science is very recent. --  Uncommon Sense (1993).

Jorge Amado

Censorship, corruption, and violence were the tools of government; this must be recalled because there are some who may have forgotten it now.  It was a time of ignominy and fear: The jails were overflowing, and there was torture and torturers, the lie of the "Brazilian miracle," pharaonic public projects, and graft. --  The War of the Saints (1993).

Charles Lindblom and Edward Woodhouse

The tasks of public policy making are exceedingly difficult. Because the world is so complex, human understanding so limited, and organizational life so complicated and problem-ridden, it is reasonable to suppose that public policies will turn out to disappoint. -- The Policy-Making Process (1993).

Amitai Etzioni

The eighties tried to turn vice into virtue by elevating the unbridled pursuit of self-interest and greed to the level of social virtue.  It turned out that an economy could thrive (at least for a while) if people watched out only for themselves (although this is by no means as well documented as many economists suggest, and it is certainly not what the classic economist Adam Smith favored).  But it has become evident that a society cannot function well given such self-centered, me-istic orientations...  to worry now about excessive ‘we-ness’ is like suggesting in the depths of winter that we shouldn’t turn on a space heater because it might make us sweat…  Our society is suffering from a severe case of deficient we-ness and the values only communities can properly uphold; restoring communities and their moral voice is what our current conditions require. -- The Spirit of Community (1993).

Madeleine Kunin

After a month, I learned to read budget numbers like words and find meaning between the lines.  I compared the budget book to abstract art: the longer you looked at it, the more you could see...  It was a highly subjective document, hammered together by hundreds of hands, both public and private, each with an imprint of personal preference and public obligation.  There was a truth hidden here, but rather than being sharp, it was dull.  If read correctly, this gray columned document revealed an infinitesimal detail the cumulative values of its many authors, as well as the labyrinthe structure of state government itself. --  Living a Political Life (1994).

Curt Ventriss

It is true that public affairs education is too important to be left to those who are exclusively trained in public administration or public policy; conversely, it is also too important to be left to an amalgamation of scholars whose knowledge of public administration is rudimentary at best.  Expressing an interest in the public sector is simply not enough to provide proper educational glue.  A public affairs program is not an intellectual reservation for those who want to teach -- regardless of their intellectual perspective -- something about the public sector independent of any knowledge (or interest) in the field as a whole...  Without a substantive connection to the normative content of the field, an interdisciplinary approach is degraded into a state of babel, confusion, and bewilderment. --  Public Administration Review, 51/1 (1991).

It has always been interesting to me that although all the great modern social scientists have felt compelled to respond to Marx, we in public administration rarely, if at all, refer to any of Marx's thinking. The issue here is not about Marxism, per se, but the broader issue of why there is such a general reluctance to refer to any aspect of radical thought at all in public administration or public policy. --  American Review of Public Administration 28/3 (1998)

Nelson Mandela

Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savor their songs. --  Long Walk to Freedom (1995).

Bill Clinton

We know big Government does not have all the answers. We know there's not a program for every problem. We know, and we have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic Government in Washington. And we have to give the American people one that lives within its means. The era of big Government is over. But we cannot go back to the time when our citizens were left to fend for themselves.    Instead, we must go forward as one America, one nation working together to meet the challenges we face together. Self-reliance and teamwork are not opposing virtues; we must have both. I believe our new, smaller Government must work in an old-fashioned American way, together with all of our citizens through State and local governments, in the workplace, in religious, charitable, and civic associations. -- State of the Union address, January 23 (1996).

Adil Najam

There seems to be a decided bias against efforts to study the [nonprofit] sector as a sector (in its largest definition) and in favor of studying those particular portions in which particular scholars and agencies (especially donor agencies) are most interested. This tendency has impoverished, rather than enriched, our understanding of the sector and given the intellectual undertaking a donor-focused flavor. -- Development Policy Review 14 (1996).

Deborah Stone

To categorize in counting... is to select one feature of something... and ignore all the other features.  To count is to form a category by emphasizing some feature instead of others and excluding things that might be similar in important ways but do not share that feature...


The fields of political science, public administration, law and policy analysis have shared a common mission of rescuing public policy from the irrationalities and indignities of politics, hoping to make policy instead with rational, analytical, and scientific methods. -- Policy Paradox (1997).

Will Ferguson

That's the problem with nationalism: it asks you to believe that the country you happen to live in, by amazing coincidence, also happens to be the greatest country in the world. -- Why I Hate Canadians (1997).

