"The real destroyer of the liberties of the people
is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits."
by:
Plutarch
(c.45-125 A.D.) Priest of the Delphic Oracle
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The oldest trick in the history book! Freedom isn't free.
 -- Irving, Philidelphia     
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    It seems that liberalism has been causing problems for some time.
     -- Ray, Davenport     
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    This should be etched in stone above every legislature in the land.
     -- Patrick, Vancouver, Wa     
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    I wonder if the politicians know this - or even understand it? Or do they understand it all to well?
     -- JDoN, Nassau     
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    Prescient!
     -- Anonymous     
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     -- Brina Riley, Stockport      
    I wonder whether any of you who gave this quote 5 stars could explain its meaning to me in Modern American English.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    David, Social Security, On its face, the ponzi scheme will financially fail but worse than that, it allows each individual to be tracked so they may not buy, sell, work, drive, etc. without it's mark. States artificially lower speed limits on highways for blackmail money when it has been proven over and over again that a higher speed saves lives. David, volumes could be written with endless lists, this blog is not the place.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I don't understand this quote either.Mike from Norwalk:Your attempt to explain your understanding of this quote is too vague for me.As far as Social Security goes,it was a great program at one time.FDR enacted it and it benefited/financialy assisted the average American for decades.It's pending failure now has nothing to do with it's original purpose;to benefit the ageing American.But that's another subject for discussion.Getting back to the quote,asside from Soc.Secur.what else can yo say about this quote? I,like David above, do not understand the significance of this quote.
     -- Me Again     
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    Ahem, while I may not have the exact amount, the current US debt is in the hundreds of trillions of dollars -- it is completely unpayable. What is the price of voting ourselves money -- our very freedom. There is no reason in the world why America should not be one of the most prosperous countries in the world instead of being the biggest debtor nation in history. We keep the illusion alive by 'borrowing' more and more. FDR screwed us -- Social Security is a con -- it is just another tax. How did Americans survive without all this 'free' money? The Depression was caused by the very money system I am talking about. The idea that we can get something for nothing has plagued American idealism for decades. Those that become dependent upon government checks will defend their dependency at the expense of their own personal responsibility -- not to mention their freedom. It is one of the oldest tricks in the book as Plutarch can attest. If you cannot see how government borrowing to pay you an entitlement (that it is not really authorized to give) destroys your freedom, you may never come to understand how dangerously close the US is to a complete economic crash that will require us to once again hand over our sovereignty to foreign powers. "Neither a borrower nor a lender be" -- if you don't understand why, consider that the truth may be too much to bear.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Excellent! What is conspicuous by its absence is very intersting
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
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    Archer, well said, and to the rest that did not understand, let me reiterate. If an individual accepts the Social Security system, he expects free money or more money that he individually put in (especially after including administration fees to process the paid in SS money). Once you take the money from the Government you also then have to take its ID. Once the government has a majority (democracy) of the people in the SS system it eliminates all liberties and says it is mandatory to have the ID that came with the SS money to work, open a bank account, go to school, drive a vehicle, get a passport, get a new national ID, buy, sell, etc. Now to the quote, he who spread the bounties, donations and benefits also destroyed the rights and liberties with it. The government can not give anything unless it takes it first (by theft or otherwise); AND, this quote is true no matter the reason for spreading the - - -
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Every American has attached to him, from early in life, a Social Security number, before having taken or become eligible to receive any payment through that system. No one agrees that he or she will only buy or sell or whatever after having a Social Security number issued. There are millions of people who work "off the books," store their cash in the mattress, and buy with cash. While Social Security may not be funded for the future, it is largely due to the way the Congress has mismanaged and manipulated it since its inception. Originally, the Social Security fund was a seperate fund, dedicated and protected, for the Social Security system alone. Then a majority Democrat Congress voted to merge that fund with the general fund (just the facts). If people pay into a retirement system, whether public or private, they have every right to collect a return on that investment. If investments are mismanaged, they can fail.
