James Bryce

(James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce)

Quote Topics Cited
[Commenting on America:] In no other country is the ideal side of public life so ignored by the mass and repudiated by its leaders. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
[Describing America:] Public opinion, which is there omnipotent, is generally right in its aims ... Public Opinion & Polling
[The impeachment power] is the heaviest piece of artillery in the congressional arsenal, but because it is so heavy it is unfit for ordinary use. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
A political career brings out the basest qualities in human nature. Human Nature
All legislative bodies which control pecuniary interests are as sure to have a lobby as an army to have camp followers. Where the body is, there will the vultures be gathered together. Lobbying & Special Interests
Democratic self-government is a plant of remarkably slow growth Democracies & Republics
I am astonished at the strong feeling of dislike and contempt—I might almost say hatred—which the bulk of the whites have for their black neighbours. Discrimination & Prejudice
Immigrants follow blindly leaders of their own race, are not moved by discussion, exercise no judgment of their own ... are not fit for the suffrage ... know nothing of the institutions of the country, of its statesmen, of its political issues. Immigration & Emigration
In a democracy the People are entitled to determine the Ends or general aims of foreign policy. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Medicine, the only profession that labors incessantly to destroy the reason for its own existence. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Medicine, the only profession that labours incessantly to destroy the reason for its own existence. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Men are impatient of the slow working of natural laws. The triumphs of physical science have enlarged their desires for comfort. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
No branches of historical inquiry have suffered more from fanciful speculation than those which relate to the origin and attributes of the races of mankind. The differentiation of these races began in prehistoric darkness, and the more obscure a subject is, so much the more fascinating. Hypotheses are tempting, because though it may be impossible to verify them, it is, in the paucity of data, almost equally impossible to refute them. History ;Social Sciences
No high qualities of statesmanship are expected from a Congressman. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Politician is a term of reproach. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The American Constitution has changed, is changing, and by the law of its very existence must continue to change, in its substance and practical working even its words remain the same. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
The government of the cities is the one conspicuous failure of the United States. Corruption
The House [of Representatives] has become not so much a legislative assembly as a huge panel from which committees are selected. Legislating & Legislative Process
The power of groups of men organized by incorporation ... or of small knots of rich men acting in combination has developed with unexpected strength in unexpected ways, overshadowing individuals and even communities, and showing that the very freedom of association which men sought to secure by law when they were threatened by the violence of the potentates may, under the shelter of law, ripen into a new form of tyranny. Business, Commerce & Finance
The President has rarely leisure to give close or continuous attention to foreign policy. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The President is hampered at every turn by the necessity of humoring his party. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The sight of preventable evil is painful ... he who preaches patience and reliance upon natural progress is thought callous. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
The Supreme Court is the living voice of the Constitution—that is, of the will of the people expressed in the fundamental law they have enacted. It is ... the conscience of the people.... It is the guarantee of the minority who, when threatened by the impatient vehemence of the majority, can appeal to this permanent law, finding the interpreter and enforcer thereof in a Court set high above the assaults of faction. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The West is the most American part of America.... States. Nations & Nationhood
Though secrecy in diplomacy is occasionally unavoidable, it has its perils ... Publicity may cause some losses, but may avert some misfortunes. Secrecy & Transparency
Towering over Presidents and State Governors, over Congress and State Legislatures, over conventions and the vast machinery of party, public opinion stands out in the United States, as the great source of Power. Public Opinion & Polling
Very few [Americans] ... take an active part in politics, however interested they may be in public affairs. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Whatever faults modern democracies may have committed ..., the faults chargeable on monarchs and oligarchies have been less pardonable and more harmful to the peace and progress of mankind. Democracies & Republics
Why Great Men Are Not Chosen President Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Why the best men do not get into politics. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
You cannot appeal from the classes to the masses. What the employer thinks, his workmen think. Of course I do not include questions specially relating to labour, in which there may be a direct conflict of interest. Public Opinion & Polling
Medicine, the only profession that labors incessantly to destroy the reason for its existence.
Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity.
Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. Citizenship & Patriotism
The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.
Three-fourths of the mistakes a man makes are made because he does not really know what he thinks he knows.