Statesman Quotes (10 quotes)
A formative influence on my undergraduate self was the response of a respected elder statesmen of the Oxford Zoology Department when an American visitor had just publicly disproved his favourite theory. The old man strode to the front of the lecture hall, shook the American warmly by the hand and declared in ringing, emotional tones: My dear fellow, I wish to thank you. I have been wrong these fifteen years. And we clapped our hands red. Can you imagine a Government Minister being cheered in the House of Commons for a similar admission? Resign, Resign is a much more likely response!
A witty statesman said you might prove anything with figures.
How greatly would the heroes and statesmen of antiquity have despised the labours of that man who devoted his life to investigate the properties of the magnet! Little could they anticipate that this humble mineral was destined to change the very form and condition of human society in every quarter of the globe.
In the higher walks of politics the same sort of thing occurs. The statesman who has gradually concentrated all power within himself may have had anything but a public motive The phrases which are customary on the platform and in the Party Press have gradually come to him to seem to express truths, and he mistakes the rhetoric of partisanship for a genuine analysis of motives He retires from the world after the world has retired from him.
It seems to me, that if statesmen had a little more arithmetic, or were accustomed to calculation, wars would be much less frequent.
The calculus of probabilities, when confined within just limits, ought to interest, in an equal degree, the mathematician, the experimentalist, and the statesman.
The study of economics does not seem to require any specialised gifts of an unusually high order. Is it not, intellectually regarded, a very easy subject compared with the higher branches of philosophy and pure science? Yet good, or even competent, economists are the rarest of birds. An easy subject, at which very few excel! The paradox finds its explanation, perhaps, in that the master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts. He must reach a high standard in several different directions and must combine talents not often found together. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopherin some degree. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular in terms of the general, and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought. He must study the present in the light of the past for the purposes of the future. No part of man's nature or his institutions must lie entirely outside his regard. He must be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous mood; as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, yet sometimes as near the earth as a politician.
Without an acquaintance with chemistry, the statesman must remain a stranger to the true vital interests of the state, to the means of its organic development and improvement; ... The highest economic or material interests of a country, the increased and more profitable production of food for man and animals, ... are most closely linked with the advancement and diffusion of the natural sciences, especially of chemistry.
You can prepare yourself for work. The paintings of the great masters, the compositions of great musicians, the sermons of great preachers, the policies of great statesmen, and the campaigns of great generals, do not spring full bloom from barren rock. If you are a true student you will be more dissatisfied with yourself when you graduate than you are now.
[Among the books he chooses, a statesman] ought to read interesting books on history and government, and books of science and philosophy; and really good books on these subjects are as enthralling as any fiction ever written in prose or verse.