The Greatest Political Quotes

Collected by John and Kel at

In general the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give it to the other.

Politicians never accuse you of "greed" for wanting to take other people's money—only for wanting to keep your own money.
-Joseph Sobran

Political freedom means the absence of coercion of a man by his fellow men.
-Milton Friedman

It is a mistake to assume that government must necessarily last forever. The institution marks a certain stage of civilization—is natural to a particular phase of human development. It is not essential, but incidental. As amongst the Bushmen we find a state antecedent to government, so may there be one in which it shall have become extinct.
-Herbert Spencer

Government interference always means either violent action or the threat of such action. Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen. The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.
-Ludwig von Mises

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
-Ayn Rand

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Life, faculties, production—in other words, individuality, liberty, property—this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law

There is no such thing as a good tax.
-Winston Churchill

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
-Thomas Jefferson

Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.
-Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough For Love

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.
-Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

First, what is it you want us to pay taxes for? Tell me what I get and perhaps I'll buy it.
-Robert Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
-Thomas Jefferson

No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
-Thomas Jefferson, proposal to the Virginia Constitution, June 1776, 1 T. Jefferson Papers

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
-Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
-Benjamin Franklin

The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.
-Thomas Jefferson

An armed society is a polite society.
-Robert A. Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of its arms as the blackest.
-Mohandas Gandhi

What is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.
-George Mason

The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.
-Thomas Jefferson

When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
-Benjamin Franklin

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?
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law

That government is best which governs least.
-Henry David Thoreau, probably others before him

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
-Thomas Jefferson

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.
-Benjamin Franklin

When under the pretext of fraternity, the legal code imposes mutual sacrifices on the citizens, human nature is not thereby abrogated. Everyone will then direct his efforts toward contributing little to, and taking much from, the common fund of sacrifices. Now, is it the most unfortunate who gains from this struggle? Certainly not, but rather the most influential and calculating.
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law

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.
-Ayn Rand

... the Bill of Rights does not come from the people and is not subject to change by majorities. It comes from the nature of things. It declares the inalienable rights of man not only against all government but also against the people collectively.
-Walter Lippmann

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.
-William H. Borah

Yes, we males are a sorry lot, sinners all, and neck deep in iniquity. The shame of it bores into my soul. Now you go stand in the middle of Dupont Circle at high noon, with a pair of seven-by-fifty binoculars, and look real carefully all around, and point to one thing, with a moving part, that was invented by a radical feminist.
-Fred Reed, to the radical feminists

And reason...teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.
-John Locke

Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.
-John Locke

I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.
-Thomas Jefferson

It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law

Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to everyone of that society, and made by the legislative power vested in it; a liberty to follow my own will in all things, when the rule prescribes not, and not to be subject to the inconstant, unknown, arbitrary will of another man.
-John Locke

America's abundance was created not 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. They did not starve the people to pay for America's industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance—and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.
-Ayn Rand

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
-Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

What pays under capitalism is satisfying the common man, the customer. The more people you satisfy, the better for you.
-Ludwig von Mises

If you wish to prosper, let your customer prosper. When people have learned this lesson, everyone will seek his individual welfare in the general welfare. Then jealousies between man and man, city and city, province and province, nation and nation, will no longer trouble the world.
-Frederic Bastiat

The truth is that economic competition is the very opposite of competition in the animal kingdom. It is not a competition in the grabbing off of scarce nature-given supplies, as it is in the animal kingdom. Rather, it is a competition in the positive creation of new and additional wealth.
-George Reisman

In war, the stronger overcomes the weaker. In business, the stronger imparts strength to the weaker.
-Frederic Bastiat

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
-Milton Friedman

Capitalism harnesses human self-interest; socialism exhausts itself trying to kill it.
-Linda Bowles

Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.
-Winston Churchill

The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.
-Samuel Gompers

The desire of businessmen for profits is what drives prices down unless forcibly prevented from engaging in price competition, usually by governmental activity.
-Thomas Sowell

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
-Winston Churchill

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.
-Winston Churchill

Firms that do not utilize resources which maximize the social good eventually face some market penalty.
-Christopher Westley, Ludwig von Mises Institute

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

...economic 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

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
-C.S. Lewis

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.
-H.L. Mencken

Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power. The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
-Daniel Webster

Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.
-Eric Hoffer

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
-H.L. Mencken

The envious man thinks that if his neighbor breaks a leg, he will be able to walk better himself.
-Helmut Schoeck

Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee.
-F. Lee Bailey

A great many laws in a country, like many physicians, is a sign of malady.

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.

