The abuse of buying and selling votes crept in and money began to play an important part in determining elections. Later on, this process of corruption spread to the law courts. And then to the army, and finally the Republic was subjected to the rule of emperors. – Plutarch (46 A.D.-127 A.D.) Historian of the Roman Republic
Most people would rather opine a lie and “fit in” than profess the truth and be excluded. Just as the majority would rather be lied to and made comfortable than be told the truth and made uncomfortable. Liars have held humanity in the throes of illusion for countless centuries. Governmental, religious, and academic officialdom can and do transform basically decent human beings into unconscious automatons bereft of free will. They do this successfully because a majority of humans are terrified to assume personal responsibility.
– Michael Godspeed
Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
– James Madison, April 20, 1795