Freedom Quote of the Week: 2002 Archives

Week of December 29, 2002

Still in honor of Christmas.

Thus, our Lord came down, becoming a Man for our sakes, in order, as St.Gregory says, to heal like with like; the soul by the soul and the flesh by the flesh. He became a perfect man without sin. He has assumed our essence, the first fruit of our nature and He became a new Adam according to the image of Him Who created him; (Col. 3:10). He renews human nature and makes our senses perfect again, as they were at the beginning. He renewed fallen man by becoming Man. He liberated him from the dominion of sin, which had compelled him by force.

— Abba Dorotheos, Practical Teaching on the Christian Life, sixth century.

Week of December 22, 2002

In honor of Christmas.

There is a new wonder in heaven and on earth: God is on earth and man is in Heaven.

St. Thalassios the Libyan, seventh century Christian abbot.

Week of December 15, 2002

In commemoration of the effective date of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, December 15, 1791.

The Bill of Rights has an integral structure, like a castle. Folks who believe they can give up one of the first 10 amendments to the claim of "compelling government interest" — yet still keep the others intact — are like soldiers who fight to defend nine of a castle's gates while leaving the tenth gate open and unguarded.

— Vin Suprynowicz (apparently I didn't realize I'd already used this quotation this year)

Week of December 8, 2002

In commemoration of the birth of George Mason of Virginia, December 11, 1725.

[The people of Virginia declare] That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason, June 1776.

A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual right and the perpetuity of free government.

Constitution of the State of Washington, Article I, section 32.

Week of December 1, 2002

In commemoration of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.

No matter what happens, the U.S. Navy is not going to get caught napping.

— Frank Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, December 4, 1941

Week of November 24, 2002

In commemoration of Thanksgiving.

About half of the Pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth in 1620 were dead a year later. The Indians really did save the colony by showing the first winter’s survivors what to plant and how to plant it in the spring of 1621. The Pilgrims really did rejoice at that festival. They were lucky — graced, they would have said — to be alive.

So are we. Ludwig von Mises wrote somewhere (I wish I could remember where) that Charles Darwin was wrong. The principle of the survival of the fittest does not apply to the free market social order. The free market’s division of labor has enabled millions of people to survive — today, billions — who would otherwise have perished.

So, give thanks to God tomorrow, even if your only god is the free market. You did not obtain all that you possess all by yourself. The might of your hands did not secure it for you. A little humility is in order on this one day of the year. Yes, even if you earned a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.

— Gary North, "Thanksgiving and Marginal Utility," 2000.

Week of November 10, 2002

In honor of the armistice ending the First World War, now celebrated as Remembrance Day in the UK and Canada, and as Veterans' Day in the US, November 11, 1918.

If nuclear weapons are a dreadful threat and mankind cannot afford war any longer, then mankind cannot afford statism any longer. Let no man of good will take it upon his conscience to advocate the rule of force — outside or inside his own country.  Let all those who are actually concerned with peace — those who do love man and do care about his survival — realize that if war is ever to be outlawed, it is the use of force that has to be outlawed.

— Ayn Rand, "The Roots of War," Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 1966, emphasis in the original.

Week of November 3, 2002

In honor of the birth of Will Rogers [to whom I can't prove I'm not related  — I mean, he was from Oklahoma, we were from Oklahoma {before we emigrated to Texas}...], November 4, 1879.

Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, that don't hurt anybody. It's when they do something is when they become dangerous.

If all politicians fished instead of spoke publicly, we would be at peace with the world.

Things in our country run in spite of government, not by aid of it.

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. (Also seen sometimes: "It's easy to be a humorist. I've got the entire government working for me.")

— Will Rogers, said or written at various times.

Week of October 27, 2002

In honor of Samuel Adams' publication of the Massachusetts Resolves, October 29, 1765.

