Vilfredo Pareto quotes

  • Men follow their sentiments and their self-interest, but it pleases them to imagine that they follow reason. And so they look for, and always find, some theory which, a posteriori, makes their actions appear to be logical. If that theory could be demolished scientifically, the only result would be that another theory would be substituted for the first one, and for the same purpose.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Men #Self #Looks

  • When it is useful to them, men can believe a theory of which they know nothing more than its name.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Believe #Men #Names

  • Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Education #Errors #Giving

  • For a very long time, and among a large number of peoples, political power has belonged to the owners of the land.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Land #Numbers #Long

  • If you're Noah, and your ark is about to sink, look for the elephants first, because you can throw over a bunch of cats, dogs, squirrels, and everything else that is just a small animal and your ark will keep sinking. But if you can find one elephant to get overboard, you're in much better shape.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Dog #Cat #Animal

  • Above, far above the prejudices and passions of men soar the laws of nature. Eternal and immutable, they are the expression of the creative power they represent what is, what must be, what otherwise could not be. Man can come to understand the: he is incapable of changing them.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Passion #Science #Men

  • Human behaviour reveals uniformities which constitute natural laws. If these uniformities did not exist, then there would be neither social science nor political economy, and even the study of history would largely be useless. In effect, if the future actions of men having nothing in common with their past actions, our knowledge of them, although possibly satisfying our curiosity by way of an interesting story, would be entirely useless to us as a guide in life.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Past #Men #Law

  • There are some people who imagine that they can disarm their enemy by complacent flattery. They are wrong. The world has always belonged to the stronger and will belong to them for many years to come. Men only respect those who make themselves respected. Whoever becomes a lamb will find a wolf to eat him.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Men #Years #People

  • It is a know fact that almost all revolutions have been the work, not of the common people, but of the aristocracy, and especially of the decayed part of the aristocracy.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #People #Revolution #Facts

  • The party that called itself liberal aimed at respecting the liberty to dispose of one's own goods
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Party #Liberty #Economics

  • Usually, so far as improvement in the people's economic conditions is concerned, humanitarians simply play the role of the busybody.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Play #People #Roles

  • Among civilized peoples, especially the very wealthy population of the United States of America, women have become objects of luxury who consume but do not produce.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Luxury #America #United States

  • Empirical laws [...] have only slight or even no value beyond the limits within which they have been observed to be true.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Law #Limits #Being True

  • Society is not homogeneous, and those who do not deliberately close their eyes have to recognize that men differ greatly from one another from the physical, moral, and intellectual viewpoints.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Eye #Men #Intellectual

  • The economic and social theories used by those who take part in the social struggle ought to be judged not by their objective value but primarily for their effectiveness in arousing emotions. The scientific refutation of them which can be made is useless, however correct it may be objectively.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Struggle #Effectiveness #Useless

  • The assertion that men are objectively equal is so absurd that it does not even merit being refuted.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Men #Merit #Doe

  • All governments use force and all assert that they are founded on reason. In fact, whether universal suffrage prevails or not, it is always an oligarchy that governs, finding ways to give to'the will of the people'the expression which the few desire.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Government #Expression #Giving

  • The liberals who demanded equality of taxation on behalf of the poor, for instance, did not imagine that they would obtain progressive taxation to the disadvantage of the well-off, and that they would end up with an arrangement in which taxes are voted by those who do not pay them.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Taxation #Pay #Progressive

  • Theories of "natural law" and the "law of nations" are another excellent example of discussions destitute of all exactness. [...] "Natural law" is simply that law of which the person using the phrase approves[....]
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Law #Phrases #Libertarian

  • In any series of elements to be controlled, a selected small fraction, in terms of numbers of elements, always accounts for a large fraction in terms of effect.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Leadership #Numbers #Elements

  • Assume that the new elite were clearly and simply to proclaim its intentions which are to supplant the old elite; no one would come to its assistance, it would be defeated before having fought a battle. On the contrary, it appears to be asking nothing for itself, well knowing that without asking anything in advance it will obtain what it wants as a consequence of its victory.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Knowing #Victory #Battle

  • Increase in the wealth per capita fosters democracy; but the latter, at least according to what we have been able to observe up to now, entails great destruction of wealth and even eventually dries up the sources of it. Hence it is its own grave-digger, it destroys what gave it birth.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Democracy #Able #Birth

  • The diverse natures of men, combined with the necessity to satisfy in some manner the sentiment which desires them to be equal, has had the result that in the democracies they have endeavored to provide the appearance of power in the people and the reality of power in an elite.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Reality #Men #People

  • My wish is to construct a system of sociology on the model of celestial mechanics, physics, and chemistry.
    -- Vilfredo Pareto

    #Wish #Chemistry #Physics