The Radical Center
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The Radical Center

Libertarian Quotes #17

“The great foe of democracy now and in the near future is plutocracy. Every year that passes brings out this antagonism more distinctly. It is to be the social war of the twentieth century. In that war militarism, expansion and imperialism will all favor plutocracy. In the first place, war and expansion will favor jobbery, both in the dependencies and at home. In the second place, they will take away the attention of the people from what the plutocrats are doing. In the third place, they will cause large expenditures of the people’s money, the return for which will not go into the treasury, but into the hands of a few schemers. In the fourth place, they will call for a large public debt and taxes, and these things especially tend to make men unequal, because any social burdens bear more heavily on the weak than on the strong, and so make the weak weaker and the strong stronger. Therefore expansion and imperialism are a grand onslaught on democracy.”
William Graham Sumner • 1840–1910

“I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity, and when there is a supposed conflict between human and national rights, it is safe to go to the side of humanity. I have great respect for the blue eyed and light haired races of America. They are a mighty people. In any struggle for the good things of this world they need have no fear. They have no need to doubt that they will get their full share.

But I reject the arrogant and scornful theory by which they would limit migratory rights, or any other essential human rights to themselves, and which would make them the owners of this great continent to the exclusion of all other races of men.

I want a home here not only for the negro, the mulatto and the Latin races; but I want the Asiatic to find a home here in the United States, and feel at home here, both for his sake and for ours.

Right wrongs no man.”
Frederick Douglas • 1818–1895

“Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. There lies its immense value. For what it seeks is to disturb monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine. It seeks to show new perspectives and other choices. It is a way to help expand and liberate the consciousness; our experiences, understandings, imaginings, options and thereby our lives.”
Oscar Wilde • 1854–1900

“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority.”
Ayn Rand

“In our ignorance, we could not see that the Kaiser’s Germany and the Communist International were merely two aspects of the Old World’s reaction against the new, the American principle of individual liberty and human rights.”
Rose Wilder Lane

“Freedom, individualism, authenticity and being yourself so long as you don’t hurt another’s physical person or property: The creative process is the emergence in action of a novel relational product, growing out of the uniqueness of the individual.”
Carl Rogers • 1902–1987

“The true Conservative will, if he can, leave hardly any action or any thought to the independent volition of the individual. This is not only because he has a contempt for the individual, but also because he himself is possessed by that instinct for power against which the desire for liberty is in perpetual conflict.”
Oliver Brett • 1881–1963

Hopps: “So that’s it, prey fears predator, and you stay in power.”
Bellwether: “Yeah, pretty much.”
Hopps: “It won’t work.”
Bellwether: “Fear always works.”
Zootopia, 2016

“The truly ‘radical’ movement of the later medieval and early modern period was the growth of economic individualism, not the appearance of a few communistic books, sects, and communities. Against the background of nineteenth century individualism, ‘radical’ is today almost synonymous with ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’. …It is essential to the understanding of utopian socialism to remember that when it first appeared in European history as a fairly consistent theory, it was very largely a reactionary protest against a new, ‘progressive’ and poorly understood economic movement, an appeal to turn the clock backward.”
E. Harris Harbison • 1907–1964

“Capitalism laid the groundwork for voluntary relationships based on personal preference, the precondition for ‘romantic love.’ Capitalism did not cause romantic love, it allowed it to flourish.”
Barry Adams • 1952 —

“Vices are those acts by which man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.”
Lysander Spooner • 1808–1887

“Literature is not conformism but dissent. Those authors who merely repeat what everybody approves and wants to hear are of no importance. What counts alone is the innovator, the dissenter, the harbinger of things unheard of, the man who rejects the traditional standards and aims at substituting new values and ideas for old ones.”
Ludwig Mises • 1881–1973

“From the dawn of history the oppressor has always insisted that oppression was good for the oppressed.”
Moorfield Storey • 1845–1929

“The strength by a victorious State through war is in large part taken not from the enemy but from its own people. All the private elements in Society — — the family, the church, the press, the school, the corporation, the union, and other co-operatives — — are subject to special discipline by the State in wartime. …And it is scarcely necessary to emphasize that once an emergency control has been established by the State, all sorts of arguments for making it permanent are forthcoming.”
Felix Morley • 1894–1982

“I insist that collectivism, which replaces the free market by coercive centralized authority, is reactionary in the exact sense of the word.”
Walter Lippman • 1889–1974

“Those who have ever valued liberty for its own sake believed that to be free to choose, and not to be chosen for, is an unalienable ingredient in what makes human beings human.”
Isaiah Berlin • 1909–1997

“Freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically, as in England and America in the nineteenth century under laissez-faire. To check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed, as in Russia after 1917.”
Will Durant • 1885–1981

“Bigotry does not consort easily with free trade.”
Peter Ackroyd • 1949 —

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.”
Mark Twain • 1835–1910

“The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. • 1929–1968

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James Peron

James Peron

James Peron is the president of the Moorfield Storey Institute, was the founding editor of Esteem a LGBT publication in South Africa under apartheid.