Governments - Quotes from Science Fiction
21.02.2012, 18:19

Governments - Quotes from Science Fiction


A lot of quotations carefully collected from a very big amount of books and divided by categories.

Have fun reading it, this is really interesting and breathtaking!



In your day governments were accustomed, on the slightest international misunderstanding, to seize upon the bodies of citizens and deliver them over by hundreds of thousands to death and mutilation, wasting their treasures the while like water; and all this oftenest for no imaginable profit to the victims. We have no wars now, and our governments no war powers, but in order to protect every citizen against hunger, cold, and nakedness, and provide for all his physical and mental needs, the function is assumed of directing his industry for a term of years.

- Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward, 2000-1887 (1888)


Patriotism, red hot, is compatible with the existence of a neglect of national interests, a dishonesty, a cold indifference to the suffering of millions. Patriotism is largely pride, and very largely combativeness.

- Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland (1915)


Government's an affair of sitting, not hitting. You rule with the brains and the buttocks, never with the fists.

- Aldous Huxley, Brave NewWorld (1932)


Of all the arts that of government has been brought least to perfection.

- James Hilton, Lost Horizon (1933)


To govern perfectly it is necessary to avoid governing too much.

- James Hilton, Lost Horizon (1933)


Give the committee another hundred years and government by demagoguery will be gone. Little men with a talent for grabbing votes will have given way to men who make a profession of good government. Men who are trained for government just as doctors are trained for medicine or attorneys are trained for law. Men of science will govern, running the world scientifically in the interest of the stockholders - the little people of the world.

- Clifford D. Simak, ''Lobby'' (1944)


In the long run, a hierarchal society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.

- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)


The difference between aWelfare State and a Benevolent Despot is slight.

- Alfred Bester, ''The Devil's Invention'' (1950)


Any government that gets to be too big and too successful gets to be a nuisance.

- Robert A. Heinlein, Between Planets (1951)


Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. [. . .] Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action, to the complete parasitism of a virus.

- William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch (1959)


A government is a living organism. Like every living thing its prime characteristic is the instinct to survive. You hit it, it fights back.

- Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)


He's not the enemy. Scott, the Joint Chiefs, even the very emotional, very illogical lunatic fringe: they're not the enemy. The enemy's an age - a nuclear age. It happens to have killed man's faith in his ability to influence what happens to him. And out of this comes a sickness, and out of sickness a frustration, a feeling of impotence, helplessness, weakness. And from this, this desperation, we look for a champion in red, white, and blue. Every now and then a man on a white horse rides by, and we appoint him to be our personal god for the duration. For some men it was a Senator McCarthy, for others it was a General Walker, and now it's a General Scott.

- Rod Serling, Seven Days in May (film, 1964)


Like fire and fusion, government is a dangerous servant and a terrible master.

- Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966)


In writing your constitution let me invite attention to the wonderful virtues of the negative! Accentuate the negative! Let your document be studded with things the government is forever forbidden to do.

- Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966)


It may not be possible to do away with government - sometimes I think that government is an inescapable disease of human beings.

- Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966)


There was in theory a sort of state government still at Montpelier but you never heard of it - sometimes an excellent thing in governments.

- Edgar Pangborn, ''The Children's Crusade'' (1974)


Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king! Dennis: Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony! [. . .] You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

- Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin,Monty Python and the Holy Grail (film, 1975)


I wish that there had been more people interested in tending the garden of state rather than overhauling the engine of state.

- Roger Zelazny, ''Home Is the Hangman'' (1975)


Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.

- Terry Pratchett, Mort (1987)


Government means doing what you must, not what you would. [. . .] States will survive by doing what they must. Throw a government out and its successors will be constrained to repeat the monstrous actions they rebelled against.

- George Turner, Drowning Towers (1987)


It is unusual for us to discover an imperial power-system in space. As a rule, such archaic forms of authority wither long before the relevant species drags itself off the home planet.

- Iain M. Banks, The Player of Games (1988)


Even here in the Paleolithic the world is divided into a thousand little nations.

- Robert Silverberg, ''House of Bones'' (1988)


Nothing upsets the citizenry more than to believe its administrators are uncertain or faltering. Doing nothing with an appearance of calm may be more important than doing the right thing in a frantic manner.

- Sheri S. Tepper, The Gate toWomen's Country (1988)


All of our governments are flawed, most of them disastrously. It's why history is such a bloody mess.

- Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars (1992)


The Imperium is like a very large and disjointed symphony, composed by a committee. Over a three-hundred year period. Played by a gang of amateur volunteers. It has enormous inertia, and is fundamentally fragile. It is neither unchanging nor unchangeable. It can crush you like a blind elephant.

- Lois McMaster Bujold, Mirror Dance (1994)


Lancre operated on the feudal system, which was to say, everyone feuded all the time and handed on the fight to their descendants.

- Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum (1998)


An elven trait, to believe that that government governs best which doesn't govern at all. Chaos is more fun. Anarchy is the ideal.

- Glen Cook, Angry Lead Skies (2002)


You take a bunch of people who don't seem any different from you and me, but when you add them all together you get this sort of huge raving maniac with national borders and an anthem.

- Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment (2003)

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