Some of My Personal Favorite Quotes From My Studies

July 16, 2011 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

So, it’s been over FOUR MONTHS since my last blog!!  There is a reason; and it’s not complacency.  I have been studying a lot; reading material that I find important to fighting the battle for liberty that I’m determined to fight.  Some of the readings in the last six months include Frederic Bastiat’s 13 Essays on Political Economy and his Economic Harmonies; Leonard Read’s “I Pencil”; a couple of Milton Friedman books; a few David Barton books, James Madison’s notes from The Constitutional Convention of 1787; Bill Warner’s Sharia Law for non-muslims; the qur’an; the hadith of Bukhari; and the sira by Ibn Ishaq, “The Life of muhammad” just to name a few. 

 

As you can imagine, I’ve taken some notes throughout my studies.  While this post is mostly quotes, and therefore slightly unoriginal, it’s VERY informative (in my humble opinion), as it contains some of the quotes I’ve come across that I find most informative or important.  I am going to try to leave out obvious and well know quotes, such as Thomas Jefferson’s “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time…”  I’m going for some less well-known quotes; ones I’d either never heard before, or hadn’t heard in quite a while.  I hope my many hours of study, compressed into a few quotes, can provide you some enjoyment and/or enlightenment.  If I may humbly offer one bit of recommendation from my learning’s, it would be this; STUDY FREDERIC BASTIAT!!!  You can find his writings online (http://www.econlib.org/; hint hint!!) to print free of charge, and he is quite possibly the most influential writer you can study if you are in pursuit of true liberty!  That man knew his stuff, and was way ahead of his time. 

 

Anyway, without further ado, here are some of my favorite quotes…

 

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Frederic Bastiat, “The Law”

 

“Life, faculties, production – in other words, individuality, liberty, property – this is man.  And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.  Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws.  On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place [for their protection].”

 

“But how is it [legal plunder, i.e. wealth redistribution] to be distinguished?  Very easily.  See whether the law takes from some persons that which belongs to them, to give to others what does not belong to them.  See whether the law performs, for the profit of one citizen, and, to the injury of others, an act that this citizen cannot perform without committing a crime. Abolish this law without delay; it is not merely an iniquity – it is a fertile source of iniquities, for it invites reprisals; and if you do not take care, the exceptional case will extend, multiply, and become systematic. No doubt the party benefited will exclaim loudly…he will plead that it is a good thing for the State to be enriched…take care not to listen to this sophistry, for it is just by the systematizing of these arguments that legal plunder becomes systematized.”

 

“When a portion of wealth passes out of the hands of him who has acquired it, without his consent, and without compensation, to him who has not created it, whether by force or by artifice, I say that property is violated, that plunder is perpetrated. I say that this is exactly what the law ought to repress always and everywhere.”

 

“…protectionism…socialism…communism…are one and the same plant, in three different periods of its growth.”

 

“And, in fact, what is the political work that we are endeavoring to promote? It is no other than the instinctive effort of every people towards liberty. And what is liberty…but the union of all liberties, the liberty of conscience, of education, of association, of the press, of movement, of labor, and of exchange; in other words, the free exercise, for all, of all the inoffensive faculties; and again, in other words, the destruction of all despotisms, even of legal despotism, and the reduction of law to its only rational sphere, which is to regulate the individual right of legitimate defense, or to repress injustice?”

 

[questioning the socialist societal “engineers,” who are themselves human]  Since the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to allow them liberty, how comes it to pass that the tendencies of organizers are always good?”

 

“It is not true that the mission of the law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our will, our education, our sentiments, our works, our exchanges, our gifts, our enjoyments. Its mission is to prevent the rights of one from interfering with those of another, in any one of these things.”

 

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Adam Smith, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”

 

“What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom. If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it of them with some part of the produce of our own industry employed in a way in which we have some advantage. . . .”

 

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Milton Friedman; “Capitalism and Freedom” and “Free to Choose”

 

“Few measures that we could take would do more to promote the cause of freedom at home and abroad than complete free trade. Instead of making grants to foreign governments in the name of economic aid — thereby promoting socialism — while at the same time imposing restrictions on the products they produce — thereby hindering free enterprise — we could assume a consistent and principled stance. We could say to the rest of the world: We believe in freedom and intend to practice it. We cannot force you to be free. But we can offer full cooperation on equal terms to all.”

 

“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

 

“The great achievement of capitalism has not been the accumulation of property, it has been the opportunities it has offered to men and women to extend and develop and improve their capacities.”

