The Opposition

Sunday, January 21, 2018 – The Opposition

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests. ~ George Washington

No government can be long secure without a formidable opposition. It reduces their supporters to that tractable number which can be managed by the joint influences of fruition and hope. It offers vengeance to the discontented and distinction to the ambitious; and employs the energies of aspiring spirits, who otherwise may prove traitors in a division or assassins in a debate. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

I respect only those who resist me, but I cannot tolerate them. ~ Charles De Gaulle

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. ~ Edward R. Murrow

An intelligent and conscientious opposition is a part of loyalty to country. ~ Bainbridge Colby

Many a man’s strength is in opposition, and when he faileth, he grows out of use. ~ Francis Bacon

Opposition may become sweet to a man when he has christened it persecution. ~ George Eliot

Opposition is not necessarily enmity; it is merely misused and made an occasion for enmity. ~ Sigmund Freud

Opposition always inflames the enthusiast, never converts him. ~ Friedrich Schiller

I don’t judge a regime by the damning criticism of the opposition, but by the ingenuous praise of the partisan. ~ Jean Rostand

A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind. ~ Lewis Mumford

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. This amicable conflict with difficulty helps us to an intimate acquaintance with our object, and compels us to consider it in all its relations. It will not suffer us to be superficial. ~ Edmund Burke

He that finds his knowledge narrow, and his arguments weak, and by consequence his suffrage not much regarded, is sometimes in hope of gaining that attention by his clamors which he cannot otherwise obtain, and is pleased with remembering that at last he made himself heard, that he had the power to interrupt those whom he could not confute, and suspend the decision which he could not guide. ~ Samuel Johnson

I have spent many years of my life in opposition, and I rather like the role. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Ah, but it’s nice to be in the opposition, nice to be a bone in somebody’s throat. ~ Jack Levine

There is one rule for politicians all over the world: Don’t say in power what you say in opposition; if you do, you only have to carry out what the other fellows have found impossible. ~ John Galsworthy

In the relations of a weak government and a rebellious people there comes a time when every act of the authorities exasperates the masses, and every refusal to act excites their contempt. ~ John Reed

I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites. ~ Nelson Mandela

Real men laugh at opposition; real men smile when enemies appear. ~ Marcus Garvey

Why is a woman to be treated differently? Woman suffrage will succeed, despite this miserable guerilla opposition. ~ Victoria Woodhull

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. ~ Harry Truman, Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, August 8, 1950

All business sagacity reduces itself in the last analysis to judicious use of sabotage. ~ Thorstein Veblen

Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future. ~ Adolf Hitler

Let’s have some precision in language here: terrorism means deadly violence – for a political and/or economical purpose – carried out against people and other living things, and is usually conducted by governments against their own citizens (as at Kent State, or in Vietnam, or in Poland, or in most of Latin America right now), or by corporate entities such as J. Paul Getty, Exxon, Mobil Oil, etc. etc., against the land and all creatures that depend upon the land for life and livelihood. A bulldozer ripping up a hillside to strip mine for coal is committing terrorism; the damnation of a flowing river followed by the drowning of Cherokee graves, of forest and farmland, is an act of terrorism. Sabotage, on the other hand, means the use of force against inanimate property, such as machinery, which is being used (e.g.) to deprive human beings of their rightful work (as in the case of Ned Ludd and his mates); sabotage (le sabot dropped in a spinning jenny) – for whatever purpose – has never meant and has never implied the use of violence against living creatures. ~ Edward Abbey

Christianity is the story of how the rightful King has landed, you might say, in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in His great campaign of sabotage. ~ C S. Lewis

Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside of our own limited experience is absurd. ~ Annie Besant

To you I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition. ~ Woody Allen

In some circumstances, the refusal to be defeated is a refusal to be educated. ~ Margaret Halsey

Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra. ~ Fran Lebowitz

Elegance is refusal. ~ Coco Chanel

There is no one force, no group, and no class that is the preserver of liberty. Liberty is preserved by those who are against the existing chief power. Oppositions which do not express genuine social forces are as trivial, in relation to entrenched power, as the old court jesters. ~ James Burnham

To excite opposition and inflame malevolence is the unhappy privilege of courage made arrogant by consciousness of strength. ~ Samuel Johnson

The race of mankind would perish did they cease to aid each other. We cannot exist without mutual help. All therefore that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellow-men; and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt. ~ Walter Scott

Those who enjoy their own emotionally bad health and who habitually fill their own minds with the rank poisons of suspicion, jealousy and hatred, as a rule take umbrage at those who refuse to do likewise, and they find a perverted relief in trying to denigrate them. ~ Johannes Brahms

This is the very worst wickedness: that we refuse to acknowledge the passionate evil that is in us. This makes us secret and rotten. ~ D. H. Lawrence

Man has gone long enough, or even too long, without being man enough to face the simple truth that the trouble with man is man. ~ James Thurber

But most of us are apt to settle within ourselves that the man who blocks our way is odious, and not to mind causing him a little of the disgust which his personality excites in ourselves. ~ George Eliot

Aggression is inherently destructive of relationships. People and ideologies are pitted against each other, believing that in order to survive, they must destroy the opposition. ~ Margaret J. Wheatley

Opposition is true friendship. ~ William Blake

Elinor agreed with it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition. ~ Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Words signify man’s refusal to accept the world as it is. ~ Herbert Kaufman

Anger and humor are like the left and right arm. They complement each other. Anger empowers the poor to declare their uncompromising opposition to oppression, and humor prevents them from being consumed by their fury. ~ James Cone

Only a fool would refuse to enter a fool’s paradise when that’s the only paradise he’ll ever have a chance to enter. ~ Jessamyn West

People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them. ~ Eric Hoffer

There has been opposition to every innovation in the history of man, with the possible exception of the sword. ~ Benjamin Dana

Society honors its living conformists and its dead troublemakers. ~ Mignon McLaughlin