I found this amazing quote today on the Facebook page of my brilliant, libertarian co-worker, Joshua Hamm. Thank you!
“The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.” ~ John Stuart Mill
Having tried all day to tweet bits and pieces of this quote, I have decided it belongs here on this blog. My reasoning is that freedom in the spiritual world is just as important, if not more so, than freedom in the physical world. These dying words by George Bernard Shaw, an admitted non believer in a higher power, speaks to that freedom and the regrets that can be found when one is lost from it.
“The science to which I pinned my faith is bankrupt. It’s counsels which should have established the millennium, led, instead, directly to the suicide of Europe. I believed them once. In their name I helped to destroy the faith of millions of worshippers in the temples of a thousand creeds. And now they look at me and witness the great tragedy of an atheist who has lost his faith” ~ George Bernard Shaw
In 1961, Ronald Reagan recorded an eleven minute LP against socialized medicine, warning that it would take away American freedoms. The recording was part of “Operation Coffee Cup,” a campaign by the American Medical Association that opposed the Democrat’s plan to create Medicare. As our country, once again, battles against those in Washington who want to ruin the American health care system as we know it, President Reagan’s words are eerily relevant still today.
“One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project, most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it. Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it. We have an example of this. Under the Truman administration it was proposed that we have a compulsory health insurance program for all people in the United States, and, of course, the American people unhesitatingly rejected this.” – Ronald Reagan
While adding a few new followers on Twitter tonight I came across an interesting quote posted by @ReadyontheRight. The quote was from Samual Adams and for me it captured my feelings about the events of the first 100 days of the Obama administration to a tee.
With each passing day the Obama administration pushes more and more of their social agenda on the country, all in the guise of what is necessary and in the best interest of the people. However, I can not help but think that with each new bailout and executive order that a little more of our liberty is slipping away. Should this not change I fear we will soon find ourselves a nation with rightful and irreconcilable differences.
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams
“Slavery in the modern world implies the absolute deprivation of the individual’s liberty, while possession of weapons and mastery of their use are means to the individual’s liberation. We do not perceive how a man may be armed and at the same time bereft of his freedom.” – John Keegan
Timeless wisdom from the British author and, arguably the worlds best know, military historian.
Earlier today, in much despair over our current political situation, I wrote on another blog: “It’s over. Our political parties have failed us becasue we have failed to understand what it means to be free.”
With this post I hope at least one person reflects on that, and where we as nation need to be if we ever wish to be free again.
“Freedom is not an unlimited license, an unlimited choice, or an unlimited opportunity. Freedom is first of all a responsibility before the God from whom we come.” – Alan Keyes
“Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”
“This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.” -Frederick Douglass, 1848
This is in my onion perhaps the greatest commentary on freedom offered by any man in the 19th century prior to the U.S. Civil War. Though generations and ages removed from the world Frederick Douglass is writing about in the above two paragraphs, every time I read them I am thrown right back in that time and place in history, feeling his passion and his struggle.