"The ostensible supporters of the Constitution, like the ostensible supporters of most other governments, are made up of three classes, viz.:
1. Knaves, a numerous and active class, who see in the government an instrument which they can use for their own aggrandizement or wealth.
2. Dupes - a large class, no doubt - each of whom, because he is allowed one voice out of millions in deciding what he may do with his own person and his own property, and because he is permitted to have the same voice in robbing, enslaving, and murdering others, that others have in robbing, enslaving, and murdering himself, is stupid enough to imagine that he is a "free man," a "sovereign"; that this is "a free government"; "a government of equal rights," "the best government on earth," and such like absurdities.
3. A class who have some appreciation of the evils of government, but either do not see how to get rid of them, or do not choose to so far sacrifice their private interests as to give themselves seriously and earnestly to the work of making a change."
Lysander Spooner
(1808-1887) Political theorist, activist, abolitionist
No Treason. No. VI The Constitution of no Authority, (Boston: Published by the Author, 1870)
Bookmark and Share  
Reader comments about this quote:
OK, I like it.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Number one describes perfectly the members of our current Congress, and number two, the people who voted for them. Number one pretty well describes government back at least as far as Lincoln, maybe farther.
     -- jim k, austin     
    The man is so limited in his thinking...
     -- Anonymous     
    Lysander has shown himself to be a** in every quote he has made, but this is the worse. I wish we could ask him what government he would like. How can Mike in Jim who always defend and would like a return as they call it to The Constitution defend this quote and this quy who says all defeneders of it are of1, 2, or 3 classes of imbicility.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Waffler, by way of illustration but, not by way of limitation: you say you defend the Constitution because you are allowed one voice out of millions in choosing someone to represent the statist theocracy that now infests this land, that said representative may decide what you may do with your own person and such property as you claim title to, and, because you are permitted to have the same voice in robbing, enslaving, and murdering others, that others have in robbing, enslaving, and murdering you, is stupid enough to imagine that you are a "free man," (never go as far as a sovereign); that this is "a free government"; "a government of equal rights," "the best government on earth," and such like absurdities. And me, having some appreciation of the evils of government.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Lysander has shown himself to ba an ass. When did government actually go bad Mike and become all the things that you say it is, in your opinon?. Thoreau in 1830 and Lysander 20 or 30 years later felt the same way as you do today 150 years or so later. I have told you once and I will tell you again, it is not the government now and it was not the government in Thoreau's or Lydander's time it is simply a personality type that you have in common with these guys and a certain penchant for a certain phiolosophical outlook. None of your or their observations or feelings have much to do with reality, now or then.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Waffler, thanks, you are absolutely right. My reality does not encompass slavery, tyranny, or despotism as does yours. That's part of what makes this blog so fun, people who don't agree with me help to sharpen my personal beliefs.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Waffler, you're "first class".
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Change the word 'Constitution' to 'democracy' and it is bang on! This explains politics to a tee.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    You all make good points but, I must on this occasion side with Waffler for his sincerity - a good example would be TS Elliot's "Cocktail Party." Sadly, I fall into cat 3 though, with hope and optimism, this may change into cat 4. Mike, please realize that we are not out to change your belief or have you agree with opposing opinions - all we can do is share our thoughts and this will make us better human beings. Let not those who disagree sharpen your beliefs but allow you to discuss more openly and objectively others beliefs - sharpening your own beliefs is only half the equation.
     -- rbesrq     
    And you Ken are a personality type. Nothing you say ever has any evidentiary support you like Mike and Lysander are just nuts with a warped personality. It is really great to be seen as sincere I wish I could see some of these others that way, RBESRQ.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    The OSTENSIBLE supporters of Constitution without a doubt fall into these three categories. I've seen the Constitution be used too many times as leverage to effect a personal goal. The saddest thing is that I have met VERY few people that have not had one of these three mentalities ground into them. As a final point, I would like to confess, that in all honesty, I belong to the third category.
     -- Jordan Hoiberg     
    Rate this quote!
    How many stars?

    What do YOU think?
    Your name:
    Your town:

    More Quotations
    Get a Quote-A-Day! Free!
    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box.
    RSS Subscribe
    Quotes & Quotations - Send This Quote to a Friend

    © 1998-2018 Liberty-Tree.ca