More notes on liberty, self reliance, personal responsibility, and a few funny quotes, from the facebook wall of Lawrence "Larry" W. Reed of the FEE, in 2011-2012.
"It will take America fifteen years of steadily taking care of our own business and letting everybody else's alone, to get us back to where everybody speaks to us again" -- humorist Will Rogers, in a prophetic comment from seven or eight decades ago.
"The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind" -- Thomas Paine.
"One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands in the midst of the struggle and says, 'I have it,' merely shows by doing so that he has just lost it" -- 19th Century playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen.
"Compared with the totality of knowledge which is continually utilized in the evolution of a dynamic civilization, the difference between the knowledge that the wisest and that which the most ignorant individual can deliberately employ is comparatively insignificant" -- F. A. Hayek, who also wrote that "...the case for individual freedom rests largely on the recognition of the inevitable and universal ignorance of all of us concerning a great many of the factors on which the achievements of our ends and welfare depend."
"A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom" -- Milton Friedman.
"Subsidies entail politicians’ taking the citizen’s paycheck and then using it to buy his submission" -- James Bovard.
"I don't want my children fed or clothed by the state, but if I had to choose, I would prefer that to their being educated by the state" -- Max Victor Belz.
In a free society, there are no such things as a "right" to compel a fellow worker to join or pay dues to a labor organization, a "right" to represent another against his will, or a "right" to use the loot from forced dues to buy politicians who will then loot both taxpayers and workers even more.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen" -- Sam Adams.
As a new year approaches, this advice attributed to Benjamin Franklin deserves special attention: "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."
"[T]he saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanquished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch for a saving hand while yet there was time" -- George Sutherland of Utah (1862-1942), U. S. Supreme Court Justice.
"Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to" -- William E. Vaughan.
"The greatest sign of a success for a teacher is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist'" -- Maria Montessori.
"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a family all wrapped up in each other" -- William E. Vaughan.
"Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it" -- William Haley.
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited" -- Plutarch. This, in a nutshell, explains a large measure of the success of home schooling over traditional government schooling.
"Economists report that a college education adds many thousands of dollars to a man's lifetime income--which he then spends sending his son to college" -- the late columnist Bill Vaughan.
"Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status" -- Laurence J. Peter.
"Bureaucracy is the glue that greases the wheels of progress" -- unknown author.
"The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects--his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity" -- Henry Hazlitt.
"It is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislature to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them" -- Thomas Jefferson.
Some people think of Big Government as their SANTA. Put the "N" at the end of the word instead of the middle and that's what it looks more like to me.
"The struggle for freedom...is not the struggle of the many against the few, but of minorities--sometimes of a minority of one man against the majority" -- Ludwig von Mises, the greatest of the "Austrian" economists and, I'm proud to say, the teacher of my teacher, the late Dr. Hans Sennholz.
"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world?' You are" -- Ayn Rand.
"Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow" -- Elias Boudinot, president of the Continental Congress (1782-83) and America's second president under the Articles of Confederation.
"A recent poll showed that nearly half the American public believes that the government should redistribute wealth. That so many people are so willing to blithely put such an enormous and dangerous arbitrary power in the hands of politicians--risking their own freedom, in hopes of getting what someone else has--is a painful sign of how far many citizens and voters fall short of what is needed to preserve a democratic republic" -- Thomas Sowell.
"Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures" -- Horace Greeley, editor and educator (1811-1872).
"The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none" -- Thomas Carlyle, historian and author (1795-1881).
"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse" -- James Madison.
"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere" -- Thomas Jefferson.
The Eighth Commandment says "Thou shalt not steal." It doesn't say "Thou shalt not steal unless the other guy has more than you do, or unless you're sure you need it more or could spend it better, or unless you hire a politician do it for you "democratically." -- LWR
"The collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful" -- Calvin Coolidge.
"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost" -- John Quincy Adams (not a particularly good president but he was spot-on in this instance).
"I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge pope and king unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power....Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" -- the famous quote from Lord Acton, to which I add the Reed Corollary: "Power attracts the corrupt."
"I will not attempt to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money" -- Davy Crockett, (1786-1836), concerning a proposed relief bill for the widow of a naval officer.
"I believe that there is a moral and constitutional equivalence between laws designed to subjugate a race and those that distribute benefits on the basis of race in order to foster some current notion of equality....In my mind, government-sponsored racial discrimination based on benign prejudice is just as noxious as discrimination inspired by malicious prejudice" -- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
"Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody" -- Calvin Coolidge.
"What is common to many is least taken care of, for all men have greater regard for what is their own than what they possess in common with others" --Aristotle (384-322 BC). Twenty-eight centuries later, so-called "progressives" still can't muster the brainpower to comprehend this. So why on earth are they called "progressive"?
"With the exception only of the period of the gold standard, practically all governments of history have used their exclusive power to issue money to defraud and plunder the people" -- F. A. Hayek, Nobel laureate, Austrian economist and political theorist, and author of "The Road to Serfdom."
"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful" -- Samuel Johnson, English writer and lexicographer (1709-1784).
"A good reputation is something you must pay for, but you can never buy" -- unknown author.
"Don't approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side" -- unknown author.
"A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit" -- unknown author.
From the Department of Bad Jokes: "A wife says to her husband, 'You're always pushing me around and talking behind my back.' He says, 'What do you expect? You're in a wheel chair.'"
"We demand entire freedom of action and then expect the government in some miraculous way to save us from the consequences of our own acts....Self-government means self-reliance" -- Calvin Coolidge, 30th U.S. president.
"The value of life is not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them; a man may live long yet very little" -- Michel de Montaigne, French essayist (1533-1592).
"No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs" -- Frederic Bastiat.
"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence" -- John Adams.
" . . . 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, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence" -- John Locke (as written by him in 17th Century English).
"There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice" -- Montesquieu.
"No man has ever ruled other men for their own good" -- George Herron, American clergyman (1862-1925).
"Liberty and good government do not exclude each other; and there are excellent reasons why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end" -- Lord Acton.
"Any man's life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day" -- Booker T. Washington.
"Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy): a system of government in which the least capable to lead are elected by the least willing to produce, and where the members of society least likely to succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers" -- author unknown.
"All history is one long story to this effect: men have struggled for power over their fellow men in order that they might win the joys of earth at the expense of others, might shift the burdens of life from their own shoulders upon those of others" -- William Graham Sumner.
"A good conscience is a continual Christmas" -- Benjamin Franklin.
"I am only one, but still, I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something. And, because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do what I can" -- Edward Everett Hale, American clergyman and writer (1822-1909).
"Legislators seem to regard the passage of laws as much more important than the results of their enforcement" -- William Howard Taft, 27th U.S. President.
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great" -- Mark Twain.