Best Quotes by James Q. Wilson (Top 6)

  1. Many, if not most, of the difficulties we experience in dealing with government agencies arise from the agencies being part of a fragmented and open political system"ツヲThe central feature of the American constitutional system"ツ杯he separation of powers"ツ覇xacerbates many of these problems. The governments of the US were not designed to be efficient or powerful, but to be tolerable and malleable. Those who designed these arrangements always assumed that the federal government would exercise few and limited powers.
  2. Broken Window Theory: Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars.
  3. Arresting a single drunk or a single vagrant who has harmed no identifiable person seems unjust, and in a sense it is. But failing to do anything about a score of drunks or a hundred vagrants may destroy an entire community.
  4. There aren't any liberals left in New York. They've all been mugged by now.
  5. Without Liberty, Law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without Law, Liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness.
  6. In the long run, the public interest depends on private virtue.