"We must, therefore, emphasize that 'we' are not the government; the government is not 'us.' The government does not in any accurate sense 'represent' the majority of the people.  But, even if it did, even if 70 percent of the people decided to murder the remaining 30 percent, this would still be murder and would not be voluntary suicide on the part of the slaughtered minority.  No organicist metaphor, no irrelevant bromide that 'we are all part of one another,' must be permitted to obscure this basic fact."
by:
Murray N. Rothbard
(1926-1995) Dean of the Austrian School of Economics
Source:
Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays (Auburn: Mises Institute, 2000 [1974]), pp. 55-88.
http://www.mises.org/easaran/chap3.asp
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Reader comments about this quote:
The quote's reference is to democracy, socialism, and other like governments of a legal positivism now permeating the earth. Natural law governments, such as was the de jure representative republic, limited by the Constitution are outside the parameters of the above defined scope. The quote is very accurate for the system's of government that now infest the planet.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Absolutely correct. We are not a colony of ants, nor a hive of bees. We are individual human beings each unique and each granted the right to life, liberty and property by the creator of the universe...not by a bunch of political opportunists.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Mr. Rothbard nails it.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    Whenever a politician says 'we,' he/she means the government. The 'public' is the government. They will have you believe that you must make sacrifices for the 'common good,' but in fact it means to give up even more rights and property to the government. Those who have secured seats of power in the government are dedicated to keeping that power or setting up the system to funnel power/money/influence to themselves afterwards. The expansion of the state never stops under their watch -- the country can go to hell, but the government will refuse to rein itself in. 'We' are definitely NOT the government although more and more of us are employed by the state to keep the rest in line.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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