The Public

Booker T. Washington Page

“There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs-partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

- Booker T. Washington

Source/Notes: My Larger Education: Being Chapters from My Experience (1911), p. 118, Chapter V: The Intellectuals and the Boston Mob
Adam Smith Page

“It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expence, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

- Adam Smith

Source/Notes: Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911 - The Wealth of Nations (1776)
Louie Gohmert Page

“Whether you're president or speaker, if you're wrong, we need to stand up and point it out. That's what Martin Luther King had talked about: being judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin. So some of us pounded away on some of the ridiculous policies of Pelosi - and lo and behold, over time, the public began to see.”

- Louie Gohmert

Cyril Connolly Page

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

- Cyril Connolly

Source/Notes: The New Statesman (1933-02-25)
John Philip Sousa Page

“Anybody can write music of a sort. But touching the public heart is quite another thing.”

- John Philip Sousa


Jascha Heifetz Page

“If I don't practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.”

- Jascha Heifetz

Source/Notes: Heifetz official web site
Ray Bradbury Page

“I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it's better than college. People should educate themselves - you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I'd written a thousand stories.”

- Ray Bradbury

Linus Torvalds Page

“Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program.”

- Linus Torvalds

Salvador Dali Page

“It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.”

- Salvador Dali

Source/Notes: Diary of a Genius (1964), p. 12
Ella Baker Page

“I have always felt it was a handicap for oppressed peoples to depend so largely upon a leader, because unfortunately in our culture, the charismatic leader usually becomes a leader because he has found a spot in the public limelight...”

- Ella Baker


Aaliyah Page

“I think it's important to take a break, you know, from the public eye for a while, and give people a chance to miss you. I want longevity. I don't want to get out there and run myself ragged and spread myself thin.”

- Aaliyah

Charles de Montesquieu Page

“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”

- Charles de Montesquieu

Source/Notes: Reflections on the causes of the rise and fall of the Roman empire (1825 edition), p. 19, Chapter IV. Variant translation: "A monarchy is not dragged nearer to the brink of ruin by the tyranny of a prince, than a commonwealth by the lukewarmness and indifference for the general good"
W. H. Auden Page

“I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return.”

- W. H. Auden

Source/Notes: Lines 19-22 - September 1, 1939 (1939)
J. P. Morgan Page

“I owe the public nothing.”

- J. P. Morgan

Source/Notes: Quoted in the New York World (11 May 1901) during the Northern Pacific Corner. See Morgan: American Financier by Jean Strouse
Oscar Wilde Page

“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.”

- Oscar Wilde


Dorman Bridgman Eaton Page

“Public office is a public trust, the authority and opportunities of which must be used as absolutely as the public moneys for the public benefit, and not for the purposes of any individual or party.”

- Dorman Bridgman Eaton

Ramsey Clark Page

“Who will protect the public when the police violate the law?”

- Ramsey Clark