Crises and Power
U.S. Foreign Policy

Quotes on Power

About the book Crisis and Leviathan

Center on Peace & Liberty “L” Quotes
On Power


Étienne de La Boétie (1530-1563)
French Jurist and Author

“If a tyrant is one man and his subjects are many, why do they consent to their own enslavement?” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude]

“These are the ones who, having good minds of their own, have further trained them by study and learning. Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude]

“You [the peasant] yield your bodies unto hard labor in order that he [the tyrant or the state] may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and the mightier to hold you in check.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude]

“[B]ooks and teaching more than anything else give men the sense to comprehend their own nature and to detest tyranny.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude]

“It is incredible how as soon as a people become subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and willingly that one is led to say . . . that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude]

“However, there is satisfaction in examining what they get out of all this torment, what advantage they derive from all the trouble of their wretched existence. Actually the people never blame the tyrant for the evils they suffer, but they do place responsibility on those who influence him; peoples, nations, all compete with one another, even the peasants, even the tillers of the soil, in mentioning the names of the favorites, in analyzing their vices, and heaping upon them a thousand insults, a thousand obscenities, a thousand maledictions. All their prayers, all their vows are directed against these persons; they hold them accountable for all their misfortunes, their pestilences, their famines; and if at times they show them outward respect, at those very moments they are fuming in their hearts and hold them in greater horror than wild beasts. This is the glory and honor heaped upon influential favorites for their services by people who, if they could tear apart their living bodies, would still clamor for more, only half satiated by the agony they might behold. For even when the favorites are dead those who live after are never too lazy to blacken the names of these people-eaters with the ink of a thousand pens, tear their reputations into bits in a thousand books, and drag, so to speak, their bones past posterity, forever punishing them after their death for their wicked lives.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude]

“I should like merely to understand how it happens that so many men, so many villages, so many cities, so many nations, sometimes suffer under a single tyrant who has no other power than the power they give him; who is able to harm them only to the extent to which they have the willingness to bear with him; who could do them absolutely no injury unless they preferred to put up with him rather than contradict him. Surely a striking situation! Yet it is so common that one must grieve the more and wonder the less at the spectacle of a million men serving in wretchedness, their necks under the yoke, not constrained by a greater multitude than they . . .” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, p. 46]

“Shall we call subjection to such a leader cowardice? . . . If a hundred, if a thousand endure the caprice of a single man, should we not rather say that they lack not the courage but the desire to rise against him, and that such an attitude indicates indifference rather than cowardice? When not a hundred, not a thousand men, but a hundred provinces, a thousand cities, a million men, refuse to assail a single man from whom the kindest treatment received is the infliction of serfdom and slavery, what shall we call that? Is it cowardice? . . . When a thousand, a million men, a thousand cities, fail to protect themselves against the domination of one man, this cannot be called cowardly, for cowardice does not sink to such a depth. . . . What monstrous vice, then, is this which does not even deserve to be called cowardice, a vice for which no term can be found vile enough . . . ?” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, p. 48]

“If we led our lives according to the ways intended by nature and the lessons taught by her, we should be intuitively obedient to our parents; later we should adopt reason as our guide and become slaves to nobody.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, p. 55]

“ . . . obviously there is no need of fighting to overcome this single tyrant, for he is automatically defeated if the country refuses consent to its own enslavement.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude]

“Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, pp. 50-53]

“There are three kinds of tyrants: some receive their proud position through elections by the people, others by force of arms, others by inheritance.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, p. 58]

“It is true that in the beginning men submit under constraint and by force; but those who come after them obey without regret and perform willingly what their predecessors had done because they had to. This is why men born under the yoke and then nourished and reared in slavery are content, without further effort, to live in their native circumstance, unaware of any other state or right, and considering as quite natural the condition into which they are born ... the powerful influence of custom is in no respect more compelling than in this, namely, habituation to subjection.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, p. 60]

“Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naively, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, pp. 69-70]

“[T]yrants, in order to strengthen their power, have made every effort to train their people not only in obedience and servility toward themselves, but also in adoration.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, p. 75]

“Roman tyrants . . . provided the city wards with feasts to cajole the rabble.... Tyrants would distribute largesse, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterce: and then everybody would shamelessly cry, “Long live the King!” The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them. A man might one day be presented with a sesterce and gorge himself at the public feast, lauding Tiberius and Nero for handsome liberality, who on the morrow, would be forced to abandon his property to their avarice, his children to their lust, his very blood to the cruelty of these magnificent emperors, without offering any more resistance than a stone or a tree stump. The mob has always behaved in this way--eagerly open to bribes . . .” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, p. 70]

“[W]hen the point is reached, through big favors or little ones, that large profits or small are obtained under a tyrant, there are found almost as many people to whom tyranny seems advantageous as those to whom liberty would seem desirable. . . . Whenever a ruler makes himself a dictator, all the wicked dregs of the nation . . . all those who are corrupted by burning ambition or extraordinary avarice, these gather around him and support him in order to have a share in the booty and to constitute themselves petty chiefs under the big tyrant.” [from The Politics of Obedience: Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, pp. 78-79]

Robert M. LaFollette (1855-1925)
U.S. Senator, Congressman

“Shall we bind up our future with foreign powers and hazard the peace of this nation for all time by linking the destiny of American democracy with the ever menacing antagonisms of foreign monarchies? . . . Europe is cursed with a contagious, deadly plague, whose spread threatens to devastate the civilized world.”

Suzanne Lafollette (1893-1983)
American Editor, Feminist and Writer

“Most people, no doubt, when they espouse human rights, make their own mental reservations about the proper application of the word ‘human.’”

“Until economic freedom is attained for everybody, there can be no real freedom for anybody.”

“Laws are felt only when the individual comes into conflict with them.”

Rose Wilder Lane (1886-1968)
American Author

“This revolutionary basis is recognition of the fact that human rights are natural rights, born in every human being with his life, and inseparable from his life: not rights and freedoms that can be granted by any power on earth.”

“Anyone who says that economic security is a human right, has been to much babied. While he babbles, other men are risking and losing their lives to protect him. They are fighting the sea, fighting the land, fighting disease and insects and weather and space and time, for him, while he chatters that all men have a right to security and that some pagan god--Society, The State, The Government, The Commune--must give it to them. Let the fighting men stop fighting this inhuman earth for one hour, and he will learn how much security there is.”

“The pattern is as old as human life. The new rulers use more and more force, more police, more soldiers, trying to enforce more efficient control, trying to make the planned economy work by piling regulations on regulations, decree on decree. The people are hungry and hungrier. And how does a man on this earth get butter? Doesn’t the government give butter? But government does not produce food from the earth; Government is guns. It is one common distinction of all civilized peoples, that they give their guns to the Government. Men in Government monopolize the necessary use of force; they are not using their energies productively; they are not milking cows. To get butter, they must use guns; they have nothing else to use.”

Edward Langley (1928-1995)

“What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.”

John Lansing, Jr. (1754-1829)
Delegate, U.S. Constitutional Convention, Mayor of Albany, New York

“All free constitutions are formed with two views--to deter the governed from crime, and the governors from tyranny.”

Lewis H. Lapham II (1935-)
Editor, Harper's Magazine, and Author

“Of what does politics consist except the making of imperfect decisions, many of them unjust and quite a few of them deadly?”

“The supply of government exceeds the demand.”

Rear Admiral Gene R. LaRocque
Co-founder, Center for Defense Information

“I had been in thirteen battle engagements, had sunk a submarine, and was the first man ashore in the landing at Roi. In that four years, I thought, What a hell of a waste of a man's life. I lost a lot of friends. I had the task of telling my roommate's parents about our last days together. You lose limbs, sight, part of your life-for what? Old men send young men to war. Flag, banners, and patriotic sayings. . . ”

“[Nearly 70% of the military budget] is to provide men and weapons to fight in foreign countries in support of our allies and friends and for offensive operations in Third World countries. . . . Another big chunk of the defense budget is the 20% allocated for our offensive nuclear force of bombers, missiles, and submarines whose job it is to carry nuclear weapons to the Soviet Union. . . . Actual defense of the United States costs about 10% of the military budget and is the least expensive function performed by the Pentagon. . . ”

“We’ve institutionalized militarism. This came out of World War Two. . . . It gave us the National Security Council. It gave us the CIA, that is able to spy on you and me this very moment. For the first time in the history of man, a country has divided up the world into military districts. . . . You could argue World War Two had to be fought. Hitler had to be stopped. Unfortunately, we translate it unchanged to the situation today. . . ”

“I hate it when they say, ‘He gave his life for his country.’ Nobody gives their life for anything. We steal the lives of these kids. We take it away from them. They don’t die for the honor and glory of their country. We kill them.”

“War has become a spectator sport for Americans.”

