Over the years, I have gathered a considerable number of quotations, which I thought that I might share. At some point I might attempt to standardize the formatting and organize them, but in the meantime, here they are.
“The philosophy of the classroom today will be the philosophy of government tomorrow.”
– Abraham Lincoln
The question is not whether the system works, but whether we like the way it works. Just because something works doesn’t mean it is desirable. Concentration camps work, if your purpose is to enslave people. Stealing works, if all you care about is money. Lying works, if you don’t give a damn about your personal integrity. Literally anything, no matter how monstrously immoral will work, depending on your desires and how you define the term work.” Sy Leon
“Why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world – to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.”
“All government in essence,” says Emerson, “is tyranny.” It matters not whether it is government by divine right or majority rule. In every instance its aim is the absolute subordination of the individual.
ANARCHISM:–The philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary.
The most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation.
We see that not only is the emperor naked–he is a murder, tyrant, brigand, liar, and bungler.
-James W. Harris
Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance.
No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.
~Frederick Douglass, speech, Civil Rights Mass Meeting, Washington, D.C., 1883
The extent to which you are responsible for yourself is the extent to which you are free.
– Brad Reddekopp
We anarchists do not want to emancipate the people; we want the people to emancipate themselves.
~Errico Malatesta, l’Agitazione, 18 June 1897
The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue.
Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.
I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.
-H. L. Mencken
“Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.”
Law never made man a whit more just; and by means of their respect for it, even the well disposed are daily made agents of injustice.
-Henry David Thoreau
Every vote for a governing office is an instrument for enslaving me.
-Dr. M.E. Lazarus
Is not the very beginning of privilege, monopoly and industrial slavery this erecting of the ballot-box above the individual?
-Benjamin R. Tucker
The State is a principle, a philosophical error in social existence. The State is chaos, rioting under the guise of law, order, and morality. The State is a mob, posited on unscientific premises.
If the person making a decision is not the one assuming the risks of a potential mistake, then the decision is more often a poor one. -T.Sowell
Liberty is the mother, not the daughter, of order. — Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation. — Mikhail Bakunin
It is only to the individual that a soul is given.
It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.
The faster you go, the shorter you are.
The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead.
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
“You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” –Albert Einstein
ll that wise and good men can do is to persevere in doing their duty to their country and leave the consequences to Him who made men only; neither elated by success, however great, nor discouraged by disappointments however frequent or mortifying.”
– John Jay
No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.
– Edward R. Murrow
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
George Bernard Shaw
“ At this point we should naturally pause to emphasize one very important difference between consumer sovereignty in a market order and voter sovereignty in a polticial order—a difference that extends with vengeance to the parallels in the educational structure. Buyer-consumers in a market are “sovereign” becuaes they indirectly determine the allocation of economic resources by their choices among competing ses. Translated into everyday language, the housewife determines whether or not the cornor grocery store will be prosperous by heir willingness ot shop their. Her selection among alternative sources of supply indirectly determines who shall be prosperous. The specific corner grocery may not survive, but the housewife continues to face many retail outleds. The sovereignty of the consumer does not result in the selection of a single monopoly retail outlet in the community. In relatively sharp contrast with this, voter sovereignty in political democracy normally produces a single result. Only one candidate or one party can be in office at a time, and those in the opposing minority have no option but to abide by the wishes of the majority.”
Buchanan & Devletoglon, Academia in Anarchy
Madness is rare in individuals–but in groups, political parties, nations, and eras it’s the rule.
– Friedrich Nietzsche
Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.
Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.
Be of good cheer about death and know this as a truth – that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.
On bad logic: No, I don’t know what a syllogism looks like. We keep ours in the back of the car so we don’t have to see it.
On faulty logic: Derivature Duck: God is love. Love is blind. Ray Charles is blind. Ray Charles = God. Ray Charles is dead. Nietszche = correct.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”
“He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves he has no brains of his own.”
C. H. Spurgeon
“I know no author who is worthy the honour of being followed absolutely and without reserve.”
“The venerable dead are waiting in my library to entertain me and relieve me from the nonsense of surviving mortals”
The least of learning is done in the classrooms.
– Thomas Merton
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.
– Ernest Benn
“The only gain of civilization for mankind is the greater capacity for variety of sensations.” “for what is a man without desires, without free will and without choice, if not a stop in an organ?”
~Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
“In discussion it is not so much weight of authority af force of argument that should be demanded.”
“Friendy remonstrance must be met by explanation, hostile attack by refutation.”
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
– Sir Richard Steele
“The greatest crime is homicide. The accomplice is no better than the assassin; the theorist is worse.”
“The full exposition of truth is the great object for which the existence of mankind is prolonged on earth.”
“The people are the ultimate guardians of their own liberties. In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy . . . Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone.”
“Liberalism wishes for what ought to be, irrespective of what is..