By far the most eloquent statement of the natural-rights position [in defense of the rights of the American colonies] was the Massachusetts Resolves of October 29. These logical and incisively libertarian resolutions were drawn up by Sam Adams, who had replaced Thacher in the Massachusetts Assembly. Squarely in the tradition of John Locke's Essay on Civil Government, Adams began by explicitly grounding British rights on "the law of God and Nature, and on the common rights of mankind." Therefore, Adams continued, the people of Massachusetts "are unalienably entitled to those essential rights in common with all men: and that no law of society can consistent with the law of God and Nature divest them of those rights." Crucial to these natural and inalienable rights was the right of property: "Resolved, that no man can justly take the property of another without his consent." And from this Adams presumed to derive the right of representation in levying taxes.

Murray N, Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty, Volume III: Advance to Revolution, 1760-1775, 1999, p. 129.

Week of October 19, 2002

In honor of Austria's national holiday, which commemorates the passage of the Law of Permanent Neutrality, October 26, 1955.)

Even democratic intellectuals and artists from any field of endeavor could not ignore the enormous level of productivity of Austro-Hungarian and in particular Viennese culture [under the Habsburgs]. Indeed, the list of great names associated with late nineteenth and early twentieth century Vienna is almost endless.

The list includes Ludwig Boltzmann, Franz Brentano, Rudolph Carnap, Edmund Husserl, Ernst Mach, Alexius Meinong, Karl Popper, Moritz Schlick, and Ludwig Wittgenstein among philosophers, Kurt Gödel, Hans Hahn, Karl Menger, and Richard von Mises [Ludwig's brother] among mathematicians; Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Gottfried von Haberler, Friedrich A. von Hayek, Carl Menger, Fritz Machlup, Ludwig von Mises, Oskar Morgenstern, Joseph Schumpeter, and Friedrich von Wieser among economists; Rudolph von Jhering, Hans Kelsen, Anton Menger [brother of Carl the economist and uncle of Karl the mathematician], and Lorenz von Stein among lawyers and legal theorists; Alfred Adler, Joseph Breuer, Karl Bühler, and Sigmund Freud among psychologists; Max Adler, Otto Bauer, Egon Friedell, Heinrich Friedjung, Paul Lazarsfeld, Gustav Ratzenhofer, and Alfred Schütz among historians and sociologists; Hermann Broch, Franz Grillparzer, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Karl Kraus, Fritz Mauthner, Robert Musil, Arthur Schnitzler, Georg Trakl, Otto Weininger, and Stefan Zweig among writers and literary critics; Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Adolf Loos, and Egon Schiele among artists and architects; and Alban Berg, Johannes Brahms, Anton Bruckner, Franz Lehar, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schönberg, Johann Strauss, Anton von Webern, and Hugo Wolf among composers.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God that Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order, (read my review on 2001, introduction.

Week of October 13, 2002

In honor of the birth of Albert Jay Nock, October 13, 1879.)

No, "democratic" State practice is nothing more or less than State practice. It does not differ from Marxist State practice, Fascist State practice, or any other. Here is the Golden Rule of sound citizenship, the first and greatest lesson in the study of politics: you get the same order of criminality from any State to which you give power to exercise it; and whatever power you give the State to do things for you carries with it the equivalent power to do things to you. A citizenry which has learned that one short lesson has but little more left to learn. Stripping the American State of the enormous power it has acquired is a full-time job for our citizens and a stirring one; and if they attend to it properly they will have no energy to spare for fighting communism, or for hating Hitler, or for worrying about South America or Spain, or for anything whatever, except what goes on right here in the United States.

— Albert Jack Nock, "The Criminality of the State," emphasis in the original, March 1939.

Week of October 6, 2002

In commemoration of the death of General Robert E. Lee, October 12, 1870, as well as the death of Ludwig von Mises, author of last week's Freedom Quote, October 10, 1973.

The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman.

The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly — the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light. The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He can not only forgive, he can forget, and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humblng others.

— Robert E. Lee, written during the War Between the States, but not found until after his death. Quoted in R.E. Lee by Douglas Southall Freeman, 1934 (one-volume abridged edition, 1991).

