Copied from the Lockdown Skeptics site. I bolded my absolute favorites, which I read multiple times over the years. Camus, as always, says it best with few words. Truly, thoughts to live by.
We know they are lying. They know they are lying, They know that we know they are lying. We know that they know that we know they are lying. And still they continue to lie.
It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.
They who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good, or else that it’s a well-considered act in conformity with natural law. Fortunately, it is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions….Ideology – that is what gives the evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination.
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you never should trust experts. If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require to have their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Nothing would be more fatal than for the Government of States to get into the hands of experts. Expert knowledge is limited knowledge and the unlimited ignorance of the plain man, who knows where it hurts, is a safer guide than any rigorous direction of a specialist.
Sir Winston Churchill
If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.
We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
Necessity is the plea for every restriction of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
William Pitt the Younger
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
Joseph Goebbels (attributed)
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.