“The past was allowed no authority except as it happened to conform to morality.”
~Himmelfarb (of Acton)
“Only one type of defense of serious defense of a policy is open to an economist or anyone else; he must maintain that the policy is good. True ‘realism’ is the same thing men have always meant by wisdom: to decide the immediate in the light of the ultimate.”
“Democracy, which is imposed by force of other means, is not democracy at all, since it is not a system in which power belongs to the people. Hence, the very idea of imposing democracy from without is self-contradictory.”
“When we say that one has the right to do certain things we mean this and only this, that it would be immoral for another, alone or in combination, to stop him from doing this by the use of physical force or the threat thereof. We do not mean that any use a man makes of his property within the limits set forth is necessarily a moral use.”
“Civilizations die from suicide, not murder.”
~historian Arnold Toynbee
Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.
– Harry S Truman
“If conscience toward God, and credit with men, cannot both go to heaven with the saints, the author is satisfied with the former companion, and is willing to dismiss the other. Truth to Christ cannot be treason to Ceasar, and for his choice he judgeth truth to have a nearer relation to Christ Jesus, than the transcendent and boundless power of a mortal prince.
Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.
– James F. Byrnes
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and its finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man’s.
The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.
~Ralph W. Sockman
“Reality is that which when you stop believing in it, it doesn’t go away.” – novelist Philip K. Dick.
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.
Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.
It is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed.
~Vida D. Scudder
“The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes.” ~Sir Thomas Beecham (at the beginning of an article about fifing and drumming!)
“I don’t know anything, but I do know that everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough.” ~Richard Feynman
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that thinks nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of greater men than himself.”
–John Stuart Mill
Opinion is a flitting thing
But truth, outlasts the sun;
If we cannot own them both,
Possess the oldest one.”
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft
music. — Nabokov
“science is a belief in the ignorance of the experts”
The historical record shows that democracy inevitably engenders individualism. . . The defining characteristic of democracy is freedom, and the oldest democratic concept of freedom is the Greek one: To be free is to live as one likes. Versions of that definition are found wherever people are or aspire to be democratic. To live as one likes means that one is allowed to try out various roles in life. Each person is more than any single role, function, or place in society. Individualism consists in that idea. Only democracy inspires it. It is also true that democracy, in reaction, produces antidemocratic individualism.
DEMOCRATIC INDIVIDUALISM AND ITS CRITICS
“One had to cram all this stuff into one’s mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year.”
— Albert Einstein (1879–1955, American theoretical physicist, 1921 Nobel
Prize winner in Physics)
It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.
– Bertrand Russell
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
–Philip K. Dick
Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
“To destroy free will under the pretext that man may err would be no improvement unless it were first proved to us that the agent who organizes the restraint does not himself participate in the imperfection of our nature, and is subject neither to the passions nor to the errors of other men.”
“Would it be better for the State to take from us our means of support, and undertake to feed us, or to leave us both our means of support and the care of feeding ourselves? The same question may be asked with reference to all our wants.”
“It is not, then, because we have few laws and few functionaries or, in other words, because we have few public services, that revolutions are to be feared; but on the contrary, because we have many laws, many functionaries, and many public services.”
“But, as believers, we have a right to say, seek not to control the order and justice of God—seek not to control the free action of the sovereign and infallible mover of all, or of that machinery of transmission which we call the human initiative. Liberty thus understood is no longer the anarchical deification of individualism. What we adore is above and beyond man who struglles; it is God who leads him.”
“If individual evil, then, does not weaken or invalidate physiological harmny, still less does collective evil weaken or invalidate social harmony. ”
“Is has been truly said that Socialism is despotism incarnate. ”
“But there is nothing really gratuitous but what costs nothing to anyone.”
“Prolix exactitude is better than delusive brevity”
“When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”
“They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.”
The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’, meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’, meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.
– Larry Hardiman
There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
– Kurt Vonnegut
“The probability of the people in power being individuals who would dislike the possession and exercise of power is on a level with the probability that an extremely tenderhearted person would get the job of whipping master in a slave plantation.”
Frank H. Knight
“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
– Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859-1930)
“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
– Plato (427-347 B.C.)
Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.
~Benjamin Disraeli, Speech in the House of Commons [June 15, 1874]
William Hazlitt: Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.
Herbert Spencer: “The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.”
Thomas Jefferson: “Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.”
Thomas Jefferson: “There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.”
“America will produce no more geniuses because you lock your little children up in rooms with no windows all day long.”
~Anonymous Polish Physicist
The origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact, between the rulers and the ruled; and must be liable to such limitations, as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have, to govern others, except their own consent? To usurp dominion over a people, in their own despite, or to grasp at a more extensive power than they are willing to entrust, is to violate that law of nature, which gives every man a right to his personal liberty; and can, therefore, confer no obligation to obedience.
