Today’s the day for Margaret Thatcher quotes.
Most of us have become intensely aware of what I think might be her most famous saying, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” And in recent years we’ve certainly become more aware of it, not less.
It strikes me that one of the great things about the quote is its bumper-sticker-readiness. For the most part, other conservatives seem to lack the ability to master this sort of catchy, compressive language, although Thatcher was a champ at it. I wonder why. Was it because her conservative principles were so firmly rooted and well-thought-out? I doubt it was just that. Was it because Brits are more used to the give-and-take of Parliament, and have to hone their skills in developing the economically-worded and well-placed riposte? That’s certainly part of it, too. But Thatcher had a special gift, even among the British.
She was no slouch in the delivery department, either. Watch nearly any YouTube video of her (there are tons of them) and you’ll see her combination of steeliness, biting intelligence, and wit.
Here are some other Thatcher quotes, both short and longer:
There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.
What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner ‘I stand for consensus’?
We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state.
There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.
The Labour Party believes in turning workers against owners; we believe in turning workers into owners.
Communist regimes were not some unfortunate aberration, some historical deviation from a socialist ideal. They were the ultimate expression, unconstrained by democratic and electoral pressures, of what socialism is all about. … In short, the state [is] everything and the individual nothing.
Freedom is not synonymous with an easy life. … There are many difficult things about freedom: It does not give you safety, it creates moral dilemmas for you; it requires self-discipline; it imposes great responsibilities; but such is the nature of Man and in such consists his glory and salvation.
I have a suggestion for the Republican Party (doesn’t everyone?—not that they’re taking any of the advice): borrow some of the shorter, catchier ones and use them. Thatcher’s not going to sue you for plagiarism.