Crises and Power
U.S. Foreign Policy

Quotes on Power

About the book Crisis and Leviathan

Center on Peace & Liberty “J” Quotes
On Power


Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)
7th President of the United States, U.S. Senator,
Congressman, Tennessee Supreme Court Judge, Major General

“It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes.”

“[The national bank is] dangerous to the liberty of the American people because it represented a fantastic centralization of economic and political power under private control.”

“[The national bank is] a vast electioneering engine . . . [that had the] power to control the Government and change its character.”

“Our government is not to be maintained or our Union preserved by invasions of the rights and powers of the several states . . . its true strength consists in leaving individuals and States as much as possible to themselves . . . ; not in binding the States more closely to the center.”

Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954)
Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Solicitor General, Attorney General,
Chief U.S. Prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal at Nurenberg

“The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy. One’s right to life, liberty and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly may not be submitted to vote; they depend on no elections.”

“If the people ever let command of the war power fall into irresponsible and unscrupulous hands, the courts wield no power equal to its restraint. The chief restraint upon those who command the physical forces of the country, in the future as in the past, must be their responsibility to the political judgments of their contemporaries and to the moral judgments of history.”

Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863)
Lt. General, Confederate States of America, U.S. Civil War

“The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.”

“I had rather lose one man in marching than five in fighting.”

Dresden James

“The goal of tyrants is tyranny, and the goal of tyranny is tyranny.”

“The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves.”

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

“A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn‘t the world being round that agitated people, but that the world wasn’t flat. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

Anthony de Jasay (1925-)
French Political Philosopher and Author

“People who live in states have as a rule never experienced the state of nature and vice-versa, and have no practical possibility of moving from the one to the other . . . On what grounds, then, do people form hypotheses about the relative merits of state and state of nature? . . . My contention here is that preferences for political arrangements of society are to a large extent produced by these very arrangements, so that political institutions are either addictive like some drugs, or allergy-inducing like some others, or both, for they may be one thing for some people and the other for others.”

“Self-imposed limits on sovereign power can disarm mistrust, but provide no guarantee of liberty and property beyond those afforded by the balance between state and private force.”

“Having gathered all power to itself, [the State] has become the sole focus of all conflict, and it must construct totalitarian defenses to match its total exposure.”

“People come to believe that because they have states, they need them.”

“The state, under either the contractarian or the Marxist hypothesis, has got all the guns. Those who armed it by disarming themselves, are at its mercy. The state’s sovereignty means that there is no appeal against its will, no higher instance which could possibly make it do one thing rather than another. Everything really depends on Leviathan giving no cause to people to rebel (Hobbes is assuming that it would not), or on the state oppressing only the right people, i.e. the workers.”

“The rise of partisan democracy in the nineteenth century served to build both mass consent and a bigger and cleverer state apparatus.”

“Utilitarianism favours activist government mainly because it is constructed to ignore a whole class of reasons for hastening slowly.”

“Self-imposed limits on sovereign power can disarm mistrust, but provide no guarantee of liberty and property beyond those afforded by the balance between state and private force.”

John Jay (1745-1829)
President of the Continental Congress, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

“The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the facts in controversy.”

“No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without ourconsent. Every fence that the wisdom of our British ancestors had carefully erected against arbitrary power has been violently thrown down.” [address to the people of Britain, 1774]

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
3rd President of the United States, Minister to France, U.S. Vice President,
Delegate to the Continental Congress, Author,
Architect, Inventor, and Political Philosopher

“Freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.”

“I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.”

“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.”

“Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day. But a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (administrations), too plainly proves a deliberate systematic plan of reducing us to slavery.”

“Power is not alluring to pure minds.”

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

“Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.”

“Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.”

“It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.”

“It is reasonable that every one who asks justice should do justice.”

“May it [the Declaration of Independence] be to the world what I believe will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing man to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition has persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings of security and self-government.”

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

“I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty.”

“Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.”

“When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.”

