Quotes of Liberty

Frederique Bastiat

“Each of us has a natural right, from God, to defend his person, his liberty, and his property.” -Frédéric Bastiat

“The politician attempts to remedy the evil by increasing the very thing that caused he evil in the first place: legal plunder. -Frédéric Bastiat

“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” –Frédéric Bastiat

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State lives at the expense of everyone.” -Frédéric Bastiat

“The plans differ; the planners are all alike…” -Frédéric Bastiat

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all . . . . It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain” -Frédéric Bastiat

“But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” –Frédéric Bastiat

“It is not true that the legislator has absolute power over our persons and property, since they pre-exist, and his work is only to secure them from injury. It is not true that the mission of the law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our will, our education, our sentiments, our works, our exchanges, our gifts, our enjoyments. Its mission is to prevent the rights of one from interfering with those of another, in any one of these things.” –Frédéric Bastiat

“If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?” — Frédéric Bastiat, The Law, 1850

“And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works” — Frederic Bastiat’s concluding paragraph in his classic work, “The Law.” , 1850

“The politician attempts to remedy the evil by increasing the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder.” –Frédéric Bastiat

“Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim – when he defends himself – as a criminal.” – -Frédéric Bastiat

“There are people who think that plunder loses all its immorality as soon as it becomes legal. Personally, I cannot imagine a more alarming situation. “–-Frédéric Bastiat

“When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.” – -Frédéric Bastiat

Alexis de Tocqueville

“Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

“… liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

“Every central government worships uniformity: uniformity relieves it from inquiry into an infinity of details.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

Lysander Spooner

“The only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in keeping their money in their own pockets” — Lysander Spooner, 19th Century libertarian and entrepreneur who was forced out of the letter-delivery business by the U.S. government. He committed the crime of competition.

“If taxation without consent is not robbery, then any band of robbers have only to declare themselves a government, and all their robberies are legalized.” – Lysander Spooner
“The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit … Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do … He does not keep “protecting” you by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that.” – Lysander Spooner

Mark Twain

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things [that] you didn’t do
than by the ones [that] you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour.Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

“When in doubt, tell the truth.” -Mark Twain

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” -Mark Twain

“We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking. And out of it we get an aggregation which we consider a boon. Its name is public opinion. It is held in reverence. Some think it the voice of God.” -Mark Twain

“Courage is resistance of fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” -Mark Twain

“In times of change, the Patriot is a scarce man; brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Patriot.” -Mark Twain

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” -Mark Twain

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” -Mark Twain

What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. ~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1902

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Mark Twain

Ludwig Von Mises

“The program of classical liberalism, condensed into a single word, would have to read: property.” Ludwig von Mises

“ For it is an essential difference between capitalist and socialist production that under capitalism men provide for themselves, while under Socialism they are provided for.” – Ludwig von Mises-

“The issue is always the same: the government or the market. There is no third solution.” Ludwig von Mises

“As the science of economics…exploded the fallacies of every brand of utopianism, it was outlawed and stigmatized as unscientific.” – Ludwig von Mises-

“Those fighting for free enterprise and free competition do not defend the interests of those rich today. They want a free hand left to unknown men who will be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow…” – Ludwig von Mises-

“All people, however fanatical they may be in their zeal to disparage and to fight capitalism, implicitly pay homage to it by passionately clamoring for the products it turns out.” – Ludwig von Mises

“When we call a capitalist society a consumers’ democracy we mean that the power to dispose of the means of production, which belongs to the entrepreneurs and capitalists, can only be acquired by means of the consumers’ ballot, held daily in the marketplace.” – Ludwig von Mises-

“Whoever wishes peace among peoples must fight statism.” Ludwig von Mises

“Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer.” – Ludwig von Mises

“Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought.” – Ludwig von Mises

“The worst evils which mankind has ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments. The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.” – Ludwig von Mises

“The direction of all economic affairs is in the market society a task of the entrepreneurs. Theirs is the control of production. They are at the helm and steer the ship. A superficial observer would believe that they are supreme. But they are not. They are bound to obey unconditionally the captain’s orders. The captain is the consumer. …[Consumers] make poor people rich and rich people poor. They determine precisely what should be produced, in what quality, and in what quantities.” – Ludwig von Mises

