James Q. Wilson Quotes

Enjoy the top 35 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by James Q. Wilson.

James Q. Wilson Quotes

The selection process has been powerful enough to produce one indisputable outcome: the family is a universal human institution ... In virtually every society into which historians or anthropologists have inquired, one finds people living together on the basis of kinship ties and having responsibility for raising children ... Even in societies where men and women have relatively unrestricted sexual access to one another beginning at an early age, marriage is still the basis for family formation. It is desired by the partners and expected by society.
— James Q. Wilson —

Crime is the price society pays for abandoning character.

— James Q. Wilson

I mean that the function of the police is to solve problems that have law-enforcement consequences in a way that is based on a genuine partnership with the neighborhood in both the venting of the problem and the discussion of the solution.

— James Q. Wilson

In the long run, the public interest depends on private virtue.

— James Q. Wilson

I will have an administrative system where there is no way to extricate red tape.

— James Q. Wilson

There aren't any liberals left in New York. They've all been mugged by now.

— James Q. Wilson

I believe that the high rates of property crime (and some of the increase in violent crime) are part of the price you pay for freedom.

— James Q. Wilson

The view that we know less than we thought we knew about how to change the human condition came, in time, to be called neoconservatism. Many ... , myself included, disliked the term because we did not think we were conservative, neo or paleo. (I voted for John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey and worked in the latter's presidential campaign.) It would have been better if we had been called policy skeptics; that is, people who thought it was hard, though not impossible, to make useful and important changes in public policy.

— James Q. Wilson

A particular rule that seems to make sense in the individual case makes no sense when it is made a universal rule and applied to all cases. It makes no sense because it fails to take into account the connection between one broken window left untended and a thousand broken windows.

— James Q. Wilson

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.

— James Q. Wilson

It's no surprise that academics in this country have been generally suspicious of business or that in a time like this, when general public confidence in the corporation has fallen, the expressions of hostility grow sharper.

— James Q. Wilson

The great achievement of Western culture since the Enlightenment is to make many of us peer over the wall and grant some respect to people outside it; the great failure of Western Culture is to deny that walls are inevitable or important.

— James Q. Wilson

Many Americans have lost confidence in the way our criminal courts assess guilt and innocence. Whatever one thinks of the verdicts, the recent trials of O.J. Simpson, Erik and Lyle Menendez, and various defendants in preschool molestation cases have been lengthy, lawyer-dominated soap operas in which the search for truth has been subordinated to the manipulation of procedures.

— James Q. Wilson

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