Crises and Power
U.S. Foreign Policy

Quotes on Power

About the book Crisis and Leviathan

Center on Peace & Liberty “M” Quotes
On Power


General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964)
Supreme Allied Commander, General of the U.S. Army

“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 monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.”

“Talk of imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense…. Indeed it is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear.”

“No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”

“Only those are fit to live who are not afraid to die.”

Lord Thomas B. Macaulay, 1st Baron (1800–1859)
English Historian and Author

“It has often been found that profuse expenditures, heavy taxation, absurd commercial restrictions, corrupt tribunals, disastrous wars, sedition’s, persecutions, conflagrations, inundation, have not been able to destroy capital so fast as the exertions of private citizens have been able to create it.”

“Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely.”

“The maxim, that governments ought to train the people in the way in which they should go, sounds well. But is there any reason for believing that a government is more likely to lead the people in the right way than the people to fall into the right way of themselves?”

“And to say that society ought to be governed by the opinion of the wisest and best, though true, is useless. Whose opinion is to decide who are the wisest and best?”

“Nothing is so galling to a people not broken in from the birth as a paternal, or, in other words, a meddling government, a government which tells them what to read, and say, and eat, and drink and wear.”

“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.”

“There is surely no contradiction in saying that a certain section of the community may be quite competent to protect the persons and property of the rest, yet quite unfit to direct our opinions, or to superintend our private habits.”

“None of the modes by which a magistrate is appointed, popular election, the accident of the lot, or the accident of birth, affords, as far as we can perceive, much security for his being wiser than any of his neighbours. The chance of his being wiser than all his neighbours together is still smaller.”

George E. MacDonald (1824-1905)
Scottish Novelist

“It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen.”

Nicolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)
Italian Political Philosopher

“Occasionally words must serve to veil the facts. But this must happen in such a way that no one becomes aware of it; or, if it should be noticed, excuses must be at hand, to be produced immediately.”

“For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances as though they were realities…and are often more influenced by things that seem than by those that are.”

“Rome remained free for four hundred years and Sparta eight hundred, although their citizens were armed all that time; but many other states that have been disarmed have lost their liberties in less than forty years.”

“A new prince has never been known to disarm his subjects, on the contrary, when he has found them disarmed he has always armed them, for by arming them these arms become your own, those that you suspected become faithful and those that were faithful remain so, and from being merely subjects become your partisans. . . . But when you disarm them, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you.”

“For government consists in nothing else but so controlling subjects that they shall neither be able to, nor have cause to do it harm.”

“War should be the only study of a prince.”

“Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised.”

“Men rise from one ambition to another--first they seek to secure themselves from attack, and then they attack others.”

Robert M. MacIver (1882-1970)
Scottish Sociologist

“The legal code can never be identified with the code of morals. It is no more the function of government to impose a moral code than to impose a religious code. And for the same reason.” [1947]

William Maclay (1737-1804)
U.S. Senator

“John Adams has served to illustrate two points at least with me, viz., that a fool is the most unmanageable of all brutes, and that flattery is the most irksome of all service.”

“My mind revolts, in many instances, against the Constitution of the UnitedStates. Indeed, I am afraid it will turn out the vilest of all types that ever was set to ensnare the freedom of an unsuspecting people. Treaties formed by the Executive of the United States are to be the law of the land. To cloak the Executive with legislative authority is setting aside our modern and much-boasted distribution of power into legislative, judicial, and executive--discoveries unknown to Locke and Montesquieu, and all ancint writers. It certainly contradicts all the modern theory of government, and in practice must be tyranny.”

“The adoption of the new Constitution raised a singular ferment in the minds of men. Every one ill at ease in his finances; every one out at elbows in his circumstances; every ambitious man, every one desirous of a short cut to wealth and honors, cast their eyes on the new Constitution as the machine which could be wrought to their purposes, either in the funds of speculation it would afford, the offices it would create, or the jobs to be obtained under it.”

“I thought the act was a mad one, when a Secretary of War was appointed in time of peace.”

“I have opposed this bill hitherto . . . as the foundation, the corner-stone of a standing army. . . . Hence, we must have a mass of national debt to employ the Treasury, an army for fear the Department of War should lack employment. Foreign engagements, too, must be attended to keep up the consequences of that Secretary. The next cry will be for an Admiralty. Give Knox his army, and he will soon have a war on hand. . . .”

“The pretexts have been ridiculous--balances of power, balance of trade, honor the flag, sovereignty at sea, etc., but the real object was to fill the Treasury, to furnish opportunity for royal peculation, jobs and contracts for needy courtiers, to increase the power of the crown by the multiplication of revenue and milkitary appointments and the servility of the funds, for every stockholder is, or course, a courtier.”

“[Neutrality is] the grand desideratum of a wise nation, among contending powers. Multiplied engagements and contradictory treaties go to prevent this blessing and invite a nation in foreign quarrels. China, geographically speaking, may be called the counterpart to our American world. Oh, that we could make her policy the political model of our conduct with respect to other nations--ready to dispose of her superfluities to all the world. She stands committed by no engagement to any foreign part of it; dealing with every comer, she seems to say. ‘We trade with you and you with us, while common interest sactifies the connection; but, that dissolved, we know no other engagement.’”

“I consider the money [for appointing ambassadors] as worse than thrown away, for I know not a single thing that we have for a minister to do at a single court in Europe. Indeed, the less we have to do with them the better. Our business is to pay them what we owe, and the less political connection the better with any European power.”

James Madison (1751-1836)
4th U.S. President, U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Congressman

“The Truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.”

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” [Federalist No. 47 (1788) 1961:301]

“The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.”

“Besides, the advantage of being armed forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. The governments of Europe are afraid to trust the people with arms. If they did, the people would certainly shake off the yoke of tyranny, as America did.”

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

“What a perversion of the normal order of things! . . . to make power the primary and central object of the social system, and Liberty but its satellite.”

“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.”

“If there be a principle that ought not to be questioned within the United States, it is that every man has a right to abolish an old government and establish a new one. This principle is not only recorded in every public archive, written in every American heart, and sealed with the blood of a host of American martyrs, but is the only lawful tenure by which the United States hold their existence as a nation.”

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”

“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. . . .”

