Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck (also Otto Furst von Bismarck), Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg, Prince of Bismarck (born 1 April 1815, Schönhausen, Germany – died 30 July 1898, Friedrichsruh, Aumühle, Germany), was a Prussian and German statesman of the 19th century. He was called the ‘Iron Chancellor’. Bismarck had served as the chancellor of the North German Confederation from 1867 to 1871 and alongside the office of chancellor of Germany, he was Prussia's minister president and the minister of Foreign Affairs from 1862 to 1890.
18 Wise Otto Von Bismarck Quotes Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others. We live in a wondrous time in which the strong is weak because of his moral scruples and the weak grows strong because of his audacity. When you want to fool the world, tell the truth. People never lie so much as before an election, during a war, or after a hunt. Man cannot control the current of events. he can only float with them and steer. History is simply a piece of paper covered with print: the main thing is to make history, not to write it. It is the destiny of the weak to be devoured by the strong. Hounds follow those who feed them. Love is blind; friendship tries not to notice. Fools you are who say you like to learn from your mistakes. I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others, and avoid the cost of my own. Great men have great dogs. Life is like being at the dentist. You always think the worst is still to come, and it is over already. The life of a man is like a game of chess, which he plays according to his art. A generation that has taken a beating is always followed by a generation that deals one. I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring. Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness. Our German forefathers had a very kind religion. They believed that, after death, they would meet again all the good dogs that had been their companions in life. I wish I could believe that too. The Americans are a very lucky people. They’re bordered to the north and south by weak neighbors, and to the east and west by fish. 5 Otto Von Bismarck Quotes About Law Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made. With bad laws and good civil servants it’s still possible to govern. But with bad civil servants even the best laws can’t help. Laws are like medicine; they generally cure an evil by a lesser or a passing evil. The less people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they’ll sleep at night. [Government] is cancerous in head and limbs; only its belly is sound, and the laws it excretes are the most straightforward shit in the world. 13 Otto Von Bismarck Quotes About Politics Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied. The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia. Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best. He who has his thumb on the purse has the power. God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America. Politics is not an exact science. Politics ruins the character. Political judgment is the ability to hear the distant hoofbeats of the horse of history. Politics are not a science based on logic; they are the capacity of always choosing at each instant, in constantly changing situations, the least harmful, the most useful. Faust complained about having two souls in his breast, but I harbor a whole crowd of them and they quarrel. It is like being in a republic. The statesman’s task is to hear God’s footsteps marching through history, and to try and catch on to His coattails as He marches past. Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite! Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong: it is a geographical expression. 12 Otto Von Bismarck Quotes About War One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans (1888). The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood. Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war. Preventive war is like committing suicide out of fear of death. I consider even a victorious war as an evil, from which statesmanship must endeavor to spare nations. Woe to the leader whose arguments at the end of a war are not as plausible as they were at the beginning. You can’t destroy the polish national-consciousness or Poles on the battlefield, but if you give them power, they will destroy themselves. A conquering army on the border will not be stopped by eloquence. You can do everything with bayonets, but you are not able to sit on them. Beware of sentimental alliances where the consciousness of good deeds is the only compensation for noble sacrifices. I have wished to crush Rome that I might crush Christianity. 20 Inspirational Otto Von Bismarck Quotes The nation that has the schools has the future. With a gentleman, I am always a gentleman and a half, and with a fraud, I try to be a fraud and a half. What we learn from History is that no one learns from History. A really great man is known by three signs: generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation in success. We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world. A little caution outflanks a large cavalry. My subject is my life, and my life is my subject. A bad plan that is well executed will yield much better results than a good plan that is poorly executed. I am accustomed to pay men back in their own coin. I have found that nothing so deceives your adversaries as telling them the truth. An appeal to fear never finds an echo in German hearts. Better pointed bullets than pointed speeches. The luxury of one’s own opinion. Vanity is a mortgage that must be deducted from the value of a man. Show me an objective worthy of war and I will go along with you. I have only one ambition left: I should like to have a good epitaph. I have never lived on principles. When I have had to act, I never first asked myself on what principles I was going to act, but I went at it and did what I thought fit. I have often reproached myself for my want of principle. Life has taught me to forgive much, but to seek forgiveness still more. One can put some trust in the gratitude of a sovereign, and also in that of his family; under certain conditions, one can even rely upon it; but one can never expect anything from the gratitude of a nation. Universal suffrage is the government of a house by its nursery.