Whittling on an Epigram List for WikiQuotes

Spurred by feedback from that Daily Bell interview, I whittled out a list of my favorite epigrams from books gone by and popped them onto a page on Wiki Quotes.

I think this is the first time I added anything to a Wikipedia or WikiQuotes (at least as far as I can remember). I figure that openly heaving content onto a page that someone else created – using my own name as the ‘editor’ – is above-the-board. If folks want to add comments to that WikiQuotes page noting that I’m a @#@$#@, I won’t delete ’em.

For what it’s worth, here’s the list of quotes I popped onto that page.

I welcome any suggestions. If there are lines that seem clunkish or lame, feel free to point them out – maybe the herd needs thinning out.

From The Fair Trade Fraud (St. Martin’s Press, 1991)[4]

• Government cannot make trade more fair by making it less free.

• “Fair trade” is a moral delusion that could be leading to an economic catastrophe.

• The U.S. government has created a trade lynch law that can convict foreign companies almost regardless of how they operate.

• It should not be a federal crime to charge low prices to American consumers.

From Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (St. Martin’s Press, 1994)[5]

A law is simply a reflection of the momentary perception of self-interest by a majority of a legislative body.

The federal tax system is turning individuals into sharecroppers of their own lives.

From Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen (St. Martin’s Press, 1999) [6]

• Paternalism is a desperate gamble that lying politicians will honestly care for those who fall under their power.

• The Night Watchman State has been replaced by Highway Robber States – governments in which no asset, no contract, no domain is safe from the fleeting whim of politicians.

• So much of political philosophy throughout history has consisted of concocting reasons why people have a duty to be tame animals in politicians’ cages.

• The surest effect of exalting government is to make it easier for some people to drag others down.

• The growth of government is like the spread of a dense jungle, and the average citizen can hack through less of it every year.

• Trusting government nowadays means dividing humanity into two classes: those who can be trusted with power to run other people’s lives, and those who cannot even be trusted to run their own lives.

From Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton-Gore Years (St. Martin’s Press, 2000) [7]

*Clinton exploited and expanded the dictatorial potential of the U.S. presidency.

*For scores of millions of Americans, Clinton’s “caring” was more important than his lying.

*The principle of government supremacy is Clinton’s clearest legacy.

The better that people understand what Clinton did in office, the greater the nation’s chances for political recovery.

From Terrorism & Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil (Palgrave, 2003)[8]

• Nothing happened on 9/11 that made the federal government more trustworthy.

• The Patriot Act treats every citizen like a suspected terrorist and every federal agent like a proven angel.

• The worse government fails, the less privacy citizens supposedly deserve.

• There is no technological magic bullet that will make the government as smart as it is powerful.

• Killing foreigners is no substitute for protecting Americans.

• It is impossible to destroy all alleged enemies of freedom everywhere without also destroying freedom in the United States.

• A lie that is accepted by a sufficient number of ignorant voters becomes a political truth.

• Citizens should distrust politicians who distrust freedom.

• In the long run, people have more to fear from governments than from terrorists. Terrorists come and go, but power-hungry politicians will always be with us.

From The Bush Betrayal (Palgrave, 2004)[9]

• Truth is a lagging indicator in politics.

• The arrogance of power is the best hope for the survival of freedom.

• We need a constitutional amendment to make the federal government obey the Constitution.

• There are no harmless political lies about a war. The more such lies citizens tolerate, the more wars they will get.

• People have been taught to expect far more from government than from freedom.

From Attention Deficit Democracy (Palgrave, 2006)[10]

• Rather than a democracy, we increasingly have an elective dictatorship. People are merely permitted to choose who will violate the laws and the Constitution.

• Instead of revealing the “will of the people,” election results are often only a one-day snapshot of transient mass delusions.

• Bogus fears can produce real servitude.

• As long as rulers are above the law, citizens have the same type of freedom that slaves had on days when their masters chose not to beat them.

• Democracy unleashes the State in the name of the people.

• The more that democracy is assumed to be inevitable, the more likely it will self-destruct.

• Attention Deficit Democracy produces the attitudes, ignorance and arrogance that pave the way to political collapse.


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2 Responses to Whittling on an Epigram List for WikiQuotes

  1. stefminus October 30, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    i have a long list of “to read” books, and i finally found it. several of yours are on there. i need to get to work. also, you should have your own section on Liberty Stickers. Scott Horton can probably help you with that. 🙂 keep up the good work

  2. Jim October 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Thanks for the kind words & the encouragement!