„Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men.“

—  Adam Smith

Chapter IX, p. 749.
The Wealth of Nations (1776), Book IV
Contexto: Every system which endeavours, either, by extraordinary encouragements, to draw towards a particular species of industry a greater share of the capital of the society than what would naturally go to it; or, by extraordinary restraints, to force from a particular species of industry some share of the capital which would otherwise be employed in it; is in reality subversive of the great purpose which it means to promote. It retards, instead of accelerating, the progress of the society towards real wealth and greatness; and diminishes, instead of increasing, the real value of the annual produce of its land and labour.
All systems either of preference or of restraint, therefore, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men. The sovereign is completely discharged from a duty, in the attempting to perform which he must always be exposed to innumerable delusions, and for the proper performance of which no human wisdom or knowledge could ever be sufficient; the duty of superintending the industry of private people, and of directing it towards the employments most suitable to the interest of the society. According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings: first, the duty of protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice; and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions, which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain; because the profit could never repay the expence to any individual, or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society.
The proper performance of those several duties of the sovereign necessarily supposes a certain expence; and this expence again necessarily requires a certain revenue to support it.

Adam Smith photo
Adam Smith24
1723 - 1790

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„Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty.“

—  Henry Martyn Robert United States Army general and Chief of Engineers 1837 - 1923

Robert's Rules of Order Revised, 1915, preface http://www.paulmcclintock.com/quotes.htm

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„The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll, The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child

Fonte: The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child (1877)
Contexto: Only a few years ago there was a great awakening of the human mind. Men began to inquire by what right a crowned robber made them work for him? The man who asked this question was called a traitor. Others asked by what right does a robed hypocrite rule my thought? Such men were called infidels. The priest said, and the king said, where is this spirit of investigation to stop? They said then and they say now, that it is dangerous for man to be free. I deny it. Out on the intellectual sea there is room enough for every sail. In the intellectual air there is space enough for every wing.
The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.

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„Every man has his own circle composed of trees, animals, men, ideas, and he is in duty bound to save this circle. He, and no one else. If he does not save it, he cannot be saved.“

—  Nikos Kazantzakis, livro The Saviors of God

The Saviors of God (1923)
Contexto: Every man has his own circle composed of trees, animals, men, ideas, and he is in duty bound to save this circle. He, and no one else. If he does not save it, he cannot be saved.
These are the labors each man is given and is in duty bound to complete before he dies. He may not otherwise be saved. For his own soul is scattered and enslaved in these things about him, in trees, in animals, in men, in ideas, and it is his own soul he saves by completing these labors.

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„A man who has blown all his options can't afford the luxury of changing his ways. He has to capitalize on whatever he has left, and he can't afford to admit — no matter how often he's reminded of it — that every day of his life takes him farther and farther down a blind alley…“

—  Hunter S. Thompson American journalist and author 1937 - 2005

1960s, Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1966)
Contexto: A man who has blown all his options can't afford the luxury of changing his ways. He has to capitalize on whatever he has left, and he can't afford to admit — no matter how often he's reminded of it — that every day of his life takes him farther and farther down a blind alley... Very few toads in this world are Prince Charmings in disguise. Most are simply toads... and they are going to stay that way... Toads don't make laws or change any basic structures, but one or two rooty insights can work powerful changes in the way they get through life. A toad who believes he got a raw deal before he even knew who was dealing will usually be sympathetic to the mean, vindictive ignorance that colors the Hell's Angels' view of humanity. There is not much mental distance between a feeling of having been screwed and the ethic of total retaliation, or at least the random revenge that comes with outraging the public decency.

Jane Addams photo

„In his own way each man must struggle, lest the moral law become a far-off abstraction utterly separated from his active life.“

—  Jane Addams pioneer settlement social worker 1860 - 1935

As quoted in The MacMillan Dictionary of Quotations (1989) by John Daintith, Hazel Egerton, Rosalind Ferguson, Anne Stibbs and Edmund Wright, p. 374.

