Famous Quotations / Quotes
Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

 
Famous quotes, quotations, sayings, phrases, idioms, proverbs, and axioms about Liberty and the Responsibility that comes with it. 
 


The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.


Famous Last Words

Apt Observations, Pleas, Curses, Benedictions, Sour Notes, Bons Mots, and Insights from People on the Brink of Departure


Stretch Your Wings

Famous Black Quotations for the Young


American Quotations

An exhaustive collection of profound quotes from the founding fathers, presidents, statesmen, scientists, constitutions, court decisions


The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations


Last Words of Saints and Sinners

700 Final Quotes from the Famous, the Infamous, and the Inspiring Figures of History


America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations

Contains over 2,100 profound quotations from founding fathers, presidents, constitutions, court decisions and more


The Law

This 1850 classic is an absolute must read for anyone interested in law, justice, truth, or liberty. A most compelling and revolutionary look at The Law.


Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature (17th Edition)


The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians

Rise up, America -- and laugh out loud at the greatest gaffes that no spin doctor could possibly fix!


The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said

Another great collection of stupidity


Quotable Quotes

Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America's Most Popular Magazine


The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time

You don't have to be a genius to sound like one. Here's a collection of the most profound and provocative wit and wisdom in the English language in two lines or less.


2,715 One-Line Quotations for Speakers, Writers & Raconteurs

Invaluable sampler of witticisms, epigrams, sayings, bon mots, platitudes and insights chosen for their brevity and pithiness.


Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts Funny Sayings

A stupendous collection of quotes, quips, epigrams, witticisms, and humorous comments for personal enjoyment and ready reference.


Quick Quips and Quotes; 532 Things I Wish I Had Said

Quick Quips and Quotes is the Ultimate Collection of one liners.


Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes

The ultimate anthology of anecdotes, now revised with over 700 new entries.


Quotations for Public Speakers

A Historical, Literary, and Political Anthology


Liberty - The American Revolution

This compelling series traces the events leading up to the war and America's fight for freedom.


Founding Fathers

The story of how these disparate characters fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution


Libertarianism: A Primer

David Boaz, director of the Cato Institute, has written a simple introduction to Libertarianism inteneded to appeal to disgruntled Democrats and Republicans everywhere.


