The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.
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Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes
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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.
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Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.
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|Republicans don't know how to defend morally an individual's right to achieve wealth and to keep it, and that is why they fail. ... It's part and parcel with their ambivalence over the individualist heritage of the nation. ... One of the things that people have to understand is that the American Revolution was truly an epic revolution in the way individuals were perceived in relation to the rest of the society. Throughout history individuals had always been cogs in some machine; they'd always been something to be sacrificed for the king, the tribe, the gang, the chieftain, the society around them, the race, whatever, and the real revolution, in America especially, was a moral revolution. It was a moral revolution in that ... suddenly, with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the individual, his life, his well-being, his property, his happiness became central to our values, and that is what really made America unique. People came here from all over the world to try to escape the kind of oppression they had and experienced in the past. They came here for freedom; they came here for self-expression and self-realization, and America offered them that kind of a place.
|You have to ask yourself, 'Who owns me? Do I own myself or am I just another piece of government property?'
|Democracy must be something more than two
wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
|e. e. cummings
|To be nobody but yourself -- in a world which is doing it's best, night and day, to make you like everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
|Alan Dean Foster
|Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting.
|I know of no inquiry which the impulses of man suggests that is forbidden to the resolution of man to pursue.
|James A. Garfield
|I love agitation and investigation and glory in defending unpopular truth against popular error.
|Friedrich August von Hayek
|The principle that the end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule.
|Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
|I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy -- I don't disparage envy but I don't accept it as legitimately my master.
|Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
|There never was an idea stated that woke men out of their stupid indifference but its originator was spoken of as a crank.
|Gerald W. Johnson
|We are reluctant to admit that we owe our liberties to men of a type that today we hate and fear -- unruly men, disturbers of the peace, men who resent and denounce what Whitman called 'the insolence of elected persons' -- in a word, free men.
|College isn't the place to go for ideas.
|True individualists tend to be quite unobservant; it is the snob, the... sophisticate, the frightened conformist, who keeps a fascinated or worried eye on what is in the wind.
|Collectivism is a form of anthropomorphism. It attempts to see a group of individuals as having a single identity similar to a person. ... Collectivism demands that the group be more important than the individual. It requires the individual to sacrifice himself for the alleged good of the group.
|The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise.
|Paul F. Lazarsfeld
|It is the tragic story of the cultural crusader in a mass society that he cannot win, but that we would be lost without him.
|Bernard H. Levin
|If we expected self-reliance of family groups, if we expected hardiness and resilience and initiative on the part of individuals, and if we rewarded initiative instead of dependence on government, we would not only ameliorate many of the family-related social problems we see at present, but we would also reduce our vulnerability to terrorism. People who are hardy, resilient, and self reliant are a lot harder to terrorize.
|Society honors its living conformists and its dead troublemakers.
|The writer is the Faust of modern society, the only surviving individualist in a mass age. To his orthodox contemporaries he seems a semi-madman.
|No one is free who is not master of himself.
|...there is no such entity as 'the public' - since the public is merely a number of individuals - the idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others.
|There is nothing to take a man's freedom away from him, save other men. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers.
|Some truths need to be learned from the inside.
|The uniform, constant, and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition . . . is frequently powerful enough to maintain the natural progress of things toward improvement, in spite of the extravagance of government, and of the greatest errors of administration.
|The 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.
|I am not an Athenian or a Greek, I am a citizen of the world.
|Henry David Thoreau
|I make my own time. I make my own terms. I cannot see how God or Nature can ever get the start of me.
|I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
|Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk
this and be a man. To decide against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let man
label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right,
you have done your duty by yourself and by your country- hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.
|Ludwig von Mises
|The struggle for freedom ... is not the struggle of the many against the few, but of minorities -- sometimes of a minority of but one man -- against the majority.