The World Bank

An effective state is vital for the provision of the goods and services -- and the rules and institutions -- that allow markets to flourish and people to lead healthier, happier lives.  Without it, sustainable development, both economic and social, is impossible. -- World Development Report 1997.

Thomas Jeavons

Expectations about what constitutes ethical behavior in and by nonprofit, and especially by philanthropic, organizations differ from expectations placed on other organizations. Specifically, the question of trustworthiness goes to the core of the reason for the existence of these organizations and their ability to satisfy public expectations. -- In The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management (1999).

Condoleezza Rice

The President must remember that the military is a special instrument.  It is lethal, and it is meant to be.  It is not a civilian police force.  It is not a political referee.  And it is most certainly not designed to build a civilian society.  Military force is best used to support clear political goals, whether limited, such as expelling Saddam from Kuwait, or comprehensive, such as demanding the unconditional surrender of Japan and Germany during World War II.  It is one thing to have a limited political goal and to fight for it; it is quite another to apply military force incrementally, hoping to find a political solution somewhere along the way." -- Foreign Affairs 79/1 (2000).

George W. Bush

Our military requires the rallying point of a defining mission: to be able to fight and win our nation's wars-- and thereby deter war.  Sending our military on vague, aimless and endless deployments is a sure way to destroy morale.  Nothing would be better for morale than clarity and focus from the Commander-in-Chief. -- Bush/Cheney 2000 website.


[The world] ought to look at us as a country that understands freedom where it doesn't matter who you are or how you're raised or where you're from, that you can succeed. I don't think they'll look at us with envy. It really depends upon how our nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us. -- Presidential debate, 11 October 2000.


[US intervention in Somalia] started off as a humanitarian mission and it changed into a nation-building mission, and that's where the mission went wrong. The mission was changed. And as a result, our nation paid a price. And so I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building. I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war. I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow the dictator when it's in our best interests. But in this case it was a nation-building exercise, and same with Haiti. I wouldn't have supported either. -- Presidential debate, 11 October 2000.


Many of you have talked about the need to pay down our national debt. I listened, and I agree.  We owe it to our children and grandchildren to act now, and I hope you will join me to pay down $2 trillion in debt during the next 10 years.  At the end of those 10 years, we will have paid down all the debt that is available to retire.  That is more debt, repaid more quickly than has ever been repaid by any nation at any time in history. -- State of the Union (2001).


Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.  And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country... The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We've removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more. -- Speech 1 May 2003

As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas. Exports are rising, but the housing market has declined. At kitchen tables across our country, there is a concern about our economic future.  In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth. But in the short run, we can all see that that growth is slowing. So last week, my administration reached agreement with Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Boehner on a robust growth package that includes tax relief for individuals and families and incentives for business investment. The temptation will be to load up the bill. That would delay it or derail it, and neither option is acceptable. This is a good agreement that will keep our economy growing and our people working. And this Congress must pass it as soon as possible.  -- State of the Union, 28 January (2008)

Hernando de Soto


I am not a die-hard capitalist,  I do not view capitalism as a credo.  Much more important to me are freedom, compassion fo the poor, respect for the social contract, and equal opportunity.  But for the moment, to achieve those goals, capitalism is the only game in town.  It is the only system we know that provides us with the tools required to create massive surplus value. -- The Mystery of Capital (2000).


Responses to the mass murders of 11 Sep 2001:


“…throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad.  I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen’.”  Rev. Jerry Falwell, 13 Sep 2001.


“Amen.”  Rev. Pat Robertson, in response to Fallwell’s comment, above, 13 Sep 2001.


"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."  Rev. Jeremiah Wright, 16 Sep 2001.

Gavin Kitching

In making a moral and political judgment of globalization, it becomes crucial... how one "weights" a job gained in China or Vietnam or Fiji or India against a job lost in Britain or Germany or Australia or Belgium.  To repeat; whereas it seems to me that the only humanly defensible weighting is 1=1 (that is, one job counts the same wherever it is, so that if the same capital movement which leads to the loss of 200 jobs in Australia leads to the creation of 450 jobs in China there has been a net human gain in welfare), this is not the implicit weighting that any national or nationalistic economic calculus will apply.  On the contrary, if the world is viewed dominantly or exclusively from an Australian point of view (for example), with the imagined geopolitical space of Australia also marking the boundary of economic calculation and social judgment, then one job lost in Australia counts "simply" as one job lost (unqualifiedly, as it were).

