Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Administration

"Retribution is one of the grand principles in the divine administration of human affairs; a requital is imperceptible only to the willfully unobservant. There is everywhere the working of the everlasting law of requital; man always gets as he gives." - James "Jim" L. Foster

"I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me." - Abraham Lincoln

"That government is or ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of mal-administration, and that whenever any government shall be found inadequate, or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the weal." - George Mason

"The sublimity of administration consists in knowing the proper degree of power that should be exerted on different occasions." - Charles De Montesquieu, formally Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"The really basic thing in government is policy. Bad administration… can destroy good policy, but good administration can never save bad policy." - Adlai Ewing Stevenson

"The really basic thing in government is policy. Bad administration… can destroy good policy, but good administration can never save bad policy." -

"The really basic thing in government is policy. Bad administration… can destroy good policy, but good administration can never save bad policy." -

"Success in administration obviously stands or falls on skill in execution. Execution means, above, all, the right people – it means having men and women capable of providing the information and carrying out the decision." - Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr., born Arthur Bancroft Schlesinger

"The spirit of policy and that of bureaucracy are diametrically opposed… The essence of bureaucracy is its quest for safety; its success is calculability. Profound policy thrives on perpetual creation, on a constant redefinition of goals. Good administration thrives on routine, the definition of relationships which can survive mediocrity. Policy involves an adjustment of risks; administration, an avoidance of deviation." - Henry Kissinger, fully Henry Alfred Kissinger

"Conscience and self-love, if we understand our true happiness, always lead us the same way. Duty and interest are perfectly coincident; for the most part in this world, but entirely and in every instance if we take in the future, and the whole; this being implied in the notion of a good and perfect administration of things." - Joseph Butler

"Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means – to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal – would bring terrible retribution." - Louis D. Brandeis, fully Louis Dembitz Brandeis

"Cliques… are like dry rot in the administration… Every clique is a refuge for incompetence. It fosters corruption and disloyalty, it begets cowardice, and consequently is a burden upon and a drawback to the progress of the country. Its instincts and actions are those of the pack." -

"More democratic societies, including the United States, instituted measures to impose discipline on the domestic population and to institute unpopular measures under the guise of "combating terror," exploiting the atmosphere of fear and the demand for "patriotism" - which in practice means: "You shut up and I'll pursue my own agenda relentlessly." The Bush administration used the opportunity to advance its assault against most of the population, and future generations, in service to the narrow corporate interests that dominate the administration to an extent even beyond the norm." - Noam Chomsky, fully Avram Noam Chomsky

"There is no virtue so truly great and godlike as Justice. Most of the other virtues are the virtues of created Beings, or accommodated to our nature as we are men. Justice is that which is practised by God himself, and to be practised in its perfection by none but him. Omniscience and Omnipotence are requisite for the full exertion of it. The one, to discover every degree of uprightness or iniquity in thoughts, words and actions. The other, to measure out and impart suitable rewards and punishments. As to be perfectly just is an attribute in the divine nature, to be so to the utmost of our abilities is the glory of a man. Such an one who has the publick administration in his hands, acts like the representative of his Maker, in recompencing the virtuous, and punishing the offender." - Joseph Addison

"The genius of capitalism consists precisely in its lack of morality. Unless he is rich enough to hire his own choir, a capitalist is a fellow who, by definition, can ill afford to believe in anything other than the doctrine of the bottom line. Deprive a capitalist of his God-given right to lie and cheat and steal, and the poor sap stands a better than even chance of becoming one of the abominable wards of the state from whose grimy fingers the Reagan Administration hopes to snatch the ark of democracy." - Lewis H. Lapham

"Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity." - John Dalberg-Acton, Lord Acton, fully John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton

"To declare that in the administration of criminal law the end justifies the means to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure conviction of a private criminal would bring terrible retribution." - Louis D. Brandeis, fully Louis Dembitz Brandeis

"Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means -- to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal -- would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face." - Louis D. Brandeis, fully Louis Dembitz Brandeis

"Government has appropriately financed general education for citizenship, but in the process it has been led also to administer most of the schools that provide such education. Yet, as we have seen, the administration of schools is neither required by the financing of education, nor justifiable in its own right in a predominantly free enterprise society. Government has appropriately been concerned with widening the opportunity of young men and women to get professional and technical training, but it has sought to further this objective by the inappropriate means of subsidizing such education, largely in the form of making it available free or at a low price at governmentally operated schools." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"You assist an unjust administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil administration never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"The culminating point of administration is to know well how much power, great or small, we ought to use in all circumstances." - Charles De Montesquieu, formally Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"In its proper meaning equality before the law means the right to participate in the making of the laws by which one is governed, a constitution which guarantees democratic rights to all sections of the population, the right to approach the court for protection or relief in the case of the violation of rights guaranteed in the constitution, and the right to take part in the administration of justice as judges, magistrates, attorneys-general, law advisers and similar positions." - Nelson Mandela, fully Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

"It is fit and proper to raise the question sharply, what is this rigid color-bar in the administration of justice? Why is it that in this courtroom I face a white magistrate, am confronted by a white prosecutor, and escorted into the dock by a white orderly? Can anyone honestly and seriously suggest that in this type of atmosphere the scales of justice are evenly balanced?" - Nelson Mandela, fully Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

"Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. We do not copy our neighbors, but are an example to them. It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not of the few. But while the laws secure equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognized; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit. "Neither is poverty a bar, for a man may benefit his country whatever be the obscurity of his conditions. There is no exclusiveness in our public life, and in our private intercourses we are not suspicious of one another, nor angry with our neighbor if he does what he likes; we do not give him sour looks which, though harmless, are not pleasant." - Pericles NULL

