Adam Smith
The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments

"Bankruptcy is perhaps the greatest and most humiliating calamity which can befall an innocent man. The greater part of men, therefore, are sufficiently careful to avoid it. Some, indeed, do not avoid it; as some do not avoid the gallows."

Friedrich Hayek
Hayek Scholars Page

"We must show that liberty is not merely one particular value but that it is the source and condition of most moral values. What a free society offers to the individual is much more than what he would be able to do if only he were free. We can therefore not fully appreciate the value of freedom until we know how a society of free men as a whole differs from one in which unfreedom prevails."

Ludwig von Mises
The Ludwig von Mises Institute

"Peace is the source of all social relations.... He who wants to preserve life and health as well and as long as possible must realize that respect for other peoples lives and health better serves his aim than the opposite mode of conduct."

Murray Rothbard

"In sum, freedom can run a monetary system as superbly as it runs the rest of the economy. Contrary to many writers, there is nothing special about money that requires extensive governmental dictation. Here, too, free men will best and most smoothly supply all their economic wants. For money as for all other activities of man, ‘liberty is the mother, not the daughter, of order."

Frederic Bastiat
The Law

"There are people who think that plunder loses all its immorality as soon as it becomes legal. Personally, I cannot imagine a more alarming situation."

Lord Acton
The Acton Institute

"The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities... Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end."

David Ricardo
Principles of Political Economy and Taxation

"For the general prosperity, there cannot be too much facility given to the conveyance and exchange of all kinds of property, as it is by such means that capital of every species is likely to find its way into the hands of those, who will best employ it in increasing the productions of the country."

Ayn Rand

"The fundamental difference between private action and governmental action--a difference thoroughly ignored and evaded today--lies in the fact that a government holds a monopoly on the legal use of physical force. It has to hold such a monopoly, since it is the agent of restraining and combating the use of force; and for that very same reason, its actions have to be rigidly defined, delimited and circumscribed; no touch of whim or caprice should be permitted in its performance; it should be an impersonal robot, with the laws as its only motive power. If a society is to be free, its government has to be controlled."

Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk

"And so the phenomenon of interest presents, on the whole, the remarkable picture of a lifeless thing, capital, producing an everlasting and inexaustible supply of goods. And this remarkable phenomenon appears in economic life with such perfect regularity that the very concept of capital has often been founded upon it."

Henry Hazlitt

"The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."

Carl Menger

"Property, therefore, like human economy, is not an arbitrary invention but rather the only practically possible solution of the problem that is, in the nature of things, imposed upon us by the disparity between requirements for, and available quantities of, all economic goods."

Booker T. Washington

"Political activity alone cannot make a man free. Back of the ballot, he must have property, industry, skill, economy, intelligence, and character."

Leonard Read

"... most of us are committed to the Biblical injunction, "Thou shalt not steal." This is based on the moral principle that each person has the right to the fruits of his own labor. The point I wish to make - my major point - is that this as a principle defies compromise. You either take someone else's property without his consent, or you do not. If you steal just a bit - a penny - you do not compromise the principle; you abandon it. You surrender your principle."

James Madison

"The private interest of every individual may be a sentinel on the public rights."

Julian Simon

"But in the longer run, the elemental forces of people's desires to carve out a good living for themselves and for their families, to have children and raise them happily and well-educated, to employ one's talents and energies and to possess their fruits - these forces will eventuate in government policies that allow people these fundamental freedoms."

Alexis de Toqueville

"Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations...In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others."

Benjamin Franklin

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

John Locke
Second Treatise of Government

" The great and chief end, therefore, of men uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property; to which in the state of Nature there are many things wanting."

H.L. Mencken

"The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running flop-houses and disturbing the peace."

John Stuart Mill
On Liberty

"A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another; and the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body."

Sites of Related Interest

Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

The Acton Institute

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Penn State Young Americans for Freedom

Reason Foundation

Home Page of Mark Skousen

The Jefferson School of Philosophy, Economics, and Psychology

Freedom Party of Ontario

The Libertarian Web

The Federalist Papers

The Constitution


Clearly Conservative: America's System of Principles

Home Page of Peter J. Boettke

Future of Freedom Foundation

The Independent Institute

John Locke Foundation

Atlas Foundation

Comments, Questions, and Concerns

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