 

“Those of us who believe in freedom must believe also in the freedom of individuals to make their own mistakes.  If a man knowingly prefers to live for today, to use his resources for current enjoyment, deliberately choosing a penurious old age, by what right do we prevent him from doing so?  We may argue with him, seek to persuade him that he is wrong, but are we entitled to coercion to prevent him from doing what he chooses to do…humility is the distinguishing virtue of the believer in freedom; arrogance, of the paternalist.”

 

“Why is it, in the light of the record, that the burden of proof still seems to rest on those of us who oppose new government programs and who seek to reduce the already unduly large role of government…The preservation and expansion of freedom are today threatened from two directions…one threat is obvious and clear…the external threat…the other is far more subtle, the internal threat coming from men of good intentions and good will who wish to reform us.”

 

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“…there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth. The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other…”  ~  Alexis de Tocqueville, “Democracy in America”

 

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”  ~  Plato

 

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity.”  ~  John Adams

 

“In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them [if we remove the Bible from schools].”  ~  Dr. Benjamin Rush, Influential (and under-rated) Founder

 

“All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”  ~  Noah Webster

 

“[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  ~  John Adams

 

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.  Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”  ~  George Washington’s Farewell Address

 

“As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate.”  ~  George Washington’s Farewell Address

 

“This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other.  It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this…”  ~  Sir William Blackstone

 

“But the most foolish notion of all is the belief that everything is just which is found in the customs or laws of nations…. What of the many deadly, the many pestilential statutes which nations put in force? These no more deserve to be called laws than the rules a band of robbers might pass in their assembly. For if ignorant and unskillful men have prescribed deadly poisons instead of healing drugs, these cannot possibly be called physicians’ prescriptions; neither in a nation can a statute of any sort be called a law, even though the nation, in spite of being a ruinous regulation has accepted it.”  ~ Cicero

 

“I think with you, that nothing is of more importance for the public weal, than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue. Wise and good men are in my opinion, the strength of the state; more so than riches or arms…. I think also, that general virtue is more probably to be expected and obtained from the education of youth, than from the exhortations of adult persons; bad habits and vices of the mind being, like diseases of the body, more easily prevented [in youth] than cured [in adults]. I think, moreover, that talents for the education of youth are the gift God; and that he on whom they are bestowed, whenever a way is opened for the use of them, is as strongly called as if he heard a voice from heaven…”  ~  Benjamin Franklin, as quoted in “The American Enlightenment

 

“But neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.”  ~  Samuel Adams

 

“I thank God that I have lived to see my country independent and free.  She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will.  It depends on her virtue.”  ~  Samuel Adams

 

“The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it.  While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves.”  ~  Samuel Adams

 

“The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people.  The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.”  ~  Alexander Hamilton, Federalist # 22

 

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations…This danger ought to be wisely guarded against.”  ~  James Madison, on the danger of losing Constitutionally protected rights.

 

“The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts. I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.”  ~  John Adams, in a letter to his wife, Abigail Adams

 

[It is my aspiration] to see rising in America an empire of liberty, and the prospect of two or three hundred millions of freemen, without one noble or one king among them.”  John Adams

 

“The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many…Let the National Government be entrusted with the defense of the nation and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward [neighborhood] direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man’s farm by himself…”  ~  Thomas Jefferson

 

“It is not to be doubted, that to the free and universal reading of the Bible, in that age, men were much indebted for right views of civil liberty.  The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of especial revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity,  and his equality with his fellow man.”  ~  Noah Webster

 

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”  ~  James Madison

 

And last but certainly not least…

 

“The utopian schemes of leveling and a community of goods [what we today call socialism], are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government unconstitutional.”  ~  Samuel Adams

 

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Of course there are thousands of great quotes I’ve left out.  This is already long enough, and I’ve already edited and deleted some out just to shrink this post to its current size.  One thing is undoubted (contrary to today’s teachings by the secularists); that our Founders understood the minds and principles of great men, concepts, motives, and our Creator.  They sought inspiration from Locke, Montesquieu, Blackstone, Cicero, Plato, Smith; and most importantly God’s Holy word from the New and Old Testaments.  They were selfless in their pursuits, endeavoring to produce a government of true liberty and self rule, as they believed it was the only way God would desire it to be done.  And I guess to back that up, I’ll use one last quote in closing…

 

“…I feel it a duty to express my profound & solemn conviction, derived from my intimate opportunity of observing & appreciating the views of the Convention…that there never was an assembly of men, charged with a great & arduous trust, who were more pure in their motives, or more exclusively or anxiously devoted to the object committed to them, than were the members of the Federal Convention of 1787, to the object of devising and proposing a constitutional system which would best…secure the permanent liberty and happiness of their country.”  ~  James Madison, in his own preface to his Notes of the Debates of the Constitutional Convention.

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