In such condition (of humanity without government), there is no place for Industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
— Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil (1651)
"The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake perfumes for him. He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own servants. He will take a tenth of your harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. He will want your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your young men and donkeys for his own use. He will demand a tenth of your flocks and you will all be his slaves. When that day comes you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding but the Lord will not help you." But the people refused to listen to Samuel's warning. "Even so we still want a king!" they said. "We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will govern us and lead us into battle."
"Protection is the first necessity of opulence and luxury."
— Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent (1907)
"Oh, what a wonderous work is a man! wrote a man."
—Gore Vidal, Kalki
“Probably human cruelty is fixed and eternal. Only styles change.”
—Martin Amis, Time's Arrow
"I don't always like the way Londo does things — well, me and most civilized worlds — but you know, sometimes he's right."
—Vir Cotto, Babylon 5 ("No Surrender, No Retreat")
"You need me, Springfield. Oh, your guilty conscience may move you to vote Democratic, but deep down, you long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king!"
—Sideshow Bob, The Simpsons ("Sideshow Bob Roberts")
"I'm 47. 47 years old. Know how I stayed alive this long? All these years? Fear. The spectacle of fearsome acts. Somebody steals from me: I cut off his hands. He offends me: I cut out his tongue. He rises against me: I cut off his head, stick it on a pike. Raise it high up so all in the streets can see. That's what preserves the order of things. Fear."
"This fight is my king's will. I cannot stop fighting just because I don't agree with him. If we don't pull together under our new king, Daein will fall apart again, just as it did before its liberation."
— Micaiah, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
King Robert: I've got seven kingdoms to rule! One king, seven kingdoms! Do you think honor keeps them in line? Do you think it's honor that's keeping the peace? It's fear. Fear and blood!
"The room being hung around with a collection of the portraits of remarkable men, among them were those of Bacon, Newton and Locke. Hamilton asked me who they were. I told him they were my trinity of the three greatest men the world had ever produced, naming them. He paused for some time: 'The greatest man,' said he, 'that ever lived, was Julius Caesar.'"
"The determinist does not believe in appealing to the will, but he does believe in changing the environment. He must not say to the sinner, 'Go and sin no more,' because the sinner cannot help it. But he can put him in boiling oil; for boiling oil is an environment."
—A. K. Chesterton
"The Truth Apparent, apparent to everyone's eyes how are not blinded by dogmatism, is that men are perhaps weary of Liberty."
—Benito Mussolini, 1934
”It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization."
—Ludwig von Mises on the Cold War
"They were told that love — indiscriminate love for one's fellow man — is the highest virtue, and they obeyed....When they discovered this philosophy did not work, because in fact it cannot work, the hippies had neither the wit nor the courage to challenge it."
—Ayn Rand, Apollo and Dionysus
"Well, I would say that, as long-term institutions, I am totally against dictatorships. But a dictatorship may be a necessary system for a transitional period. At times it is necessary for a country to have, for a time, some form or other of dictatorial power."
—F.A. Hayek on Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet
“Thatcherism was the rodent slowly stirring in my viscera: the uneasy but unbanishable feeling that on some essential matters she might be right.”
The real message isn’t, in other words, that the world is broken by incompetent buffoons in power, but rather that it is held together, desperately and by the skin of its teeth, by complete and raving madmen like Malcolm Tucker. The other characters are dunces, but Tucker is actually completely mad. And yet it’s hard to treat this as a particularly pleasurable fantasy. One hardly wants to live in a world run by Malcolm Tucker; it seems scarcely more satisfying or comfortable than one run by idiots. Nevertheless, it’s the then reed of salvation and hope the show offers - that in the face of the right kind of bastard we might somehow all be OK.
"Why are we all so keen on death? Could it be that everyone, deep down, shares my belief that the only quick solution for humanity's problems is to is to kill a random sampling of about one half to two third's of the world's population, grind up their meat and then feed it to the remainder?"