Quotes; Authors: J to L
But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.
The brave man inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his country, than the coward who deserts her in the hour of danger.
It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics, and laborers — who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.
Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!
To me, the biggest terrorist is Obama in the United States of America. I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s causing the other forms of terrorism. You know the root cause of terrorists is the stuff the U.S. government allows to happen. The foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists.
At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous ; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account.
I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.
We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.
God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.
To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
Paper is poverty,… it is only the ghost of money, and not money itself.
Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.
I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Ba Jin –
Only by not forgetting the past can we be the master of the future.
Nobody would say the cowshed was heaven and nobody would say the inhuman torture of so many victims be called a revolution of the proletariat… A museum should be established to remind China of the follies and disasters that had fallen from 1966 to 1976. We cannot forget what had happened and history should not repeat itself.
Americans are optimistic, full of enterprising drive, down to earth, and innovative. In just over 200 years, they have turned the United States into the most developed country in the world, and made phenomenal achievements in economic development and science and technology.
No people can be great who have ceased to be virtuous.
A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization
I bought original, real guns of the type we used in ‘Tomb Raider’ for security. Brad and I are not against having a gun in the house, and we do have one. And yes, I’d be able to use it if I had to … If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I’ve no problem shooting them.
The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.
It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low, and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the tax rates.
So if we are really concerned about generating more taxes, we ought to be investing in our people, not taking away the kinds of resources that contribute to their ability to become greater taxpayers in this country.
Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding, but if it would only take the trouble to understand itself at the same time it would simply have to posit the paradox.
If anyone thinks he is a Christian and yet is indifferent toward being that, he is not one at all. When Christ says (Matthew 10:17), Beware of people, I wonder if by this is not also meant: Beware of being tricked out of the highest by people, by continual comparison, by habit and by externals.
God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.
To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
Christianly the emphasis does not fall so much upon to what extent or how far a person succeeds in meeting or fulfilling the requirement, if he actually is striving, as it is upon his getting an impression of the requirement in all its infinitude so that he rightly learns to be humbled and to rely upon grace. To pare down the requirement in order to fulfill it better (as if this were earnestness, that now it can all the more easily appear that one is earnest about wanting to fulfill the requirement)—to this Christianity in its deepest essence is opposed. No, infinite humiliation and grace, and then a striving born of gratitude—this is Christianity.
Christianity is an absolute. Christianity came into the world as the absolute, not, humanly speaking, for comfort; on the contrary, it continually speaks about how the Christian must suffer or about how a person in order to become and remain a Christian must endure sufferings that he consequently can avoid simply by refraining from becoming a Christian.
No human being can give an eternal resolution to another or take it from him; If someone objects to that then one might just as well be silent if there is no probability of winning others, he thereby has merely shown that although his life very likely thrived and prospered in probability and everyone of his undertakings in the service of probability went forward, he has never really ventured and consequently has never had or given himself the opportunity to consider that probability is an illusion, but to venture the truth is what gives human life and the human situation pith and meaning, to venture is the fountainhead of inspiration, whereas probability is the sworn enemy of enthusiasm, the mirage whereby the sensate person drags out time and keeps the eternal away, whereby he cheats God, himself, and his generation: cheats God of the honor, himself of liberating annihilation, and his generation of the equality of conditions.
The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted.
There is something in this universe that justifies the biblical writer in saying, “You shall reap what you sow.” This is a law-abiding universe. This is a moral universe. It hinges on moral foundations. If we are to make of this a better world, we’ve got to go back and rediscover that precious value that we’ve left behind.
True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.
Your ultimate allegiance is not to the government, not to the state, not to nation, not to any man-made institution. The Christian owes his ultimate allegiance to God, and if any earthly institution conflicts with God’s will it is your Christian duty to take a stand against it. You must never allow the transitory evanescent demands of man-made institutions to take precedence over the eternal demands of the Almighty God.
Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.
Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy.
Tolstoy, the Russian writer, said in War and Peace: “I cannot conceive of a man not being free unless he is dead.” While this statement sounds a bit exaggerated, it gets at a basic truth. What Tolstoy is saying in substance is that the absence of freedom is the presence of death. Any nation or government that deprives an individual of freedom is in that moment committing an act of moral and spiritual murder. Any individual who is not concerned about his freedom commits an act of moral and spiritual suicide.
Now, I’m not talking about a sentimental, shallow kind of love. I’m not talking about eros, which is a sort of aesthetic, romantic love. I’m not even talking about philia, which is a sort of intimate affection between personal friends. But I’m talking about agape. I’m talking about the love of God in the hearts of men. I’m talking about a type of love which will cause you to love the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed that the person does. We’ve got to love.