“To the grumbler who complains about the unfairness of the market system only one piece of advice can be given: If you want to acquire wealth, then try to satisfy the public by offering them something that is cheaper or which they like better….Equality under the law gives you the power to challenge every millionaire.” -Ludwig von Mises

“Liberalism and capitalism address themselves to the cool, well-balanced mind. They proceed by strict logic, eliminating any appeal to the emotions. Socialism, on the contrary, works on the emotions, tries to violate logical considerations by rousing a sense of personal interest and to stifle the voice of reason by awakening primitive instincts.” Capitalism vs. Socialism p. 460 Ludwig von Mises (1922)

“The socialist movement takes great pains to circulate frequently new labels for its ideally constructed state. Each worn-out label is replaced by another which raises hopes of an ultimate solution of the insoluble basic problem of Socialism—until it becomes obvious that nothing has been changed but the name. The most recent slogan is “State Capitalism.”[Fascism] It is not commonly realized that this covers nothing more than what used to be called Planned Economy and State Socialism, and that State Capitalism, Planned Economy, and State Socialism diverge only in non-essentials from the “classic” ideal of egalitarian Socialism.” – Ludwig von Mises

“On the other hand the application of the basic ideas of collectivism cannot result in anything but social disintegration and the perpetuation of armed conflict. It is true that every variety of collectivism promises eternal peace starting with the day of its own decisive victory and the final overthrow and extermination of all other ideologies and their supporters. … As soon as a faction has succeeded in winning the support of the majority of citizens and thereby attained control of the government machine, it is free to deny to the minority all those democratic rights by means of which it itself has previously carried on its own struggle for supremacy.” – Ludwig von Mises

“The usual terminology of political language is stupid. What is ‘left’ and what is ‘right’? Why should Hitler be ‘right’ and Stalin, his temporary friend, be ‘left’? Who is ‘reactionary’ and who is ‘progressive’? Reaction against an unwise policy is not to be condemned. And progress towards chaos is not to be commended. Nothing should find acceptance just because it is new, radical, and fashionable. ‘Orthodoxy’ is not an evil if the doctrine on which the ‘orthodox’ stand is sound. Who is anti-labor, those who want to lower labor to the Russian level, or those who want for labor the capitalistic standard of the United States? Who is ‘nationalist,’ those who want to bring their nation under the heel of the Nazis, or those who want to preserve its independence?” -Ludwig von Mises

“The “progressives” who today masquerade as “liberals” may rant against “fascism”; yet it is their policy that paves the way for Hitlerism. Nothing could have been more helpful to the success of the National-Socialist (Nazi) movement than the methods used by the “progressives,” denouncing Nazism as a party serving the interests of “capital.” The German workers knew this tactic too well to be deceived by it again.” -Ludwig von Mises (1940, excerpted from Interventionism, An Economic Analysis)

“To the masses, the catchwords of Socialism sound so enticing… so they will continue to work for Socialism, helping thereby to bring about the inevitable decline of the civilization which the nations of the West have taken thousands of years to build up.” -Ludwig von Mises

“He who acts under an emotional impulse also acts. What distinguishes an emotional action from other actions is the valuation of input and output. Emotions disarrange valuations. Inflamed with passion, man sees the goal as more desirable and the price he has to pay for it as less burdensome than he would in cool deliberation.” — Ludwig von Mises, Human Action

“The recurrence of periods of depression and mass unemployment has discredited capitalism in the opinion of injudicious people. Yet these events are not the outcome of the operation of the free market. They are on the contrary the result of well-intentioned but ill-advised government interference with the market.” — Ludwig von Mises, Middle-of-the-Road Policy Leads to Socialism

“The common man is the sovereign consumer whose buying or abstention from buying ultimately determines what should be produced and in what quantity and quality.” — Ludwig von Mises

“The dilemma … is between the democratic process of the market in which every individual has his share and the exclusive rule of a dictatorial body. Whatever people do in the market economy is the execution of their own plans. In this sense every human action means planning. What those calling themselves planners advocate is not the substitution of planned action for letting things go. It is the substitution of the planner’s own plan for the plans of his fellowmen. The planner is a potential dictator who wants to deprive all other people of the power to plan and act according to their own plans. He aims at one thing only: the exclusive absolute preeminence of his own plan.” — Ludwig von Mises

