Quotations about   reformer

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Since the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to allow them liberty, how comes it to pass that the tendencies of organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their agents form a part of the human race? Do they consider that they are composed of different materials from the rest of mankind? They say that society, when left to itself, rushes to inevitable destruction, because its instincts are perverse. They presume to stop it in its downward course, and to give it a better direction. They have, therefore, received from heaven, intelligence and virtues that place them beyond and above mankind: let them show their title to this superiority.

Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) French philosopher, economist, politician
The Law (1850)
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse. The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction. Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; it so, let them show their titles to this superiority." [Source]
Added on 4-May-20 | Last updated 4-May-20
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Terrorism set up by reformers may be just as bad as Government terrorism and it is often worse because it draws a certain amount of false sympathy.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian philosopher and nationalist [Mahatma Gandhi]
In Young India (18 Dec 1924)
Added on 5-Dec-16 | Last updated 5-Dec-16
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Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.

Twain - other peoples habits - wist_info quote

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson, ch. 15, epigraph (1894)
Added on 25-Feb-16 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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The self-styled reformers, the greatest bores of all.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American philosopher and writer
Walden, “Visitors” (1854)
Added on 28-Jan-16 | Last updated 28-Jan-16
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No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people.

William Howard Taft (1857-1930) US President (1909-13) and Chief Justice (1921-1930)
Ladies Home Journal (May 1919)

Regarding the temperance movement. Quoted in Robert J. Schoenberg, Mr. Capone (1992).
Added on 17-Aug-15 | Last updated 17-Aug-15
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[The reformer] wants his conscience to be your guide.

Lawrence J. Peter (1919-1990) American educator, management theorist
Peter’s Quotations (1977)
Added on 21-Nov-13 | Last updated 3-Apr-20
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The best reformers the world haz ever seen are thoze who commense on themselves.

[The best reformers the world has ever seen are those who commence on themselves.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, “Nosegays” (1874)
Added on 22-Aug-13 | Last updated 5-May-19
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Reforms and discoveries are like offenses; they must needs come, but woe unto that man through whom they come.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
Further Extracts from the Note-Books of Samuel Butler, ch. 1 (1934)
Added on 15-Aug-13 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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The first thing men do when they have renounced pleasure, through decency, lassitude, or for the sake of health, is to condemn it in others. Such conduct denotes a kind of latent affection for the very things they left off; they would like no one to enjoy a pleasure they can no longer indulge in; and thus they show their feelings of jealousy.

Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696) French essayist, moralist
“Of Mankind,” The Characters [Les Caractères] (1688)
Added on 2-Apr-13 | Last updated 14-Jan-16
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