Week of September 29, 2002

In commemoration of the birth of one of the preeminent — very possibly the preeminent — scholars and philosophers of freedom, Ludwig von Mises, September 29, 1881.

The goal of the domestic policy of liberalism [in the European sense, better known in America as classical liberalism or libertarianism] is the same as that of its foreign policy: peace. It aims at peaceful cooperation just as much between nations as within each nation. The starting-point of liberal thought is the recognition of the value and importance of human cooperation, and the whole policy and program of liberalism is designed to serve the purpose of maintaining the existing state of mutual cooperation among the members of the human race and extending it still further. The ultimate ideal envisioned by liberalism is the perfect cooperation of all mankind, taking place peacefully and without friction. Liberal thinking always has the whole of humanity in view and not just parts. It does not stop at limited groups; it does not end at the border of the village, of the province, of the nation, or of the continent. Its thinking is cosmopolitan and ecumenical: it takes in all men and the whole world. Liberalism is, in this sense, humanism; and the liberal, a citizen of the world, a cosmopolite.

Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism in the Classical Tradition, Foundation for Economic Education, 1985, pp. 105-6 (Liberalism was first published in German in 1927).

Week of September 22, 2002

In commemoration of the adoption of the first twelve amendments to the Constitution (only ten of which were eventually ratified as the Bill of Rights) by Congress, which then recommended it to the several states for ratification, September 25, 1789.

The Bill of Rights has an integral structure, like a castle. Folks who believe they can give up one of the first 10 amendments to the claim of "compelling government interest" — yet still keep the others intact — are like soldiers who fight to defend nine of a castle's gates while leaving the tenth gate open and unguarded.

— Vin Suprynowicz

Week of September 15, 2002

In commemoration of Constitution Day, September 17, which honors the day in 1787 on which (most of) the members of the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution of the United States, sent it to the several states for ratification, and adjourned their convention.)

Political competition, then, is a far more effective device for limiting a government's natural desire to expand its exploitative powers than are internal constitutional limitations. Indeed, the attempts of some public choice theorists and of "constitutional economics" to design model liberal constitutions must strike one as hopelessly naive. For constitutional courts and supreme court judges are part and parcel of the government apparatus whose powers they are supposed to limit. Why in the would should they want to constrain the power of the very organization that provides them with jobs, money, and prestige? To assume so is not only theoretically inconsistent, i.e., incompatible with the assumption of self-interest. The assumption is also without any historical foundation. Despite the explicit limitation of the power of the central government contained in the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, for instance, it has been the interpretation by the U.S. Supreme Court which has rendered the amendment essentially null and void. Similarly, despite the constitutional guarantee of private property by the (West) German constitution, for instance, the German supreme court, after the German reunification in 1990, declared all communist expropriations prior to the founding of the East German state in 1949 "valid." Thus, more than 50 percent of former East Germany's land used for agriculture were appropriated by the (West) German state (rather than being returned to the original private owners, as required by a literal interpretation of the constitution)

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God that Failed, 2001, pp. 110-1, note 7.

Week of September 8, 2002

In commemoration of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in memory of those who died [especially the men and women who were actually targeted — the forgotten victims of 9/11], and in honor of those who tried to save them.

The champions of government assert that without it the wicked will oppress and outrage the good, and that the power of the government enables the good to resist the wicked.

But in this assertion the champions of the existing order of things take for granted the proposition they want to prove. When they say that except for the government the bad would oppress the good, they take it for granted that the good are those who at the present time are in possession of power, and the bad are those who are in subjection to it. But this is just what wants proving.

The good cannot seize power, nor retain it; to do this men must love power. And love of power is inconsistent with goodness; but quite consistent with the very opposite qualities -– pride, cunning, cruelty. Without the aggrandizement of self and the abasement of others, without hypocrisies and deceptions, without prisons, fortresses, executions, and murders, no power can come into existence or be maintained...

