The main characteristic of any event is that it has not been foreseen. We don’t know the future but everybody acts into the future. Nobody knows what he is doing because the future is being done, action is being done by a “we” and not an “I.” Only if I were the only one acting could I foretell the consequences of what I’m doing. What actually happens is entirely contingent, and contingency is indeed one of the biggest factors in all history. Nobody knows what is going to happen because so much depends on an enormous number of variables, on simple hazard. On the other hand if you look at history retrospectively, then, even though it was contingent, you can tell a story that makes sense…. Jewish history, for example, in fact had its ups and downs, its, enmities and its friendships, as every history of all people has. The notion that there is one unilinear history is of course false. But if you look at it after the experience of Auschwitz it looks as though all of history -- or at least history since the Middle Ages -- had no other aim than Auschwitz…. This, is the real problem of every philosophy of history how is it possible that in retrospect it always looks as though it couldn’t have happened otherwise?more Hannah Arendt quotes
To the size of the state there is a limit, as there is to plants, animals and implements, for none of these
retain their facility when they are too large.more Aristotle quotes
Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil -- and if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty.more Aristotle quotes
If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.more Aristotle quotes
Three groups spend other people's money: children, thieves, politicians. All three need supervision.more Dick Armey quotes
But each day brings its petty dust Our soon-chok'd souls to fill, And we forget because we must, And not because we will.more Matthew Arnold quotes
It is a strange desire to seek power and to lose liberty,
or to seek power over others and to lose power over a man's self.more Sir Francis Bacon quotes
How bad do things have to get before you do something? Do they have to take away all your property? Do they have to license every activity that you want to engage in? Do they have to start throwing you on cattle cars before you say “now wait a minute, I don’t think this is a good idea.” How long is it going to be before you finally resist and say “No, I will not comply. Period!” Ask yourself now because sooner or later you are going to come to that line, and when they cross it, you’re going to say well now cross this line; ok now cross that line; ok now cross this line. Pretty soon you’re in a corner. Sooner or later you’ve got to stand your ground whether anybody else does or not. That is what liberty is all about.more Michael Badnarik quotes
Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch.more James Baldwin quotes
I'm a foe of moderation, the champion of excess. If I may lift a line from a die-hard whose identity is lost in the shuffle, "I'd rather be strongly wrong than weakly right.more Tallulah Bankhead quotes
[Individual disarmament] palsies the hand and brutalizes the mind; an habitual disuse of physical force totally destroys the moral; and men lose at once the power of protecting themselves, and of discerning the cause of their oppression.more Joel Barlow quotes
A man must pay the fiddler. In my case it so happened that a whole symphony orchestra often had to be subsidized.more John Barrymore quotes
It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.more Frederic Bastiat quotes
Society 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. more Frederic Bastiat quotes
If every person has the right to defend -- even by force -- his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -- its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.more Frederic Bastiat quotes
When law and morality contradict each other,
the citizen has the cruel alternative
of either losing his moral sense
or losing his respect for the law.more Frederic Bastiat quotes
Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.more Frederic Bastiat quotes
One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.more Charles Austin Beard quotes
A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniencies, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, 'Be thou a slave;' who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it.more Cesare Beccaria quotes
False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction.more Cesare Beccaria quotes
The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons.more Cesare Beccaria quotes
False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty... and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.more Cesare Beccaria quotes
If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers – normally good Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free, Americans who have been lulled away into a false security.more Ezra Taft Benson quotes
Those who have ever valued liberty for its own sake believed that to be free to choose, and not to be chosen for, is an unalienable ingredient in what makes human beings human.more Isaiah Berlin quotes
Vote: The instrument and symbol of a free man's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.more Ambrose Bierce quotes
An unconditional right to say what one pleases about public affairs is what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the First Amendment.more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice.more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.more William Boetcker quotes
In the whole history of law and order, the biggest step was taken by primitive man when...the tribe sat in a circle and allowed only one man to speak at a time. An accused who is shouted down has no rights whatever.more Curtis Bok quotes
I can’t think of anything that would do more toward putting us back on the road to liberty and personal responsibility than for the average American, and for the news media, to come to the understanding that we are not a democracy, nor were we supposed to be.more Neal Boortz quotes
You have to ask yourself, 'Who owns me? Do I own myself or am I just another piece of government property?'more Neal Boortz quotes
To blindly trust government is to automatically vest it with excessive power. To distrust government is simply to trust humanity - to trust in the ability of average people to peacefully, productively coexist without some official policing their every move. The State is merely another human institution - less creative than Microsoft, less reliable than Federal Express, less responsible than the average farmer husbanding his land, and less prudent than the average citizen spending his own paycheck.more James Bovard quotes
I honestly believe that sound commercialism is the best test of true value in art. People work hard for their money and if they won’t part with it for your product the chances are that your product hasn’t sufficient value. An artist or writer hasn’t any monopoly .... If the public response to his artistry is lacking, he’d do well to spend more time analyzing what’s the matter with his work, and less time figuring what’s the matter with the public.more Berton Braley quotes