"The authoritarian sets up some book,
or man, or tradition to establish the truth.
The freethinker sets up reason and
private judgment to discover the truth...
It takes the highest courage to utter unpopular truths."
by:
Herbert Spencer
(1820-1903) British author, economist, philosopher
Source:
Freedom and Its Fundamentals
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Reader comments about this quote:
Authoritarians know what's best for you whether they are from the government or the Sierra Club. Beware of these types and anyone wearing a badge, a gun and a uniform.
 -- jim k, austin     
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    Governments establish compelled compliance, license, larceny, victimless crimes, etc. and call it law - securing a safe freedom. Such security, law, and freedom are set in books, subjectively reasoned by man and set up as truth to enslave the noble being. It takes the highest courage to expose such lies and to individually discover law and freedom through thinking and reasoning freely on the richness, depth, and capacity of truth.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Free thinking is great but generally is not found in the work place, the military, etcetera. Standard Operating Procedures exist for a purpose and should be changed when and if necessary. Until they are well there they are. Freethinking to obtain some psychological high or to be different is a sign of illness and is not free thinking at all but some kind of compulsive thinking. The compulsiveness of some of the arguments on this stie give one pause as to how free thinking the contributors are or whether the folks are thinkers at all. Some who have a vested interest in their work, society, governmental and community institutions etcetera devote themselves to learning how things are done and suggest changes where they feel that they may be helpful. Those without a vested interest in any of these things hould mind their own business.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Waffler, as you have shown here yet once again, you can not differentiate between job description (for safety purposes, fulfilment of duty, performance economics, etc.) and the ability to think freely. My, the military, etc. on the job business standard operating procedures has nothing to do with freedom, liberty, thinking freely or the authoritarian's set of books. If you think that thinking freely means you can stick your hand in a punch press, you are sick. Your vested interest concept does carry much weight and is one of the causes cops regularly lie on the stand, judges promote self aggrandizing prejudices, politicians redefine words, society, governmental and community institutions, etcetera, devote themselves to learning how things are done to stifle free thinkers so such vested robot slaves can go on being taken care of cradle to grave without personal responsibility. As to your retort; Voice of the People in the US Republic means each and every, any and all based on the law that the God of Nature created. In a democracy, Voice of the People means a majority of the people make the law to their personal prejudice. Logan's continuing question to you, what is the magic number that gives the majority Voice of the Peiple the right to rape, pillage, and plunder. The statement "Voice of the People" is too vague to be used to describe applied government.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    It does indeed - like fiscal conservatives have always lumbered us with billions in debt (Regan $200+ billion deficit; Bush Sr. $300 billion deficit; Clinton $200 billion surplus; Bush Jr. $482 billion deficit) while tax and spend liberals have usually provided billions in surplus - now that truth really hurts... Mike where the hell do you get this cradle to grave @?(%$ America is by far the most egregious when it comes to that.
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    It must be true! I read it in a government report. The newspaper even had a story on the government report. I saw a man on TV with perfectly combed hair and a smooth, baritone voice saying how important it was. How could it not be true? Reason and judgment require effort. Expressing your opinions takes a certain small courage because it exposes you to ridicule, or worse if you don't live in free society.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    The truth is ever present, whether we see it or not. The truth is free yet is very costly to those who have banked on myths and lies. Totalitarians, despots, emperors, priests, and the devil himself all try to imprison truth, to monopolize it, to make it work for them, and to be exclusive agents to access it. All the while acting in complete disregard for it for the sake of power alone. One of the best ways to validate a supposed truth is to see if the one professing it acts in accordance with it. The magic of Hollywood is incredibly real, but it doesn't take long to see the hidden wires and CGI that props up the fantasy/illusion/delusion. Politicians make money from TALKING and arranging for government money to land in the pockets of their supporters or shell companies that they own. Drugging of children in government schools has made BILLIONS for select pharmaceutical companies, global vaccines, global taxes on fuel, global counterfeiting, global trade restrictions, global acceptance of a ruling class in the name of 'democracy' even though elections are easier to rig than ever, the authoritarians set up the 'choices' and the 'promises' ignored anyway. Politics is the game of power and money -- and their purpose is to get everyone to agree on their 'authority' and supremacy -- the freethinker be damned.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    A strict "voice of the people" system is flawed, because there is no outside restriction on how the "voice of the people" can usurp (by power of being the majority) the rights of the minority. An educated society may adhere to certain standards (laws), wherein they agree to not infringe upon the rights of the individuals -- but this violates Democracy -- because in Democracy, what the majority has given, the majority may freely take away (thus making ALIENABLE any possibly perceived rights). When this agreed standard is merely set on the majority's decisions, then you have Democracy; when this agreed standard is set upon an outside codex of reasoned absolutes/laws (natural laws that exist in a state of nature, for instance, as our founders constituted), then you have something totally different (you have a system of government established by laws, not specifically by the "voice of the people".) Why is it different? Because the first look that the people's representatives must make is not to the voice of the people, but to the reasoned, argued, agreed codex of laws that existed before there was ever a majority to decide. This system is very much not "Democracy", though some systems of this government may have democratic processes in how they agree to function (don't confuse "Democracy" with "democratic process"). Then you have a system of government where laws are more powerful than the people's voice -- you have a system of government where no majority can legitimately decide to rape a women, kill children, or infringe upon an individual's rights -- why? Because the reasoned, argued, and freethinking seeker of truth has reasoned that it is not natural in nature to do so in accordance with our specie (Homo sapien, Child of God, individual of nature, or whatever you chose to identify yourself with). This codex of laws then protects the individual against the encroachment of the masses during a time of public frenzy... Sadly, it is the course of man to ignore these laws anyway, such as what happened in lieu of 9/11 with such issuances of the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, Intelligence Bill, etc.. When this happens, the established Republic slips into a form of Democracy, as legitimacy is no longer gained by reason, argument, and honest seeking of truth and freedom, but by whomever was in the bigger group. In a society wherein we accept that our Creator gave us our rights (thus making them "inalienable" -- even by ourselves), mere "voice of the people" governments are extremely destructive.