Brandon at Siris, McEwan
I think blogging constantly about politics is mentally unhealthy, inevitably warps one's priorities, and distracts from the fact that politics is merely one necessary condition of the good life, and not even the most important.
Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer
There was a time, indeed, I fretted myself about the mistakes of government, like other people; but finding myself every day grow more angry, and the government growing no better, I left it to mend itself.
William Blake, Notes on a Public Address
I am really sorry to see my Countrymen trouble themselves about Politics. If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not Wise, the Freest Government is compell'd to be a Tyranny. Princes appear to me to be Fools. Houses of Commons & Houses of Lords appear to me to be fools; they seem to me to be something Else besides Human Life.
Henry David Thoreau, Journals
(April 24, 1852):
Society, man, has no prize to offer me that can tempt me; not one. That which interests a town or city or any large number of men is always something trivial, as politics.
Henry David Thoreau, Natural History of Massachusetts
The merely political aspect of the land is never very cheering; men are degraded when considered as the members of a political organization.
Henry David Thoreau, Walking
In one half-hour I can walk off to some portion of the earth's surface where a man does not stand from one year's end to another, and there, consequently, politics are not, for they are but as the cigar-smoke of a man.
Do you know, Johnny Voter, that you are a dupe? Does it penetrate your poor understanding that every time you throw off the top of your head to give tongue for the man of another man's choice the worthy persons who keep the table in the little game of politics are affected with merriment? Have you ever a dawnlight of suspicion that in the service of their purpose your wage is their derision, your pension their silent contempt? O, you will uphold principle. You will stand in to avert the quadrennial peril to the country. You will assist in repelling the treasonable attempt of one half its inhabitants whose interest (obviously) lies in its destruction. You will be a 'Republican' -- or a 'Democrat'; you will be it diligently, loudly and like the devil. Pray do; and when you have processioned your feet sore and your teeth loose, and been a spectacular extravaganza to the filling of your ambition's belly, may it comfort you to know that you have been a Tool.
John Burroughs, The Still Small Voice
The unknown, the inaudible forces that make for good in every state and community -- the gentle word, the kind act, the forgiving look, the quiet demeanor, the silent thinkers and workers, the cheerful and unwearied toilers, the scholar in his study, the scientist in his laboratory -- how much more we owe to these things than to the clamorous and discordant voices of the world of politics and the newspaper!
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949), p. 32:
The sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal, or two friends talking over a pint of beer, or a man alone reading a book that interests him; and . . . all economics, politics, laws, armies, and institutions, save insofar as they prolong and multiply such scenes, are a mere ploughing of the sand and sowing of the ocean, a meaningless vanity and vexation of the spirit.