... ruling means using force, and using force means doing to him to whom force is used, what he does not like and what he who uses the force would certainly not like done to himself. Consequently ruling means doing to others what we would not they should do unto us, that is, doing wrong.

Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You, 1894.

Week of September 1, 2002

In commemoration of Labor Day.

It cannot be stressed enough that the coercion which unions have been permitted to exercise contrary to all principles of freedom under the law is primarily the coercion of fellow workers. Whatever true coercive power unions may be able to wield over employers is a consequence of this primary power of coercing other workers; the coercion of employers would lose most of its objectionable character if unions were deprived of this power to exact unwilling support. ...

It is the techniques of coercion that unions have developed for the purpose of making membership in effect compulsory, what they call their "organizational activities" (or, in the United States, "union security" — a curious euphemism) that give them real power. Because the power of truly voluntary unions will be restricted to what are the common interests of all workers, they have come to direct their chief efforts to the forcing of dissenters to obey their will.

They could never have been successful in this without the support of a misguided public opinion and the active aid of government.

Friedrich A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, 1960, pp. 269, 274.

Week of August 25, 2002

In commemoration of the adoption of The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen by the National Assembly of France, August 26, 1789.

The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptable rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen

Week of August 18, 2002

In commemoration of the ratification of the Ninteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted to women the right to vote.

Women are human beings, and consequently have all the natural rights that any human beings can have. They have just as good a right to make laws as men have, and no better; AND THAT IS JUST NO RIGHT AT ALL. No human being, nor any number of human beings, have any right to make laws, and compel other human beings to obey them. To say that they have is to say that they are the masters and owners of those of whom they require such obedience. ...

If the women, instead of petitioning to be admitted to a participation in the power of making more laws, will but give notice to the present lawmakers that they (the women) are going up to the State House, and are going to throw all the existing statute books into the fire, they will do a very sensible thing — one of the most sensible things it is in their power to do. And they will have a crowd of men — at least all the sensible and honest men of the country to go with them.

Lysander Spooner, "Against Woman Suffrage," Liberty, June 10, 1882; reprinted in Dissenting Electorate: Those Who Refuse to Vote and the Legitimacy of Their Opposition, Carl Watner and Wendy McElroy, eds., 2001, pp. 18, 21 (emphasis in original).

Week of August 11, 2002

In commemoration of the organized mob action in Boston against the Stamp Act, led by Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty, August 14, 1765.) The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand and enjoy liberty — and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.

— H.L. Mencken

Week of August 4, 2002

In commemoration of the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, August 9, 1974.

But did Nixon deserve to be brought down? And wasn't Nixon's third-rate burglary no worse than the dark deeds committed by his predecessors? Yes, and yes. What Nixon did was no worse than FDR before him, or of course, Slick Willie after him. The point is that they all, all, deserved to be Brought Down, and the sooner the better. The great thing about Watergate is that it made the unthinkable thinkable at long last, that it established the precedent for impeaching the Monster in the White House. And while they can bury Watergate, and they can rehabilitate the Tricky One's image all they want, they can install him in the Valhalla reserved for all ex-presidents, but they can't take away from us the lovely knowledge that he — and Agnew just before him — was Brought Down, and if it can happen to him, it can happen to any one, even to whoever the current occupant may be. To throw one of the Liberals' favorite words in their face, what I loved most about Watergate was the "process" - the process of impeachment, of Bringing the Man Down.

Murray N. Rothbard, 'The Apotheosis of Tricky Dick,' Rothbard-Rockwell Report, June 1994, reprinted in The Irrepressible Rothbard, May 2000.

Week of July 28, 2002

In commemoration of the beginning of the Whiskey Rebellion, August 1, 1794.

Washington, Hamilton, and the Cabinet covered up the extent of the [Whiskey] revolution because they didn't want to advertise the extent of their failure. They knew very well that if they tried to enforce, or send an army into, the rest of the backcountry, they would have failed. Kentucky and perhaps the other areas would have seceded from the Union then and there. Both contemporary sides were happy to cover up the truth, and historians fell for the deception.

