Corrupt men are always liars. Lies are their instruments, their pleasure, their solace. In time they come to believe their lies, or rather to half-believe them.

— Robert Payne

The most relaxing Robert Payne quotes to get the best of your day

Fragmentation occurs when a civilization is in decline.

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The United States is dangerously close to being a plutocracy.

A third of the private wealth is owned by less than 5 percent of the population.

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All is forgiven to kings and popes. History grants them immunity, even a full pardon, even when they admit their crimes and glory in them.

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It is no more rational to have lawyers in positions of power than it would be to have garbage collectors in positions of power. And in human terms garbage collectors would be preferable.

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A totalitarian dictatorship cannot explain; it can only suppress.

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The game of power is played remorselessly by men who have not the slightest knowledge of, or interest in, the way ordinary people live, and the ordinary people are too terrified to protest.

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At the heart of the mystery of corruption lies the desire of one man to impose his will on others to the largest possible extent.

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Throughout the history of Christianity, there had been a core of belief that man was not doomed to be everlastingly corrupt.

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The corrupt man is nearly always rootless, deeply aware of his rootlessness.

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Corruption appears to be a universal phenomenon that lays its own imperious claims on the world, and therefore it is the duty of all nations to prepare themselves against its onslaught by taking proper precautions.

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Sometimes societies die and putrefy long before they are pronounced dead, and sometimes men die of corruption long before they have taken to their deathbeds.

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Long before the empire had reached its greatest extent, the Romans were bored by it.

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About Robert Payne

Quotes 28 sayings
Profession Novelist
Birthday December 4, 1911

It is precisely when we help one another that we gain our victories over corruption, but the victory is assured only when we help one another with all our strength.

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A culture is not only the language and the arts of a people.

It is all their history, all their hopes for the future.

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The corrupt, when found out, become especially good moralists.

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Naked power has its limitations, since power is a generator of corruption and corruption in its turn tends to dilute the effectiveness of power.

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For domination has nothing whatsoever to do with good government, and power as an end in itself destroys good government.

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Uncorrupted man, with God's blessing, advances across the fields of the universe as though he were walking down a country lane.

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Nietzsche's accomplishment is that he permits us to see corruption from the inside.

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In the Middle Ages the king offered protection to his subjects in return for their loyalty, and the subjects were doubly protected, for the church also sheltered them. The need for shelter - for a father image that cares and will hopefully provide and give some meaning to human lives - remains as real as it was in the Middle Ages, but modern technocracy has no place for either the father or the church and provides no substitute.

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The small Hitlers are around us every day.

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A nation's wealth is too serious a matter to be left to the wealthy.

The riches of a nation belong to all, to be shared among all for the general welfare.

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The books of men have their day and grow obsolete.

God's word is like Himself, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.

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Conquest, tyranny, treachery, and the clash of cultures bring about corrupt societies, and so does old age. Sometimes the five faces of corruption are visible at the same time.

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The second corruption of the state is oligarchy (oligos = few), in which the military elite is narrowed down to a few ruling families of immense wealth and prestige, who now openly flaunt their wealth and possessions.

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Historically the first philosopher to enquire deeply into the nature of corruption in society was Ibn Khaldun (1322-1406), whose wandering life was largely spent in the northern littoral of Africa at a time when kingdoms and sultanates were crumbling.

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It is almost a general rule that nations do not decline gradually.

Instead they fall abruptly from their greatest heights.

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