“The philosophy commonly called individualism is a philosophy of social cooperation and the progressive intensification of the social nexus.” — Ludwig von Mises

“All varieties of interference with the market phenomena not only fail to achieve the ends aimed at by their authors and supporters, but bring about a state of affairs which – from the point of view of their authors’ and advocates valuations – is less desirable than the previous state of affairs which they were designed to alter.” — Ludwig von Mises

A man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages; he chooses between life and death. A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.” – Ludwig von Mises, Human Action

“The interventionists do not approach the study of economic matters with scientific disinterestedness. Most of them are driven by an envious resentment against those whose incomes are larger than their own. This bias makes it impossible for them to see things as they really are. For them the main thing is not to improve the conditions of the masses, but to harm the entrepreneurs and capitalists even if this policy victimizes the immense majority of the people.”

“In fact, however, the supporters of the welfare state are utterly anti-social and intolerant zealots. For their ideology tacitly implies that the government will exactly execute what they themselves deem right and beneficial. They entirely disregard the possibility that there could arise disagreement with regard to the question of what is right and expedient and what is not. They advocate enlightened despotism, but they are convinced that the enlightened despot will in every detail comply with their own opinion concerning the measures to be adopted. They favour planning, but what they have in mind is exclusively their own plan, not those of other people. They want to exterminate all opponents, that is, all those who disagree with them. They are utterly intolerant and are not prepared to allow any discussion. Every advocate of the welfare state and of planning is a potential dictator. What he plans is to deprive all other men of all their rights, and to establish his own and his friends’ unrestricted omnipotence. He refuses to convince his fellow-citizens. He prefers to “liquidate” them. He scorns the “bourgeois” society that worships law and legal procedure. He himself worships violence and bloodshed.” Ludwig von Mises,

“There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” Ludwig von Mises, 1949

“Whoever prefers life to death, happiness to suffering, well-being to misery must defend without compromise private ownership in the means of production.” Ludwig von Mises

“It is often said that all scientific inquiry concerning Socialism is useless, because none but the comparatively small number of people who are able to follow scientific trains of thought can understand it. For the masses, it is said, they will always remain incomprehensible. To the masses the catchwords of Socialism sound enticing and the people impetuously desire Socialism because in their infatuation they expect it to bring full salvation and satisfy their longing for revenge. And so they will continue to work for Socialism, helping thereby to bring about the inevitable decline of the civilization which the nations of the West have taken thousands of years to build up. And so we must inevitably drift on to chaos and misery, the darkness of barbarism and annihilation.” -Ludwig von Mises,

“Not mythical material productive forces, but reason and ideas determine the course of human affairs. What is needed to stop the trend toward socialism and despotism is common-sense and moral courage.” – Ludwig von Mises

Manufacturing and commercial monopolies owe their origin not to a tendency imminent in a capitalist economy but to governmental interventionist policy directed against free trade and laissez faire. – Ludwig Mises

“[E]conomic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics” — Ludwig von Mises.

Friedrich August von Hayek

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” F.A. Hayek

“Human envy is certainly not one of the sources of discontent that a free society can eliminate. It is probably one of the essential conditions for the preservation of such a society that we do not countenance envy, not sanction its demands by camouflaging it as social justice, but treat it, in the words of John Stuart Mill, as ‘the most anti-social and evil of all passions.’” F.A. Hayek
Envy + rhetoric = social justice

“We must face the fact that the preservation of individual freedom is incompatible with a full satisfaction of our views of distributive justice.” – F.A. Hayek
“A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom” — F. A. Hayek, author of “The Road to Serfdom.”

“‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. “ -Friedrich August von Hayek

“I do not think it is an exaggeration to say history is largely a history of inflation, usually inflations engineered by governments for the gain of governments.“ -Friedrich August von Hayek

“Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one’s government is not necessarily to secure freedom.” – Friedrich August von Hayek

“A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.” – Friedrich August von Hayek

“Capitalism is not only a better form of organizing human activity than any deliberate design, any attempt to organize it to satisfy particular preferences, to aim at what people regard as beautiful or pleasant order, but it is also the indispensable condition for just keeping that population alive which exists already in the world. I regard the preservation of what is known as the capitalist system, of the system of free markets and the private ownership of the means of production, as an essential condition of the very survival of mankind.” – Friedrich August von Hayek

“The argument for liberty is not an argument against organization, which is one of the most powerful tools human reason can employ, but an argument against all exclusive, privileged, monopolistic organization, against the use of coercion to prevent others from doing better.” -Friedrich August von Hayek

“That socialism can be put into practice only by methods of which most socialists disapprove is, of course, a lesson learned by many social reformers in the past. The old socialist parties were inhibited by their democratic ideals; they did not possess the ruthlessness required for the performance of their chosen task. It is characteristic that both in Germany and in Italy the success of fascism was preceded by the refusal of the socialist parties to take over the responsibilities of government. They were unwilling wholeheartedly to employ the methods to which they had pointed the way. They still hoped for the miracle of a majority’s agreeing on a particular plan for the organization of the whole of society. Others had already learned the lesson that in a planned society the question can no longer be on what do a majority of the people agree but what the largest single group is whose members agree sufficiently to make unified direction of all affairs possible.” -Friedrich August von Hayek

“I use throughout the term ‘liberal’ in the original, nineteenth-century sense in which it is still current in Britain. In current American usage it often means very nearly the opposite of this. It has been part of the camouflage of leftish movements in this country, helped by muddleheadedness of many who really believe in liberty, that ‘liberal’ has come to mean the advocacy of almost every kind of government control.

I am still puzzled why those in the United States who truly believe in liberty should not only have allowed the left to appropriate this almost indispensable term but should even have assisted by beginning to use it themselves as a term of opprobrium. This seems to be particularly regrettable because of the consequent tendency of many true liberals to describe themselves as conservatives.”—F.A. Hayek, in the Forward to “The Road to Serfdom” (1944)
“There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.” — F.A. Hayek

“The principle that the end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule.” — F.A. Hayek

“…if we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion.”-F. A. Hayek

“The greatest danger to liberty today comes from the men who are most needed and most powerful in modern government, namely, the efficient expert administrators exclusively concerned with what they regard as the public good.” -F. A. Hayek

“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.” — F. A. Hayek

“To act on the belief that we possess the knowledge and the power which enable us to shape the processes of society entirely to our liking, knowledge which in fact we do not possess, is likely to make us do much harm” — F. A. Hayek.

Ayn Rand

“There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism – by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.” -Ayn Rand-

“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 a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.” – Ayn Rand

“One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.”— Ayn Rand
“Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.” -Ayn Rand-

“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” -Ayn Rand-

“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority.” – Ayn Rand

“Everyone has the right to make his own decisions, but none has the right to force his decision on others.” Ayn Rand

“The end does not justify the means. No one’s rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others.” Ayn Rand

“A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort … is not strictly speaking a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang violence.” -Ayn Rand-

“The government’s only proper job is to protect individual rights against violence by force or fraud … to protect men from foreign invaders … to settle disputes among men according to objective laws … The greatness of the Founding Fathers was how well they understood this issue and how close some of them came to understanding it perfectly.” -Ayn Rand-

“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” -Ayn Rand-

America’s abundance was not created by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes.” -Ayn Rand

“Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.” –Ayn Rand
“The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time.” –Ayn Rand

“It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.” – Ayn Rand

“It is true that the welfare-statists are not socialists, that they never advocated or intended the socialization of private property, that they want to ‘preserve’ private property–with government control of its use and disposal. But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism.”- Ayn Rand

“To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.” – Ayn Rand

“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)” — Ayn Rand.

“There are only two means by which men can deal with one another: guns or logic. Force or persuasion. Those who know that they cannot win by means of logic, have always resorted to guns.” – Ayn Rand

“In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary. Men are free to cooperate or not, to deal with one another or not, as their own individual judgments, convictions and interests dictate.” – Ayn Rand

“Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction. The businessman’s tool is values; the bureaucrat’s tool is fear.” – Ayn Rand

“The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world” — Ayn Rand.