I conclude by saying that each of us must keep faith in the future. Let us not despair. Let us realize that as we struggle for justice and freedom, we have cosmic companionship. This is the long faith of the Hebraic-Christian tradition: that [[God]] is not some Aristotelian Unmoved Mover who merely contemplates upon himself. He is not merely a self-knowing God, but an other-loving God forever working through history for the establishment of His kingdom.
Keep moving. Let nothing slow you up. Move on with dignity and honor and respectability.
Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption.
I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be as a people, our destiny is tied up in the destiny of America.
Now most serious thinkers acknowledge that dislocations in the market operation of our economy and the prevalence of discrimination thrust people into idleness and bind them in constant or frequent unemployment against their will. The poor are less often dismissed from our conscience today by being branded as inferior and incompetent. We also know that no matter how dynamically the economy develops and expands, it does not eliminate all poverty.
In the final analysis the weakness of Black Power is its failure to see that the black man needs the white man and the white man needs the black man. However much we may try to romanticize the slogan, there is no separate black path to power and fulfillment that dies not intersect white paths, and there is no separate white path to power and fulfillment, short of social disaster, that does not share that power with black aspirations for freedom and human dignity. We are bound together in a single garment of destiny. The language, the cultural patterns, the music, the material prosperity, and even the food of America are an amalgam of black and white.
Everyone has an opinion, and the guy screaming for censorship may be the next guy to have his ideas cut off.
Cinema has only been around for about 100 years. Has all of the world’s violence towards women taken place only within the past 100 years?
Marijuana should not only be legal, I think it should be a cottage industry. My wife says, and I agree with her, that what would be really great for Maine would be to legalize dope completely and set up dope stores the way that there are state-run liquor stores.
Computers are good at following instructions, but not at reading your mind.
A child born today in the United Kingdom stands a ten times greater chance of being admitted to a mental hospital than to a university … This can be taken as an indication that we are driving our children mad more effectively than we are genuinely educating them. Perhaps it is our way of educating them that is driving them mad.
If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.
The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of will.
I carry a weapon. I got a death threat a few years ago and was really scared. But I don’t want bodyguards. I am my own security.
A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of carrying arms….To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms.
An anarchist is anyone who believes in less government than you do.
Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.
A limited government is a contradiction in terms.
If men are good, you don’t need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don’t dare have one.
Government, when it is examined, turns out to be nothing more nor less than a group of fallible men with the political force to act as though they were infallible.
A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie.
Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire; well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.
Freedom is not, and never will be, extreme. Control is extreme. Desiring to control someone’s life, for whatever reason, that is extreme.
How many legs does a dog have, if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.
Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy.
Pontius Pilate was the first great censor and Jesus Christ the first great victim of censorship.
Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.
Any time you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you are dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that party — you’re not only a chump but you’re a traitor to your race.
Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American. Why, if birth made you American, you wouldn’t need any legislation, you wouldn’t need any amendments to the Constitution, you wouldn’t be faced with civil-rights filibustering in Washington, D.C., right now.
I don’t believe in any form of unjustified extremism! But when a man is exercising extremism — a human being is exercising extremism — in defense of liberty for human beings it’s no vice, and when one is moderate in the pursuit of justice for human beings I say he is a sinner.
Ignorance of each other is what has made unity impossible in the past. Therefore we need enlightenment. We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity. Once we have more knowledge (light) about each other, we will stop condemning each other and a United front will be brought about.
I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong, than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.
We cannot think of uniting with others, until after we have first united among ourselves. We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves. One can’t unite bananas with scattered leaves.
When you take your case to Washington, D.C., you’re taking it to the criminal who’s responsible; it’s like running from the wolf to the fox. They’re all in cahoots together. They all work political chicanery and make you look like a chump before the eyes of the world. Here you are walking around in America, getting ready to be drafted and sent abroad, like a tin soldier, and when you get over there, people ask you what are you fighting for, and you have to stick your tongue in your cheek. No, take Uncle Sam to court, take him before the world.
A segregated school system produces children who, when they graduate, graduate with crippled minds. But this does not mean that a school is segregated because it’s all black. A segregated school means a school that is controlled by people who have no real interest in it whatsoever. Let me explain what I mean. A segregated district or community is a community in which people live, but outsiders control the politics and the economy of that community. They never refer to the white section as a segregated community. It’s the all-Negro section that’s a segregated community. Why? The white man controls his own school, his own bank, his own economy, his own politics, his own everything, his own community; but he also controls yours. When you’re under someone else’s control, you’re segregated.
Marxism-Leninism is a worn-out dress that should be thrown away.
If every one of those good words – liberty, equality, fraternity, democracy, human rights – has been called “bourgeois”, what on earth does that leave for us?
