Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Injustice

"When it is our duty to do an act of justice it should be done promptly. To delay is injustice." - Jean de La Bruyère

"When a miser contents himself with giving nothing, and saving what he has got, and is in others respects guilty of no injustice, he is, perhaps, of all bad men the least injurious to society; the evil he does is properly nothing more than the omission of the good he might do. If, of all the vices, avarice is the most generally detested, it is the effect of an avidity common to all men; it is because men hate those from whom they can expect nothing. The greedy misers rail at sordid misers." - Claude-Adrien Helvétius

"He that will do anything for his pleasure, must engage himself to suffer all the pains annexed to it; and these pains, are the natural punishments of those actions, which are the beginning of more harm than good. And hereby it comes to pass that intemperance is naturally punished with diseases; rashness with mischances; injustice with the violence of enemies: Pride, with ruin; cowardice, with oppression; negligent government of princes, with rebellion; and rebellion, with slaughter." - Thomas Hobbes

"To forgive sin is not an act of injustice, though the punishment have been threatened. Even amongst men, though the promise of good bind the promiser; yet threats, that is to say, promises of evil, bind them not; much less shall they bind God, who is infinitely more merciful than men." - Thomas Hobbes

"To this war of every man, against every man, this is also consequent that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law: where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the two cardinal virtues. Justice, and injustice, are none of the faculties neither of the body, nor mind. If they were, they might be in a man that were alone in the world, as well as his sense, and passions. They are qualities, that relate to men in society, not in solitude. It is consequent also to the same condition, that there be no propriety, no dominion, no mine and thing distinct; but only that to be every man’s, that he can get; and for so long, as he can keep it." - Thomas Hobbes

"The greatest of all injustice is that which goes under the name of law; and of all sorts of tyranny, the forcing the letter of the law against the equity is the most insupportable." - Roger L'Estrange, fully Sir Roger L'Estrange

"Delay of justice is injustice." - Walter Savage Landor

"If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless, since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience the injustice of our fellows." - Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

"Vice, the opposite of virtue, shows us more clearly what virtue is. Justice becomes more obvious when we have injustice to compare it to. Many such things are proved by their contraries." - Quintilian, fully Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, also Quintillian and Quinctilian NULL

"The hatred of the wicked is only roused the more from the impossibility of finding any just grounds on which it rest; and the very consciousness of their own injustice is only a grievance the more against him who is the object of it." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Whatever may happen in the future, I know that I have learned three things which will remain forever convictions of my heart as well as my mind. Life, even the hardest life, is the most beautiful, wonderful and miraculous treasure in the world. Fulfillment of duty is another beautiful thing, making life happy and giving to the soul an unconquerable force to sustain ideals. This is my second conviction, and my third is that cruelty, hatred, and injustice never can and never will be able to create a mental, moral or material millennium." - Pitirim A. Sorokin, fully Pitirim Alexandrovich (Alexander) Sorokin

"Intellectual and spiritual leaders hailed the cause of civil rights and gave little thought to where the civil disobedience road might end. But defiance of the law, even for the best reasons, opens a tiny hole in the dike and soon a trickle becomes a flood... And while no thinking person denies that social injustice exits, no thinking person can condone any group, for any reason, taking justice into his own hands. Once this is permitted, democracy dies; for democracy is sustained through one great premise: the premise that civil rights are balanced by civil responsibilities." - Spiro T. Agnew, fully Spiro Theodore Agnew

"What distinguishes war is, not that man is slain, but that he is slain, spoiled, crushed by the cruelty, the injustice, the treachery, the murderous hand of man." - William Ellery Channing

"Man reconciles himself to almost any event, however trying, if it happens in the ordinary course of nature. It is the extraordinary alone that he rebels against. There is a moral idea associated with this feeling; for the extraordinary appears to be something like an injustice of heaven." -

"The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men." - Lyndon Johnson, fully Lyndon Baines Johnson, aka LBJ

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed; -'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the people's injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. The choice today is not between violence and non-violence. It is either non-violence or non-existence...Segregation is the offspring of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Where there is no property there is no injustice." - John Locke

"Injustice is relatively easy to bear: what stings is justice." - H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

"To confide, even though to be betrayed, is much better than to learn only to conceal. In the one case your neighbor wrongs you; but in the other you are perpetually doing injustice to yourself." - William Gilmore Simms

"Accustom yourself to the unreasonableness and injustice. Abide in peace in the presence of God, who sees all these evils more clearly than you do, and who permits them. Be content with doing with calmness the little which depends upon yourself, and let all else be to you as if it were not." -

"A love that does not discriminate seems to me to forfeit a part of its own value, by doing an injustice to its object; and secondly, not all men are worthy of love." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"That amid our highest civilization men faint and die with want is not due to the niggardliness of nature, but to the injustice of man." - Henry George

"It is cheap and easy to decry the injustice of others, but desperately costly to confront our own." - Richard B. Hayes

"An act of injustice is condemned, not because the law is broken, but because a person has been hurt." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"By negligence and silence we have all become accessory before the God of mercy to the injustice committed against the Negroes by men of our nation." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The prophet perceives the whole world in terms of justice or injustice." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The inseparable twin of racial injustice is economic injustice." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless, since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience the injustice of our fellows." -

"True religion is a revolutionary force: it is an inveterate enemy of oppression, privilege, and injustice." - Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, fully Sir or Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

"The only true way to make the mass of mankind see the beauty of justice is by showing to them in pretty plain terms the consequences of injustice." - Sydney Smith

"Extreme justice is often extreme injustice." -

"Non-violence is not a biblical term but a Western ideal which has evolved in large measure because of the misuse of Christianity by Western powers to justify imperial wars, class injustice and racial prejudice." - Philip Wheaton and Duane Shank

"I will be truthful. I will suffer no injustice. I will be free from fear. I will not use force. I will be of good will to all men." -

"Non-cooperation with injustice is a sacred duty." -

"In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law ... that would lead to anarchy. An individual who breaks a law that his conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." -

"Valor would cease to be a virtue, if there were no injustice." - Agesilaus the Great NULL

"Valor would cease to be a virtue, if there were no injustice." -

"The mind of the thinker and the student is driven to admit, though it be awe-struck by apparent injustice, that this inequality is the work of God. Make all men equal today, and God has so created them that they shall be all unequal tomorrow." - Anthony Trollope

"If men think that a ruler is religious and has a reverence for the God, they are less afraid of suffering injustice at his hands." - Aristotle NULL

"No one will dare maintain that it is better to do injustice than to bear it." - Aristotle NULL

"No one will dare maintain that it is better to do injustice that to bear it." - Aristotle NULL

"Men’s ambition and their desire to make money are among the most frequent causes of deliberate acts of injustice." - Aristotle NULL

"The object of government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develop their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing hatred, anger or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice. In fact, the true aim of government is liberty." -

"In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice." - Charles Dickens, fully Charles John Huffam Dickens

"If thou suffer injustice, console thyself; the true unhappiness is in doing it." - Democritus NULL

"It is not possible to found a lasting power upon injustice, perjury, and treachery." - Demosthenes NULL

"Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow." - Dorothy Thompson