Liberty Quotation of the Day: John Locke on the End of Law

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Locke“[T]he end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.”

John Locke, Second Treatise of Government [1689]

Liberty Quotation of the Day: Lew Rockwell on Keynesianism and Coercion

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Lewrockwell“When economists call for boosting ‘aggregate demand,’ they do not spell out what this really means.  It means forcibly overriding the voluntary decisions of consumers and savers, violating their property rights and their freedom of association in order to realize the national government’s economic ambitions.  Even if such programs worked in some technical economic sense, they should be rejected on grounds that they are incompatible with liberty.”

Lew Rockwell, “Hitler’s Economics” [2003]

Liberty Quotation of the Day: Hayek on the Fundamental Principle of Liberalism

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95d39/huch/1889/09“There is nothing in the basic principles of liberalism to make it a stationary creed; there are no hard-and-fast rules fixed once and for all.  The fundamental principle that in the ordering of our affairs we should make as much use as possible of the spontaneous forces of society, and resort as little as possible to coercion, is capable of an infinite variety of applications.”

F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [1944]

Liberty Quotation of the Day: Compassion and Coercion

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Penn Jillette“It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion.  Helping poor and suffering people yourself is compassion.  Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.  People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered.  If we’re compassionate, we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right.  There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.”

Penn Jillette

Liberty Quotation of the Day: The Harm Principle

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John Stuart Mill“The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion.  That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection.  That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.  His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.  He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right.  These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him, must be calculated to produce evil to some one else.  The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others.  In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute.  Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty [1869]