“Wherever the real power in a government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Government the real power lies in the majority of the community. . . .”

“Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies. From these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, debts and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the dominion of the few. . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

“. . . The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature . . . the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.”

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much. . . to forget it.”

“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.”

“[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . [where] the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

“The right of the people to keep and bear. . . arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country. . .”

“The ultimate authority. . . resides in the people alone. . . ”

“Congress shall never disarm any citizen unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion.”

“No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the State. Such are a well regulated Militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen, and husbandman; who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.”

“There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.”

“A wise nation . . . whilst it does not rashly preclude itself from any resource which may become essential to its safety, will exert all its prudence in diminishing both the necessity and the danger of resorting to one which may be inauspicious to its liberties.”

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

“A people armed and free forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition and is a bulwark for the nation against foreign invasion and domestic oppression.”

“A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace.”

“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much . . . to forget it.”

“It was time to teach a nation a lesson in constitutionalism. . . . The bill, he [Henry Clay] said, failed to take into account the fact that Congress had enumerated powers under section eight of the first article of the Constitution, ‘and it does not appear that the power propised to be exercised in the bill is among the enumerated powers, or that it falls by any just interpretation within the power to make the laws necessary and proper’ for carrying out other constitutional powers into execution.” [1816]

“Constant apprehension of War has the . . . tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against Foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

“War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it. In war, the public treasuries are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. In war, the honors and monuments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed; and it is the executive brow they are to encircle. The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.”

“Public Opinion sets the bounds to every government, and is the real sovereign in every free one.”

“Democracies have been} found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.”

Norman K. Mailer (1923-2007)
Author and Pulitzer Prize-Winner

“The function of socialism is to raise suffering to a higher level.”

“What I thought from the beginning is that there is a most peculiar subtext under the Bush administration’s approach on what has to be done with Iraq. Some time ago, they began by suggesting that Iraq was an immediate nuclear threat. It is now generally agreed that they are not. The Bush people then began to carry on about the huge danger of a biochemical assault on us. But they’ve not made the case that Iraq is on the ready for such a dire possibility. Then, another big accusation--Iraq is a harbor for terrorists. Well, as far as I can see, and this is from a novelist’s point of view, if I were Saddam Hussein, the last people I would want to have in my country are terrorists from other countries because I am interested in total control over my own land. Terrorists are loose cannons. Why would Hussein want to pay an unforeseen price? Then, on the other hand, if I were a terrorist, going along the underground railway that I assume runs from Pakistan through Iran and has to pass through Iraq to get to Syria and Jordan and Lebanon and Palestine, the worst place on this trip would be Iraq because I’d probably be put in a compound. So what is the subtext? Why does the White House want to have that war, why? What do they want? One can name access to oil as the motive, but is that a large enough reward for what could be the unforeseen and immense dangers of such a war?”

“Bush uses evil as his hot button for the American public. Any man who can employ that word 15 times in five minutes is not a conservative. Not a value conservative. A flag conservative is another matter. They rely on manipulation. What they want is power. They believe in America. That they do. They believe this country is the only hope of the world and they feel that this country is becoming more and more powerful on the one hand, but on the other, is rapidly growing more dissolute. And so the only solution for it is empire, World Empire. Behind the whole thing in Iraq is the desire to have a huge military presence in the near-East as a stepping stone for eventually taking over the world. Once we become a twenty-first century version of the old Roman Empire, then moral reform will come into the picture. The military is obviously more puritanical than the entertainment media. Soldiers can, of course, be wilder than anyone, but the overhead command is a major pressure on soldiers, and it is not permissive.”

Nestor I. Makhno (1889-1934)
Russian Revolutionary and Army General

“It is on the basis of the will of the individual that the libertarian teaching can be embodied in real life and clear a path that will help man to banish all spirit of submission from his bosom.”

“From this moment forth, the individual little by little struggles free of the carapace of lies and cowardice in which the earthly gods have wrapped him since birth, and that with the aid of the brute force of bayonet, ruble, ‘justice’ and hypocritical science--the science of the sorcerers' apprentices.”

“The fact that the modern State is the organizational form of an authority founded upon arbitrariness and violence in the social life of toilers is independent of whether it may be ‘bourgeois’ or ‘proletarian.’ It relies upon oppressive centralism, arising out of the direct violence of a minority deployed against the majority. In order to enforce and impose the legality of its system, the State resorts not only to the gun and money, but also to potent weapons of psychological pressure. With the aide of such weapons, a tiny group of politicians enforces psychological repression of an entire society, and, in particular, of the toiling masses, conditioning them in such a way as to divert their attention from the slavery instituted by the State.”

“The final and utter liquidation of the State can only come to pass when the struggle of the toilers is oriented along the most libertarian lines possible, when the toilers will themselves determine the structures of their social action. These structures should assume the form of organs of social and economic self-direction, the form of free ‘anti-authoritarian’ soviets. The revolutionary workers and their vanguard--the anarchists--must analyze the nature and structure of these soviets and specify their revolutionary functions in advance. It is upon that, chiefly, that the positive evolution and development of anarchist ideas in the ranks of those who will accomplish the liquidation of the State on their own account in order to build a free society, will be dependent.”

“March 7th is a harrowing date for the toilers of the so-called ‘Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’ who participated in one capacity or another in the events that occurred on that date in Kronstadt. The commemoration of that date is equally painful for the toilers of all countries, for it brings back the memory of what the free workers and sailors of Kronstadt demanded of their Red executioner, the ‘Russian Communist Party,’ and its tool, the ‘Soviet’ government, busy doing the Russian revolution to death. . . . Against the Bolshevik oligarchy, Kronstadt defended the very best of the workers' and peasants' struggle in the Russian revolution. For that very reason, the oligarchs exterminated the Kronstadters, some right after the military victory, the remainder in the dungeons and blockhouses inherited from the tsarist and bourgeois regime. Understood thus, the date of March 7th has to appear as a profoundly painful anniversary for the workers of all countries. So it is not just among Russian toilers only that the painful memory of the Kronstadt revolutionaries who perished in the fighting and the survivors who were left to rot in Bolshevik jails should be reawakened on that date. But this matter will not be resolved with moaning: aside from the commemoration of March 7th, the toilers of every land should organize rallies all over the place to protest against the outrages perpetrated in Kronstadt by the Russian Communist Party against revolutionary workers and sailors, and demand the release of the survivors languishing in Bolshevik prisons and interned in the concentration camps in Finland.” [March 1926, regarding the mass murders on March 7, 1921, by the Russian Communist Party in the Kronstadt Uprising against the Soviet dictatorship]

