"A free society can exist only when public spirit is balanced by an equal inclination of men to mind their own business."
Edward A. Shils
(1910-1995) American professor, sociologist
The Torment of Secrecy, 1956
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- J Carlton, Calgary      
Tell that to the control freaks in the Congress.
 -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    If only there was a special six-star radio button. I will have to start rating more excellent quotes with four stars.
     -- Justin, Elkland     
    This could easily turn to apathy of others. Yes everyone should be master of their own business, but we should still care about others.
     -- AStudentPhilosopher, Utah     
    I'm here with you jim and Justin
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    It's just so hard for people who know what's best for everyone else to leave them alone. It's about time we stop taking the busybodies' nonsense. When they poke their nose in our business, it needs to be met with a fist.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Some good quotes today. To my fellow student philosopher, yes, caring is important, but compassion is part of the element of balance, as is the action behind freedom. Ken, your answer only creates more anger more wars, we must learn to live our own lives without the anger of others effecting our well being.
     -- RBESRQ     
    Robert, if I may call you that, I understand the sentiment with your statement but what can be expected from a man whose business is constantly interfered with? I think it was one of the posters on here who said it right when he said war can establish peace but it cannot keep the peace. With that in mind it is important to be compassionate but not in the case of a man who refuses to show any compassion himself. Was King George compassionate? Please tell me, how can one live his own life without the anger of others affecting his own wellbeing unless he becomes a slave to anger or a dead man when the other's anger is vented when the one disagrees with it?
     -- Anon     
    I am an eminently peaceful man and anyone is free to avoid a conflict with me by not running their nose into my fist.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    There has always been division in philosophy and practice of our government. The exclution of religion from civil jurisdiction. To allow for our right to tell the whole truth, with the pesimist and doughters at our side. Two main denominations, can you guess who they are. One genders communism the other liberty and freedom. Both withhold knowledge for personal gain. Which I'm sad to say of one. One is a literalist the other stands in dought. The metamorphasis of our Constitution, a document to literally be believed in as other sacred text. Learned men held in dought while preachers reasure them of that very ocurrance. Showing them enough knowledge to assure and persuade them fully. God is a literalist. We are a nation based on faith. Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God. KJ So man puts his faith in God and the Constitution of our Independence. But not all men have faith. But it is our responsibility to agree to disagree while keeping the peace between us and not sell or enslave one another through greed. Materialism has been the downfall of our nation and the corruption of our youth, allowing it to go unchecked. The lack of moderation and disipline to say no to the corrupt elements in our society and to our children. If the bank owns man now. We must close the bank. Proper ownership and trust with out usery should be reinstated for the common man. And not the pushing around of the common man to suit socialism with its direct tax on our property and wage demanding compliance or death. Public office was meant to be held in service not greedyness of gain. Federal and State and local governing bodies have grown to powerful through usery with threat of death if the common man does do not comply. And they have grown fat and lazy, just look around. A flat tax in the city is to run the city. We do not need to pave the world or ride around in the finest of carriges. We do not need to cut down every tree to build a house or provide paper, endless trails to be thrown away, said to be a better way. Paper products and oil are a waist of our resources. Conveinence is that not what they say. Faster, quicker, more, more. You don't need to work the machine will do it for you. Thats what the salesman said to the nation, city, town. and the common man was kept in the dark and taxed off his land, to build or cut down or dig up the common mans wealth. Kicking him to the curb. while your city fathers go along with the fraud. Men that mind there own business keep to themselves and not another mans wealth. Corruption entered in with the lure of easy money and security. Read the Federalist papers and the predictions of our fall if it should come and how.
     -- Ron, Salem     
     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester      
    Ken says it well! The busy bodies need to be reminded firmly from time to time to keep their noses out of other people's business.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    The child is the quintessential spy. The child constantly watches the adult to "protect" itself from correction. The adult always minds their own business. Correction of the child is the adult's business.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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