|Coase on economic man: "There is no reason
to suppose that most human beings are engaged in maximizing anything unless
it be unhappiness, and even this with incomplete success" (Ronald Coase,
Firm, the Market, and the Law, U of Chicago Press, 1988), p.4.
|Salzman on Comparative Political Economy: "Well...the world
is basically divided into two kinds of countries -- communist countries
and capitalist countries. A capitalist country is a place where people
own things privately and can become more wealthy than other people. They
use money to get whatever they want, and can oppress poor people. A communist
country is a place where the government owns everything. That way, everyone
is equal, and no one can be oppressed. Without money, people share willingly
with each other and help each other rather than just helping themselves.
Everyone works for the good of the people, not just for personal gain."
Colonel Sun thought about this for a moment, then burst into derisive laughter.
"The capitalists sound pretty normal," he observed, "but that communist
arrangement sounds like a lot of crap to me." [The Laughing Sutra,
There is a story that Communism, Capitalism, and Socialism decided to
have lunch together one day. Communism and Capitalism were on time, but
Socialism arrived late. He said, "I'm sorry I am late, but I had to queue
up to buy some sausage. Communism said, "What's a sausage?," and Capitalism
said "What's a queue?" [The Laughing Sutra, p. 210]
Quine on Cultural Relativism: Truth, says the cultural relativist,
is culture-bound. But if it were, then he, within his own culture, ought
to see his own culture-bound truth as absolute. He cannot proclaim cultural
relativism without rising above it, and he cannot rise above it without
giving it up. [Willard Van Orman Quine, "On empirically equivalent systems
of the world," Erkenntnis, Vol. 9 (1975), pp. 327-8 (pp. 313-28).]
Roger Sperry on Reductionism: We no longer seek ultimate nature
of reality within the smallest physical elements, nor in their innermost
essence. Instead the search is redirected to focus primarily on the patterning
of the elements, on their differential pacing and timing and the progressive
compounding of patterns of patterns, and on their evolving nature and complexity.
(American Psychologist, Vol. 50, No. 7, 506)
John O'Brien: "The desire of one man to live on the fruits of
another's labor is the original sin of the world." [George Seldes, ed.,
Great Thoughts (Ballentine Books, 19850, p. 314]
Rand on Human Nature: "Man gains enormous values from dealing
with other men: living in a human society is his proper way of life - but
only on certain conditions. Man is not a lone wolf and he is not a social
animal. He is a contractual animal. He has to plan his life long-range,
make his own choices, and deal with other men by voluntary agreement (and
he has to be able to rely on their observance of the agreement they entered)."
["A Nation's Unity," Ayn Rand Letter, Vol. II, 2, p. 3.]
Alexis de Tocqueville on business: "The transactions of business
opened a new road to power, and the financier rose to a station of political
influence in which he was at once flattered and despised." [Democracy
in America, p. xxxvi]
Jostein Gaarner on the supernatural: "So you don't believe in
anything supernatural then." "We've already talked about that. Even the
term 'supernatural' is a curious one. No, I suppose I believe that there
is only one nature. But that, on the other hand, is absolutely astonishing."
(Sophie's World, p. 360)
Arthur Miller on salesmen: His was a salesman's profession, if
one may describe such dignified slavery as a profession…("In Memoriam,"
New Yorker, December 25, 1995 & January 1, 1996)
Business Besmirched: In 1769 [Benjamin] Franklin had written
to his friend Henry Home, Lord Cames, the Scottish jurist and philosopher:
`There seems to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first
is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors.
This is robbery. The second is by commerce, which is generally cheating.
The third by agriculture, the only honest way....'"[from Forest MacDonald,
Ayn Rand on Value: Metaphysically, life is the only phenomenon
that is an end in itself: a value gained and kept by a constant process
of action. Epistemologically, the concept of "value" is genetically dependent
upon and derived from the antecedent concept of "life." To speak of "value"
as apart from "life" is worse than a contradiction in terms. It is only
the concept of 'Life' that makes the concept of 'Value' possible. . . .In
answer to those philosophers who claim that no relation can be established
between ultimate ends or values and the facts of reality [i.e., who pose
the "is/ought" gap problem], let me stress that the fact that living entities
exist and function necessitates the existence of values and of an ultimate
value which for any given living entity is its own life . . . .The fact
that a living entity is determines that it ought to do. [The Virtue
of Selfishness (New York: Signet Books, 1967), pp. 15-17]
Karl Popper: I think that values enter the world with life; and
if there is life without consciousness (as I think there may well be, even
in animals and man, for there appears to be such a thing as dreamless sleep)
then, I suggest, there will also be objective values, even without consciousness.
[Karl Popper, Unending Quest (Glasgow: Fontana/Collins, 1974), p.
Positive Rights: Socialist rights are more positive, less dependent
on the activation of the right-holder, more directed toward the protection
and furtherance of those concerns which express the needs of active and
creatively productive social beings than is the case with capitalist rights.
Socialist rights are more organizational than political in that they inform
the co-operative social effort rather than represent demands to be disputed
and traded-off against each other. They are devices to secure the benefits
which can be derived from harmonious communal living, not protections for
the individual against the predations of others. Socialist rights are highly
dependent on others fulfilling their correlative obligations, but are not
conditional on the right-holders fulfilling their own obligations, although
in practice socialist rights and socialist duties tend to coalesce, as
in the case of the right and duty to work. [Tom Campbell, The Left and
Rights, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983, p. 213]
Communists and Nazis: [There is] the profound difference between
Marxists, who identified with the weak and spoke the language of social
justice, and fascists, who identified with an elite and spoke the language
of racism and violence. [Victor Navasky, Naming Names, p. 411]
|K. Marx on non-violent revolutions: You know that the institutions,
mores, and traditions of various countries must be taken into consideration
and we do not deny that there are countries--such as America, England,
and if I were more familiar with your institutions, I would perhaps also
add Holland-- where workers can attain their goal by peaceful means. [The
Karl Marx Library Vol. I: On Revolution, ed., Soul R. Padover (McGraw-
Hill, 1971), p. 64]
Marx on Revolution: If the Russian Revolution becomes the signal
for a proletarian revolution in the West, so that both complement each
other, the present Russian common ownership of land may serve as the starting-point
for a communist development. [Karl Marx, Selected Writings (Oxford
UP, 1977), ed., D. McLennan]
Marx on Economic Man: The economists express it like this: each
person has his private interests in mind, and nothing else; as a consequence
he serves everyone's private interests, i.e., the general interest, without
wishing to or knowing that he is. The irony of this is not that the totality
of private interest--which is the same as the general interest--can be
attained by the individual's following his own interest. Rather it could
be inferred from this abstract phrase that everyone hinders the satisfaction
of everyone else's interest, that instead of a general affirmation, the
result of this war of all against all is rather a general negation. The
point is rather that private interest is itself already a socially determined
interest, which can only be achieved within the conditions established
by society and through the means that society affords, and that it is thus
linked to the reproduction of these conditions and means. It is certainly
the interest of private individuals that is at stake; but its content,
as well as the form and the means of its realisation, is only given by
social conditions independent of all these individuals. [Grundrisse,
New York: Harper & Row, 1970, pp. 65-66]
This kind of liberty [free competition] is thus at the same time the
most complete suppression of all individual liberty and total subjugation
of individuality to social conditions which take the form of material forces--and
even of all-powerful objects that are independent of the individuals relating
to them. The only rational answer to the deification of free competition
by the middle-class prophets, or its diapolisation by the socialists, lies
in its own development. [Ibid, p. 131]
Marx on Individuality: Free individuality, which is founded on
the universal development of individuals and the domination of their communal
and social productivity, which has become their social power, is the third
stage [of society]. [Grundrisse, NY: H&R, 1970, p. 67]
Marx on exchange: . . .the exchange relationship establishes
itself as a force externally opposed to the producers, and independent
of them. [Ibid, p. 61] The private exchange of all the products of labour,
capacities and activities is opposed to the distribution founded on the
spontaneous or political hierarchy of individuals within patriarchal, ancient
or feudal societies (where exchange only plays a secondary role and hardly
affects the entire life of communities, since it only occurs between them
and does not dominate all the relationships of production and commerce).
But private exchange is opposed just as much to the free exchange of associated
individuals on the basis of collective appropriation and control of the
means of production. . . .[Ibid., 68]
|S. Maugham: Looking for the special function of man Aristotle
decided that since he shares growth with the plants and perception with
the beasts, and alone has a rational element, his function is the activity
of the soul. From this he concluded, not as you would have thought sensible,
that man should cultivate the three forms of activity which he ascribes
to him, but that he should pursue only that which is especial to him. Philosophers
and moralists have looked at the body with misgivings. They have pointed
out that its satisfactions are brief. But a pleasure is nonetheless a pleasure
because it does not please forever. [W. S. Maugham, The Summing Up
(Pocket Books, 1967), pp. 35-6]
I have never found that suffering improves the character. Its influence
to refine and ennoble is a myth. A Writer's Notebook [Penguin, 1967],
I have suffered from poverty and the anguish of unrequited love, disappointment,
disillusion, lack of opportunity and recognition, want of freedom; and
I know that they made me envious and uncharitable, irritable, selfish,
unjust; prosperity, success, happiness, have made me a better man. [Ibid]
To some, Prometheus, chained to his rock and strong in his unconquerable
courage, is a more inspiring example than that other, hanging on a shameful
cross, who besought His Father to forgive His enemies because they knew
not what they did. Resignation is too close to apathy for the spirited
mind. [Ibid, 148]
...intuition, [is] a subject upon which certain philosophers have reared
an imposing edifice of surmise, but which seems to me to offer as insecure
a foundation for any structure more substantial than a Castle in Spain
as a ping pong ball wavering on a jet of water in a shooting gallery. [Ibid,
I have read much philosophy, and though I do not see how it is possible
to refuse intellectual assent to certain theories of the Absolute, I can
find nothing in them to induce me to depart from my instinctive disbelief
in what is usually meant by the word religion. I have little patience with
the writers who try to reconcile in one conception the Absolute of the
metaphysician with the God of Christianity. But if I had had any doubts,
the [First World] war would have effectually silenced them.
