Other related topics at:
85. Authority; Factions
"Providence has wisely ordered that the more numerous men are,
the more difficult it is for them to agree in any thing, and so
they are governed. There is no doubt, that if the poor should
reason, 'We'll be poor no longer, we'll make the rich take their
turn,' they could easily do it, were it not that they can't
agree. So the common soldiers, though so much more numerous than
their officers, are governed by them for the same reason."
121. Factions; Government
Johnson: "If Charles the Second had bent all his mind to
it, had made it his sole object, he might have been as absolute
as Louis the Fourteenth." A gentleman observed he would have
done no harm if he had. Johnson: "Why, Sir, absolute
princes seldom do any harm. But they who are governed by them
are governed by chance. There is no security for good
government." Cambridge: "There have been many sad
victims to absolute government." Johnson: "So, Sir, have
there been to popular factions."
931. Competition; Factions
"Learning confers so much superiority on those who possess it,
that they might probably have escaped all censure had they been
able to agree among themselves; but as envy and competition have
divided the republic of letters into factions, they have
neglected the common interest; each has called in foreign aid,
and endeavoured to strengthen his own cause by the frown of
power, the hiss of ignorance, and the clamour of popularity.
They have all engaged in feuds, till by mutual hostilities they
demolished those outworks which veneration had raised for their
security, and exposed themselves to barbarians, by whom every
region of science is laid waste."
Johnson: Rambler #83 (January 1, 1751)
1,016. Factions; Politics
"The great community of mankind is necessarily broken into
smaller independent societies; these form distinct interests,
which are too frequently opposed to each other, and which they
who have entered into the league of particular governments
falsely think it virtue to promote, however destructive to the
happiness of the rest of the world."
Johnson: Rambler #99 (February 26, 1751)
"Faction seldom leaves a man honest, however it might find
Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)
1,089. Factions; Obscurity; Op-Ed;
"He that shall peruse the political pamphlets of any past reign
will wonder why they were so eagerly read, or so loudly praised.
Many of the performances which had power to inflame factions, and
fill a kingdom with confusion, have now very little effect upon a
frigid critic; and the time is coming when the compositions of
later hirelings shall lie equally despised. In proportion as
those who write on temporary subjects are exalted above their
merit at first, they are afterwards depressed below it; nor can
the brightest elegance of diction, or most artful subtilty of
reasoning, hope for much esteem from those whose regard is no
longer quickened by curiosity or pride."
Johnson: Rambler #106 (March 23, 1751)