Podkayne of Mars - Heinlein

Podkayne of Mars

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"...Think about it. Politics is just a name for the way we get things done... without fighting. We dicker and compromise and everybody thinks he has received a raw deal, but somehow after a tedious amount of talk we come up with some jury-rigged way to do it without getting anybody's head bashed in. That's politics. The only other way to settle a dispute is by bashing a few heads in... and that is what happens when one or both sides is no longer willing to dicker. That's why I say politics is good even when it is bad... because the only alternative is force -- and somebody gets hurt."

"No. In sober truth no person can ever be truly responsible for another human being. Each of us faces up to the universe alone, and the universe is what it is and doesn't soften the rules for any of us -- and eventually, in the long run, the universe always wins and takes all. But that doesn't make it any easier when we try to be responsible for another -- as you have, as I have -- and then look back and see how we could have done it better."