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747 Politics / government Quotes

Equality of the general rules of law and conduct, however, is the only kind of equality conducive to liberty and the only equality which we can secure without destroying liberty. Not only has liberty nothing to do with any other sort of equality, but it is even bound to produce inequality in many respects. This is the necessary result and part of the justification of individual liberty: if the result of individual liberty did not demonstrate that some manners of living are more successful than others, much of the case for it would vanish.

F.a. Hayek Quotes

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From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict which each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.

F.a. Hayek Quotes

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Ever since the beginning of modern science, the best minds have recognized that "the range of acknowledged ignorance will grow with the advance of science." Unfortunately, the popular effect of this scientific advance has been a belief, seemingly shared by many scientists, that the range of our ignorance is steadily diminishing and that we can therefore aim at more comprehensive and deliberate control of all human activities. It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom.

F.a. Hayek Quotes

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What a free society offers to the individual is much more than what he would be able to do if only he were free.

F.a. Hayek Quotes

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A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom.

F.a. Hayek Quotes

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...the case for individual freedom rests largely on the recognition of the inevitable and universal ignorance of all of us concerning a great many of the factors on which the achievements of our ends and welfare depend.

F.a. Hayek Quotes

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We should...be able to see that our interest would be best served not by asking the state to promulgate our values but by forbidding the state to promulgate any values at all. If the state can espouse some value that we love, it can, with equal justice, espouse others we do not love.

Richard Mitchell Quotes

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All political theories assume, of course, that most individuals are very ignorant. Those who plead for liberty differ from the rest in that they include among the ignorant themselves as well as the wisest.

F.a. Hayek Quotes

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The fact that slaughter [battle] is a horrifying spectacle must make us take war more seriously, but [it does] not provide an excuse for gradually blunting our swords in the name of humanity. Sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms.

Carl Von Clausewitz Quotes

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War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means.

Carl Von Clausewitz Quotes

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God himself has no right to be a tyrant.

William Godwin Quotes

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...a man's worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he likes.

Thomas Henry Huxley Quotes

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At least one way of measuring the freedom of any society is the amount of comedy that is permitted, and clearly a healthy society permits more satirical comment than a repressive, so that if comedy is to function in some way as a safety release then it must obviously deal with these taboo areas. This is part of the responsibility we accord our licensed jesters, that nothing be excused the searching light of comedy. If anything can survive the probe of humour it is clearly of value, and conversely all groups who claim immunity from laughter are claiming special privileges which should not be granted.

Eric Idle Quotes

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The public must be put in its place, so that it may exercise its own powers, but no less and perhaps even more, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd.

Walter Lippmann Quotes

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He is free who knows how to keep in his own hand the power to decide, at each step, the course of his life, and who lives in a society which does not block the exercise of that power.

Salvador De Madariaga Quotes

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The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.

William H. Borah Quotes

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Governments will always misuse the machinery of the law as far as the state of public opinion permits.

Emile Capouya Quotes

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No serious historian of politics would imagine that he had accounted for the protective tariff of the system of bounties or subsidies, for the monetary and banking laws, for the state of law in regard to corporate privileges and immunities, for the actual status of property rights, for agricultural or for labor policies, until he had gone behind the general claims and the abstract justifications and had identified the specifically interested groups which promoted the specific law.

Walter Lippmann Quotes

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Free institutions are not the property of any majority. They do not confer upon majorities unlimited powers. The rights of the majority are limited rights. They are limited not only by the constitutional guarantees but by the moral principle implied in those guarantees. That principle is that men may not use the facilities of liberty to impair them. No man may invoke a right in order to destroy it.

Walter Lippmann Quotes

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The war for liberty never ends. One day liberty has to be defended against the power of wealth, on another day against the intrigues of politicians, on another against the dead hand of bureaucrats, on another against the patrioter and the militarist, on another against the profiteer, and then against the hysteria and the passions of the mobs, against obscurantism and stupidity, against the criminal and against the overrighteous. In this campaign every civilized man is enlisted till he dies, and he only has known the full joy of living who somewhere and at some time has struck a decisive blow for the freedom of the human spirit.

Walter Lippmann Quotes

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For the principle of majority rule is the mildest form in which the force of numbers can be exercised. It is a pacific substitute for civil war in which the opposing armies are counted and victory is awarded to the larger before any blood is shed.

Walter Lippmann Quotes

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It seems that an essential condition for crises is to be found in the existence of a highly developed system of communications and the spreading of a homogenous mentality over vast areas.But when the hour and the right material are at hand, the contagion spreads with the speed of electricity over hundreds of miles, and affects the most diverse populations, which hardly know each other. The message flies through the air and they all suddenly agree on that one issue, if only a sulky admission that "there's got to be a change.".

Jakob Burckhardt Quotes

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..the Bill of Rights does not come from the people and is not subject to change by majorities. It comes from the nature of things. It declares the inalienable rights of man not only against all government but also against the people collectively.

Walter Lippmann Quotes

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In war, the stronger overcomes the weaker. In business, the stronger imparts strength to the weaker.

Frederic Bastiat Quotes

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Even a cursory glance at history should convince one that individual crimes committed for selfish motives play a quite insignificant part in the human tragedy, compared to the numbers massacred in unselfish loyalty to one's tribe, nation, dynasty, church, or political ideology, ad majorem gloriam dei. The emphasis is on unselfish. Excepting a small minority of mercenary or sadistic disposition, wars are not fought for personal gain, but out of loyalty and devotion to king, country or cause. Homicide committed for personal reasons is a statistical rarity in all cultures, including our own. Homicide for unselfish reasons, at the risk of one's own life, is the dominant phenomenon of history.

Arthur Koestler Quotes

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