It is seldom that any freedom is lost all at once.
-David Hume

The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.
-Edmund Burke

The goal of the "liberals"—as it emerges from the record of the past decades—was to smuggle this country into welfare statism by means of single, concrete, specific measures, enlarging the power of the government a step at a time, never permitting these steps to be summed up into principles, never permitting their direction to be identified or the basic issue to be named. Thus, statism was to come, not by vote or by violence, but by slow rot—by a long process of evasion and epistemological corruption, leading to a fait accompli. (The goal of the "conservative" was only to retard that process.)
-Ayn Rand

When the same man, or set of men, holds the sword and the purse, there is an end of liberty.
-George Mason

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
-Thomas Jefferson

The moral cannibalism of all hedonist and altruist doctrines lies in the premise that the happiness of one man necessitates the injury of another.
-Ayn Rand

Society is joint action and cooperation in which each participant sees the other partner's success as a means for the attainment of his own.
-Ludwig von Mises

A society that puts equality...ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.
-Milton Friedman

A right without an attendant responsibility is as unreal as a sheet of paper which has only one side.
-Felix Morley

Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.
-Lord Acton

Many bad policies are simply good policies taken too far.
-Thomas Sowell

Someone once said that many bad policies are just good policies that have been carried too far. For example, we have taken tolerance to such an extreme that we tolerate the immigration into our country of millions of intolerant people who hate millions of Americans who are already here.
-Thomas Sowell

Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.
-not Julius Caesar and not William Shakespeare, but a good fake quote nonetheless

In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.
-Charles de Gaulle

Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.

In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, "Make us your slaves, but feed us."
-Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Grand Inquisitor", The Brothers Karamozov

A monarch's neck should always have a noose around it. It keeps him upright.
-Robert A. Heinlein

The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it's good-bye to the Bill of Rights.
-H.L. Mencken

The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
-Thomas Jefferson

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.... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the 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.
-Thomas Jefferson

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
-Thomas Jefferson

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 right of an individual.
-Thomas Jefferson

The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running flop-houses and disturbing the peace.
-H.L. Mencken

Demagogue: one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
-H.L. Mencken

The proverb warns that "You should not bite the hand that feeds you." But maybe you should if it prevents you from feeding yourself.
-Thomas Sasz

It is not conclusive proof of a doctrine's correctness that its adversaries use the police, the hangman, and violent mobs to fight it. But it is a proof of the fact that those taking recourse to violent oppression are in their subconsciousness convinced of the untenability of their own doctrines.
-Ludwig von Mises

If the supply of virtue is insufficient in a free society like America, it is almost nonexistent in Islamic societies because coerced virtues are not virtues at all.
-Dinesh D'Souza, in "What's So Good About America," Neocon Review Online

Tyranny and despotism can be exercised by many, more rigourously, more vigourously, and more severely, than by one.
-Andrew Johnson

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.
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law (emphasis mine)

It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.
-Thomas Jefferson

It is self-evident that no number of men, by conspiring, and calling themselves a government, can acquire any rights whatever over other men, or other men's property, which they had not before, as individuals. And whenever any number of men, calling themselves a government, do anything to another man, or to his property, which they had no right to do as individuals, they thereby declare themselves trespassers, robbers, or murderers, according to the nature of their acts.
-Lysander Spooner

In government, the scum rises to the top.
-F.A. Hayek

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.
-Groucho Marx

The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual.
-Mikhail Bakunin, "God and the State"

Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
-William Pitt

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile—hoping it will eat him last.
-Winston Churchill

There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.
-F.A. Hayek

Equality, in a social sense, may be divided into that of condition, and that of rights. Equality of condition is incompatible with civilization, and is found only to exist in those communities that are but slightly removed from the savage state. In practice, it can only mean a common misery.
-James Fenimore Cooper

Equality is a slogan based on envy. It signifies in the heart of every republican: "Nobody is going to occupy a place higher than I."
-Alexis de Tocqueville

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
-Thomas Jefferson

Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both in proportion as it is free.
-Thomas Jefferson

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
-Abraham Lincoln

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.
-Thomas Jefferson

If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
-Samuel Adams

There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. 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.
-Ayn Rand

Those who lack the capacity to achieve much in an atmosphere of freedom will clamor for power.
-Eric Hoffer

An elephant is a mouse, built to government specifications.
-John Herro

Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, "to be free from freedom."
-Eric Hoffer

Where freedom is real, equality is the passion of the masses. Where equality is real, freedom is the passion of a small minority.
-Eric Hoffer

For in a Republic, who is "the country"? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant—merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.
-Mark Twain

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

When wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes morality.
-Thomas Jefferson

     [W]e ought to be asking ourselves why corporations and interests groups are willing to give politicians millions of dollars in the first place. Obviously their motives are not altruistic. Simply put, they do it because the stakes are so high. They know government controls virtually every aspect of our economy and our lives, and that they must influence government to protect their interests.

