As a supplement to my recent article, Assorted Absurdities of Democracy , I want to present some quotes on the same and related themes. Here follows some great words by diverse individuals, plus occasional comments by me.
Before that, however, I want to say that I am well aware that officially the word “antibigbrotherism” (occurs in the title of this article) doesn't exist in the language. Well, now it does! As an author, I use my right to be creative with the language. The word is clear and what it means as well, at least as long as you are acquainted with George Orwell's “1984” and its “Big Brother”. (See the last quote below.)
Now, let's go to the quotes.
Frederick Bastiat (1801-1850) was one of the most important economic thinkers in history. His ideas have strongly inspired the so-called Austrian school of economics. I love these lines from his “Plunder and Law”. In a drastic way they tell the truth without hypocrisy.
“Your principle has placed these words above the entrance of the legislative chamber: 'whosoever acquires any influence here can obtain his share of legal plunder.' And what has been the result? All classes have flung themselves upon the doors of the chamber crying: 'A share of the plunder for me, for me!'”
(Frederic Bastiat, “Plunder and Law”, 1850)
Although most people refuse to see it, it is an inescapable fact that tax is theft.
"The government says to the citizen: Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself is for us to decide."
(Frank Chodorov, The Income Tax: Root of All Evil, Chapter 3)
“When Barbary Pirates demand a fee for allowing you to do business, it's called 'tribute money'. When the Mafia demands a fee for allowing you to do business, it's called 'the protection racket'. When the State demands a fee for allowing you to do business, it's called 'sales tax'.”
“The income tax effectively declares that all earned income is the property of the state, and that the state will inform us from time to time how much of our own income we may keep to live on by setting the income tax rates.”
(Thomas DiLorenzo, Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth about Government)
“Far from some enlightened institution, taxation began when conquerors realized that formal and continuing appropriation of a subject population's wealth was preferable to hit-and-run pillaging. For this to work, however, the rulers needed to convince the peasants that the regime would protect them from predators in return for their regular remittances. That's right: It was a protection racket, from which the racketeers and their cronies profited handsomely. For the taxpayers, there was little choice in the matter. They weren't buying protection as people buy insurance in the market, and they weren't paying dues as they would later pay dues to mutual-aid societies. They paid or they were punished. The ideology of benevolent state protection reduced enforcement costs because the ruled outnumbered the rulers and widespread tax resistance would have doomed the regime. Things have changed little in our time.”
(Sheldon Richman, Romanticizing Taxation, 2012)
Even politicians and other leading figures of the system are sometimes critical to the system they are a part of upholding.
“Government is bad for personal freedom. That argument is premised upon the truism that everything government does interferes with freedom because it either prohibits or compels. Everything it owns it has taken from others. Much of what it says is divorced from the truth.”
(Andrew P. Napolitano, former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, "Storm Clouds Gathering", 2013)
“The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”
(Ronald Reagan, President of the United States 1981-1989)
...also religious establishment heavy weight figures, such as St. Augustine. In “City of God” he wrote:
“Set aside justice, then, and what are kingdoms but great bands of brigands? For what are brigands' bands but little kingdoms? For in brigandage the hands of the underlings are directed by the commander, the confederacy of them is sworn together, and the pillage is shared by law among them. And if those ragamuffins grow up to be able enough to keep forts, build habitations, possess cities, and conquer adjoining nations, then their government is no longer called brigandage, but graced with the eminent name of a kingdom, given and gotten not because they have left their practices but because they use them without danger of law. Elegant and excellent was that pirate's answer to the great Macedonian Alexander, who had taken him; the king asking him how he durst molest the seas so, he replied with a free spirit: "How darest thou molest the whole earth? But because I do it only with a little ship, I am called brigand: thou doing it with a great navy art called emperor."
(St. Augustine, "City of God", Book IV)
Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), was an important contributor to the thinking of the Austrian school of economics.
“It is important to remember that government interference always means either violent action or the threat of such action. The funds that a government spends for whatever purposes are levied by taxation. And taxes are paid because the taxpayers are afraid of offering resistance to the tax gatherers. They know that any disobedience or resistance is hopeless. As long as this is the state of affairs, the government is able to collect the money that it wants to spend. Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen. The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.”
(Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action", 1949)
Albert Camus (1913-1960), French author & philosopher, and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957. A too little read author today.
"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion"
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), was one of the most important Western philosophers of the last millennium.
“A politician divides mankind into two classes: tools and enemies.
“A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: 'I, the state, am the people.'
It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.
Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.”
Some other unsorted quotes:
“Again and again, just when you think you've reached maximum possible cynicism about politics, you discover that, actually, you haven't been cynical enough. It's almost always worse than you think.”
(Gene Healy, “Time for the U.S. to Get Out of NATO”, April 26, 2011)
“The State calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime.”
"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."
“What the state can't control, it exerts more power and authority to tame. Like a vampire to blood, the state never gets its fill of supremacy.”
(James E. Miller , In Defense of Flash Trading, 2011)
“Modern nationalism and collectivism have, by the restriction of migration, perhaps come nearest to the “servile state.” …Man can hardly be reduced more to a mere wheel in the clockwork of the national collectivist state that being deprived of his freedom to move.... Feeling that he belongs now to his nation, body and soul, he will be more easily subdued to the obedient state serf which nationalist and collectivist governments demand.”
"And next, socialized medicine could easily bring us to the vaunted medical status of the Soviet Union: everyone has the right to free medical care, but there is, in effect, no medicine and no care."
(Murray N. Rothbard, Making Economic Sense, 1995)
“These days, politics is the art of one group trying to impose its beliefs on another. The art of using government force to get one’s way. The art of turning everything into a fight because that’s all there is left. The art of the unnatural.”
(Jeremy Kolassa, “Why don’t we leave each other alone?", The Daily Caller)
“The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs.”
(Clarence Darrow, Speech to the Personal Liberty League, 1908)
“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against — then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of law-breakers — and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
(Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957)
In "1984", Orwell used the term "Big Brother" for an omni-present authority. In the general discussion, it came to become a term for any such authority; hence I formed the word “antibigbrotherism”.
“Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”
(George Orwell, 1984)
Assorted Absurdities of Democracy
The Mind of a Politician
Either Health Freedom or Slavery - A Little of Each is not Possible
Discrimination & The Legal Fiction of Private Ownership
Justice, Law & The State As a Self-Contradiction
The Meddler Civilisation
Envy & Fear: Why do People Desire Power?
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