“In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.” Ayn Rand

“Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason.”- Ayn Rand

“Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation’s troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen.” Ayn Rand

“Capitalism has created the highest standard of living ever known on earth. The evidence is incontrovertible. The contrast between West and East Berlin is the latest demonstration, like a laboratory experiment for all to see. Yet those who are loudest in proclaiming their desire to eliminate poverty are loudest in denouncing capitalism. Man’s well-being is not their goal.”– Ayn Rand

“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.” Ayn Rand
“Everyone has the right to make his own decision/s, but none has the right to force his decision on others.” — Ayn Rand

“The [U.S.] Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals … it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government … it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen’s protection against the government.” — Ayn Rand

“The right to vote is a consequence, not a primary cause, of a free social system – and its value depends on the constitutional structure implementing and strictly delimiting the voters’ power; unlimited majority rule is an instance of the principle of tyranny.” — Ayn Rand

“The Argument from Intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence.” — Ayn Rand

“Men have been taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone.” Ayn Rand

“Since there is no such entity as “the public,” since the public is merely a number of individuals, any claimed or implied conflict of “the public interest” with private interests means that the interests of some men are to be sacrificed to the interests and wishes of others.” Ayn Rand

“Since 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.” –Ayn Rand

“Lobbying” is the activity of attempting to influence legislation by privately influencing the legislators. It is the result and creation of a mixed economy—of government by pressure groups. Its methods range from mere social courtesies and cocktail-party or luncheon “friendships” to favors, threats, bribes, blackmail.” –Ayn Rand

“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 poltical corollary of collectivism.” — Ayn Rand

“No individual or private group or private organization has the legal power to initiate the use of physical force against other individuals or groups and to compel them to act against their own voluntary choice. Only a government holds that power. The nature of governmental action is: coercive action. The nature of political power is: the power to force obedience under threat of physical injury—the threat of property expropriation, imprisonment, or death.” Ayn Rand

The government was set to protect man from criminals – and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government. – Ayn Rand

“As a cultural-intellectual power and a moral ideal, collectivism died in World War II. If we are still rolling in its direction, it is only by the inertia of a void and the momentum of disintegration. A social movement that began with the ponderous, brain-cracking, dialectical constructs of Hegel and Marx, and ends up with a horde of morally unwashed children stamping their foot and shrieking: “I want it now!”—is through.” Ayn Rand

“Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think” – Francisco d’Anconia

“Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a bandage for their wounds. I am not a sacrifice on their altars.” –Anthem

“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Aconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give … See Morevalue for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

“When important issues affecting the life of an individual are decided by somebody else, it makes no difference to the individual whether that somebody else is a king, a dictator, or society at large.”-James Taggart

“Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.” Ayn Rand

“Unlike the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation’s economy. The issue of legal ownership is secondary; what counts is the issue of control. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property—so long as the state res…erves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.” -Leonard Peikoff

Murray Rothbard

“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance” — Austrian economist Murray Rothbard.

“The libertarian creed…offers the fulfillment of the best of the American past along with the promise of a far better future. Libertarians are squarely in the great classical liberal tradition that built the United States and bestowed on us the American heritage of individual liberty, a peaceful foreign policy, minimal government, and a free-market economy.” Murray Rothbard-For a New Liberty (1978)

“Gradualism is theory is perpetuity in practice.” Murray Rothbard

“It is easy to be conspicuously ‘compassionate’ if others are being forced to pay the cost.” — Murray N. Rothbard

“Free-market capitalism is a network of free and voluntary exchanges in which producers work, produce, and exchange their products for the products of others through prices voluntarily arrived at.” Murray Rothbard.

“The diversity of mankind is a basic postulate of our knowledge of human beings. But if mankind is diverse and individuated, then how can anyone propose equality as an ideal? Every year, scholars hold Conferences on Equality and call for greater equality, and no one challenges the basic tenet. But what justification can equality find in the nature of man? If each individual is unique, how else can he be made ‘equal’ to others than by destroying most of what is human in him and reducing human society to the mindless uniformity of the ant heap?” Murray Rothbard.