I personally do not doubt that the short- to medium-term beneficiaries of the genuine globalization of capitalist economic relations commencing now would be the presently poor and poorer workers of the world.  I have equally little doubt that the short- to medium-term losers from such a process commencing now would be the rich and richer world workers of the world. -- Seeking Global Justice Through Globalization (2001).

Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Therefore, we all are no longer talking about the South that was on the periphery of the capitalist core and was tied to it in a classical relationship of dependence.  Nor are we speaking of the phenomenon, described some twenty-five years ago by Enzo Faletto and myself in our book Dependency and Development in Latin America, whereby multinational companies transfer parts of the productive system and the local producers are tied to foreign capital in the 'dependant-associated' development model.  We are dealing, in truth, with a crueler phenomenon: either the South (or a portion of it) enters the democratic-technological-scientific race, invests heavily in R&D, and endures the ‘information technology’ metamorphosis, or it becomes unimportant, unexploited, and unexploitable.


We must surrender ourselves to the supremacy of the market.  But we must not accept its logic.  The 'invisible hand'... is not perfection; it exacerbates and accumulates injustices.  For hope to survive it is necessary to associate social justice and freedom with the political instrument. -- Charting a New Course (2001).


I knew there was poverty in Brazil -- but to feel it, to really understand it, was very difficult.  To draw a modern-day, North American parallel, a privileged child on Manhattan's Upper West Side might be aware of poverty just a few blocks away in Harlem, but does he know what hunger really feels like?  Probably not.


Prices in Brazil rose an astonishing 2,500 percent in 1993.  This kind of "hyperinflation" is difficult to imagine for someone who has never lived through it.  It dominates business and daily life.  On pay day, people lined up outside supermarkets, desperate to spend their money before it lost its value.  Prices on basic goods such as rice -- the Brazilian staple -- could double in just a day.  All contracts -- bank accounts, tax bills, salaries -- had to be adjusted to inflation, a process that was imprecise and allowed for tremendous corruption.  It was, in other words, economic hell.  Regrettably, this was nothing new.  Precise calculations were tough to come buy, but one estimate put the accumulated Brazilian inflation rate from 1968 to 1993 at a mind-boggling 1,825,059,944,843 percent.


There is nothing Brazilians hate more than being portrayed as a banana republic... -- The Accidental President of Brazil (2006).


In essence the real problem is that in the system in which we live, the capitalist (and, at least for now, there is no other), the markets not only exist and have much power but they always contain an element of irrationality, "the herd behavior", that disturbs the assumption of rational calculation.  More, the system also includes in its functioning an inherent and necessary element of speculation.


Ah, the market, that terrible master, faceless and heartless, so irrationally rational or vice-versa, capable of ruining in a few days the work of so many years.  And still there are those who idolize it.  -- A Arte de Política (2006).

Salman Rushdie

Thatcherite Conservatism was the counterculture gone wrong: it shared... mistrust of the institutions of power and used their language of opposition to destroy the old power blocs -- to give power not to the people, whatever that meant, but to a web of fat-cat cronies.  This was trickle-up economics, and it was the sixties' fault. --  Fury (2001).

Mitch Daniels

The report we've issued this morning confirms that the nation has entered an era of solid surpluses.  Surpluses on the order of $160 billion, despite an economy that has been weak now for over a year and in decline for that time.  This is the second largest surplus in American history, in the face of that weak economy, a phenomenon that should strike all Americans as very positive. -- Press briefing, 22 August 2001.

Derek Bok

Most of the things Americans like least about politics and government are linked to current patterns of public apathy and alienation.  Conversely, few of the reforms that would help make government function better will come about without more active and informed citizen participation.  In the end, therefore, people get the quality of government they deserve. -- The Trouble With Government (2001).

Juan Mozzicafreddo

Relative to the organization form of public administration, and despite the justifiable criticisms of the model and the functioning of bureaucracy, it is necessary to point out that at least in the Portuguese case, one of the reasons for its limited public responsibility and for the limitations in its efficiency and efficacy lie precisely in insufficient bureaucracy....  One of the reasons for the evident dysfunctionalities results from the non-observance of the so-called bureaucratic model of organization. -- A Administração e Politica: Perspectivas de Reforma da Administração Pública na Europa e nos Estados Unidos (2001).

