"A man’s liberties are none the less aggressed upon
because those who coerce him do so
in the belief that he will be benefited."
Herbert Spencer
(1820-1903) British author, economist, philosopher
The Principles of Ethics Bd. II, ed. T. Machan, Indianapolis 1978, S. 242-43
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Reader comments about this quote:
We have liberties? Then we also have duties and responsibilities. Freedom is not free. Yet some will not fulfill their responsibilities until coerced. And freedom is not the license to do whatever we might wish. Society does have the right to expect from each of us adherence to some code of norms, even though this will not be agreeable to all. This quote may be more applicable in some specific contexts, but as a general statement or maxim, it is arguable.
 -- David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood     
    Coercion is the symbol of every tyrannical and despotic government. This is why the founding fathers hated democracy and established a Republic! How can anyone not question the coercion of the redistribution of wealth in America? Licensing? Certain taxation? It's no wonder that John Adams said that the Constitution was made for a "religious and moral people" and is "wholly inadequate" without them. Immorality is the cause of coercion - Whether on the side of the so-called "cure" or on the side of the problem -The immorality of this nation is destroying it.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
  • 1
    How would you get some unwilling men to fulfill their responsibilities except through coercion? This is Planet Earth, where men do not always do what they must. Coercion is justified when the force used is used to obligate people to do what they must but will not do. Under tyranny, coercion is used to impose the will of the tyrant. Under republican rule, coercion is used to enforce the law. Sometimes the law is not moral. But we have the right to organize to achieve new legislation.
     -- David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood     
  • 2
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    Why do we assume that liberty is good? Liberty is good only for a few who are adults, but most human beings, deep down, are childlike and cannot make their own decisions without harming themselves and others. Most people can't even balance their own checkbook. Such people are coerced, not by force, but mostly by the lure of empty status symbols and sources of physical pleasure. Such people are actually coerced not because they need to be benefited, but because they have lost control of themselves
     -- Peter, Philadelphia     
    "Of all tyrannies ,a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." C.S. Lewis.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    an accurate observation.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Ah the middle man's cuff money, do as I say not as I do. 
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
    It's still accurate.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    David, WHAT ? ? ? Your circular word salad can't even be considered mis-direction it is so incoherent and wrong. Again, WHAT ? ? ? The premise of de jure "law" in the established representative republic was to be the laws of nature and of nature's God, NOT your referenced philosophical legal positivism. At "law", NO responsibilities can be forcibly coerced! Only tyranny can be coerced. At law (law simply defines the act), in conjunction with justice, if an innocent third party is injured as a result of an action or inaction, justice will claim the creature. The constitutional hirelings were/are subject to individual sentient sovereigns authority to administer inalienable rights (ONLY).

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    Sorry David, but what it is that any men "must" do? No onw owns you or anybody anything. If you think diferently, you would fit well the shows of what you call a Tyrant.

     -- Felipe, São Paulo     
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