“We now kill people without ever seeing them. Now you push a button thousands of miles away. . . . Since it’s all done by remote control, there’s no feeling of remorse. . . . Then we come home in triumph.”

Doug Larson

“Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.”

Harold J. Laski (1893-1950)
English Political Scientist

“In the process of politics what, broadly speaking, gets registered is not a will that is at each moment in accord with the state-purpose, but the will of those who in fact operate the machine of government.” [Authority in the Modern State 1919:37]

“No citizen enjoys genuine freedom of religious conviction until the state is indifferent to every form of religious outlook from Atheism to Zoroastrianism.”

“No man ever remains free who acquiesces in what he knows to be wrong.”

David Henry Lawrence (1885-1938)
English Novelist and Poet

“Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.”

John le Carré [David John Moore Cornwell] (1931-)
English Novelist

“The cold war provided the perfect excuse for Western governments to plunder and exploit the Third World in the name of freedom; to rig its elections, bribe its politicians, appoint its tyrants and, by every sophisticated means of persuasion and interference, stunt the emergence of young democracies in the name of democracy.”

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-)
American Science Fiction Author

“. . . he now understood why the army was organized as it was. It was indeed quite necessary. No rational form of organization would serve the purpose. He simply had not understood that the purpose was to enable men with machine guns to kill unarmed men and women easily and in great quantities when told to do so. Only he still could not see where courage, or manliness, or fitness entered in.”

Admiral William D. Leahy (1875-1959)
Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was no material success in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons. . . . My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”

Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794)
Member of Continental Congress and U.S. Senator
Signer of the Declaration of Independence

“It must never be forgotten. . . that the liberties of the people are no so safe under the gracious manner of government as by the limitation of power.”

“A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves. . . and include all men capable of bearing arms. . . To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms. . . The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle.”

“No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state. . . such area well-regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.”

“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. . . ”

“To say that a bad government must be established for fear of anarchy is really saying that we should kill ourselves for fear of dying.”

“The constitution ought to secure a genuine militia and guard against a select militia. . . all regulations tending to render this general militia useless and defenseless, by establishing select corps of militia, or distinct bodies of military men, not having permanent interests and attachments to the community ought to be avoided.”

General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870)
U.S. Military Leader and Confederate Commander

“What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.”

“While I have considered the preservation of the constitutional power of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only are essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have peceded it.” [December 15, 1866, in a letter to Lord Acton]

Robert LeFevre (1911-1986)
Political Theorist, Educator, Journalist and Author

“If men are good, you don’t need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don’t dare have one.”

“Nature has endowed each of us with self-control. Nature has not endowed us with control of others.”

“Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.”

“Patriotism cannot be a love of government. Patriotism rises above the government as a mountain towers above a blade of grass. When we think of our country and a feeling of love and devotion wells up within us, it should spring from the reality of what our country is and means, and not from the government, which is the least of all our blessings.”

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924)
Russian Revolutionary and Bolshevik Theoretician

“Destroy the family, and the society will collapse.”

“Only an armed people can be the real bulwark of popular liberty.”

“A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie.”

“All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all.”

“People always have been and they always will be stupid victims of deceit and self-deception in politics.”

John Lennon (1940-1980)
English Song Writer and Musician

“Give peace a chance.”

Bruno Leoni (1913-1967)
Italian Legal Philosopher

“The legal system centered on legislation, while involving the possibility that other people (the legislators) may interfere with our actions every day, also involves the possibility that they may change their way of interfering every day. As a result, people are prevented not only from freely deciding what to do, but from foreseeing the legal effects of their daily behavior.”

“It is . . . paradoxical that the very economists who support the free market at the present time do not seem to care to consider whether a free market could really last within a legal system centered on legislation.”

“In a system where legislation is widely used to ‘make’ law, nobody can tell whether a rule may be only one year or one month or one day old when it will be abrogated by a new rule. All these rules are precisely worded in written formulae that readers or interpreters cannot change at their will. Nevertheless, all of them may go as soon and as abruptly as they came. The result is that, if we leave out of the picture the ambiguities of the text. We are always ‘certain’ as far as the literal content of each rule is concerned at any given moment, But we are never certain that tomorrow we shall still have the rules we have today.”

C. S. [Clive Staples] Lewis (1898-1963)
British Author

“The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law. But if there is no Law of Nature, the ethos of any society is the creation of its rulers, educators and conditioners; and every creator stands above and outside his own creation.”

“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 barons’ 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.”

