I must protest that I would never seek foreign conflicts just to go over domestic difficulties; that would be frivolous. I was speaking of conflicts that we could not avoid, even though we do not seek them.

tagged: conflict, war

Share with your friends

More from Otto von Bismarck

They treat me like a fox, a cunning fellow of the first rank. But the truth is that with a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and when I have to do with a pirate, I try to be a pirate and a half.

As quoted in Disraeli, Gladstone, and the Eastern Question : A Study in Diplomacy and Party Politics (1935) by Robert William Seton-Watson

Politics is not an exact science.

Speech to Prussian upper house (18 December 1863)

A conquering army on the border will not be stopped by eloquence.

Speech to North German Reichstag (24 September 1867)

Not by speeches and votes of the majority, are the great questions of the time decided — that was the error of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood.

Speech to the Budget Commission of the Prussian Diet (30 September 1862)

Politics is the art of the possible.

Interview (11 August 1867)