     Our federal government, which was intended to operate as a very limited constitutional republic, has instead become a virtually socialist leviathan that redistributes trillions of dollars. We can hardly be surprised when countless special interests fight for the money. The only true solution to the campaign-money problem is a return to a proper constitutional government that does not control the economy. Big government and big campaign money go hand-in-hand.

-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), "Texas Straight Talk," 2/4/02

Assumptions of being more concerned, caring and compassionate than their opponents can be found on the left from Godwin and Condorcet in the 18th century to a whole galaxy of liberal-left journalists, academics, organizations, and movements today. But there were no such assumptions in the writings of Adam Smith in the 18th century or in those of Milton Friedman today. It was enough for them to say that their opponents were mistaken and their policies harmful—and why.
-Thomas Sowell

Mystical references to "society" and its programs to "help" may warm the hearts of the gullible but what it really means is putting more power in the hands of bureaucrats.
-Thomas Sowell

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

The most basic question is not what is best but who shall decide what is best.
-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

The common good comes before the private good.
-Nazi slogan

War is the health of the state.
-Randolph Bourne

For the principle of majority rule is the mildest form in which the force of numbers can be exercised. It is a pacific substitute for civil war in which the opposing armies are counted and victory is awarded to the larger before any blood is shed.
-Walter Lippmann

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Until the day I die, I will not forget the day that King Hussein came with me to visit the bereaved families of seven young Israeli school girls, 12 years old, gunned down by a deranged Jordanian soldier. He knelt before the families, before the mothers and fathers. He was weeping. There were tears streaming down his eyes and he said, "Please, please forgive me. Please forgive me."

Now, contrast that to Yasser Arafat. Do you know what he does? He glorifies these mass killers. He calls public squares after them. He names buildings, streets in their honor. He has suicide kindergarten camps. He has suicide universities. He has suicide museums. For God's sake, this is the man who pays the checks. He signs the checks for the explosives of the suicides. He is a terrorist, if there ever was one.

-Benjamin Netanyahu

There is no greater compliment to the Jews than the fact that the degree of their unpopularity is always the scientific measure of the cruelty and silliness of the regime under which they live.
-Sinclair Lewis

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

Blaming "society" makes it awfully easy for a person of weak character to shrug off his own responsibility for his actions.
-Stanley Schmidt

The war for liberty never ends. One day liberty has to be defended against the power of wealth, on another day against the intrigues of politicians, on another against the dead hand of bureaucrats, on another against the patrioter and the militarist, on another against the profiteer, and then against the hysteria and the passions of the mobs, against obscurantism and stupidity, against the criminal and against the over-righteous. In this campaign every civilized man is enlisted till he dies, and he only has known the full joy of living who somewhere and at some time has struck a decisive blow for the freedom of the human spirit.
-Walter Lippmann

We are in danger of developing a cult of the Common Man, which means a cult of mediocrity.
-Herbert Hoover

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
-John F. Kennedy

The French
Cowardly, yet opinionated
Arrogant, yet foul-smelling
Anti-Israel, Anti-American
And, of course, as always, Jew-hating....

With all that's going on in the world
Isn't it about time
We got back to hating the French?

-Saturday Night Live

It is the besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which the masses of men exhibit their tyranny.
-James Fenimore Cooper

What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long.
-Thomas Sowell

What luck for rulers that men do not think.
-Adolf Hitler

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
-Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

This must surely constitute the largest sum of human wealth ever proposed to be spent by any group for anything in the history of our species.
-Washington Times editorial, on the $850 billion dollars the social democrats proposed for prescription drug programs

Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.
-Eric Hoffer

Unity and self-sacrifice, of themselves, even when fostered by the most noble means, produce a facility for hating. Even when men league themselves mightily together to promote tolerance and peace on earth, they are likely to be violently intolerant toward those not of a like mind.
-Eric Hoffer

We able to see that our interest would be best served not by asking the state to promulgate our values but by forbidding the state to promulgate any values at all. If the state can espouse some value that we love, it can, with equal justice, espouse others we do not love.
-Richard Mitchell

No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
-H.L. Mencken

Tyrants always condemn and seek to replace the market process with government coercion because tyrants do not trust that people behaving voluntarily will do what the tyrants think they should do.
-Walter Williams

One of the most fashionable notions of our times is that social problems like poverty and oppression breed wars. Most wars, however, are started by well-fed people with time on their hands to dream up half-baked ideologies or grandiose ambitions, and to nurse real or imagined grievances.
-Thomas Sowell

All history is little else than a long succession of useless cruelties.

