Quotes






“My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.”
- J.B.S. Haldane, ”Faith and Fact”

“There exists a pervasive fallacy that one can somehow be pro-capitalism and pro-government at the same time. No such thing is possible. Capitalism is the private ownership of property. If you are the owner of your property, no one can legitimately take it from you — even if those who would take it call it “taxation.” If you support government, you support taxation. And if you support taxation, you are a socialist — by definition. It boils down to this: you are either an anarchist or a socialist. There literally is no middle ground. The sooner everyone can become clear on that, the better off we’ll all be.”
- Amanda Billyrock

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
- Frank Zappa

“Let’s say somebody were [in the White House] and they wanted to destroy this nation. I would create division among the people, encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country, undermine the financial stability of the nation, and weaken and destroy the military. It appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now.”
- Ben Carson

“Our children need strong families raising them with sturdy virtues, not to be smothered in the cold arms of the state.”
- Margaret Thatcher

“The America that has flourished for more than two centuries is being quietly but steadily dismantled by the Obama administration.”
- Thomas Sowell

“When you want to help people you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”
- Thomas Sowell

“I have wondered at times what the ten commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. congress.”
- Ronald Reagan

“The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”
- George Orwell

“There’s a reason why in New York Harbor we have the Statue of Liberty, not the Statue of Equality.”
- Charles Krauthammer

“What is your fair share of what someone else has worked for?
- Thomas Sowell

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
- Plato

“History is a great teacher. Sad there are so few students.”
- David Carroll Woodward

“All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.”
- H.L. Mencken

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
- American journalist H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

“As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”
- H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

“Optimists think that this is the best of all possible worlds; pessimists fear they are right.”
- Robert Oppenheimer

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
- Margaret Mead

” Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
- Margaret Mead

“Nature has not saddled humans with coercive character traits; rather, humans have saddled themselves with coercive paradigms of causality.”
- Jay Stuart Snelson, quoted from his book, “Taming the Violence of Faith; Win-Win Solutions for Our World in Crisis”

“….the State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion.”
- Murray Rothbard in “Anatomy of the State”

“Do all that you say you are going to do and don’t aggress against other people or their property. That’s the whole of the law. I can live with a law like that.”
- Doug Casey, Libertopia 2012

“To defeat the aggressors is not enough to make peace durable. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war.”
- Ludwig von Mises

“Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”
- H. L. Mencken

“Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you choose, but you can only spend it once.”
- Lillian Dickson

“To combat depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about; because we are suffering from a misdirection of production, we want to create further misdirection — a procedure which can only lead to a much more severe crisis as soon as the credit expansion comes to an end.”
-  Friedrich August von Hayek.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
- Richard Buckminster Fuller

“Many anarchist libertarians claim it immoral to vote or to engage in political action–the argument being that by participating in this way in State activity, the libertarian places his moral imprimatur upon the State apparatus itself. But a moral decision must be a free decision, and the State has placed individuals in society in an unfree environment, in a general matrix of coercion. As Lysander Spooner pointed out, in an environment of State coercion, voting does not imply voluntary consent.”
- Murray N. Rothbard. The Ethics of Liberty

“I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.”
- Baruch Spinoza
(note: This is Jay Snelson’s favorite quote. It guided his thinking and his actions all of his life.)

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
- Milton Friedman

“Off goes the head of the king, and tyranny gives way to freedom. The change seems abysmal. Then, bit by bit, the face of freedom hardens, and by and by it is the old face of tyranny. Then another cycle, and another. But under the play of all these opposites there is something fundamental and permanent — the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free.”
- H. L. Mencken

“What makes the existence and the evolution of society possible is precisely the fact that peaceful cooperation under the social division of labor in the long run best serves the selfish concerns of all individuals.  The eminence of the market society is that its whole functioning and operation is the consummation of this principle.”
- Ludwig von Mises.  Human Action:  A Treatise on Economics

“In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.”
- Carl Sagan

“Governments, whatever their pretensions otherwise, try to preserve themselves by holding the individual down … Government itself, indeed, may be reasonably defined as a conspiracy against him. Its one permanent aim, whatever its form, is to hobble him sufficiently to maintain itself.”
- H. L. Mencken

“The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.”
- H.L. Mencken

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
- Richard Buckminster Fuller

O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. — Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.
- Thomas Paine

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
- Maya Angelou

“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: The stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”
- novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

“The decay and disintegration of this culture is astonishingly amusing if you are emotionally detached from it.  I have always viewed it from a safe distance, knowing I don’t belong; it doesn’t include me, and it never has.  No matter how you care to define it, I do not identify with the local group.  Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood improvement committee; I have no interest in any of it.  I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.  By the way, if, by some chance, you folks do manage to straighten things out and make everything better, I still don’t wish to be included.”
~ George Carlin

“I spilled spot remover on my dog. He’s gone now.”
- Steven Wright

“The modern financial system is a complete joke. Money is conjured from thin air, backed by false promises from bankrupt governments. Then there’s the fractional reserve swindle, centrally planned interest rates, government-produced inflation, manufactured statistics, insane credit and sovereign debt bubbles.”
- Simon Black, Sr. Editor, Sovereign Man, October 11, 2011, Bangkok, Thailand

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”
- Thomas Jefferson

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
- Steve Jobs, in his commencement address at Stanford University, 2005

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”
- Steve Jobs

“Advocating policies when you don’t understand their unintended consequences is the intellectual equivalent of drunk driving. If you’re advocating price controls and don’t understand what the laws of supply and demand [laws of human action] have to say about your proposal, you aren’t courageous or compassionate—you’re dangerous.”
- Sheldon Richman

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”
- Frederic Bastiat

“The United States is a nation of laws:  badly written and randomly enforced.”
- Frank Zappa

“In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences.”
Robert Green Ingersoll

“Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.”
- Robert Green Ingersoll

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
- Mark Twain

“The [National Geographic] article highlights the theory that the urge to worship sparked civilization. However there’s an alternative theory: Civilization started because people found that by working together, they could make beer.”

Robert G. Schreib, Jr.
Toms River, New Jersey
(From National Geographic, October 2011)

This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.
- Will Rogers

The problem with the United States Constitution, the Bible, or any other
document, is that they are open to interpretation. Principles are not.
- Nancy Rhyme Snelson

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
- Galileo Galilei

An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.
- Thomas Paine

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
- Thomas Paine

Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators.
- Will Rogers

A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.
- Thomas Paine

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
- Thomas Paine

The great masses of the people… will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one.
- Adolf Hitler

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
- Thomas Paine

Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
- Thomas Paine

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
- Thomas Paine

The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.
- Henry Kissinger, New York Times, Oct. 28, 1973

But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.
- Thomas Paine

If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.
- Jimmy Buffett

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
- Isaac Newton, Letter to Robert Hooke, February 5, 1675

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.
- Carl Sagan

To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.
- Benjamin Franklin

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.
- Stella Adler (1902-1993)

Language is not subtle enough, tender enough, to express all that we feel and when language fails, the highest and deepest longings are translated into music.  Music is the sunshine–the climate–of the soul, and it floods the heart with a perfect June.
- Robert G. Ingersoll

Win-Win Principle:
“Always seek gain through the gain of others, and never seek gain through the loss of others by force or fraud.”
- Jay Stuart Snelson

“The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.”
- Dan Cofall, The Wall Street Shuffle, August 1, 2011