600 Quotations about Liberty and Power.
Ed. David M. Hart




I compiled this collection of 600 quotations about liberty and power over a 14 period 2004-2018 for the Liberty Fund's Online Library of Liberty of which I was the founding Director. It was designed to show the range of thinking about the 30 or so topics listed below, as well as to provide an entry point in order allow the reader to explore the topic more deeply. I wrote all the comments which accompany the quotes. This list is of the titles of the quotes only. To read the full quotation and my comments follow the link provided back to the OLL website.

The entire collection of quotations and comments can be found in a Kindle format ebook here:

600 Quotations about Liberty and Power: The Collected Quotations from the Online Library of Liberty (2004-2018). Ed. David M. Hart (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2018). [at the OLL].


Table of Contents

  1. Class
  2. Colonies, Slavery & Abolition
  3. Economics
  4. Education
  5. Food & Drink
  6. Free Trade
  7. Freedom of Speech
  8. Justice
  9. Law
  10. Liberty
  11. Literature & Music
  12. Money & Banking
  13. Natural Rights
  14. Odds & Ends
  15. Origin of Government
  16. Parties & Elections
  17. Philosophy
  18. Politics & Liberty
  19. Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots
  20. Property Rights
  21. Religion & Toleration
  22. Revolution
  23. Rhetoric of Liberty
  24. Science
  25. Socialism & Interventionism
  26. Society
  27. Sport and Liberty
  28. Taxation
  29. The State
  30. War & Peace
  31. Women’s Rights



Topic 1: Class

  1. John C. Calhoun notes that taxation divides the community into two great antagonistic classes, those who pay the taxes and those who benefit from them (1850) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/78)
  2. John Stuart Mill discusses the origins of the state whereby the “productive class” seeks protection from one “member of the predatory class” in order to gain some security of property (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/211)
  3. Richard Cobden outlines his strategy of encouraging more people to acquire land and thus the right to vote in order to defeat the “landed oligarchy” who ruled England and imposed the “iniquity” of the Corn Laws (1845) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/242)
  4. James Madison on the “sagacious and monied few” who are able to “harvest” the benefits of government regulations (1787) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/349)
  5. Bentham on how “the ins” and “the outs” lie to the people in order to get into power (1843) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/360)
  6. James Mill on the “sinister interests” of those who wield political power (1825) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/366)
  7. Molinari on the elites who benefited from the State of War (1899) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/384)
  8. James Mill on the ruling Few and the subject Many (1835) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/438)
  9. William Cobbett on the dangers posed by the “Paper Aristocracy” (1804) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/538)
  10. Herbert Spencer observes that class structures emerge in societies as a result of war and violence (1882) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/563)
  11. Jeremy Bentham argued that the ruling elite benefits from corruption, waste, and war (1827) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/561)
  12. Adam Smith on why people obey and defer to their rulers (1759) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/557)
  13. Algernon Sidney on how the absolute state treats its people like cattle (1698) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/579)
  14. Adam Smith on the dangers of faction and privilege seeking (1759) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/577)
  15. Yves Guyot warns that a new ruling class of managers and officials will emerge in the supposedly “classless” socialist society of the future (1908) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/584)
  16. James Bryce on the autocratic oligarchy which controls the party machine in the American democratic system (1921) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/585)
  17. Jeremy Bentham on how the interests of the many (the people) are always sacrificed to the interests of the few (the sinister interests) (1823) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/587)
  18. Adam Smith thinks many candidates for high political office act as if they are above the law (1759) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/589)
  19. William Graham Sumner on the political corruption which is “jobbery” (1884) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/609)



Topic 2: Colonies, Slavery & Abolition

  1. Less well known is Thomas Jefferson’s First Draft of the Declaration of Independence in which he denounced the slave trade as an “execrable Commerce” and slavery itself as a “cruel war against nature itself” (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/59)
  2. Adam Smith notes that colonial governments might exercise relative freedom in the metropolis but impose tyranny in the distant provinces (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/114)
  3. John Millar argues that as a society becomes wealthier domestic freedom increases, even to the point where slavery is thought to be pernicious and economically inefficient (1771) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/102)
  4. J.B. Say argues that colonial slave labor is really quite profitable for the slave owners at the expense of the slaves and the home consumers (1817) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/151)
  5. Jean-Baptiste Say argues that home-consumers bear the brunt of the cost of maintaining overseas colonies and that they also help support the lavish lifestyles of the planter and merchant classes (1817) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/222)
  6. Thomas Clarkson on the “glorious” victory of the abolition of the slave trade in England (1808) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/128)
  7. Jeremy Bentham relates a number of “abominations” to the French National Convention urging them to emancipate their colonies (1793) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/132)
  8. John Stuart Mill on the “atrocities” committed by Governor Eyre and his troops in putting down the Jamaica rebellion (1866) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/140)
  9. Harriet Martineau on the institution of slavery, “restless slaves”, and the Bill of Rights (1838) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/176)
  10. Sir William Blackstone declares unequivocally that slavery is “repugnant to reason, and the principles of natural law” and that it has no place in English law (1753) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/193)
  11. Emerson on the right of self-ownership of slaves to themselves and to their labor (1863) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/238)
  12. Frederick Douglass makes a New Year’s resolution to gain his freedom from slavery (1836) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/240)
  13. John Stuart Mill on “the sacred right of insurrection” (1862) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/311)
  14. Tocqueville on Centralised Government in Canada and Decentralised Government in America (1856) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/483)
  15. Benjamin Franklin on making the transition from slavery to civil liberty (1789) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/545)
  16. Mises on wealth creation and stopping the spirit of predatory militarism (1949) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/564)



Topic 3: Economics

  1. Adam Smith on the natural ordering Tendency of Free Markets, or what he called the “Invisible Hand” (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/249)
  2. Voltaire on the Benefits which Trade and Economic Abundance bring to People living in the Present Age (1736) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/20)
  3. Adam Smith argued that the “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange” was inherent in human nature and gave rise to things such as the division of labour (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/48)
  4. Bernard Mandeville uses a fable about bees to show how prosperity and good order comes about through spontaneous order (1705) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/66)
  5. Bernard Mandeville concludes his fable of the bees with a moral homily on the virtues of peace, hard work, and diligence (1705) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/75)
  6. Montesquieu thought that commerce improves manners and cures “the most destructive prejudices” (1748) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/85)
  7. Forrest McDonald argues that the Founding Fathers envisaged a new economic order based upon Lockean notions of private property and the creation of the largest contiguous area of free trade in the world (2006) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/95)
  8. Adam Ferguson observed that social structures of all kinds were “the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design” (1782) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/104)
  9. Lord Macaulay writes a devastating review of Southey’s Colloquies in which the Poet Laureate’s ignorance of the real condition of the working class in England is exposed (1830) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/149)
  10. Ludwig von Mises argues that the division of labor and human cooperation are the two sides of the same coin and are not antagonistic to each other (1949) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/129)
  11. Jean-Baptiste Say argues that there is a world of difference between private consumption and public consumption; an increase in the latter does nothing to increase public wealth (1803) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/171)
  12. Frank Taussig argues for the reverse of a common misconception about the relationship between high wages and the use of machinery (1915) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/229)
  13. Kirzner defines economics as the reconciliation of conflicting ends given the existence of inescapable scarcity (1960) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/283)
  14. Wicksteed on the subjective theory of value and on opportunity costs (1910) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/287)
  15. Bentham on the proper role of government: “Be Quiet” and “Stand out of my sunshine” (1843) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/294)
  16. Bastiat asks the fundamental question of political economy: what should be the size of the state? (1850) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/295)
  17. Mises on the interconnection between economic and political freedom (1949) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/350)
  18. Adam Smith on the greater productivity brought about by the division of labor and technological innovation (1760s) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/316)
  19. Bastiat on the state vs. laissez-faire (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/337)
  20. Spencer on spontaneous order produced by “the beneficent working of social forces” (1879) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/328)
  21. Alexander Pope on how private “self love” can lead to the public good (1732) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/372)
  22. Bastiat on trade as a the mutual exchange of “a service for another service” (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/402)
  23. Bentham on the liberty of contracts and lending money at interest (1787) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/397)
  24. Horace Say on “I, Pin” and the international division of labor (1852) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/400)
  25. Ludwig Lachmann and the free market as a leveling process in the distribution of wealth (1956) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/405)
  26. James Buchanan on “process” and the market order (1982) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/419)
  27. Destutt de Tracy on the damage which government debt and the class which lives off loans to the state cause the industrious classes (1817) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/421)
  28. Paul Heyne on THE economic way of thinking (1995) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/429)
  29. Lao Tzu and the Tao of laissez-faire (6thC BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/430)
  30. Adam Smith debunks that idea that when it comes to public debt “we owe it to ourselves” (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/431)
  31. Spooner on the “natural right to labor” and to acquire all one honestly can (1846) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/453)
  32. Philip Wicksteed’s positive vision of the “cash nexus” (1910) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/471)
  33. Philip Wicksteed on how impersonal economic relations help others (1910) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/470)
  34. Destutt de Tracy on the mutually beneficial nature of exchange (1817) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/491)
  35. Arthur Seldon on the problem of “who guards us from the guardians”? (1990) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/496)
  36. Destutt de Tracy on society as “nothing but a succession of exchanges” (1817) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/490)
  37. Anthony de Jasay on the free rider problem (2008) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/509)
  38. Mises on the consumer as the “captain” of the economic ship (1944) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/528)
  39. Lysander Spooner on why government monopolies like the post office are inherently inefficient (1844) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/541)
  40. Bernard Mandeville on the social cooperation which is required to produce a piece of scarlet cloth (1723) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/542)
  41. James Mill’s formulation of “Say’s Law” (1808) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/544)
  42. William Graham Sumner on the industrial system as an example of social co-operation (c. 1900) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/566)
  43. Philip Wicksteed on “non-tuism” in economic relations (1910) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/599)
  44. Robert Molesworth on the benefits of open borders and free immigration (1705) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/590)