The Libertarian Reader

Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman


Thomas Paine: Collected Writings

All the classics: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters

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Lord ActonGovernment by idea tends to take in everything, to make the whole of society obedient to the idea. Spaces not so governed are unconquered, beyond the border, unconverted, a future danger.
John AdamsEach individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; and to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary. But no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. In fine, the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent.
John AdamsThe moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.
John AdamsThe nature of the encroachment upon American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer; it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity and frugality become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole of society.
John AdamsNip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.
John AdamsSociety's demands for moral authority and character increase
as the importance of the position increases.
John AdamsResistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would. Nor is there anything in the common law of England ... inconsistent with that right.
John AdamsResistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would. Nor is there anything in the common law of England inconsistent with that right.
Samuel AdamsA general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.... While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.... If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.
Samuel AdamsIn short, it is the greatest Absurdity to suppose it in the Power of one or any Number of Men, at the entering into Society, to renounce their essential natural Rights or the Means of preserving those Rights, when the grand End of civil Government, from the very Nature of its Institution, is for the Support, Protection and Defense of those very Rights: The principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property.
Samuel AdamsThe Legislative has no Right to absolute arbitrary Power over the Lives and Fortunes of the People: Nor can Mortals assume a Prerogative not only too high for Men but for Angels, and therefore reserv’d for the Exercise of the Deity alone.
Samuel AdamsAll Men have a Right to remain in a State of Nature as long as they please: And in case of intolerable Oppression, civil or religious, to leave the Society they belong to and enter into another. When Men enter into Society, it is by voluntary Consent, and they have a Right to demand and insist upon the performance of such Conditions and previous Limitations as form an equitable original Compact.
Samuel AdamsGovernors have no Right to seek and take what they please; by this, instead of being content with the Station assigned them, that of honorable Servants of the Society, they would soon become Absolute Masters, Despots,and Tyrants. Hence, as a private Man has a Right to say what Wages he will give in his private Affairs, so has a Community to determine what they will give and grant of their Substance for the Administration of public Affairs.
Samuel AdamsIt does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.
Astrid AlaudaPeople have become as processed as food.
J. Tucker AlfordIt is precisely this clinging to victimhood as a means of demonstrating one’s virtue and advancing one’s well-being that has led us into a society in which welfare and quotas are “civil rights,” government handouts are “entitlements,” and payment to girls having babies out of wedlock are “compassionate,” while hard-working, ambitious people are “greedy,” punishment of crime is “oppression,” and an independent thinker who stands for courage and self-reliance is dismissed as an “Uncle Tom.”
Saul AlinskyA free and open society is an ongoing conflict, interrupted periodically by compromises.
Woody AllenWe stand today at a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.
American Library AssociationWe believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture.
Marcus Aurelius AntoninusMen exist for the sake of one another. Teach them then or bear with them.
AristotleHe who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.
AristotleMan is by nature a political animal.
Association of California School AdministratorsParent choice'' proceeds from the belief that the purpose of education is to provide individual students with an education. In fact, educating the individual is but a means to the true end of education, which is to create a viable social order to which individuals contribute and by which they are sustained. "Family choice'' is, therefore, basically selfish and anti-social in that it focuses on the "wants'' of a single family rather than the "needs'' of society.
Ben H. BagdikianLetting a maximum number of views be heard regularly is not just a nice philosophical notion. It is the best way any society has yet discovered to detect maladjustments quickly, to correct injustices, and to discover new ways to meet our continuing stream of novel problems that rise in a changing environment.
James BaldwinThe price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.
Alderman Rodney BarketWhat I'd like to see police do is deal with important issues and not these sorts of victimless crimes when society is riddled with problems.
Frédéric BastiatSocialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
Frederic BastiatWhen plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
Frederic BastiatActually, it is not strange that during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the human race was regarded as inert matter, ready to receive everything -- form, face, energy, movement, life -- from a great prince or a great legislator or a great genius. These centuries were nourished on the study of antiquity. And antiquity presents everywhere -- in Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome -- the spectacle of a few men molding mankind according to their whims, thanks to the prestige of force and of fraud. But this does not prove that this situation is desirable. It proves only that since men and society are capable of improvement, it is naturally to be expected that error, ignorance, despotism, slavery, and superstition should be greatest towards the origins of history. The writers quoted above were not in error when they found ancient institutions to be such, but they were in error when they offered them for the admiration and imitation of future generations. Uncritical and childish conformists, they took for granted the grandeur, dignity, morality, and happiness of the artificial societies of the ancient world. They did not understand that knowledge appears and grows with the passage of time; and that in proportion to this growth of knowledge, might takes the side of right, and society regains possession of itself.
Frederic BastiatA Fatal Tendency of Mankind. Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing. But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man -- in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.
Frederic BastiatSociety is composed of men, and every man is a FREE agent. Since man is free, he can choose; since he can choose, he can err; since he can err, he can suffer. I go further: He must err and he must suffer; for his starting point is ignorance, and in his ignorance he sees before him an infinite number of unknown roads, all of which save one lead to error.
Frederic BastiatSocialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.
Judge David BazelonMembers of society must obey the law because they personally believe that its commands are justified.
Edward BernaysThe conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
Edward L. BernaysThe conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.
Edward L. BernaysIn almost every act of our lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business or in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.
Edward L. BernaysIf we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits.
Edward L. BernaysThose who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of.
Ambrose BierceLogic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe layman's constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn't like is unconstitutional.
Reuben BladesI think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.
Dr. Jim BorenPublic apathy is more powerful than public opinion. There's more of it.
Robert Bork[A] society deadened by a smothering network of laws while finding release in moral chaos is not likely to be either happy or stable.
Boston Evening Post[It is] a natural Right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the [English] Bill of rights, to keep arms for their own defense; and as Mr. Blackstone observes, it is to be made use of when the sanctions of Society and law are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.
Edmund BurkeSociety cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
Edmund BurkeWhen bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Edmund BurkeTell me what are the prevailing sentiments that occupy the minds of your young peoples, and I will tell you what is to be the character of the next generation.
George BurnsToo bad all the people who know how to run this country are busy running taxicabs or cutting hair.
William S. BurroughsAfter a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell
wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.
Barbara BushYour success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens at the White House, but what happens inside your house.
Al CaponeWhen I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality.
Jonathan D. CasperThe freedom to express varying and often opposing ideas is essential to a variety of conceptions of democracy. If democracy is viewed as essentially a process – a way in which collective decisions for a society are made – free expression is crucial to the openness of the process and to such characteristics as elections, representation of interests, and the like.
CatoBy Liberty I understand the Power which every Man has over his own Actions, and his Right to enjoy the Fruits of his Labour, Art, and Industry, as far as by it he hurts not the Society, or any Members of it, by taking from any Member, or by hindering him from enjoying what he himself enjoys. The Fruits of a Man's honest Industry are the just Rewards of it, ascertained to him by natural and eternal Equity, as is his Title to use them in the Manner which he thinks fit: And thus, with the above Limitations, every Man is sole Lord and Arbitrer of his own private Actions and Property.
Carrie Chapman CattThere are two kinds of restrictions on human liberty -- the restraint of law and that of custom. No written law has ever been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Zechariah Chafee, Jr.Freedom from something is not enough. It should also be freedom for something. Freedom is not safety but opportunity. Freedom ought to be a means to enable the press to serve the proper functions of communication in a free society.