The Whiskey Rebellion, then, considered properly, was a victory for liberty and property rather than for federal taxation. Perhaps this lesson will inspire a later generation of American taxpayers who are so harried and downtrodden as to make the whiskey or stamp taxes of old seem like Paradise.

Murray N. Rothbard, "The Whiskey Rebellion: A Model for Our Time?" The Free Market, September 1994.

Week of July 21, 2002

In commemoration of the Battle of First Manassas (aka Bull Run), July 21, 1861, the first battle of the War for Southern Independence.

The retreat, the panic, the heedless, headlong confusion was soon beyond a hope. Officers with leaves and eagles on their shoulder straps, majors and colonels who had deserted their comrades, passed, galloping, as if for dear life. Not a field officer seemed to have remembered his duty. The flying teams and wagons confused and dismembered every corps. ... Army wagons, sutlers' teams, and private carriages choked the passage, tumbling against each other amid clouds of dust, and sickening sights and sounds. Hacks containing unlucky spectators of the late affray were smashed like glass, and the occupants were lost sight of in the debris. Horses, flying wildly from the battlefield, many of them in death agony, galloped at random forward, joining in the stampede. Those on foot who could catch them rode them bareback, as much to save themselves from being run over as to make quick time.

— Edward A. Pollard, describing the Federal retreat from the battlefield of First Manassas, A Southern History of the War, reprinted 1977.

Week of July 14, 2002

In commemoration of the storming of the Bastille in Paris and the start of the French Revolution, July 14, 1789 [warning: propaganda-heavy link].

And it all began with the French Revolution, with the dissected Princess de Lamballe and the cook's apprentice broiled alive in butter. Oh yes, believing Christians too have committed evil deeds, but they never claimed to have acted in the spirit of God's revealed word. They acted according to the aion and not according to the Gospels. Nobody in the Vatican would dream of celebrating an anniversary of the Inquisition (which put priests as an inquiring body in the service of the state), nor would anybody in Geneva commemorate the burning of Servetus at the stake. Herein we betrayed the Lord, and we hang our heads in shame. But the French guillotinists will as proudly continue to celebrate the sadistic and revolting revolution of 1789 as the gulagists do the murder of countless millions on November 7th every year.

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism Revisited.

Week of June 30, 2002

In commemoration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the independent United States of America, July 4, 1776.

And this is the fourth of July — a day in which we have talked so much in the past of liberty and independence, George Washington, etc., with all Yankeeland [now] pressing upon our vitals and exhausting that substance which we so much begrudged old George 3 and Lord North. Independence, indeed! In what has it at last culminated? Have ancient or modern times furnished despotism more absolute and irresponsible than the one which left its head at the capital of the old republic and tramples underfoot with impunity every vestige of liberty? And yet the Creatures who denounce monarchy and claim the cognomen of "Republicans" par excellence, fling up their hats and shout hosannas to the despot who has his feet upon their neck. I am in despair! The course of republicanism seems to be the same in all ages and what hope have even we who are now staking our lives and fortunes in protection of its stronghold of a better fate as history advances? The evil day may be averted but how long? If this law is to be perpetual better at once acknowledge our error, repeal the declaration of Independence and return to the household of the Tudors, the Stuarts, and the Guelphes! At all events any of these or even the house of Hapsburg rather than the vulgar and besotted and drunken rule of the Lincolns, Greelys and Stewards! Whilst there is a Southern sword to be drawn this last fate can never be ours!

— James D.B. De Bow to Louisiana historian Charles Gayarré, July 4, 1861

Week of June 23, 2002

In commemoration of the ratification of the Constitution by the Commonwealth of Virginia, June 25, 1788.

We the delegates of the people of Virginia ... do in the name and on the behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known, that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them, and at their will. That therefore no right, of any denomination, can be canceled, abridged, restrained or modified by the Congress, by the Senate, or House of Representatives, acting in any capacity, by the President or any department or officer of the United States, except in those instances where power is given by the Constitution for those purposes.