Barack Obama

I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.  What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.  That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.  Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power.... The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.  But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors...and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. -- Speech, October 2002.

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? ... I'm not talking about blind optimism here, the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. No, I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope! -- Speech, 27 July 2004.

...for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn't make it - those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations - those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright's generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings. And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races. wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding. -- Speech, 18 March 2008.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.  Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good. -- Inaugural speech, 20 January 2009

Unfortunately, finding that common ground -- recognizing that our fates are tied up, as Dr. King said, in a "single garment of destiny" -- is not easy.  And part of the problem, of course, lies in the imperfections of man -- our selfishness, our pride, our stubbornness, our acquisitiveness, our insecurities, our egos; all the cruelties large and small that those of us in the Christian tradition understand to be rooted in original sin.  We too often seek advantage over others.  We cling to outworn prejudice and fear those who are unfamiliar.  Too many of us view life only through the lens of immediate self-interest and crass materialism; in which the world is necessarily a zero-sum game.  The strong too often dominate the weak, and too many of those with wealth and with power find all manner of justification for their own privilege in the face of poverty and injustice.  And so, for all our technology and scientific advances, we see here in this country and around the globe violence and want and strife that would seem sadly familiar to those in ancient times.

Remember, too, that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt.  It’s the belief in things not seen.  It’s beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us.  And those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.  And this doubt should not push us away our faith.  But it should humble us.  It should temper our passions, cause us to be wary of too much self-righteousness. -- Commencement address, University of Notre Dame, 17 May 2009.

Charles Goodsell

Government administration in America may be regarded as generally competent and effective if we look at it in a balanced way and in relation to what is possible.  Whereas public bureaucracy in the United States, at all levels of government, inevitably involves individual instances of waste, incompetence, abuse of power, and breakdown, it does on the whole and in comparison to most countries and even the business sector in this country, perform surprisingly well.

Instead of addressing the many problems that do exist in bureaucracy, this attitude can exacerbate them by encouraging the kinds of political rhetoric and policy that demoralize agencies, adversely affecting their performance and encouraging the best staff members to leave.  Furthermore, it promotes a set of negative assumptions about government employment that keeps the brightest of our young people from considering a public service career.

If, then, we (1) assume that progress is inevitable; (2) assign responsibility for progress to government; (3) expect insoluble problems to be solved; and (4) hand over the job of solving them to the bureaucrats -- what is the consequence?  The consequence is that we set bureaucracy up for failure. -- The Case for Bureauracy (2003).

H. George Frederickson

There is not much convincing evidence that there is an important distinction between leadership and management, aside from labeling some things as leadership and therefore important, and other things as management and therefore less important. -- The Public Administration Theory Primer (2003), with Kevin Smith.

Sergio Vieira de Mello

This must be one of the most humiliating periods in the history of the Iraqi people. Who would like to see their country occupied?  I know I wouldn't want to see foreign tanks in Copacabana. -- Interview, Folha de São Paulo (2003).

Ralph Nader

Washington is now a corporate-occupied territory.  There's a "For Sale" sign on almost every door of agencies and departments where these corporations dominate and they put their appointments in high office. -- Interview, NBC News' Meet the Press, 22 February 2004.

Adam Herbert

The young adults of tomorrow will be citizens of the world.  We must prepare them.  -- Address, 15 April 2004.

Vaclav Havel

The center of [Washington] reminds me in some ways of ancient Egypt: just as they built enormous pyramids to memorialize their pharaohs, some of the most important American presidents also have great memorials here.  To a Central European, with its traditional indifference or even distaste for the grandiose, it can seem rather comic, but in essence it's endearing: society lets it be known that it has a history...

Democracy is not just systems, institutions, and their interrelations; in other words, it's not just a technique but above all it is a relationship to the world and to society, a way of thinking, the spirit of public life.

It's not possible -- particularly in today's interconnected world -- for us to remain entirely and permanently indifferent when massive and cruel crimes are committed against people somewhere...  Therefore it's a good thing that Saddam's regime is gone.

There are simply moments when you have to cry out "Enough!" and be prepared to use force to protect yourself against evil.

You can feel everywhere how September 11 impacted America and left its mark, certainly more than such a thing would have affected Europe had it happened there.  There are many reasons for this, one of which would obviously be the fact that... the USA has never experienced the horrors of modern wars, with their slaughter of civilians, their concentration camps, and everything else that goes with them.