The majority of us are fairly decent, doing our best in that state of
life in which chance has placed us; and if we believe in a judgment we
feel that God has too much wisdom and good sense to bother much about failings
which we mortals have no difficulty in forgiving in our neighbors. [Ibid,
Willard Gaylin on the Individual: We have created an artifact,
the isolated self, that does not exist in biological truth. (On Being
and Becoming Human [New York: Penguin Books, 1991])
Graham Greene on Altruism: None of us has a right to forget anyone.
Except ourselves. Loser Takes All [Penguin, 1993, p. 51]
Dick Francis on Business ethics: There was no particular secret,
as far as I knew, about where the finance for Sandcastle had come from,
but it was up to Oliver Knowels to reveal it, not me. I thought Calder
would have been interested, but bankers' ethics as usually kept me quiet.
[Dick Francis, Banker, Putnam, 1982, p. 106]
Shirley Christian on Marxist Imperialism: Internationalism--the
assistance of fellow revolutionaries--is a key element of the faith to
Marxist-Leninists, and telling them not to practice it is like telling
priests not to pray. [Shirley Christian, The Atlantic, August 1983,
The Folly of Intuitionism: To us today the revelation of the
legal murders and cruelties connected with the trial of children are revolting.
We have become so habituated to the kindly and even anxious atmosphere
of the Children's Courts, that it is hard to believe that the full ceremonial,
the dread ordeal, of the Assize Courts could have been brought into use
against little children of seven years and upwards--judges uttering their
cruel legal platitudes; the chaplain sitting by assenting; the Sheriff
in his impressive uniform; ladies coming to the Court to be entertained
by such a sight--the spectacle of a terrified little child about to receive
the death sentence which the verdict of 12 men, probably fathers of families
themselves, had given the judge power to pass. [Ernest W. Pettifer, Punishments
of Former Days (East Ardsley, England: EP Publishing, Ltd., 1974),
F. A. Hayek on prices: [Hayek notes] how little the individual
participants need know in order to be able to take the right action. In
abbreviated form, by a kind of symbol, only to those concerned. It is more
than a metaphor to describe the price system of telecommunications which
enables individual producers to watch merely the movements of a few pointers,
as an engineer might watch the hands of a few dials, in order to adjust
their activities to changes of which they may never know more than is reflected
in the price movement. [F. A. Hayek, Individualism & Economic Order,
Socrates on Reason: Not for the first time, but always, I am
the sort of person who is persuaded by nothing in me except the proposition
which seems to me the best when I reason about it. [Socrates]
Mill on Radical ideas: Every great movement must experience three
stages: Ridicule, discussion, adoption. [J.S. Mill]
Homo economicus: It is a basic dictum of economic theory that
all economic agents, including consumers, act to improve their "utility"
or self-assessed well-being. Nicholas Eberstadt, "Are smokers rational?"
Public Interest, No. 111 (Spring 1993), p. 109.
On the homo economicus conception of human behavior: The private
interest is whatever it is that drives an individual. [Milton Friedman,
"The Line we Dare Not Cross," Encounter, November 1976, p. 11]
Andrei Gromyko on human rights: Human Rights! New York is where
you should look for violations. There, the people have to sleep on the
sidewalks and sift through garbage cans. [Quoted in Time 6/25/84
The New Testament on fairness: The kingdom of heaven is like
a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work his vineyard.
He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace
doing nothing. He told them 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I
will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. He went out again about
the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh
hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them,
'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?' 'Because
no one has hired us,' they answered. He said to them, 'You also go and
work in my vineyard.' When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said
to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with
the last ones hired and going to the first.' The workers who were hired
about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those
came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one
of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to
grumble against the land-owner. 'These men who were hired last worked only
one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne
the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' But he answered one of
them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for
a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired
last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with
my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?' So the last will
be first, and the first will be last. [Matthew 20]
Emerson on freedom Intellect annuls Fate. So far as a man thinks,
he is free....The revelation of Thought takes man out of servitude into
freedom. [Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Fate"]
On positive liberty: We shall probably all agree that freedom,
rightly understood, is the greatest of blessings; that its attainment is
the true end of all our efforts as citizens. But when we thus speak of
freedom, we should consider carefully what we mean by it. We do not mean
merely freedom from restraint or compulsion. We do not mean merely freedom
to do as we like irrespective of what it is that we like. We do not mean
a freedom that can be enjoyed by one man or one set of men at the cost
of a loss of freedom to others. When we speak of freedom as something to
be so highly prized, we mean a positive power or capacity of doing or enjoying
something worth doing or enjoying, and that, too, something that we do
or enjoy in common with others. We mean by it a power which each man exercises
through the help or security given him by his fellow-men, and which he
in turn helps to secure for them. When we measure the progress of a society
by its growth in freedom, we measure it by the increasing development and
exercise on the whole of those powers of contributing to social good with
which we believe the members of the society to be endowed; in short, by
the greater power on the part of the citizens as a body to make the most
and best of themselves ... [T. H. Green, "Lecture on Liberal Legislation
and Freedom of Contract," in B. J. Diggs, ed., The State, Justice, and
the Common Good (Glenville, Ill.: Scott, Foresman and Co., 1974), originally
published in 1881, p. 215]
On State Ownership: . . . in a society where everything is nationalised
and is the property of the state, anybody can be expropriated and subject
to export. The East German Minister of Culture once announced in Leipzig
that "Unsere Literatur gehort uns (Our literature belongs to us!) . . .
." What he meant was that it didn't belong to you, or to some "common national
culture of two separate states (which the DDR's constitution still mentions),
most certainly not to the shared language or the outside world. In Germany
the phrase for chattel slaves or indentured servants was Leibeigenen, for
the bodies belonged to their owners; now we have the new concept of Geisteigene,
for minds and spirits are also part of the new social property relations.
When a bureaucracy considers itself to be the owner of literature, then
it has the absolute personal right not only to cultivate its own garden
but also to remove ruthlessly such weeds as it deems harmful. [Francois
Bondy, "European Diary, Exist This Way," Encounter, 4/81, pp. 42-3]
Adam Smith on virtue: Ancient moral philosophy proposed to investigate
wherein consisted the happiness and perfection of a man, considered not
only as an individual, but as the member of a family, of a state, and of
the great society of mankind. In that philosophy the duties of human life
were treated of as subservient to the happiness and perfection of human
life. But when moral, as well as natural philosophy, came to be taught
only as subservient to theology, the duties of human life were treated
of as chiefly subservient to the happiness of a life to come. In the ancient
philosophy the perfection of virtue was represented as necessarily productive
to the person who possessed it, of the most perfect happiness in this life.
In the modern philosophy it was frequently represented as almost always
inconsistent with any degree of happiness in this life, and heaven was
to be earned by penance and mortification, not by the liberal, generous,
and spirited conduct of a man. By far the most important of all the different
branches of philosophy became in this manner by far the most corrupted.
[The Wealth of Nations, Modern Library Edition, page 726]
Adam Smith on morality: It is not the love of our neighbour,
it is not the love of mankind, which upon many occasions prompts us to
the practice of those divine virtues. It is a stronger love, a more powerful
love, which generally takes place upon such occasions: the love of what
is honourable and noble, of the grandeur, and dignity, and superiority
of our own character. [The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Indianapolis,
Indiana: Liberty Classics, 1759, 1976), Pt. III, Ch. 3, p. 235.]
Social Sciences: . . . There is a growing dissatisfaction throughout
these disciplines [the social sciences . . . sociology, economics, political
sciences, and psychology], a sense that time-honored methods and assumptions,
based largely on the natural sciences, are conceptually and morally bankrupt
and need to be replaced by more sophisticated models. After so many failed
prophecies, so much trivial research, and so little progress toward the
discovery of the "laws" of social behavior, the refrain with which conventional
empirical studies typically end--"More research is needed"-- is beginning
to sound hollow indeed. Hillary Putnam of Harvard, once a champion of a
more traditional notion of scientific knowledge, is one of a number of
philosophers who now question the very idea of a social science. We would
do better, he says, to talk more modestly of "the social studies." [Louis
A. Sass, "Anthropology's Native Problems," Harper's Magazine, May
'86, p. 50]
Positive Freedom: The highest type of freedom--freedom in the
ethical sphere--is the guidance of one's actions by the living, actual
principles of one's community, clearly understood and deliberately accepted,
and in secure confidence that other community members will act in the same
way. [Z. A. Pelczynski, "The Hegelian Conception of the State," in Z. A.