Topic 4: Education

  1. Adam Smith on the rigorous education of young Fitzmaurice (1759) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/253)
  2. John Locke tells a “gentleman” how important reading and thinking is to a man of his station whose “proper calling” should be the service of his country (late 1600s) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/49)
  3. Forrest McDonald discusses the reading habits of colonial Americans and concludes that their thinking about politics and their shared values was based upon their wide reading, especially of history (1978) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/94)
  4. The ex-slave Frederick Douglass reveals that reading speeches by English politicians produced in him a deep love of liberty and hatred of oppression (1882) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/135)
  5. Adam Smith on compulsory attendance in the classroom (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/377)



Topic 5: Food & Drink

  1. Adam Smith on how Government Regulation and Taxes might drive a Man to Drink (1766) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/254)
  2. Erasmus argues that Philosophizing is all very well but there is also a need for there to be a Philosopher of the Kitchen (1518) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/31)
  3. As if in answer to Erasmus’ prayer, Spencer does become a Philosopher of the Kitchen arguing that “if there is a wrong in respect of the taking of food (and drink) there must also be a right” (1897) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/32)
  4. David Hume examines the pride of the turkey (and other creatures) (1739) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/189)
  5. Herbert Spencer on the pitfalls of arguing with friends at the dinner table (1897) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/235)
  6. Lysander Spooner on the idea that laws against “vice” (victimless crimes) are unjust (1875) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/270)
  7. Bastiat, the 1830 Revolution, and the Spilling of Wine not Blood (1830) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/390)
  8. Benjamin Franklin on killing and cooking a turkey with electricity (1748) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/389)
  9. William Graham Sumner on how “society” helps the drunkard in the gutter (1883) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/504)



Topic 6: Free Trade

  1. Jane Haldimand Marcet, in a popular tale written for ordinary readers, shows the benefits to workers of foreign trade, especially at Christmas time (1833) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/111)
  2. Harriet Martineau condemns tariffs as a “vicious aristocratic principle” designed to harm the ordinary working man and woman (1861) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/137)
  3. Adam Smith argues that retaliation in a trade war can sometimes force the offending country to lower its tariffs, but more often than not the reverse happens (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/195)
  4. John Ramsay McCulloch argues that smuggling is “wholly the result of vicious commercial and financial legislation” and that it could be ended immediately by abolishing this legislation (1899) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/204)
  5. Condy Raguet argues that governments cannot create wealth by means of legislation and that individuals are better judges of the best way to use their capital and labor than governments (1835) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/209)
  6. Yves Guyot accuses all those who seek Protection from foreign competition of being “Socialists” (1893) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/272)
  7. William Grampp shows how closely connected Richard Cobden’s desire for free trade was to his desire for peace (1960) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/278)
  8. Bastiat on the spirit of free trade as a reform of the mind itself (1847) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/318)
  9. Richard Cobden’s “I have a dream” speech about a world in which free trade is the governing principle (1846) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/326)
  10. Frédéric Bastiat on the most universally useful freedom, namely to work and to trade (1847) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/332)
  11. Adam Smith on how “furious monopolists” will fight to the bitter end to keep their privileges (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/367)
  12. Guyot on the protectionist tyranny (1906) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/375)
  13. The 9th Day of Christmas: Condy Raguet on the anti-Christian character of protection and the need for peace on earth (1832) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/416)
  14. The 12th Day of Christmas: Frank Chodorov on free trade as the harbinger of goodwill among men and peace on earth (1940) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/407)
  15. Henry George on a “free trade America” as the real city set on a hill (1886) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/501)
  16. John Taylor on how a republic can “fleece its citizens” just as well as a monarchy (1822) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/461)
  17. Adam Smith on the “liberal system” of free trade (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/459)
  18. Cobden on the folly of using government force to “protect commerce” (1836) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/493)
  19. Henry George on how trade sanctions hurt domestic consumers (1886) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/500)
  20. Lord Kames argued that neither the King nor Parliament had the right to grant monopolies because they harmed the interests of the people (1778) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/511)
  21. The right to free trade under Magna Carta (1215) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/534)
  22. David Hume on how the prosperity of one’s neighbors increases one’s own prosperity (1777) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/543)
  23. Jean-Baptiste Say regards regulations which favor producers as a form of political privilege at the expence of the community (1803) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/547)
  24. Nicholas Barbon on the mutual benefits of free trade even in luxury goods (“wants of the mind”) (1690) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/553)
  25. Mises on how the “boon” of a tariff privilege is soon dissipated (1949) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/583)
  26. William Fox on the hypocrisy of those who do not want to be dependent on foreign trade (1844) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/582)
  27. Henry George on the scramble to get government favors known as trade “protection” (1886) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/581)
  28. Frédéric Bastiat’s theory of plunder (1850) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/588)
  29. William Graham Sumner on free trade as another aspect of individual liberty (1888) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/598)
  30. Molinari calls the idea of using tariffs to promote a nation’s economy “a monstrosity” (1852) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/591)
  31. Richard Cobden on how free trade would unite mankind in the bonds of peace (1850) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/603)



Topic 7: Freedom Of Speech

  1. John Milton gave a speech before Parliament defending the right of freedom of speech in which he likened the government censors to an “oligarchy” and free speech to a “flowery crop of knowledge” (1644) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/51)
  2. John Milton opposed censorship for many reasons but one thought sticks in the mind, that “he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself” (1644) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/97)
  3. Thomas efferson’s preference for “newspapers without government” over “government without newspapers” (1787) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/302)
  4. Benjamin Constant and the Freedom of the Press (1815) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/321)
  5. John Milton on the tyranny of government licensed printing (1644) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/487)
  6. Spinoza on being master of one’s own thoughts (1670) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/521)
  7. The Earl of Shaftesbury on the value of good conversations for questioning everything (1709) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/532)
  8. Benedict de Spinoza on the natural right every person has to think and speak on any subject they choose (1670) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/610)
  9. Elisha Williams on the unalienable right every person has to think and judge for themselves (1744) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/611)



Topic 8: Justice

  1. Cicero urges the Senate to apply the laws equally in order to protect the reputation of Rome and to provide justice for the victims of a corrupt magistrate (1stC BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/74)
  2. Lysander Spooner spells out his theory of “mine and thine”, or the science of natural law and justice, which alone can ensure that mankind lives in peace (1882) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/182)
  3. St. Augustine states that kingdoms without justice are mere robberies, and robberies are like small kingdoms; but large Empires are piracy writ large (5th C) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/200)
  4. Pascal and the absurd notion that the principles of justice vary across state borders (1669) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/374)
  5. James Mackintosh on the relationship between justice and utility (1791) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/472)
  6. Adam Smith on the legitimacy of using force to ensure justice (1759) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/596)
  7. Adam Smith on the illegitimacy of using force to promote beneficence (1759) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/595)
  8. Jean Barbeyrac on the need to disobey unjust laws (1715) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/613)



Topic 9: Law

  1. Sir Edward Coke defends British Liberties and the Idea of Habeas Corpus in the Petition of Right before Parliament (1628) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/16)
  2. Bruno Leoni on the different Ways in which Needs can be satisfied, either voluntarily through the Market or coercively through the State (1963) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/18)
  3. Adam Smith argues that the Habeas Corpus Act is a great security against the tyranny of the king (1763) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/76)
  4. J.S. Mill in a speech before parliament denounced the suspension of Habeas Corpus and the use of flogging in Ireland, saying that those who ordered this “deserved flogging as much as any of those who were flogged by his orders” (1866) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/87)
  5. John Locke on the idea that “wherever law ends, tyranny begins” (1689) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/115)
  6. The legal historian Hazeltine wrote in an essay commemorating the 700th anniversary of Magna Carta that the American colonists regarded Magna Carta as the “bulwark of their rights as Englishmen” (1917) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/116)
  7. Bruno Leoni notes the strong connection between economic freedom and decentralized legal decision-making (1961) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/110)
  8. John Adams argues that the British Empire is not a “true” empire but a form of a “republic” where the rule of law operates (1763) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/127)
  9. The IVth Amendment to the American Constitution states that the people shall be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches and seizures and that no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause (1788) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/134)
  10. John Adams predicts a glorious future for America under the new constitution and is in “reverence and awe” at its future prospects (1787) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/167)
  11. Sir William Blackstone provides a strong defence of personal liberty and concludes that to “secretly hurry” a man to prison is a “dangerous engine of arbitrary government” (1753) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/203)
  12. Cesare Beccaria says that torture is cruel and barbaric and a violation of the principle that no one should be punished until proven guilty in a court of law; in other words it is the “right of power” (1764) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/208)
  13. Lysander Spooner on Jury Nullification as the “palladium of liberty” against the tyranny of government (1852) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/122)
  14. Lysander Spooner states the importance of the 9th Amendment to the American Constitution which protects the natural rights of the people not enumerated in the 1st 8 Amendments (1886) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/276)
  15. Sir Edward Coke explains one of the key sections of Magna Carta on English liberties (1642) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/307)
  16. Algernon Sidney on the need for the law to be “deaf, inexorable, inflexible” and not subject to the arbitrary will of the ruler (1698) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/309)
  17. Pollock on “our lady” the common law and her devoted servants (1911) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/330)
  18. Tiedeman states that the police powers under the constitution are strictly limited to enforcing the maxim: “use your own property in such a manner as not to injure that of another” (1886) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/369)
  19. Algernon Sidney argues that a law that is not just is not a law (1683) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/395)
  20. Plucknett on the Renaissance state’s “war against the idea of law” (1956) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/392)
  21. Plucknett contrasts the flexibility and adaptability of customary law with the rigidity and remoteness of state legislation (1956) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/391)
  22. Jasay on the superiority of “spontaneous conventions” over “legal frameworks” (2007) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/385)
  23. James Wilson argues that it is the people, not the prince, who is superior in matters of legal sovereignty (1790) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/440)
  24. Tiedeman on the victimless crime of vagrancy (1900) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/467)
  25. Montesquieu and law as a fishing net (1720) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/474)
  26. Sir Edward Coke declares that your house is your “Castle and Fortress” (1604) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/502)
  27. Frédéric Bastiat asks what came first, property or law? (1850) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/494)
  28. Herbert Spencer on the superiority of private enterprise over State activity (1853) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/513)
  29. James Mackintosh on how constitutions grow and are not made (1799) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/518)
  30. Under Magna Carta the King cannot imprison a freeman without being convicted by a trial of his peers (1215) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/536)
  31. The Leveller John Lilburne argues from prison that the King and the Magistrate must obey the law like everyone else (1648) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/580)
  32. Thomas Aquinas on why the law should not punish imperfect men for practising vices which do not harm others (1274) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/607)



Topic 10: Liberty

  1. Simeon Howard on liberty as the opposition to “external force and constraint” (1773) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/393)
  2. Madison on “Parchment Barriers” and the defence of liberty I (1788) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/403)
  3. Alexis de Tocqueville on the true love of liberty (1856) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/423)
  4. Immanuel Kant on the natural right to seek happiness in one’s own way (1791) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/428)
  5. John Millar on liberty as an unintended consequence of a struggle between tyrants (1787) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/439)
  6. Bastiat’s has a utopian dream of drastically reducing the size of the French state (1847) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/449)
  7. Herbert Spencer on the prospects for liberty (1882) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/454)
  8. Guizot on how intellectual and political diversity and competition created a unique European civilization (1828) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/506)
  9. Richard Overton argues that to submit to the unjust rule by another is to violate one’s right of self ownership (1646) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/480)
  10. Magna Carta guaranteed the freemen of the kingdom their liberties forever (1215) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/508)
  11. Mises on liberalism and the battle of ideas (1927) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/465)
  12. Jacques Maritain on the dynamism of freedom (1938) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/469)
  13. Edmund Burke on liberty as “social” not “individual” liberty (1789) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/473)
  14. Liberty in the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/488)
  15. Guizot on man’s unquenchable desire for liberty and free political institutions (1820-22) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/505)
  16. Richard Price on giving thanks for the principles of the Revolution of 1688 (1789) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/516)
  17. De Lolme on Liberty as equality under the laws (1784) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/533)
  18. Madame de Staël on how liberty is ancient and despotism is modern (1818) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/556)
  19. The Levellers’ Declaration of Independence (March 1647) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/558)
  20. Joseph Priestley on the presumption of liberty (1771) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/594)



Topic 11: Literature & Music

  1. Shakespeare farewells his lover in a Sonnet using many mercantile and legal metaphors (1609) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/24)
  2. During the American Revolution Thomas Paine penned a patriotic song called “Hail Great Republic” which is to be sung to the tune of Rule Britannia (of course!) (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/33)
  3. In Joseph Addison’s play Cato Cato is asked what it would take for him to be Caesar’s “friend” - his answer is that Caesar would have to first “disband his legions” and then “restore the commonwealth to liberty” (1713) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/43)
  4. With the return of spring the memories of Petrarch’s beloved Laura awaken a new pang in him (late 14thC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/54)
  5. John Milton in Paradise Regained has Christ deplore the “false glory” which comes from military conquest and the despoiling of nations in battle (1671) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/72)
  6. Aeschylus has Prometheus denounce the lord of heaven for unjustly punishing him for giving mankind the gift of fire (5thC BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/73)
  7. In Shakespeare’s Henry V the soldier Williams confronts the king by saying that “few die well that die in a battle” and that “a heavy reckoning” awaits the king that led them to it (1598) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/98)
  8. In Shakespeare’s Henry V the king is too easily persuaded by his advisors that the English economy will continue to function smoothly, like obedient little honey-bees in their hive, while he is away with his armies conquering France (1598) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/99)
  9. In Shakespeare’s The Tempest Caliban complains about the way the European lord Prospero taught him language and science then enslaved him and dispossessed him of the island on which he was born (1611) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/100)
  10. In Percy Shelley’s poem Liberty liberty is compared to a force of nature sweeping the globe, where “tyrants and slaves are like shadows of night” which will disappear in “the van of the morning light” (1824) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/101)
  11. In Measure for Measure Shakespeare has Isabella denounce the Duke’s deputy for being corrupted by power, “it is excellent To have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant” (1623) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/109)
  12. Shakespeare in Pericles on how the rich and powerful are like whales who eat up the harding working “little fish” (1608) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/118)
  13. Percy Bysshe Shelley on the new Constitution of Naples which he hoped would be “as a mirror to make … blind slaves see” (1820) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/139)
  14. J.S. Bach and Martin Luther on how God (the “feste Burg”) helps us gain our freedom (1730) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/143)
  15. Shakespeare has King Henry IV reflect on the reasons for invading the Holy Land, namely to distract people from domestic civil war and to “march all one way” under his banner (1597) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/165)
  16. Confucius edited this collection of poems which contains a poem about “Yellow Birds” who ravenously eat the crops of the local people, thus alienating them completely (520 BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/168)
  17. Augustin Thierry relates the heroic tale of the Kentishmen who defeat William the Conqueror and so are able to keep their ancient laws and liberties (1856) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/206)
  18. Voltaire in Candide says that “tending one’s own garden” is not only a private activity but also productive (1759) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/207)
  19. Beethoven’s hero Florestan in the opera Fidelio laments the loss of his liberty for speaking the truth to power (1805) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/210)
  20. On Achilles’ new shield Vulcan depicts the two different types of cities which humans can build on earth; one based on peace and the rule of law; the other based on war, killing, and pillage (900 BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/263)
  21. Thierry on the need for songs about our lost liberties which will act as a barrier to encroaching power (1845) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/265)
  22. Bach asks God “when will I die”? (1700) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/354)
  23. Shakespeare on sweet love remembered (1609) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/358)
  24. Milton on Eve’s discovery of the benefits of the division of labor in the Garden of Eden (1667) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/401)
  25. Gustave de Beaumont and Irish liberty (1839) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/424)