“If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people in England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mis-managers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow sufferers.”

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it.”

“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 law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

“That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline.”

“Considering that Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war, I have thought it my duty to await their authority for using force in any degree which could be avoided.”

“Peace. . . has been our principle, peace is our interest, and peace has saved to the world this only plant of free and rational government now existing in it. . . However, therefore, we may have been reproached for pursuing our Quaker system, time will affix the stamp of wisdom on it, and the happiness and prosperity of our citizens will attest its merit. And this, I believe, is the only legitimate object of government and the first duty of governors, and not the slaughter of men and devastation of the countries placed under their care in pursuit of a fantastic honor unallied to virtue or happiness; or in gratification of the angry passions or the pride of administrators excited by personal incidents in which their citizens have no concern.”

“The state of peace is that which most improves the manners and morals, the prosperity and happiness of mankind.”

“Peace with all nations, and the right which that gives us with respect to all nations, are our object.”

“Peace and abstinence from European interferences are our objects, and so will continue while the present order of things in America remain uninterrupted.”

“Believing that the happiness of mankind is best promoted by the useful pursuits of peace, that on these alone a stable prosperity can be founded, that the evils of war are great in their endurance, and have a long reckoning for ages to come, I have used my best endeavors to keep our country uncommitted in the troubles which afflict Europe, and which assail us on every side.”

“I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.”

“Determined as we are to avoid, if possible, wasting the energies of our people in war and destruction, we shall avoid implicating ourselves the powers of Europe, even in support of principles which we mean to pursue. They have so many other interests different from ours, that we must avoid being entangled in them. We believe we can enforce these principles as to ourselves by peaceable means, now that we are likely to have our public councils detached from foreign views.”

“Nothing but the failure of every peaceable mode of redress, nothing but dire necessity, should force us from the path of peace which would be our wisest pursuit, to embark in the broils and contentions of Europe and become a satellite to any power there.”

“War has been avoided from a due sense of the miseries, and the demoralization it produces, and of the superior blessings of a state of and friendship with all mankind.”

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But 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 right of an individual”

“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?”

“Peace and the prosperity so visibly flowing from it have but strengthened our attachment to it and the blessings it brings, and we do not despair of being always a peaceable nation.”

“Our desire [is] to pursue ourselves the path of peace as the only one leading surely to prosperity, and our wish [is] to preserve the morals of our citizens from being vitiated by courses of lawless plunder and murder.”

“Peace is our most important interest, and a recovery from debt.”

“Wars and contentions indeed fill the pages of history with more matter. But more blest is that nation whose silent course of happiness furnishes nothing for history to say. This is what I ambition for my own country.”

“We love and we value peace; we know its blessings from experience. We abhor the follies of war, and are not untried in its distresses and calamities. Unmeddling with the affairs of other nations, we had hoped that our distance and our dispositions would have left us free, in the example and indulgence of peace with all the world.”

“How much better is it for neighbors to help than to hurt one another; how much happier must it make them. If [nations] will cease to make war on one another, if [they] will live in friendship with all mankind, [they] can employ all [their] time in providing food and clothing for [themselves] and [their people]. [Their] men will not be destroyed in war, [their] women and children will lie down to sleep in their [homes] without fear of being surprised by their enemies and killed or carried away. [Their] numbers will be increased instead of diminished and [they] will live in plenty and in quiet.”

“Force (is) the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism.”

“The concentrating [of powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.”

“The desire to preserve our country from the calamities and ravages of war by cultivating a disposition and pursuing a conduct conciliatory and friendly to all nations has been sincerely entertained and faithfully followed [during my administration of public affairs]. It was dictated by the principles of humanity, the precepts of the gospel and the general wish of our country.”

“I hope we shall prove how much happier for man the Quaker policy is, and that the life of the feeder is better than that of the fighter.”

