Policy

A firm faith is the best theology; a good life is the best philosophy, a clear conscience the best law; honesty the best policy, and temperance the best physic.

Honesty is the best policy, I will stick to that. The good shall have my hand and heart, but the bad neither foot nor fellowship. And in my mind, the main point of governing, is to make a good beginning.

Honesty is the best policy.

The essence of good foreign policy is constant re-examination.

The policy of adapting one’s self to circumstances makes all ways smooth.

A society which values equality will attach a high degree of significance to differences of character and intelligence between different individuals, and a low degree of significance to economic and social differences between different groups. It will endeavor, in shaping its policy and organization, to encourage the former and to neutralize and suppress the latter, and will regard it as vulgar and childish to emphasize them when, unfortunately, they still exist.

A land ethic for tomorrow should be as honest as Thoreau's Walden, and as comprehensive as the sensitive science of ecology. It should stress the oneness of our resources and the live-and-help-live logic of the great chain of life. If, in our haste to "progress," the economics of ecology are disregarded by citizens and policy makers alike, the result will be an ugly America.

"Honesty is the best policy," but he who acts on that principle is not an honest man.

Our obsession with test scores has produced distorted curriculum, teaching, and educational policy. As long as it continues, we will get the dual phenomena of rising test scores and too many illiterate and enumerate citizens.

For the mass public, it is easier to understand problems if they are reduced to black/white dichotomies. It is easier to understand policies if they are attached to individuals who are simplistically labeled as hawks or doves. Yet in today’s world any attempt to reduce its complexities to a single set of ideological propositions, to a single personality, or to a single issue is in itself a distortion. Such a distortion also raises the danger that public emotions could become so strong as to make the management of a genuinely complex foreign policy well-nigh impossible.

There is no policy like politeness; and a good manner is the best thing in the world either to get a good name, or to supply the want of it.

War is a continuation of policy by other means. It is not merely a political act but a real political instrument.

The single greatest power in the world today is the power to change... The most recklessly irresponsible thing we could do in the future would be to go on exactly as we have in the past ten or twenty years. I can imagine no more dangerous policy than the conservatism that exists today.

When a business firm attempts to mold its whole policy to meet the prices of its competitor that business is entering a labyrinth, the center of which is the chamber of despair. Highest quality never can be given or obtained at the lowest prices. If a price must be sacrificed, quality must be sacrificed. If quality is sacrificed society is not truly served.

The essential element of successful strategy is that it derives its success from the differences between competitors with a consequent difference in their behavior. Ordinarily, this means that any corporate policy and plan which is typical of the industry is doomed to mediocrity. Where this is not so, it should be possible to demonstrate that all other competitors are at a distinct disadvantage.

If we care about the land, it will be necessary to redefine whole economies, not just the farm economy. A complex, solid economy could certainly grow around a policy of cooperation with natural environments. Why haven’t we proposed such policies - on a grand a scale as national defense - when our own species is at stake?

Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.

The more quietly and peaceably we all get on the better - the better for ourselves - the better for our neighbors. In nine cases out of ten the wisest policy is, if a man cheats you, quit dealing with him; if he is abusive, quit his company; if he slanders you, take care to live so that nobody will believe him: no matter who he is, or how he misuses you, the wisest way is generally to let him alone; for there is nothing better than this cool, calm, quiet way of dealing with the wrongs we meet with.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasure. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasure, with the result that a democracy collapses over loose fiscal policy.

Honesty is the best policy, but he who is governed by that maxim is not an honest man.