That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.
He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise.
— John Stewart Mill, On Liberty ch. 1 (1859)
Tags: freedom, j.s. mill, john stewart mill, liberty, majority rule, mankind, mill, on liberty, quotation, quotations, quote, quotes, society, sovereignty, tyranny of the majority, utilitarianism
The best Jihad
is to speak a just word
to an unjust ruler.
– Mishkat al-Masabih, quoting Muhammad.
Tags: first amendment, freedom of speech, hadith, jihad, liberty, mishkat al-masabih, mohammad, muhammad, protest, quotation, quotations, quote, quotes, saying
Common Sense, the book advocating secession from the British empire and credited with starting the Revolution, was the top-selling book of the 18th century, globally.
Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise.
— Thomas Paine, Common Sense
Tags: 1776, anarchism, anarchy, common sense, evil, founding fathers, government, kings, liberty, paine, paradise, quotation, quotations, quote, quotes, revolution, revolutionary war, sayings, secession, selections, thomas paine
Hence the less government we have the better–the fewer laws and the less confided power.
The antidote to this abuse of formal government is the influence of private character, the growth of the Individual; the appearance of the principal to supersede the proxy; the appearance of the wise man; of whom the existing government is, it must be owned, but a shabby imitation.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Politics (1844)
Tags: anarchism, character, emerson, government, individual, individualism, philosophy, quotation, quotations, quote, quotes, ralph waldo emerson, responsibility, wisdom
John DeWitt was the pseudonym used by a Founder in the writing of several key Anti-Federalist Papers, in defense of individual liberty. The name was chosen in homage to a famous Dutch patriot.
It is asserted by the most respectable writers upon Government, that a well regulated militia, composed of the yeomanry of the country have ever been considered as the bulwark of a free people; and, says the celebrated Mr. Hume;
“without it, it is folly to think any free government will have stability or security. When the sword is introduced, as in our constitution (speaking of the British) the person entrusted will always neglect to discipline the militia, in order to have a pretext for keeping up a standing army; and it is evident this is a mortal distemper in the British parliament, of which it must finally inevitably perish.”
— John DeWitt, Antifederalist Papers, John Dewitt IV
Tags: 2nd amendment, anti-federalist papers, bill of rights, constitution, dewitt, federalist papers, freedom, gun rights, johan dewitt, john dewitt, liberty, militia, right to keep and bear arms, rkba, unorganized militia
The whole principle is wrong. It’s like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can’t have steak.
— Robert Heinlein, The Man Who Sold the Moon (1949), on censorship
Tags: censorship, expression, first amendment, freedom, freedom of expression, liberty, rah, regulation, robert anson heinlein, robert heinlein, safety, speech, the man who sold the moon
The end of Law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge Freedom.
— John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (1689)
Tags: freedom, government, john locke, law, liberty, Politics, quotation, quotations, quote, quotes, role of government, the rule of law, two treatises of government
Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency.
Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded.
Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.
– General Douglas MacArthur, A Soldier Speaks: Public Papers and Speeches of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (1965)
Tags: cold war, crisis, disaster, emergency, fearmongering, general douglas macarthur, government, health care crisis, macarthur, terrorism, wag the dog, war on terror
I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least’; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe–‘That government is best which governs not at all’; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. —Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1849)
Tags: 1849, anarchism, anarchy, civil disobedience, freedom, government, henry david thoreau, imprisonment, liberty, Politics, thoreau
Solvency is maintained by means of a national debt, on the principle, “If you will not lend me the money, how can I pay you?”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Attributes” (1856)
Tags: attributes, bush, debt, deficit, deficit spending, emerson, english traits, federal government, federal spending, money, national debt, obama, pork, pork barrel, ralph waldo emerson, stimulus, tax and spend, taxes
Usually, writers will do anything to avoid writing.
For instance, the previous sentence was written at one o’clock this afternoon. It is now a quarter to four. I have spent the past two hours and forty-five minutes:
- Sorting my neckties by width,
- looking up the word paisly in three dictionaries,
- attempting to find the town of that name on The New York Times Atlas of the World map of Scotland,
- sorting my reference books by width,
- trying to get the bookcase to stop wobbling by stuffing a matchbook cover under its corner,
- dialing the telephone number on the matchbook cover to see if I should take computer courses at night,
- looking at the computer ads in the newspaper and deciding to buy a computer because writing seems to be so difficult on my old Remington,
- reading an interesting article on sorghum farming in Uruguay that was in the newspaper next to the computer ads,
- cutting that and other interesting articles out of the newspaper,
- sorting – by width – all the interesting articles I’ve cut out of newspapers recently,
- fastening them neatly together with paper clips and making a very attractive paper clip necklace and bracelet set…
…which I will present to my girlfriend as soon as she comes home from the three-hour low-impact aerobic workout that I made her go to so I could have some time alone to write.
