Many people say that government is necessary because some men cannot be trusted to look after themselves, but anarchists say that government is harmful because no men can be trusted to look after anyone else.
Every man should be his own government, his own law, his own church.
The rights of the individual should be the primary object of all governments.
Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.
Let me . . . warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party.
But when no risk is taken there is no freedom. It is thus that, in an industrial society, the plethora of laws made for our personal safety convert the land into a nursery, and policemen hired to protect us become self-serving busybodies.
Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind.
Man is constantly being assured today that he has more power than ever before in history, but his daily experience is one of powerlessness. If he is with a business organization, the odds are great that he has sacrificed every other kind of independence in return for that dubious one known as financial. Modern social and corporate organization makes independence an expensive thing; in fact, it may make common integrity a prohibitive luxury for the ordinary man.
"The most insidious idea employed to break down society is an undefined equalitarianism. . . . [Once the egalitarians achieve their goals], they merely substitute a bureaucratic hierarchy [for natural social differentiations].
The bomb was an unparalleled means; was this not enough? . . . [If the specialists had] known that their efforts were being directed to the slaughter of noncombatants on a scale never before contemplated, or to a perfection of brutality . . . , [a few] might have refused complicity. . . . Perhaps [these few] would have had some concept of war as an institution which forbids aimless killing . . . .
Two rights must be respected: the right of cultural pluralism where different cultures have developed, and the right of cultural autonomy in the development of a single culture.
[World War II] ended in a situation in which we make perpetual war in order to have a distant perpetual peace.
A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.
The peoples government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people.
Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any body of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.
Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command; for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.
If we dont end war, war will end us.
The Social Contract is nothing more or less than a vast conspiracy of human beings to lie to and humbug themselves and one another for the general Good. Lies are the mortar that bind the savage individual man into the social masonry.
Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in the public mind.
The military dont start wars. Politicians start wars.
War is fear cloaked in courage.
Liberty is never out of bounds or off limits; it spreads wherever it can capture the imagination of men.
What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and own no superior.
Where the populace rise at once against the never-ending audacity of elected persons.
Does there exist a nobler inspiration than the desire to be free? It is by his freedom that a man knows himself, by his sovereignty over his own life. To violate freedom, to flout that sovereignty, is to deny man the right to live his life, to take responsibility for himself with dignity.
Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is mans original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.
As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination,
The history of liberty is a history of limitation of government power, not the increase of it.
Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down. Concessions obtaind by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. [from unpublished paper in 1907, quoted in William E. Diamond, The Economic Thought of Woodrow Wilson]
Our industries have expanded to such a point that they will burst their jacksts if they cannot find a free outlet to the markets of the world . . . . Our domestic markets no longer suffice. We need foreign markets. [1912, quoted in William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy]
Government is an unnecessary evil. Human beings, when accustomed to taking responsibility for their own behavior, can cooperate on a basis of mutual trust and helpfulness.
No true reform is possible that leaves government intact. Appeals to a government for a redress of grievances, even when acted upon, only increase the supposed legitimacy of the government's acts, and add to its amassed power.
Government will be abolished when its subjects cease to grant it legitimacy. Government cannot exist without at least the tacit consent of the populace. This consent is maintained by keeping people in ignorance of their real power. Voting is not an expression of power, but an admission of powerlessness, since it cannot do otherwise than reaffirm the government's supposed legitimacy.
Every person must have the right to make all decisions about his or her own life. All moralistic meddling in the private affairs of freely-acting persons is unjustified. Behavior which does not affect uninvolved persons is nobody's business but the participants.
We are not bound by constitutions or agreements made by our ancestors. Any constitution, contract, or agreement that purports to bind unborn generations or in fact anyone other than the actual parties to it, is a despicable lie and a presumptuous fraud. We are free agents liable only for such as we undertake.
All governments survive on theft and extortion, called taxation.
All governments force their decrees on the people, and command obedience under threats.
The principal outrages of history have been committed by governments, while every advancement of thought, every betterment in the human condition, has come about through the practices of voluntary coöperation and individual initiative. The principle of government, which is force, is opposed to the free exercise of our ability to think, act and coöperate.
Whenever government is established, it causes more harm than it forestalls.
All governments enlarge upon and extend their powers. Under government, the rights of individuals constantly diminish.