What is history but the story of how politicians have squandered the blood and treasure of the human race.
-Thomas Sowell

Because we can expect future generations to be richer than we are, no matter what we do about resources, asking us to refrain from using resources now so that future generations can have them later is like asking the poor to make gifts to the rich.
-Julian Simon

The man who asks of freedom anything other than itself is born to be a slave.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

The assumption that spending more of the taxpayers' money will make things better has survived all kinds of evidence that it has made things worse. The black family—which survived slavery, discrimination, poverty, wars and depressions—began to come apart as the federal government moved in with its well-financed programs to "help."
-Thomas Sowell

If it ain't broke, fix it till it is.
-motto of government

     [I]f the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall.
     Everybody has asked the question, "What shall we do with the Negro?" I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!
-Frederick Douglass

Commerce is the cure for the most destructive prejudices.
-de Montesquieu

What "multiculturalism" boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture—and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.
-Thomas Sowell

I don't know exactly what democracy is. But we need more of it.
-anonymous Chinese student

The fact that slaughter [battle] is a horrifying spectacle must make us take war more seriously, but [it does] not provide an excuse for gradually blunting our swords in the name of humanity. Sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms.
-Carl von Clausewitz

You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.
-Lyndon Johnson

Since the social victim has been oppressed by society, he comes to feel that his individual life will be improved more by changes in society than by his own initiative. Without realizing it, he makes society rather than himself the agent of change. The power he finds in his victimization may lead him to collective action against society, but it also encourages passivity within the sphere of his personal life.
-Shelby Steele

Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.
-Eric Hoffer

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

The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.
-Thomas Jefferson

In America, it is indispensable that every well wisher of true liberty should understand that acts of tyranny can only proceed from the publick. The publick, then, is to be watched, in this country, as, in other countries kings and aristocrats are to be watched.
-James Fenimore Cooper

There isn't a parallel of latitude but thinks it would have been the equator if it had had its rights.
-Mark Twain

Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.
-Thomas Sowell

Liberty is an opportunity for doing good, but this is only so when it is also an opportunity for doing wrong.
-F.A. Hayek

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
-John Adams

...democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
-James Madison, Federalist Paper 10

There's 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

The government of a free country shouldn't want surveillance powers like these. And the fact that the government wants them is proof that it shouldn't have them.
-George Getz, Libertarian Party communications director, on the Pentagon's Orwellian Total Information Awareness system

Fifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic.
-Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.
-Benjamin Disraeli

Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction in stolen goods.
-H.L. Mencken

...the crimes of violence committed for selfish, personal motives are historically insignificant compared to those committed ad majorem gloriam Dei, out of a self-sacrificing devotion to the flag, a leader, a religious faith or political conviction.
-Arthur Koestler

All political theories assume, of course, that most individuals are very ignorant. Those who plead for liberty differ from the rest in that they include among the ignorant themselves as well as the wisest.
-F.A. Hayek

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

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

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.
-Thomas Jefferson

It is easier to show the disorder that must accompany reform than the order that should follow it.
-Frederic Bastiat

Democracy gives the aura of legitimacy to acts that would otherwise be considered tyranny.
-Walter E. Williams

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-Herbert Spencer

It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights—the "right" to education, the "right" to health care, 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.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
-Frederic Bastiat, Government

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.
-Thomas Brackett Reed

When personal judgement is inoperative (or forbidden), men's first concern is not how to choose, but how to justify their choice.
-Ayn Rand

Unfortunately, the greater the humanitarian outreach, the greater the violence required to achieve it.
-Ron Paul

In history the way of annihilation is invariably prepared by inward degeneration, by decrease of life. Only then can a shock from outside put an end to the whole.
-Jakob Burckhardt

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.
-Benjamin Franklin

God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: This is my country.
-Benjamin Franklin

Just as unanswered prayers to one's god do not diminish a believer's faith, governmental failures to prevent unforeseen consequences do not engender a loss of faith in the system. The state will simply gather more information, revise its past policies, and produce new regulations and procedures to correct for the past. This time for sure!
-Butler Shaffer

Political systems must love poverty—they produce so much of it. Poor people make easier targets for a demagogue. No Mao or even Jiang Zemin is likely to arise on the New York Stock Exchange floor. And politicians in democracies benefit from destitution, too. The US has had a broad range of poverty programs for 30 years. Those programs have failed. Millions of people are still poor. And those people vote for politicians who favor keeping the poverty programs in place. There's a conspiracy theory in there somewhere.
-P.J O'Rourke

     Industrial progress, mechanical improvement, all of the great wonders of the modern era have meant relatively little to the wealthy.

     The rich in Ancient Greece would have benefited hardly at all from modern plumbing: running servants replaced running water. Television and radio? The Patricians of Rome could enjoy the leading musicians and actors in their home, could have the leading actors as domestic retainers. Ready-to-wear clothing, supermarkets—all these and many other modern developments would have added little to their life.

     The great achievements of Western Capitalism have redounded primarily to the benefit of the ordinary person. These achievements have made available to the masses conveniences and amenities that were previously the exclusive prerogative of the rich and powerful.

-Milton Friedman, Free To Choose

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
-Douglas Casey

I don't make jokes; I just watch the government and report the facts.
-Will Rogers

[America] does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She well knows that by enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom.
-John Quincy Adams

This country is a one-party country. Half of it is called Republican and half is called Democrat. It doesn't make any difference. All the really good ideas belong to the libertarians.
-Hugh Downs

The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
-P.J O'Rourke

Kids esteem themselves when they have accomplished something worth esteeming.
-Fred Reed

What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?
-Thomas Jefferson

The "private sector" of the economy is, in fact, the voluntary sector; and...the "public sector" is, in fact, the coercive sector.
-Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson

...the evils of mankind are caused, not by the primary aggressiveness of individuals, but by their self-transcending identification with groups whose common denominator is low intelligence and high emotionality.
-Arthur Koestler

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
-Edward Abbey

I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.
-Harriet Tubman

Prosperity is an essential partner in civilization itself. It is the basis of leisure, charity, and a hopeful outlook on life. It is the means for conquering poverty at the lowest rung of society, the basis on which children and the elderly are cared for, the foundation for the cultivation of arts and learning. Crush an economy and you crush civilization.
-Lew Rockwell

The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.
-Thomas Jefferson

He who disdains the fall in infant mortality and the gradual disappearance of famines and plagues may cast the first stone upon the materialism of the economists.
-Ludwig von Mises

No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.
-Thomas Jefferson

Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn't happen.
- Winston Churchill

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
-Winston Churchill

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
-Winston Churchill

I'm in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values system, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal.
-Milton Friedman

It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.
-Giordano Bruno

...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.
-F.A. Hayek

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
-Mark Twain

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

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
-John Stuart Mill

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who think they are free.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance. ...This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture. ...The basic attitude from which such activity arises, we call—to distinguish it from egoism and selfishness—idealism. By this we understand only the individual's capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow men.
-Adolf Hitler

O, it is excellent

To have a giant's strength!

But it is tyrannous

To use it like a giant.

-William Shakespeare

The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism, but under the name Liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program until America will one day be a Socialist nation without knowing how it happened.
-Norman Thomas, 6-time presidential candidate of the Socialist Party who retired from politics when Democrat Franklin Roosevelt ran on the same platform and won.

And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.
-H.L. Mencken

It's an Afghanistan goat, so it can't stay here, or else it'll choke on the sweet air of freedom.
-Trey Parker (Eric Cartman)

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

...a frequent recurrence to fundamental absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty and keep a government free.
-Benjamin Franklin

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

Economic prosperity is not so much a material problem; it is, first of all, an intellectual, spiritual, and moral problem.
-Ludwig von Mises

Forced to choose, the poor, like the rich, love money more than political liberty; and the only political freedom capable of enduring is one that is so pruned as to keep the rich from denuding the poor by ability or subtlety and the poor from robbing the rich by violence or votes.
-Will Durant

The true civilization is where every man gives to every other every right that he claims for himself.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

The sort of dependence that results from exchange, i.e., from commercial transactions, is a reciprocal dependence. We cannot be dependent upon a foreigner without his being dependent on us. Now, this is what constitutes the very essence of society. To sever natural interrelations is not to make oneself independent, but to isolate oneself completely.
-Frederic Bastiat

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see how much it costs when it's free.
-P.J O'Rourke

Those who create are rare. Those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger.
-Coco Chanel (!)

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
-Barry Goldwater

It is the fundamental theory of all the more recent American law...that the average citizen is half-witted, and hence not to be trusted to either his own devices or his own thoughts.
-H.L. Mencken

People are beginning to realize that the apparatus of government is costly. But what they do not know is that the burden falls inevitably on them.
-Frederic Bastiat

Who overcomes

By force, hath overcome but half his foe.