Topic 12: Money & Banking

  1. Friedrich Hayek rediscovers the importance of Henry Thornton’s early 19th century work on “paper credit” and its role in financing the British Empire (1802) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/141)
  2. Henry Vaughan argues that it is the voluntary and “universal concurrence of mankind”, not the laws, which makes money acceptable as a medium of exchange (1675) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/156)
  3. Tom Paine on the “Decline and Fall of the English System of Finance” (1796) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/178)
  4. Ludwig von Mises shows the inevitability of economic slumps after a period of credit expansion (1951) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/183)
  5. Ludwig von Mises identifies the source of the disruption of the world monetary order as the failed policies of governments and their central banks (1934) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/184)
  6. Thomas Jefferson in a letter to John Taylor condemns the system of banking as “a blot” on the constitution, as corrupt, and that long-term government debt was “swindling” future generations (1816) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/187)
  7. Ludwig von Mises lays out five fundamental truths of monetary expansion (1949) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/198)
  8. Ludwig von Mises argues that sound money is an instrument for the protection of civil liberties and a means of limiting government power (1912) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/199)
  9. Mises on the gold standard as the symbol of international peace and prosperity (1949) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/299)
  10. Bagehot on Government, the banking system, and moral hazard (1873) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/304)
  11. Mises on classical liberalism and the gold standard (1928) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/338)
  12. Bagehot on the monopoly central bank (1873) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/356)
  13. David Ricardo on the “mere increase of money” (1809) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/370)
  14. The 11th Day of Christmas: Mises on the gold standard and peace on earth (1934) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/411)
  15. William Cobbett opposes the government bail-out at taxpayer expence of those who lent money to the state (1815) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/447)
  16. Mises on the State Theory of Money (1912) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/378)
  17. William Leggett on the separation of bank and state (1837) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/486)
  18. Nassau Senior on how the universal acceptance of gold and silver currency creates a world economy (1830) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/555)



Topic 13: Natural Rights

  1. Herbert Spencer concludes from his principle of equal freedom that individuals have the Right to Ignore the State (1851) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/154)
  2. Sir William Blackstone differentiates between “absolute rights” of individuals (natural rights which exist prior to the state) and social rights (contractural rights which evolve later) (1753) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/215)
  3. Richard Overton shoots An Arrow against all Tyrants from the prison of Newgate into the prerogative bowels of the arbitrary House of Lords and all other usurpers and tyrants whatsoever (1646):(http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/219)
  4. John Locke on “perfect freedom” in the state of nature (1689) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/317)
  5. Heineccius argues that no man should be deprived of anything which he has received by nature, or has justly acquired (1738) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/451)
  6. John Lilburne on one’s duty to respect “the Right, Due, and Propriety of all the Sons of Adam, as men” (1646) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/485)
  7. James Wilson asks if man exists for the sake of government, or is government instituted for the sake of man? (1791) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/503)
  8. John Locke on the rights to life, liberty, and property of ourselves and others (1689) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/497)
  9. The State of California issued its own Bill of Rights in 1849 with a strong defence of property rights (1849) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/537)
  10. Denis Diderot argues that the laws must be based upon natural rights and be made for all and not for one (1755) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/572)
  11. Jeremy Bentham on rights as a creation of the state alone (1831) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/601)
  12. Benjamin Constant on the difference between rights and utility (1815) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/593)
  13. Francis Hutcheson on the difference between “perfect” and “imperfect” rights (1725) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/605)
  14. Epictetus on one’s inner freedom that is immune to external coercion (c. 100 CE) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/606)
  15. Thomas Jefferson on whether the American Constitution is binding on those who were not born at the time it was signed and agreed to (1789) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/608)
  16. Gershom Carmichael on the idea that civil power is founded on the consent of those against whom it is exercised (1724) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/614)
  17. Herbert Spencer on the right of political and economic “dissenters” to have their different beliefs and practices respected by the state (1842) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/622)



Topic 14: Odds & Ends

  1. Frederick Millar is upset that especially at Christmas time the bad effects of the letter-carrying monopoly of the Post Office are felt by the public (1891) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/34)
  2. Ambroise Clément draws the distinction between two different kinds of charity: true voluntary charity and coerced government “charity” which is really a tax (1852) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/36)
  3. Edward Gibbon reveals the reasons why he wrote on the decline of the Roman Empire, “the greatest, perhaps, and most awful scene in the history of mankind” (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/64)
  4. The Earl of Shaftesbury states that civility and politeness is a consequence of liberty by which “we polish one another, and rub off our Corners and rough Sides” (1709) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/79)
  5. Edward Robertson points out the bureaucratic blundering and inefficiency of the Postal Monopoly during the Christmas rush period (1891) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/191)
  6. Emerson on selecting the right gift to give at Christmas and New Year (1844) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/303)
  7. Adam Smith on the ridiculousness of romantic love (1759) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/357)



Topic 15: Origin Of Government

  1. David Hume argued that Individual Liberty emerged slowly out of the “violent system of government” which had earlier prevailed in Europe (1778) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/29)
  2. David Hume ponders why the many can be governed so easily by the few and concludes that both force and opinion play a role (1777) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/47)
  3. Herbert Spencer makes a distinction between the “militant type of society” based upon violence and the “industrial type of society” based upon peaceful economic activity (1882) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/57)
  4. Frédéric Bastiat, while pondering the nature of war, concluded that society had always been divided into two classes - those who engaged in productive work and those who lived off their backs (1850) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/83)
  5. Tom Paine asks how it is that established governments came into being, his answer, is "banditti of ruffians" seized control and turned themselves into monarchs (1792) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/112)
  6. Franz Oppenheimer argues that there are two fundamentally opposed ways of acquiring wealth: the “political means” through coercion, and the “economic means” through peaceful trade (1922) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/150)
  7. David Hume on the origin of government in warfare, and the “perpetual struggle” between Liberty and Power (1777) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/148)
  8. Étienne de la Boétie provides one of the earliest and clearest explanations of why the suffering majority obeys the minority who rule over them; it is an example of voluntary servitude (1576) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/218)
  9. Sidney argues that a People’s liberty is a gift of nature and exists prior to any government (1683) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/298)
  10. James Otis on the right of the people to alter their government (1764) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/554)
  11. William Paley dismisses as a fiction the idea that there ever was a binding contract by which citizens consented to be ruled by their government (1785) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/619)



Topic 16: Parties & Elections

  1. Auberon Herbert discusses the “essence of government” when the veneer of elections are stripped away (1894) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/39)
  2. James Bryce tries to explain to a European audience why “great men” are no longer elected to America’s highest public office (1888) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/42)
  3. Lance Banning argues that within a decade of the creation of the US Constitution the nation was engaged in a bitter battle over the soul of the American Republic (2004) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/86)
  4. Herbert Spencer takes “philosophical politicians” to task for claiming that government promotes the “public good” when in fact they are seeking “party aggrandisement” (1843) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/153)
  5. Bruno Leoni argues that expressing one’s economic choice as a consumer in a free market is quite different from making a political choice by means of voting (1961) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/159)
  6. Bruno Leoni points out that elections are seriously flawed because majority rule is incompatible with individual freedom of choice (1961) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/185)
  7. James Madison on the dangers of elections resulting in overbearing majorities who respect neither justice nor individual rights, Federalist 10 (1788) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/186)
  8. Gustave de Molinari argues that political parties are like “actual armies” who are trained to seize power and reward their supporters with jobs and special privileges (1904) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/194)
  9. Captain John Clarke asserts the right of all men to vote in the formation of a new constitution by right of the property they have in themselves (1647) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/212)
  10. Spencer on voting in elections as a screen behind which the wirepullers turn the sovereign people into a puppet (1882) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/289)
  11. Bruce Smith on the misconceived and harmful legislation produced by voting as an inevitable though temporary case of “measles” (1887) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/290)
  12. Spencer on voting as a poor instrument for protecting our rights to life, liberty, and property (1879) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/297)
  13. Thomas Gordon on how the “Spirit of Party” substitutes party principles for moral principles, thus making it possible for the worst to get on top (1744) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/301)
  14. Bastiat on the scramble for political office (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/336)
  15. Cobden reminds the Liberals in Parliament that the motto of their party is “Economy, Retrenchment, and Reform!” (1862) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/325)
  16. James Bryce on the Party Primaries and Conventions in the American political system (1888) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/380)
  17. John Trenchard on the real nature of political parties (1721) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/379)
  18. James Mill on Who are to watch the watchmen? (1835) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/495)
  19. Auberon Herbert warns that the use of force is like a wild and dangerous beast which can easily get out of our control (1906) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/578)



Topic 17: Philosophy

  1. Jean Barbeyrac on the Virtues which all free Men should have (1718) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/256)
  2. Voltaire lampooned the excessively optimistic Leibnitzian philosophers in his philosophic tale Candide by exposing his characters to one disaster after another, like a tsunami in Lisbon, to show that this was not “the best of all possible worlds”(http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/35)
  3. Thomas Hobbes sings a hymn of praise for Reason as “the pace”, scientific knowledge is “the way”, and the benefit of mankind is “the end” (1651) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/40)
  4. Wilhelm von Humboldt argued that freedom was the “Grand and Indispensable Condition” for individual flourishing (1792) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/62)
  5. Aristotle insists that man is either a political animal (the natural state) or an outcast like a “bird which flies alone” (4thC BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/164)
  6. Plato believed that great souls and creative talents produce “offspring” which can be enjoyed by others: wisdom, virtue, poetry, art, temperance, justice, and the law (340s BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/166)
  7. Marcus Aurelius on using reason to live one’s life “straight and right” (170) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/387)
  8. Francis Hutcheson’s early formulation of the principle of “the greatest Happiness for the greatest Numbers” (1726) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/426)
  9. Cicero on being true to one’s own nature while respecting the common nature of others (c. 50 BCE) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/519)



