Quotes

Sunday, December 8, 2019 – Calling Out Treason

The nation is divided, half patriots and half traitors, and no man can tell which from which. ~ Mark Twain

Pity is treason. ~ Maximilien Robespierre

I have always considered it as treason against the great republic of human nature, to make any man’s virtues the means of deceiving him. ~ Samuel Johnson

This principle is old, but true as fate, Kings may love treason, but the traitor hate. ~ Thomas Dekker

All men should have a drop of treason in their veins, if nations are not to go soft like so many sleepy pears. ~ Rebecca West

The world, as transformed by this creative deed, is better than it would have been had all else remained the same, but had that deed of treason not been done at all. ~ Josiah Royce

It’s not treason if you win. ~ Lisa Shearin

Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason. ~ Sir John Harington

If you maintain a consistent political position long enough, you will eventually be accused of treason. ~ Mort Sahl

Traitors who prevail are patriots; usurpers who succeed are divine emperors. ~ Gore Vidal

Cynicism is intellectual treason. ~ Norman Cousins

A traitor only becomes one if their plot is discovered. The imposition of guilt means nothing to those who feign loyalty. More skilled conspirators wield treason as a clinical tool of regime change and political expediency. Then, with their own hand writing history, such traitors may wear the clothes of patriots. ~ Stewart Stafford

Any person advocating Communism, Socialism, or Anarchism, advocating refusal to enlist in case of war, or advocating alliance with Russia in any war whatsoever, shall be subject to trial for high treason, with a minimum penalty of twenty years at hard labor in prison, and a maximum of death on the gallows, or other form of execution which the judges may find convenient. ~ Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here

If you’re not with us, you’re against us. Huh. If you’re not an apple, you’re a banana. ~ Terry Pratchett

No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices. ~ Edward R. Murrow

In the irrational universe of demanded spontaneity, the power of state reaches beyond the prohibition of acts contrary to society, assigning itself the task of prescribing the citizen’s thoughts and convictions. To quote Revel’s concise conclusion, ‘C’est dans les sociétiés totalitaires que l’Etat se charge de ‘donner un sens’ à la vie des êtres’ [‘In totalitarian societies the state assumes the task of giving life a meaning’]. Thus original thought becomes treason, and life becomes a hell of a particular kind. ~ Paul Watzlawick, Münchhausen’s Pigtail

Who amongst us has not committed treason to something or someone more important than a country? ~ Graham Greene

If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country. ~ E. M. Forster, What I Believe and Other Essays

Have you ever heard a five-year-old recite the Pledge of Allegiance, Arthur? It’s creepy as hell. Their enunciation is perfect, but they have no idea what kind of promise they’re making, of what’s being called for. No one tells you until later that breaking your words amounts to treason. No one tells you until later that you can’t take it back. I was having my own treasonous thoughts as I drove. They were half formed, but went a little like this: Asking something like that from a person ought not to be allowed. ~ Alyson Foster, God Is an Astronaut

The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason. ~ T. S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral

Truth made you a traitor as it often does in a time of scoundrels. ~ Lillian Hellman

Bad literature is a form of treason. ~ Joseph Brodsky

America’s state religion is patriotism, a phenomenon which has convinced many of the citizenry that ‘treason’ is morally worse than murder or rape. ~ William Blum

Ingratitude is treason to mankind. ~ James Thomson

Men will confess to treason, murder, arson, false teeth, or a wig. How many of them will own up to a lack of humor? ~ Frank Moore Colby

Dogs were not loyal but servile, that cats were opportunists and traitors. ~ Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles. ~ George Jean Nathan

When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1824

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. ~ Oscar Wilde

If you can’t get them to salute when they should salute and wear the clothes you tell them to wear, how are you going to get them to die for their country? ~ General George S. Patton

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. ~ Bertrand Russell

Patriotism is as fierce as a fever, pitiless as the grave, blind as a stone, and irrational as a headless hen. ~ Ambrose Bierce

I do not mean to exclude altogether the idea of patriotism. I know it exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward. ~ George Washington

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair. ~ H. L. Mencken

I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. ~ James Baldwin (in Paris)

When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home. ~ Winston Churchill

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder. ~ Albert Einstein

To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography. ~ George Santayana

The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border? ~ Pablo Casals

The proper means of increasing the love we bear our native country is to reside some time in a foreign one. ~ William Shenstone

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind. ~ Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. ~ Howard Zinn

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good. ~ Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man

The time is fast approaching when to call a man a patriot will be the deepest insult you can offer him. Patriotism now means advocating plunder in the interest of the privileged classes of the particular State system into which we have happened to be born. ~ Leo Tolstoy

I would remind my countrymen that they are to be men first and Americans only at a late and convenient hour. ~ Henry David Thoreau, Slavery in Massachusetts

“My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.” ~ G. K. Chesterton, The Defendant

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. ~ Samuel Johnson

You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. ~ George Bernard Shaw, Heartbreak House

I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice. ~ Albert Camus