In Malayalam, there is a proverb "Whether the leaf falls on a thorn or a thorn on a leaf, the leaf is always harmed." Can you suggest an English saying similar to this?

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    @WS2 It is an old saying and you can read it in a different sense like giving warning to a person before dealing with anything, that might harm the person. please don't read it with communism and caste system. – Antony Mar 8 '14 at 8:38
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    It's 'Whether the leaf ...': Whether the leaf falls on a thorn or a thorn on a leaf, it's the leaf that is harmed. – Kris Mar 8 '14 at 10:18
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    @WS2 It has nothing to do with any of those things. It's of universal relevance. – Kris Mar 8 '14 at 10:19
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    Less threatening: "Six of one; half a dozen of the other" ? – Carl Witthoft Mar 8 '14 at 13:58
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    Maybe "Shit rolls downhill," or "You can't fight City Hall." I'm not sure there is as poetic a saying in AmericanEnglish, but I intend to start using this translation. I like it! – Carl Witthoft Mar 8 '14 at 14:02

From poker/casino play there is "The house always wins."


"Damned if you do, damned if you don't." might fit

Prov. No matter what you do, it will cause trouble.

How about "throwing an egg against a rock" ? I couldn't find a definition but it is used in some of the sources and books.

For example, in this book about Chinese Philosophy (The Ways of Confucianism: Investigations in Chinese Philosophy By David S. Nivison):

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    "Throwing an egg against a rock," is a good suggestion. – Antony Mar 9 '14 at 18:14

"No-win situation" might suit you.

More information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-win_situation

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