Pelczynski, ed., Hegel's Political Philosophy: Problems and Perspectives
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), p. 9]
Property Rights and Morality: Of course, in a world in which
many people coexist, and which, partly because of the fact, exhibits the
phenomenon of scarcity, there is no possibility of respecting another unless
one can define both oneself and the other, at least in the sense of the
ability to determine where the one ends and the other begins. In verbal
communication the boundary is obvious enough: people are biologically distinct
entities. But in other sorts of interaction the situation is different:
people use many "things" that are not part of their biological organism,
and when they use them they turn them into means for the realization of
their purposes--they bestow a meaning on them (grain becomes food, clay
becomes building material, and so on). But many different people could
use the same "thing" as means for many different and incompatible purposes.
(Does the grain become food for human beings or for someone's collection
of exotic birds? Does it become "my food" or "your food"?) In order to
respect others as rational agents we must know the distinction between
"mine" and "thine." [Frank Van Dun, "Economics and the Limits of Value-Free
Science," Reason Papers, No. 11 (Spring 1986), p. 27]
Economics and Morality: To explain economics and then withhold
moral judgments seems to me to be wrong. You leave a conflict between law
and economics unresolved. The parallel with biology isn't fair. Biology
doesn't purport to deal with human behavior, and economics does claim to
explain such behavior. It deals not with cells or stones but with human
beings, and human beings have moral components. Your philosophy doesn't
accommodate those components. [Judge Harold Leventhal, District of Columbia,
quoted in "Judges Discover the World of Economics," by Walter Guzzardi,
Jr., Fortune, May 21, 1979, p. 60]
Milton Friedman: . . . every individual serves his own private
interest . . . . The great Saints of history have served their 'private
interest' just as the most money grubbing miser has served his interest.
The private interest is whatever it is that drives an individual. "The
Line We Dare Not Cross," Encounter, 11/76:11
Gary Becker: The combined assumptions of maximizing behavior,
market equilibrium, and stable preferences, used relentlessly and unflinchingly,
form the heart of the economic approach as I see it. The Economic Approach
to Human Behavior [U. of Choice Press, 1976]
George Stigler: . . . Man is eternally a utility-maximizer--in
his home, in his office (be it public or private), in his church, in his
scientific work--in short, everywhere. Lecture II, Tanner Lectures,
Harvard University, April 1980. In Richard McKenzie, The Limits of Economic
Science [Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff Publ., 1983], p. 6.
James Buchanan: . . . once the body politic begins to get overly
concerned about the distribution of the pie under existing property-rights
assignments and legal rules, once we begin to think either about the personal
gains from law-breaking, privately or publicly, or about the disparities
between existing imputations and those estimated to be forthcoming under
some idealized anarchy, we are necessarily precluding and forestalling
the achievement of potential structural changes that might increase the
size of the pie for all. Too much concern for [distributive] "justice"
acts to insure that "growth" will not take place, and for reasons much
more basic than the familiar economic incentives arguments. [Reason
Politicians and bureaucrats are seen as ordinary persons, and "politics"
is viewed as a set of arrangements, a game if you will, in which many players
with quite disparate objectives interact so as to generate a set of outcomes
that may not be either internally consistent or efficient. ["Why Governments
'Got Out of Hand'," New York Times, October 26, 1986]
Ludwig von Mises: Human action is necessarily always rational....
When applied to the ultimate ends of action, the terms rational and irrational
are inappropriate and meaningless. The ultimate end of action is always
the satisfaction of some desires of the acting man.... No man is qualified
to declare what would make another man happier or less discontented. [Human
Action, p. 19]
E. J. Mishan: [the criticism] would be more compelling . . .
if the declared aim of [e.g.,] a Communist regime were that of simulating
the free market in order to produce much the same assortment of goods.
We should bear in mind, however, that the economic objectives of a Communist
government include that of deliberately reducing the amounts of consumer
goods which would have been produced in a market economy so as to release
resources for a more rapid build-up of basic industries. (E. J. Mishan,
"Fact, Faith, & Myth, Changing Concepts of the Free Market," Encounter
[November 1986], p. 66.)
Murray N. Rothbard: "There is no distributional process apart
from the production and exchange processes of the market; hence the very
concept of 'distribution' becomes meaningless on the free market. Since
'distribution' is simply the result of the free exchange process, and since
this process benefits all participants on the market and increases social
utility, it follows directly that the 'distributional' results of the free
market also increase social utility." "Toward a Reconstruction of Utility
and Welfare Economics," in Mary Sennholz, ed., On Freedom and Free Enterprise
[New York: Van Nostrand, 1965], p. 251.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega: I always think of freedom
in the plural. Freedom is for the people here, not for the individual.
Freedom has an integral character linking the individual to the group.
It is not simply what the individual feels, it is the action of the individual
within society which organizes the rights of each to the benefit of all.
Society limits, of course, those aspects of individual freedom that go
against the common effort in all phases of life. [Quoted in Peter Davis,
is Nicaragua? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986).]
Judge Robert Bork, on the First Amendment: Constitutional protection
should be accorded only to speech that is explicitly political. There is
no basis for judicial intervention to protect any other form of expression,
be it scientific, literary or that variety of expression we call obscene
or pornographic. Moreover, within that category of speech we ordinarily
call political, there should be no constitutional obstruction to laws making
criminal any speech that advocates forcible overthrow of the government
or the violation of any law. ["Neutral Principles and Some First Amendment
Problems," Indiana Law Journal, vol. 47 (1971), pp. 20 ff.]
Judge Robert Bork's definition of "explicit political speech":
Speech concerned with governmental behavior, policy, or personnel, whether
the governmental unit involved is executive, legislative, judicial or administrative.
. . . Explicitly political speech is speech about how we are governed,
and that category therefore includes a wide range of evaluation, criticism,
electioneering, and propaganda. . . . It does not cover scientific, educational,
commercial, or literary expressions as such. . . . [A novel] may have impact
upon attitudes that affect politics, but it would not for that reason receive
judicial protection. [Ibid., p. 28]
Bill of Rights: The very purpose of the Bill of Rights was to
withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy,
to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials, and to establish
them as legal principles to be applied by the Courts. One's right to life,
liberty and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship
and assembly and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote;
they depend on the outcome of no elections. [U. S. Supreme Court in West
Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)]
Holmes on Economic Liberty and the Constitution: "The 14th Amendment
does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer's Social Statics" [Lochner v.
New York, 198 U. S. 45 (1905)], meaning, of course, that the privileges
and immunities clause of the 14th Amendment was not intended to apply to
economic liberty, including freedom of contract.
Individualism: Western individualism is . . .far from expressing
the common experience of humanity. Taking a world view, one might almost
regard it as an eccentricity among cultures. [Colin Morris, The Discovery
of the Individual 1050-1200 (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), p.
Karl Marx on Individualism: [t]he further back we go into history,
the more the individual, and, therefore, the producing individual seems
to depend on and belong to a larger whole: at first it is, quite naturally,
the family and the clan, which is but an enlarged family; later on, it
is the community growing up in its different forms out of the clash and
the amalgamation of claims. It is only in the eighteenth century, in 'civil
society', that the different forms of social union confront the individual
as a mere means to his private ends, as an external necessity. [Karl Marx,
Christian Wholism: ... every part of the community belongs to
the whole ... [St. Augustine, quoted in Thomas Beuchamp, ed., Ethical
Issues in Death & Dying, Englewood-Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984,
Hobbesian Ideas Today: Deep thinkers who look everywhere for
the mysterious causes of poverty, ignorance, crime and war need look no
further than their own mirrors. We are all born into this world poor and
ignorant, and with thoroughly selfish and barbaric impulses. Those of us
who turn out any other way do so largely through the efforts of others
who civilized us before we got big enough to do too much damage to the
world and ourselves. But for these efforts, we might well be on welfare
or in the penitentiary. [Thomas Sowell, Quoted in "The Help That is Self-Sown,"
December 21, 1987.]
Self-Defeating Capitalism: We are very poor guardians of our
own liberties .... [Liberalism's] minimalist view of civic obligation [and
the] dangerous privatization [of certain values of Western civilization].
[Quentin Skinner in "The Paradoxes of Political Liberty," in Sterling M.
McMurrin, ed., The Tanner Lectures on Human Values (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1986), pp. 225-50.]
|Hobbes and liberal capitalism: "[The purpose of a public sphere
is] merely to facilitate private interaction. This is a move of immense
ideological significance because it provides for the germination of the
liberal notion that the state ... is fundamentally undesirable, an illegitimate
intruder except where its actions facilitate private interaction." "[Moreover
Hobbes's] negative libertarianism survived and achieved the preeminent
status it did in the dominant ideology because of its affinity with these
emerging economic and social relations" [Ian Shapiro, The Evolution
of Rights in Liberal Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp.
60 and 63.].
Hobbes conception of goodness: But whatsoever is the object of
any man's appetite or desire, that is it which he for his part calleth
good: and the object of his hate and aversion, evil ....For these words
of good and evil ... are ever used with relation to the person that useth
them: there being nothing simply and absolutely so; nor any common rule
of good and evil .... [Leviathan, Chapter 6, "Good"; Collier, p.
