Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Conspiracy

"Bad news never flows up. The only times I saw anyone struggle to warn his superior of impending trouble… were on those occasions when the superior was sure to find out anyway… When this is multiplied over dozens of departments and hundreds of thousands of employees, the result is a vast conspiracy of self-protection, benign in origin but devastating in effect." - James Fallows

"Supported by the authority of all institutions, parenthood has come to amount to little more than a campaign against individuality. Every father and every mother trembles lest an offspring, in act or thought, should be different from his fellows; and the smallest display of uniqueness in a child becomes the signal for the application of drastic measures aimed at stamping out that small fire of noncompliance by which personal distinctness is expressed. In an atmosphere of anxiety, in a climate of apprehension, the parental conspiracy against children is planned." - Robert M. Linder, fully Robert Mitchell Linder

"Moral courage, the courage of one’s convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle – the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other." - Douglas MacArthur

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." - Adam Smith

"When it comes to conspiracy, everything is permissible." -

"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy." - John Updike

"Society is always engaged in a vast conspiracy to preserve itself -- at the expense of the new demands of each new generation." - John Haynes Holmes

"The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens ... Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere." - Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

"From my perspective, this is part of the continuing political campaign against my husband... I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this. They have popped up in other settings. The great story here for anybody willing to find it, write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

"Society is one vast conspiracy for carving one into the kind of statue likes, and then placing it in the most convenient niche it has." - Randolph Bourne, fully Randolph Silliman Bourne

"The millions of human beings who were shot, tortured, starved, treated like animals and made the object of a conspiracy of ridicule, can sleep in peace in their communal graves, for at least the struggle in which they died has enabled their descendants, isolated in their air-conditioned apartments, to believe, on the strength of their daily dose of television, that they are happy and free. The Communards went down, fighting to the last, so that you too could qualify for a Caribbean cruise." - Raoul Vaneigem

"If only everybody would agree to be a dove, every single individual would benefit. By simple group selection, any group in which all individuals mutually agree to be doves would be far more successful than a rival group sitting at the ESS (Evolutionary Stable Strategy) ratio.... Group selection theory would therefore predict a tendency to evolve towards an all-dove conspiracy... But the trouble with conspiracies, even those that are to everybody's advantage in the long run, is that they are open to abuse. It is true that everybody does better in an all-dove group than he would in an ESS group. But unfortunately, in conspiracies of doves, a single hawk does so extremely well that nothing could stop the evolution of hawks. The conspiracy is therefore bound to be broken by treachery from within. An ESS is stable, not because it is particularly good for the individuals participating in it, but simply because it is immune to treachery from within." - Richard Dawkins

"As a member of the avant-garde who is capable of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated" - Richard Hofstadter

"If you want to have order in the commonwealth, you first have to have order in the individual soul." - Russell Kirk

"This is the attitude of the A. F. of L. on the color question. If a man or set of men array themselves for any cause against the interest of the workers their organizations have the right to say that their membership is barred. It should be at the wrong-doer against labor, it should not be a nationality or a race against whom the doors are barred." - Samuel Gompers

"The body is not a thing, it is a situation: it is our grasp on the world and our sketch of our project." - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"If the public only knew that every writer worthy of the name is the severest critic of his own book before it ever gets into the hands of the reviewers, how surprised they would be!" - Wilkie Collins, fully William Wilkie Collins

"To become a power the class-conscious workers must win the majority to their side.As long as no violence is used against the people there is no other road to power. We are not Blancists, we do not stand for the seizure of power by a minority." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"Math anxiety: an intense lifelong fear of two trains approaching each other at speeds of 60 and 80 MPH." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"We treat our future selves as though they were our children, spending most of the hours of most of our days constructing tomorrows that we hope will make them happy." - Daniel Gilbert, fully Daniel Todd Gilbert, aka Professor Happiness

"They have always taught and trained you to believe it to be your patriotic duty to go to war and to have yourselves slaughtered at their command. But in all the history of the world you, the people, have never had a voice in declaring war, and strange as it certainly appears, no war by any nation in any age has ever been declared by the people." - Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside inÂ….The world would mold men by changing their environment. The world would shape human behavior." - Ezra Taft Benson

"And what do you fear lady? he asked. ?A cage ? she said. ?To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien