"If every person has the right to defend - even by force -
his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a
group of men have the right to organize and support a common force
to protect these rights constantly."
-The Law, by Frederic Bastiat, Paris, 1850
One Worlders on Soveriegnty
"The fiction of soveriegnty is clearly no longer compatible
"In short, the 'house of the world order' will have to be
built from the bottom up rather than the top down . . . An end run
around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will
accomplish more than the old fashioned frontal assault."
"Nationhood as we know it will be obsolete, all states will
recognize a single global authority. A phrase briefly fashionable in
the mid 20th century "a citizen of the world" will have
assumed real meaning..."
"World developement is not merely an economic process. It involves
a profound transformation of the entire economic and social structure."
"They're multipurpose. Not only do they put the clips on, but
they take them off."
-Pratt & Whitney spokesperson explaining why the company charged the Air Force nearly $1000 for an ordinary pair of pliers.
"The President has kept all of the promises he intended to
-Clinton aide George Stephanopolous speaking on Larry King Live
"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our
papers. We are the president."
-Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents
"We're going to turn this team around 360 degrees."
-Jason Kidd, upon his drafting to the Dallas Mavericks
"When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment
-Former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge
"It's like deja vu all over again."
"China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese"
-Former French President Charles De Gaulle
"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a
jack*ss, and I'm just the one to do it."
-A congressional candidate in Texas
"It is necessary for me to establish a winner image.
Therefore, I have to beat somebody."
-Richard M. Nixon
"A billion here, a billion there, sooner or later it adds
up to real money."
"A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on."
"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
-Philadelphia Phillies manager Danny Ozark
"Without censorship, things can get terribly confused in
the public mind."
-General William Westmoreland
"If you let that sort of thing go on, your bread and butter will be cut right out from under your feet." -Former British foreign minister Ernest Bevi
"A Fatal Tendency of Mankind
"Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing.
"But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man -- in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain."
-- Bastiat, "The Law", June 1850
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.
It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote
themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on, the
majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits
from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always
collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship."
Alexander Fraser Tyler, from "The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic."
"If a majority are capable of preferring their own private
interest, or that of their families, counties, and PARTY, to that
of the nation collectively, some provision must be made in the
constitution, in favor of justice, to compel all to respect the
common right, the public good, the universal law, in preference
to all private and partial considerations... And that the
desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice
and inhumanity against the minority, is demonstrated by
every page of history..... To remedy the dangers attendant upon
the arbitrary use of power, checks, however multiplied, will
scarcely avail without an explicit admission some limitation
of the right of the majority to excercise sovereign authority
over the individual citizen... In popular governments
[democracies], minorities [individuals] constantly run much
greater risk of suffering from arbitrary power than in
John Adams, "On Government", (1778)
"To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is it's justice; that is it's morality."
P.J. Proudhon, The General Idea of the Revolution in the 19th Century
If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution. When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed. Let me add that it is the great desideratum by which this form of government can be rescued from the opprobrium under which it has so long labored, and be recommended to the esteem and adoption of mankind.
By what means is this object attainable? Evidently by one of two only. Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression. If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals, and lose their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together, that is, in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful.
From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such 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. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.
A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.
James Madison - Federalist Paper #10, 1787
I am convinced, however, that anarchy is not the principal evil that democracies ages have to fear, but the least. For the principle of equality begets two tendencies: the one leads men straight to independence and may suddenly drive them into anarchy; the other conducts them by a longer, more secret, but more certain road to servitude. Nations readily discern the former tendency and are prepared to resist it; they are led away by the latter, without perceiving its drift; hence it is peculiarly important to point it out.
Vol 2, p.288 in Vintage edition of the Reeve translation of Democracy in America
"It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the
men of our choice to silence out fears for the safety of our rights;
confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism - free Government
is founded on jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy and
not confidence which prescribes limited Constitutions to bind down those
whom we are obliged to trust with power; our Constitution has accordingly
fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go; and
let the honest advocate of confidence read the Alien and Sedetion acts
and say if the Constitution has not been wise in fixing limits to the
government it created, and whether we should be wise in destroying
those limits. In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of
confidence in man, but bind him down from mishief by the chains of
Thomas Jefferson on Taxes:
"We are all doubtless bound to contribute a certain portion of our income to the support of charitable and other useful public institutions. But it is a part of our duty also to apply our contributions in the most effectual way we can to secure this object. The question then is whether this will not be better done by each of us appropriating our whole contribution to the institutions within our reach, under our own eye, and over which we can exercise some useful control? Or would it be better that each should divide the sum he can spare among all the institutions of his State or the United States? Reason and the interest of these institutions themselves, certainly decide in favor of the former practice."