On private property: As a presidential candidate, [Colonel Jacobo]
Arbenz had gone so far as to suggest that some of the land [42% of which
in Guatemala was owned by the United Fruit Company] might be sold back
to the Guatemalan people at the price per acre established by the United
Fruit Company's own tax lawyers. In Washington the suggestion was received
as an insult tantamount to a declaration of war. The Americans were willing
to put up with almost anything, but not with the blasphemy of land reform.
Land reform called into doubt the American belief in the sacred nature
of private property. Private property was what democracy was all about,
as fundamental to the orderly workings of the universe as the corn harvest
or the rain. [Lewis H. Lapham, "Quetzal," Harper's Magazine, Feb.
1989, p. 9]
|Conservatism: ...Men have no right to risk the very existence
of their nation and their civilization upon experiments in morals and politics;
for each man's private capital of intelligence is petty; it is only when
a man draws upon the bank and capital of the ages, the wisdom of our ancestors,
that he can act wisely. [Edmund Burke, quoted in Kenneth M. Dolbeare, Directions
of American Political Thought (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
1969), p. 11).]
Edmund Burke proposed that "We are afraid to put men to live and trade
each on his own private stock of reason, because we suspect that this stock
in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail
themselves of the general bank of nations and of ages." Reflections
on the Revolution in France (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co.,
1987), p. 76.
On Science and Free will: There exists within the cranium a whole
world of diverse causal forces, as in no other cubic half-foot of universe
that we know.... [and] if one keeps climbing upward in the chain of command
within the brain, one finds at the very top those overall organizational
forces and dynamic properties of the large patters overall cerebral excitation
that are correlated with mental states or psychic activity....
Communist Tactics, Lenin: [T]he kind of determinism proposed
is not that of the atomic, molecular, or cellular level, but rather the
kind that prevails at the level of cerebral mentation, involving the interplay
of ideas, reasoning processes, judgments, emotion, insight, and so forth.
[Roger W. Sperry, Science and Moral Priority (Columbia University
Press, 1983), pp. 33-34, 39] Communist Tactics: Only one thing is needed
to enable us to march forward more surely and more firmly to victory: namely,
the full and complete thought of our appreciation by all communists in
all countries of the necessity of displaying the utmost flexibility in
their tactics. The strictest loyalty to the ideas of communism must be
combined with the ability to make all the necessary practical compromises,
to attack, to make agreements, zigzags, retreats, etc. [Lenin, "Left Wing
Communist Tactics, Manuilski: War between Communism and Capitalism:
War to the hilt between communism and capitalism is inevitable, Today,
of course, we are not strong enough to attack. Our time will come in 30
to 40 years. To win, we shall need the element of surprise. The western
world will have to be put to sleep. So we shall begin by launching the
most spectacular peace movement on record. There shall be electrifying
overtures and unheard of concessions. The capitalist countries, stupid
and decadent, will rejoice to cooperate in their own destruction. They
will leap at another chance to be friends. As soon as their guard is down,
we shall smash them with our clenched fist. [Dimitry Manuilski, Lenin School
of Political Warfare, Moscow, 1930, Quoted in W. Cleon Skousen, The
Naked Communist, from a letter by Joseph Z. Kornfeder to Dr. J. D.
Austrian Subjective Values by Don Bellante: The Austrian
approach is most distinct from mainstream economics in its thorough emphasis
on the individual decision maker as the focus of scientific analysis. Yet
with the values and motives of individuals being entirely subjective it
is impossible for an analyst to pass judgment on the optimality of the
individual's chosen actions. ["Subjective value theory & government
intervention in the Labor Market," Austrian Economics Newsletter,
Spring/Summer 1989, pp. 1-2.]
On reason: He who will not reason, is a bigot; he who cannot
is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave. [Sir William Drummond, Academical
On Liberty: Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant
of rapid growth. [George Washington, Maxims of Washington]
August Comte On Altruism: "[The] social point of view ... cannot
tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism.
We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors,
to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations
increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service....
This ["to live for others"], the definitive formula of human morality,
gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the
common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity, whose we
are entirely." August Comte, Cathechisme positiviste (Paris: Temple
de l'humanite, 1957).
Pablo Picasso: "I'd like to live like a poor man, only with lots
Michael de Montaigne: "Aristippus championed only the body,
as though we had no soul, Zeno championed only the soul, as though we had
no body. Both were flawed."
"May Philosophy's followers, faced with breaking their wife's hymen,
be no more erect, muscular, nor succulent than her arguments are!"
"It is an error to reckon some function to be less worthy because they
are necessities. They will never beat it out of my head that the marriage
of Pleasure to Necessity ... is a most suitable match."
"And the most uncouth of our afflictions is to despise our being."
|W. Somerset Maugham: "... finally science had not fulfilled
the promises which the unwise expected, and, dissatisfied at not receiving
answers to questions that science never pretended to answer, many threw
themselves into the arms of the Church."
"I have read much philosophy, and though I do not see how it is possible
to refuse intellectual assent to certain theories of the Absolute, I can
find nothing in them to induce me to depart from my instinctive disbelief
in what is usually meant by the word religion."
"I have never found that suffering improves the character. Its influence
to refine and ennoble is a myth."
"... intuition, a subject upon which certain philosophers have reared
an imposing edifice of surmise, but which seems to me to offer as insecure
a foundation for any structure more substantial than a Castle in Spain
as a ping-pong ball wavering on a jet of water in a shooting-gallery."
|Herman Hesse: "The eye of desire dirties and distorts. Only
when we desire nothing, only when our gaze becomes pure contemplation,
does the soul of things (which is beauty) open itself to us. If I inspect
a forest with the intention of buying it, renting it, cutting it down,
going hunting in it, or mortgaging it, then I do not see the forest but
only its relation to my desires, plans, and concerns, to my purse. Then
it consists of wood, it is young or old, healthy or diseased. But if I
want nothing from it but to gaze, "thoughtlessly," into its green depths,
then it becomes a forest, nature, a growing thing; only then is it beautiful."
"Concerning the Soul," in Herman Hesse, My Belief, Essays on Life and
Art [New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1974], p. 37.
"The collective mankind becomes for us a representation of the soul."
"The soul has no knowledge, no judgment, no program. It has simply impetus,
feeling, and future. The great saints and preachers followed it, the heroes
and sufferers, the great generals and conquerors; the great magicians and
artists followed it, and all those whose way began in the commonplace and
ended on the holy heights. The way of millionaires is a different way and
ends in the sanitarium." p. 45.
Hegel on Altruism? The world process was supposed to be the perversion
of the good, because it took individuality for its principle ....The world
process transmutes and perverts the unchangeable, but does so in fact by
transforming it out of the nothingness of abstraction into the being of
reality. The course of the world is, then, victorious over what, in opposition
to it, constitutes virtue; it is victorious over that which took an unreal
abstraction to be the essential reality. But it is not victorious over
something real, but over the production of distinctions that are no distinctions,
over this pompous talk about the best for mankind and the oppression of
humanity, about sacrifice for goodness' sake and the misuse of gifts. Imaginary
idealities and purposes of that sort fall on the ear as idle phrases, which
exalt the heart and leave the reason blank, which edify but build up nothing
that endures; declamations whose only definite announcement is that the
individual who professes to act for such noble ends and indulges in such
fine phrases holds himself for a fine creature; a swollen inflation with
emptiness. [Phenomenology, trns. Baillie, p. 409]
Hegel on Feelings: Since the man of common sense appeals to his
feeling, to an oracles within his breast, he is done with any one who does
not agree. He has just to explain that he has no more to say to any one
who does not find and feel the same as himself. In other words, he tramples
the roots of humanity underfoot. For the nature of humanity is to impel
men to agree with one another, and its very existence lies simply in the
explicit realization of a community of conscious life. What is anti-human,
the condition of mere animals, consists in keeping within the sphere of
feeling pure and simple, and in being able to communicate only by way of
feeling-states.[Phenomenology, p. 127]
Cloriss Lamont: It is essential to recognize that freedom of
choice is inextricably bound up with the human capacity for thought. The
word intelligence originates from the Latin "inter" (between) and "legere"
(to choose). Choosing means making up one's mind." ("Free Choice and Naturalism:
A Written Exchange," The Humanist, May/June 1990, p. 18.)
Thomas W. Clark: The cause-effect sequences in our brains are
just as determining, just as inescapable, as anywhere else in Nature.....The
human will is simply the dynamic urge to carry out wishes and ideas that
have become part of our being though the impact of the total cause-effect
necessities both within us and without us. (Ibid., p. 19)
Kennan on Sexuality in humans: There is no getting around it:
we have to do here with a compulsion we share with the lowest and least
attractive of the mammalian and reptile species. It invites most handsomely,
and very often deserves, the ridicule, the furtive curiosity, and the commercial
exploitation it receives. To highly sensitive people, it can become a never-ending
source of embarrassment and humiliation, of pain to its immediate victims
and to others, of misunderstandings, shame, and remorse all around. Not
for nothing do the resulting tragedies dominate so much of realistic as
well as of romantic literature. Not for nothing has this urge earned the
prominent place it takes in the religious rites of confession and prayers
for forgiveness. There is, in short, no escaping it: the sexual urge, the
crude expression of nature's demand for the proliferation of the species,
enriching, confusing, and tragedizing the human predicament as it does
at every turn, must be regarded as a signal imperfection in man's equipment
to lead life in the civilized context. It cannot be expected to be otherwise
at any time in the foreseeable future. (George F. Kennan, Man, The Cracked
Vessel [New York: W. W. Norton, 1993], pp. 19-20.)
