[Regarding politicians] . . . like any group of people selected for ambition and nothing else, they turn out to be a pretty bad lot. Like mandarins in China, colonial administrators in the British Empire, lawyers in old North America, or the reconstruction agencies after the Slaughter — individually there are decent people who do some good, but as a class they’re amoral, vicious leeches with a good cover story.
John Barnes, A Million Open Doors