Topic 18: Politics & Liberty

  1. George Washington on the Difference between Commercial and Political Relations with other Countries (1796) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/246)
  2. Richard Price on the true Nature of Love of One’s Country (1789) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/248)
  3. Adam Smith on the Dangers of sacrificing one’s Liberty for the supposed benefits of the “lordly servitude of a court” (1759) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/250)
  4. Bernhard Knollenberg on the Belief of many colonial Americans that Liberty was lost because the Leaders of the People had failed in their Duty (2003) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/257)
  5. Andrew Fletcher believed that too many people were deceived by the “ancient terms and outwards forms” of their government but had in fact lost their ancient liberties (1698) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/41)
  6. William Emerson, in his oration to commemorate the Declaration of Independence, reminded his listeners of the “unconquerable sense of liberty” which Americans had (1802) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/45)
  7. The Australian radical liberal Bruce Smith lays down some very strict rules which should govern the actions of any legislator (1887) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/65)
  8. J.S. Mill was convinced he was living in a time when he would experience an explosion of classical liberal reform because “the spirit of the age” had dramatically changed (1831) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/89)
  9. Edward Gibbon wonders if Europe will avoid the same fate as the Roman Empire, collapse brought on as a result of prosperity, corruption, and military conquest (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/92)
  10. Montesquieu was fascinated by the liberty which was enjoyed in England, which he attributed to security of person and the rule of law (1748) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/96)
  11. Catharine Macaulay supported the French Revolution because there were sound "public choice" reasons for not vesting supreme power in the hands of one’s social or economic "betters" (1790) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/105)
  12. Condorcet writes about the inevitability of the spread of liberty and prosperity while he was in prison awaiting execution by the Jacobins (1796) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/106)
  13. Augustin Thierry laments that the steady growth of liberty in France had been disrupted by the cataclysm of the French Revolution (1859) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/131)
  14. Viscount Bryce reflects on how modern nation states which achieved their own freedom through struggle are not sympathetic to the similar struggles of other repressed peoples (1901) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/133)
  15. James Madison on the mischievous effects of mutable government in The Federalist no. 62 (1788) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/177)
  16. James Madison on the need for the “separation of powers” because “men are not angels,” Federalist 51 (1788) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/180)
  17. Mercy Otis Warren asks why people are so willing to obey the government and answers that it is supineness, fear of resisting, and the long habit of obedience (1805) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/197)
  18. John Stuart Mill on the need for limited government and political rights to prevent the “king of the vultures” and his “minor harpies” in the government from preying on the people (1859) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/201)
  19. Edward Gibbon called the loss of independence and excessive obedience the “secret poison” which corrupted the Roman Empire (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/121)
  20. Benjamin Constant distinguished between the Liberty of the Ancients (“the complete subjection of the individual to the authority of the community”) and that of the Moderns (“where individual rights and commerce are respected”) (1816) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/217)
  21. John Adams thought he could see arbitrary power emerging in the American colonies and urged his countrymen to “nip it in the bud” before they lost all their liberties (1774) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/213)
  22. Samuel Smiles on how an idle, thriftless, or drunken man can, and should, improve himself through self-help and not by means of the state (1859).(http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/125)
  23. The Abbé de Mably argues with John Adams about the dangers of a “commercial elite” seizing control of the new Republic and using it to their own advantage (1785) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/224)
  24. Lord Acton on the destruction of the liberal Girondin group and the suicide of Condorcet during the French Revolution (1910) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/274)
  25. Georg Jellinek argues that Lafayette was one of the driving forces behind the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/285)
  26. The State of New York declares that the people may “reassume” their delegated powers at any time they choose (1788) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/293)
  27. Shaftesbury on the need for liberty to promote the liberal arts (1712) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/300)
  28. Bastiat on the fact that even in revolution there is an indestructible principle of order in the human heart (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/335)
  29. Bastiat on the need for urgent political and economic reform (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/334)
  30. Bastiat on the many freedoms that make up liberty (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/333)
  31. Tocqueville on the spirit of association (1835) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/347)
  32. Jefferson on the right to change one’s government (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/327)
  33. Spooner on the “knaves,” the “dupes,” and “do-nothings” among government supporters (1870) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/331)
  34. Ferguson on the flourishing of man’s intellectual powers in a commercial society (1767) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/343)
  35. Socrates as the “gadfly” of the state (4thC BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/341)
  36. Leggett on the tendency of the government to become “the universal dispenser of good and evil” (1834) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/340)
  37. Benjamin Constant on why the oppressed often prefer their chains to liberty (1815) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/371)
  38. Germaine de Staël on the indestructible love of liberty (1818) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/376)
  39. David Hume believes we should assume all men are self-interested knaves when it comes to politics (1777) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/427)
  40. Tocqueville on centralization as the natural form of government for democracies (1835) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/479)
  41. Gouverneur Morris on the proper balance between commerce, private property, and political liberty (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/489)
  42. George Grote on the difficulty of public opinion alone in curbing the misuse of power by “the sinister interests” (1821) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/539)
  43. Herbert Spencer on “the seen” and “the unseen” consequences of the actions of politicians (1884) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/565)
  44. Guizot on liberty and reason (1851) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/568)
  45. Diderot on the nature of political authority (1751) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/570)
  46. Charles Murray on the pursuit of happiness (1988) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/574)