Aristotle on Self-Love: "Therefore the good man should be a lover
of self (for he will both himself profit by doing noble acts, and will
benefit his fellows), but the wicked man should not." (Nicomachean Ethics
|Alasdair MacIntyre: [T]he Marxists understanding of liberalism
as ideological, as a deceiving and self-deceiving mask for certain socialo
interests, remains compelling.
Liberalism in the name of freedom imposes a certain kind of unacknowledged
domination, and one which in the long run tends to dissolve traditional
human ties and to impoverish social and cultural relationships. Liberalism,
while imposing through state power regimes that declare everyone free to
pursue whatever they take to be their own good, deprives most people of
the possibility of understanding their lives as a quest for the discovery
and achievement of the good, especially by the way in which it attempts
to discredit those traditional forms of human community within which this
project has to be embodied. (Aladair MacIntyre, "Nietzsche or Aristotle?"
in Giovanna Borradori, The American Philosopher [University of Chicago
Press, 1994], p. 143.)
Maclagan: "'Altruism' [is] assuming a duty to relieve the distress
and promote the happiness of our fellows....Altruism is to ... maintain
quite simply that a man may and should discount altogether his own pleasure
or happiness as such when he is deciding what course of action to pursue."
(pp. 109-110). As presented in ordinarily, by ministers or priests or in
fiction, altruism means ranking looking out for others in first place in
one's list of moral duties.. W. G. Maclagan, "Self and Others: A Defense
of Altruism," Philosophical Quarterly 4 (1954): 109-127.
Stephen Hawking on Free Will & Determinism ... the doctrine
of diminished responsibility: the idea that a person should not be punished
for their actions because they were under stress. It may be that someone
is more likely to commit an antisocial act when under stress. But that
does not mean that we should make it even more likley that he or she commit
the act by reducing the punishment. [Black Holes and Baby Universes
and other essays, New York: Bantam Books, 1993, pp. 123-4]
In summary, the title of this essay was a question: is everything determined?
The answer is yes, it is. But it might as well not be, because we can never
know what is determined. [ibid., p. 126]
William Pitt (younger) on "necessity": Necessity is the plea
for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants;
it is the creed of slaves. [Speech on the India Bill, Nov. 1783]
"A cheap pawnbroker or a multimillionaire businessman ... they are both
blood suckers." Fernando Rey's character Don Lope in Luis Bunuel's film,
"There's never been a problem yet I couldn't solve by thinking. I just
don't usually choose to think." Tim Sandlin, Sex and Sunsets, p.
"'O Cormac, grandson of Conn,' said Carbery, 'what is the sweetest thing
you have heard?' 'Not hard to tell,' said Cormac. 'The shout of triumph
after victory, Praise after wages, A lady's invitation to her pillow.'
[from THE INSTRUCTIONS OF KING CORMAC, early 9th century]
"Judgment is something that is entirely yours; it is an element in personal
commitment in an extremely pure state. Because it is so personal, so much
an expression of one's own reasonableness apart from any constraint, because
all alternatives are provided for, it is entirely one's own responsibility.
Because it is entirely one's own responsibility, one does not complain
about one's bad judgments ; one is responsible for them." Bernard J. F.
Lonegran, Understanding and Being, Edwin Mellen Press, 1980, p.113;
cf. p, 124]
Dick Francis on Loners: ….In Britain the word "loner" flew none
of the danger signals it did over in the United States, where the desirability
of being "one of a team" was indoctrinated from preschool. "Loners" here,
I'd discovered, were people who went off their heads….[To the Hilt,
Dick Francis on legislation: "Patsy was right, of course,
but predictably (like most legislation) she achieved the opposite result
of that intended…" [To the Hilt, p. 249]
Fareed Zakaria on democracy: "Democracy without constitutional
liberalism is not simply inadequate, but dangerous, bringing with it the
erosion of liberty, the abuse of power, ethnic divisions, and even war.
Eighty years ago, Woodrow Wilson took America into the twentieth century
with a challenge, to make the world safe for democracy. As we approach
the next century, our task is to make democracy safe for the world." ["The
Rise of Illiberal Democracy" Foreign Affairs, Fall 1997]
Tibor Machan on Necessary Existence: Things -- whatever -- can
exist pretty adequately without having to exist necessarily; nor is our
inability to prove their necessary existence any kind of liability, unless
we are dealing with things -- whatever -- for which necessary existence
or necessity is an (ontological) requirement (say the laws of logic). [Tibor
Susan Wolf on Moral Sainthood: By moral saint I mean a person
whose every action is as morally good as possible, a person, that is, who
is as morally worthy as can be….A necessary condition of moral saint-hood
would be that one's life be dominated by a commitment to improving the
welfare of others or of society was a whole. [Quoted in Robin Wang, "The
Principle of Humanity: An Alternative Perspective on Contemporary Moral
William Greider on the Anti-capitalism of novelists: The heavy
novels of Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie, An American Tragedy and others
[consider Cather, Fitzgerald, and their contemporaries] told, over and
over in different story forms, the same moral tragedy: innocent Americans
who left their simple country past for the dangerous excitement of the
city, where they were ensnared by a brutal new system of economic organization,
forced to cooperate with it, robbed of their native virtue. Novelists in
America have never reconciled themselves to the terms of the modern economic
system. They remain hostile to it and pessimistic, mocking the values of
corporate bureaucracy, lamenting the soul-deadening materialism. Instead,
literature and popular culture continue to celebrate what seems lost the
free ranging individualism ... the idyll of self-reliance. [William Greider,
of the Temple: How The Federal Reserve Runs the Country (New York:
Daniel Webster on good intentions and government: Good intentions
will always be pleaded for every assumption of power. It is hardly too
strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against
the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern
well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they
mean to be masters. [Daniel Webster, quoted in Hearings on the confirmation
of Abe Fortas to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, p. 108]
Lord Salisbury on the blow up fallacy: You should never trust
experts. If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe
the theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe the soldiers, nothing
is safe. They all require to have their strong wine diluted by a very large
admixture of insipid common sense. [Lord Salisbury]
Adam Smith about collusion: People of the same trade seldom meet
together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in
a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either
could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But
though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling
together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less
to render them necessary." Wealth of Nations, p. 144 - 1976 edition
Thomas Reid on arguing for the obvious: [W]hen we attempt to
prove by direct argument, what is really self-evident, the reasoning will
always be inconclusive; for it will either take for granted the thing to
be proved, or something not more evident; and so, instead of giving strength
to the conclusion, will rather tempt those to doubt of it, who never did
so before. [Thomas Reid, Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind]
William Graham Sumner on Morality: All notions of propriety,
decency, chastity, politeness, order, duty, right, rights, discipline,
respect, reverence, cooperation, and fellowship, especially all things
in regard to which good and ill depend entirely on the point at which the
line is drawn, are in the mores. The mores can make things seem right and
good to one group or one age which to another seem antagonistic to every
instinct of human nature….[Folkways, NY: Ginn and Company, 1907,
"Cultural Relativism," p. 55]
|Aristotle Distorted: "[The Apple] is a patent attempt to first
circumcise and then baptize Aristotle, that is to make him acceptable to
Moslem and Hebrew thinkers and then to Christians. This task is attempted
by having him repudiate his teachings on the eternity of the world and
the mortality of the human soul…." ("Preface," The Apple or Aristotle's
Death, translated from the Latin with an Introduction by Mary F. Rousseau,
[Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 1968], p. 3)
"While the ideas of the ancients were, to varying degrees, distorted
by this process [of ancient ideas entering Europe], and while their acceptance
did decline rapidly after the peak of scholasticism in the thirteenth century,
still, many of them have persisted and become a permanent and indispensable
part of our intellectual heritage. One such idea -- the wise man's contempt
for the world -- is a basic theme of The Apple." (p. 3)
God & Goodness: "If in ascribing goodness to God I do not
mean what I mean by goodness, if I do not mean the goodness of which I
have some knowledge, but an incomprehensible attribute of an incomprehensible
substance, which for aught I know may be a totally different quality from
that which I love and venerate…what do I mean by calling it goodness? and
what reason have I for venerating it? If I know nothing about what the
attribute is, I cannot tell that it is a proper object of veneration. To
say that God's goodness may be different in kind from man's goodness, what
is it but saying, with a slight change of phraseology, that God may possibly
not be good? To assert in words what we do not think in meaning, is as
suitable a definition as can be given of a moral falsehood." (Examination
of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy; quoted in J. Hospers, Introd. to
Philosophical Analysis, along with extended discussion of evil and omnipotence,
Peter McWilliams on advocating consensualism: One of the fears
about discussing consensual activities is that if you defend a certain
practice, you're often accused of being or doing that. Well, if you're
wondering about me, why not assume that I do it all? Yes, just presume
that I am a drug-selling homosexual prostitute gambler who drunkenly loiters
all day with my six wives and four husbands, making and watching pornography
while being treated by strange medical practices and running a cult on
the side. You can also assume my motives to be the darkest, most selfish,
and pernicious you can imagine. No matter how many times I say that I'm
not advocating any of the consensual crimes, someone will, of course, accuse
me of 'recruiting' for them all. It's a classic example of projection:
the religions that believe most in vigorous proselytizing are the same
ones that accuse others of recruiting. What they call 'witnessing' and
'testifying' - hence God's work - becomes 'recruitment' and 'brainwashing'
when used by others, hence the work of the devil. From (Ain't Nobody's
Business If You Do [1993, p.17])
John Locke on Choosing to Think: "[T]hough we cannot hinder our
knowledge where the agreement is once perceived, nor our assent, where
the probability manifestly appears upon due consideration of all the measures
of it; yet we can hinder both knowledge and assent, by stopping our inquiry,
and not employing our faculties in the search of any truth. If it were
not so, ignorance, error, or infidelity, could not in any case be a fault."
