“We may add that frequent punishments are always a sign of weakness or remissness on the part of the government.”
In a well-governed state, there are few punishments, not because there are many pardons, but because criminals are rare; it is when a state is in decay that the multitudes of crimes is a guarantee of impunity.
— Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762)
Tags: drug war, incarceration, injustice, jean-jacques rosseau, liberty, prohibition, rousseau, tyranny
Defend your opponents' rights, or lose your own
An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
— Thomas Paine, First Principles of Government (1795)
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Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.
— Tench Coxe, “Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution,” under the pseudonym “A Pennsylvanian” in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789.
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People sometimes inquire what form of government is most suitable for an artist to live under. To this question there is only one answer. The form of government that is most suitable to the artist is no government at all.
– Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
Tags: art, artists, freedom, government, liberty, oscar wilde, quotation, quotations, quote, quotes, socialism, speech, tyranny
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
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Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him?
– Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801)
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Till the mischief be grown general, and the ill designs of the rulers become visible, or their attempts sensible to the greater part, the people, who are more disposed to suffer than right themselves by resistance, are not apt to stir.
The examples of particular injustice, or oppression of here and there an unfortunate man, moves them not. But if they universally have a persuation, grounded upon manifest evidence,that designs are carrying on against their liberties, and the general course and tendency of things cannot but give them strong suspicions of the evil intention of their governors, who is to be blamed for it?
–John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government
Tags: 1776, declaration, declaration of independence, evil, freedom, governors resistance, independence, liberty, resistance, revolution, rulers, tyranny
When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
— Plato (Aristocles, son of Ariston) , “The Republic“
The Global War on Terror is a Lie
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