I object to conscription the way a lobster objects to boiling water: it may be his finest hour but it’s not his choice.
Government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way
The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed.
Patriotism is not sentimental nonsense. Nor something dreamed up by demagogues. Patriotism is as necessary a part of man’s evolutionary equipment as are his eyes, as useful to the race as eyes are to the individual.
Their ability to bring powerful giants to heel is as compelling as the mythical Robin Hood’s battle with a haughty medieval aristocracy
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The symbol of all relationships among [rational] men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws.
It does prove though how everything is a matter of perspective. You see what you think is daylight, and you assume it’s morning. Take it away, you think it’s night. Offer you a sandwich, if it’s convenient, you’ll think it’s mid-day. The truth is fluid, the truth is subjective.
Interrogator to Sheridan - Babylon 5
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