William Graham Sumner Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 82 William Graham Sumner Quotes

#1. We are to see the development of the country pushed forward at an unprecedented rate by an aggregation of capital, and a systematic application of it under the direction of competent men. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#2. Every bit of capital, therefore, which is given to a shiftless and inefficient member of society, who makes no return for it, is diverted from a reproductive use; but - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#3. There is no device whatever to be invented for securing happiness without industry, economy, and virtue. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#4. Yet we are constantly annoyed, and the legislatures are kept constantly busy, by the people who have made up their minds that it is wise and conducive to happiness to live in a certain way, and who want to compel everybody else to live in their way. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#5. In this country, where workmen move about frequently and with facility, the unions suffer in their harmony and stability. It - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#6. The great force for forging a society into a solid mass has always been war. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#7. Moreover, there is an unearned increment on capital and on labor, due to the presence, around the capitalist and the laborer, of a great, industrious, and prosperous society. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#8. The criminal law needs to be improved to meet new forms of crime, but to denounce financial devices which are useful and legitimate because use is made of them for fraud, is ridiculous and unworthy of the age in which we live. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#9. Perhaps they do not recognize themselves, for a rich man is even harder to define than a poor one. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#10. Undoubtedly there are, in connection with each of these things, cases of fraud, swindling, and other financial crimes; that is to say, the greed and selfishness of men are perpetual. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#11. It is often said that the earth belongs to the race, as if raw land was a boon, or gift. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#12. A monarchical or aristocratic system is not immoral, if the rights and duties of persons and classes are in equilibrium, although the rights and duties of different persons and classes are unequal. An - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#13. I never have known a man of ordinary common-sense who did not urge upon his sons, from earliest childhood, doctrines of economy and the practice of accumulation. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#14. Any one who believes that any great enterprise of an industrial character can be started without labor must have little experience of life. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#15. Darwin was as much of an emancipator as was Lincoln. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#16. Such is the Forgotten Man. He works, he votes, generally he prays - but he always pays - yes, above all, he pays. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#17. It is the greatest folly of which a man can be capable to sit down with a slate and pencil to plan out a new social world. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#18. We throw all our attention on the utterly idle question whether A has done as well as B, when the only question is whether A has done as well as he could. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#19. There ought to be no laws to guarantee property against the folly of its possessors. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#20. I have lived through the best years of this country's history. The next generations are going to see war and social calamities. I am glad I don't have to live on into them. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#21. If you want a war, nourish a doctrine. Doctrines are the most frightful tyrants to which men are ever subject, because doctrines get inside a man's reason and betray him against himself. Civilized men have done their fiercest fighting for doctrines. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#22. We shall find that every effort to realize equality necessitates a sacrifice of liberty. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#23. It used to be believed that the parent had unlimited claims on the child and rights over him. In a truer view of the matter, we are coming to see that the rights are on the side of the child and the duties on the side of the parent. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#24. Now, the plan of plundering each other produces nothing. It only wastes. All - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#25. What we prepare for is what we shall get. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#26. We live in a war of two antagonistic ethical philosophies, the ethical policy taught in the books and schools, and the success policy. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#27. Here we are, then, once more back at the old doctrine - Laissez faire. Let us translate it into blunt English, and it will read, Mind your own business. It is nothing but the doctrine of liberty. Let every man be happy in his own way. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#28. Nine-tenths of our measures for preventing vice are really protective towards it, because they ward off the penalty. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#29. The real danger of democracy is, that the classes which have the power under it will assume all the rights and reject all the duties-that is, that they will use the political power to plunder those-who-have. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#30. Who is the Forgotten Man? He is the clean, quiet, virtuous, domestic citizen, who pays his debts and his taxes and is never heard of out of his little circle. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#31. The invectives against capital in the hands of those who have it are double-faced, and when turned about are nothing but demands for capital in the hands of those who have it not, in order that they may do with it just what those who have it now are doing with it. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#32. If you ever live in a country run by a committee, be on the committee. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#33. Men educated in [the critical habit of thought]are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#34. It generally troubles them [the reformers] not a whit that their remedy implies a complete reconstruction of society, or even a reconstitution of human nature. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#35. The advantage of some is won by an equivalent loss of others. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#36. Then, again, the ability to organize and conduct industrial, commercial, or financial enterprises is rare; the great captains of industry are as rare as great generals. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#37. I have before me a newspaper slip on which a writer expresses the opinion that no one should be allowed to possess more than one million dollars' worth of property. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#38. The waste of capital, in proportion to the total capital, in this country between 1800 and 1850, in the attempts which were made to establish means of communication and transportation, was enormous. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#39. It is the tendency of the social burdens to crush out the middle class, and to force society into an organization of only two classes, one at each social extreme. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#40. A drunkard in the gutter is just where he ought to be, according to the fitness and tendency of things. Nature has set upon him the process of decline and dissolution by which she removes things which have survived their usefulness. