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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall.

 
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Let us never forget this fundamental truth: the State has no source of money other than money which people earn themselves. If the State wishes to spend more it can do so only by borrowing your savings or by taxing you more. It is no good thinking that someone else will pay – that ‘someone else’ is you. There is no such thing as public money; there is only taxpayers’ money.

 
Margaret Thatcher
 

I would hope that all educated citizens would fulfill this obligation--in politics, in Government, here in Nashville, here in this State, in the Peace Corps, in the Foreign Service, in the Government Service, in the Tennessee Valley, in the world. You will find the pressures greater than the pay. You may endure more public attacks than support. But you will have the unequaled satisfaction of knowing that your character and talent are contributing to the direction and success of this free society.

 
John F. Kennedy
 

In the public sphere, perception is reality: it's more important to be seen to do something than actually to do it. At least when private companies use PR and advertising they must spend their own money and there are other corporations vying for our business. If a company doesn't give us what we want they face bankruptcy. Public institutions, however, are monopolies. We have no choice but to buy, if not use, their services. If we don't like the way our particular police force operates it's not like we can choose another one or even withhold the money used to run the one we don't like. We're forced - under threat of imprisonment - to pay for a monopoly service and for it to tell us how great it is. This is the real danger of institutional PR. In the absence of competition it is only through a diversity of opinion and public scrutiny that some level of accountability can exist. PR stifles debate and suppresses opinion through the use of centralized press offices and communication protocols.

 
Heather Brooke
 

There is no constitutional or legal requirement that the President shall take the oath of office in the presence of the people, but there is so manifest an appropriateness in the public induction to office of the chief executive officer of the nation that from the beginning of the Government the people, to whose service the official oath consecrates the officer, have been called to witness the solemn ceremonial. The oath taken in the presence of the people becomes a mutual covenant. The officer covenants to serve the whole body of the people by a faithful execution of the laws, so that they may be the unfailing defense and security of those who respect and observe them, and that neither wealth, station, nor the power of combinations shall be able to evade their just penalties or to wrest them from a beneficent public purpose to serve the ends of cruelty or selfishness.

 
Benjamin Harrison
 

A state that denies its citizens their basic rights becomes a danger to its neighbors as well: internal arbitrary rule will be reflected in arbitrary external relations. The suppression of public opinion, the abolition of public competition for power and its public exercise opens the way for the state power to arm itself in any way it sees fit.... A state that does not hesitate to lie to its own people will not hesitate to lie to other states.

 
Vaclav Havel
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