-John Milton

Americans are coming to their senses, and the libertarian theory of society and government is pointing the way. The times change, but the enduring principles that help us to interpret and understand the world do not. It remains true now, as then, as in the future, saecula saeculorum, that government provides neither an effective nor a moral means for solving any human problem.
-Lew Rockwell

My body is my own, at least I have always so regarded it. If I do is I who suffers, not the state.
-Mark Twain

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
-Thomas Jefferson

Let every nation, right now, do what is best for all citizens of the world: eliminate every form of intervention that would prevent or otherwise hobble mutually beneficial trade between any two parties anywhere in the world. No bureaucracy can help us toward that goal; it must come from a growing realization of the merit of freedom itself.
-Lew Rockwell

First rule in government spending: Why build one, when you can have two at twice the price?
-Carl Sagan, Contact

The problems we experience at the hands of the institutions to which we subject ourselves do not derive from the malevolence or ambitions of power of those purporting to be "authorities" over us. Rather, they are the consequences of our acknowledging them to have such authority!
-Butler Shaffer

Every class is unfit to govern.
-Lord Acton

[L]ook what the government does: it takes money from some people, keeps a bunch of it, and gives the rest to other people.
-Dave Barry

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.
-Milton Friedman

Coercion cannot but result in chaos in the end.

One who uses coercion is guilty of deliberate violence. Coercion is inhuman.

Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.
-James Madison

All men having power ought to be mistrusted
-James Madison

All socialism involves slavery.
-Herbert Spencer

Self-respect is impossible without liberty.
-Harriet Beacher Stowe

The more prohibitions there are, the poorer the people will be.
-Lao Tzu

If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.
-Thomas Jefferson

Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse or omission.
-Isabel Paterson, "The God of the Machine"

Most conservatives know better than to promote the state funding of art. The result of such funding is the mess that modern art has become. Atonal music is to music what subsidized art is to art. ...The fact that cacophony has reigned almost supreme since 1900 is a testimony to Mises' original observation. Atonal music is to music what socialism is to economics: planned chaos.
-Gary North, "Classical Music: Killed by the State"

Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. Chaos always defeats order because it is better organized.
-Terry Pratchett

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power.
-A fortune cookie fortune
     The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We've been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we're a threat? ...

     The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles...hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages... And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? ...

     The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the Earth will be renewed, and if it's true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the Earth plus plastic.

-George Carlin

Power kills, absolute power kills absolutely.
-R.J. Rummel

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.
-Booker T. Washington

...those who are guilty of such sweeping criticisms [of the rich] do not know how many people would be made poor, and how much sufering would result, if wealthy people were to part all at once with any large proportion of their wealth in a way to disorganize and cripple great business enterprises.
-Booker T. Washington

In fact, the libertarian would reason that the fact that human nature is a mixture of both good and evil provides its own particular argument in his favor. For if man is such a mixture, then the best societal framework is surely one in which evil is discouraged and the good encouraged. The libertarian maintains that the existence of the State apparatus provides a ready, swift channel for the exercise of evil, since the rulers of the State are thereby legitimated and can wield compulsion in ways that no one else is permitted to do.
-Murray Rothbard, Man, Economy, and State

Let's be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven't got the power to destroy the planet—or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.
-Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park (Ian Malcom)

The Republican form of government is the highest form of government: but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature, a type nowhere at present existing.
-Herbert Spencer

I have lived through the best years of this country's history. The next generations are going to see war and social calamities. I am glad I don't have to live on into them.
-William Graham Sumner (1840-1910)

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.
-Bertrand Russell

The government is always looking for something that appears more dangerous than itself, and these criminals seem to fit the bill. Never mind that it was the government that promised but failed to protect us. It was the government that prevented the airlines from protecting themselves. It was the government that so badly botched the rescue operations. It was the government that had stirred up the hate that led to the terrorism.
-Lew Rockwell, "Which way the young?"

The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one who gets the people to do the greatest things.
-Ronald Regan

I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
-Charles De Gaulle

As for Doing-good, that is one of the professions which are full.
-Henry David Thoreau

The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way.
-Henry David Thoreau

If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.
-Henry David Thoreau

It is better to tolerate that rare instance of a parent's refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings by a forcible transportation and education of the infant against the will of his father.
-Thomas Jefferson

Either war is finished, or we are.
-Herman Wouk, War and Remembrance (Victor Henry)

We are far better off with Kerry. He is like a creeping opportunistic fungus, while Hillary is political small pox.
-Steven LaTulippe, on a possible silver lining if Kerry won the 2004 election

If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.
-Henry David Thoreau

Law never made men a whit more just.
-Henry David Thoreau

You do not have to accept that there is an organized conspiracy to keep our kids ignorant to get the picture. As long as you realize that things are exactly as they would be if there were such a conspiracy, that will suffice.
-Charles R. Lewis, on the state of government education in America