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#41. It is not the function of the State to make men happy. They must make themselves happy in their own way, and at their own risk. The functions of the State lie entirely in the conditions or chances under which the pursuit of happiness is carried on. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#42. It would be hard to find a single instance of a direct assault by positive effort upon poverty, vice, and misery which has not either failed or, if it has not failed directly and entirely, has not entailed other evils greater than the one which it removed. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#43. Hunger, love, vanity, and fear. There are four great motives of human action. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#44. There is no boon in nature. All the blessings we enjoy are the fruits of labor, toil, self-denial, and study. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#45. The truth is that cupidity, selfishness, envy, malice, lust, vindictiveness, are constant vices of human nature. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#46. A good father believes that he does wisely to encourage enterprise, productive skill, prudent self-denial, and judicious expenditure on the part of his son. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#47. Labor organizations are formed, not to employ combined effort for a common object, but to indulge in declamation and denunciation, and especially to furnish an easy living to some officers who do not want to work. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#48. The millionaires are a product of natural selection ... the naturally selected agents of society for certain work. They get high wages and live in luxury, but the bargain is a good one for society. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#49. A fool is wiser in his own house than a sage is in another man's house. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#50. But we have inherited a vast number of social ills which never came from Nature. They are the complicated products of all the tinkering, muddling, and blundering of social doctors in the past. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#51. Taking men as they have been and are, they are subjects of passion, emotion, and instinct. Only - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#52. The taxing power is especially something after which the reformer's finger always itches. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#53. All history is only one long story to this effect: men have struggled for power over their fellow-men in order that they might win the joys of earth at the expense of others and might shift the burdens of life from their own shoulders upon those of others. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#54. It is a beneficent incident of the ownership of land that a pioneer who reduces it to use, and helps to lay the foundations of a new State, finds a profit in the increasing value of land as the new State grows up. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#55. If you want war, nourish a doctrine. Doctrines are the most frightful tyrants to which men ever are subject ... - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#56. Furthermore, the unearned increment from land appears in the United States as a gain to the first comers, who have here laid the foundations of a new State. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#57. History is only a tiresome repetition of one story. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#58. Civil liberty is the status of the man who is guaranteed by law and civil institutions the exclusive employment of all his own powers for his own welfare. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#59. What is the real relation between happiness and goodness? It is only within a few generations that men have found courage to say that there is none. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#60. The great hinderance to the development of this continent has lain in the lack of capital. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#61. Society needs first of all to be free from meddlersthat is, to be let alone. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#62. If we put together all that we have learned from anthropology and ethnography about primitive men and primitive society, we perceive that the first task of life is to live. Men begin with acts, not with thoughts. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#63. There is every indication that we are to see new developments of the power of aggregated capital to serve civilization, and that the new developments will be made right here in America. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#64. One thing must be granted to the rich: they are goodnatured. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#65. Joint-stock companies are yet in their infancy, and incorporated capital, instead of being a thing which can be overturned, is a thing which is becoming more and more indispensable. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#66. The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D ... I call C the Forgotten Man. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#67. Men never cling to their dreams with such tenacity as at the moment when they are losing faith in them, and know it, but do not dare yet to confess it to themselves. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#68. The aggregation of large fortunes is not at all a thing to be regretted. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#69. If you allow a political catchword to go on and grow, you will awaken some day to find it standing over you, arbiter of your destiny, against which you are powerless. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#70. The lobby is the army of the plutocracy. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#71. In England pensions used to be given to aristocrats, because aristocrats had political influence, in order to corrupt them. Here pensions are given to the great democratic mass, because they have political power, to corrupt them. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#72. If America becomes militant, it will be because its people choose to become such; it will be because they think that war and warlikeness are desirable. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#73. If I want to be free from any other man's dictation, I must understand that I can have no other man under my control. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#74. What man ever blamed himself for his misfortune? - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#75. The men who start out with the notion that the world owes them a living generally find that the world pays its debt in the penitentiary or the poor house. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#76. There is no such thing on this earth as something for nothing. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#77. Liberty is an affair of laws and institutions which bring rights and duties into equilibrium. It is not at all an affair of selecting the proper class to rule. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#78. He who would be well taken care of must take care of himself. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#79. It is remarkable that jealousy of individual property in land often goes along with very exaggerated doctrines of tribal or national property in land. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#80. The dogmatic radicals who assail "on principle" the inherited social notions and distinctions are not serving civilization. Society - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#81. Men of routine or men who can do what they are told are not hard to find; but men who can think and plan and tell the routine men what to do are very rare. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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#82. The forgotten man ... He works, he votes, generally he prays, but his chief business in life is to pay. - Author: William Graham Sumner
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