John ChancellorNow the 21st century approaches and with it the inevitability of change. We must wonder if the American people will find renewal and rejuvenation within themselves, will discover again their capacity for innovation and adaptation. If not, alas, the nation's future will be shaped by sightless forces of history over which Americans will have no control.
Sir Winston ChurchillSchools have not necessarily much to do with education... they are mainly institutions of control, where basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school.
Sir Winston ChurchillA nation that forgets its past is doomed to repeat it.
Hillary ClintonWe must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.
William Comer[W]e are living in a sick Society filled with people who would not directly steal from their neighbors but who are willing to demand that the government do it for them.
James Bryant ConantDiversity of opinion within the framework of loyalty to our free society is not only basic to a university but to the entire nation.
Calvin CoolidgeLiberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty.
James Fenimore CooperLiberty is not a matter of words, but a positive and important condition of society. Its greatest safeguard after placing its foundations in a popular base, is in the checks and balances imposed on the public servants.
Stephen CoxThe more profound problem, however, is the degree to which many academic intellectuals, especially in the humanities, have lost their ability to distinguish the 'state' from 'society'.
Edward H. Crane[T]here are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force.
Czech ProverbThe big thieves hang the little ones.
M. Robin D'AntanDepressed? Of course we're all depressed. We've been so quickly, violently, and irreconcilably plucked from nature, from physical labor, from kinship and village mentality, from every natural and primordial anti-depressant. The further society "progresses," the grander the scale of imbalance. Just as fluoride is put in water to prevent dental caries, we'll soon find government mandating Prozac in our water to prevent mental caries.
Theodore DalrymplePolitical correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to. 
Clarence S. DarrowThe best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful toward our friends and fellow passengers who are clinging to the same speck of dirt while we are drifting side by side to our common doom.
Sébastien-Roch Nicholas de ChamfortSociety is composed of two great classes - those who have more dinners than appetite, and those who have more appetite than dinners.
Anthony de JasayPeople who live in states have as a rule never experienced the state of nature and vice-versa, and have no practical possibility of moving from the one to the other ... On what grounds, then, do people form hypotheses about the relative merits of state and state of nature? ... My contention here is that preferences for political arrangements of society are to a large extent produced by these very arrangements, so that political institutions are either addictive like some drugs, or allergy-inducing like some others, or both, for they may be one thing for some people and the other for others.
Anthony de JasayIn the process of helping some (perhaps most) people to more utility and justice, the state imposes on civil society a system of interdictions and commands.
Anthony de JasayPeople who live in states have as a rule never experienced
the state of nature and vice-versa, and have no practical
possibility of moving from the one to the other ...
On what grounds, then, do people form hypotheses
about the relative merits of state and state of nature? ...
My contention here is that preferences for political arrangements of society are
to a large extent produced by these very arrangements, so that
political institutions are either addictive like some drugs,
or allergy-inducing like some others, or both,
for they may be one thing for some people and the other for others.
Estienne de la BoétieIt is incredible how as soon as a people become subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and willingly that one is led to say that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.
Salvador De MadariagaHe is free who knows how to keep in his own hands the power to decide at each step, the course of his life, and who lives in a society which does not block the exercise of that power.
Charles de MontesquieuThe deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.
Alexis de TocquevilleIt [government] covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
Alexis de Tocqueville[Some people] have a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom. I believe that it is easier to establish an absolute and despotic government amongst a people in which the conditions of society are equal, than amongst any other; and I think that, if such a government were once established amongst such a people, it would not only oppress men, but would eventually strip each of them of several of the highest qualities of humanity. Despotism, therefore, appears to me peculiarly to be dreaded in democratic times.
Alexander DieliusBanks do not have an obligation to promote the public good.
Whitfield DiffieIf you say to people that they, as a matter of fact, can’t protect their conversations, in particular their political conversations, I think you take a long step toward making a transition from a free society to a totalitarian society.
Benjamin DisraeliThe governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other governments, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments’ plans.
Fyodor DostoyevskyEvery member of the society spies on the rest, and it is his duty to inform against them. All are slaves and equal in their slavery... The great thing about it is equality... Slaves are bound to be equal.
Justice William O. DouglasThe privacy and dignity of our citizens [are] being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a [person’s] life.
Justice William O. DouglasThe right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.
Justice William O. DouglasThe framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.
Frederick DouglassI know no class of my fellowmen, however just, enlightened, and humane, which can be wisely and safely trusted absolutely with the liberties of any other class.
John DrydenThe most may err as grossly as the few.
Abba EbanHistory teaches us that men and nations only behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
Richard M. EbelingDemocracy in itself does not define or guarantee a free society. History has told many stories of democratic societies that have degenerated into corruption, plunder, and tyranny.
Richard M. EbelingIn the hands of the state, compulsory public education becomes a tool for political control and manipulation -- a prime instrument for the thought police of the society. And precisely because every child passes through the same indoctrination process -- learning the same "official history," the same "civic virtues," the same lessons of obedience and loyalty to the state -- it becomes extremely difficult for the independent soul to free himself from the straightjacket of the ideology and values the political authorities wish to imprint upon the population under its jurisdiction. For the communists, it was the class struggle and obedience to the Party and Comrade Stalin; for the fascists, it was worship of the nation -- state and obedience to the Duce; for the Nazis, it was race purity and obedience to the Fuhrer. The content has varied, but the form has remained the same. Through the institution of compulsory state education, the child is to be molded like wax into the shape desired by the state and its educational elite. We should not believe that because ours is a freer, more democratic society, the same imprinting procedure has not occurred even here, in America. Every generation of school-age children has imprinted upon it a politically correct ideology concerning America's past and the sanctity of the role of the state in society. Practically every child in the public school system learns that the "robber barons" of the 19th century exploited the common working man; that unregulated capitalism needed to be harnessed by enlightened government regulation beginning in the Progressive era at the turn of the century; that wild Wall Street speculation was a primary cause of the Great Depression; that only Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal saved America from catastrophe; and that American intervention in foreign wars has been necessary and inevitable, with the United States government required to be a global leader and an occasional world policeman.
Albert EinsteinToday's problems cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them.
Albert EinsteinIt gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.
Marshall FieldIf a blending of individualism and of cooperative participation is a prerequisite to a democratic solution of the problems of a society of free men, it must also be noted that an atmosphere of freedom is required if these problems are to be met constructively and as they arise.
Jim FlorioThere are some weapons that are just so dangerous that society has a right and the obligation even to take those weapons out of circulation.
Jay FoxEvery attempt to gag the free expression of thought is an unsocial act against society. That is why judges and juries who try to enforce such laws make themselves ridiculous.
Benjamin FranklinThose who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Benjamin FranklinAll the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation
of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his
natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all
Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the
Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore
by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick
shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society
on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can
have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his
Club towards the Support of it.
Benjamin FranklinWe must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
Benjamin FranklinHistory will also give Occasion to expatiate on the Advantage of Civil Orders and Constitutions, how Men and their Properties are protected by joining in Societies and establishing Government; their Industry encouraged and rewarded, Arts invented, and Life made more comfortable: The Advantages of Liberty, Mischiefs of Licentiousness, Benefits arising from good Laws and a due Execution of Justice, &c. Thus may the first Principles of sound Politicks be fix'd in the Minds of Youth.
Milton FriedmanPhil Donohue: When you see around the globe the maldistribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries, when you see so few haves and so many have-nots, when you see the greed and the concentration of power, did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism? And whether greed is a good idea to run on?

