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International Politics Quotes

A selection of quotations on international affairs 

"We have not eternal allies and we have not perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and peretual and those interests it is out duty to follow." Lord Palmerston, British Prime Minister

"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war."  John Adams

''It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.''  Eleanor Roosevelt

"Whoever has an army has power, and war decides everything." Mao Tse Tung

"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun." Mao Tse Tung

"War gives the right to the conquerors to impose any condition they please upon the vanquished." Julius Caesar

"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." George S. Patton, General

"To be prepared for War is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." George Washington

"I say one evil empire down…one to go." Michael Moore, The Big One

"There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run, the sword will always be conquered by the spirit." Napoleon Bonaparte

''Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.'' Charles de Gaulle

"To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery the soil of love."  George Santayana

"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it."  G.B. Shaw

"Today the real test of power is not capacity to make war but capacity to prevent it." Anne O'Hare McCormick

"Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake."  Viktor Frankl

"The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." Gen. Omar Bradley

"He who does not attempt to make peace / When small discords arise, / Is like the bee's hive which leaks drops of honey / Soon, the whole hive collapses."  Nagarjuna (c. 100-200 A.D.)

"To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day."  Sir Winston Churchill

"The world is now too small for anything but brotherhood."  Arthur Powell Davies

"The triumph of economic globalization has inspired a wave of techno-savvy investigative activists who are as globally minded as the corporations they track." Naomi Klein, No Logo

"I consider war to be the greatest folly, if not the greatest crime, of which a country could be guilty, if lightly entered into. If a proof were wanted of the deep and thorough corruption of human nature, we should find it in the fact that war itself was sometimes justifiable." Earl of Aberdeen, British Prime Minister 

"We hear war called murder. It is not; it is suicide." James Ramsay MacDonald, British Prime Minister

"The world must learn to work together, or finally it will not work at all."  Dwight Eisenhower

"There is a very real danger that we will kill everything on this planet now that we have the technological power to do so." Stephen Hawking, Physicist

"If you look at democratic societies, what you find is that they are constructed on the basis of the nation state, and the foundation of that is 'responsible individualism,' which takes the formal form of 'citizenship,' which turns into a 'social contract,' which in practical terms is 'democracy.' That is the real definition of a real nation, a real country. Therefore every economic power that is removed from a nation state and put into the international sector without the creation of compensating international powers for the citizens to assert the public good, is an anti-democratic move; it is a regress, not a progress. International agreements based on theories that exclude the idea of aggressive citizenship are anti-democratic." John Ralston Saul

"There is no longer a clear, bright line dividing America's domestic concerns and America's foreign policy concerns...If we want America to stay on the right track, if we want other people to be on that track and have the chance to enjoy peace and prosperity, we have no choice but to try to lead the train." President Bill Clinton

"When dealing with Canadians, it is advantageous to seem to be negotiating from a position of weakness, for when faced with an abject opponent, they become concession-happy and will accede to almost anything." British Diplomat, Alleyne Fitzherbert

"What is patriotism but the love of the good things we ate in our childhood?" Lin Yutang

"A wise man does not try to hurry history. Many wars have been avoided by patience, and many have been precipitated by reckless haste." Adlai Stevenson

"Trade is the natural enemy of all violent passions because it loves moderation, delights in compromise an is most careful to avoid anger." de Tocqueville

"The meat of the buffalo tastes the same on both sides of the border." Sitting Bull

"People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity."  John Adams

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."  H.G. Wells

"I love my country far too much to be a nationalist."  Unknown

"Hatred is a feeling which leads to the extinction of values." Jose Ortega y Gasset

"The problem with the global village is all the global village idiots." P. Ginsparg "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

"The grim fact is that we prepare for war like precocious giants and for peace like retarded pygmies."  Lester Pearson

"Patriotism corrupts history." Goethe

"The first requirement of a statesman is that he be dull." Dean Acheson

"Treaties, you see, are like girls and roses: they last while they last." Charles de Gaulle

"Our modern wars make many unhappy while they last and none happy when they are over." Goethe

"At bottom, every state regards another as a gang of robbers who will fall upon it as soon as there is an opportunity."   Schopenhauer

"The agony of international relations is the need to try to practice politics without the basic conditions for political order."  Bernard Crick

"There’ll be a growing disparity between economics and politics. An economy that grows so rapidly is intractably global.  On the other hand, the current political system is intractably national.  So there is a growing dichotomy between a global economy and locally based politics."  Walter Wriston

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