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    Beautiful, Logan.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The authoritarian lovers are those who put the founding fathers on a pedestal and worship them unthinkingly. The "Voice of the People" phrase was raised by Mr. Logan in place of using the word "democracy". He also stated that the constitution or the founders "purported" to use that phrase. For the constitutional scholar he poses to me I am shocked that his investigative or research techniques only allow to him to know what was "purported" than what was actual. I repeat my opinion that the compulsive contributors to this site (and you know who you are, the republic vs. democracy crowd, the victimless crimes crowd, and the gold standards crowd) are not free thinkers at all, one has even stated that he feels controlled. These crowds to my mind are compulsive just like the 'ol Manchurean Candidate. Like to know who is pulling their strings.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Waffler, you have said absolutely nothing.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I said you are a compulsive thinker Archer.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Using the faculties wherein my Creator endowed me with the ability of reason, logic, and a lifetime pursuit of understanding the nature of man for what it IS -- this is the puppet master which guides my actions. I do not think it is "evil" of anyone to disagree with me, but with everything I have ever studied I have only seen wisdom, reason, and understanding in the system of government our founders gave us. I have sought diligently (unlike others on this blog who only adhere to current standards ("and you know who you are")) to know what the founders meant when they spoke of issues of Republics and Democracies. I do not try to reason away the founder's contempt for Democracy, I try to understand them. I do not try to redefine their understanding, I try to fit my thinking to theirs so that I may understand them better and the government they left us. I do not try to push their thinking into my own, but I have been as open to their suggestions as I can possibly be. If this labels me a none "free thinker" and a "Manchurian Candidate" -- then I am guilty. Yes, in OUR Republic we do things by the voice of the people, but this is not even half the equation -- the half is what differentiates between our Republic and Democracy: the adherence to a reasoned, argued, and defined inalienable rights (as established by the mere existence of man as a creature of nature -- and therefore 'inalienable") wherein the majority can never make a case against... The majority will decide how to do things in our Republic, however, this does NOT constitute a Democracy. If this were all, then Waffler would be right, because we would absolutely be a Democracy; however, there is more to this country's form of government than mere majority rule. Sadly, we started long ago to make the transition from an established Republic into a Democracy, but this does not alter the fact that we were intended to be a Republic. How can ANYONE think this is authoritarian? Is Waffler seriously labeling people who try to strictly hold our country to the standards of the founders as they set forth as "authoritarian lovers"? Once it is made completely obvious that Waffler has no leg whatsoever to stand on in his ramblings of Democracy, and cannot provide any sources wherein the founders promoted "Democracy" -- the only thing he has left to do is bemoan them or anyone who adheres to their philosophies as "authoritarian lovers". Typical of slave mind to do - if you can't win the debate, then start labeling and mis-associating your opponent's origins as something socially deplorable. Nice fallacy Waffler -- your hero Al Gore would be proud.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
  •  
    How about a freethinking Supreme Court for a change, stop with all this strict construction crap. And why don't we wake up tomorrow and every day and say f@#$ the founding fathers. I think they, the founding fathers, would have a great laugh and say "Yeah right on man". Again I agree with your statements above concerning "voice of the people" and majority rule. We are in sync brother except I learned and have always called it democracy as does 99% of the population today. The important thing is Sir we mean the same thing but use two different words. But now we have communicated. Lets bury this hatchet and agree where we can and each have our own word for the same thing. I was being facetious in the first four sentences above but I hope it brings home a point, many of the posts that support "freethinking" will completely reverse their support when it came to the Supreme Court or the Founding Fathers which shows how thoughtlessly we sometimes comment on these things.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    It is not the job of Supreme Court justices to be the free thinkers of government. Their job is to interpret the law as it was intended and how it was written. The legislative branch can freely think within the bounds of the Constitution all it wants. The Supreme Court will interpret it when necessary as to what the intent of the legislature was and what they actually wrote. The legislative branch as well as the executive are too willing to abdicate their duties to the judicial for deniability of responsibility and political expedience. It is the way of a coward to for the legislative or executive to pass their responsibilities to the judicial. When you ask for judicial free thinking, you are asking for a dictator. But I have a question. What if the black-robed dictators are not yours but someone else's puppets?
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Yes Ken but the Supreme Court and the Law of the Land which it represents circumscribes free thinking down to some very low levels of existence. The best approach is to keep thinking free until someone tries to stop you, then sue and pray.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    dead on ken.
     -- warren, olathe     
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