"There can be no rational administration of government when good men are held in the same esteem as bad ones." - Polybius NULL

"The irony here is this administration is spending more money on climate change research and development than any administration in all the rest of the industrialized world combined." - Christine Todd Whitman, aka "Christie"

"At the end of the day, the American people are going to be faced with some very tough judgments, because, at the current course this president is pursuing, I'm afraid that the next president will inherit this situation, with all of its complexity and all of its heartbreak… And let's not kid ourselves. I think this administration is also focused on Iran. And I think we need to send a very strong message that an administration with its track record of failure, of arrogance, of refusal to listen and learn from the disastrous steps that have, unfortunately, been taken should not be rushing off and putting American service members in harm's way and possibly widening the conflict." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

"I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

"I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote. I have had many disputes and disagreements with the administration over how that authority has been used, but I stand by the vote to provide the authority because I think it was a necessary step in order to maximize the outcome that did occur in the Security Council with the unanimous vote to send in inspectors." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

"To bring reason and clarity to this often contentious issue, my husband's administration developed a statement of principles concerning permissible religious activities in the public schools. The complete guidelines include: Students may participate in prayer during the school day, as long as they do so in a non-disruptive manner and when they are not engaged in school activities. Schools should open their facilities to student religious organizations on the same terms as other groups. Students should be free to express their beliefs about religion in school assignments. Schools may not provide religious instruction, but they may teach about the Bible, civic values and virtue, and moral codes, as long as they remain neutral with respect to the promotion of any particular religion. This last point is particularly important, [because religious institutions, parents, and schools share] the responsibility of helping children to develop moral values and a social conscience." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

"What we have now is democracy without citizens. No one is on the public's side. All the buyers are on the corporation's side. And the bureaucrats in the administration don't think the government belongs to the people." - Ralph Nader

"The student who invades an administration building, roughs up a dean, rifles the files and issues 'non-negotiable demands' may have some of his demands met by a permissive university administration. But the greater his 'victory' the more he will have undermined the security of his own rights." - Richard Nixon, fully Richard Milhous Nixon

"This administration has proved that it is utterly incapable of cleaning out the corruption which has completely eroded it and reestablishing the confidence and faith of the American people in the morality and honesty of their government employees." - Richard Nixon, fully Richard Milhous Nixon

"The ongoing strife in Iraq, and the billions of dollars that the President is seeking to continue that war, give me little comfort that this Administration has learned from its mistakes in Iraq." - Robert Byrd, fully Robert Carlyle Byrd

"This country was founded and built by people with great dreams and the courage to take great risks." - Ronald Reagan, fully Ronald Wilson Reagan

"A strike on any scale is merely a trial of industrial strength, an application of the law of supply and demand, so often quoted by labor's opponents. How can a society based on free contract and free competition object to such a method of determining the comparative strength and endurance of capital and labor?" - Samuel Gompers

"When I see a man in a state of anxiety, I say, “What can this man want? If he did not want something which is not in his power, how could he still be anxious?” [Epictetus]" - Stoics, The Stoics or Stoicism NULL

"First of all, I want to say this about myself: I have altogether too important things to think of to feel any concern over my own death; and now I cannot speak to you insincerely within five minutes of being shot. I am telling you the literal truth when I say that my concern is for many other things." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"It is of little use for us to pay lip-loyalty to the mighty men of the past unless we sincerely endeavor to apply to the problems of the present precisely the qualities which in other crises enabled the men of that day to meet those crises." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care" - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"The man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a level with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"We must set the end in view as the goal; and then, instead of making a fetish of some particular kind of means, we should adopt whatever honorable means will best accomplish the end. In so far as unrestricted individual liberty brings the best results, we should encourage it. But when a point is reached where this complete lack of restriction on individual liberty fails to achieve the best results, then, on behalf of the whole people, we should exercise the collective power of the people, through the State Legislatures in matters of purely local concern, and through the National Legislature when the purpose is so big that only National action can achieve it." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"The greatest and most active part of mankind has never hitherto been well contented with the present." - Thomas Hobbes

"I have lived temperately, eating little animal food, and that not as an aliment, so much as a condiment for the vegetables, which constitute my principal diet." - Thomas Jefferson

"I hold it certain that to open the doors of truth and to fortify the habit of testing everything by reason are the most effectual manacles we can rivet on the hands of our successors to prevent their manacling the people with their own consent." - Thomas Jefferson

"I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious." - Thomas Jefferson

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson

"The division into whig and tory is founded in the nature of men; the weakly and nerveless, the rich and the corrupt, seeing more safety and accessibility in a strong executive; the healthy, firm, and virtuous, feeling confidence in their physical and moral resources, and willing to part with only so much power as is necessary for their good government; and, therefore, to retain the rest in the hands of the many, the division will substantially be into Whig and Tory." - Thomas Jefferson

"The habit of using ardent spirit, by men in public office, has occasioned more injury to the public service, and more trouble to me, than any other circumstance which has occurred in the internal concerns of the country, during my administration. And were I to commence my administration again, with the knowledge which from experience I have acquired, the first question which I would ask, with regard to every candidate for public office, should be, Is he addicted to the use of ardent spirit?" - Thomas Jefferson

"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have past at home in the bosom of my family. Public employment contributes neither to advantage nor happiness. It is but honorable exile from ones family and affairs." - Thomas Jefferson