Quotes: Index by Author
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - ZSheldon Richman Quotes 1-7 out of 7
Among other grand achievements, F. A. Hayek had a remarkable career pointing out the flaws in collectivism. One of his keenest insights was that, paradoxically, any collectivist system necessarily depends on one individual (or small group) to make key social and economic decisions. In contrast, a system based on individualism takes advantage of the aggregate, or 'collective,' information of the whole society; through his actions each participant contributes his own particular, if incomplete, knowledge—information that could never be tapped by the individual at the head of a collectivist state.
It is embarrassing to have to remind people of this in the United States of America. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson singled out three natural rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The last phrase, appearing instead of "property," has prompted much discussion. I cannot say what Jefferson was thinking. But here's a plausible theory: Property is already implicit in liberty. If you are free, you can use your belongings as you see fit. But by specifying the pursuit of happiness Jefferson might have been pointing out that the blessing of liberty need not be justified through selfless service to others. One's life and happiness on earth are justification enough.
Today, the people who would use guns to violate rights have little trouble getting them, while those who would use them to defend their rights have increasing trouble getting them. ... Gun control is in effect a subsidy for criminals.
If you own your life, then you have the right to defend yourself against anyone who would deprive you of it. ... And, if you have the right of self-defense, it follows that you have the right to act ... to obtain means appropriate to that defense. That brings us to firearms, particularly the handgun, which so many people would outlaw. The handgun has been called the equalizer ..., and for good reason. It affords smaller, weaker people the chance to defend themselves against bigger, stronger people who threaten them. Handguns offer the otherwise defenseless a convenient, practical, inexpensive method of safeguarding themselves and their families. Banishing handguns -- even if the big and strong were also denied them -- would leave the small and the weak defenseless.
Apologists for activist government never tire of telling us that the benevolent state is our protector and that without it we'd be at the mercy of monsters. It is about time that we understood that the U.S. government does more to endanger the American people than any imagined monsters around the world…by pursuing its Grand Foreign Policy of meddling anywhere and everywhere.
Some conservatives are surprised to find people on the Left supporting the war in Afghanistan. It's not surprising at all…It is hard for the government to prosecute a war and not expand…Conservatives may think they can support war and oppose the expansion of the state, but that is like trying to square the circle. What makes them think they can contain the expansion?
Perhaps the deterioration of American education is illustrated by the high correlation between the number of years a person has attended school and his inability to understand the words "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." It is more likely, though, that those who interpret the Second Amendment to preclude an individual right to own guns are driven by their political agenda. Whichever the case, they do themselves no credit when they tell us that a simple, elegant sentence means the opposite of what it clearly says.
Sheldon Richman Quotes 1-7 out of 7
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