“Always a friend to peace, and believing it to promote eminently the happiness and prosperity of nations, I am ever unwilling that it should be disturbed, until greater and more important interests call for an appeal to force. Whenever that shall take place, I feel a perfect confidence that the energy and enterprise displayed by my fellow citizens in the pursuits of peace will be equally eminent in those of war.”

“[Many] years of peace and the prosperity so visibly flowing from it have but strengthened our attachment to it and the blessings it brings, and we do not despair of being always a peaceable nation. We think that peaceable means may be devised of keeping nations in the path of justice towards us by making justice their interest and injuries to react on themselves.”

“I do not believe war the most certain means of enforcing principles. Those peaceable coercions which are in the power of every nation, if undertaken in concert and in time of peace, are more likely to produce the desired effect.”

“We have obtained by a peaceable appeal to justice, in four months, what we should not have obtained under seven years of war, the loss of one hundred thousand lives, an hundred millions of additional debt, many hundred millions worth of produce and property lost for want of market, or in seeking it, and that demoralization which war superinduces on the human mind.”

“War is not the best engine for us to resort to; nature has given us one in our commerce, which, if properly managed will be a better instrument for obliging the interested nations of Europe to treat us with justice. . . Our object should now be to. . . endeavor so to form our commercial regulations as that justice from other nations shall be their mechanical result.”

“To cherish and maintain the rights and liberties of our citizens and to ward from them the burthens, the miseries and the crimes of war, by a just and friendly conduct towards all nations [are] among the most obvious and important duties of those to whom the management of their public interests have been confided.”

“A world in arms and trampling on all those moral principles which have heretofore been deemed sacred in the intercourse between nations, could not suffer us to remain insensible of all agitation. During such a course of lawless violence, it was certainly wise to withdraw ourselves from all intercourse with the belligerent nations, to avoid its pernicious effects on manners and morals and the dangers it threatens to free governments, and to cultivate our own resources until our natural and progressive growth should leave us nothing to fear from foreign enterprise.”

“The maxim . . . ‘slow and sure,’ is not less a good one in agriculture than in politics. I sincerely wish it may extricate us from the event of a war, if this can be done saving our faith and our rights.”

“My affections were first for my own country, and then, generally, for all mankind; and nothing but minds placing themselves above the passions, in the functionaries of this country, could have preserved us from the war to which. . . provocations have been constantly urging us.”

“If ever I was gratified with the possession of power, and of the confidence of those who had entrusted me with it, it was on that occasion when I was enabled to use both for the prevention of war, towards which the torrent of passion here was directed almost irresistibly, and when not another person in the United States, less supported by authority and favor, could have resisted it.”

“We had relied with great security on that provision, which requires two-thirds of the Legislature to declare war. But this is completely eluded by a majority's taking measures as will be sure to produce war.”

“Reason and usage have established that when two nations go to war, those who choose to live in peace retain their natural right to pursue their agriculture, manufactures, and other ordinary vocations, to carry the produce of their industry for exchange to all nations, belligerent or neutral, as usual, to go and come freely without injury or molestation, and in short, that the war among others shall be, for them, as if it did not exist. One restriction on their natural rights has been submitted to by nations at peace, that is to say, that of not furnishing to either party implements merely of war for the annoyance of the other, nor anything whatever to a place blockaded by its enemy.”

“War between two nations cannot diminish the rights of the rest of the world remaining at peace. The doctrine that the rights of nations remaining quietly in the exercise of moral and social duties, are to give way to the convenience of those who prefer plundering and murdering one another, is a monstrous doctrine, and ought to yield to the more rational law, that the wrong which two nations endeavor to inflict on each other must not infringe on the rights or conveniences of those remaining at peace.”

“We ask for peace and justice from all nations; and we will remain uprightly neutral in fact.”

“A declaration of neutrality. . . was opposed on these grounds: 1. That a declaration of neutrality was a declaration there should be no war, to which the Executive was not competent. 2. That it would be better to hold back the declaration of neutrality, as a thing worth something to the powers at war, that they would bid for it, and we might reasonably ask a price, the broadest privileges of neutral nations.”