“Human life is not some sort of race or game in which each person should start from an identical mark. It is an attempt by each man to be as happy as possible. And each person could not begin from the same point, for the world has not just come into being; it is diverse and infinitely varied in its parts. The mere fact that one individual is necessarily born in a different place from someone else immediately insures that his inherited opportunity cannot be the same as his neighbor’s. The drive for equality of opportunity would also require the abolition of the family since different parents have unequal abilities; it would require the communal rearing of children. The State would have to nationalize all babies and raise them in State nurseries under ‘equal’ conditions. But even here conditions cannot be the same, because different State officials will themselves have different abilities and personalities. And equality can never be achieved because of necessary differences of location.” – Murray Rothbard.

“There is one good thing about Marx: he was not a Keynesian.” Murray Rothbard

“There can be no such thing as ‘fairness in taxation.’ Taxation is nothing but organized theft, and the concept of a ‘fair tax’ is therefore every bit as absurd as that of ‘fair theft.’”Murray Rothbard

“In short, the early receivers of the new money in this market chain of events gain at the expense of those who receive the money toward the end of the chain, and still worse losers are the people (e.g., those on fixed incomes such as annuities, interest, or pensions) who never receive the new money.” –Murray Rothbard

“The more these readjustments are delayed … the longer the depression will have to last, and the longer complete recovery is postponed.” –Murray Rothbard

Milton Friedman

“What kind of society isn’t structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system.” — Milton Friedman

“The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another. “– Milton Friedman

“The power to determine the quantity of money… is too important, too pervasive, to be exercised by a few people, however public-spirited, if there is any feasible alternative. There is no need for such arbitrary power… Any system which gives so much power and so much discretion to a few men, [so] that mistakes – excusable or not – can have such far reaching effects, is a bad system. It is a bad system to believers in freedom just because it gives a few men such power without any effective check by the body politic – this is the key political argument against an independent central bank. “— Milton Friedman

“Fundamentally, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion – the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary cooperation of individuals – the technique of the marketplace.” – Milton Friedman

Henry Hazlitt

“The monetary managers are fond of telling us that they have substituted ‘responsible money management’ for the gold standard. But there is no historic record of responsible paper money management … The record taken, as a whole is one of hyperinflation, devaluation and monetary chaos.” – Henry Hazlitt

“The ‘private sector’ of the economy is, in fact, the ‘voluntary’ sector; and…the ‘public sector’ is, in fact, the ‘coercive’ sector.” — Henry Hazlitt

“The whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence. The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.” – Henry Hazlitt in Economics in One Lesson

“The times call for courage. The times call for hard work. But if the demands are high, it is because the stakes are even higher. They are nothing less than the future of human liberty, which means the future of civilization.” – Henry Hazlitt

John Maynard Keynes

“The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.” – Keynes, John Maynard

“For at least another hundred years we must pre¬tend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still.” – John Maynard Keynes

“In the long run, we’re all dead.” -John Maynard Keynes

“Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalistic System was to debauch the currency. . . Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million can diagnose.” – John Maynard Keynes

Keynes himself admired the Nazi economic program, writing in the foreword to the German edition to the General Theory (1936): “[T]he theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state, than is the theory of production and distribution of a given output produced under the conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire.” – John Maynard Keynes

“Government machinery has been described as a marvelous labor saving device which enables ten men to do the work of one.” — John Maynard Keynes

Barry Goldwater

“And here we encounter the seeds of government disaster and collapse — the kind that wrecked ancient Rome and every other civilization that allowed a sociopolitical monster called the welfare state to exist.” –Barry Goldwater

“The Trilateralist Commission is international…(and)…is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. The Trilateralist Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power – political, monetary, intellectual, and ecclesiastical.” Barry Goldwater

“Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.”- Barry Goldwater

“Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.” Barry Goldwater

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Barry Goldwater

H.L. Mencken

“Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -and both commonly succeed, and are right.” – H. L. Mencken

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.” -H.L. Mencken

“Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” -H.L. Mencken
“The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.” — H. L. Mencken

P.J. O’Rourke

No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power. – P. J. O’Rourke (1992)

