"Violent resistance against the power of the state
is the last resort of the minority in its effort
to break loose from the oppression of the majority. ...
The citizen must not be so narrowly
circumscribed in his activities that,
if he thinks differently from those in power,
his only choice is either to perish or
to destroy the machinery of state."
Ludwig von Mises
(1881-1973) Economist and social philosopher
Liberalism. The Classical Tradition (1927), Fourth American Edition (Irvington-on-Hudson: Foundation for Economic Education, 1996), p. 59
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Reader comments about this quote:
All 4 and 5 star rated quotes should be printed on T shirts and sold.These are the most important quotes.The quotes that can liberate the oppressed and enlighten the lives off all.
 -- KS., Queensbury,NY.     
    Well, devilish part of the system that "we" have devised is that the majority "thinks" that it is in control. Actually, the majority is the mass which has been fooled by the real ruling elite. The minority perceives this duplicity, and seeks to break the grip of the elite. To no avail, of course.
     -- senor reek, Corozal, Belize, Central America     
    If Senor Reek is correct, then the only answer is to take up arms! Long live the Revolutionaries - like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington!
     -- john-douglas, nassau     
     -- P.M.      
    said well senor reek
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    ... makes me wonder how many who read this actually read and understand the two key words of "last resort" rather than seeing it as a justification for their pulling out their guns and killing (as likely as not "in the name of Jesus") all who disagree with them... it then goes on to talk about the negitive statement of only having two choices, "to parish to to destroy", failing to see (as TJ & GW saw) that there is a third choice, to build something better. Again, the negitivity of the radical right comes through, sick little boys with their toy guns who just want to "kill kill kill". Real men look for building better, not just destroying those who disagree with them.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    The man (or woman) from Reston has it right again. Thank you, whoever you are, for your ability to mine the deeper meanings of often ambiguous assertions.
     -- Dick, Fort Worth     
    It is only in educating the majority, will true freedom against the tyranny of government oppression be possible.. Unfortunately, the media is the cancer by which tyranny grows uncontrolled and unnoticed by those watching..
     -- Vexari, Indian Rocks Beach     
    Superb quote! Mises is an outstanding thinker and writer. Check out the Mises Institute and their email list. There is nothing ambiguous about that quote. The only ambiguity on this page is whether Reston and Dick are really Americans by accident of birth or interlopers from Cuba, the DPRK or Venezuela. And no senor reek the majority does not think it is in control, the majority does not care. Beer in the frig, brauts on the grill, soaps and wrestling on TV. Fat, dumb and happy. Why worry about politics.
     -- helorat, Milton     
    Well said Reston and Fort Worth - indeed, you are correct. There is always another way - it seems for some the matter is black and white like it was when they invaded the lands of the Indians. Happy 4th I always wondered what makes a real American - thanks for the education. By the way, I agree, Mises is an outstanding thinker but this one he has wrong.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    Robert, do you realize that “according to the current genetic and archeological evidence” scientists have concluded “Europeans crossed the Atlantic on the ice sheet” several thousand years before the Asiatics crossed the Bering Straits land bridge. And the Asiatics apparently committed genocide on the Europeans. Then they wiped out the large mammals. Where are the PETA and neolib protests? “We” were merely taking back what hade been “ours”, in a similar manner as had been done to “us”. Simple history, as history goes. To the victory goes the spoils. Oh and BTW my relatives were all 20th century legal immigrants, so the “we/us/our” thing is figurative. I have no guilt with regard to the Indians, if you do I would suggest you make reparations or get off your little rocking horse. Although, I may have had some relatives who were victims of the genocide committed by the Asiatics, so how about getting me some reparations, or at least a reservation with tax free casino rights. Barring that how about getting yourself a life.
     -- helorat, Milton     
    This is simply a statement of fact -- it is neither a call to arms nor a condemnation of oppression. There is no politically correct resistance to tyranny -- it is, by definition, politically incorrect.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    No normal human being wants to kill anyone. Only when there is no other way to secure their safety will any one take up and actually use arms. This is true of tyranny, oppression or a home invasion. Moral people will act in a moral manner to preserve their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
    As Archer says...it's a simple statement of fact.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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