Thomas Babington MacaulayThomas Babington Macaulay, (1800-1859) [Lord Macaulay] 1st Baron Macaulay, British historian

Thomas Babington Macaulay Quote

“Nothing is so galling to a people not broken in from birth as a paternal, or, in other words, a meddling government, a government which tells them what to read, and say, and eat, and drink and wear.”

Thomas Babington MacaulayThomas Babington Macaulay
~ Thomas Babington Macaulay

"Southey's Colloquies on Society" par. SC.69

Ratings and Comments


David L Rosenthal

Was he never in the British foreign service? What would he say about today's commercial community and their promotion specialists? And today there are even more galling tendencies.

Logan, Memphis, TN

I love my paternal government. They will force my children to pay and take care of me, like I was forced to pay for and take care of my retired, lazy, and disabled family. I live by the Socialist's Golden Rule: It's okay to steal from your kids, so long as you were robbed by your parents before. Right?

Joe, Rochester, MI

Might makes right, Logan. hahaha

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Actually, there are far worse alternatives, like the government which does the above to one group, while granting special favors to another more privledged group... ya' know, like King George is doing to us now...

Mike, Mount Holly, NC

I like the "not broken in from birth" part. Actually, it's a creeping thing. We are more "broken in from birth" than our parents were, and our children will be more so than we are. The things which gall us now will be standard fare for our children, and so on, and so on. Makes you wonder where it will all end up.

Mike, Norwalk

Once made comfortable with, dependent on, and/or fearful of losing the dole from the government's allowed box, it is hard to replace the tyrannt's/robber's booty (or otherwise slave's mindset) for the tangible truths of liberty's labors.

Logan, Memphis, TN

It doesn't matter that there are worse alternatives to our paternal government. It's like forcing someone to choose between drinking skunk juice or munchin' down on a rotting corpse, after it's been regurgitated by a dog. Sure, after we're forced to munch down the regurgitated canine espresso, we might say, "Actually, there are far worse alternatives" like the skunk juice... But is that really the point? I would rather have my freedom of choice, liberty of action, and my accountability in the beginning that would have kept me away from ever actually having to make the choice between the two-- or at least be given a third option to opt out entirely.

Jack, Green, OH

I do respect Macaulay's principles of abolition and anti-bigotry, but I have never experienced a paternal and meddling government telling me "what to read and say, and eat, and drink and wear", so I don't know if mine suddenly did that it would gall me more than one that destroys our standing and respect in the world. I don't think so. We don't get co-operation from other nations anymore, we get defiance. I happen to be more concerned with what happens to the country than to my personal life, as eventually, that will be my personal life.

Mike, Norwalk

Jack, as to what to read, I guess you haven't been around a public school or newspaper in a long long time. Journalists don't report on truth or liberty, they give us governmental propaganda and feel good warm and fuzzies. As to eat or drink, I guess you like the Fluoride, accumulating as a poison in your system, the limited access to medication etc. etc. Otherwise, I guess you don't count the permission you have to get to drive your car. Soon you'll have to have a national ID before you can travel intra/inter-state, buy or sell; AND because the encroaching totalitarianism is rapidly escalating - - -

E Archer, NYC

That includes telling people what they may NOT read, say, eat, drink, and wear -- the list is quite lengthy and the punishments severe.

Gregoroff, Penticton B.C. Canada

How about when your Government tells you to go to war under false pretences? Keep fighting your war you will never win.

David L. Rosenthal

I love the irony of a Gregoroff, a Canadian ex-patriot Soviet tovarisc telling Americans about government.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Tells you just how far we've come, doesn't it? Even the Canadians are saying we're screwed up. = )

Ronw13, Yachats OR

O Well, Macaulay forgot dancing, drinking, smoking and playing cards. Seems they didn't care about that so much. Already a legend in there own minds. Who cares, we can buy forgiveness from the so-called sins. The catholic church is back on the thrown.
Condoning adultery, murder and fornication, for the sake of control and ruling authority over the poor misguided peasant, those that put the bread on their table, all the while denying the poor proletariat any responsibility to themselves, but only servants to Cesar, O, I meant to say Roman Empire, O no, the pope, O no, the great whore of compromising DOUBT, instilled within the weak and beggarly slave. You know that Great Whore who sits among those seven hills that will lie in the dirt with anything for profit. Like those slipping in refuges to our good old USA, in concert with obama the trader, O, not trader, down right treasonous enemy of our Republic, one nation under God our Creator. Reference: The Rock, upon which our Republic Rest. Quite a different ( Holy, separate,) book, than the book they thump ! the one which denies the very doctrinal facts we as a nation hold so dear. The truth shall make you free indeed ! ref: KJB compiled by a Free Monarch. knowledge exposed brings freedom, knowledge withheld creates ignorance.! Don't care for Macaulay's politics anyway ! Neither did Churchill !

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