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
-P.J. O’Rourke

There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences. – P.J. O’Rourke (1993)

“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.” — P. J. O’Rourke

“Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there.” — P.J. O’Rourke

“You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal. … Government contains impure ingredients — as anybody who’s looked at Congress can tell you. … government practices deceptive advertising. And the merest glance at the federal budget is enough to convict the government of perjury, extortion, and fraud. … in a nutshell: government should be against the law. Term limits aren’t enough. We need jail.” — P.J. O’Rourke

“The Tenth Commandment sends a message to socialists, to egalitarians, to people obsessed with fairness, to American presidential candidates in the year 2000 — to everyone who believes that wealth should be redistributed. And that message is clear and concise: Go to Hell.” P. J. O’Rourke

“Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It’s not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the “right” to education, the “right” to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.” — P. J. O’Rourke

“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators” — P. J. O’Rourke

There are just two rules of governance in a free society: Mind your own business. Keep your hands to yourself. – P.J. O’Rourke

“There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.” – P.J. O’Rourke

“One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license.” – P.J. O’Rourke

“A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.” – P. J. O’Rourke

“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.” – P.J. O’Rourke

It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money. – P.J. O’Rourke

Thomas Sowell

“Why the transfer of decisions from those with personal experience and a stake in the outcome to those with neither can be expected to lead to better decisions is a question seldom asked, much less answered.” – Thomas Sowell on the centralization of power and it’s (lack of) rational.

“Any politician who starts shouting election-year demagoguery about the rich and the poor should be asked, “What about the other 90 percent of the people?” -Thomas Sowell

“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago, and a racist today.” – Thomas Sowell

“One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.” – Thomas Sowell

“The question is not what anybody deserves. The question is who is to take on the God-like role of deciding what everybody else deserves. You can talk about ‘social justice’ all you want. But what death taxes boil down to is letting politicians take money from widows and orphans to pay for goodies that they will hand out to others, in order to buy votes to get re-elected. That is not social justice or any other kind of justice.” – Thomas Sowell

“Compassion is the use of public funds to buy votes.” – Thomas Sowell

“Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.” – Thomas Sowell

“We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.” -Thomas Sowell

“No matter how disastrously some policy has turned out, anyone who criticizes it can expect to hear: ‘But what would you replace it with?’ When you put out a fire, what do you replace it with?” -Thomas Sowell

“One of the consequences of such notions as “entitlements” is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.” – Thomas Sowell

“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.” – Thomas Sowell

““The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best” –Thomas Sowell

“Too much of what is called “education” is little more than an expensive isolation from reality” –Thomas Sowell

“Most people who read “The Communist Manifesto” probably have no idea that it was written by a couple of young men who had never worked a day in their lives, and who nevertheless spoke boldly in the name of “the workers”.” -Thomas Sowell

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” –Thomas Sowell

“If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else’s expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves” –Thomas Sowell

“Capitalism is not an ‘ism.’ It is closer to being the opposite of an ‘ism,’ because it is simply the freedom of ordinary people to make whatever economic transactions they can mutually agree to.” — Dr.Thomas Sowell

“People who are very aware that they have more knowledge than the average person are often very unaware that they do not have one-tenth of the knowledge of all of the average persons put together. In this situation, for the intelligentsia to impose their notions on ordinary people is essentially to impose ignorance on knowledge.” — Dr. Thomas Sowell

Walter Williams

“Minimum-wage laws are one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of racists.” — Dr. Walter E. Williams, June 13, 2002

“Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we’d call it theft. When government does it, we euphemistically call it income redistribution, but that’s exactly what thieves do — redistribute income. Income redistribution not only betrays the founders’ vision, it’s a sin in the eyes of God.” Dr. Walter E. Williams

“Government is necessary, but the only rights we can delegate to government are the ones we possess. For example, we all have a natural right to defend ourselves against predators. Since we possess that right, we can delegate authority to government to defend us. By contrast, we don’t have a natural right to take the property of one person to give to another; therefore, we cannot legitimately delegate such authority to government.” – Dr. Walter E. Williams

“Increases in money supply are what constitute inflation, and a general rise in prices is the symptom.” — Dr. Walter E. Williams

