"Two wars necessitated vast curtailments of liberty, and we have grown, though grumblingly, accustomed to our chains. The increasing complexity and precariousness of our economic life have forced Government to take over many spheres of activity once left to choice or chance. Our intellectuals have surrendered first to the slave-philosophy of Hegel, then to Marx, finally to the linguistic analysts.

As a result, classical political theory, with its Stoical, Christian, and juristic key-conceptions (natural law, the value of the individual, the rights of man), has died. The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good -- anyway, to do something to us or to make us something. Hence the new name 'leaders' for those who were once 'rulers'. We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, 'Mind your own business.' Our whole lives are their business.

I write 'they' because it seems childish not to recognize that actual government is and always must be oligarchical. Our effective masters must be more than one and fewer than all. But the oligarchs begin to regard us in a new way."
by:
C. S. Lewis
(1898-1963), British novelist
Source:
Willing Slaves of the Welfare State, first published inĀ The ObserverĀ on July 20, 1958
http://liberty-tree.ca/research/willing_slaves_of_the_welfare_state
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Reader comments about this quote:
Great.

Thanks.
 -- bruski, naples FL     
  •  
    Great Quote. Willing Slaves of the Welfare State should be republished and widely circulated in our country today. Keen insight was surely the gift of C.S. Lewis.
     -- Wesley, Canton, OH     
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    So sad this is not only true now, it was true in 1958, and WE ARE STILL ASLEEP. Join the revolution at lp.org
     -- Carol, Estero, Florida     
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    I don't know exactly how to rate this with stars. 100 stars for poetic and literal accuracy - an observation exacting in its illuminating exposition and its understanding prose or a thumbs down, exposing what has become of the once land of the free and home of the brave.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  •  
     -- jim k, austin tx      
    Wow, succinctly put. Few are willing to face the fact that the US became the dominant fascist super-power after WWII. Our nationalist spirit gets whipped up and we are willing to surrender everything to fight the hobgobln of the day -- a winning formula for the statist. It continues today as both establishment 'parties' goosestep us to totalitarianism.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  •  
    Publish, not only C. S. Lewis, but also publish and distribute, the Affidavit Of Revocation And Rescission to all sovereigns.
    Murdock v. Penna., 319 U.S. 105 ( 1943 ) U. S. Supreme Court, stated : A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the Federal Constitution. As also with many more cases to quote from with in the afore mentioned Affidavit. Now is the time for the smoking gun. My attention is also brought to the Report No. 80-19A, titled " Some Constitutional Questions Regarding the Federal Income Tax Laws " published by the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, updated January 17, 1980, This decision written by Chief Justice White. I will conclude with, Live Free and Die Well.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
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