“Bitter, natural enemies of State authority, more than of the drones and privileged, the toilers give vent to their hatred, rise in revolt, carry out the revolution, destroy the power of the State and drive out those wielding it, and then, either through naiveté or lack of vigilance, they let the socialists lay hands on it. In Russia, they let the Bolshevik-Communists lay hands on it like that. These craven Jesuits, these monsters, butcherers of freedom, thereupon set to work to strangle, shoot and crush the people, even though they were unarmed, just as the bourgeois had done before them, if not indeed worse. They shot to break the independent spirit, whether collective or individual, in the aim of eradicating once and for all from man the spirit of freedom and the will to create, to leave him a spiritual slave and physical lackey to a band of villains ensconced in place of the toppled throne, and not hesitating to deploy killers to bring the masses to heel and eliminate the recalcitrant.”

“Liberalism, socialism and State communism are three branches of the same family, resorting to different approaches in order to exercise their power over man, with a view to preventing him from growing fully in the direction of freedom and independence through the devising of a new, wholesome, genuine principle rooted in a social ideal valid for the whole human race.”

“The power of the State will never deliver joy, happiness and fulfillment to any society. Such power was created by drones for the sole purpose of pillage and indulgence of their often murderous violence against those who do produce, through their toil - whether through determination, intelligence or brawn - everything useful and good in man's life.” [January 1932]

Errico Malatesta (1853-1932)
Italian Revolutionary and Author

“The only limit to the oppression of government is the power with which the people show themselves capable of opposing it.”

“What we want . . . is the complete destruction of the domination and exploitation of man by man; we want men united as brothers by a consensus and desired solidarity, all cooperating voluntarily for the wellbeing of all; we want society to be constituted for the purpose of supplying everybody with the means for achieving the maximum well-being, the maximum possible moral and spiritual development; we want bread, freedom, love and science--for everybody.”

“And by anarchist spirit I mean that deeply human sentiment, which aims at the good of all, freedom and justice for all, solidarity and love among the people; which is not an exclusive characteristic only of self-declared anarchists, but inspires all people who have a generous heart and an open mind...”

“For anarchy to succeed or simply to advance towards its success it must be conceived not only as a lighthouse which illuminates and attracts, but as something possible and attainable, not in centuries to come, but in a relatively short time and without relying on miracles . . .”

“Anarchists are opposed to violence; everyone knows that. The main plank of anarchism is the removal of violence from human relations. It is life based on freedom of the individual, without the intervention of the gendarme. . . . We are therefore enemies of the State which is the coercive violent organization of society.”

Malcolm X (Little) [El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz] (1925-1965)
American Black Nationalist

“It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe in obeying the law.”

“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”

“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”

“Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it.”

“Power never takes a back step--only in the face of more power.”

“Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. You don’t need anything else.”

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”

“I might point out here that colonialism or imperialism, as the slave system of the West is called, is not something that is just confined to England or France or the United States. The interests in this country are in cahoots with the interests in France and the in terests in Britain. It’s one huge complex or combine, and it creates what's known not as the American power structure or the French power structure, but an international power st ructure. This international power structure is used to suppress the masses of dark-skinned people all over the world and exploit them of their natural resources.”

“If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.”

“I think that an objective analysis of events that are taking place on this earth today points towards some type of ultimate showdown. You can call it political showdown, or even a showdown between the economic systems that exist on this earth which almost boil down along racial lines. I do believe that there will be a clash between East and West. I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.”

“Respect me, or put me to death.”

“It is incorrect to classify the revolt of the Negro as simply a radical conflict of black against white or as a purely American problem. Rather, we are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter.”

“When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that he will not do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom, but in the next breath he is going to tell you what he won’t do to get it, or what he doesn’t believe in doing in order to get it, he doesn’t believe in freedom. A man who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire . . . or preserve his freedom.”

“The same rebellion, the same impatience, the same anger that exists in the hearts of the dark people in Africa and Asia is existing in the hearts and minds of 20 million black people in this country who have been just as thoroughly colonized as the people in Af rica and Asia.”

“You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being.”

“I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Any time I have to accept a religion that won’t let me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion.”

“We’re not Americans, we’re Africans who happen to be in America. We were kidnapped and brought here against our will from Africa. We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock--that rock landed on us.”

Thomas Mann (1875-1955)
Author and 1929 Nobel Prize-Winner in Literature

“War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.”

“Bound by the self-imposed constraint of order, which means free.”

Mao Tse-Tung [Mao Ze Dong] (1893-1976)
Chinese Revolutionary and Leader

“Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed.”

“Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

“Every good Communist should know that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. The Communist party must control the guns.”

“Despise the enemy strategically but take him seriously tactically.”

“Whoever has an army has power, and war decides everything.”

Juan de Mariana (1536-1623)
Spanish Jesuit Theologian and Economist

“If the exchange of goods were abolished, society would be impossible. . . . Scarcity can be overcome through mutual exchange of those items owned in abundance by one party or the other.” [from Faith and Liberty: The Economic Thought of the Late Scholastics, p. 35]

“Taxes are commonly a calamity for the people and a nightmare for the government.  For the former they are always excessive; for the latter they are never enough, never too much.”

“It is not rare for the iniquitous and equally useless suggestion of altering the value of money to be whispered in the king's ear. . . . Such means, considered from every perspective, are and always will be plunder. . . . If money has come to be a general medium of exchange, it is precisely because of its stability of value, subject to only a few oscillations in times of great crisis.” [Faith and Liberty: The Economic Thought of the Late Scholastics, p. 56]

John Marshall (1755-1835)
Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

“That the power to tax involves the power to destroy; that the power to destroy may defeat and render useless the power to create; . . . are propositions not to be denied.”

“Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993)
Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

“Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds.”

“If the 1st Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch.”

“Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process.”

Everett Dean Martin (1880-1941)
Political Philosopher

“Tolerance is a better guarantee of freedom than brotherly love; for a man may love his brother so much that he feels himself thereby appointed his brother’s keeper.”