“The true test of one’s commitment to liberty and private property rights doesn’t come when we permit people to be free to do those voluntary things with which we agree. The true test comes when we permit people to be free to do those voluntary things with which we disagree.” – Dr. Walter E. Williams

“Communism and socialism is [sic] seductive. It promises us that people will contribute according to ability and receive according to needs. Everybody is equal. Everybody has a right to decent housing, decent food and affordable medical care. History should have taught us that when we hear people talk this stuff — watch out!” – Dr. Walter E. Williams

“Try this thought experiment. Pretend you’re a tyrant. Among your many liberty-destroying objectives are extermination of blacks, Jews and Catholics. Which would you prefer, a United States with political power centralized in Washington, powerful government agencies with detailed information on Americans and compliant states or power widely dispersed over 50 states, thousands of local jurisdictions and a limited federal government?” – Dr. Walter E. Williams

“In a free society, government has the responsibility of protecting us from others, but not from ourselves.” — Dr. Walter E. Williams

“Nothing in our Constitution suggests that government is a grantor of rights. Instead, government is a protector of rights.” – Dr. Walter E. Williams

“How you make it in this world, for the most part, depends more on what you do as opposed to whether people like or dislike you. In order to produce a successful life, one must find ways to please his fellow man. That is, find out what goods and services his fellow man values, and is willing to pay for, and then acquire the necessary skills and education to provide it.” – Dr. Walter E. Williams

“What we call the market is really a democratic process involving millions, and in some markets billions, of people making personal decisions that express their preferences. When you hear someone say that he doesn’t trust the market, and wants to replace it with government edicts, he’s really calling for a switch from a democratic process to a totalitarian one.” – Dr. Walter E. Williams

“Suppose I hire you to repair my computer. The job is worth $200 to me and doing the job is worth $200 to you. The transaction will occur because we have a meeting of the mind. Now suppose there’s the imposition of a 30 percent income tax on you. That means you won’t receive $200 but instead $140. You might say the heck with working for me — spending the day with your family is worth more than $140. You might then offer that you’ll do the job if I pay you $285. That way your after-tax earnings will be $200 — what the job was worth to you. There’s a problem. The repair job was worth $200 to me, not $285. So it’s my turn to say the heck with it. This simple example demonstrates that one effect of taxes is that of eliminating transactions, and hence jobs.” – Dr. Walter E. Williams

“Once one accepts the principle of self-ownership, what’s moral and immoral becomes self-evident. Murder is immoral because it violates private property. Rape and theft are also immoral — they also violate private property. Here’s an important question: Would rape become morally acceptable if Congress passed a law legalizing it? You say: “What’s wrong with you, Williams? Rape is immoral plain and simple, no matter what Congress says or does!” If you take that position, isn’t it just as immoral when Congress legalizes the taking of one person’s earnings to give to another? Surely if a private person took money from one person and gave it to another, we’d deem it theft and, as such, immoral. Does the same act become moral when Congress takes people’s money to give to farmers, airline companies or an impoverished family? No, it’s still theft, but with an important difference: It’s legal, and participants aren’t jailed.” – Dr. Walter E. Williams

“In keeping Americans ill-educated, ill-informed and constitutionally ignorant, the education establishment has been the politician’s major and most faithful partner. It is in this sense that American education can be deemed a success.” – Walter Williams, Professor of Economics, George Mason University (2005)

“If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something that he did earn.” – Walter E. Williams

“What’s *just* has been debated for centuries but let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn *belongs* to you – and why?” – Walter Williams

Tom Woods

“There are only two (major) parties today: The Stupid Party and The Evil Party. Once in a while the two parties get together to do something that is both stupid and evil, and that’s called Bipartisanship.” — Thomas Woods

“Keynesians think that you can take water from the deep end of the swimming, pump it into the shallow end of the swimming pool and somehow the water level of the swimming pool will rise.” – Thomas Woods

“Pledge allegiance to your principles, your family, your faith, but don’t be foolish enough to pledge allegiance to a gang of thieves.” — Lew Rockwell


About ClassicalLiberalism

The philosophy of liberty is a beautiful thing.
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