“We have produced proofs, from the most enlightened and approved writers on the subject, that a neutral nation must, in all things relating to the war, observe an exact impartiality towards the parties; that favors to one to the prejudice of the other, would import a fraudulent neutrality, of which no nation would be the dupe; that no succor should be given to either, unless stipulated by treaty, in men, arms, or anything else directly serving for war; that the right of raising troops being one of the rights of sovereignty, and consequently appertaining exclusively to the nation itself, no foreign power or person can levy men within its territory without its consent; and he who does may be rightfully and severely punished; that if the United States have a right to refuse the permission to arm vessels and raise men within their ports and territories, they are bound by the laws of neutrality to exercise that right, and to prohibit such armaments and enlistments.”

“No nation has strove more than we have done to merit the peace of all by the most rigorous impartiality to all.”

“If any nation whatever has a right to shut up to our produce all the ports of the earth except her own and those of her friends, she may shut up these also, and so confine us within our own limits. No nation can subscribe to such pretensions; no nation can agree, at the mere will or interest of another, to have its peaceable industry suspended and its citizens reduced to idleness and want. The loss of our produce destined for foreign markets, or that loss which would result from an arbitrary restraint of our markets, is a tax too serious for us to acquiesce in. It is not enough for a nation to say, we and our friends will buy your produce. We have a right to answer, that it suits us better to sell to their enemies as well as their friends. . . We have a right to judge for ourselves what market best suits us, and they have none to forbid to us the enjoyment of the necessaries and comforts which we may obtain from any other independent country.”

“My principle has ever been that war should not suspend either exports or imports.”

“We believe the practice of seizing what is called contraband of war, is an abusive practice, not founded in natural right. . . And what is contraband, by the law of nature? Either everything which may aid or comfort an enemy, or nothing. Either all commerce which would accommodate him is unlawful, or none is. The difference between articles of one or another description, is a difference in degree only. No line between them can be drawn. Either all intercourse must cease between neutrals and belligerents, or all be permitted. Can the world hesitate to say which shall be the rule? Shall two nations turning tigers, break up in one instant the peaceable relations of the whole world? Reason and nature clearly pronounce that the neutral is to go on in the enjoyment of all its rights, that its commerce remains free, not subject to the jurisdiction of another, nor consequently its vessels to search, or to enquiries whether their contents are the property of an enemy, or are of those which have been called contraband of war.”

“Undertaking to raise, organize and commission an army. . . independent of that of the government, the object of which is to go and possess themselves of lands which have never yet been granted by any authority which the government admits to be legal, and with an avowed design to hold them by force against any power, foreign or domestic,. . . will inevitably commit our whole nation in war with the Indian nations, and perhaps others. It cannot be permitted that all the inhabitants of the United States shall be involved in the calamities of war and the blood of thousands of them be poured out, merely that a few adventurers may possess themselves of lands; nor can a well-ordered government tolerate such an assumption of its sovereignty by unauthorized individuals.”

“Peace is undoubtedly. . . the first object of our nation. Interest and honor are also national considerations.”

“We are for a peaceable accommodation with all. . . nations if it can be effected honorably.”

“We wish to do what is agreeable to [others], if we find we can do it with prudence.”

“I wish for peace if it can be preserved salve fide et honore [saving faith and honor.]”

“Peace is our passion, and the wrongs might drive us from it. We prefer trying ever other just principles, right and safety, before we would recur to war.”

“The war [of 1812] has done us. . . this good. . . of assuring the world, that although attached to peace from a sense of its blessings, we will meet war when it is made necessary.”

