Henry Brooks AdamsHenry Brooks Adams, (1838-1918) Pulitzer prize-winning historian (1919), great-grandson of John Adams, grandson of John Quincy Adams, and son of US Secretary of State, Charles Adams

Famous Henry Brooks Adams Quote

“Politics, as a practise, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.”

Henry Brooks AdamsHenry Brooks Adams
~ Henry Brooks Adams

The Education of Henry Adams, ch. 1 (1907)

Ratings and Comments

E Archer, NYC

A very wise observation from a man who can trace his lineage to the founding of America. He was a bigger fan of Truth than of Power.

J Brubaker, Milwaukee, WI

This is the most succinct description of politics that I have seen. This clearly describes today's politics.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Perhaps he could see what was coming.

Me Again
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Me Again    11/14/06

I can't say that I'm surprised at this statement.

David L Rosenthal

The quote is a fallacious statement. It supposes that those who oppose tyranny do so out of hatred, rather than a legitimate interest in rights.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

While this may be true in some circles, it does not stand the test of unversality... there is much politics in the world which is about finding the "win-win" situations, not organization of hate... this quote is as inaccurate for politics as it would be if stated about religion in general (e.g. just because the radical religious right of most religions are about hate, not all religion is about hate).

Joe, Rochester, MI

As usual, the socialist-liberals deny a quote if they can think of one example which might contradict it. Reston states no case, but merely suggests there might be one and denies the quote.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Politics is in part a systematic organization of hatreds. It is also a systematic organization of greed, bribery, extortion, theft, and in the end if the individual doesn't accept the government sanctioned hatred, greed, bribery, extortion, and theft, murder will soon follow.

E Archer, NYC
  • Reply
E Archer, NYC Ken, Allyn, WA 7/10/18

Ken, you've managed to extend the definition further  very true!

Jack, Green, OH

Politics is the art of governing - nothing more, nothing less - the science of guiding or influencing policy - getting parties to give up something in order to gain something. It is a worthy and necessarry science and it does no good to give it narrow definitions out of context.


Generalized, but fair.

Justin, Elkland

...for the purpose of theft.

jim k, Austin,Tx

Ken Allyn summed it up well. For proof, just look inside the Beltway.

Waffler, Smith

The thumbs down boys get a thumbs up for getting this right. Politics is the art and science of determing what "our" or public policy will be. Most people have an interest in "how are things going to be run around here" whether it is their neighborhood, village, town, city, county, state, nation, continent, hemisphere, world or universe. As one of the Greeks said man is a political and social animal. People who see and issue a different way do not have to hate each but they should respect the others right to differ.

Judith, New Mexico

Having lived in WA state, I agree with Ken, Allyn, WA. His eyes are wide open too. The statement is not about how things should be but how they are, and it is about deception, smoke and mirrors, and the greedy and corrupt want more money and more power. That is essentially how government is run. Many countries could be used as examples, one which recently killed people in international waters that our country is closely aligned with. The honest, naive and vulnerable are quickly victimized and immobilized. Public policy is a text book responsibility of government but it's master is itself. Policy that serves those in power. How many of you know that most of your city governments are corporations that are registered in Europe. Now why would that be? Who are they serving? All together now - - - ________________.

Mike, Norwalk

To explain my rating, 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. All compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes and larceny with impunity are hate crimes against law, inalienable rights and humanity, no matter the pro-argument. Law and order do not necessitate control, otherwise encumbrances or larceny. Justice may mandate force but, that is a corollary or, is subsequent to codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. which define law, order, and the infractions thereof..

Waffler, Smith

Judith, I will research your statement about cities beomg incorporated in Europe or can you supply some details and/or names?

Waffler, Smith

Judith I have learned that there are an estimated 85,000 political entities in the US. There are 30,000 cities. Can you tell me one or even a few that are incorporated in Europe or any where else outside of the US or even outside of the State in which they are located? I appreciate in advance. Regards Waffler

Mike, Norwalk

Judith and Waffler: “Inasmuch as every government is an artificial person, an abstraction, and a creature of the mind only, a government can interface only with other artificial persons. The imaginary, having neither actuality nor substance, is foreclosed from creating and attaining parity with the tangible. The legal manifestation of this is that no government, as well as any law, agency, court, etc. can concern itself with anything other than corporate, artificial persons and the contracts between them. (“S.C.R. 1795, Penhallow v. Doane’s Administrators 3 U.S. 54; 1 L.Ed. 57; 3 Dall. 54); and, “Therefore, the U.S. citizens residing in one of the states of the union are classified as property and franchises of the federal government as an individual entity”. (Wheeling Steel Corp. v. Fox, 298 U.S. 193, ({1936} 193, 80 L.Ed. 1143, 56 S.Ct. 773);

Ronw13, OR

Thriving/profiting on hatred through/by folsterring division, H.B.Adams was/is a disgrace to his Great Grandfather. Period !

David Myers, Martinsburg WV 25404

The underlying principle of politics is EXternally IMposed COercive GOVernmental FORCE [EXIMCOGOVFORCE] (i.e. the imposition of force or threat of force by government to control the human behavior of its ["inferior"] subjects.)

Perfect Example: The hatred expressed by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page toward those who declared against the "establishment" exemplified by Hillary Clinton toward "the deplorables."

Imagine, if you can, a truly-free society in which EVERY relationship of one human to another is VOLUNTARY > uncoerced!

David Myers, Martinsburg WV 25404

In the far distant future, perhaps mankind will learn enough to reject the socio-psycho-paths who hold themselves out as "natural-born leaders" of the "sheeple" who accept and submit to their "leadership."

Perhaps mankind will learn that a truly-free society is entirely VOLUNTARY with perfect freedom to "opt-out" should one disagree with the conditions and terms of society."

One either owns oneself or one does not. The degree of coercion to which one submits is the degree of slavery of which one is a subject.

Always reject the "authority" of soci-psycho-paths who demand obedience to their whims.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Let me get this straight, politics is hate? Interesting.  Lucid, very lucid contribution by Mr Adams.


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