“Morality cannot exist one minute without freedom… Only a free man can possibly be moral. Unless a good deed is voluntary, it has no moral significance.”

Harriet Martineau (1802-1876)
English Journalist and Author

“America was meant to be everything. . . . There are many soils and many climates included within the boundary line of the United States; many countries; and one rule cannot be laid down for all.”

“Laws and customs may be creative of vice; and should be therefore perpetually under process of observation and correction: but laws and customs cannot be creative of virtue: they may encourage and help to preserve it; but they cannot originate it.”

Groucho [Julius Henry] Marx (1890-1977)
Actor, Comedian and Author

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

“Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.”

“Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.”

Karl Marx (1818-1883)
Political Philosopher and Author

“In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade.”

“Although gold and silver are not by nature money, money is by nature gold and silver.”

“For the bureaucrat, the world is a mere object to be manipulated by him.”

“Hegel says somewhere that all great events and personalities in world history reappear in one fashion or another. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”

“The bureaucracy takes itself to be the ultimate purpose of the state.”

“In the bureaucracy, the identity of state interest and particular private aim is established in such a way that the state interest becomes a particular private aim over against other private aims.”

“The bureaucracy is a circle from which one cannot escape. Its hierarchy is a hierarchy of knowledge. The top entrusts the understanding of detail to the lower levels, whilst the lower levels credit the top with understanding of the general, and so all are mutually deceived.”

“Democracy is the road to socialism.”

“I am not a Marxist.”

“The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.”

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”

“Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.”

George Mason (1725-1792)
Author, Bill of Rights

“To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them.”

“When we consider the nature of these (Federal) courts, we must conclude that their effect and operation will be utterly to destroy the State governments; for they will be the judges how far their laws will operate. . . . The principle itself goes to the destruction of the legislation of the States, whether or not it was intended. . . . I think it will destroy the State governments. . . . There are many gentlemen in the United States who think it right that we should have one great, national, consolidated government, and that it was better to bring it about slowly and imperceptibly rather than all at once. . . . To those who think that one national consolidated government is best for America, this extensive judicial authority will be agreeable.”

“When the same man, or set of men, holds the sword and the purse, there is an end of liberty.”

“All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing the obtaining of happiness and safety.”

“No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”

“Let our fellow-Subjects in Great Britain reflect that we are descended from the same Stock with themselves, nurtured in the same Principles of Freedom … that in crossing the Atlantic Ocean, we have only changed our Climate, not our Minds, our Natures & Dispositions remain unaltered; that We are still the same People with them, in every Respect; only not yet debauched by Wealth, Luxury, Venality, & Corruption; and then they will be able to judge how the late Regulations have been relished in America.”

“There is a Passion natural to the Mind of man, especially a free Man, which renders him impatient of Restraint. Do you, does any sensible Man think that three or four Millions of People, not naturally defective in Genius, or in Courage, who have tasted the Sweets of Liberty in a Country that doubles it’s Inhabitants every twenty Years, in a Country abounding in such Variety of Soil & Climate, capable of producing not only the Necessarys, but the Conveniencys & Delicacys of Life, will long submit to Oppression; … Such another Experiment as the Stamp-Act would produce a general Revolt in America.”

“We claim Nothing but the Liberty & Privileges of Englishmen, in the same Degree, as if we had still continued among our Brethren in Great Britain: these Rights have not been forfeited by any Act of ours, we can not be deprived of them without our Consent, but by Violence & Injustice; We have received them from our Ancestors and, with God’s Leave, we will transmit them, unimpaired to our Posterity.”

“We came equals into this world, and equals shall we go out of it. All men are by nature born equally free and independent. To protect the weaker from the injuries and insults of the stronger were societies first formed; … Every society, all government, and every kind of civil compact therefore, is or ought to be, calculated for the general good and safety of the community. Every power, every authority vested in particular men is, or ought to be, ultimately directed to this sole end; and whenever any power or authority whatever extends further, or is of longer duration than is in its nature necessary for these purposes, it may be called government, but it is in fact oppression.”

“In all our associations; in all our agreements let us never lose sight of this fundamental maxim--that all power was originally lodged in, and consequently is derived from, the people. We should wear it as a breastplate, and buckle it on as our armour.”

“The Policy of encouraging the Importation of free People & discouraging that of Slaves has never been duly considered in this Colony, or we should not at this Day see one Half of our best Lands in most Parts of the Country remain unsettled, & the other cultivated with Slaves; not to mention the ill Effect such a Practice has upon the Morals & Manners of our People.”

“… that slow Poison, [slavery] … is daily contaminating the Minds & Morals of our People. Every Gentlemen here is born a petty Tyrant. Practiced in Acts of Despotism & Cruelty, we become callous to the Dictates of Humanity, & all the finer feelings of the Soul. Taught to regard a part of our own Species in the most abject & contemptible Degree below us, we lose that Idea of the dignity of Man which the Hand of Nature had implanted in us, for great & useful purposes. Habituated from our Infancy to trample upon the Rights of Human Nature, every generous, every liberal Sentiment, if not extinguished, is enfeebled in our Minds. And in such an infernal School are to be educated our future Legislators & Rulers.”

“Slavery discourages arts & manufactures. The poor despise labor when performed by slaves. They prevent the immigration of Whites, who really enrich & strengthen a Country. They produce the most pernicious effect on manners. Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of caused & effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities.”

“The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind. Yet by this constitution it is continued for twenty years. As much as I value an union of all the states, I would not admit the southern states into the union, unless they agreed to the discontinuance of this disgraceful trade, because it would bring weakness and not strength to the union. And though this infamous traffic be continued, we have no security for the property of that kind which we have already. There is no clause in this constitution to secure it; for they may lay such a tax as will amount to manumission. And should the government be amended, still this detestable kind of commerce cannot be discontinued till after the expiration of twenty years… I have ever looked upon [slavery] as a most disgraceful thing to America. I cannot express my detestation of it. Yet they have not secured us the property of the slaves we have already. So that ‘they have done what they ought not to have done, [allowed importation of slaves for at least 20 years] and have left undone what they ought to have done.’[protected slaves as property”

“I ask, sir, what is the militia. It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)
English Author and Playwright

“If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too.”