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„Civil liberty is the status of the man who is guaranteed by law and civil institutions the exclusive employment of all his own powers for his own welfare.“

—  William Graham Sumner American academic 1840 - 1910

The Forgotten Man and Other Essays (corrected edition), “The Forgotten Man” 1883 http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/sumner-the-forgotten-man-and-other-essays-corrected-edition?q=Civil+liberty+is+the+status#Sumner_1225_701.

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„The liberty of every individual is only the reflection of his own humanity, or his human right through the conscience of all free men, his brothers and his equals.
I can feel free only in the presence of and in relationship with other men.“

—  Mikhail Bakunin Russian revolutionary, philosopher, and theorist of collectivist anarchism 1814 - 1876

Variant translations:
A natural society, in the midst of which every man is born and outside of which he could never become a rational and free being, becomes humanized only in the measure that all men comprising it become, individually and collectively, free to an ever greater extent.
Note 1. To be personally free means for every man living in a social milieu not to surrender his thought or will to any authority but his own reason and his own understanding of justice; in a word, not to recognize any other truth but the one which he himself has arrived at, and not to submit to any other law but the one accepted by his own conscience. Such is the indispensable condition for the observance of human dignity, the incontestable right of man, the sign of his humanity.
To be free collectively means to live among free people and to be free by virtue of their freedom. As we have already pointed out, man cannot become a rational being, possessing a rational will, (and consequently he could not achieve individual freedom) apart from society and without its aid. Thus the freedom of everyone is the result of universal solidarity. But if we recognize this solidarity as the basis and condition of every individual freedom, it becomes evident that a man living among slaves, even in the capacity of their master, will necessarily become the slave of that state of slavery, and that only by emancipating himself from such slavery will he become free himself.
Thus, too, the freedom of all is essential to my freedom. And it follows that it would be fallacious to maintain that the freedom of all constitutes a limit for and a limitation upon my freedom, for that would be tantamount to the denial of such freedom. On the contrary, universal freedom represents the necessary affirmation and boundless expansion of individual freedom.
This passage was translated as Part III : The System of Anarchism , Ch. 13: Summation, Section VI, in The Political Philosophy of Bakunin : Scientific Anarchism (1953), compiled and edited by G. P. Maximoff
Man does not become man, nor does he achieve awareness or realization of his humanity, other than in society and in the collective movement of the whole society; he only shakes off the yoke of internal nature through collective or social labor... and without his material emancipation there can be no intellectual or moral emancipation for anyone... man in isolation can have no awareness of his liberty. Being free for man means being acknowledged, considered and treated as such by another man, and by all the men around him. Liberty is therefore a feature not of isolation but of interaction, not of exclusion but rather of connection... I myself am human and free only to the extent that I acknowledge the humanity and liberty of all my fellows... I am properly free when all the men and women about me are equally free. Far from being a limitation or a denial of my liberty, the liberty of another is its necessary condition and confirmation.
Man, Society, and Freedom (1871)
Contexto: The materialistic, realistic, and collectivist conception of freedom, as opposed to the idealistic, is this: Man becomes conscious of himself and his humanity only in society and only by the collective action of the whole society. He frees himself from the yoke of external nature only by collective and social labor, which alone can transform the earth into an abode favorable to the development of humanity. Without such material emancipation the intellectual and moral emancipation of the individual is impossible. He can emancipate himself from the yoke of his own nature, i. e. subordinate his instincts and the movements of his body to the conscious direction of his mind, the development of which is fostered only by education and training. But education and training are preeminently and exclusively social … hence the isolated individual cannot possibly become conscious of his freedom.
To be free … means to be acknowledged and treated as such by all his fellowmen. The liberty of every individual is only the reflection of his own humanity, or his human right through the conscience of all free men, his brothers and his equals.
I can feel free only in the presence of and in relationship with other men. In the presence of an inferior species of animal I am neither free nor a man, because this animal is incapable of conceiving and consequently recognizing my humanity. I am not myself free or human until or unless I recognize the freedom and humanity of all my fellowmen.
Only in respecting their human character do I respect my own....
I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation.

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