Topic 19: Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

  1. Thomas Gordon compares the Greatness of Spartacus with that of Julius Caesar (1721) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/244)
  2. Algernon Sidney’s Motto was that his Hand (i.e. his pen) was an Enemy to all Tyrants (1660) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/15)
  3. Thomas Gordon believes that bigoted Princes are subject to the “blind control” of other “Directors and Masters” who work behind the scenes (1737) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/25)
  4. James Bryce believed that the Founders intended that the American President would be “a reduced and improved copy of the English king” (1885) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/28)
  5. Vicesimus Knox tries to persuade an English nobleman that some did not come into the world with “saddles on their backs and bridles in their mouths” and some others like him came “ready booted and spurred to ride the rest to death” (1793) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/37)
  6. John Milton believes men live under a “double tyranny” within (the tyranny of custom and passions) which makes them blind to the tyranny of government without (1649) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/50)
  7. Montesquieu states that the Roman Empire fell because the costs of its military expansion introduced corruption and the loyalty of its soldiers was transferred from the City to its generals (1734) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/52)
  8. Edward Gibbon believed that unless public liberty was defended by “intrepid and vigilant guardians” any constitution would degenerate into despotism (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/61)
  9. Adam Ferguson notes that “implicit submission to any leader, or the uncontrouled exercise of any power” leads to a form of military government and ultimately despotism (1767) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/69)
  10. John Milton laments the case of a people who won their liberty “in the field” but who then foolishly “ran their necks again into the yoke” of tyranny (1660) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/70)
  11. Thomas Jefferson opposed vehemently the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798 which granted the President enormous powers showing that the government had become a tyranny which desired to govern with "a rod of iron" (1798) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/80)
  12. Benjamin Constant argued that mediocre men, when they acquired power, became “more envious, more obstinate, more immoderate, and more convulsive” than men with talent (1815) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/84)
  13. After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 John Milton was concerned with both how the triumphalist monarchists would treat the English people and how the disheartened English people would face their descendants (1660) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/103)
  14. George Washington warns the nation in his Farewell Address, that love of power will tend to create a real despotism in America unless proper checks and balances are maintained to limit government power (1796) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/113)
  15. Plato warns of the people’s protector who, once having tasted blood, turns into a wolf and a tyrant (340s BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/158)
  16. George Washington warns that the knee jerk reaction of citizens to problems is to seek a solution in the creation of a “new monarch”(1786) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/161)
  17. Thucydides on political intrigue in the divided city of Corcyra caused by the “desire to rule” (5thC BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/162)
  18. Thomas Hodgskin wonders how despotism comes to a country and concludes that the “first step” taken towards despotism gives it the power to take a second and a third - hence it must be stopped in its tracks at the very first sign (1813) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/173)
  19. Edward Gibbon gloomily observed that in a unified empire like the Roman there was nowhere to escape, whereas with a multiplicity of states there were always gaps and interstices to hide in (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/175)
  20. Lord Acton writes to Bishop Creighton that the same moral standards should be applied to all men, political and religious leaders included, especially since “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (1887) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/214)
  21. Althusius argues that a political leader is bound by his oath of office which, if violated, requires his removal (1614) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/230)
  22. Macaulay argues that politicians are less interested in the economic value of public works to the citizens than they are in their own reputation, embezzlement and “jobs for the boys” (1830) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/231)
  23. Lao Tzu discusses how “the great sages” (or wise advisors) protect the interests of the prince and thus “prove to be but guardians in the interest of the great thieves” (600 BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/234)
  24. Jefferson feared that it would only be a matter of time before the American system of government degenerated into a form of “elective despotism” (1785) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/237)
  25. Livy on the irrecoverable loss of liberty under the Roman Empire (10 AD) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/241)
  26. Jefferson on how Congress misuses the inter-state commerce and general welfare clauses to promote the centralization of power (1825) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/268)
  27. Madame de Staël argues that Napoleon was able to create a tyrannical government by pandering to men’s interests, corrupting public opinion, and waging constant war (1817) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/269)
  28. Cicero on the need for politicians to place the interests of those they represent ahead of their own private interests (1st century BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/275)
  29. Cato denounces generals like Julius Caesar who use success on the battlefield as a stepping stone to political power (1710) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/277)
  30. Milton argues that a Monarchy wants the people to be prosperous only so it can better fleece them (1660) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/280)
  31. Tocqueville on the form of despotism the government would assume in democratic America (1840) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/281)
  32. Jefferson’s list of objections to the British Empire in his first draft of the Declaration of Independence (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/284)
  33. Milton on the ease with which tyrants find their academic defenders (1651) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/291)
  34. Paine on the idea that the law is king (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/308)
  35. Thomas Paine on the absurdity of an hereditary monarchy (1791) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/312)
  36. John Adams on how absolute power intoxicates those who excercise that power (1814) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/346)
  37. Madame de Staël on the tyrant Napoleon (1818) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/345)
  38. Tocqueville on the “New Despotism” (1837) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/353)
  39. Viscount Bryce on how the President in wartime becomes “a sort of dictator” (1888) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/361)
  40. James Madison on “Parchment Barriers” and the defence of liberty II (1788) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/404)
  41. Shaftesbury opposes the nonresisting test bill before the House of Lords as a step towards “absolute and arbitrary” government (1675) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/433)
  42. Rousseau on the natural tendency of governments to degenerate into tyranny (1762) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/442)
  43. Erasmus on the “Folly” of upsetting conventional opinion by pointing out the sins of kings and princes (1511) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/446)
  44. Montaigne argues that is right and proper for a people to speak ill of a “faulty prince” after his death (1580) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/450)
  45. Thomas Gordon asks whether tyranny is worse than anarchy (1728) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/462)
  46. Leonard Read on Ludwig von Mises as the economic dictator of the U.S. (1971) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/466)
  47. Pufendorf on the danger of rulers confusing their own self-interest with that of the State (1695) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/477)
  48. Michel Chevalier on two kinds of political power in America, the Caesars and the Commissioners (1835) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/482)
  49. La Boétie argues that tyranny will collapse if enough people refuse to cooperate and withdraw their moral support to it (1576) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/524)
  50. Henry Parker on Parliament’s role in limiting the power of Kings (1642) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/531)
  51. Shakespeare on the ruler who has “the power to hurt and will do none” (1609) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/559)
  52. Thomas Gordon on how people are frightened into giving up their liberties (1722) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/560)
  53. John Lilburne shows defiance to the tyrants who would force him to pay tythes to the Church (1648) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/575)
  54. Algernon Sidney on not unquestioningly “rendering unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” before checking to see if they legitimately belong to Caesar (1689) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/612)



Topic 20: Property Rights

  1. John Taylor on how a “sound freedom of property” can destroy the threat to Liberty posed by “an adoration of military fame” and oppressive governments (1820) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/19)
  2. Wolowski and Levasseur argue that Property is “the fruit of human liberty” and that Violence and Conquest have done much to disturb this natural order (1884) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/30)
  3. J.S. Mill’s great principle was that “over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign” (1859) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/81)
  4. J.B. Say on the self-evident nature of property rights which is nevertheless violated by the state in taxation and slavery (1817) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/152)
  5. Thomas Hodgskin argues for a Lockean notion of the right to property (“natural”) and against the Benthamite notion that property rights are created by the state (“artificial”) (1832) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/147)
  6. Lord Kames states that the “hoarding appetite” is part of human nature and that it is the foundation of our notion of property rights (1779) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/163)
  7. Sir William Blackstone argues that occupancy of previously unowned land creates a natural right to that property which excludes others from it (1753) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/216)
  8. James Mill on the natural disposition to accumulate property (1808).(http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/124)
  9. William Wollaston on crimes against person or property as contradictions of fundamental truths (1722) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/264)
  10. Gaius states that according to natural reason the first occupier of any previously unowned property becomes the just owner (2nd Century) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/271)
  11. Auberon Herbert on compulsory taxation as the “citadel” of state power (1885) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/296)
  12. Molinari defends the right to property against the socialists who want to overthrow it, and the conservatives who defend it poorly (1849) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/364)
  13. Auberon Herbert on the “magic of private property” (1897) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/373)
  14. J.B. Say on a person’s property right in their own “industrious faculties” (1819) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/425)
  15. Percy Shelley on the two types of property (1820(a)
  16. McCulloch argues that the right to property extends to “the faculties of (one’s) mind and the powers of (one’s) body” (1864) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/437)
  17. William Penn on property as one of the three fundamental rights all men have (1679) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/448)
  18. William Paley on the tragedy of the commons (1785) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/456)
  19. Hugo Grotius on the natural sociability of humans (1625) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/458)
  20. Herbert Spencer on human nature and the right to property (1851) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/475)
  21. Wolowski on property as a sacred right which is an emanation from man’s very being (1863) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/522)
  22. David Ricardo on how “insecure tenure” of property rights harms the poor (1824) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/526)
  23. David Hume on property as a convention which gradually emerges from society (1739) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/546)
  24. Thomas Hodgskin on the futility of politicians tinkering with bad laws when the whole political system needed to be changed (1832) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/620)



Topic 21: Religion & Toleration

  1. The Psalmist laments that he lives in a Society which “hateth peace” and cries out “I am for peace: but when I speak they are for war” (1000 BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/21)
  2. The Prophet Isaiah urges the people to “beat their swords into plowshares” and learn war no more (700s BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/22)
  3. Samuel warns his people that if they desire a King they will inevitably have conscription, requisitioning of their property, and taxation (7th century BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/23)
  4. Voltaire notes that where Commerce and Toleration predominate, a Multiplicity of Faiths can live together in Peace and Happiness (1764) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/26)
  5. Voltaire argued that religious intolerance was against the law of nature and was worse than the “right of the tiger” (1763) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/90)
  6. Pierre Bayle begins his defence of religious toleration with this appeal that the light of nature, or Reason, should be used to settle religious differences and not coercion (1708) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/93)
  7. In Ecclesiastes there is the call to plant, to love, to live, and to work and then to enjoy the fruits of all one’s labors (3rdC BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/107)
  8. William Findlay wants to maintain the separation of church and state and therefore sees no role for the “ecclesiastical branch” in government (1812) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/157)
  9. Job rightly wants to know why he, “the just upright man is laughed to scorn” while robbers prosper (6thC BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/179)
  10. John Locke believed that the magistrate should not punish sin but only violations of natural rights and public peace (1689) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/181)
  11. St. John, private property, and the Parable of the Wolf and the Good Shepherd (2ndC AD) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/119)
  12. David Hume argues that “love of liberty” in some individuals often attracts the religious inquisitor to persecute them and thereby drive society into a state of “ignorance, corruption, and bondage” (1757) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/223)
  13. Noah Webster on the resilience of common religious practices in the face of attempts by the state to radically change them (1794) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/239)
  14. The 5th Day of Christmas: Samuel Cooper on the Articles of Confederation and peace on earth (1780) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/412)
  15. The 6th Day of Christmas: Vicesimus Knox on the Christian religion and peace on earth (1793) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/406)
  16. Lord Acton argues that civil liberty arose out of the conflict between the power of the Church and the Monarchy (1877) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/455)
  17. William Walwyn wittily argues against state enforced religious conformity (1646) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/481)
  18. Spinoza on the dangers of using superstition to hoodwink the people (1670) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/520)
  19. John Locke on the separation of Church and Magistrate (1689) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/498)
  20. John Stuart Mill on the “religion of humanity” (c. 1858) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/507)
  21. William Leggett argues that Thanksgiving Day is no business of the government (1836) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/514)
  22. Thomas Gordon warns about the dangers of a politicised Religion which tries to rule this world (1720) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/527)