Truth certainly would do well enough, if she were once left to shift for herself. She seldom has received and, I fear, never will receive much assistance from the power of great men, to whom she is but rarely known and more rarely welcome. She is not taught by laws, nor has she any need of force to procure her entrance into the minds of men. Errors, indeed, prevail by the assistance of foreign and borrowed succours. But if Truth makes not her way into the understanding by her own light, she will be but the weaker for any borrowed force violence can add to her.
Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.
Thus parents, by humouring and cockering them when little, corrupt the principles of nature in their children, and wonder afterwards to taste the bitter waters, when they themselves have poison’d the fountain.
A father would do well, as his son grows up, and is capable of it, to talk familiarly with him; nay, ask his advice, and consult with him about those things wherein he has any knowledge or understanding. By this, the father will gain two things, both of great moment. The sooner you treat him as a man, the sooner he will begin to be one; and if you admit him into serious discourses sometimes with you, you will insensibly raise his mind above the usual amusements of youth, and those trifling occupations which it is commonly wasted in. For it is easy to observe, that many young men continue longer in thought and conversation of school-boys than otherwise they would, because their parents keep them at that distance, and in that low rank, by all their carriage to them.
Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.
It is easier for a tutor to command than to teach.
I attribute the little I know to my not having been ashamed to ask for information, and to my rule of conversing with all descriptions of men on those topics that form their own peculiar professions and pursuits.
The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.
To love truth for truth’s sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.
All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.
For where is the man that has incontestable evidence of the truth of all that he holds, or of the falsehood of all he condemns; or can say that he has examined to the bottom all his own, or other men’s opinions? The necessity of believing without knowledge, nay often upon very slight grounds, in this fleeting state of action and blindness we are in, should make us more busy and careful to inform ourselves than constrain others. At least, those who have not thoroughly examined to the bottom all their own tenets, must confess they are unfit to prescribe to others; and are unreasonable in imposing that as truth on other men’s belief, which they themselves have not searched into, nor weighed the arguments of probability, on which they should receive or reject it. Those who have fairly and truly examined, and are thereby got past doubt in all the doctrines they profess and govern themselves by, would have a juster pretence to require others to follow them: but these are so few in number, and find so little reason to be magisterial in their opinions, that nothing insolent and imperious is to be expected from them: and there is reason to think, that, if men were better instructed themselves, they would be less imposing on others.
He that would seriously set upon the search of truth, ought in the first place to prepare his mind with a love of it. For he that loves it not, will not take much pains to get it; nor be much concerned when he misses it. There is nobody in the commonwealth of learning who does not profess himself a lover of truth: and there is not a rational creature that would not take it amiss to be thought otherwise of. And yet, for all this, one may truly say, that there are very few lovers of truth, for truth’s sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so. How a man may know whether he be so in earnest, is worth inquiry: and I think there is one unerring mark of it, viz. The not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant. Whoever goes beyond this measure of assent, it is plain receives not the truth in the love of it; loves not truth for truth’s sake, but for some other bye-end.
A criminal who, having renounced reason … hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or tyger, one of those wild savage beasts with whom men can have no society nor security. And upon this is grounded the great law of Nature, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.”
The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom.
Rothbard is surely right in thinking that what we now call free-market libertarianism was originally a left-wing position. The great liberal economist Frédéric Bastiat sat on the left side of the French national assembly, with the anarcho-socialist Proudhon. Many of the causes we now think of as paradigmatically left-wing—feminism, antiracism, antimilitarism, the defense of laborers and consumers against big business—were traditionally embraced and promoted specifically by free-market radicals. … I like calling the free market a left-wing idea—in fact, I like calling libertarianism the proletarian revolution.
Socioeconomic equality and legal equality both fall short of the radicalism of Lockean equality. For neither of those forms of equality calls into question the authority of those who administer the legal system. … Both forms of equality call upon that power structure to do certain things; but in so doing, they both assume, and indeed require, an inequality in authority between those who administer the legal framework and everybody else.
As Locke sees, equality in authority entails denying to the legal system’s administrators—and thus to the legal system itself—any powers beyond those possessed by private citizens: ‘The law of nature is in that state put into every man’s hands, whereby every one has a right to punish the transgressors of that law to such a degree as may hinder its violation…. For in that state of perfect equality, where naturally there is no superiority or jurisdiction of one over another, what any may do in prosecution of that law, every one must needs have a right to do.’ Lockean equality involves not merely equality before legislators, judges, and police, but, far more crucially, equality with legislators, judges, and police.
A ‘tax loophole’ is ‘something that benefits the other guy’. If it benefits you, it is ‘tax reform’.
Gun control and police exclusivity of weapons possession are incompatible with a free state because they promote dependency on government and punish or discourage dependency on self. Under threat of force. Never forget this.