Thomas Jefferson on infringements:
"I consider the Alien and Sedition laws as merely an experiment of the American mind to see how far it will bear an avowed violation of the Constitution."
Thomas Jefferson on adversity:
"The patriot, like the Christian, must learn to bear revilings and persecutions as a part of his duty; and in proportion as the trial is severe, firmness under it becomes more requisite and praiseworthy. It requires, indeed, self-command. But that will be fortified in proportion as the calls for its exercise are repeated."
Thomas Jefferson on rights, duty, and enforcing the Constitution:
"No society can make a perpetual Constitution or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation. They may manage it then, and what proceeds from it, as they please during their usufruct. They are masters, too, of their own persons, and consequently may govern them as they please. But persons and property make the sum of the objects of government. The Constitution and laws of their predecessers extinguished them, in their natural course, with those whose will gave them being. This could preserve that being till it ceased to be itself, and no longer. Every Constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right."
Thomas Jefferson on corporate America:
"I hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our Government to trial, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
Thomas Jefferson on the federal government:
"It is a singular phenomenon that while our State governments are the very best in the world, without exception or comparison, our general government has in the rapid course of nine or ten years become more arbitrary and has swallowed up more of the public liberty than even that of England."
Yet more from Thomas Jefferson:
"Every man and every body of men on earth possess the right of self-government. They receive it with their being from the hand of nature."
"In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will discover, and wickedness insensibly open, cultivate and improve. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.
Jefferson on Newspapers:
At a very early period in my life I determined never to put a sentence into any newspaper. I have religously adhered to the resolution through my life and have great reason to be contented with it. Were I to undertake to answer the calumnies of the newspapers it would be more than my time and twenty aids could effect. For, while I should be answering one, twenty new ones would be invented. I have thought it better to trust to the justice of my countrymen that they would judge me by what they see of my conduct on the stage where they have placed me.
Jefferson on the Press:
No Government ought to be without censors; and when the press is free, no one ever will. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth either in religion, law or politics. I think it as honorable to the government neither to know nor notice its sycophants or censors as it would be undignified and criminal to pamper the former and persecute the latter.
An interesting exchange on Email...
Alex Le Heux wrote:
>Let's also take a look at the Dutch performance during their
>occupation. While there certainly were many courageous Dutch people
>who helped refugees (at great personal risk, to say the least), and
>there were many courageous Dutch people who were in the resistance,
>there were also many Dutch people who did not perform so well. Not
>only were a large number of Jewish people turned in by Dutch
>informers, but there were even Dutch SS units.
You have a nerve. You, coming from a country where people are still
regularly killed in the name of racism, tell me this?!
The Same Old Guy replied:
Want the cold, hard facts of life, Bubba?
You didn't put WWII 'behind' you. We did!
Gun-loving Americans conquered your continent and gave you your countries back instead of enslaving you, like every other winner in history has done.
*** Certified Low Blow ***
Some of us discriminate against Jews. Do you know why?
Because we HAVE some!
*** Certified Low Blow ***
We were giving them refuge while Europe was massacring them by the millions. Now you have the balls to say we're not all treating them right all of the time.
Buy a fucking clue!
Revolutionary War Quotations
By Kristen Ballard
Many famous quotes came from the Revolutionary War. These were said by people to express and tell other people their feelings. Many affected people during battles, and some led to the beginning of some battles.
Before The War:
"If this be treason, make the most of it!"
"If our Trade be taxed, why not our Lands, or Produce in
short, everything we possess? They tax us without having legal
"The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and
New Englanders are no more. I AM NOT A VIRGINIAN, BUT AN AMERICAN!"
"... the very tails of American sheep are so are so laden with
wool that each sheep has little wagon to support its tail and to keep
it from trailing on the ground."
During the War:
"Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a
war, let it begin here."
