Posterity -- you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good
use of it.more John Quincy Adams quotes
[A] deep-rooted culture of incompetence and corruption has made it virtually impossible for government to function fairly and efficiently. And because most government employees are shielded by layers of protection, they couldn't care less. Never before in the history of this nation has there been a greater divide between a self-serving federal leviathan and millions of Americans... 'Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,' Ronald Reagan reminded us during his inaugural address in 1981. Nothing's changed since then, with one exception: It's gotten far worse.more Arnold Ahlert quotes
The most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves. Let us not get accustomed and adjusted to these conditions. The one who adjusts ceases to discriminate between good and evil. He becomes a slave in body and soul. Whatever may happen to you, remember always: Don’t adjust! Revolt against the reality!more Mordechai Anielewicz quotes
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
As government regulations grow slowly, we become used to the harness. Habit is a powerful force, and we no longer feel as intensely as we once would have [the] constriction of our liberties that would have been utterly intolerable a mere half century ago.more Judge Robert Bork 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 suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.more Agatha Christie quotes
When law enforcers are shown to have such unswerving integrity, only the most churlish among us would question the methods they use to “get their man.” Constitutional guarantees are regarded as bothersome “technicalities” that impede honest law enforcers in the performance of their duties.more Donna Woolfolk Cross quotes
It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become prey to the active. The conditions upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt.more John Philpot Curran quotes
I hear much of people's calling out to punish the guilty, but very few are concerned to clear the innocent.more Daniel Defoe quotes
Indeed nations, in general, are not apt to think until they feel; and therefore nations in general have lost their liberty: For as violations of the rights of the governed, are commonly not only specious, but small at the beginning, they spread over the multitude in such a manner, as to touch individuals but slightly. Thus they are disregarded. The power or profit that arises from these violations centering in few persons, is to them considerable. For this reason the governors having in view their particular purposes, successively preserve an uniformity of conduct for attaining them. They regularly increase the first injuries, till at length the inattentive people are compelled to perceive the heaviness of their burthens -- They begin to complain and inquire — but too late. They find their oppressors so strengthened by success, and themselves so entangled in examples of express authority on the part of their rulers, and of tacit recognition on their own part, that they are quite confounded: for millions entertain no other idea of the legality of power, than it is founded on the exercise of power.more John Dickenson quotes
As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.more Justice William O. Douglas quotes
We must not overlook the role that extremists play. They are the gadflies that keep society from being too complacent.more Abraham Flexner quotes
These are the days when men of all social disciplines and all political faiths seek the comfortable and the accepted; when the man of controversy is looked upon as a disturbing influence; when originality is taken to be a mark of instability; and when, in minor modification of the original parable, the bland lead the bland.more John Kenneth Galbraith quotes
I wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence. There's a knob called "brightness", but it doesn't work.more Gallagher quotes
The moment men obtain perfect freedom, that moment they erect a stage for the manifestation of their faults. The strong characters begin to go wrong by excess of energy; the weak by remissness of action.more Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quotes
Some of the problems of governance in the United States today stem from an excess of democracy ... The effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and non-involvement on the part of some individuals and groups.more Samuel Huntington quotes
We have the greatest opportunity the world has ever seen, as long as we remain honest -- which will be as long as we can keep the attention of our people alive. If they once become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, judges and governors would all become wolves.more Thomas Jefferson quotes
Habit is the denial of creativity and the negation of freedom; a self-imposed straitjacket of which the wearer is unaware.more Arthur Koestler quotes
If you look like a rabbit, and act like a rabbit, you will be treated like a rabbit -- prey for all predators.more Stony Loft quotes
For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.more Niccolo Machiavelli quotes
If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate anything but liberty.more James Madison quotes
Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.more James Madison quotes
[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.more George Mason quotes
The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues, and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else...Their purpose, in brief, is to make docile and patriotic citizens, to pile up majorities, and to make John Doe and Richard Doe as nearly alike, in their everyday reactions and ways of thinking, as possible.more H. L. Mencken quotes
The biggest conspiracy has always been the fact that there is no conspiracy. Nobody's out to get you. Nobody gives a shit whether you live or die. There, you feel better now?more Dennis Miller quotes
Nations grow corrupt, love bondage more than liberty; bondage with ease than strenuous liberty.more John Milton quotes
If none of us ever read a book that was “dangerous,” had a friend who was “different,” or joined an organization that advocated “change,” we would all be the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants.more Edward R. Murrow quotes
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.more Reverend Martin Niemoeller quotes
In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn't speak up because I was a protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.more Reverend Martin Niemoeller quotes
There are…certain freedoms that are like circuses. Their very existence, so long as they are individual and enjoyed chiefly individually as by spectators, diverts men’s mind from the loss of other, more fundamental, social and economic and political rights.more Robert Nisbet quotes
It is interesting to observe that in the year 1935 the average individual's incurious attitude towards the phenomenon of the State is precisely what his attitude was toward the phenomenon of the Church in the year, say, 1500. ... it does not appear to have occurred to the Church-citizen of that day, any more than it occurs to the State-citizen of the present, to ask what sort of institution it was that claimed his allegiance.more Albert Jay Nock quotes
As I watch government at all levels daily eat away at our freedom, I keep thinking how prosperity and government largesse have combined to make most of us fat and lazy and indifferent to, or actually in favor of, the limits being placed on that freedom.more Lyn Nofziger quotes
The ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle, home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics, he feels himself master of his fate. But otherwise he simply lies down and lets things happen to him.more George Orwell quotes