The quotes below are some of the best quotes on liberty ever spoken or written. Enjoy.
Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence. The palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise.—Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)
“Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.”—Friedrich Nietzsche
Power is a weed that grows in the vacant lot of an abandoned mind.—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Capitalism is the application of reason to the problem of scarcity.—The Artful Dilettante
The Tree of Liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots.–Thomas Jefferson
The best argument against democracy is five minute conversation with the average voter.—Sir Winston Churchill
The art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of citizens to give to the other.—Voltaire
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.—Voltaire
Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value — zero.—Voltaire
God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.—Voltaire
Happiness is the successful state of life, pain is an agent of death. Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values. A morality that dares to tell you to find happiness in the renunciation of your happiness—to value the failure of your values—is an insolent negation of morality. A doctrine that gives you, as an ideal, the role of a sacrificial animal seeking slaughter on the altars of others, is giving you death as your standard. By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man—every man—is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose.
But neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims. Just as man is free to attempt to survive in any random manner, but will perish unless he lives as his nature requires, so he is free to seek his happiness in any mindless fraud, but the torture of frustration is all he will find, unless he seeks the happiness proper to man. The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.—Ayn Rand
Happiness is not to be achieved at the command of emotional whims. Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to indulge. Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy—a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind’s fullest power, not the joy of faking reality, but of achieving values that are real, not the joy of a drunkard, but of a producer. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions.
Just as I support my life, neither by robbery nor alms, but by my own effort, so I do not seek to derive my happiness from the injury or the favor of others, but earn it by my own achievement. Just as I do not consider the pleasure of others as the goal of my life, so I do not consider my pleasure as the goal of the lives of others. Just as there are no contradictions in my values and no conflicts among my desires—so there are no victims and no conflicts of interest among rational men, men who do not desire the unearned and do not view one another with a cannibal’s lust, men who neither make sacrifices nor accept them.—Ayn Rand
Men are principals, not merely instruments…. Providence directs rational creatures for the welfare and growth of the individual person, not just for the advantage of the race…. Actions have a personal value, and are not merely from and for human nature.-—St. Thomas Aquinas
In psychological terms, the issue of man’s survival does not confront his consciousness as an issue of “life or death,” but as an issue of “happiness or suffering.” Happiness is the successful state of life, suffering is the warning signal of failure, of death. Just as the pleasure-pain mechanism of man’s body is an automatic indicator of his body’s welfare or injury, a barometer of its basic alternative, life or death—so the emotional mechanism of man’s consciousness is geared to perform the same function, as a barometer that registers the same alternative by means of two basic emotions: joy or suffering. Emotions are the automatic results of man’s value judgments integrated by his subconscious; emotions are estimates of that which furthers man’s values or threatens them, that which is for him or against him—lightning calculators giving him the sum of his profit or loss.
But while the standard of value operating the physical pleasure-pain mechanism of man’s body is automatic and innate, determined by the nature of his body—the standard of value operating his emotional mechanism, is not. Since man has no automatic knowledge, he can have no automatic values; since he has no innate ideas, he can have no innate value judgments.—-Ayn Rand
We Americans are the ultimate innocents. We are forever desperate to believe that this time the government is telling us the truth.—Sydney Schanberg, New York Times
War is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.–Marine Major General S. Butler
The maintenance of life and the pursuit of happiness are not two separate issues. To hold one’s own life as one’s ultimate value, and one’s own happiness as one’s highest purpose are two aspects of the same achievement. Existentially, the activity of pursuing rational goals is the activity of maintaining one’s life; psychologically, its result, reward and concomitant is an emotional state of happiness. It is by experiencing happiness that one lives one’s life, in any hour, year or the whole of it. And when one experiences the kind of pure happiness that is an end in itself—the kind that makes one think: “This is worth living for”—what one is greeting and affirming in emotional terms is the metaphysical fact that life is an end in itself.
But the relationship of cause to effect cannot be reversed. It is only by accepting “man’s life” as one’s primary and by pursuing the rational values it requires that one can achieve happiness—not by taking “happiness” as some undefined, irreducible primary and then attempting to live by its guidance. If you achieve that which is the good by a rational standard of value, it will necessarily make you happy; but that which makes you happy, by some undefined emotional standard, is not necessarily the good. To take “whatever makes one happy” as a guide to action means: to be guided by nothing but one’s emotional whims. Emotions are not tools of cognition; to be guided by whims—by desires whose source, nature and meaning one does not know—is to turn oneself into a blind robot, operated by unknowable demons (by one’s stale evasions), a robot knocking its stagnant brains out against the walls of reality which it refuses to see.—Ayn Rand
The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.—James Madison
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.—James Madison
The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.—H.L. Mencken
If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.—Artful Dilettante
The only people who can be entrusted with power are those who do not want it.—The Artful Dilettante
Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become. My father always said that. And I think I am fine.–Margaret Thatcher
If your friends are socialists, dump them. If your wife’s a socialist, divorce her. If your kids are socialists, disown them. If your employees are socialists, fire them.—Anonymous
Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.–Oscar Wilde
The happiest moments in life don’t cost you a dime or fatten your pocket by a single penny.—The Artful Dilettante
Everyone should be allowed to shoot three people.—Peter G., a friend and coworker
In terms of results in the measurable form of jobs created, lives enriched, communities built, living standards raised, and poverty healed, a handful of capitalists has done infinitely more for mankind than all the self-serving politicians, academics, social workers, and religionists who march under the banner of compassion.—Nathaniel Branden
The Progressive believes in precisely two things: his own magnificence and the constructive power of brute force. In combination, they lead him naturally from the role of pestiferous busybody to brutal dictator. Where the productive man dreams of the things he might create if only left alone by his fellows, the Progressive dreams of the world he could create if only the lives and property of his fellows were at his disposal. The roots of his pathology lie in that oldest and most destructive of all human vices, the desire for the power to rule over other men.–
N. A. Halkides
“One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up.” — Arthur Koestler