“We are alarmed. . . with the apprehensions of war, and sincerely anxious that it may be avoided; but not at the expense either of our faith or honor. [If] the latter has been too much wounded,. . . [the general opinion is] to require reparation, and to seek it even in war if that be necessary. As to myself, I love peace, and I am anxious that we should give the world still another useful lesson by showing to them other modes of punishing injuries than by war, which is as much a punishment to the punisher as to the sufferer. I love, therefore, [the] proposition of cutting off all communication with the nation which has conducted itself so atrociously. This, [some] will say, may bring on war. If it does, we will meet it like men; but it may not bring on war, and then the experiment will have been a happy one.”

“To demand satisfaction beyond what is adequate is wrong.”

“We have already given. . . one effectual check to the dog of war, by transferring the power of letting him loose from the Executive to the Legislative body, from those who are to spend to those who are to pay.”

“All observations are unnecessary on the value of peace with other nations. It would be wise however, by timely provisions, to guard against those acts of our own citizens which might tend to disturb it and to put ourselves in a condition to give satisfaction to foreign nations which we may sometimes have occasion to require from them. I particularly recommend. . . the means of preventing those aggressions by our citizens on the territory of other nations and other infractions of the law of nations which, furnishing just subject of complaint, might endanger our peace with them.”

“In the course of [a] conflict [elsewhere], let it be our endeavor, as it is our interest and desire, to cultivate the friendship of the belligerent nations by every act of justice and of incessant kindness; to receive their armed vessels with hospitality from the distresses of the sea, but to administer the means of annoyance to none; to establish in our harbors such a police as may maintain law and order; to restrain our citizens from embarking individually in a war in which their country takes no part; to punish severely those persons, citizen or alien, who shall usurp the cover of our flag for vessels not entitled to it, infecting thereby with suspicion those of real Americans and committing us into controversies for the redress of wrongs not our own; to exact from every nation the observance toward our vessels and citizens of those principles and practices which all civilized people acknowledge; to merit the character of a just nation and maintain that of an independent one, preferring every consequence to insult and habitual wrong.”

“No citizen should be free to commit his country to war.”

“That individuals should undertake to wage private war, independently of the authority of their country, cannot be permitted in a well-ordered society. Its tendency to produce aggression on the laws and rights of other nations, and to endanger the peace of our own is so obvious, that I doubt not [Congress] will adopt measures for restraining it effectually in future.”

“The criminal attempts of private individuals to decide for their country the question of peace or war, by commencing active and unauthorized hostilities, should be promptly and efficaciously suppressed.”

“Whatever enables us to go to war secures our peace.”

“Although our prospect is peace, our policy and purpose are to provide for defense by all those means to which our resources are competent.”

“The power of making war often prevents it, and in our case would give efficacy to our desire of peace.”

“If we wish our commerce to be free and uninsulted, we must let [other] nations see that we have an energy which at present they disbelieve. The low opinion they entertain of our powers cannot fail to involve us soon in a naval war.”

“[Even though there may be] a justifiable cause of war. . . I should hope that war would not be [our] choice. I think it will furnish us a happy opportunity of setting another example to the world by showing that nations may be brought to justice by appeals to their interests as well as by appeals to arms. I should hope that Congress, instead of a denunciation of war, would instantly exclude from our ports all the manufacture, produce, vessels and subjects of the nations committing aggression during the continuance of the aggression and till full satisfaction made for it. This would work well in many ways, safely in all, and introduce between nations another umpire than arms. It would relieve us too from the risks and the horrors of cutting throats.”

“The animosities of sovereigns are temporary and may be allayed, but those which seize the whole body of a people, and of a people, too, who dictate their own measures, produce calamities of long duration.”

“The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.”

“For us to attempt by war to reform all Europe, and bring them back to principles of morality and a respect for the equal rights of nations, would show us to be only maniacs of another character.”

“I hope it is practicable, by improving the mind and morals of society, to lessen the disposition to war; but of its abolition I despair.”

“There will be war enough to ensure us great prices for wheat for years to come, and if we are wise we shall become wealthy.”

“If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.”

“We did not raise armies for glory or for conquest.”

“Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.”

“The sound principles of national integrity. . . forbade us to take what was a neighbor's merely because it suited us and especially from a neighbor under circumstances of peculiar affliction.”

