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Walter Bagehot

Geburtstag: 3. Februar 1826
Todesdatum: 24. März 1877

Walter Bagehot war ein britischer Ökonom, Verfassungstheoretiker sowie Herausgeber der Wochenzeitung The Economist. Bagehots Analysen und Schriften haben viel zum politischen System Englands und zum Verständnis von Parlamentarismus und des Prinzips der Zentralbanken beigetragen.

Zitate Walter Bagehot

„But the Queen has no such veto; She must sign her own death-warrant if the two Houses unanimously send it up to her.“

—  Walter Bagehot, buch The English Constitution

No. III, "The Monarchy (continued)", p. 58
The English Constitution (1867)

„The most melancholy of human reflections, perhaps, is that, on the whole, it is a question whether the, benevolence of mankind does most good or harm.“

—  Walter Bagehot

Quelle: Physics and Politics http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext03/phypl10.txt (1869), Ch. 5
Kontext: I wish the art of benefiting men had kept pace with the art of destroying them; for though war has become slow, philanthropy has remained hasty. The most melancholy of human reflections, perhaps, is that, on the whole, it is a question whether the, benevolence of mankind does most good or harm. Great good, no doubt, philanthropy does, but then it also does great evil. It augments so much vice, it multiplies so much suffering, it brings to life such great populations to suffer and to be vicious, that it is open to argument whether it be or be not an evil to the world, and this is entirely because excellent people fancy that they can do much by rapid action — that they will most benefit the world when they most relieve their own feelings; that as soon as an evil is seen "something" ought to be done to stay and prevent it.

„The great difficulty which history records is not that of the first step, but that of the second step.“

—  Walter Bagehot

Quelle: Physics and Politics http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext03/phypl10.txt (1869), Ch. 2, The Use of Conflict
Kontext: The great difficulty which history records is not that of the first step, but that of the second step. What is most evident is not the difficulty of getting a fixed law, but getting out of a fixed law; not of cementing (as upon a former occasion I phrased it) a cake of custom, but of breaking the cake of custom; not of making the first preservative habit, but of breaking through it, and reaching something better.

„The issue put before these electors was, which of two rich people will you choose?“

—  Walter Bagehot, buch The English Constitution

Introduction, p. xiii
The "old electors" Bagehot refers to were the £10 borough householders enfranchised by the Reform Act of 1832.
The English Constitution (1867)
Kontext: But the mass of the old electors did not analyse very much: they liked to have one of their "betters" to represent them; if he was rich they respected him much; and if he was a lord, they liked him the better. The issue put before these electors was, which of two rich people will you choose? And each of those rich people was put forward by great parties whose notions were the notions of the rich—whose plans were their plans. The electors only selected one or two wealthy men to carry out the schemes of one or two wealthy associations.

„The reason why so few good books are written is, that so few people that can write know anything.“

—  Walter Bagehot

Shakespeare
Literary Studies (1879)
Kontext: The reason why so few good books are written is, that so few people that can write know anything. In general an author has always lived in a room, has read books, has cultivated science, is acquainted with the style and sentiments of the best authors, but he is out of the way of employing his own eyes and ears. He has nothing to hear and nothing to see. His life is a vacuum.

„The caucus is a sort of representative meeting which sits voting and voting till they have cut out all the known men against whom much is to be said, and agreed on some unknown man against whom there is nothing known, and therefore nothing to be alleged.“

—  Walter Bagehot, buch The English Constitution

No. V, The House of Commons, p. 155
Bagehot was commenting on the method of selecting Presidential candidates in the United States.
The English Constitution (1867)

„The Sovereign has, under a constitutional monarchy such as ours, three rights—the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn.“

—  Walter Bagehot, buch The English Constitution

No. III, "The Monarchy (continued)", p. 75
The English Constitution (1867)

„The purse strings tie us to our kind.“

—  Walter Bagehot

Literary Studies (1879)

„I started out by believing God for a newer car than the one I was driving. I started out believing God for a nicer apartment than I had. Then I moved up.“

—  Walter Bagehot

Jim Bakker, quoted in Redeeming America: Piety and Politics in the New Christian Right by Michael Lienesch (UNC Press, 1993), p. 45
Misattributed

„Nations touch at their summits.“

—  Walter Bagehot, buch The English Constitution

No. IV, The House of Lords, p. 120
The English Constitution (1867)

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