     -- David L Rosenthal      
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    David, even though you don't get the whole individual liberty thing, thanks for proving the point in large part. The point being: "Every American has attached to him, from early in life, a Social Security number, before having taken or become eligible to receive any payment through that system." (unconstitutional and a tyrant's method to rob liberty from the next gerneration) "There are millions of people who work "off the books"" (individuals striving for liberty contrary to the Social Security's tyrants); "store their cash in the mattress" (no SS#, no liberty to intermingle with societies financial institutions) etc. etc. etc.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    David, you left out the public school experience. The truth is, a public education is not free, you have to pay by giving up some of your liberty. (What does having a Social Security number have to do with getting an education, driving, etc.? / How did the USA become the wealthiest, most philanthropic, most educated, most powerful, and most free nation on earth without the SS, income tax, etc.?) The quote is dead on.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Given that the statement above that the U.S. national debt is "hundreds of trillions" is off by two orders of magnitude (it is currently just over $8.6 trillion, or put otherwise 1-4% of the claimed number), I'd guess that the rest of the analysis is just as inaccurate... sure looks it from the history I've studied.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Mike, Public Education is an oxymoron. I know...I grajooated from public skool. As for the Antisocial Security system, I guess I should be ashamed to say that I am almost to old and decrepit to care at this time of night. Try me in the morning.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    Oh, and sure, Reston, as long as the debt is only in the low trillions, I guess there's nothing to worry about.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    And Archer, don't worry! You know about Eminent Domain. Well, when the debt gets to be too big (whenever that happens), we can just apply a sort of Eminent Domain principle to all the property owned by everyone, then sell it and use the revenue to pay the debt, then give the country back to the Indians, and we can all go back where we came from. That should make everything better.
     -- David L Rosenthal      
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    I have an idea! Let's march on Washungton, DC, and sit in until they abolish Social Security. Who wants to go with me and Archer?
     -- David L Rosenthal      
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    While my admittedly rough estimate of the US debt may be higher than what government says it is, it does not account for all the real money and purchasing power stolen by the Fed from the American people since the Fed's inception. In 1934 an ounce of silver (the official definition of a 'dollar') was 50 cents -- today it is $14 (2800% decrease in dollar value - i.e. inflation due to fiat currency). In 1934, an ounce of gold was $35 -- today it is about $650 (an 1800% decrease in dollar value -- and the value of gold is highly controlled). Either way, the inflation caused by using fiat currency (interest-bearing federal reserve notes backed by nothing but promises to pay) means that the real cost to Americans for this money system is in the hundreds of trillions of dollars. If the US debt is $8 trillion and the entire money supply is $10 trillion, how the hell is this debt going to be repaid? It isn't -- but the interest due on that $8 trillion debt is still due every year -- at a meager 5% interest rate that is $400 billion and more every year!! Hello, anybody home? Please note that EVERY SINGLE US 'dollar' in circulation today has been borrowed (that's how they are issued in the first place). In 1934 FDR confiscated the entire US money supply in order to fulfill the plans of the new world order (read the back of the one dollar bill -- there it is) and we are completely dependent on this iniquitous system for our very survival. Indeed, voting ourselves money has indentured ourselves to a hegemonic and feudalistic society far removed from the intention of the Founders -- of course, public schools help to condition each generation to expect more from government and less from themselves thus turning the American mindset into a dependent slave mentality that is all too happy to believe an illusion of freedom at the expense of independence.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Just to let you all know, this quote has been sent out before -- the last time in 2006. We just thought it was apropos for 2009 as well.
