The Radical Center
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The Radical Center

Speaking Freely: Libertarian Quotes #24

Without the reestablishment of freedom of migration throughout the world, there can be no lasting peace.
Ludwig Mises1881–1973

The FDA calls certain substances “controlled”. But there are not controlled substances; there are only controlled persons.
Thomas Szasz 1920–2012

“I do not wish [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.”
Mary Wollstonecraft • 1759–1797

Ernest Crosby


“Captain, what do you think,” I asked,
“Of the part your soldiers play?”
But the captain answered, “I do not think;
I do not think, I obey!”

“Do you think you should shoot a patriot down,
Or help a tyrant slay?”
But the captain answered, “I do not think;
I do not think, I obey!”

“Do you think your conscience was made to die,
And your brain to rot away?”
But the captain answered, “I do not think;
I do not think, I obey!”

“Then if this is your soldier’s creed,” I cried,
“You’re a mean unmanly crew;
And for all your feathers and gilt and braid
I am more of a man than you!

“For whatever my place in life may be,
And whether I swim or sink,
I can say with pride, ‘I do not obey;
I do not obey, I think!’”

Ernest Crosby 1856–1907

Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.
Hannah Arendt 1906–1975

The struggle is always between the individual and his sacred right to express himself and the power structure that seeks conformity, suppression, and obedience.
Justice William O. Douglas 1898–1980

The living man cannot be defined; he is the fountain-head of all life and all values; he is not a part of this or of that; he is a whole, an individual whole, a growing, changing, yet always constant whole.
Emma Goldman 1869–1940

To the liberal neither moral nor religious ideals are proper objects of coercion, while both conservatives and socialists recognize no such limits. I sometimes feel that the most conspicuous attribute of liberalism that distinguishes it as much from conservatism as from socialism is the view that moral beliefs concerning matters of conduct which do not directly interfere with the protected sphere of other persons do not justify coercion.
F.A. Hayek 1899–1992

Violence may go to the point of murdering the hater, but it doesn’t murder hate. It may increase hate. It is always a descending spiral leading nowhere. This is the ultimate weakness of violence: It multiplies evil and violence in the universe. It doesn’t solve any problems.
Martin Luther King 1929–1968

Under the guise of protecting us from ourselves, the right and the left are becoming ever more aggressive in regulating behavior.
George McGovern

Rebelliousness or unconventionality as such do not constitute proof of individualism. Just as individualism does not consist merely of rejecting collectivism, so it does not consist merely of the absence of conformity. A conformist is a man who declares, “It’s true because others believe it” — but an individualist is not a man who declares, “It’s true because I believe it.” An individualist declares, “I believe it because I see in reason that it’s true.
Ayn Rand 1905–1982

Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things. All governments which thwart this natural course, which force things into another channel, or which endeavour to arrest the progress of society at a particular point, are unnatural, and to support themselves are obliged to be oppressive and tyrannical.
Adam Smith 1723–1790

Mildred Loving

I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others
Mildred Loving 1939–2008

Churches are becoming political organizations… It probably will not be long until the churches will divide as sharply upon political, as upon theological questions; and when that day comes, if there are not liberals enough to hold the balance of power, this Government will be destroyed. The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church.
Robert Ingersoll

Inalienable rights begin, however, always with the people themselves, and the most direct one of the people is one’s own life, with which one may do as one pleases, fully free from start to finish as long as the rights of other individuals, of society or of the state are not injured by these actions, whatever the advantage or disadvantage may be.
Karl-Maria Kertbeny 1824–1882

The houses they live in, their furniture, clothes, fuel, food — all are brought into existence by the spontaneous efforts of citizens supplying one another’s wants. …The roads, the railways, the trains, the telegraphs are products of combined exertions prompted by desires for profit and maintenance. The villages and towns they pass exhibit the accretions due to private actions. The districts devoted to one or other manufacture have been so devoted by men who were simply seeking incomes to live upon. The enormous distributing organization with its vast warehouses and retail shops lining the streets, carrying everywhere innumerable kinds of commodities has arisen without the planning of any one.
Herbert Spencer 1820–1903

Everywhere the strong have made the laws and oppressed the weak; and, if they have sometimes consulted the interests of society, they have always forgotten those of humanity.
Anne Robert Jacques Turgot 1727–1781


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