Topic 22: Revolution

  1. Tocqueville on the 1848 Revolution in Paris (1851) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/355)
  2. Adam Smith on social change and “the man of system” (1759) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/386)
  3. Adams and Jefferson reflect on the Revolution and the future of liberty (1823) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/443)
  4. Lord Acton on the storming of “the instrument and the emblem of tyranny” in Paris, the Bastille, on July 14, 1789 (1910) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/445)
  5. Condorcet on why the French revolution was more violent than the American (1794) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/444)
  6. Benjamin Franklin on the trade off between essential liberty and temporary safety (1775) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/484)
  7. Jefferson warns about the rise of an “Anglo-Monarchio-Aristocratic party” in America (1797) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/463)
  8. Tom Paine on the “birthday of a new world” (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/381)



Topic 23: Rhetoric of Liberty

  1. Macaulay wittily denounces a tyrannical priest as being an intermediate grub between sycophant and oppressor (1837) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/468)
  2. John Lilburne rails against his unjust imprisonment (1646) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/499)
  3. John Thelwall on political sheep shearing (1795) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/530)
  4. John Taylor and the rhetoric of liberty and tyranny (1814) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/576)
  5. Auberon Herbert’s aim is to destroy the love of power and the desire to use force against others (1897) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/621)
  6. Molinari on mankind’s never-ending struggle for liberty (1849) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/623)



Topic 24: Science

  1. Adam Smith on the “Wonder, Surprise, and Admiration” one feels when contemplating the physical World (1795) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/251)
  2. Charles Darwin on life as a spontaneous order which emerged by the operation of natural laws (1859) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/126)
  3. Voltaire laments the destruction of Lisbon in an earthquake and criticises the philosophers who thought that “all’s well with the world” and the religious who thought it was “God’s will” (1755) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/243)



Topic 25: Socialism & Interventionism

  1. Ludwig von Mises argues that monopolies are the direct result of government intervention and not the product of any inherent tendency within the capitalist system (1949) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/138)
  2. Nassau Senior objected to any government regulation of factories which meant that a horde of inspectors would interfere with the organization of production (1837) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/169)
  3. Alexis de Tocqueville stood up in the Constituent Assembly to criticize socialism as a violation of human nature, property rights, and individual liberty (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/221)
  4. Ludwig von Mises on the impossibility of rational economic planning under Socialism (1922) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/233)
  5. Yves Guyot on the violence and lawlessness inherent in socialism (1910) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/273)
  6. Sumner criticizes the competing vested interests and the role of legislators in the “new democratic State” (1887) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/286)
  7. Mill on the dangers of the state turning men into “docile instruments” of its will (1859) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/348)
  8. Mises and the Emergence of Etatism in Germany (1944) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/319)
  9. Mises on how price controls lead to socialism (1944) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/320)
  10. Molinari appeals to socialists to join him in marching down “the broad, well-trodden highway of liberty” (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/359)
  11. John Strachey on why Socialism harms the poor instead of helping them (1894) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/525)
  12. Mises on “interventionism” as a third way between the free market and socialism (1930) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/529)
  13. Mises states that it is the division of labor which makes man truly “social” or “communal” (1922) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/592)
  14. Karl Marx on the necessary task the “bourgeoisie” was doing in putting an end to “feudal and patriarchal relations” (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/615)
  15. Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk argues that Marx ignored the fact that the same amount of labor time should be rewarded differently depending upon where along the structure of production it took place (1898) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/616)
  16. Frédéric Bastiat argues that socialism hides its true plunderous nature under a facade of nice sounding words like “fraternity” and “equality” (1850) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/617)
  17. Bastiat criticizes the socialists of wanting to be the “Great Mechanic” who would run the “social machine” in which ordinary people were merely so many lifeless cogs and wheels (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/618)



Topic 26: Society

  1. Herbert Spencer on customs which are the result of human action but not of deliberate design (1876) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/492)
  2. Herbert Spencer on the idea that society is a spontaneous growth and not artificially put together (1860) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/512)



Topic 27: Sport And Liberty

  1. Herbert Spencer worries that the violence and brutalities of football will make it that much harder to create a society in which individual rights will be mutually respected (1879) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/258)
  2. Frederick Pollock argues that a violent assault on the football field is not an actionable tort because it is part of the activities of a voluntarily agreed to association of adults (1895) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/259)
  3. Nisbet on how violent, contact sports like football redirect people’s energies away from war (1988) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/260)
  4. The Earl of Shaftesbury relates the story of an unscrupulous glazier who gives the rowdy town youths a football so they will smash windows in the street and thus drum up business (1737) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/261)
  5. John Hobson argues that sport plays an important part in British imperialism for all classes and that the “spirit of adventure” is now played out in the colonies (1902) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/262)
  6. Macaulay and Bunyan on the evils of swearing and playing hockey on Sunday (1830) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/266)
  7. Mises on human action, predicting the future, and who will win the World Cup Football tournament (1966) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/282)



Topic 28: Taxation

  1. Thomas Jefferson boasts about having reduced the size of government and eliminated a number of “vexatious” taxes (1805) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/38)
  2. Thomas Hodgskin noted in his journey through the northern German states that the burden of heavy taxation was no better than it had been under the conqueror Napoleon (1820) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/46)
  3. David Ricardo considered taxation to be a “great evil” which hindered the accumulation of productive capital and reduced consumption (1817) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/60)
  4. Frank Chodorov argues that taxation is an act of coercion and if pushed to its logical limits will result in Socialism (1946) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/146)
  5. William Graham Sumner reminds us never to forget the “Forgotten Man”, the ordinary working man and woman who pays the taxes and suffers under government regulation (1883) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/155)
  6. Jefferson tells Congress that since tax revenues are increasing faster than population then taxes on all manner of items can be “dispensed with” (i.e. abolished) (1801) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/170)
  7. Alexander Hamilton denounces the British for imposing “oppressive taxes” on the colonists which amount to tyranny, a form of slavery, and vassalage to the Empire (1774) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/172)
  8. Adam Smith claims that exorbitant taxes imposed without consent of the governed constitute legitimate grounds for the people to resist their rulers (1763) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/174)
  9. Thomas Paine responded to one of Burke’s critiques of the French Revolution by cynically arguing that wars are sometimes started in order to increase taxation (“the harvest of war”) (1791) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/123)
  10. Lysander Spooner argues that according to the traditional English common law, taxation would not be upheld because no explicit consent was given by individuals to be taxed (1852) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/220)
  11. Knox on how the people during wartime are cowered into submission and pay their taxes “without a murmur” (1795) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/305)
  12. Mises on the public sector as “tax eaters” who “feast” on the assets of the ordinary tax payer (1953) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/310)
  13. Luke, Taxes, and the Birth of Jesus (85) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/313)
  14. Adam Smith on how governments learn from each other the best way of draining money from the pockets of the people (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/344)
  15. Sven Forkbeard and new Yuletide Taxes (11thC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/351)
  16. Jefferson on Taxes and the General Welfare (1791) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/382)
  17. Adam Smith on the need for “peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice” (1755) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/436)
  18. Under Magna Carta the King cannot impose taxes without the approval of the “common counsel” of the kingdom (1215) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/535)
  19. William Cobbett denounces the destruction of liberty during and after the Napoleonic Wars (1817) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/552)



Topic 29: The State

  1. Edmund Burke asks a key question of political theory: quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (how is one to be defended against the very guardians who have been appointed to guard us?) (1756) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/44)
  2. Frédéric Bastiat and the state as “la grande fiction à travers laquelle Tout Le Monde s'efforce de vivre aux dépens de Tout Le Monde (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/145)
  3. Frédéric Bastiat on the state as the great fiction by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else (1848) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/196)
  4. Lysander Spooner on the difference between a government and a highwayman (1870) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/306)
  5. Sumner on the legalization of robbery by the State (1883) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/362)
  6. Hippolyte Taine on how the modern bureaucratic state destroys spontaneous and fruitful private cooperation (1890) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/365)
  7. Nassau Senior argues that government is based upon extortion (1854) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/394)
  8. Thomas Macaulay argues that “the main end” of government is the protection of persons and property (1839) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/398)
  9. Benjamin Franklin on the “superstructure” of Good Government (1736) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/383)
  10. James Buchanan on chaining Leviathan (1975) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/420)
  11. Mises on the worship of the state or statolatry (1944) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/422)
  12. John Wade exposes the system of political corruption in England (1835) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/441)
  13. Thomas Gordon on the nature of power to expand (1721) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/457)
  14. Anthony de Jasay asks whether states should be invented if they did not already exist (1985) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/510)
  15. Tocqueville on the absence of government in America (1835) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/478)
  16. Anthony de Jasay on the proliferation of predators and parasites in the modern state (1998) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/548)
  17. Bastiat’s Malthusian theory of the growth of the state (1847) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/549)
  18. Franz Oppenheimer on the origin of the state in conquest and subjection by one group over another (1907) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/550)
  19. Herbert Spencer notes that traditionally the growth in government revenue has come about because of war (1882) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/562)
  20. Guizot on the legitimacy of state power and its limits (1851) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/567)
  21. Michel Montaigne on the danger of becoming accustomed to state power (1580) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/569)
  22. Tocqueville warns how administrative despotism might come to a democracy like America (1840) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/586)
  23. Algernon Sidney on de facto vs. de jure political power (1698) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/597)
  24. William Graham Sumner on the “do-nothing” state vs. ”the meddling” state (1888) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/600)
  25. Robert Filmer thought that the idea of the “consent of the governed” would inevitably lead to anarchy (1680) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/602)
  26. William Godwin on the need to simplify and reduce the power of the state (1793) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/604)



