Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jefferson Quotes Just for Fun, Or...

Some quotes just for fun, or maybe to reflect on. May each be their own judge as to their value..
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.  
To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.  
The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.
The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
 Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.


  1. Some of those quotes reveal a man of his times, limited in his prognostications by the belief that America would, or at least should, always be an agrarian republic. Some of those quotes also reveal the limitations of those who still believe they are relevent today, and they are not. America will never again be an agrarian state, urbanization was inevitable and we now know is not in and of itself a source of corruption, and in such a massive nation, there will always be some government spending that some people do not like (ie. most Conservatives love the police and military states but abhor the welfare state, while most liberals feel just the opposite, yet to some extent all these programs are necessary in such a vast and promenent nation).


  2. JMJ - "I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and
    find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

    I believe Jefferson, were he alive yet tiday would agree with you.

    As an aside I offer the following quote from a hide bound classical liberal of the Enlightenment...

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

    As history is showing {at least in MHO}, Jefferson was a truly brilliant mind.

  3. Mr. McJones said, "...urbanization was inevitable and we now know is not in and of itself a source of corruption."

    The increasing size of a city increases the power of those running it, and I believe the old quote that tells us that power in all forms corrupts. Therefore, I believe that urbanization does, indeed, breed corruption, not that you won't find a little in even the smallest community.

  4. Gorges - Good point. Thank you for the clarification/correction.


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