Quotations about   self-destructive

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The nature of liberal democracy prevents propagandistic statements from being banned, since among the liberties it permits is the freedom of speech. But since humans have characteristic rational weaknesses and are susceptible to flattery and manipulation, allowing propaganda has a high likelihood of leading to tyranny, and hence to the end of liberal democracy.

Jason Stanley (b. 1969) American philosopher, epistemologist, academic
How Propaganda Works, ch. 1 (2015)
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Added on 14-Oct-21 | Last updated 14-Oct-21
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A bad cause seldom fails to betray itself.

James Madison (1751-1836) American statesman, political theorist, US President (1809-17)
The Federalist Papers, #41 (19 Jan 1788)
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Added on 5-Nov-20 | Last updated 5-Nov-20
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Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a burden, and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it.

Robert Brault (b. c. 1945) American aphorist, programmer
(Attributed)
Added on 22-Sep-20 | Last updated 22-Sep-20
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Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns all clean.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet, memoirist, activist [b. Marguerite Ann Johnson]
In Mary Chamberlain, ed., Writing Lives: Conversations Between Women Writers (1988)
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Added on 6-Apr-18 | Last updated 6-Apr-18
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Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends — they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.

Emily Brontë (1818-1848) British novelist, poet [pseud. Ellis Bell]
Wuthering Heights, ch. 17 [Isabella Linton] (1847)
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Added on 5-Jan-17 | Last updated 5-Jan-17
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I do not say that Democracy has been more pernicious, on the whole, and in the long run, than Monarchy or Aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as Aristocracy or Monarchy. But while it lasts it is more bloody than either. […] Remember Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy Yet, that did not commit suicide.

John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
Letter to John Taylor (17 Dec 1814)
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Added on 7-Sep-16 | Last updated 19-Oct-21
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Nine men in ten are suicides.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Poor Richard’s Almanack (Oct 1749)
Added on 7-May-15 | Last updated 7-May-15
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When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet, wit, dramatist
An Ideal Husband, Act 2 (1895)
Added on 14-Apr-15 | Last updated 14-Apr-15
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Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.

Anne Lamott (b. 1954) American novelist and non-fiction writer
Traveling Mercies, ch. 3 (1999)

On Facebook (31 Jan 2013) she further wrote: "When I first got sober in '86, I first heard someone say that harboring resentment is like drinking rat poison, and waiting for the rat to die. Resenting someone is about not forgiving them -- thinking that they have done something to you so damaging or disgusting that the are beyond the pale; so therefore you are choosing to be toxic for the rest of your life, rather than to work and pray for the healing. You are willing to go through life not metabolizing the rat poison, so that this person should know what a morally repellent person you believe them to be. But the most horrible thing is that half the time, they aren't even AWARE of what it is you think they did to you. So it's a complete waste of your precious bile. When I am willing to have clogged bile ducts, because of a person who hardly thinks of me, or has no idea that he behaved like a total asshat, then I'm the crazy one."
Added on 28-Aug-14 | Last updated 28-Aug-14
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Every organization appears to be headed by secret agents of its opponents.

Robert Conquest (b. 1917) Anglo-American historian, diplomat, poet
“Conquest’s Second Law”


Attributed in Kingsley Amis, Memoirs (1991). Also known as "Conquest's Law of Organizations."

Variants:

  • "Every organisation behaves as if it is run by secret agents of its opponents."
  • "The behavior of any organization can best be predicted on the assumption that it is headed by a secret cabal of its enemies."
Added on 13-Aug-14 | Last updated 13-Aug-14
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Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) American actress, writer
Wishful Drinking, stage show (2009)

Sometimes quoted/given: "... feeding yourself poison ..."
Added on 17-Feb-10 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
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An angry man is again angry with himself when he returns to reason.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings]
Added on 3-Aug-07 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
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Before you set out for revenge, be sure to dig two graves.

Other Authors and Sources
Chinese proverb
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 11-Feb-20
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