Topic 30: War & Peace

  1. Bernard Mandeville on how the Hardships and Fatigues of War bear most heavily on the “working slaving People” (1732) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/245)
  2. Hugo Grotius on sparing Civilian Property from Destruction in Time of War (1625) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/247)
  3. Adam Smith on the Sympathy one feels for those Vanquished in a battle rather than for the Victors (1762) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/252)
  4. Robert Nisbet on the Shock the Founding Fathers would feel if they could see the current size of the Military Establishment and the National Government (1988) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/255)
  5. Thomas Hodgskin on the Suffering of those who had been Impressed or Conscripted into the despotism of the British Navy (1813) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/17)
  6. Ludwig von Mises laments the passing of the Age of Limited Warfare and the coming of Mass Destruction in the Age of Statism and Conquest (1949) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/27)
  7. Erasmus has the personification of Peace come down to earth to see with dismay how war ravages human societies (1521) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/55)
  8. William Graham Sumner denounced America’s war against Spain and thought that “war, debt, taxation, diplomacy, a grand governmental system, pomp, glory, a big army and navy, lavish expenditures, political jobbery” would result in imperialsm (1898) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/56)
  9. Herbert Spencer argued that in a militant type of society the state would become more centralised and administrative, as compulsory education clearly showed (1882) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/58)
  10. Hugo Grotius discusses the just causes of going to war, especially the idea that the capacity to wage war must be matched by the intent to do so (1625) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/67)
  11. Hugo Grotius states that in an unjust war any acts of hostility done in that war are “unjust in themselves” (1625) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/68)
  12. Thomas Gordon gives a long list of ridiculous and frivolous reasons why kings and tyrants have started wars which have led only to the enslavement and destruction of their own people (1737) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/77)
  13. John Jay in the Federalist Papers discussed why nations go to war and concluded that it was not for justice but “whenever they have a prospect of getting any thing by it” (1787) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/82)
  14. J.M. Keynes reflected on that “happy age” of international commerce and freedom of travel that was destroyed by the cataclysm of the First World War (1920) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/88)
  15. A.V. Dicey noted that a key change in public thinking during the 19thC was the move away from the early close association between “peace and retrenchment” in the size of the government (1905) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/108)
  16. St. Thomas Aquinas discusses the three conditions for a just war (1265-74) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/130)
  17. James Madison argues that the constitution places war-making powers squarely with the legislative branch; for the president to have these powers is the “the true nurse of executive aggrandizement” (1793) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/136)
  18. Thomas Gordon on standing armies as a power which is inconsistent with liberty (1722) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/142)
  19. James Madison on the need for the people to declare war and for each generation, not future generations, to bear the costs of the wars they fight (1792) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/144)
  20. Adam Smith observes that the true costs of war remain hidden from the taxpayers because they are sheltered in the metropole far from the fighting and instead of increasing taxes the government pays for the war by increasing the national debt (1776) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/160)
  21. John Trenchard identifies who will benefit from any new war “got up” in Italy: princes, courtiers, jobbers, and pensioners, but definitely not the ordinary taxpayer (1722) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/188)
  22. Alexander Hamilton warns of the danger to civil society and liberty from a standing army since “the military state becomes elevated above the civil” (1787) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/192)
  23. Daniel Webster thunders that the introduction of conscription would be a violation of the constitution, an affront to individual liberty, and an act of unrivaled despotism (1814) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/205)
  24. Thomas Jefferson on the Draft as “the last of all oppressions” (1777) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/120)
  25. Madison argued that war is the major way by which the executive office increases its power, patronage, and taxing power (1793) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/236)
  26. Milton warns Parliament’s general Fairfax that justice must break free from violence if “endless war” is to be avoided (1648) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/267)
  27. Vicesimus Knox on how the aristocracy and the “spirit of despotism” use the commemoration of the war dead for their own aims (1795) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/279)
  28. John Jay on the pretended as well as the just causes of war (1787) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/288)
  29. Trenchard on the dangers posed by a standing army (1698) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/292)
  30. Sumner and the Conquest of the United States by Spain (1898) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/314)
  31. Grotius on Moderation in Despoiling the Country of one’s Enemies (1625) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/315)
  32. The Duke of Burgundy asks the Kings of France and England why “gentle peace” should not be allowed to return France to its former prosperity (1599) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/324)
  33. James Mill likens the expence and economic stagnation brought about by war to a “pestilential wind” which ravages the country (1808) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/323)
  34. Cobden urges the British Parliament not to be the “Don Quixotes of Europe” using military force to right the wrongs of the world (1854) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/322)
  35. Cobden on the principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other countries (1859) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/339)
  36. The City of War and the City of Peace on Achilles’ new shield (900 BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/342)
  37. Cobden on the complicity of the British people in supporting war (1852) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/352)
  38. Cobden argues that the British Empire will inevitably suffer retribution for its violence and injustice (1853) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/363)
  39. John Bright on war as all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable (1853) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/368)
  40. James Madison on the necessity of separating the power of “the sword from the purse” (1793) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/396)
  41. John Bright calls British foreign policy “a gigantic system of (welfare) for the aristocracy” (1858) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/388)
  42. The evangelist Luke “on earth peace, good will toward men” (1st century) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/409)
  43. The 1st Day of Christmas: Jan Huss’ Christmas letters and his call for peace on earth (1412) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/414)
  44. The 2nd Day of Christmas: Petrarch on the mercenary wars in Italy and the need for peace on earth (1344) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/415)
  45. The 3rd Day of Christmas: Erasmus stands against war and for peace on earth (16th century) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/413)
  46. The 4th Day of Christmas: Dante Alighieri on human perfectibility and peace on earth (1559) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/410)
  47. The 7th Day of Christmas: Madison on “the most noble of all ambitions” which a government can have, of promoting peace on earth (1816) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/418)
  48. The 8th Day of Christmas: Jefferson on the inevitability of revolution in England only after which there will be peace on earth (1817) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/417)
  49. The 10th Day of Christmas: Richard Cobden on public opinion and peace on earth (c. 1865) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/408)
  50. Kant believed that citizens must give their free consent via their representatives to every separate declaration of war (1790) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/452)
  51. Herbert Spencer on the State’s cultivation of “the religion of enmity” to justify its actions (1884) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/476)
  52. Richard Price on how the “domestic enemies” of liberty have been more powerful and more successful than foreign enemies (1789) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/517)
  53. John Bright denounces the power of the war party in England (1878) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/515)
  54. Benjamin Constant on the dangers to liberty posed by the military spirit (1815) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/523)
  55. William Graham Sumner on the racism which lies behind Imperialism (1898) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/540)
  56. Lysistrata’s clever plan to end the war between Athens and Sparta (411 BC) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/551)
  57. Mises on cosmopolitan cooperation and peace (1927) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/571)
  58. Bastiat on disbanding the standing army and replacing it with local militias (1847) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/573)



Topic 31: Women's Rights

  1. J.S. Mill denounced the legal subjection of women as “wrong in itself” and as “one of the chief hindrances to human improvement” (1869) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/53)
  2. Mary Wollstonecraft believes that women are no more naturally subservient than men and nobody, male or female, values freedom unless they have had to struggle to attain it (1792) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/71)
  3. J.S. Mill spoke in Parliament in favour of granting women the right to vote, to have “a voice in determining who shall be their rulers” (1866) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/91)
  4. J.S. Mill in The Subjection of Women argued that every form of oppression seems perfectly natural to those who live under it (1869) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/117)
  5. John Stuart Mill uses an analogy with the removal of protective duties and bounties in trade to urge a similar “Free Trade” between the sexes (1869) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/202)
  6. Harriet Taylor wants to see “freedom and admissibility” in all areas of human activity replace the system of “privilege and exclusion” (1847) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/225)
  7. J.S. Mill on the wife as the “actual bondservant of her husband” in the 19th century (1869) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/399)
  8. Mary Wollstonecraft likens the situation of soldiers under a tyrant king to women under a tyrant husband (1792) (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/435)
  9. Mary Wollstonecraft’s “I have a dream” speech from 1792 (http://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/434)