Milton Friedman: Well first of all tell me, is there some society you know that doesn't run on greed? You think Russia doesn't run on greed? You think China doesn't run on greed? What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy. It's only the other fella that's greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The greatest achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn't revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty that you are talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it's exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

Phil Donohue: Seems to reward not virtue as much as the ability to manipulate the system.

Milton Friedman: And what does reward virtue? You think the Communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? Do you think... American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of political clout? Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? You know I think you are taking a lot of things for granted. And just tell me where in the world you find these angels that are going to organize society for us? Well, I don't even trust you to do that.
Milton FriedmanWell first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.
Milton FriedmanA society that puts equality...ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.
Robert FrostA civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point of doubtful sanity.
Rocco Galati19 terrorists in 6 weeks have been able to command 300 million North Americans to do away with the entirety of their civil liberties that took 700 years to advance from the Magna Carta onward. The terrorists have already won the political and ideological war with one terrorist act. It is mindboggling that we are that weak as a society.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiThe seven blunders that human society commits and cause all the violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principles.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiMen ... should do their actual living and working in communities ... small enough to permit of genuine self-government and the assumption of personal responsibilities, federated into larger units in such a way that the temptation to abuse great power should not arise. The larger (structurally) a democracy grows, the less becomes the rule of the people and the smaller is the say of individuals and localised groups in dealing with their own destinies. Moreover, love and affection, are essentially personal relationships. Consequently, it is only in small groups that Charity, in the Pauline sense of the word, can manifest itself. Needless to say, the smallness of the group, in no way guarantees the emergence of Charity. In a large undifferentiated group, the possibility does not even exist, for the simple reason that most of its members cannot, in the nature of things, have personal relations with one another.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiTruth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it.
But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth.
John W. GardnerNothing can be more readily disproved than the old saw, "You can't keep a good man down." Most human societies have been beautifully organized to keep good men down.
Stanley GarnIf the aborigine drafted an IQ test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it.
John Taylor GattoSchool is the first impression children get of organized society. Like most first impressions it is the lasting one. Life is dull and stupid, only Coke provides relief. And other products, too, of course.
Ilbert GeisThe most efficacious method of dealing with deviancy is to ignore, to the furthest point of our tolerance, those items which we find offensive.
Edward GibbonWhenever the offence inspires less horror than the punishment, the rigour of penal law is obliged to give way to the common feelings of mankind.
Hermann GoeringWhy of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Johann Wolfgang von GoetheTolerance comes of age. I see no fault committed that I myself could not have committed at some time or other.
Johann Wolfgang von GoetheLet everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.
Emma GoldmanOrder derived through submission and maintained by terror is not much of a safe guaranty; yet that is the only "order" that governments have ever maintained.  True social harmony grows naturally out of solidarity of interests.  In a society where those who always work never have anything, while those who never work enjoy everything, solidarity of interests is non-existent; hence social harmony is but a myth.... Thus the entire arsenal of governments - laws, police, soldiers, the courts, legislatures, prisons - is strenuously engaged in "harmonizing" the most antagonistic elements in society.
Emma GoldmanThe individual is the true reality of life. A cosmos in himself, he does not exist for the State, nor for that abstraction called “society,” or the “nation,” which is only a collection of individuals.
Antonio GramsciSocialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity. … In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.
Wavy GravyThe whole earth is in jail and we're plotting this incredible jailbreak.
Erwin N. GriswoldThe privilege against self-incrimination is one of the great landmarks in man's struggle to make himself civilized... The Fifth is a lone sure rock in time of storm ... a symbol of the ultimate moral sense of the community, upholding the best in us.
Alexander HamiltonThe fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms, and false reasonings, is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. Were you once to become acquainted with these, you could never entertain a thought, that all men are not, by nature, entitled to a parity of privileges. You would be convinced, that natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator, to the whole human race; and that civil liberty is founded in that; and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice. Civil liberty is only natural liberty, modified and secured by the sanctions of civil society. It is not a thing, in its own nature, precarious and dependent on human will and caprice; but it is conformable to the constitution of man, as well as necessary to the well-being of society.
Friedrich August von HayekWhat a free society offers to the individual is much more than what he would be able to do if only he were free.
Friedrich August von HayekIt is largely because civilization enables us constantly to profit from knowledge which we individually do not possess and because each individual's use of his particular knowledge may serve to assist others unknown to him in achieving their ends that men as members of civilized society can pursue their individual ends so much more successfully than they could alone.
Friedrich August von HayekThe ultimate decision about what is accepted as right and wrong will be made not by individual human wisdom but by the disappearance of the groups that have adhered to the "wrong" beliefs.
Robert A. HeinleinBeing intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.
Adolf HitlerSociety's needs come before the individual's needs.
William P. HoarIf ... our bureaucratic masters are becoming more akin to Soviet-style or Eastern European counterparts, it was rarely seen as a plus that those central schemers had wonderful intentions with their five-year plans. Such goals as "job safety," "equality," and freedom from "discrimination," depending on their definitions, may be good things for society, but they were never intended to be the business of the federal government.
Thomas HobbesLife in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Eric HofferWhen people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