“There are two good things in life--freedom of thought and freedom of action.”

Guy de Maupassant (1850-1892)
French Author

“Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.”

“War! When I but think of this word, I feel bewildered, as though they were speaking to me of sorcery, of the Inquisition, of a distant, finished, abominable, monstrous, unnatural thing. When they speak to us of cannibals, we smile proudly, as we proclaim our superiority to these savages. Who are the real savages? Those who struggle in order to eat those whom they vanquish, or those who struggle merely to kill?”

Jonathan Mayhew (1720-1789)
American Theologian and Author

“Rulers have no authority from God to do mischief.”

“As we recall certain well intentioned governors who, despite their paternal affection, have wrought prodigious mischief to the State, so we may in some measure conjecture, if we are not afraid even to think, what might be the consequence of boundless power, though accompanied with universal benevolence, but not adequate wisdom, extending itself at will thro-cut the universe.”

“Persecution and intolerance are not only unjust and criminal in the sight of God, but they also cramp, enfeeble, and diminish the state.”

“We may very safely assert these two things in general, without undermining government: One is, That no civil rulers are to be obeyed when they enjoin things that are inconsistent with the commands of God: All such disobedience is lawful and glorious; particularly, if persons refuse to comply with any legal establishment of religion, because it is a gross perversion and corruption (as to doctrine, worship and discipline) of a pure and divine religion, brought from heaven to earth by the Son of God, (the only King and Head of the Christian church) and propagated through the world by his inspired apostles. All commands running counter to the declared will of the supreme legislator of heaven and earth, are null and void: And therefore disobedience to them is a duty, not a crime. --Another thing that may be asserted with equal truth and safety, is, That no government is to be submitted to, at the expense of that which is the sole end of all government,--the common good and safety of society. Because, to submit in this case, if it should ever happen, would evidently be to set up the means as more valuable, and above, the end: than which there cannot be a greater solecism and contradiction. The only reason of the institution of civil government; and the only rational ground of submission to it, is the common safety and utility. If therefore, in any case, the common safety and utility would not be promoted by submission to government, but the contrary, there is no ground or motive for obedience and submission, but, for the contrary.”

Mary T. McCarthy (1912-1989)
American Novelist and Critic

“Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.”

“Congress--these, for the most part, illiterate hacks whose fancy vests are spotted with gravy and whose speeches, hypocritical, unctuous and slovenly, are spotted also with the gravy of political patronage.”

“Liberty, as it is conceived by current opinion, has nothing inherent about it; it is a sort of gift or trust bestowed on the individual by the state pending good behavior.”

Neil A. McDonald

“Freedom is not a fixed and possessed thing. It is a quality of life. And like action itself, it is something experienced only by individuals.”

"Whatever the immediate gains and losses, the dangers to our safety arising from political suppression are always greater than the dangers to the safety resulting from political freedom. Suppression is always foolish."

George S. McGovern (1922-)
U.S. Senator, Ambassador to Italy

“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”

“The Establishment center . . . has led us into the stupidest and cruelest war in all history. That war is a moral and political disaster - a terrible cancer eating away at the soul of our nation.”

“It doesn’t require any particular bravery to stand on the floor of the Senate and urge our boys in Vietnam to fight harder, and if this war mushrooms into a major conflict and a hundred thousand young Americans are killed, it won’t be U. S. Senators who die. It will be American soldiers who are too young to qualify for the senate.”

“Those who would deny others the choice to eat meat, wear fur, drink coffee or simply eat extra large portions of food....While on any day each of us may identify with the restrictive nature of a given campaign, there is a much larger issue here. Where do we draw the line on dictating to each other? How many of these battles can we stand? Whose values should prevail.”

William McKinley (1843-1901)
25th President of the United States, Congressman, Governor of Ohio

“I walked the floor of the White House night after night until midnight; and I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance. . . . And one night late it came to me this way. . . (1) That we could not give them back to Spain--that would be cowardly and dishonorable; (2) that we could not turn them over to France or Germany--our commercial revials in the Oreint--that would be bad business and discreditable; (3) that we could not leave them to themselves--they were unfit for self-government--and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain’s was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but take them all and educate the Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellowmen for whom Christ also died.” [explaining the U.S. conquest of the Philippines to a group of Methodist Clergymen--by 1902, the death toll from the Philippine-American War included 4,200 Americans, 20,000 Filipinos, with an additinal 200,000 Filipinos dead from malnutrition, disease, and other war-created results]

Alexander Meiklejohn (1872-1964)
American Educator and Author

“Freedom is always wise.”

“Our greatest present disloyalty to the Constitution lies in the fact that we do not study and criticize it as did the men who devised and adopted it. They met novel and desperate situations by establishing unheard-of and revolutionary forms of government. We too are facing novel and desperate situations. Shall we do as they did, or shall we hate and fear those who follow their example? In the practical answering of that question it will be revealed whether the American experiment in freedom is still going on or has already been abandoned.”

“We should never forqet that the freedoms secured by that Amendment (the first)--speech press, religion, petition, and assembly--are absolutely indispensable for the preservation of a free society in which government is based upon the consent of an informed citizenry and is dedicated to the protection of the rights of all, even the most despised minorities.”

“First, the theory denies or obscures the fact that free citizens have two distinct sets of civii liberties. As the makers of the laws, they have duties and responsibilities which require an absolute freedom. As the subjects of the laws, they have possessions and rights, to which belongs a relative freedom.”

Henry L. Mencken (1880-1956)
Journalist and Author

“Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.”

“The saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His failure is ignominious and his success is disgraceful.”

“Government, in its very essence, is opposed to all increase in knowledge. Its tendency is always towards permanence and against change ... [T]he progress of humanity, far from being the result of government, has been made entirely without its aid and in the face if its constant and bitter opposition.”

“I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.”

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”

“Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.”

“All government, of course, is against liberty.”

“Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

“All government, in its essence, is organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man.”

“Of government, at least in democratic states, it may be said briefly that it is an agency engaged wholesale, and as a matter of solemn duty, in the performance of acts which all self-respecting individuals refrain from as a matter of common decency.”

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.”

“If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.”

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable...”

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule--and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

“Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of prophecies.”

“In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one.”

“Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”

“Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.”