My new political indicator: The limit as x approaches infinity of the sum of the politically right and left baseless venom towards an individual (idea, program, etc.), is equal to the probability that the individual (idea, program, etc.) is the correct one.
-Peter Christensen

Nor did I become an anarchist in the first place because I think everyone is gentle and peaceful, or that everyone would be so if there were no state. Contra the author of one of The Federalist Papers, who wrote, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary," I have always believed that if men were angels, the state might be acceptable. It is precisely our non-angelic nature that makes the power of the state too dangerous for any human to possess.
-Gene Callahan

It profits me but little, after all, that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquility of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life....
-Alexis de Tocqueville

The taste which men have for liberty and that which they feel for equality are, in fact, two different things...among democratic nations they are two unequal things.
-Alexis de Tocqueville

I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is "needed" before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' "interests", I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.
-Barry Goldwater

There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.
-Adam Smith

In fact, the gravest obstacle to the restoration of civilization in North America is universal suffrage. Letting everybody vote makes no sense. Obviously they are no good at it. The whole idea smacks of the fumble-witted idealism of a high-school Marxist society.
-Fred Reed

Though the Floundering Fathers didn't intend it, we now see that representative government quickly turns into the dictatorship of the proletariat. If you doubt this, I congratulate you on not having a television.
-Fred Reed

In 1932, lame-duck President Herbert Hoover was so desperate to remain in the White House that he dressed up as Eleanor Roosevelt. When FDR discovered the hoax in 1936, the two men decided to stay together for the sake of the children.
-Johnny Carson

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.
-Lily Tomlin

Political history is far too criminal a subject to be a fit thing to teach children.
-W.H. Auden

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
-H.L. Mencken

Peace, n. In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
-Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

If you would love your country, you must first hate your government.
-John Petrie

Anal sex is like communism, its a great idea in theory. But in practice it's bloody, painful, and people get hurt.
-Friar Tuck (on

The leadership of the State in economic affairs which advocates of Planned Economy want to establish is, as we have seen, necessarily connected with a bewildering mass of government interferences of a steadily cumulative nature. The arbitrariness, the mistakes and the inevitable contradictions of such policy will, as daily experience shows, only strengthen the demand for a more rational coordination of the different measures and, therefore, for unified leadership. For this reason Planned Economy will always develop into Dictatorship.
-Gustav Cassell

The State did not originate in any form of social agreement, or with any disinterested view of promoting order and justice. Far otherwise. The State originated in conquest and confiscation, as a device for maintaining the stratification of society permanently into two classes—an owning and exploiting class, relatively small, and a propertyless dependent class.
-Albert Jay Nock

...there are two general means whereby human beings can satisfy their needs and desires. One is by work—i.e., by applying labor and capital to natural resources for the production of wealth, or to facilitating the exchange of labor-products. This is called the economic means. The other is by robbery—i.e., the appropriation of the labor-products of others without compensation. This is called the political means. The State, considered functionally, may be described as the organization of the political means....
-Albert Jay Nock

The notion that Americans can be protected from "terror" by giving up the Bill of Rights is absurd. Democrats are complicit in this absurd notion. Many were intimidated into voting for police state legislation, because they lacked the intestinal fortitude to call police state legislation by its own name. The legislation that has been passed during the Bush regime is far more dangerous to Americans than Muslim terrorists.
-Paul Craig Roberts, Will Democrats become part of the problem?

People who believe in gun control are ignorant, superstitious or stupid.
-Charley Reese

"Good government" is a paradox. Any people so decent as to be capable of implementing it would be better off without it, and any people so rotten as to need it would be incapable of implementing it.

Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It has its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished. The mutual dependence and reciprocal interest which man has upon man, and all the parts of civilised community upon each other, create that great chain of connection which holds it together. The landholder, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the tradesman, and every occupation, prospers by the aid which each receives from the other, and from the whole. Common interest regulates their concerns, and forms their law; and the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence than the laws of government. In fine, society performs for itself almost everything which is ascribed to government.
-Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man

This is the true lesson of our history: war, preparation for war, and foreign military interventions have served for the most part not to protect us, as we are constantly told, but rather to sap our economic vitality and undermine our civil and economic liberties.
-Robert Higgs

The free market exists to promote prosperity and human life, and that is what it has accomplished, splendidly, with breathtaking brilliance. In the industrialized world, the average person today enjoys a standard of living superior to that of kings and emperors of the past. The whole world's population is capable of enjoying the same marvelous results, if it adopts economic freedom.
-George Reisman

