2019 November 15
"A free society cherishes nonconformity.
It knows from the non-conformist, from the eccentric,
have come many of the great ideas."
"Individualism, the love of enterprise, and the pride in personal freedom, have been deemed by Americans not only as their choicest, but their peculiar and exclusive possessions."
"To require conformity in the appreciation of sentiments
or the interpretation of language,
or uniformity of thought, feeling, or action,
is a fundamental error in human legislation --
a madness which would be only equaled by requiring all men
to possess the same countenance, the same voice or the same stature."
2019 November 14
"The only freedom which deserves the name,
is that of pursuing our own good in our own way,
so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs,
or impede their efforts to obtain it."
"It used to be the boast of free men that,
so long as they kept within
the bounds of the known law,
there was no need to
ask anybody's permission
or to obey anybody's orders.
It is doubtful whether any of us
can make this claim today."
"The disposition of all power is to abuses, nor does it at all mend
the matter that its possessors are a majority. Unrestrained political
authority, though it be confided to masses, cannot be trusted without
positive limitations, men in bodies being but an aggregation of the
passions, weaknesses and interests of men as individuals."
2019 November 13
"Humanity's most valuable assets have been the non-conformists.
Were it not for the non-conformists, he who refuses to be satisfied
to go along with the continuance of things as they are,
and insists upon attempting to find new ways of bettering things,
the world would have known little progress, indeed."
"Thus, individualism is not antithetical to community. Rather, it can involve free association and a belief in an over-arching harmony of interests. In a free socety, individuals join with others because of love and mutual benefit, not because they are programmed or coerced."
"The foundation of individualism lies in one's moral right to pursue one's own happiness. This pursuit requires a large amount of independence, initiative, and self-responsibility. But true individualism entails cooperating with others through trade, which facilitates the pursuit of each party's happiness, and which is carried out not just on the level of goods but on the level of knowledge and friendship. Trade is essential for life; it provides one with many of the goods and values one needs. Creating an environment where trade flourishes is of great importance and great interest for the individualist."
2019 November 12
"The 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' "
"Conformity and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men and of the human frame,
A mechanized automaton."
"There is surely no contradiction in saying
that a certain section of the community may be quite competent
to protect the persons and property of the rest,
yet quite unfit to direct our opinions,
or to superintend our private habits."
2019 November 11
"What is common to many is least taken care of, for all men have greater regard for what is their own than what they possess in common with others."
"The real freedom of any individual can always be measured by the amount of responsibility which he must assume for his own welfare and security."
"True, it is evil that a single man should crush the herd,
but see not there the worse form of slavery,
which is when the herd crushes out the man."