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

“Samuel Johnson’s saying that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels has some truth in it but not nearly enough. Patriotism, in truth, is the great nursery of scoundrels, and its annual output is probably greater than that of even religion. Its chief glories are the demagogue, the military bully, and the spreaders of libels and false history. Its philosophy rests firmly on the doctrine that the end justifies the means--that any blow, whether above or below the belt, is fair against dissenters from its wholesale denial of plain facts.”

“I confess I enjoy democracy immensely, It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing.”

“The ideal Government of all reflective men, from Aristotle onward, is one which lets the individual alone--one which barely escapes being no government at all. This ideal, I believe, will be realized in the world twenty or thirty centuries after I have passed from these scenes and taken up my public duties in Hell.”

“That erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.”

“It is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and everywhere, to assume...that every citizen is a criminal. Their one apparent purpose, pursued with a relentless and furious diligence, is to convert the assumption into a fact. They hunt endlessly for proofs, and, when proofs are lacking, for mere suspicions. The moment they become aware of a definite citizen, John Doe, seeking what is his right under the law, they begin searching feverishly for an excuse for withholding it from him.”

“The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-by to the Bill of Rights.”

“We suffer most when the White House bursts with ideas.”

“The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.”

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”

“People constantly speak of ‘the government’ doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men. They may have some better man working for them, but they themselves are seldom worthy of any respect.”

“It is the theory of all modern civilized governments that they protect and foster the liberty of the citizen; it is the practice of all of them to limit its exercise, and sometimes very narrowly.”

“For men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.”

“The average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenth’s imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty--and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies. It is, indeed, only the exceptional man who can even stand it. The average man doesn’t want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.”

“The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.”

Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
Theologian, Poet, and Author

“May God prevent us from becoming ‘right-thinking men’--that is to say, men who agree perfectly with their own police.”

James Mill (1773-1836)
Economist and Philosopher

“A glut, as it is supposed in this doctrine, namely an excess of production in the aggregate, can take place only by a continued increase of production. Let us imagine that we have just come to the supposed point, when, the supply being full, any additional production will be so much of glut. The additional production takes place, and comes to market. What is the consequence? This new product seeks an equivalent. That is to say, it is a new demand. How then is it possible to say that every new supply is a glut, when a new demand is created equal to it? It is obviously nugatory to say, that this new supply may not find purchasers, or the new demand may not find the commodities to which it is directed; for this is only to say that in particular instances there may, from miscalculation, be superabundance or defect. The natural effects, in such a case, may be easily traced, and they afford decisive evidence. The commodities, of which the additional production consists, may be naturally supposed to consist of some of the sorts which are previously in the market. By supposition, the goods previously in the market were accommodated to one another, no species being either in defective, or superabundant supply....”

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
Economist and Philosopher

“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.” [On Liberty (1859) 1977:220]

“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing the one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”

“Opinion is itself one of the greatest active social forces. One person with a belief, is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests.” [Considerations on Representative Government (1861) 1977:381]

“The very principle of constitutional government requires it to be assumed, that politcal power will be abused to promote the particular purposes of the holder; not because it is always so, but because such is the natural tendency of things, to guard against which is the especial use of free institutions.” [Considerations on Representative Government (1961) 1977:505]

“A people may prefer a free government, but if by momentary discouragement or temporary panic, or a fit of enthusiasm for an individual, they can be induced to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or trust him with powers to subvert their institutions, in all these cases they are unfit for liberty.”

“War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man 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 better men than himself.”

“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.”

“Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”

“The only freedom deserving the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.”

“A general State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mold in which casts them is that which pleases the dominant power in the government, whether this be monarch, an aristocracy, or a majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency over the body. ... All attempts by the State to bias the conclusions of its citizens on disputed subjects are evil.”

“He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses to plan for himself, employs all his faculties. He must use observation to see, reasoning and judgment to foresee, activity to gain materials for decision, discrimination to decide and, when he has decided, firmness and self-control to hold to his deliberate decision...It is possible that he might be guided on some good path, and kept out of harm’s way, without any of these things. But what will be his comparative worth as a human being? It really is of importance, not only what men do, but also what manner of men they are that do it.”

“Was there ever any domination that did not appear natural to those who possessed it?”

“I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized.”

“A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

“The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.”

“Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, no matter what name it is called.”

“The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or to impede their efforts to obtain it.”

“A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes--will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.”

John Milton (1608-1674)
English Poet

“Give me liberty to know, to think, to believe, and utter freely, according to conscience, above all other liberties.”

“Here we may reign secure; and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.”

Comte de Honoré Gabriel Riqueti Mirabeau (1749-1791)
French Philosopher

“Nothing baffles the schemes of evil people so much as the calm composure of great souls.”

Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912)
Belgian Economist and Philosopher

“The true remedy for most evils is none other than liberty, unlimited and complete liberty, liberty in every field of human endeavor.”

“Worst burden of all, the persistency of war obliges every nation to maintain a vast permanent machinery of destruction.”

“I prefer governments based upon popular sovereignty. But so-called democratic republics are not at all true expressions of popular sovereignty. These governments are extended monopolies--communisms. Popular sovereignty is incompatible with monopoly and communism. . . . [Popular sovereignty] is the right of each man to dispose freely of his person and his property and to govern himself.”

“If the sovereign individual possesses the absolute right to dispose of his person and his property as he sees fit, then he naturally possesses the right to defend them. He possesses the right of free defense.”

“It is not surprising that the members of the free-trade association did not succeed in exciting the masses in favor of tariff reform. They had the misfortune of being forestalled among the working classes by the socialists, while arrayed against them among the upper classes was the tenacious league of privileged interests. Faced with this alliance of socialism from below and protectionism from above, their propaganda, if not utterly paralyzed, was at least rendered singularly difficult.”

“Our societies still bear numerous vestiges of the mercantilist regime. Nowhere has the freedom to work and trade completely found its place in the sun.”

“How then did a revolution naively undertaken to establish a regime of liberty and prosperity for the benefit of humanity end in the reconstitution and aggravation of the old regime for the profit of a new governing class, in an increase in the servitude and burdens which weighed upon the 'political consumer' and in the recrudescence of the state of war?” [regarding the French Revolution]

“We have been accustomed to believing that government--charged with a sublime mission--has nothing in common in its establishment and functioning with the multitude of other enterprises. Similarly, no one has ever thought that the laws which apply to it are the same as those which apply to the others.”