I try to write speeches as if they were short poems.  They have to have a beginning, a structure, an end, their own melody, energy and drama.

The beauty of language is that it can never capture what it wants. -- To the Castle and Back (2007).

Alan Greenspan

I'm not threatened by a powerful woman; in fact, I’m now married to one.  The most boring activity I could imagine was going out with a vacuous date -- something I learned the hard way over my years as a bachelor.

Reagan's kind of conservatism was to say that tough love is good for the individual and good for society.  That proposition starts with a judgment about human nature.  If it's accurate, then it implies much less government support for the downtrodden.  Yet mainstream Republicans were conflicted about thinking or talking in such terms, because they seemed contrary to Judeo-Christian values.  Not Reagan.  Like Milton Friedman and other early libertarians, he never gave the impression he was trying to be on both sides of the issue.  It's not that there wasn't sympathy for people who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in dire straits; nor would you find any less personal willingness than among liberals personally to assist the downtrodden.  But that wasn't government's role, according to Reagan.  Tough love, in the long run, is love.

The collapse of central panning did not automatically establish capitalism, contrary to the rosy predications of many conservative-leaning politicians.  Western markets have a vast underpinning of culture and infrastructure that has evolved over generations: laws, conventions, behaviors, and business professions and practices for which there was no need in a centrally planned state.

Regrettably, economic growth cannot produce lasting contentment or happiness.  Were that the case, the tenfold increase in world real per capita GDP over the past two centuries would have fostered a euphoric rise in human contentment.  The evidence suggests that rising incomes do raise happiness, but only up to a point and only for a time.  Beyond the point at which basic needs are met, happiness is a relative state that, over the long run, is largely detached from economic growth.  The evidence shows it is determined mainly by how we view our lives and accomplishments relative to those of our peers...  Happiness depends far more on how people's incomes compare to their perceived peers, or even those of their role models, than on how they are doing in any absolute material sense. --The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World (2007).

Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity (myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief. -- Congressional testimony, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, 23 October 2008.

Kevin Rudd

It is time to reconcile. It is time to recognise the injustices of the past. It is time to say sorry. It is time to move forward together.  To the stolen generations, I say the following: as Prime Minister of Australia, I am sorry.  On behalf of the government of Australia, I am sorry.  On behalf of the parliament of Australia, I am sorry.  I offer you this apology without qualification.  We apologise for the hurt, the pain and suffering that we, the parliament, have caused you by the laws that previous parliaments have enacted.  We apologise for the indignity, the degradation and the humiliation these laws embodied.  We offer this apology to the mothers, the fathers, the brothers, the sisters, the families and the communities whose lives were ripped apart by the actions of successive governments under successive parliaments. -- Speech, 13 February 2008.

Colin Powell

I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America. -- Meet the Press, 19 October 2008.

John Cassidy

...the idealized free market is a fiction, an invention: it has never existed, and it will never exist.  In its place, we have a hybrid of private and public enterprise, of decentralized activity and central supervision. Such a mixed system isn't easy to reduce to intellectual slogans and sound bites. However, it has passed what economists refer to as the market test. In every advanced country, the private sector supplies most of the goods and services that people want to buy, but government-financed institutions also play a significant role, both in providing things that the market can't or won't supply and in laying down rules and regulations. Some of these laws, such as those defining extensive agricultural subsidies in the United States and the European Union, promote specific economic interests. Others, such as health and safety guidelines, are designed to protect the public interest.  Effective government is a matter of getting the balance right between autonomy and coordination. --  How Markets Fail: the logic of economic calamities, 2009.

Eric Holder

Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards. Though race related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race. It is an issue we have never been at ease with and given our nation’s history this is in some ways understandable. And yet, if we are to make progress in this area we must feel comfortable enough with one another, and tolerant enough of each other, to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us. -- Speech, 18 February.

Gloria Steinem

A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. -- Attributed.

Don Chipp

Keep the bastards honest. -- passim

G. G. Candler

Government is good, good government is better.

Good government is better, but it ain't omnipotent. -- Accumulated wisdom, 43 years of life.

"Long after history has forgotten about Judas and the Jesus thing, it will remember Myles Brand's betrayal of Bobby Knight." -- On the occasion of Knight's dismissal as Indiana University's basketball coach (spoken with tongue placed firmly in probably beery cheek).