Dipping into my books, I plucked out some of my favorite lines. FWIW:
From The Farm Fiasco (ICS Press, 1989)
* For sixty years, politicians have driven American farmers out of world markets and onto the government dole.
*Nineteenth-century reformers built their utopias on the expectation of an imminent change in human nature. Twentieth-century reformers have built Leviathans and then awaited a change in politicians’ nature.
* Reform is the opiate of the welfare state.
*The only solution to the “farm problem” is to depoliticize agriculture.
From The Fair Trade Fraud (St. Martin’s Press, 1991)
• 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)
*America needs fewer laws, not more prisons.
*The key to contemporary American political thinking is the neutering of the State — the idea that modern government has been defanged, domesticated, tamed.
*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.
*Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
From Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen (St. Martin’s Press, 1999)
• 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• The Night Watchman State has been replaced by Highway Robber States – governments in which no asset, no contract, no domain is safe from the fleeting whim of politicians.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)
*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)
• 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)
• 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)
• 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.
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.
Unfortunately, since the list was already too long, I did not include any lines about the value of positive thinking.