     -- Editor, Liberty Quotes     
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    This quote is pretty easy to understand, When government spreads the wealth around in the form of welfare and subsidies, it first has to steal the money through taxation. Guess who they steal it from.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    I agree with David, public education is an oxymoron, it should be called government indoctrination.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    I wrote my comments above 3 years ago. Gold is now pushing $1000 an ounce and is expected to double as the 'stimulus' inflation occurs. But an ounce of gold still has about the same purchasing power it had 100 years ago. The value of gold has not gone up, the value of the Federal Reserve Note (so-called US 'dollar') has gone down. So the US dollar is now only 2/3 the value it was 3 years ago! Another reason it does not pay to save your 'dollars' -- they just get stolen anyway. Americans used to be able to buy land and never have to pay any property tax on it -- why? because it is privately owned and paid for with no liens or encumberances, therefore no one can lay claim to it to tax it. BUT since we aren't actually 'paying' for anything anymore, we are merely transferring debt from one person to another, we aren't actually buying the property, and thus subject to tax by those that do -- the Fed!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Obvious
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Excellent! Plutarch was also an Historian and it was probably from this position the quote derives it accuracy.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus[1] (Greek: Μέστριος Πλούταρχος), c. AD 46 – 120 — commonly known in English as Plutarch — was a Roman historian (of Greek ethnicity), biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist.[2] Plutarch was born to a prominent family in Chaeronea, Boeotia, a town about twenty miles east of Delphi. His known works consist of the Parallel Lives and the Moralia.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    -- David L. Rosenthal and Me Again I guess I will do it. When the government comes to you with goodies it expects some thing in return. That some thing is your freedom. Every handout has strings attached. One obvious one is your vote purchased with other peoples money. He who takes a handout is nothing more than a prostitute. Liberal politicians are nothing more than poverty pimps. Obama is in the process of an attempt to create as much poverty as he so as to entrench the Dems in power for a very long time. His Pelosi written bill has provisions for rewarding governors for increasing the welfare roles. He will no doubt be the biggest poverty pimp in history.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    There is power in giving and ability to redirect the mind set of people. depending on the motive of the donor, if it is for real charity, then it is in order. But if the motive is conditional, then i call the giver and the gift 'A REAL DESTROYER' because by that act the person at the receiving end becomes somewhat a robot that must respond to the direction of the he who sidelines his liberty by the act of coded donation, gift, bounties etc.
     -- Emmanuel Areke, Sokoto, Nigeria     
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    When people say the US debt is $8.6 trillion, I wonder if they are always innaccurate or outright ignorant to the mandated liabilties.
     -- Charles, San Diego     
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    I can put it into modern language. Those who promise us protection from; sickness (healthcare), poverty (social security), and harm (no need for 2nd amendment we have the police), are really after absolute control through absolute dependence.
     -- Kevin, Nashville     
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    Most of our debt nearly 80% is from SS and Medicare. We are being being buried in debt by good intentions. Not only did those programs steal our freedom and independence, the financial states of both programs ensure we will be worse off than if the government had done nothing "for us"
     -- J. Allen, Arlington, Va     
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    Wow, talk about taking stuff out of context. Plutarch is NOT talking out government programs maligning liberty, but rather, corrupt politicians using wealth to placate a self-serving population with "bounties, donations, and benefits" to effectively buy that population's vote. Plutarch is condemning men like Sulla (bounties=citizenship rights to anyone serving in the Roman military), Caesar (donations=land gifts to veteran soldiers), Antony (benefits=government positions to his lackeys), et al. who used bribery to gain prominence in Republican Rome. "The destroyer of liberties" is in reference to the fall of the Republic which permitted debate of government decisions and the creation of the Roman Empire controlled by one emperor. He's condemning wealth and power used by unscrupulous hands. A better parallel to American politics would be the Citizens United ruling which allows corporations to fund political campaigns and effectively buy your vote.
     -- Mike, Missouri     
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    Hey Mike, don't be a hypocrite, Unions have played a heavy role in elections as well. You may have some historical reference regarding the quote, but it's still very appropriate for current times. Liberals are buying votes by offering more and more entitlements, all with higher taxes, borrowing & deficit spending. Far worse than a corporate donor using profits. Every big corporation donates to Democrats as well.
     -- Casey, Dacono     
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    This should be stamped on the door of every politician. As an aside, and considering his time in history, there is not one mention of Jesus. Considering Plutarch was very religious (the Platonist view) and his famous book on Lives (including Caesar) he did not mention once this man who called himself the son of God. Plutarch would be ashamed to be in the same room with most of the commentaries here..... The government robs the social programs to pay for the military and the bail-outs and you have the nerve to blame social welfare for the debt problem - what total hypocrites you all are - sorry, there were a few exceptions.
     -- robert, Somewhere in the US     
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