"It used to be the boast of free men that,
so long as they kept within
the bounds of the known law,
there was no need to
ask anybody's permission
or to obey anybody's orders.
It is doubtful whether any of us
can make this claim today."
Friedrich August von Hayek
(1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974
The Constitution of Liberty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), p. 208
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Reader comments about this quote:
A good point and most likely true.
 -- KS, Queensbury,NY.     
    Isn't that what Freedom and Responsibility are all about? What ever happened to the concept of 'Independence'?
     -- Chicago     
    Diminished moral compasses within the individual, breeds external control by despots. Now the derelict power mongers and control freaks infest government, free men may not act by auspices of inalienable right, but are rather acted upon through duress.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    If you don't believe this quote is true, just try building a house in California.
     -- GMN, Tehachapi, CA     
  • 1
    "Those people who will not be governed by God (moral compasses) will be ruled by tyrants." William Penn. (parenthesis mine.)--------------- "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters,(external control by despots"). Benjamin Franklin. (paranthesis mine).
     -- Anon     
  • 2
    Laws today are so numerous and so ambiguous that we can all be guilty of something at any given moment. In this way the state reserves for itself the right to do anything it wants to any of us at any given time, for any number of reasons. Welcome to the "New American Century".
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 1
    Few of us even realize the needle in our arm, and the chains upon our necks. We have become domesticated sheep.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 3
    Sadly, one thing that has entirely escaped modern American foreign policy is empathy. Without much humility or regard for human life, our foreign policy has been reduced to alternately bribing and bombing other nations, all with the stated goal of “promoting democracy”. But if a country democratically elects a leader who is not sufficiently pro-American, our government will refuse to recognize them, will impose sanctions on them, and will possibly even support covert efforts to remove them. Democracy is obviously not what we are interested in. It is more likely that our government is interested in imposing its will on other governments. This policy of endless intervention in the affairs of others is very damaging to American liberty and security. ~ Ron Paul
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 2
    The Ron Paul quote is very accurate. "This policy of endless intervention" could well read endless wars.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 2
    Great minds think alike.

    "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
    -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
     -- Michael Murray, Las Vegas, NV     
     -- Mary, MI      
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