Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
But when the law, by means of its necessary agent, force, imposes upon men a regulation of labor, a method or a subject of education, a religious faith or creed–then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people. It substitutes the will of the legislator for their own wills, the initiative of the legislator for their own initiatives. When this happens, the people no longer need to discuss, to compare and to plan ahead; the law does all this for them. Intelligence becomes a useless prop for the people; they cease to be men; they lose their personality, their liberty, their property.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
We see no reason for thinking that the opinions of the magistrate on speculative questions are more likely to be right than those of any other man. None of the modes by which a magistrate is appointed, popular election, the accident of the lot, or the accident of birth, affords, as far as we can perceive, much security for his being wiser than any of his neighbors. The chance of his being wiser than all his neighbors together is still smaller.
The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
The Constitution shall never be construed….to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.
With the exception only of the period of the gold standard, practically all governments of history have used their exclusive power to issue money to defraud and plunder the people.
As soon as the state takes upon itself the task of planning the whole economic life, the problem of the due station [rank] of the different individuals and groups must indeed inevitably become the central political problem. As the coercive power of the state will alone decide who is to have what, the only power worth having will be a share in the exercise of this directing power. There will be no economic or social questions that would not be political questions in the sense the their solution will depend exclusively on who wields the coercive power, or whose are the views that will prevail on all occasions.