– P.J. O’Rourke, The Wit and Wisdom of P. J. O’Rourke
Tags: aerobics, atlas, Humor, o'rourke, pj o'rourke, procrastinate, procrastination, quotations, quotes, remington, writer's block, writers, writing
The methods by which a trade union can alone act, are necessarily destructive; its organization is necessarily tyrannical.
– Henry George, Progress and Poverty, 1879
Why Workers Dislike Unions
Tags: destruction, labor, labor movement, labour, organization, Politics, strikes, striking, trade union, trade unions, unions, workers
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.
– George Bernard Shaw, Everybody’s Political What’s What (1944)
Tags: government, high taxes, income tax, paul, peter, progressive taxes, redistribution of wealth, robbing peter to pay paul, tax, taxation, taxes
The US Code, only a subset of all laws and regulations on the books today. The US imprisons a higher percentage of its populace than Communist China does, more than Iran, more than did the Soviet Union, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, or the Taliban's Afghanistan.
America needs fewer laws, not more prisons.
By trying to seize far more power than is necessary over American citizens, the federal government is destroying its own legitimacy.
We face a choice not of anarchy or authoritarianism, but a choice of limited government or unlimited government.
– James Bovard, Lost Rights; The Destruction of American Liberty
Tags: america, anarchy, authoritarianism, convicts, government, imprisonment, james bovard, laws, limited government, prisoners, prisons, rights, tyranny, unlimited government, us code
Thought that is silenced is always rebellious. Majorities, of course, are often mistaken. This is why the silencing of minorities is necessarily dangerous. Criticism and dissent are the indispensable antidote to major delusions.
— Alan Barth, The Loyalty of Free Men (1951)
Tags: china, communist china, criticism, dissent, freedom of expression, liberty, majority rule, rebellion, repression, speech, tiananmen square, tyranny of the majority, unpopular but true
Taxation of earnings from labor is on a par with forced labor. Seizing the results of someone’s labor is equivalent to seizing hours from him and directing him to carry on various activities.
– Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia
Why Workers Dislike Unions
Tags: anarchy, freedom, income taxes, labor, labour, liberty, progressive tax, redistribution of wealth, robert nozick, state, taxation, utopia
That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
— George Mason, Virginia Declaration of Rights, (1776)
Tags: 4th of july, bill of rights, civil rights, declaration of rights, george mason, human rights, liberty, natural law, natural rights, rights, state of nature, usa
It was pleasant to me to get a letter from you the other day. Perhaps I should have found it pleasanter if I had been able to decipher it. I don’t think that I mastered anything beyond the date (which I knew) and the signature (which I guessed at).
There’s a singular and a perpetual charm in a letter of yours; it never grows old, it never loses its novelty…Other letters are read and thrown away and forgotten, but yours are kept forever
– unread. One of them will last a reasonable man a lifetime.
– Thomas Aldrich, letter to Professor E.S. Morse, circa 1889
Tags: correspondence, Humor, insult, letter, letters, morse, quotation, quotations, quote, quotes, regards, sarcasm, sayings, thomas aldrich
All Wars are Follies, very expensive, and very mischievous ones. When will Mankind be convinced of this, and agree to settle their Differences by Arbitration? Were they to do it, even by the Cast of a Dye, it would be better than by Fighting and destroying each other.
— Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Mary Hewson, Jan. 27. 1783
Tags: afghanistan, arbitration, ben franklin, benjamin franklin, bush, casualties, conflict, death, destruction, folly, iraq, mankind, military, obama, peace, prosperity, soldiers, war, warfare
The mind is like the stomach. It is not how much you put into it that counts, but how much it digests.
— Albert Jay Nock
Source unknown; if you can help, let us know
Tags: aj nock, albert jay nock, digestion, intellect, intelligence, mind, nock, quotation, quotations, quote, quotes, sapience, sentience, stomach, thinking, thought, wisdom
In recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the “collective” right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of “the people” to keep and bear arms…The phrase “the people” meant the same thing in the Second Amendment as it did in the First, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments — that is, each and every free person.
A select militia defined as only the privileged class entitled to keep and bear arms was considered an anathema to a free society, in the same way that Americans denounced select spokesmen approved by the government as the only class entitled to the freedom of the press.
If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the Constitution and Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the 18th century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis.
– Stephen P. Holbrook, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right
Because the first two amendments of the Bill of Rights were not ratified, the right to keep and bear arms was actually number four in the original document
Tags: 2nd amendment, bill of rights, constitution, freedom, freedom of the press, government, gun rights, guns, holbrook, liberty, militia, nra, right to keep and bear arms, rtkba, second amendment, stephen p holbrook, the people, the right of the people