John Locke, Essay in Human Understanding, Book IV, xx, 16.
The RC Message: "[The priest] was speaking so slowly and with
such passion that, although I know little French, I understood half of
what he said and the purport of all of it, which was simply that because
Christ loved us enough to die for us, we must follow his example and love
one another, for therein lies our salvation." (Anthony Brandt, "Rome,"
July 1998, p. 39)
|Selfishness: At least in the new scholarly translation put out
by Cornell Univ Press (1989) he uses language like "advantage" and "calculation"
and "personal desire." The following quotations are all said of the good
guys or approvingly by Chernyshevsky.
* "As an egoist he always thought of himself first, and about others
only when there was nothing left of his own to think about..."
* "Do you think I would have taken the trouble [to help] if it didn't
give me pleasure as well."
* "I mustn't call my decision honorable or even honest-these words are
too grand. I'll call it merely calculated and sensible."
* "The more difficult a task, the more one delights (according to egoism)
in one's strength and agility at accomplishing it successfully."
* My real motive has always been one and the same: advantage."
* I'd sooner die than . . . even permit [anyone] to do anything for
me except what he himself would find pleasant. I'd sooner die than have
him feel pressured or force himself."
* "I want to be independent and live in my own way . . . I know that
I don't want to submit to anyone. I want to be free. I don't want to be
obligated to anyone for anything. I don't want anyone ever to say, 'You're
obligated to do this for me!' I want to do only what I desire and want
others to do likewise. . . I don't want to impinge on anyone's freedom
and I want to be free myself."
|F. A. Hayek on morals: "The freedom is the matrix required for
the growth of moral values--indeed not merely one value among many but
the source of all values--is almost self-evident. It is only where the
individual has choice, and its inherent responsibility, that he has occasion
to affirm existing values, to contribute to their further growth, and the
earn moral merit." In F. A. Hayek, "The Moral Element in Free Enterprise,"
in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (New York: Simon & Schuster,
1967), pp. 230.
"It is only where the individual has choice, and its inherent responsibility,
that he has occasion to affirm existing values, to contribute to their
further growth, and to earn moral credit. Obedience has moral value only
where it is a matter of choice and not of coercion." (ibid)
"It would be impossible to assert that as free society will always and
necessarily develop values of which we would approve, or even…that it will
maintain values which are compatible with the preservation of freedom."
Machan on Blaming: Blaming is a kind of (morally focused) factual
ascription of responsibility of untoward deeds that have been volitionally
undertaken. Tibor Machan
George Santayana on Uniformity: "There is no greater stupidity
or meanness than to take uniformity for an ideal.'' George Santayana, from
Life of Reason (NY: Scribners, 1905-06), vol. 2, p. 90.
|Rothbard on Nuclear Weapons: "...while the bow and arrow, and
even the rifle, can be pinpointed, if the will be there, against actual
criminals, modern nuclear weapons cannot. Here is a crucial difference
in kind. Of course, the bow and arrow could be used for aggressive purposes,
but it could also be pinpointed to use only against aggressors. Nuclear
weapons, even 'conventional' aerial bombs, cannot be. These weapons are
ipso facto engines of indiscriminate mass destruction. (The only exception
would be the extremely rare case where a mass of people who were all criminals
inhabited a vast geographical area.) We must, therefore, conclude that
the use of nuclear or similar weapons, or the threat thereof, is a crime
against humanity for which there can be no justification.
"This is why the old cliché no longer holds that it is not the
arms but the will to use them that is significant in judging matters of
war and peace. For it is precisely the characteristic of modern weapons
that they cannot be used selectively, cannot be used in a libertarian manner.
Therefore, their very existence must be condemned, and nuclear disarmament
becomes a good to be pursued for its own sake. Indeed, of all the aspects
of liberty, such disarmament becomes the highest political good that can
be pursued in the modern world. For just as murder is a more heinous crime
against another man than larceny, so mass murder--indeed murder so widespread
as to threaten human civilization and human survival itself--is the worst
crime that any man could possibly commit. And that crime is now all too
possible. Or are libertarians going to wax properly indignant about price
controls or the income tax, and yet shrug their shoulders at or even positively
advocate the ultimate crime of mass murder?
"If nuclear warfare is totally illegitimate even for individuals defending
themselves against criminal assault, how much more so is nuclear or even
'conventional' warfare between States!" Murray N. Rothbard, THE ETHICS
OF LIBERTY (NY: New York University Press, 1998 ), pp. 190-91.
Weinberg on Determinism: "The human mind remains extraordinarily
difficult to understand, but so is the weather….I see nothing about the
human mind any more than about the weather that stands out as beyond the
hope of understanding as a consequence of impersonal laws acting over billions
of years." Steven Weinberg, "A Designer Universe?" the New York Review
of Books, VolXLVI, No. 16 (October 21, 1999), p.46.
Nagel on Ideas: In contrast, consider the following understanding
of the ways of ideas: "…political philosophy, when it has an impact on
the world, affects the world only indirectly, through the gradual penetration,
usually over generations, of questions and arguments from abstruse theoretical
writings into the consciousness and the habits of thought of educated persons,
and from there into political and legal arguments and eventually into the
structure of alternatives among which political and practical choices are
actually made." (Thomas Nagel, "Justice, Justice, Shalt Thou Pursue, The
rigorous compassion of John Rawls" The New Republic (October 25,
1999), pp. 36-37.
Joseph on Cause: The underlying metaphysics here is laid out
by H. W. B. Joseph in his An Introduction to Logic (Oxford University Press,
1906), pp. 401ff. Joseph calls attention to the idea that causes are beings
or entities in, for example, the following passage: "…the earth is not
more antecedent than consequent in time to the movement of a pendulum which
it attracts; and oxygen and hydrogen are ingredients necessary to the formation
of water, but they do not happen like their combination. Cause no doubt
implies change and succession. But there can be no change without something
which changes, i .e., which persists through a succession of states." (p.
Silvan Tomkins on infantile experience: We are indebted to Freud
for the rediscovery of our infantile experience. . . . he exaggerated the
"infantile" characteristics of this early experience. Freud the moralist
was not prepared to tolerate in adults_//-either the early self-love or
the early dependence on the oceanic union with the mother. These earlier
modes, claustral and pre-verbal, are we think important components of all
human experience, early and late. To insist as Freud did on the necessity
of their later transformation and subordination to adult modes of communion
is to impoverish the personality of the adult and to interpret reality
in accordance with the heart's desire when it is the heart of an over-individuated
and somewhat alienated human being. it is not unlike the disdain of a gourmet
for the simple palate of the infant, his live of milk to relieve his thirst
and hunger pangs. The simple oral pleasures of the young are never outgrown,
though they may be masked and overgrown. The human animal will always be
capable of intense satisfaction from water or milk when thirst or hunger
mounts. Nor is the satisfaction of the adult inherently different than
that of the infant in this respect. What distinguishes early and later
taste are the later transformations and discriminations of the more learned
palate of the adult. But these do not require us to subordinate the early
pleasures to the late in adult orality nor require that we reject these
early pleasures either as perverse or infantile. They are rather the simple
pleasures of both the young and the old. So it is also with the affect
of enjoyment. [Silvan Tomkins and is taken from Shame and its Sisters:
A Silvan Tomkins Reader, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Adam Frank, eds.
With a biographical sketch by Irving E. Alexander. (Durham and London:
Duke University Press, 1995), pp. 89-90. The symbol "_//-" marks the page
Spencer on Poverty: Sympathy with one in suffering suppresses,
for the time being, remembrance of his transgressions….Those whose hardships
are set forth in pamphlets and proclamations in sermons and speeches which
echo throughout society, are assumed to be all worthy souls, grievously
wronged; and non of them are thought of as bearing the penalties of their
own misdeeds.(Man versus the State, p.22)
Rorty on ethics: Non-metaphysicians [of whom Rorty and, by his
account, all other wise men are members] cannot say that democratic institutions
reflect a moral reality and that tyrannical regimes do not reflect one,
that tyrannies get something wrong that democratic societies get right.
(Richard Rorty, "The Seer of Prague," The New Republic, July 1,
1991, pp. 35-40.)
Nussbaum on Libertarianism: "A simple 'get the state off our
backs' position may look attractive when we are thinking about the sexlives
of middle-class men, but it is clearly inadequate to deal with the situation
of women and other vulnerable groups. There is no consent where there is
pervasive intimidation and hierarchy." Martha C. Nussbaum, "Experiments
in Living (Review of Michael Warner, The Trouble with Normal)," The
New Republic, January 3, 2000, p. 33.
Aquinas on Free Will: "[M]an acts from judgment, because by his
apprehensive power he judges that something should be avoided or sought.
