Quotations about   masses

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When I was a fighting man, the kettle-drum they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horse’s feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) American author
“The Phoenix on the Sword” (1932)
Added on 25-Apr-16 | Last updated 25-Apr-16
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The man who makes it his business to please the multitude is never done.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist
The Autobiography of Michel de Montaigne, ch. 34 [ed. Marven Lowenthal (1935)]
Added on 19-Jun-15 | Last updated 19-Jun-15
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I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) German astronomer
(Attributed)
Added on 28-Jan-15 | Last updated 28-Jan-15
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Nothing makes the multitude angrier than when someone forces them to change their opinion of him.

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German-born Swiss poet, novelist, painter
Reflections, #100 [ed. V. Michels (1974)]
Added on 20-Jan-15 | Last updated 20-Jan-15
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It is said public opinion will not bear it. Really? Public opinion, I am sorry to say, will bear a great deal of nonsense. There is scarce any absurdity so gross, whether in religion, politics, science, or manners, which it will not bear.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (1827)

Also in "Success," Society and Solitude (1870).
Added on 6-Jan-15 | Last updated 3-Feb-16
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The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses!

[Nam qui dabat olim imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, panem et circenses.]

Juvenal (c.55-127) Roman satirist [Decimus Junius Juvinalis]
Satires, Satire 10, l. 78-79

Alt. trans.: "The people long for only two things: bread and circuses."
Added on 5-Nov-13 | Last updated 25-Apr-17
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Democracy is the theory that intelligence is dangerous. It assumes that no idea can be safe until those who can’t understand it have approved it. It defines truth as anything which at least fifty-one men in every hundred believe. Thus it is firmly committed to the doctrines that one bath a week is enough, that “I seen” is the past tense of “I see,” and that Friday is an unlucky day.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
“Pertinent and Impertinent,” Smart Set (Jun 1913) [as Owen Hatteras]
    (Source)
Added on 7-Sep-11 | Last updated 2-May-16
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Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty.

Stanislaw Lec (1909-1966) Polish aphorist, poet, satirist
More Unkempt Thoughts (1968)

Variant: "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Jan-17
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