“And all the time--such is the tragic comedy of our situation--we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951)
American Novelist and 1930 Nobel Prize-Winner for Literature

“Under a tyranny, most friends are a liability. One quarter of them turn reasonable and become your enemies. One quarter are afraid to stop and speak. And one quarter are killed and you die with them. The blessed final quarter keep you alive.”

Benjamin Lichtenberg

“Democracy: The state of affairs in which you consent to having your pocket picked, and elect the best man to do it.”

Leonard P. Liggio (1933-)
American Historian and Author

“Instead of the radical reorganization of society implicit in capitalism, the application of capitalism was circumscribed within a narrow range by the pre-capitalist institutional instruments of exploitation which continue in force. Thus, not only was the capitalist revolution thwarted in Western Europe and America, but their ruling classes were able to exploit the feudal conditions existing in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America through the system of imperialism. The imperialist power of the Western countries prevented the overthrow of feudalism by capitalist revolutions in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America and imposed on the world’s peoples a double or reinforced system of exploitative imperialism--by which the power of the Western governments maintains the local ruling class in exchange for the opportunity to superimpose Western exploitation upon existing exploitation by the local ruling states. Imperalism or double exploitation has caused the twentieth century struggle against feudalism and for progress to take a form different from the earlier Western European struggle against feudalism.” [from “Why the Futile Crusade?”, p. 24]

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
16th U.S. President, U.S. Congressman

“I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races--that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

“Send them [freed black slaves] to Liberia, to their own native land. But free them and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit this.”

“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right--a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.” [1848]

“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

“I believe that every individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruits of his labor, so far as it in no way interferes with any other men’s rights.”

“If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution.”

“No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.”

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

“I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” [1860]

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union.” [1862]

“I presume you all know who I am. I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by many friends to become a candidate for the legislature. My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank . . . in favor of the internal improvements system [government subsidies for railroad, shipping, and canal-building businesses] and a high protective tariff.” [1832]

“The power confided in me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property, and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion—no using force against, or among the people anywhere.” [First Inaugural Address]

“You [blacks] and we [whites] are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between al,most any other two races . . . . This physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both . . . [and] affords a reason at least why we should be separated . . . . It is better for us both, therefore, to be seperated.” [from “Address on Colonization to a Committee of Colored Men,” Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings, 1859-1865, pp. 353-357]

Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974)
Aviation Pioneer and Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author

“Great military peoples have conquered their known world time and time again through the centuries, only to die out in the inevitable ashes of their fire”

“We may have to resort to arms in the future, as we have in the past. We may have to use them to prevent atomic war from being launched against us. But let us have the wisdom to realize that the use of force is a sign of weakness on a higher plane, and that a policy based primarily on recourse to arms will sooner or later fail.”

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974)
American Journalist and Author

“Except in the sacred texts of democracy and in the incantations of orators, we hardly take the trouble to pretend that the rule of the majority is not at bottom a rule of force. What other virtue can there be in fifty-one percent except the brute fact that fifty-one is more than forty-nine? The rule of fifty-one per cent is a convenience, it is for certain matters a satisfactory political device, it is for others the lesser of two evils, and for others it is acceptable because we do not know any less troublesome method of obtaining a political decision. But it may easily become an absurd tyranny if we regard it worshipfully, as though it were more than a political device. We have lost all sense of its true meaning when we imagine that the opinion of fifty-one per cent is in some high fashion the true opinion of the whole hundred per cent, or indulge in the sophistry that the rule of a majority is based upon the ultimate equality of man.”

“The public must be put in its place, so that it may exercise its own powers, but no less and perhaps even more, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd.”

“Free institutions are not the property of any majority. They do not confer upon majorities unlimited powers. The rights of the majority are limited rights. They are limited not only by the constitutional guarantees but by the moral principle implied in those guarantees. That principle is that men may not use the facilities of liberty to impair them. No man may invoke a right in order to destroy it.”

“In a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men. It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs.”

“The predominant teachings of this age are that there are no limits to man’s capacity to govern others and that, therefore, no limitations ought to be imposed upon government. The older faith, born of long ages of suffering under man’s dominion over man, was that the exercise of unlimited power by men with limited minds and self-regarding prejudices is soon oppressive, reactionary, and corrupt. The older faith taught that the very condition of progress was the limitation of power to the capacity and the virtue of rulers. Men may have to pass through a terrible ordeal before they find again the central truths they have forgotten. But they will find them again as they have so often found them again in other ages of reaction, if only the idea that have misled them are challenged and resisted.”

“. . . 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.”