But because this judgment, in the case of some particular act, is not from
a natural instinct, but from some act of comparison in the reason, therefore
he acts from free judgment and retains the power of being inclined to various
things. And forasmuch as man is rational is it necessary that man have
a free-will." (Summa Theologica, Q. 93.)
Adam Smith on Market Motivation: "It is not from the benevolence
of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but
from their regard to their own interest. We Address ourselves, not to their
humanity but of their advantages." Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations,
Liberty Classics, page 26-27.
Machan on the “blow up fallacy”: [This] consists, first, in making
diligent inquiries into some aspect of reality and arriving at significant,
often true, and, at times, startling conclusions, including principles
by which we can best understand what happens in the area being studied.
But then an entirely unjustified turn is taken. The conclusions and principles
are lifted out of the special field and imported into some other area.
The picture taken in the special domain is blown up with the intent to
offer us an understanding of much more, and sometimes all, of reality.
Pseudo-Science of B. F. Skinner (Arlington House, 1974), p. 52)
Rights as Powers:
"If one comes to believe with Bentham that a right without the power
adequate to its exercise is really a nonentity, a mere philosophical fiction,
it is but a short step to believe that 'adequate power' is the real ground
of right in society and to contend that the advancement of rights is at
bottom the pretension of those who have or who seek the resources to promote
their own interests and to prevail over others." William Augustus
Banner, Moral Norms and Moral Order (Gainesville, FL: University
of Florida, 1981), p. 98.
I can indeed be constrained by others to perform actions that are directed
as a means to an end, but I can never be constrained by others to have
an end; only I myself can make something my end. (Immanuel Kant, The
Metaphysics of Morals, trans., M. Gregor [Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1993], p.381.)
Machan On Prudence:
I have been saying that the moral virtue of prudence, understood roughly
along Aristotelian lines, gives moral backing to the activities involved
in commerce and business. By "prudence" I have in mind "practical
wisdom," which Aristotle says "must be a reasoned and true capacity
to act with regard to human goods." But I also argue that the content
of practical wisdom will depend in part on what human goods are, which
in turn will depend on human nature. If we understand human
beings to be not only rational beings but rational animals, and if
we understand their nature to be our guide, not only their distinctive
essence (rationality), then practical wisdom will have to attend to human
economic and related concerns. This is because our animality will
be significantly determinate of the human goods we ought to act with regard
to. And if you add to this the element of individuality that
is also defining of our human nature, the human goods in question will
be, first and foremost, the goods of the human agent in question (understood,
of course, broadly). [Tibor Machan]
“Everything” said Pericles, “which one man obliges another to do without
gaining his consent, whether he enact it in writing or not, seems to me
to be force rather than law.” Xenophon, Memorabilia, 46, from Aeon Skoble
and Tibor R. Machan, eds., Political Philosophy, Essential Selections
(Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999), 3-4.
Religion and Liberty: Man cannot be forced to accept the truth.
He can be drawn toward the truth only by his own nature, that is, by his
own freedom . . . This has always been the teaching of the Church. Crossing
the Threshold of Hope, John Paul II, (New York: Knopf, 1994), p. 190
Thucydides on the commons:
[T]hey devote a very small fraction of the time to the consideration
of any public object, most of it to the prosecution of their own objects.
Meanwhile, each fancies that no harm will come to his neglect, that it
is the business of somebody else to look after this or that for him; and
so, by the same notion being entertained by all separately, the common
cause imperceptibly decays. (Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian
War, bk. I, sec. 141).
From individual property rights (including rights to one's own body
and the fruits of one's labor) these early modern thinkers derived lessons
about consent, governmental accountability, and resistance to abuses of
power. Cary J. Nederman. “Political Theory and Subjective Rights in 14th
Century England,” The Review of Politics, Vol. 58 (Spring 1996),
Von Mises on Liberalism: No sect and no political party has believed
that it could afford to forgo advancing its cause by appealing to men's
senses. Rhetorical bombast, music and song resound, banners wave, flowers
and colors serve as symbols, and the leaders seek to attach their followers
to their own person. Liberalism has nothing to do with all this. It has
no party flower and no party color, no party song and no party idols, no
symbols and no slogans. It has the substance and the arguments. These must
lead it to victory. (Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism German edition,
1927; latest English edition Copyright 1985 The Foundation for Economic
Education, Irvington, NY. Translation by Ralph Raico. Online edition Copyright
The Mises Institute, 2000)
Charles Baudelaire on Commerce: Commerce is satanic, because
it is the basest and vilest form of egoism. The spirit of every business-man
is completely depraved. Commerce is natural, therefore shameful.
The Intimate Journals, trns. Christophere Isherwood (Boston:
Beacon Press, 1957). P. 51.
Ross & van den Haag on Free Will and Morality: Even if science
cannot pronounce on the subject of moral conduct, it would seem to he relevant
to a factual matter: Is man really free to choose? If science can answer
that question, it can show whether moral conduct is possible at all. For
unless men are free to choose between alternatives, they are not moral
agents. Only if man is free to choose does he fulfill the necessary condition
for the existence of morals. And if he is not free to choose, there can
he no morals. (Ralph Ross and Ernest van den Haag, The Fabric of Society
[Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1957], pp. 286.)
Roger Trigg on Realism & Objectivity:
"It is a paradox that man can demand the centre of the stage, insisting
that everything should depend on him, and yet in the end find that in doing
so he has lost his rationality and freedom. Realism takes the possibility
of error and ignorance seriously, but it also gives men the chance of notable
success in extending the range of their understanding. It gives them
something to reason about, while acknowledging that they are free to make
mistakes." (Reality at Risk, p. 197)
"Without objective reality, we can say nothing true, and without the
possibility of truth and error, there can be no possibility of rational
judgment. Without rationality, men can have no freedom of choice." (Ibid.,
Plato on self-interest:
Crito, "When you are gone, Socrates, how can we best act to please
you?" Socrates: "Just follow my old recipe, my friend: do yourselves
concern yourselves with your own true self-interest; then you will oblige
me, and mine and yourself too."
Albert Einstein on Ethics: "The real problem is in the
hearts and minds of men. It is not a problem of physics but of ethics.
It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil from the spirit
Luck: "Chance favors the prepared." -- Louis Pasteur
Blaise Pascal on Thinking:
“Let us labour, then, to think well, for such is the foundation of
morality.” Quoted in THE WEEK, July 27, 2002, p. 17.
Wittgenstein on being better and having a better mind:
"I am working diligently and wish I were better and had a better mind.
And these both are one and the same...." Engelmann, P., Letters
from Ludwig Wittgenstein, With a Memoir. B.F. McGuinness (ed.) (Oxford
1967), S.4. [my own translation, TRM]
Machan on the human mind: “While the human mind has the remarkable
capacity to be creative and inventive, it goes hand in hand with the equal
capacity to produce BS to justify all kinds of rotten impulses.”
Mencius on the role of thinking: ‘Though equally human, why are
some men guided one way and others guided another way?’ ‘The organs of
hearing and sight are unable to think and can be misled by external things.
When one thing acts on another, all it does is attract it. The organ
of the heart [= mind] can think. But it will find the answer only
if it does think; otherwise it will not find the answer.’ -- Mencius (4th-century
Greer Garson on Rights: “Why should I hate you? You have
a right to your luck, to your life.” In Desire Me (1947)
Language often obscures truth. More than is ordinarily realized,
our eyes are blinded to the facts of international relations by tricks
of the tongue. When one uses the simple monosyllable "France" one
thinks of France as a unit, an entity. When to avoid awkward repetition
we use a personal pronoun in referring to a country--when for example we
say "France sent her troops to conquer Tunis"--we impute not only unity
but personality to the country. The very words conceal the facts
and make international relations a glamorous drama in which personalized
nations are the actors, and all too easily we forget the flesh-and-blood
men and women who are the true actors. How different it would be
if we had no such word as "France," and had to say instead--thirty-eight
million men, women and children of very diversified interests and beliefs,
inhabiting 218,000 square miles of territory! Then we should more
accurately describe the Tunis expedition in some such way as this: "A few
of these thirty-eight million persons sent thirty thousand others to conquer
Tunis." This way of putting the fact immediately suggests a question,
or rather a series of questions. Who are the "few"? Why did
they send the thirty thousand to Tunis? And why did these obey?
Empire-building is done not by "nations" but by men. The problem
before us is to discover the men, the active, interested minorities in
each nation, who are directly interested in imperialism, and then to analyze
the reasons why the majorities pay the expenses and fight the wars necessitated
by imperialist expansion. (Parker Thomas Moon, Imperialism and
World Politics [New York: The MacMillan Company, 1930], p. 58
Murdoch on Meta-Ethics: "... I would suggest that at the level
of serious common sense and of an ordinary non-philosophical reflection
about the nature of morals it is perfectly obvious that goodness is connected
with knowledge: not with impersonal quasi-scientific knowledge of the ordinary
world, whatever that may be, but with a refined and honest perception of
what is really the case, a patient and just discernment and exploration
of what confronts one, which is the result not simply of opening one's
eyes but of a certainly perfectly familiar kind of moral discipline.
"The place of choice is
certainly a different one [from that of the existentialists] if we think
in terms of a world which is compulsively present to the will, and the
discernment and exploration of which is a slow business. Moral change
and moral achievement are slow; we are not free in the sense of being able
suddenly to alter ourselves since we cannot suddenly alter what we can
see and ergo what we desire and are compelled by. In a way, explicit choice
seems now less important: less decisive (since much of the `decision' lies
elsewhere) and less obviously something to be `cultivated'. If I
attend properly I will have no choices and this is ultimate condition to
be aimed at.