"On our side, the war should be defensive we are now in a
[dangerous] position. Declining an engagement to flight may throw
discouragement over the minds of many, but when the fate of America
may be at Stake, we should continue the war as long as
"Where a goat can go, a man can go; and where a man can
go, he can drag a gun."
"We began a contest for liberty ill provided with the means
for the war, relying on our patriotism to supply the deficiency. We
expected to encounter many wants and distressed we must bear the
present evils and fortitude"
Quotes from Albert Einstein
"It is best, it seems to me, to separate one's inner striving from one's trade as far as possible. It is not good when one's daily break is tied to God's special blessing."
"It may affront the military-minded person to suggest a reqime that does not maintain any military secrets."
"It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure."
"So long as they don't get violent, I want to let everyone say what they wish, for I myself have always said exactly what pleased me."
"Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty."
"Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love."
"When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours that's relativity."
"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despiceable an ignoreable war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."
"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio, replied:
God doesn't play dice.
God may be subtle, but He isn't plain mean.
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
If A equals success, then the formula is A = X + Y + Z. X is > work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.
Man usually avoids attributing cleverness to somebody else -- unless it is an enemy.
The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.
"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."
"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
"Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish."
"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible."
"The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one."
"You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
"What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world."
"If one studies too zealously, one easily loses his pants."
Through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man's discovery of fire. This basic force of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow nationalisms. For there is no secret and there is no defense; there is no possibility of control except through the aroused understanding and insistence of the peoples of the world. We scientists recognise our inescapable responsibility to carry to our fellow citizens an understanding of atomic energy and its implication for society. In this lies our only security and our only hope - we believe that an informed citizenry will act for life and not for death.
If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
"When more of the people's sustenance is exacted through the
form of taxation than is necessary to meet the just obligations of
government, such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation
of the fundamental principles of a free government."
Grover Cleveland, Second Annual Message, December 1886
"We built your fort. We will not have it used against us." - John Wayne Allegheny Uprising
Restrictions of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous
of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most
easily defeat us.
- William O. Douglas
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's for which the sheep
thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for
the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the
wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.
- Abraham Lincoln
The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution
was in the minds and hearts of the people. This radical change in the
principles, opinions, sentiments and affections of the people was the
real American Revolution.
- John Adams
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent
- John F. Kennedy
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the
lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a
tiny ripple of hope...build(ing) a current that can sweep down the
mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
- Robert F. Kennedy
Those who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and
- John V. Lindsay
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation,
are men who want rain without thunder and lightning.
- Frederick Douglass
All civilization has from time to time become a thin crust over
a volcano of revolution.
- Havelock Ellis
Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's
inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
- Reinhold Niebuhr
The French Revolution of a hundred and fifty years ago gradually
ushered in an age of political equality, but the times have changed,
and that by itself is not enough today. The boundaries of democracy
have to be widened now so as to include economic equality also. This
is the great revolution through which we are all passing.
- Jawaharlal Nehru
If our economy of freedom fails to distribute wealth as ably as
it has created it, the road to dictatorship will be open to any man
who can persuasively promise security to all.
- Will Durant
Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgement
and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support
the totalitarian state.
- John Dewey
Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgement
and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support
the totalitarian state.
- John Dewey
I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual
rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content
itself with a passive or hereditary faith, which opens itself to
light whencesoever it may come, which receives new truth as an
angel from Heaven.
- William Ellery Channing
A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.
- Bertrand de Jouvenel
All the higher, more penetrating ideals are revolutionary. They
present themselves far less in the guise of effects of past
experience than in that of probable causes of future experience.
- William James
A regime, an established order, is rarely overthrown by a
revolutionary movement; usually a regime collapses of its own
weakness and corruption and then a revolutionary movement enters
among the ruins and takes over the powers that have become vacant.
- Walter Lippman
Government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit
and security of the people, nation or community; whenever any
government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes,
a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable,
indefeasible right, to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner
as shall be judged most conducive to the public Weal.
You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy.
You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.
- G.K. Chesterton
Here in America we a descended in blood and in spirit from
revolutionists and rebels- men and women who dared to dissent from
accepted doctrine. As their heirs, we may never confuse honest
dissent with disloyal subversion.
- Dwight Eisenhower
He who would be free must strike the first blow.
- Frederick Douglass
Those who give the first shock to a state are the first overwhelmed
in its ruin; the fruits of public commotion are seldom enjoyed by him
who was the first mover; he only beats the water for another's net.