—  Virginia's Resolution Ratifying the US Constitution.

Week of June 16, 2002

In commemoration of that great champion of political and religious liberty, John Acton, first Lord Acton, who died on June 19, 1902.

I can only say that while I have considered the preservation of the constitutional power of the General Government to be the foundation of our peace and safety at home and abroad, I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people, not only essential to the adjustment and balance of the general system, but the safeguard to the continuance of a free government. I consider it as the chief source of stability to our political system, whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.

— Gen. Robert E. Lee, in a letter to Lord Acton, December 15, 1866 (You can read the complete exchange of letters between Acton and Lee here. It's fascinating.)

Week of June 9, 2002

In honor of United States Flag Day, June 14.

A moth-eaten rag on a worm-eaten pole
It does not look likely to stir a man's soul.
'tis the deeds that were done 'neath the moth-eaten rag
when the pole was a staff and the rag was a flag.

— poem by General Sir Edward Hamley, KCB, a historian of the Crimean War whose main presence on the Net seems to be the four lines quoted above.

Week of June 2, 2002

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the coronation of Elizabeth II, by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other realms and territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, June 2, 1952.

Now I must leave the treasures of the past and turn to the future. Famous have been the reigns of our Queens. Some of the greatest periods in our history have unfolded under their sceptres. Now that we have a Second Queen Elizabeth, also ascending to the Throne in her twenty-sixth year, our thoughts are carried back nearly 400 years to the magnificent figure who presided over, and in many ways embodied and inspired, the grandeur and genius of the Elizabethan Age. Queen Elizabeth the Second, like her predecessor, did not pass her childhood in any certain expectation of the Crown. But already we know her well, and we understand why her gifts, and those of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, have stirred the only part of our Commonwealth she has yet been able to visit. She has already been acclaimed as Queen of Canada: we make our claim, too, and others will come forward also; and tomorrow the proclamation of her sovereignty will command the loyalty of her native land and of all other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire.

I, whose youth was passed in the august, unchallenged, and tranquil glories of the Victorian Era, may well feel a thrill in invoking, once more, the prayer and the Anthem, "God Save the Queen!"

— Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, broadcast to the nation upon the death of King George VI and the accession of Queen Elizabeth II, February 7, 1952.

Week of May 26, 2002

In honor of the adoption of The Mecklenburg Resolves in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on May 31, 1775 — a declaration of independence from Great Britain that preceded the American Declaration of Independence by more than a year.

THIS day the Committee of this County met, and passed the following RESOLVES:

WHEREAS by an Address presented to his Majesty by both Houses of Parliament in February last, the American Colonies are declared to be in a state of actual Rebellion, we conceive that all Laws and Commissions confirmed by, or derived from the Authority of the King or Parliament, are annulled and vacated, and the former civil Constitution of these Colonies for the present wholly suspended.

— Preamble to The Mecklenburg Resolves.

Week of May 19, 2002

In observance of the opening of the Constitutional Convention, May 25, 1787.

The ostensible supporters of the Constitution, like the ostensible supporters of most other governments, are made up of three classes, viz.: 1. Knaves, a numerous and active class, who see in the government an instrument which they can use for their own aggrandizement or wealth. 2. Dupes — a large class, no doubt — each of whom, because he is allowed one voice out of millions in deciding what he may do with his own person and his own property, and because he is permitted to have the same voice in robbing, enslaving, and murdering others, that others have in robbing, enslaving, and murdering himself, is stupid enough to imagine that he is a "free man," a "sovereign"; that this is "a free government"; "a government of equal rights," "the best government on earth," and such like absurdities. 3. A class who have some appreciation of the evils of government, but either do not see how to get rid of them, or do not choose to so far sacrifice their private interests as to give themselves seriously and earnestly to the work of making a change.

— Lysander Spooner, "No Treason VI: The Constitution of No Authority," part II, 1870.

