Bernard Crick

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Politics has rough manners, but it is a very useful thing.

Sir Bernard Rowland Crick (16 December 1929 – 19 December 2008) was a British political theorist and democratic socialist whose views were often summarised as "politics is ethics done in public". He sought to arrive at a "politics of action", as opposed to a "politics of thought" or of ideology.

Sourced[edit]

In Defence Of Politics (Second Edition) – 1981[edit]

  • BOREDOM with established truths is a great enemy of free men.
    • Chapter 1, The Nature Of Political Rule, p. 15
  • Politics is too often regarded as a poor relation, inherently dependent and subsidiary; it is rarely praised as something with a life and character of its own.
    • Chapter 1, The Nature Of Political Rule, p. 15
  • The method of rule of the tyrant and the oligarch is quite simply to clobber, coerce, or overawe all or most other groups in the interest of their own.
    • Chapter 1, The Nature Of Political Rule, p. 18
  • The unique character of political activity lies, quite literally, in its publicity.
    • Chapter 1, The Nature Of Political Rule, p. 20
  • Free men stick their necks out.
    • Chapter 1, The Nature Of Political Rule, p. 28
  • Where government is impossible, politics is impossible.
    • Chapter 1, The Nature Of Political Rule, p. 29
  • Totalitarian rule marks the sharpest contrast imaginable with political rule, and ideological thinking is an explicit and direct challenge to political thinking.
    • Chapter 2, A Defence Of Politics Against Ideology, p. 34
  • To Marx the claim of the theory of ideology is that all doctrine is a derivative of social circumstance.
    • Chapter 2, A Defence Of Politics Against Ideology, p. 38
The politician has no more use for pride than Falstaff had for honour.
  • A politics of vengeance is not politics. Revenge is a recklessness towards the future in a vain attempt to make the present abolish a suffering which is already past.
    • Chapter 4, A Defence Of Politics Against Nationalism, p. 87
  • There is no great danger to politics in the desire for certainty at any price.
    • Chapter 5, A Defence Of Politics Against Technology, p. 92
  • One of the symptoms of a declining social order is that its members have to give most of their time to politics, rather than to the real tasks of economic production, in an attempt to patch up the cracks already appearing from the 'inner contradictions' of such a system.
    • Chapter 5, A Defence Of Politics Against Technology, p. 94
  • In an abstract but real sense, Marxism arose through the breakdown first of religion and then of 'reason' as single sources of authority.
    • Chapter 5, A Defence Of Politics Against Technology, p. 102
  • Quite apart from the prestige of technology, people do, after all, prefer a simple idea to a complex one.
    • Chapter 5, A Defence Of Politics Against Technology, p. 106
  • Too often the revolutionary is the man who must create order in the chaos left by failed conservatives.
    • Chapter 6, A Defence of Politics Against False Friends, p. 115
  • Politics has rough manners, but it is a very useful thing.
    • Chapter 6, A Defence of Politics Against False Friends, p. 138
  • The praise of free men is worth having, for it is the only praise which is free from either servility or condescension.
    • Chapter 7, In Praise Of Politics, p. 140
  • The idea of a rational bureaucracy, of skill, merit, and consistency, is essential to all modern states.
    • Chapter 7, In Praise Of Politics, p. 143
  • Since the business of politics is the conciliation of differing interests, justice must not merely be done, but to be seen to be done.
    • Chapter 7, In Praise Of Politics, p. 148
  • The attempt to politicize everything is the destruction of politics. When everything is seen as relevant to politics, than politics has in fact become totalitarian.
    • Chapter 7, In Praise Of Politics, p. 151
  • The politician has no more use for pride than Falstaff had for honour.
    • Chapter 7, In Praise Of Politics, p. 159
  • Certainly if the fundamental problem of society is that demands are infinite and resources are always limited, politics, not economics is the master science.
    • A Footnote To Rally The Academic, p. 164
  • If a government is to do great new things, it will need more support. If a government is to change the world, it will need mass support. This is one of the discoveries of modern government.
    • A Footnote To Rally The Academic, p. 179
  • If, of course, one builds into the concept of an 'individual' all that Professor Hayek does in his Road To Serfdom, Individualism and Economic Order and many other works, which is, to put it briefly, the whole of laisser-faire economic theory, then plainly man as such a programmed predator has very little interest in being fraternal, or very little chance.
    • A Footnote To Rally Fellow Socialists, p. 234
  • Factory workers are not working for capitalism, they are working for a living wage.
    • A Footnote To Rally Fellow Socialists, p. 240

External links[edit]

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