~Alexander Hamilton (s)
I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
~James Madison (s)
Besides the danger of a direct mixture of religion and civil government, there is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by ecclesiastical corporations. The establishment of the chaplainship in Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights as well as of Constitutional principles. The danger of silent accumulations and encroachments by ecclesiastical bodies has not sufficiently engaged attention in the U.S.
Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.
~Thomas Jefferson (S)
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.
~Thomas Jefferson (S)
“…the one thing I have been amused by is the attempt by some people to say that the president has been rigging gas prices, which would give him the kind of magisterial clout unknown to any other human being.”
“The beauty of the classical liberal system is that it starts with the questions and gets the answers, not vice versa. There are heavy costs to this approach–injustices unremedied, suffering unrectified, virtues unrewarded. The only good thing you can say about such a system it is that it is ever so much better than doing things the other way ’round.”
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. He is not entitled to his own facts.”
~ Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York(s)
“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. (s)
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.” (S)
All the problems that the socialists proposed to themselves, cosmogonic visions, revery and mysticism being cast aside, can be reduced to two principal problems.
First problem: To produce wealth.
Second problem: To share it.
The first problem contains the question of work.
The second contains the question of salary.
In the first problem the employment of forces is in question.
In the second, the distribution of enjoyment.
From the proper employment of forces results public power.
From a good distribution of enjoyments results individual happiness.
By a good distribution, not an equal but an equitable distribution must be understood.
From these two things combined, the public power without, individual happiness within, results social prosperity.
Social prosperity means the man happy, the citizen free, the nation great.
England solves the first of these two problems. She creates wealth admirably, she divides it badly. This solution which is complete on one side only leads her fatally to two extremes: monstrous opulence, monstrous wretchedness. All enjoyments for some, all privations for the rest, that is to say, for the people; privilege, exception, monopoly, feudalism, born from toil itself. A false and dangerous situation, which sates public power or private misery, which sets the roots of the State in the sufferings of the individual. A badly constituted grandeur in which are combined all the material elements and into which no moral element enters.
Communism and agrarian law think that they solve the second problem. They are mistaken. Their division kills production. Equal partition abolishes emulation; and consequently labor. It is a partition made by the butcher, which kills that which it divides. It is therefore impossible to pause over these pretended solutions. Slaying wealth is not the same thing as dividing it.
If a voter bribes a legislator with private money, we call it bribery. If a legislator bribes a voter with public money, we call it governing.
Herbert Hoover, “Rugged Individualism” 1928: “When the Federal Government undertakes to go into commercial business it must at once set up the organization and administration of that business, and it immediately finds itself in a labyrinth…. Commercial business requires a concentration of responsibility. Our government to succeed in business would need to become in effect a despotism. There at once begins the destruction of self-government.”
Sir Winston Churchill: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the uneven division of blessings, while the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal division of misery.
Voltarine De Cleyre: “Make no laws whatever concerning speech, and speech will be free; so soon as you make a declaration on paper that speech shall be free, you will have a hundred lawyers proving that “freedom does not mean abuse, nor liberty license,” and they will define freedom out of existence.
Alexis de Tocqueville: “Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
Alan Dershowitz: “Students throughout the totalitarian world risk life and limb for freedom of expression, many American college students are demanding that big brother restrict their freedom of speech on campus.(s)
Alan Dershowitz: “Our First Amendment expresses a far different calculus for regulating speech than for regulating nonexpressive conduct and that is as it should be. The right to swing your fist should end at the tip of my nose, but your right to express your ideas should not necessarily end at the lobes of my ears.
Milton Friedman: “A society that puts equality…ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.
Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi: “Freedom is not worth living if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that previous right.
Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Americans, indeed all freemen, remember that in the final choice, a soldier’s pack is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner’s chains.
Harry Emerson Fosdick: “Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.
Benjamin Franklin: “Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. … Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.
Benjamin Franklin: “A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district – all studied and appreciated as they merit – are the principal support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty.
Galileo Galilei: “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
John G. Diefenbaker: “Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.
Justice William O. Douglas: “A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left.
Paul Harvey: “They have gun control in Cuba. They have universal health care in Cuba. So why do they want to come here?
Fredrich August von Hayek: “All political theories assume, of course, that most individuals are very ignorant. Those who plead for liberty differ from the rest in that they include among the ignorant themselves as well as the wisest.
Robert A. Heinlein: “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don’t ever count on having both at once.
Patrick Henry: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.
Eric Hoffer: “Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.
Eric Hoffer: “There can be no freedom without freedom to fail.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.
Justice Charles Evans Hughes: “It is the essence of the institutions of liberty that it be recognized that guilt is personal and cannot be attributed to the holding of opinions or to mere intent in the absence of overt acts.
Robert G. Ingersoll: “By physical liberty I mean the right to do anything which does not interfere with the happiness of another. By intellectual liberty I mean the right to think and the right to think wrong.
