When a man make of his personnal interests the mainspring of his life and he is greedy to make use of everything that can benefit him, he naturally enters into conflict with other persons, acting also in their interests, hence the disagreements that can become a hundred years old, and drive whole generations to a mutual hate.
If the mainspring of popular government in peace time is virtue, its resource during a revolution is at one and the same time virtue and terror; virtue, without which terror is merely terrible; terror, without which virtue is simply powerless.maximilien robespierre
Over a wide field of our economy it is still the better course to rely on the nineteenth century's "hidden hand" than to thrust clumsy bureaucratic fingers into its sensitive mechanism. In particular, we cannot afford to damage its mainspring, freedom of competitive enterprise.john james cowperthwaite
Creatures whose mainspring is curiosity will enjoy the accumulating of facts, far more than pausing at times to reflect on these facts .