Eric HofferThe fact is that up to now a free society has not been good for the intellectual. It has neither accorded him a superior status to sustain his confidence nor made it easy for him to acquire an unquestioned sense of social usefulness. For he derives his sense of usefulness mainly from directing, instructing, and planning- from minding other people's business- and is bound to feel superfluous and neglected where people believe themselves competent to manage individual and communal affairs, and are impatient of supervision and regulation. A free society is as much a threat to the intellectual's sense of worth as an automated economy is to the workingman's sense of worth. Any social order that can function with a minimum of leadership will be anathema to the intellectual.
John Haynes HolmesSociety is always engaged in a vast conspiracy to preserve itself -- at the expense of the new demands of each new generation.
John HoltIt is the duty of a citizen in a free country not to fit into society but to make society.
George Jacob HolyoakeThere can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth.
J. Edgar HooverI regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.
Victor HugoFreedom in art, freedom in society, this is the double goal towards which all consistent and logical minds must strive.
Henrik IbsenThe spirit of truth and the spirit of freedom -- they are the pillars of society.
Eric IdleAt least one way of measuring the freedom of any society is the amount of comedy that is permitted, and clearly a healthy society permits more satirical comment than a repressive, so that if comedy is to function in some way as a safety release then it must obviously deal with these taboo areas. This is part of the responsibility we accord our licensed jesters, that nothing be excused the searching light of comedy. If anything can survive the probe of humour it is clearly of value, and conversely all groups who claim immunity from laughter are claiming special privileges which should not be granted.
Ivan IllichSchool is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.
William JamesThe first thing to learn in intercourse with others is non-interference with their own particular ways of being happy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violence with ours.
Thomas JeffersonOur legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him; every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society; and this is all the laws should enforce on him; and, no man having a natural right to be the judge between himself and another, it is his natural duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial third. When the laws have declared and enforced all this, they have fulfilled their functions, and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right.
Thomas JeffersonCultivators of the earth
are the most
valuable citizens.
Thomas JeffersonA society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.
Thomas JeffersonThe majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.
Thomas JeffersonLiberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.
Thomas JeffersonMoney and not morality is the principle of commerce and commercial nations.
Thomas JeffersonThe majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.
Dr. Samuel JohnsonThere is no crime more infamous than the violation of truth. It is apparent that men can be social beings no longer than they believe each other. When speech is employed only as the vehicle of falsehood, every man must disunite himself from others, inhabit his own cave and seek prey only for himself.
Immanuel KantThe greatest problem for the human species, the solution of which nature compels him to seek, is that of attaining a civil society which can administer justice universally.
David KelleyThe case for a free society rests on individualism. ... Every form of totalitarianism has sought control over the minds of individuals, and has understood that it must first undermine the individual’s confidence in the validity of his own faculties. Remember O’Brien’s speech to Winston Smith in Orwell’s '1984'
Robert F. KennedyAt the heart of western freedom and democracy is the belief that the individual man... is the touchstone of value, and all society, groups, the state, exist for his benefit. Therefore the enlargement of liberty for individual human beings must be the supreme goal and abiding practice of any western society.
Soren KierkegaardTruth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion -- and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion ... while Truth again reverts to a new minority.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society ... shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam.
Charles KochA truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.
Jonathan KozolThe first goal and primary function of the U.S. public school is not to educate good people, but good citizens. It is the function which we call - in enemy nations - 'state indoctrination.'
KrishnamurtiIt is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
Peter KropotkinThe law is an adroit mixture of customs that are beneficial to society, and could be followed even if no law existed, and others that are of advantage to a ruling minority, but harmful to the masses of men, and can be enforced on them only by terror.
Joseph Wood KrutchThe grand paradox of our society is this: we magnify man’s right but we minimize his capacities.
Richard LammLet me offer you, metaphorically, two magic wands that have sweeping powers to change society. With one wand you could wipe out all racism and discrimination from the hearts and minds of white America. The other wand you could wave across the ghettos and barrios of America and infuse the inhabitants with Japanese or Jewish values, respect for learning and ambition. ... I suggest that the best wand for society and for those who live in the ghettos and barrios would be the second wand.
Paul F. LazarsfeldIt is the tragic story of the cultural crusader in a mass society that he cannot win, but that we would be lost without him.
John LeoYou can't run a society or cope with its problems if people are not held accountable for what they do.
C. S. LewisHere, I think, lies our real dilemma. Probably we cannot, certainly we shall not, retrace our steps. We are tamed animals (some with kind, some with cruel, masters) and should probably starve if we got out of our cage. That is one horn of the dilemma. But in an increasingly planned society, how much of what I value can survive? That is the other horn.
C. S. LewisIn the ancient world individuals have sold themselves as slaves, in order to eat. So in society. Here is a witch-doctor who can save us from the sorcerers -- a war-lord who can save us from the barbarians -- a Church that can save us from Hell. Give them what they ask, give ourselves to them bound and blindfold, if only they will! Perhaps the terrible bargain will be made again. We cannot blame men for making it. We can hardly wish them not to. Yet we can hardly bear that they should.
C. S. LewisThat is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended -- civilizations are built up -- excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top, and then it all slides back into misery and ruin. In fact, the machine conks. It seems to start up all right and runs a few yards, and then it breaks down.
C. S. LewisA man may have to die for our country: but no man must, in any exclusive sense, live for his country. He who surrenders himself without reservation to the temporal claims of a nation, or a party, or a class is rendering to Caesar that which, of all things, most emphatically belongs to God: himself.
Walter LippmannIn a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men. It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs.
John Locke[W]henever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence. Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty ...
