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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Free to Err <- J.S. Mill


On-LibertyThat 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)

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2009 in Politics, society

 

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Strive against Oppression


I can't believe we still have to protest this crapThe best Jihad
is to speak a just word
to an unjust ruler.

Mishkat al-Masabih, quoting Muhammad.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2009 in Foreign Policy, Politics

 

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Government is, at Best, Evil <- Thomas Paine


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.

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

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2009 in Politics

 

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Character is the Cure to Government


Ralph Waldo Emerson camioHence 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)

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2009 in Politics

 

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Respectable Writers <- DeWitt and Hume


johandewitt

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

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2009 in Politics

 

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Censorship for Babes <- Heinlein


illegal-steakThe 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

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2009 in education, Politics

 

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The End of Law


John Locke The end of Law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge Freedom.

John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (1689)

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2009 in Politics

 

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