2019 February 08
"A man may have to die for our country:
but no man must, in any exclusive sense, live for his country.
He who surrenders himself without reservation
to the temporal claims of a nation, or a party, or a class
is rendering to Caesar that which, of all things,
most emphatically belongs to God: himself."
"Here in America we are descended in spirit
from revolutionaries and rebels -- men and women
who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine."
"The Republic was not established by cowards;
and cowards will not preserve it ...
This will remain the land of the free
only so long as it is the home of the brave."
2019 February 07
"These are the times that try men's souls.
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will,
in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country;
but he that stands it now,
deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered;
yet we have this consolation with us,
that the harder the conflict,
the more glorious the triumph.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods;
and it would be strange indeed,
if so celestial an article as Freedom
should not be highly rated."
"The State... has had a vested interest in promoting attitudes
that would tend to make us skeptical of our own abilities,
fearful of the motives of others, and emotionally dependent
upon external authorities for purpose and direction in our lives."
"There is only one success:
to be able to spend your life in your own way,
and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it."
2019 February 06
"In the general course of human nature, A power over a man’s subsistence amounts to a power over his will."
"Learned institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on public liberty."
"I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive. It places the governors indeed more at their ease at the expense of the people. The late rebellion in Massachusetts has given much more alarm than I think it should have done. Calculate that one rebellion in thirteen States in the course of eleven years is but one for each State in a century and a half. No country should be so long without one. Nor will any degree of power in the hands of the government prevent insurrections. In England, where the hand of power is heavier than with us, there are seldom half a dozen years without an insurrection. In France, where it is still heavier but less despotic, as Montesquieu supposes, than in some other countries and where there are always two or three hundred thousand men ready to crush insurrections, there have been three in the course of the three years I have been here, in every one of which greater numbers were engaged than in Massachusetts."
2019 February 05
"English character and English freedom depend comparatively little on
the form which the Constitution assumes at Westminster. A centralised
democracy may be as tyrannical as an absolute monarch; and if the vigour
of the nation is to continue unimpaired, each individual, each family,
each district, must preserve as far as possible its independence, its
self-completeness, its powers and its privilege to manage its own
affairs and think its own thoughts."
"Thoughts are free and are subject to no rule.
On them rests the freedom of man,
and they tower above the light of nature."
"You are not what you think you are; What you think – you are."
2019 February 04
"While rationalism at the individual level is a plea for more personal autonomy from cultural norms, at the social level it is often a claim -- or arrogation -- of power to stifle the autonomy of others."
"If I want to be free from any other man’s dictation,
I must understand that I can have no other man under my control."
"I tell you true, liberty is the best of all things;
never live beneath the noose of a servile halter."