Thomas Babington MacaulayAmerican democracy must be a failure because it places the supreme authority in the hands of the poorest and most ignorant part of the society.
James MadisonIn a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature.
James MadisonThe class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy. They are more: they are the best basis of public liberty, and the strongest bulwark of public safety. It follows, that the greater the proportion of this class to the whole society, the more free, the more independent, and the more happy must be the society itself.
James MadisonStability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society.
Donald S. McAlvaneyIn every declining civilization there is a small "remnant" of people who adhere to the right against the wrong; who recognize the difference between good and evil and who will take an active stand for the former and against the latter; who can still think and discern and who will courageously take a stand against the political, social, moral, and spiritual rot or decay of their day.
George McGovernThe highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher standard.
Mignon McLaughlinSociety honors its living conformists and its dead troublemakers.
Margaret MeadThe contempt for law and the contempt for the human consequences of lawbreaking go from the bottom to the top of American society.
MenciusTo act without clear understanding, to form habits without investigation, to follow a path all one's life without knowing where it really leads -- such is the behavior of the multitude.
H. L. MenckenI believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.
John Stuart MillThe only part of the conduct of anyone for which he is amenable to society is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
John Stuart MillProtection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.
Margaret MitchellUntil you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.
Stephen Moore[T]he income tax is incompatible with a free society. The IRS routinely intrudes on our basic civil liberties and privacy rights -- and its intrusions are getting worse all the time. I want an America where it is no longer the government's business how much money you make and what you do with it.
Benito MussoliniFascism should rightly be called Corporatism as it is a merge of state and corporate power.
Swami NirmalanandaOur modern society is engaged in polishing and decorating the cage in which man is kept imprisoned.
Albert Jay NockMany now believe that with the rise of the totalitarian State the world has entered upon a new era of barbarism. It has not. The totalitarian State is only the State; the kind of thing it does is only what the State has always done with unfailing regularity, if it had the power to do it, wherever and whenever its own aggrandizement made that kind of thing expedient. Give any State like power hereafter, and put it in like circumstances, and it will do precisely the same kind of thing. The State will unfailingly aggrandize itself, if only it has the power, first at the expense of its own citizens, and then at the expense of anyone else in sight. It has always done so, and always will.
Albert Jay NockHere is the Golden Rule of sound citizenship, the first and greatest lesson in the study of politics: You get the same order of criminality from any State to which you give power to exercise it; and whatever power you give the State to do things FOR you carries with it the equivalent power to do things TO you.
Albert Jay Nock[T]he State's criminality is nothing new and nothing to be wondered at. It began when the first predatory group of men clustered together and formed the State, and it will continue as long as the State exists in the world, because the State is fundamentally an anti-social institution, fundamentally criminal. The idea that the State originated to serve any kind of social purpose is completely unhistorical. It originated in conquest and confiscation -- that is to say, in crime. It originated for the purpose of maintaining the division of society into an owning-and-exploiting class and a propertyless dependent class -- that is, for a criminal purpose. No State known to history originated in any other manner, or for any other purpose. Like all predatory or parasitic institutions, its first instinct is that of self-preservation. All its enterprises are directed first towards preserving its own life, and, second, towards increasing its own power and enlarging the scope of its own activity. For the sake of this it will, and regularly does, commit any crime which circumstances make expedient.
Grover NorquistThe Democratic Party is made up of trial lawyers, labor unions, government employees, big city political machines, the coercive utopians, the radical environmentalists, feminists, and others who want to restructure society with tax dollars and government fiat.
Kathleen NorrisIn any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual liberty is permanent, unresolvable, and necessary.
P. J. O'RourkeIf you say a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert, and a drug addict, all it means is that you've read his autobiography.
José Ortega y GassetOrder is not pressure which is imposed on society from without but an equilibrium which is set up from within.
George OrwellThe further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.
Thomas PaineSome writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
Thomas PaineSociety in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
Thomas PaineCharacter is much easier kept than recovered.
Thomas PaineSome writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one ...
Thomas PaineSociety in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Thomas PaineSociety is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness.
Thomas PaineIt is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.
Mario PalmieriFascist ethics begin ... with the acknowledgment that it is not the individual who confers a meaning upon society, but it is, instead, the existence of a human society which determines the human character of the individual. According to Fascism, a true, a great spiritual life cannot take place unless the State has risen to a position of pre-eminence in the world of man. The curtailment of liberty thus becomes justified at once, and this need of rising the State to its rightful position.
Mario PalmieriFascist ethics begin ... with the acknowledgment that it is not the individual who confers a meaning upon society, but it is, instead, the existence of a human society which determines the human character of the individual. According to Fascism, a true, a great spiritual life cannot take place unless the State has risen to a position of pre-eminence in the world of man. The curtailment of liberty thus becomes justified at once, and this need of rising the State to its rightful position.
Michael ParentiThe worst forms of tyranny, or certainly the most successful
ones, are not those we rail against but those that so insinuate
themselves into the imagery of our consciousness, and the fabric
of our lives, as not to be perceived as tyranny.
C. Northcote ParkinsonWork expands to fill the time available for its completion.
Dr. Ron PaulYou don't have a right to the fruits of somebody else's labor. You don't have a right to a house, you don't have a right to a job, you don't have a right to medical care. You have a right to your life, you have your right to your liberty, you have a right to keep what your earn. And that's what produces prosperity. So you want equal justice. And this is not hard for me to argue, because if you really are compassionate and you care about people, the freer the society the more prosperous it is, and more likely that you are going to have medical care... When you turn it over to central economic planning, they're bound to make mistakes. The bureaucrats and the special interests and the Halliburtons are going to make the money. Whether it's war, or Katrina, these noncompetitive contracts, the bureaucrats make a lot of money and you end up with inefficiency.