“Successful . . . politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies.”

“The time musr come when the defense program passes from being a gigantic pump-primer into being the main engine.” [New York Herald Tribune, September 19, 1940]

John Locke (1632-1704)
English Political Philosopher

“The people cannot delegate to government the power to do anything which would be unlawful for them to do themselves.”

“A Man can never be oblig’d in Conscience to submit to any Power, unless he can be satisfied who is the Person, who has a Right to Exercise that Power over him. If this were not so, there would be no distinction between Pirates and Lawful Princes, he that has Force is without any more ado to be obey’d, and Crowns and Scepters would become the Inheritance only of Violence and Rapine.” [Two Treatises of Government (1690) 1965:240]

“Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society. . . and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, arbitrary will of another man.”

“Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience. . . ”

“The Care therefore of every man’s Soul belongs unto himself, and is to be left unto himself. But what if he neglect the Care of his Soul? I answer, What if he neglects the Care of his Health, or of his Estate, which things are nearlier related to the Government of the Magistrate than the other? Will the magistrate provide by an express Law, That such an one shall not become poor or sick? Laws provide, as much as is possible, that the Goods and Health of Subjects be not injured by the Fraud and Violence of others; they do not guard them from the Negligence or Ill-husbandry of the Possessors themselves.”

“. . . whenever the Legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience . . . [Power then] devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty, and, by the Establishment of a new Legislative (such as they shall think fit) provide for their own Safety and Security, which is the end for which they are in Society.”

“For the law of Nature would, as all other laws that concern men in this world, be in vain if there were nobody that in the state of Nature had a power to execute that law, and thereby preserve the innocent and restrain offenders . . . .”

“The end of the law is, not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.”

“For those who would persuade us that ‘being born under any government we are naturally subjects to it’ and have no more any title of pretense to the freedom of the state of Nature, have no other reason (bating that of paternal power, which we have already answered) to produce for it, but only because our fathers or progenitors passed away their natural liberty, and thereby bound up themselves and their posterity to a perpetual subjection to the government which they themselves submitted to. It is true that whatever engagements or promises anyone has made for himself, he is under the obligation of them, but cannot by any compact whatsoever bind his children or posterity. For his son, when a man, being altogether as free as the father, any act of the father can no more give away the liberty of the son than it can of anyone slse.”

“There is a problem, too, of the tacit consent theory. If a young man at 21 opts to remain in the society where he has grown up rather than to emigrate, is he acting as a discrete or unprejudiced individual? Surely not--the scales are heavily weighted against his deciding to reject his own society, for he knows its language, has become an integral part of its culture, is adjusted to its customs and laws, and normally might find other ways of life strange and forbidding. To say that he is like the men who, prior to polite society, made a contract, and is therefore consenting freely, is difficult to believe.”

Henry Cabot Lodge (1850–1924)
U.S. Senator, U.S. Congressman

“If justice requires the consent of the governed, then our [U.S.] whole past record of expansion is a crime.”

“Geographically, Vietnam stands at the hub of a vast area of the world--Southeast Asia--an area with a vast population of 249 million persons. . . . He who holds or has influence in Vietnam can affect the future of the Philippines and Formosa to the East, Thailand and Burma with their huge rice surpluses to the West, and Malaysia and Indonesia with their rubber, ore and tin to the South. . . . Vietnam thus does not exist in a geographical vacuum--from its large storehouses of wealth and population can be influenced and undermined.” [Boston Sunday Globe, February 28, 1965]

Major General William Looney III
Commander, 14th U.S. Air Force

“If they turn on their radars we’re going to blow up their goddamn SAMs [surface-to-air missiles]. They know we own their country. We own their airspace. . . . We dictate the way they live and talk. And that’s what’s great about America right now. It’s a good thing, especially when there's a lot of oil out there we need.” [directing bombing of Iraq in late 1990s, Washington Post, August 30, 1999]

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)
English Author and Poet

“He who is firmly seated in authority soon learns to think security, and not progress, the highest lesson of statecraft.”

Harold Lowman

“Politicians say they’re beefing up our economy. Most don’t know beef from pork.”

Lucanus [Marcus Annaeus Lucan] (39-65 A.D.)
Roman Poet

“And they are ignorant that the purpose of the sword is to save every man from slavery.”

Rosa Luxemburg (1880-1919)
Russian Political Therorist

“Freedom for supporters of the government only, for members of one party only--no matter how big its membership may be--is no freedom at all. Freedom is always freedom for the man who thinks differently.”