It recently struck me that the people we think of as “geniuses” tend to arrive, over time, at surprisingly similar sets of conclusions.
It further struck me that a simple list of such thoughts might be of value to my readers.
So, here is a list pulled from my quotes file and presented without commentary. Enjoy:
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.
Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it.
The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.
Small is the number of them that see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
- The ultimate obscenity is not caring, not doing something about what you feel, not feeling.
- We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.
I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
- The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
John Stuart Mill
- The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs or impede their efforts to obtain it.
- The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens… Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.
- Above all, the ruling minority sought more and more to transform its forcible mastery into a body of law which, while consolidating that mastery, would afford a welcome security and order to the people, and would recognize the rights of the “subject” sufficiently to win his acceptance of the law and his adherence to the state.
George Bernard Shaw
- All government is authoritarian; and the more democratic a government is the more authoritative it is; for with the people behind it, it can push authority further than any Tsar or foreign despot dare do.
So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.
Liberty, as we all know, cannot flourish in a country that is permanently on a war footing, or even a near war footing. Permanent crisis justifies permanent control of everybody and everything by the agencies of central government.
- Theoretically, planning may be good. But nobody has ever figured out the cause of government stupidity – and until they do (and find the cure), all ideal plans will fall into quicksand.
Dear reader, traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.
If you take all the machinery in the world and dump it in the ocean, within months more than half of all humanity will die and within another six months they’d almost all be gone; if you took all the politicians in the world, put them in a rocket, and sent them to the moon, everyone would get along fine.
We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think.
Either you’re going to go along with your mind and the truth, or you’re going to yield to fear and custom and conditioned reflexes.
The history of mankind up to the present time is primarily the history of idol worship, from primitive idols of clay and wood to the modern idols of the state, the leader, production and consumption – sanctified by the blessing of an idolized God.
Obedience to God is also the negation of submission to man.
[I]f one has no possibility of acting, one’s thinking kind of becomes empty and stupid.
Is there really as much difference as we think between the Aztec human sacrifices to their gods and the modern human sacrifices in war to the idols of nationalism and the sovereign state?
- As for politics, I’m an anarchist. I hate governments and rules and fetters. Can’t stand caged animals. People must be free.
- For in order to turn the individual into a function of the State, his dependence on anything beside the State must be taken from him.
- We bombard people with sensation. That substitutes for thinking.
- I can certainly say that descriptively healthy human beings do not like to be controlled. They prefer to feel free and to be free.
The real sin of idolatry is always committed on behalf of something similar to the State.
Conscience is deceived by the social.
Human history is simply the history of the servitude which makes men – oppressed and oppressors alike – the plaything of the instruments of domination they themselves have manufactured, and thus reduces living humanity to being the chattel of inanimate chattels.
What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war.