Laurence J. PeterBureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.
Sir Karl PopperThere is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions… It obviously endangers the freedom and the objectivity of our discussion if we attack a person instead of attacking an opinion or, more precisely, a theory.
Hugh PratherOur job this day is to become part of the answer to the world's immense and protracted suffering rather than continuing our ancient task of being part of the difficulty.
Ayn RandWhen you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing -- when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed.
Ayn RandCollectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group (to "society," to the tribe, the state, the nation) and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests.  The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force -- and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism.
Ayn RandIndividualism regards man -- every man -- as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being.  Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful co-existence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights -- and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.
Ayn RandA society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment ... is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule.
Ayn RandMake no mistake about it -- and tell it to your Republican friends: capitalism and altruism cannot coexist in the same man or in the same society.  Tell it to anyone who attempts to justify capitalism on the ground of the "public good" or the "general welfare" or "service to society" or the benefit it brings to the poor.  All these things are true, but they are the by-products, the secondary consequences of capitalism -- not its goal, purpose or moral justification.  The moral justification of capitalism is man's right to exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; it is the recognition that man -- every man -- is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others, not a sacrificial animal serving anyone's need.
Ayn RandGovernment control of the economy, no matter in whose behalf, has been the source of all the evils in our industrial society -– and the solution is laissez-faire capitalism, i.e., the abolition of any and all forms of intervention in production and trade, the separation of State and Economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of Church and State.
Jon RappoportThink about the agendas behind universal vaccination, climate change, universal psychiatric treatment, GMO food, and other 'science-based' frauds. They all imply a false collectivist model, in which individuals give up their power in exchange for 'doing good' and becoming members of the largest group in the world: 'disabled' people with needs that must be addressed and satisfied. Instead of supporting the liberation of the individual, the controllers want to squash it. Why? Because they fear individual power. It is forever the unpredictable wild card. They want a society in which every thought an individual thinks connects him to a greater whole---and if that sounds attractive, understand that this Whole is a fiction, intentionally faked to resemble a genuine oceanic feeling.
William Winwood ReadeWhat a state of society is this in which freethinker is a term of abuse, and in which doubt is regarded as sin?
Ronald ReaganOnly when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefiting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, prosperous, progressive and free.
Alfredo RoccoFor liberalism, the individual is the end, and society the means. For fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends.
Theodore RooseveltTo educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
Theodore RooseveltTo educate a man in mind, and not in morals, is to educate a menace to society.
Theodore RooseveltTo educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
Murray N. RothbardWe 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.
Murray N. RothbardThe great non sequitur committed by defenders of the State, including classical Aristotelian and Thomist philosophers, is to leap from the necessity of society to the necessity of the State.
Salman RushdieFree societies…are societies in motion, and with motion comes tension, dissent, friction. Free people strike sparks, and those sparks are the best evidence of freedom’s existence.
A. E. SamaanFascism, communism and national socialism all share in common the explicit premise that the individual must subordinate himself to society's needs, or as Hitler would phrase it: 'Society's needs come before the individual needs.'
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.For most Americans the Constitution had become a hazy document, cited like the Bible on ceremonial occasions
but forgotten in the daily transactions of life.
Edwin M. SchurThe uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
Edwin M. Schur[When a victimless criminal] is treated as an enemy of society, he almost necessarily becomes one. Forced into criminal acts, immersed in underworld-related supply networks, and ever-conscious of the need to evade the police, his outlooks as well as behavior become more and more anti-social.
Albert SchweitzerI don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found a way to serve.
George Bernard ShawThe things most people want to know about are usually none of their business.
George Bernard ShawImprisonment, as it exists today, is a worse crime than any of those committed by its victims.
George Bernard ShawWhen two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.
George Bernard ShawNobody can live in society without conventions. The reason why sensible people are as conventional as they can bear to be is that conventionality saves so much time and thought and trouble and social friction of one sort or another that it leaves them much more leisure time for freedom than unconventionality does.
George Bernard ShawA fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.
Algernon SidneyNay, all laws must fall, human societies that subsist by them be dissolved, and all innocent persons be exposed to the violence of the most wicked, if men might not justly defend themselves against injustice by their own natural right, when the ways prescribed by publick authority cannot be taken.
B. F. SkinnerSociety attacks early when the individual is helpless.
Jerome H. SkolnickWhether or not legislation is truly moral is often a question of who has the power to define morality.
Mark SkousenIn a free society, individuals have the right to do right or wrong, as long as they don’t threaten or infringe upon the rights or property of others.
Mark SkousenTaxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure.
Adam SmithThe man of system…is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it… He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it.
Adam SmithThe natural effort of every individual to better his own condition, when suffered to exert itself with freedom and security is so powerful a principle that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often incumbers its operations; though the effect of these obstructions is always more or less either to encroach upon its freedom, or to diminish its security.
Alexander SolzhenitsynThe strength or weakness of a society depends more on the level of its spiritual life than on its level of industrialization. Neither a market economy nor even general abundance constitutes the crowning achievement of human life. If a nation’s spiritual energies have been exhausted, it will not be saved from collapse by the most perfect government structure or by any industrial development. A tree with a rotten core cannot stand.