The notion that Americans can be protected from "terror" by giving up the Bill of Rights is absurd. Democrats are complicit in this absurd notion. Many were intimidated into voting for police state legislation, because they lacked the intestinal fortitude to call police state legislation by its own name. The legislation that has been passed during the Bush regime is far more dangerous to Americans than Muslim terrorists.
-Paul Craig Robert

Always and everywhere, the only serious political issue is what the state should and should not do. All the rest distracts.
-Lew Rockwell

Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
-Richard Cowen

ANARCHISM … the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government—harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being.
-P.A. Kropotkin

Free trade requires no treaties. All that is needed is to remove (unilaterally or multilaterally) artificial barriers to trade.
-Manuel Ayau

Dammit, how come every time we get a sweet idea, the government has to screw it up?
-Trey Parker (Kyle Brovlofski), South Park

I see the liberty of the individual not only as a great moral good in itself (or, with Lord Acton, as the highest political good), but also as the necessary condition for the flowering of all the other goods that mankind cherishes: moral virtue, civilization, the arts and sciences, economic prosperity.
-Murray Rothbard

If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.
-Emma Goldman

I see this piece of legislation as essentially being a declaration of virtual war. It is giving the President tremendous powers to pursue war efforts against a sovereign nation. ...I think it is another example of a flawed foreign policy that we have followed for a good many decades.
-Ron Paul, on the Iraqi Liberation Act, October 5, 1998

The government's appearing to be a necessary evil does not oblige people to trust it. We face a choice of trusting government or trusting freedom—trusting overlords who have lied and abused their power or trusting individuals to make the most of their own lives.
-James Bovard

The powers in charge keep us in a perpetual state of fear—keep us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.
-Douglas MacArthur

I have known war as few men now living know it. Its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.
-Douglas MacArthur

The way to get people's votes is to say that all their problems are caused by other people, and that you will stop those other people from giving them trouble. But if you really want to help, then you can tell them the truth and risk losing their votes.
-Thomas Sowell

The State is now more involved than it has ever been in the raising of children, and children are now more neglected, abused, and mistreated than they have been in our time. This is not a coincidence, and, with all due respect, I am here to tell you: It does not take a village to raise a child—it takes a family.
-Sen. Bob Dole

But we assure the socialists that we repudiate only forced organization, not natural organization. We repudiate the forms of association that are forced upon us, not free association. We repudiate forced fraternity, not true fraternity. We repudiate the artificial unity that does nothing more than deprive persons of individual responsibility. We do not repudiate the natural unity of mankind under Providence.
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law

     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.

     We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. 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.
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law

     Since law necessarily requires the support of force, its lawful domain is only in the areas where the use of force is necessary. This is justice.

     Every individual has the right to use force for lawful self-defense. It is for this reason that the collective force—which is only the organized combination of the individual forces—may lawfully be used for the same purpose; and it cannot be used legitimately for any other purpose.

     Law is solely the organization of the individual right of self-defense which existed before law was formalized. Law is justice.
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law

The law is justice—simple and clear, precise and bounded. Every eye can see it, and every mind can grasp it; for justice is measurable, immutable, and unchangeable. Justice is neither more than this nor less than this. If you exceed this proper limit—if you attempt to make the law religious, fraternal, equalizing, philanthropic, industrial, literary, or artistic—you will then be lost in an uncharted territory, in vagueness and uncertainty, in a forced utopia or, even worse, in a multitude of utopias, each striving to seize the law and impose it upon you. This is true because fraternity and philanthropy, unlike justice, do not have precise limits. Once started, where will you stop? And where will the law stop itself?
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law

     Law is justice. In this proposition a simple and enduring government can be conceived. And I defy anyone to say how even the thought of revolution, of insurrection, of the slightest uprising could arise against a government whose organized force was confined only to suppressing injustice. ...

     As proof of this statement, consider this question: Have the people ever been known to rise against the Court of Appeals, or mob a Justice of the Peace, in order to get higher wages, free credit, tools of production, favorable tariffs, or government-created jobs? Everyone knows perfectly well that such matters are not within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals or a Justice of the Peace. And if government were limited to its proper functions, everyone would soon learn that these matters are not within the jurisdiction of the law itself.
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law

It seems to me that this is theoretically right, for whatever the question under discussion—whether religious, philosophical, political, or economic; whether it concerns prosperity, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, cooperation, property, labor, trade, capital, wages, taxes, population, finance, or government—at whatever point on the scientific horizon I begin my researches, I invariably reach this one conclusion: The solution to the problems of human relationships is to be found in liberty.
-Frederic Bastiat, The Law

Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!

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, The Law