"Will and reason then are
not entirely separate faculties in the moral agent. Will continually influences
belief, for better or worse, and is ideally able to influence it through
a sustained attention to reality." (The Sovereignty of the Good,
John Acton on liberty:
At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare...
In every age [liberty's] progress has been beset by its natural enemies:
by ignorance and superstition, by lust of conquest and by love of ease,
by the strong man's craving for power, and the poor man's craving for food.
By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in
doing what he believes is his duty, against the influence of authority
and majorities, custom and opinion.
Liberty is the prevention of control by others. This requires
Liberty alone demands, for its realization, the limitation of the public
authority, for liberty is the only object which benefits all alike, and
provokes no sincere opposition.
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.
It is not for the sake of a good public administration that it is required,
but for the security in the pursuit of the highest objects of civil society,
and of private life.
Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being
able to do what we ought.
Liberty enables us to do our duty unhindered by the state, by society,
by ignorance and error. We are free in proportion as we are safe
from these impediments...
...obscure ethics imply imperfect liberty. For liberty comes
not with any ethical system, but with a very developed one.
...sanctifying freedom...teaching men to treasure the liberties of
others as their own, and to defend them for the love of justice and charity
more than as a claim of right, has been the soul of what is great and good
in the progress of the last two hundred years.
...by birth all men are free.
...conscience imperatively demands a corresponding measure of personal
liberty...With this no human authority can be permitted to interfere.
We are bound to extend to the utmost, and to guard from every encroachment,
the sphere in which we can act in obedience to the sole voice of conscience,
regardless of any other consideration.
...the interest of individuals is above the exclusive interest of the
state. The power of the whole is not to be set in the balance for a moment
with freedom-that is, the conscience of the subject-and those who act on
other principle are the worst of criminals.
It is easier to find people fit to govern themselves than people to
govern others. Every man is the best, the most responsible, judge
of his own advantage.
The great question is to discover, not what governments prescribe,
but what they ought to prescribe; for no prescription is valid against
the conscience of mankind.
The finest opportunity ever given to the world was thrown away because
the passion of equality made vain the hope for freedom.
The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern.
Every class is unfit to govern.
Whenever a single definite object is made the supreme end of the State,
be it the advantage of a class, the safety of the power of the country,
the greatest happiness of the greatest number, or the support of any speculative
idea, the State becomes for the time inevitably absolute.
Laws are made for the public good...The public good is not to be considered,
if it is purchased at the expense of an individual.
The will of the people cannot make just that which is unjust.
There are many things the government can't do, many good purposes it
must renounce. It must leave them to the enterprise of others.
It cannot feed the people. It cannot enrich the people. It
cannot teach the people.
Popular power may be tainted with the same poison as personal power.
The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority,
or rather if that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force
or fraud, in carrying elections.
It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed
by a majority.
The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really
free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.
Among all the causes which degrade and demoralize men, power is the
most constant and the most active.
Those who have more power are liable to sin more; no theorem in geometry
is more certain than this.
...the possession of unlimited power...corrodes the conscience, hardens
the heart, and confounds the understanding...
There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders...
There are principles which override precedents...there is such a thing
as a higher law.
...all legislation must conform [under a law of nature]...by the voice
of universal reason...a principle embracing all mankind... A generous spirit
prefers that his country should be poor, and weak, and of no account, but
free, rather than powerful, prosperous, and enslaved.
W. H. Auden on altruism:
We are here on earth to do good for others. What the others are here
for, I don't know.
(THE WEEK, Nov. 16, 2002, p. 19)
John Philpot Curran and Wendell Phillips: Eternal vigilance is
the price of liberty. (Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), abolitionist, orator and columnist for The
Liberator, paraphrasing John Philpot Curran (above)
in a speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society in 1852, according
to The Dictionary of Quotations edited by Bergen Evans.)
John Philpot Curran and Wendell Phillips:
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. (Eternal vigilance
is the price of liberty. Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), abolitionist, orator
and columnist for The Liberator, paraphrasing John Philpot Curran
(above) in a speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society in 1852,
according to The Dictionary of Quotations edited by Bergen Evans.)
Andrew Jackson: "But you must remember, my fellow-citizens,
that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that
you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves
you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal
Government." -- Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837
Hazlitt on the Justice of Liberty: The superior freedom of the
capitalist system, its superior justice, and its superior productivity
are not three superiorities, but one. The justice follows from
the freedom and the productivity follows from the freedom and the justice.
[Henry Hazlitt, quoted in The Freeman, June 1993, p. 225].
Not “Our” values: Many times in the last year we have heard:
"Our values are under threat." They are; and we should--we must--defend
them. But not because they are ours; for that really would be a regression
to the dark side of human nature. If we take this thought to heart,
we shall not, as we should not, fear that in defending them we may be guilty
of a kind of cultural imperialism. And we will appreciate that, in
the deepest sense, the values at stake are not "ours"--not peculiarly American,
English, French, or even Western, but human: values, that is, with the
capacity to enhance human flourishing, and to appeal emotionally to human
everywhere. [Professor Susan Haack (U. of Miami), "9/11/02," Free Inquiry,
Winter 2002/03, p. 12.]
Jesus on Trade:
Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were
selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house
of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” Bible, Luke
Nietzsche on Disciples:
"The first generation of disciples to any new philosophy is not a sufficient
refutation of that philosophy" (attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche).
Maugham on Freedom:
"If a nation or an individual values anything more than freedom, it
will lose its freedom; and the irony is that if it is comfort or money
it values more, it will lose that too." -- W. Somerset Maugham
Milton Friedman on morality:
“The liberal conceives of men as imperfect beings. He regards
the problem of social organization to be as much a negative problem of
preventing ‘bad’ people from doing harm as of enabling ‘good’ people to
do good; and, of course, ‘bad’ and ‘good’ people may be the same people,
depending on who is judging them.” (Capitalism and Freedom, Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1962, p.12)
Friedman on Sin:
"I think that the crucial question that anybody who believes in freedom
has to ask himself is whether to let another man be free to sin.
If you really know what sin is, if you could be absolutely certain that
you had the revealed truth, then you could not let another man sin.
You have to stop him." "Interview with Milton Friedman," Reason,
December 1974, p. 5.
Rawls on Self-interest & Friendship:
"Among persons who never acted in accordance with their duty of justice
except as reasons of self-interest and expediency dictated there would
be no bonds of friendship and mutual trust." (TOJ, p. 488)
Anonymous on Democracy:
“When democracy goes against you, it’s a conspiracy; when it favors
you, it’s the will of the people.”
Josephson on business ethics:
There's no such thing as business ethics; there's just ethics. And
ethics makes no concessions for the real or imagined necessities of making
a profit. (Michael S. Josephson, Founder and CEO, Josephson Institute
Spiritualism in Bible:
If you have been raised by Christ, seek the things that are above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on
things that are above, not on things that are in earth.
Alan Furst on the world:
"I had a friend, a Russian, he had theories about these things--a world
of bad people and good people, a war that never seems to end, you have
to take sides. I don't know, maybe that's the way it is." Cpt.
De Milja, The Polish Officer, by Alan Furst (p. 286)
Aquinas on Free Will:
[M]an acts from judgment, because by his apprehensive power he judges
that something should be avoided or sought. But because this judgment,
in the case of some particular act, is not from a natural instinct, but
from some act of comparison in the reason, therefore he acts from free
judgment and retains the power of being inclined to various things. And
forasmuch as man is rational is it necessary that man have a free-will."
(Summa Theologica, Q. 93.)
Montaigne on Misanthropy:
Of all our diseases, the worst is to despise our own being.
Diogenes Laertius reporting on Diogenes , the Cynic:
Once he saw the officials of a temple leading away some one who had
stolen a bowl belonging to the treasurers, and said, 'The great thieves
are leading away the little thief.'
Machan on gaining from bad institutions:
Getting benefits from a bad practice or institution is only wrong if
one supports it and isn't willing to give it up once it is abolished. --
From "Trying to Silence the Rebels Within".
J. S. Caldwell on Government:
The point to remember is that what Government gives it must first take
George Orwell on Autobiographies:
Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.
George Orwell, quoted in The [London] Sunday Times [from THE WEEK,
Sept. 13, 2003, p. 17]
Barnett on the Constitution:
A constitution is legitimate and binding in conscience to the extent
that it protects the natural rights of those under its jurisdiction. [Randy]
Barnett: “Restoring the Constitution,” Cato Policy Report, March/April
2004, p. 3.
Susan Sontag on Communism:
I would contend that what they illustrate is a truth that we should
have understood a very long time ago: that Communism is fascism--successful
fascism, if you will. What we have called fascism is, rather, the form
of tyranny that can be overthrown--that has, largely, failed. I repeat:
not only is fascism (and overt military rule) the probable destiny of all
Communist societies--especially when their populations are moved to revolt--but
Communism is in itself a variant, the most successful variant, of fascism.
Fascism with a human face. (“Communism and the Left” The Nation,
Chillingworth On skepticism:
No man's error can be confuted who doth not . . . grant some true principle
that contradicts his error. William Chillingworth.