“The Individual appropriates the totality of the parts, including the physical and moral forces, which constitute his being. This appropriation is the result of a process of discovery and recognition of these elements and forces, and of their application to the satisfaction of personal needs--that is their utilization. This is property in one’s person. The individual appropriates and possesses himself. He appropriates as well, through another process of discovery, occupation, transformation and adaptation, the soil, material and forces of his environment insofar as they are appropriable. This is both real and movable property. Driven by his interest, the individual acts continually to preserve and increase the elements and forccs--the values--which he has appropriated from his surroundings. He fashions, transforms, alters, and exchanges them as he sees fit. This is liberty. Property and liberty are the two aspects or two constituents of sovereignty.

“What is the interest of the individual? It is to remain the absolute proprietor of his person and property and to retain the power to dispose of them at will. It is the power to work alone or to freely associate his forces and other property, whether in whole or in part, with those of others. It is the power to exchange the products of his personal properties or to consume them or to save them. It is, in a word, to possess ‘individual sovereignty’ in the fullest.

“Nevertheless, the individual is not isolated. He is in constant contact and relationship with others. His property and liberty are limited by the property and liberty of others. Each individual sovereignty has its natural frontiers within which it may operate and out side of which it may not pass without violating other sovereignties. These natural limits must be recognized and guaranteed lest the weak be at the mercy of the strong and society be impossible. Such is the purpose of the industry I have called 'the production of security,' or to give it its common name, such is the purpose of ‘government.’”

“Sovereignty rests in the property of the individual over his person and goods and in the liberty of disposing of them, which implies the right to protect his property and his liberty himself or to have them protected by others. . . . If an individual or a group employ their sovereignty to establish an organization designed to satisfy any need, they have the right to exploit and direct it according to their interests as well as to fix as they see fit the price of its products or services. This is the sovereign right of the producer. However, this right is naturally limited by the rights of equally sovereign individuals in their dual character as producers and consumers.”

“The individual remains completely sovereign only under a regime of total liberty. Any monopoly, any privilege is an attack upon his sovereignty.”

“Communism of security is the keystone in the ancient edifice of slavery.”

“Or liberty is preferable to communism and, if so, we should liberate all public industries including justice, the police, education, religion, transportation, the production of tobacco, etc.”

“In some countries, the government of the majority spends part of the public wealth to protect fundamentaily illegitimate and immoral properties. For instance, in the United States, the government protects the property in slaves of southern planters. There are ‘abolitionists’ in the United States who rightly consider slavery to be a theft. What matter! The communal system forces them to contribute their goods to the maintenance of this theft.”

“On the other hand, do not all property owners have the same need for justice and security? Consequently, would not everyone sacrifice to satisfy this urgent need, especially since they are incapable of satisfying it themselves or unable to spend a good deal of time and money? Yet, if there are, on the one hand, men prepared to provide for a social need and, on the other, men prepared to sacrifice to satisfy this need, doesn’t it suffice to leave each alone so that the demanded good, be it material or immaterial, will be produced and the need satisfied?”

“Wars between companies can only take place if the stockholders are willing to pay the cost. Since war cannot increase a clientele where consumers will not allow themselves to be conquered, the cost of the war can never be covered. Who then would agree to pay for it?”

“Don’t you think that by selling all of the property which is now public--roads, canals, rivers, forests, local administrative buildings, and public materials--we could successfully retire the public debt? This debt is no more than six billions. The value of the public property of France is far greater than that.”

“The instinct of nationality will react against the barbarous divisions and artificial antagonisms imposed upon a single people and the disunited fractions of this people will tend incessantly to attract one another. . . . Let the diversity of governments cease to require the separation and division of peoples and you will witness the same nationality willingly governed by several. A single government is no more necessary for the unity of a people than a single bank, a single educational system, a single religion or a single grocery store, etc.”

“Constitutions have become all too often merely instruments of exploitation in the hands of the upper classes which have been clever enough to have the control of the government attributed to them as a monopoly.”

“The notion of subjecting governments to the regime of competition is still generally regarded as chimerical. But the facts on the question are marching ahead of theory. The ‘right’ of secession which is making some progress in today’s world will necessarily establish ‘liberty of government.’ When this principle has been recognized and applied to its fullest natural extent, 'political competition' will act as a complement to competition in agriculture, industry and commerce.”

“If the community is a vast one, the inhabitants of a wealthy region, oppressively taxed for the benefit of others or vice versa, could separate themselves from the whole, an act forbidden in the present regime, either to form an independent community or to annex themselves to a neighboring community.”

“Undoubtedly, local circumstances could render the right to secede impractical, but as long as we do not insist upon the contiguity of of territories as a necessity for the constitution of a state or province--and experience attests that a community or a province may exist as an enclave--then we can quickly convince ourselves that the right of a community or a province to secede will excite enough competition among provinces and states to improve the quality of their services and decrease their cost.”

“There exists only an ever decreasing number of natural monopolies. These monopolies, starting with the protection of individual life and property and the preservation of the national domain, are administered by the state, and the sub-states of provinces, depart ments and communities. This administration by the state engenders the same wasting of strengh which is in the nature of all monopolies. Nevertheless, it can be alleviated at least in part by an indirect recourse to competition.”

James Monroe (1758-1831)
5th U.S. President, U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Secretary of War,
U.S. Senator, Governor of Virginia

“... of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trail by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny.”

“Preparation for war is a constant stimulus to suspicion and ill will.”

“The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil.”

“[In a republic,] it is not the people themselves who make the decisions, but the people they themselves choose to stand in their places.”

“A free, virtuous, and enlightened people must know full well the great principles and causes upon which their happiness depends.”

“The earth was given to mankind to support the greatest number of which it is capable, and no tribe or people have a right to withhold from the wants of others more than is necessary for their own support and comfort.”

“The American continents . . . are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.”

“Our country may be likened to a new house. We lack many things, but we possess the most precious of all--liberty!”

“It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin.”

Michel E. de Montaigne (1533-1592)
French Philosopher

“The most desirable laws are those that are rarest, simplest, and most general; and I even think that it would be better to have none at all than to have them in such numbers as we have.”

“I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.”