- Michel De Montaigne
There is a kind of revolution of so general a character that it
changes the tastes as well as the fortunes of the world.
- La Rochefoucauld
The art of revolutionizing and overturning states is to undermine
established customs, by going back to their origin, in order to
mark their want of justice.
- Blaise Pascal
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, and are left to
the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force
- John Locke
"We have to yet really seriously debate the constitutional
issues and whether or not we're willing to give up more freedom in
order to have more security"
-- U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen, 3 Feb 1999
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Ben Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
[The Clinton Administration]...may
find it useful to invoke the commitments made here [in the UN]
to Americans as a lever to
persuade the gun lobby.
- Unidentified diplomat quoted by the Washington Post, on using UN agreements to circumvent the Second Amendment
The right just doesn't exist.
Clearly, the states no longer need protection from
the federal government disarming their "well-regulated"
militia. The Second Amendment no longer speaks to
us. The Second Amendment has no modern day application.
The Second Amendment is dead.
- Judge Ron Greenburg, 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals
Our ultimate goal- total control of
handguns in the United States- is going to take time...The first
problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns being
produced...The second problem is to get handguns registered. And
the final problem is to make the possession of handguns and all
handgun ammunition- except for the military, policemen, licensed
security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun
collectors- totally illegal.
- Nelson Shields (Sarah Brady's predecessor at Handgun Control, Inc.) to the New Yorker Magazine, July 26, 1976, pp. 53
There is no reason for anyone in
this country- anyone except a police officer or military person-
to buy, to own, to have, to use a handgun. The only way to control
handgun use in this country is to prohibit the guns.
- President Bill Clinton, while signing the Brady Bill, 1993
I am one who believes that as a
first step, the United States should move expeditiously to
disarm the civilian population, other than police and security
officers, of all handguns, pistols, and revolvers...No one
should have the right to anonymous ownership or use of a
- Professor Dean Morris, director of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, as stated to the Congress
We're bending the law as far as we
can to ban an entirely new class of guns.
- Rahm Emmanuel
[Each member government]...shall
ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations, and administrative
procedures with it obligations [ to the World Trade
- Article 16, paragraph 4, of the WTO charter
[The problem is]...small arms are
spreading throughout society with little documentation, since
they are frequently bought from private individuals.
- UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Vienna, May 1996
The WTO is dejure [legally] world
- William Holder, deputy general counsel to the World Trade Organization
[President Clinton]...ordered the
Justice Department to begin studying gun licensing, registration,
and collection proposals.
- The Washington Times, December 12, 1993
...The purpose of the 2nd Amendment
is to guarantee the existence of state military forces that can serve
as a counterweight to a standing federal army. Thus, it seems
fair to say, the scope of any rights enjoyed by the states under the
2nd Amendment would be determined by the goal of preserving an independent
military force not under direct federal control.
- Dennis Hennigan, director of HCI's Legal Action Project
...The purpose of government is to rein
in the rights of the people.
- President Bill Clinton, during an interview on MTV in 1993
There are some weapons that are just
so dangerous that society has a right and the obligation even to
take those weapons out of circulation.
- New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, on the state's "assault weapons" ban, 1993
...When we got organized as a
country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical
Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to
Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom
would use it responsibly....[However, now] there's a lot of
irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there's too much freedom.
When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit
- President Bill Clinton, as stated on MTV's Enough is Enough, March 22, 1994
The thought that average citizens
will somehow be better able to successfully defend themselves more
effectively than our nation's trained professionals is
- Official statement from Handgun Control, Inc.
"It will be of little avail to the
people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the
laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent
that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before
they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man
who knows that the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow.
Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule,
which is little known, and less fixed?"
--James Madison, Federalist #62
If a Nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of
civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.... If we
are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the
responsibility of every American to be informed.
The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storms may enter, the rain may enter,--but the King of England cannot enter; all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. 1708-1778. (Speech on the Excise Bill)
"You see these dictators on their
pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the
truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken
- unspeakable! - fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words
spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful
because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse -
a little tiny mouse! - of thought appears in the room, and even the
mightiest potentates are thrown into panic."
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 own good will torment us
without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
- C.S. Lewis
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
- Justice Louis D. Brandeis