Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On Work

When each becomes his own taskmaster and regards work as a curse which he endures only to gain means of subsistence, will he not constantly seek to avoid it?
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Society and Wisdom

In this they bear out the observation of Socrates that society does not mind an individual's being wise; only when he begins to make others wise does it become apprehensive.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948 

Monday, August 29, 2011

On the Philosopher

Not only is the philosopher a notoriously poor consumer; he is also an unsettling influence on societies careless of justice.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shaping Reason

"Reason alone fails to justify itself. Not without cause has the devil been called a prince of lawyers, and not by accident are Shakespeare's villains good reasoners. If the disposition is wrong, reason increases maleficence; if it is right, reason orders and furthers the good."
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How to Identify Legal Plunder

See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.
Source: Frédéric Bastiat, The Law 1849
Taken From: Legal Obedience, Walter Williams, 8/24/2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

On the Size of the State

"[W]hen you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you. . . you may know that your society is doomed."

Source:  Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged 1957
Taken From: Simon Black, July 8, Boiling frog alert: Congress wants automatic wage deductions to pay down the debt

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Feeling and Deserving

... if we attach more significance to feeling that to thinking, we shall soon, by a simple extension, attach more to wanting than to deserving.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Best and Worst

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity?
Source: The Collected Poems of WB Yeats
Taken From: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Unformed Expression

Many cannot conceive why form should be allowed to impede the expression of honest hearts.  The reason lies in one of the limitations imposed upon man: unformed expression is ever tending toward ignorance.  Good intention is primary, but it is not enough: that is the lesson of the experiment of romanticism.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Monday, August 22, 2011

One Wish

 If you have but one wish, let it be for an idea.
Source: Percy Sutton (Unsourced)
Taken From: Chart of the Day 8/19

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scarcity and Abundance

One of the strangest disparities of history lies between the sense of abundance felt by older and simpler societies and the sense of scarcity felt by the ostensibly richer societies of today.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Man is constantly being assured today that he has more power than ever before in history, but his daily experience is one of powerlessness.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Friday, August 19, 2011

Consumptive Labor

Suppose, however, we ... turn our attention to the fact that ... modern man has more.  This very circumstance sets up a conflict, for it is a constant law of human nature that the more a man has to indulge in, the less disposed he is to endure the discipline of toil - that is to say, the less willing he is to produce that which is to be consumed.  
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Thursday, August 18, 2011

During Wartime Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Prince of Peace, who hatest wars, in which men slay their own brothers and destroy those things which Thou hast given us to enjoy, forgive us for wars and fightings among us and for the lust of our flesh that begets them.

O Thou who makest wars to cease unto the ends of the earth, bring a speedy end to this reign of destruction and terror. Restore men to sanity so that they may see the insanity of war and avoid it as a sore plague of mankind and an offense to Thy holy majesty.
Source: "During Wartime" Prayer, "My Prayer Book" Concordia Publishing House 1957
Taken From: LRC Blog 8/13/11

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
Source: Alfred Adler, Problems of Neurosis (1929)
Taken From:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sound Doctrine

We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine
Source: Paul the Apostle in a letter to Timothy, 62-67AD
Taken From:  1st Tim 1:9-10

Monday, August 15, 2011

How to Convert the World

The Count of Oropesa, more than four centuries ago, had a passion to reform the world. A Spanish saint, San Pedro of Alcantara, gave him this kind of counsel.
May your Lordship not torment yourself: there is a remedy for this deluge of crimes. Let us be, you and me, that which we should be. There will be two less souls to convert. Let each person behave thus: it is the most efficacious of reforms. The trouble is, that no one wants to correct himself and everyone meddles at correcting others: thus everything stays as is.
Source: Unsourced
Taken From:  Leonard Read, How to Advance Liberty, March 10, 1965

Sunday, August 14, 2011


... it is only in self-improvement that one can have any influence whatsoever on the improvement of others. This point may never come clear unless we know why so few of us feel any need for self-improvement while so many of us possess an overpowering itch to improve others. Why do we spend so much more time looking down than up?
Source:  Leonard Read, How to Advance Liberty, March 10, 1965

Saturday, August 13, 2011


... covetousness presupposes that you cannot get what you want by your own virtues, and must seize it by fraud.
Source: Covetousness and Revaluing the Self, by Prester John (Fictional Character)
Taken From: A Lodge for Wayfaring Men, Paul Rosenberg

Friday, August 12, 2011


And so I hold it is not treason
To advance a simple reason
For the sorry lack of progress we decry.
It is this: Instead of working
On himself, each man is shirking
And trying to reform some other guy.
Source:  Unknown, Earliest reference is The Rotarian, Nov 1925
Taken From:  How to Advance Liberty, Leonard Read, 1965

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Capitalism vs Socialism

A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society.
Source: Ludwig von Mises, Human Action; Capitalism vs Socialism, 1949
Taken From: Why Capitalism is Worth Defending, Anthony Gregory 2/8/2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

AAA Rating

Peter Barnes: “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?”
Geithner: “No risk of that.”
“No risk?” Barnes asked.
“No risk,” Geithner said.
Source:  Tim Geithner, April 2011 (4-5 Months before the US loses it's AAA Rating)
Taken From:, 8/5/2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Patriotism's Roots

...[T]he patriotism that is extolled to us as an ideal and sublime virtue by the poets, by politicians of every school, by governments, and by every privileged class, is rooted not in man’s humanity, but his animality.
Source:  Open Letter to Swiss Comrades, 1869 Mikhail Bakunin (Unconfirmed Source)
Taken From: Doug Casey, My Favorite Quotes

Monday, August 8, 2011

Natural Patriotism is...

Natural patriotism may be defined as follows: an automatic and wholly uncritical, instinctive attachment for hereditary or traditional ways of life which are collectively accepted, and an equally automatic and instinctive hostility toward any other way of living. It is love for one’s own, and a hatred for everything foreign.
Source:  Open Letter to Swiss Comrades, 1869 Mikhail Bakunin (Unconfirmed Source)
Taken From: Doug Casey, My Favorite Quotes

Sunday, August 7, 2011

American "Wars"

All [of the American's] foreign wars have been fought with foes either too weak to resist them or too heavily engaged elsewhere to make more than a half-hearted attempt. The combats with Mexico and Spain were not wars; they were simply lynchings.
Source: Prejudices: Third Series: "On Being an American", p. 43 HL Mencken (1922)
Taken From: Doug Casey, My Favorite Quotes

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mental Attitudes

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude 
Source:  Unknown, commonly attributed to Thomas Jefferson
Taken From:; The Passion Myth 8/5/2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Forced Good

Do not ever say that the desire to "do good" by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives.
Source: Ayn Rand, Unsourced
Taken From:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Statism and War

Statism needs war; a free country does not. Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by producing.
Source: Ayn Rand, Unsourced
Taken From:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Total War

As taxpayer or draftee, every Iraqi is implicated in his government’s defense just as every American is drawn into the U.S. government’s attack. Thus, the war becomes a war of all Americans against all Iraqis, i.e., total war.
Source: Hans-Herman Hoppe
Taken From:  The Private Production of Defense, 1998

Monday, August 1, 2011

We are here to Help

Government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, "See, if it weren't for the government, you wouldn't be able to walk."
Source: Harry Browne, "A solution for the Middle East," WorldNetDaily (April 11, 2002)
Taken From: LRC Blog 7/31/2011 and Wikiquote