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Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions and laughed delightedly at his licentiousness and thought it very superior of him to acquire vast amounts of gold illicitly.  Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the "new, wonderful good society" which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean "more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious."  Julius was always an ambitious villain, but he is only one man.
Cicero  (10643 BC) to Brutus

We are taxed in our bread and our wine, in our incomes and our investments, on our land and on our property, not only for base creatures who do not deserve the name of man, but for foreign nations, for complacent nations who will bow to us and accept our largesse and promise us to assist in the keeping of the peace these mendicant nations who will destroy us when we show a moment of weakness or our treasury is bare.  We are taxed to maintain legions on their soil, in the name of law and order...  We keep them in precarious balance only with our gold.  Is the heart-blood of our nation worth these?..  Were they bound to us with ties of love, they would not ask our gold.  They would ask only our laws.  They take our very flesh, and they hate and despise us.  And who shall say we are worthy of more?
Cicero  (10643 BC)

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.  We ask not your counsels or your arms.  Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.  May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
Samuel Adams  (17221803), 4-th Governor of Massachusetts  (17941797)

The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.  With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles.
George Washington  (17321799), 1-st President  (17891797)

It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it.
George Washington  (17321799), 1-st President  (17891797)

If the distribution of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates.  But let there be no change by usurpation: for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.
George Washington  (17321799), 1-st President  (17891797)

My ardent desire is...  to keep the United States free from political connexions with every other Country.  To see that they may be independent of all, and under the influence of none.
George Washington  (17321799), 1-st President  (17891797)
Letter, 1795

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.  But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.  The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
George Washington  (17321799), 1-st President  (17891797)
Farewell Address, 1796

A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809)

The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809)

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809)

What is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people?  A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809)

Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless...  the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is [now] while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united.  From the conclusion of this war we shall be going downhill.  It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support.  They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded.  They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights.  The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809)
Notes on the State of Virginia,
Query 17, 17811782

The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809)

If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.  The issuing power of money should be taken from banks and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs.  I sincerely believe the banking institutions having the issuing power of money, are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809)

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809), 3-rd President  (18011809)
Letter to George Logan, 1816

The selfish spirit of commerce...  knows no country, and feels no passion or principle but that of gain.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809), 3-rd President  (18011809)
Letter to Larkin Smith, 1809

Merchants have no country.  The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gain.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809), 3-rd President  (18011809)
Letter to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814

I know too that it is a maxim with us, and I think it a wise one, not to entangle ourselves with the affairs of Europe.
Thomas Jefferson  (17431826), 3-rd President  (18011809)
Letter, December 21, 1787

In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by Power.  In America...  charters of power are granted by Liberty.
James Madison  (17511836), 4-th President  (18091817)
"Charters", January 8, 1792

There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by corporations.  The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect.  The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.
James Madison  (17511836), 4-th President  (18091817)

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority.  It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.  There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern.  They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
Noah Webster  (17581843)

In this point of the case the question is distinctly presented whether the people of the United States are to govern through representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages or whether the money and power of a great corporations are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions.
Andrew Jackson  (17671845), 7-th President  (18291837)

I am more than ever convinced of the dangers to which the free and unbiased exercise of political opinion the only sure foundation and safeguard of republican government would be exposed by any further increase of the already overgrown influence of corporate authorities.
Martin Van Buren  (17821862), 8-th President  (18371841)

The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.
Alexis de Tocqueville  (18051859)

Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville  (18051859)

The territorial aristocracy of former ages was either bound by law, or thought itself bound by usage, to come to the relief of its serving-men, and to relieve their distress.
But the manufacturing aristocracy of our age first impoverishes and debases the men who serve it, and then abandons them to be supported by the charity of the public.
Alexis de Tocqueville  (18051859), "Democracy in America", 1834

America will never be destroyed from the outside.  If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln  (18091865), 16-th President  (18611865)

The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty.
Abraham Lincoln  (18091865), 16-th President  (18611865)

Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it, inviolable.  The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
Abraham Lincoln  (18091865), 16-th President  (18611865)

Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position.  Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal.
Abraham Lincoln  (18091865), 16-th President  (18611865)
Address to Chicago Abolitionists  (10 July 1858)

We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end.  It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood...  It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.
As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.  God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.
Abraham Lincoln  (18091865), 16-th President  (18611865)
Letter to Colonel William F. Elkins, 11/21/1864
 (Note: Wikipedia considers this quote to be misattributed to Lincoln)

As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel.  Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people's masters.
and_24-th_President_ (18931897)
Annual_message_to_Congress
,_12/03/1888>Grover Cleveland  (18371908), 22-nd President  (18851889)
and 24-th President  (18931897)
Annual message to Congress, 12/03/1888

America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.
Georges Clemenceau  (18411929)

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.
Theodore Roosevelt  (18581919), 26-th President  (19011909)

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.  But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...  There can be no divided allegiance here.  Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.  We have room for but one flag, the American flag...  We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...  And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.
Theodore Roosevelt  (18581919), 26-th President  (19011909)

The first thing to understand is the difference between the natural person and the fictitious person called a corporation.  They differ in the purpose for which they are created, in the strength which they possess, and in the restraints under which they act.
William Jennings Bryan  (18601925), Secretary of State  (19131915)

A corporation has no rights except those given it by law.  It can exercise no power except that conferred upon it by the people through legislation, and the people should be as free to withhold as to give, public interest and not private advantage being the end in view.
William Jennings Bryan  (18601925), Secretary of State  (19131915)

Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
Winston Churchill  (18741965)

For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties.  New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things.  Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital all undreamed of by the Fathers the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt  (18821945), 32-nd President  (19331945)

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt  (18821945), 32-nd President  (19331945)

It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself.  They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction.  In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property.  And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt  (18821945), 32-nd President  (19331945)

The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business.  They granted that the government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.
Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair.  If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt  (18821945), 32-nd President  (19331945)

These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America.  What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power.  Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power.  In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution.  In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.  Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt  (18821945), 32-nd President  (19331945)

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job.
It's a depression when you lose yours.
Harry Truman  (18841972), 33-rd President  (19451953)

Democracy maintains that government is established for the benefit of the individual, and is charged with the responsibility of protecting the individual, and is charged with the responsibility of protecting the rights of the individual and his freedom in the exercise of his abilities.  Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice.
Harry Truman  (18841972), 33-rd President  (19451953)

Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country.
Sinclair Lewis  (18851951)

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.
Elmer Davis  (18901958)

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.  The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.  We should take nothing for granted.  Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Dwight Eisenhower  (18901969), 34-th President  (19531961)

Freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority or government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every individual life is infinitely precious, that every one of us put in this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer.
Ronald Reagan  (19112004), 40-th President  (19811989)

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election.
Bill Vaughan  (19151977)


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