Robert G. Ingersoll: “What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man. Without liberty, the brain is a dungeon, where the chained thoughts die with their pinions pressed against the hingeless doors.
Thomas Jefferson: “When the government fears the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson: “No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson: “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.
Thomas Jefferson: “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
Thomas Jefferson: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.
Thomas Jefferson: “A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.
Thomas Jefferson: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable, that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thomas Jefferson: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
Thomas Jefferson: “Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
Thomas Jefferson: “What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Thomas Jefferson: “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
John F. Kennedy: “If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy: “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
C. S. Lewis: “’Useful,’ and ‘necessity’ was always ‘the tyrant’s plea’.
John Locke: “Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society and made by the legislative power vested in it and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, arbitrary will of another man.
Archibald MacLeish: “There are those who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American Dream.
James Madison: “The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.
John Stuart Mill: “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
Reverend Martin Niemoeller: “In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn’t speak up because I was a protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.
George Orwell: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
William Penn: “Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.
Jean-Jacques Rousseaus: “I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.
Bertrand Russell: “When the state intervenes to insure the indoctrination of some doctrine, it does so because there is no conclusive evidence in favor of that doctrine.
Antoine De Saintexupery: “True, it is evil that a single man should crush the herd, but see not there the worse form of slavery, which is when the herd crushes out the man.
Jean-Paul Sartre: “Man is condemned to be free. Condemned because he did not create himself, yet is nevertheless at liberty, and from the moment he is thrown into this world he is responsible for everything he does.
George Bernard Shaw: “Imprisonment, as it exists today, is a worse crime than any of those committed by its victims.
L. Neil Smith: “People who object to weapons aren’t abolishing violence, they’re begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically ‘right.’ Guns ended that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work.
Joseph Sobran: “The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honour you can bestow on him. It means that you recognise his superiority to yourself.
Gerry Spence: “While birds can fly, only humans can argue. Argument is the affirmation of our being. It is the principal instrument of human intercourse. Without argument the species would perish. As a subtle suggestion, it is the means by which we aid another. As a warning, it steers us from danger. As exposition, it teaches. As an expression of creativity, it is the gift of ourselves. As a protest, it struggles for justice. As a reasoned dialogue, it resolves disputes. As an assertion of self, it engenders respect. As an entreaty of love, it expresses our devotion. As a plea, it generates mercy. As charismatic oration it moves multitudes and changes history. We must argue — to help, to warn, to lead, to love, to create, to learn, to enjoy justice, to be.
Herbert Spencer: “If men use their liberty in such a way as to surrender their liberty, are they thereafter any the less slaves? If people by a plebiscite elect a man despot over them, do they remain free because the despotism was of their own making?
Harold E. Stassen: “Government is like fire. If it is kept within bounds and under the control of the people, it contributes to the welfare of all. But if it gets out of place, if it gets too big and out of control, it destroys the happiness and even the lives of the people.
William Graham Sumner: “If I want to be free from any other man’s dictation, I must understand that I can have no other man under my control.
Sir Alex Fraser Tytler: “The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complaceny to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependency back again into bondage.
Sir Alex Fraser Tytler: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”
Robert Welch: “The real freedom of any individual can always be measured by the amount of responsibility which he must assume for his own welfare and security.
Robert Welch: “I want for our country enough laws to restrain me from injuring others, so that these laws will also restrain others from injuring me. I want enough government, with enough constitutional safeguards, so that this necessary minimum of laws will be applied equitably to everybody, and will be binding on the rulers as well as those ruled. Beyond that I want neither laws nor government to be imposed on our people as a means or with the excuse of protecting us from catching cold, or of seeing that we raise the right kind of crops, or of forcing us to live in the right kind of houses or neighborhoods, or of compelling us to save money or to spend it, or of telling us when or whether we can pray. I do not want government or laws designed for any other form of welfarism or paternalism, based on the premise that government knows best and can run our lives better than we can run them ourselves. And my concept of freedom, and of its overwhelming importance, is implicit in these aspirations and ideals.
Woodrow Wilson: “Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” — Andrew Jackson
“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”– Thomas Jefferson
“Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government” — James Madison
“We have too many lawyers making laws. We need some un-lawyers un-making some laws.”– Carl Strang, ex-mayor, Winter Haven, FL
In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.” — This statement was written by the Rev. Martin Niemoeller, a German Lutheran pastor who was arrested by the Gestapo in 1938. He was sent to the concentration camp at Dachau, where he remained until he was freed by the Allied forces in 1945.
“Do we really think that a government-dominated education is going to produce citizens capable of dominating their government, as the education of a truly vigilant self-governing people requires?” — Alan Keyes (S)
“Democracy is defended in 3 stages. Ballot Box, Jury Box, Cartridge Box.” — Ambrose Bierce