“Nations of eternal war [expend] all their energies. . . in the destruction of the labor, property, and lives of their people.”

“No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.”

“I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.”

“Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war. Were the money which it has cost to gain, at the close of a long war, a little town or a little territory, the right to cut wood here or to catch fish there, expended in improving what they already possess, in making roads, opening rivers, building ports, improving the arts and finding employment for their idle poor, it would render them much stronger, much wealthier and happier. This I hope will be our wisdom.”

“The most successful war seldom pays for its losses.”

“One would think it not so difficult to discover that the improvement of the country we possess is the surest means of increasing our wealth and power. This, too, promotes the happiness of mankind, while the others destroy it and are always uncertain of their object.”

“The evils which of necessity encompass the life of man are sufficiently numerous. Why should we add to them by voluntarily distressing and destroying one another? Peace, brothers, is better than war. In a long and bloody war, we lose many friends and gain nothing. Let us then live in peace and friendship together, doing to each other all the good we can.”

“Although I dare not promise myself that [peace] can be perpetually maintained, yet if, by the inculcations of reason or religion, the perversities of our nature can be so far corrected as sometimes to prevent the necessity, either supposed or real, of an appeal to the blinder scourges of war, murder, and devastation, the benevolent endeavors of the friends of peace will not be entirely without remuneration.”

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.”

“Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of . . . [Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness], it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.”

“Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.”

“The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may become persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated that the time for fixing every essential right, on a legal basis, is while our rulers are honest, ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will be heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.”

“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.”

“Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government, are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war. All their energies are expended in the destruction of the labor, property and lives of their people.” [Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1823]

“A wise and frugal government . . . shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

Gerald W. Johnson (1890-1980)
American Journalist and Author

“We are reluctant to admit that we owe our liberties to men of a type that today we hate and fear-- unruly men, disturbers of the peace, men who resent and denounce what Whitman called ‘the insolence of elected persons’ – in word, free men…”

Hiram Johnson (1866-1945)
U.S. Senator

“The first casualty when war comes is truth.”

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
English Lexicographer and Literary Critic

“Excise, n. A hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges of property, but by wretches hired by those to whom the excise is paid.”

“The martial character cannot prevail in a whole people but by the diminution of all other virtues.”

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

Ernest Jones (1879-1958)
English Psychoanalyst and Author

“[Censors are] people with secret attractions to various temptations. . . . They are defending themselves under the pretext of defending others, because at heart they fear their own weaknesses.”

Joseph [Heinmot Tooyalaket] (1840-1904)
Native American Chief of the Nez Perce

“If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace. . . . Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The Earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it . . . . Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade . . . where I choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to think and talk and act for myself, and I will obey every law, or submit to the penalty.”

Bertrand de Jouvenel (1903-1987)
French Political Philosopher and Author

“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.”

“The more one considers the matter, the clearer it becomes that redistribution is in effect far less a redistribution of free income from the richer to the poorer, as we imagined, than a redistribution of power from the individual to the State.”

“Times of danger, when Power takes action for the general safety, are worth much to it in accretions to its armoury; and these, when the crisis has passed, it keeps. . . . It is impossible to exaggerate the part played by war in the distension of Power.”

Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.)
Roman Consul, Dictator and General

“War gives the right to the conquerors to impose any condition they please upon the vanquished.”

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)
Swiss Psychologist

“All mass movements, as one might expect, slip with the greatest ease down an inclined plane represented by large numbers. Where the many are, there is security; what the many believe must of course be true; what the many want must be worth striving for, and necessary, and therefore good. In the clamor of the many lies the power to snatch wish-fulfillments by force . . . The infantile dream state of the mass man is so unrealistic that he never thinks to ask who is paying for this paradise. The balancing of accounts is left to a higher political or social authority, which welcomes the task, for its power is thereby increased; and the more power it has, the weaker and more helpless the individual becomes.”

“Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.”