Charles de Secondat,
Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu (1689-1755)
French Attorney and Political Philosopher

“The spirit of monarchy is war and enlargement of domain: peace and moderation are the spirit of a republic.”

“Peace is a natural effect of trade.”

“In republican governments, men are all equal; eual they are also in despotic governments: in the former, because they are everything; in the latter, because they are nothing.”

“The love of democracy is that of equality.”

“Luxury is therefore absolutely necessary in monarchies; as it is also in despotic states, In the former, it is the use of liberty, in the latter, it is the abuse of servitude. . . . Hence arrives a very natural reflection. Republics end with luxury; monarchies with poverty.”

“As distant as heaven is from the earth, so is the true spirit of equality from that of extreme equality. . . . In a true state of nature, indeed, all men are born equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them lose it, and they recover it only by the protection of laws.”

“There is no greater tyranny, than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

Samuel Eliot Morison (1887-1976)
American Historian and Author

“If the American Revolution had produced nothing but the Declaration of Independence, it would have been worth while. . . . The beauty and cogency of the preamble, reaching back to remotest antiquity and forward to an indefinite future, have lifted the hearts of millions of men and will continue to do so. . . . These words are more revolutionary than anything written by Robespierre, Marx, or Lenin, more explosive than the atom, a continual challenge to ourselves as well as an inspiration to the oppressed of all the world.”

Felix Morley (1894-1981)
American Journalist, Education and Author

“A right without an attendant responsibility is as unreal as a sheet of paper which has only one side.”

“It is a reality attested by all history that if a republic assumes imperial functions it will not remain a republic.”

“The so-called isolationists were essentially right. They knew that American can run its own affairs reasonably well. They knew that in pontifically declaiming on the world stage we would be likely to prove ourselves blundering fools.”

“It is not unnatural for a ward politician to be President of the United States. But it becomes grotesque when a man of parochial outlook, inferior training and deficient ability attempts to push a reluctant people down the dangerous road of imperial rule.”

“There has been a direct and causal connection between the increasing exaltation of the state and the increasing demoralization of society.”

“The measurement of our [moral] loss may be seen, for instance, in the miserable farce put on by those who tried to reconcile mass murder of 'enemy children' with lip service to the doctrine that God created all men in his image.” [on nuclear weapons]

“The lives of our youth are not the property of the State, to throw on a rubbish heap in Korea or Yugoslavia as some brass hat may ordain.” [March 1948]

“Those who urge the progressive intervention of government in business were once accurately and dispassionately known as ‘Socialists.’ But most American Socialists now describe themselves as ‘liberals,’ although that designation for a believer in State planning is directly opposite to the historic meaning of the word. There is no doubt that this type of semantic duplicity, or double-talk, has been politically influential.”

“The advocate of an aggressive foreign policy is therefore likely to be an advocate of centralization. For he cannot consistently urge that the Administration be untrammeled in its conduct of foreign relations yet subject to strict Constitutional checks and balances in its control over domestic activities. Conversely, the advocate of a limited foreign policy cannot consistently urge that the Executive should be given power to override local government in social issues, such a FEPC or Federal control of education. One may support either the expansion or the limitation of Presidential power. To advocate both simultaneously is perilously close to double talk.” [from The Foreign Policy of the United States]

Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003)
U.S. Senator, Sociologist and Author

“The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it’s so rare.”

“It [government] cannot provide values to persons who have none, or who have lost those they had. It cannot provide inner peace. It can provide outlets for moral energies, but it cannot create those energies.”

“Citizen participation [is] a device whereby public officials induce nonpublic individuals to act in a way the officials desire.”

“The violence abroad and the violence at home . . . [are] an especial problem of American liberals because more than anyone else they have presided over the onset of the war in Vietnam and the violence in American cities.” [1967]

Frank W. Murphy (1890-1949)
Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

“Few indeed have been the invasions upon essential liberties which have not been accompanied by pleas of urgent necessity advanced in good faith by responsible men . . .”

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965)

“None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license.”

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

“No man who knows ought, can be so stupid to deny that all men naturally were born free.”

“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”

Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)
Italian Prime Minister

“The measures adopted to restore public order are: First of all, the elimination of the so-called subversive elements... They were elements of disorder and subversion. On the morrow of each conflict I gave the categorical order to confiscate the largest possible number of weapons of every sort and kind. This confiscation, which continues with the utmost energy, has given satisfactory results.”

“It is the State which educates its citizens in civic virtue, gives them a consciousness of their mission and welds them into unity.”

“Against individualism, the Fascist conception is for the State ... Liberalism denied the State in the interests of the particular individual; Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual.”

“Given that the nineteenth century was the century of Socialism, of Liberalism, and of Democracy, it does not necessarily follow that the twentieth century must also be a century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy: political doctrines pass, but humanity remains, and it may rather be expected that this will be a century of authority ... a century of Fascism. For if the nineteenth century was a century of individualism it may be expected that this will be the century of collectivism and hence the century of the State.”

“The Government has been compelled to levy taxes which unavoidably hit large sections of the population. The Italian people are disciplined, silent and calm, they work and know that there is a Government which governs, and know, above all, that if this Government hits cruelly certain sections of the Italian people, it does not so out of caprice, but from the supreme necessity of national order.”

“Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived in their relation to the State.”

“Fascism . . . believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. . . . War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to meet it. . . . It may be expected that this will be a century of authority, a century of the Left, a century of Fascism. For if the nineteenth century was a century of individualism (Liberalism always signifying individualism), it may be expected that this will be the century of collectivism, and hence the century of the State. . . . For Fascism, the growth of Empire, that is to say, the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite is a sign of decay and death.”

Abraham Johannes Muste (1883-1945)
Pacifist, Theologian and Essayist

“There is no way to peace; peace is the way.”

“It is said that if the United States were to stop shooting and withdraw its troops from Vietnam, the Viet Cong would then stage a great purge of the people who we have been seeking to protect--have pledged to protect. First of all, so far they have been getting precious little protection from us. The Vietnamese people as human individuals have been shot at by the French, by us, by Communists, by guerrillas for years. Maybe, if only somebody would stop shooting at them that would be something to the good.”

“The survival of democracy depends on the renunciation of violence and the development of nonviolent means to combat evil and advance the good.”