Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals -- that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government -- that it is not a charter _for_ government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection _against_ the government.
Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: "Account Overdrawn.
Individualism regards man -- every man -- as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful co-existence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights -- and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing -- when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed.
Creation comes before distribution or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary.
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
Inflation is not caused by the actions of private citizens, but by the government: by an artificial expansion of the money supply required to support deficit spending. No private embezzlers or bank robbers in history have ever plundered people’s savings on a scale comparable to the plunder perpetrated by the fiscal policies of statist governments.
Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive.
A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment ... is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule.
It was not the tycoons of big business, it was not the working classes, it was the intellectuals who reversed the trend toward political freedom and revived the doctrines of the absolute State, of totalitarian government rule, of the government's right to control the lives of the citizens in any manner it pleases. This time, it was not in the name of the "divine right of kings," but in the name of the divine right of the masses. The basic principle was the same: the right to enforce at the point of a gun the moral doctrines of whoever happens to seize control of the machinery of government.
Needless to say, under either system [socialism or fascism], the inequalities of income and standard of living are greater than anything possible under a free economy -- and a man’s position is determined, not by his productive ability and achievement, but by political pull and force. Under both systems, sacrifice is invoked as a magic, omnipotent solution in any crisis -- and “the public good” is the altar on which victims are immolated.
Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group (to "society," to the tribe, the state, the nation) and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force -- and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism.
Do you wish to know when that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading
is done, not by consent, but by Compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing --
when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by
work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming
self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make
terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
The meaning ascribed in popular usage to the word 'selfishness' is not merely wrong: it represents a devastating intellectual 'package-deal,' which is responsible, more than any other single factor, for the arrested moral development of mankind.
...there is no such entity as 'the public' - since the public is merely a number of individuals - the idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others.
The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow.
There is nothing to take a man's freedom away from him, save other men. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers.
Every government interference in the economy
consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force,
to some men at the expense of others.
There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system.
Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind, and a step that travels unlimited roads.