Alexander SolzhenitsynIn our country, the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.
George SorosAlthough I have made a fortune in the financial markets, I now fear that the untrammeled intensification of laissez-faire capitalism and the spread of market values into all areas of life is endangering our open and democratic society. The main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat.
Gerry SpenceWhile birds can fly, only humans can argue. Argument is the affirmation of our being. It is the principal instrument of human intercourse. Without argument the species would perish.
As a subtle suggestion, it is the means by which we aid another.
As a warning, it steers us from danger.
As exposition, it teaches.
As an expression of creativity, it is the gift of ourselves.
As a protest, it struggles for justice.
As a reasoned dialogue, it resolves disputes.
As an assertion of self, it engenders respect.
As an entreaty of love, it expresses our devotion.
As a plea, it generates mercy.
As charismatic oration it moves multitudes and changes history.
We must argue -- to help, to warn, to lead, to love, to create, to learn, to enjoy justice, to be.
Harold E. StassenGovernment is like fire. If it is kept within bounds and under the control of the people, it contributes to the welfare of all. But if it gets out of place, if it gets too big and out of control, it destroys the happiness and even the lives of the people.
Adlai E. Stevenson IIMy definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
Justice Potter StewartCensorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.
Harriet Beecher StowePrivate opinion is weak, but public opinion is almost omnipotent.
Henry St. JohnLiberty is to the collective body what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.
Margaret ThatcherWe want a society in which we are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. That is what we mean by a moral society – not a society in which the State is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the State.
Lewis ThomasWe pass the word around; we ponder how the case is put by different people; we read the poetry; we meditate over the literature; we play the music; we change our minds; we reach an understanding. Society evolves this way, not by shouting each other down, but by the unique capacity of unique, individual human beings to comprehend each other.
Henry David ThoreauEvery generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
Henry David ThoreauThere are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
Pierre TrudeauAs against the "invisible hand" of Adam Smith, there has to be a visible hand of politicians whose objective is to have the kind of society that is caring and humane.
Mark TwainWe are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. We have two opinions: one private, which we are afraid to express; and another one - the one we use - which we force ourselves to wear to please Mrs. Grundy, until habit makes us comfortable in it, and the custom of defending it presently makes us love it, adore it, and forget how pitifully we came by it. Look at it in politics.
Mark TwainWhen we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark TwainClothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Mark TwainIt is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
Mark TwainIt is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many people can successfully resist. What is its seat? The inborn requirement of self-approval.
John UpdikeThe essential support and encouragement comes from within, arising out of the mad notion that your society needs to know what only you can tell it.
Mark Van DorenAn unexamined idea, to paraphrase Socrates, is not worth having and a society whose ideas are never explored for possible error may eventually find its foundations insecure.
VoltaireWe are all full of weakness and errors, let us mutually pardon each other our follies. It is the first law of nature.
Ludwig von MisesTrue, a socialistic society could see that 1000 litres of wine were better than 800 litres. It could decide whether or not 1000 litres of wine were to be preferred to 500 litres of oil. Such a decision would involve no calculation. The will of some man would decide. But the real business of economic administration, the adaptation of means to ends only begins when such a decision is taken. And only economic calculation makes this adaptation possible. Without such assistance, in the bewildering chaos of alternative materials and processes the human mind would be at a complete loss. Whenever we had to decide between different processes or different centres of production, we would be entirely at sea.
Ludwig von MisesThis, then, is freedom in the external life of man -- that he is independent of the arbitrary power of his fellows.
Chad WalshFrom the utopian viewpoint, the United States constitution is a singularly hard-bitten and cautious document, for it breathes the spirit of skepticism about human altruism and incorporates a complex system of checks, balances and restrictions, so that everybody is holding the reins on everybody else.
Izaak WaltonI remember that a wise friend of mine did usually say, 'That which is everybody's business is nobody's business'.
Orson WellesOnly in a police state is the job of a policeman easy.
Rebecca WestThere is a point, and it is reached more easily than is supposed, where interference with freedom of the arts and literature becomes an attack on the life of society.
Wendell L. WillkieTo suppress minority thinking and minority expression would tend to freeze society and prevent progress… Now more than ever, we must keep in the forefront of our minds the fact that whenever we take away the liberties of those we hate, we are opening the way to loss of liberty for those we love.
Glenn WoiceshynOne byproduct of individualism is benevolence -- a general attitude of good will towards one's neighbors and fellow human beings. Benevolence is impossible in a society where people violate each others' rights.
Jarret B. WollsteinCollectivism is the doctrine that the social collective -- called society, the people, the state, etc. -- has rights, needs, or moral authority above and apart from the individuals who comprise it. We hear this idea continually championed in such familiar platitudes as 'the needs of the people take precedence over the rights of the individual,' 'production for people, not profits,' and 'the common good.'  Collectivism often sounds humane because it stresses the importance of human needs. In reality, it is little more than a rationalization for sacrificing you and me to the desires of others.
John WoodenConsider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.
Lin YutangSociety can exist only on the basis that there is some amount of polished lying and that no one says exactly what he thinks.
Frank ZappaAsked random questions about the First Amendment and how they would like to have it applied, if you believe in polls at all, the average American wants no part of it. But if you ask, 'What if we threw the Constitution away tomorrow?' the answer is 'No, that would be bad!' But living under the Constitution is another story altogether.
Frank ZappaMost people wouldn't know music if it came up and bit them on the ass.
Manfred B. ZyskA family member asked my wife, "Aren't you concerned about his (our son's) socialization with other kids?" My wife gave this response: "Go to your local middle school, junior high, or high school, walk down the hallways, and tell me which behavior you see that you think our son should emulate.
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