It has always surprised me how little attention philosophers have paid to humor, since it is a more significant process of mind than reason. Reason can only sort out perceptions, but the humor process is involved in changing them.
But how is...legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals.
A new public opinion must be created privately and unobtrusively. The existing one is maintained by the press, by propaganda, by organization, and by financial and other influences which are at its disposal. The unnatural way of spreading ideas must be opposed by the natural one, which goes from man to man and relies solely on the truth of the thoughts and the hearer's receptiveness for new truth.
Once Confucius was walking on the mountains and he came across a woman weeping by a grave. He asked the woman what here sorrow was, and she replied, We are a family of hunters. My father was eaten by a tiger. My husband was bitten by a tiger and died. And now my only son! Why don't you move down and live in the valley? Why do you continue to live up here? asked Confucius. And the woman replied, But sir, there are no tax collectors here! Confucius added to his disciples, You see, a bad government is more to be feared than tigers.
No free people ever existed, or can ever exist, without keeping the purse strings in their own hands. Where this is the case, they have a constitutional check upon the administration, which may thereby by brought into order without violence. But when such a power is not lodged in the people, oppression proceeds uncontrolled in its career, till the governed, transported into rage, seek redress in the midst of blood and confusion.
Somehow, the fact that more poor people are on welfare, receiving more generous payments, does not seem to have made this country a nice place to live - not even for the poor on welfare, whose condition seems not noticeably better than when they were poor and off welfare. Something appears to have gone wrong; a liberal and compassionate social policy has bred all sorts of unanticipated and perverse consequences.