"He that complies against his will,
Is of his own opinion still."
Samuel Butler
(1835-1902) Victorian-era English author
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Reader comments about this quote:
Yeah, that idealogy worked really well for the founding fathers. I seem to remember reading Patrick Henry, "There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come. It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" They gave their "lives, fortunes, and sacred honor"-- they didn't say, "Oh, well, I'll capitulate and just keep my own individuality to myself... after all, it's about what I think, not what I do."
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
  • 3
    Seems reasonable to say so, but sounds like nah nah nah nah nah nah, which is a bit annoying at 2 a.m.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
  • 1
    I agree with above just add another nah nah
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    It is not reasonable for government to force citizens into something, such as paying the so-called "income tax," at the point of a bayonet. And, it is NOT "reasonable" if it sounds like nah nah nah and annoys you!
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 1
    Not sure what others are reading into this. To me it simply means that if I comply against my will, then I am responsible for not standing my ground -- and thus I voluntarily consent and should have nothing to complain about
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 5
    When you are forced to comply, you have complied, you have done what you were compelled to do, but have not agreed or changed your mind. There is no additional meaning.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
  • 1
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA      
    This is why I show my kids why education beyond high school is so important. To learn to understand. You know the government leaders understand this and to dumb down the citizenry would be most beneficial to them. Ceaser reinvented for our more modern times?????
     -- RB, Mountain Grove     
  • 2
    Mr. Rosenthal correctly interprets Butler. To force someone to comply is not the same as changing their opinion so that they voluntarily comply. Remove the external force and the one compelled against his will will return to his original actions. But change a man's mind and no external force is required.
     -- John Anderson, Tacoma     
  • 1
    Though I love Logan's here sentiment, I think Archer's comment defines the intent.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 3
    What would be the motivation for an individual to make such a statement ? Passive to the point of hiding from public ridicule. Implications of misconduct ? A little homework on the subject of Samuel Butler will expose the reason why, his point of view. In finding oneself at odds with then, current orthodoxy, falling away from acceptable behavior, it goes to show how doubt of moral standing affects a persons courage and ability to be responsible. Similar lifestyles lived today by a wealthy class of Qadesh passive mindsets.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
    Archer said it well.
     -- Jim K, Austin     
     -- jim k, austin      
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