Week of May 12, 2002

In observance of the death of Lysander Spooner, May 17, 1887.

If our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared with those who claimed the right to rule over them."

— Lysander Spooner, 1867.

Week of May 5, 2002

In observance of the death of Henry David Thoreau, May 6, 1862.

Freedom is an individual experience. If you have it, its objective expression will find many forms; but if you don't have it, you will get along all right, like any four-footed animal or "sound" citizen, and you may even go to Heaven, but you can never be free. Chattel-slavery was the issue in Thoreau's time, just as state-slavery is now. A lot of people talked about the iniquity of the system. What did Thoreau do? He refused to pay the poll-tax on the ground that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would use the funds to capture and return fugitive slaves. Now, when you refuse to pay taxes you are indeed a dangerous man, for you undermine the institution whereby some men live by the labor of others; therefore, you must be clapped into jail until you see the error of your ways and make your proper adjustment. Of his one night spent behind bars Thoreau writes, "I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of brick and mortar ... I could not but smile to see how industriously they locked the door on my meditations. As they could not reach me they resolved to punish my body; just as boys, as they cannot come against some person against whom they have a spite, will abuse his dog. I saw that the State was half-witted, that it was as timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons ... I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it." Such a man cannot be enslaved.

— Frank Chodorov, "Henry David Thoreau," in Out of Step, 1962. Ellipses in original.

Week of April 28, 2002

In observance of "May Day," May 1, the commies' traditional "radical workers holiday."

They [the collectivists] maintain that only a dictatorship — their dictatorship, of course — can create the will of the people, while our answer to this is: No dictatorship can have any other aim but that of self-perpetuation, and it can beget only slavery in the people tolerating it; freedom can be created only by freedom, that is, by a universal rebellion on the part of the people and free organization of the toiling masses from the bottom up.

— Mikhail Bakunin, Statism and Anarchism

Week of April 21, 2002

In commemoration of "Earth Day," April 22.

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

— H.L. Mencken

Week of April 14, 2002

In commemoration of the anniversary of my marriage to the most wonderful woman in the world.

In marriage the festive joy of the first day should last for the whole of life; every day should be a feast day; every day husband and wife should appear to each other as new, extraordinary beings. The only way of achieving this: let both deepen their spiritual life, and strive hard in the task of self-development.

— Alexander Elchaninov, Diary of a Russian Priest

Week of April 7, 2002

In memory of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, whose funeral was held on April 9.

The whole British Empire, and, most of all, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, owes an inestimable debt to our King and Queen. In these years of trial and storm they have shared to the full the perils, the labours, the sorrows, and the hopes of the British nation. I have seen the King, gay, bouyant and confident, when the stones of Buckingham Palace lay newly scattered in heaps upon the lawns. We even today are mourning the King's brother, who was killed on active service on a Highland hillside. You here in Scotland and in Edinburgh must especially rejoice in the charm and grace of a Scottish Queen whom Scotland has given to us in this time of crisis.

— Winston S. Churchill, speech at Usher Hall, Edinburgh, October 12, 1942

Week of March 31, 2002

In memory of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

About this time [during the Battle of Britain] the King changed his practice of receiving me in a formal weekly audience at about five o'clock, which had prevailed during my first two months of office. It was now arranged that I should lunch with him every Tuesday. This was certainly a very agreeable method of transacting State business, and sometimes the Queen was present. ... I was most careful that everything should be laid before the King, and at our weekly meetings he frequently showed that he had mastered papers which I had not yet dealt with. It was a great help to Britain to have so good a King and Queen in those fateful years, and as a convinced upholder of constitutional monarchy I valued as a signal honour the gracious intimacy with which I, as first Minister, was treated, for which I suppose there has been no precedent since the days of Queen Anne and Marlborough during his years of power.

— Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War, Volume II: Their Finest Hour, 1949

Week of March 17, 2002

In honor of Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty" speech, delivered in Richmond, Virginia on March 23, 1775

The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come. It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

— Patrick Henry