„When men are reasonable enough to follow their natural instincts, they will unite across the frontiers and constitute the Cosmos.“

—  Piotr Kropotkin, Context: The best exponent of anarchist philosophy in ancient Greece was Zeno (342-267 or 270 B. C.), from Crete, the founder of the Stoic philosophy, who distinctly opposed his conception of a free community without government to the state-Utopia of Plato. He repudiated the omnipotence of the State, its intervention and regimentation, and proclaimed the sovereignty of the moral law of the individual — remarking already that, while the necessary instinct of self-preservation leads man to egotism, nature has supplied a corrective to it by providing man with another instinct — that of sociability. When men are reasonable enough to follow their natural instincts, they will unite across the frontiers and constitute the Cosmos. They will have no need of law-courts or police, will have no temples and no public worship, and use no money — free gifts taking the place of the exchanges. Unfortunately, the writings of Zeno have not reached us and are only known through fragmentary quotations. However, the fact that his very wording is similar to the wording now in use, shows how deeply is laid the tendency of human nature of which he was the mouthpiece. "Anarchism" article in Encyclopedia Britannica (1910) "The Historical Development of Anarchism", as quoted in Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings (1927), p. 288
Piotr Kropotkin photo
Piotr Kropotkin5
1842 - 1921

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John Dryden photo
Abraham Lincoln photo

„The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
1850s, Lincoln never said these words, but wrote and said some that are very similar to the above quote. As Lincoln's popularity within the Republican Party grew, he was invited to address members of his party throughout the nation. In September 1859 Lincoln gave several speeches to Ohio Republicans. The notes Lincoln used for his 1859 engagements state: "We must not disturb slavery in the states where it exists, because the Constitution, and the peace of the country both forbid us — We must not withhold an efficient fugitive slave law, because the constitution demands it — But we must, by a national policy, prevent the spread of slavery into new territories, or free states, because the constitution does not forbid us, and the general welfare does demand such prevention — We must prevent the revival of the African slave trade, because the constitution does not forbid us, and the general welfare does require the prevention — We must prevent these things being done, by either congresses or courts — The people — the people — are the rightful masters of both Congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it —" Source: Abraham Lincoln [September 16-17, 1859<nowiki> http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mal:@field(DOCID+@lit(d0189300))#I379</nowiki>] (Notes for Speech in Kansas and Ohio) http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mal&fileName=mal1/018/0189300/malpage.db&recNum=1 in "Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916." Transcribed and Annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois. Lincoln transformed his prior quoted notes in the following words: "I say that we must not interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists, because the Constitution forbids it, and the general welfare does not require us to do so. We must not withhold an efficient Fugitive Slave law, because the Constitution requires us, as I understand it, not to withhold such a law. But we must prevent the outspreading of the institution, because neither the Constitution nor general welfare requires us to extend it. We must prevent the revival of the African slave trade, and the enacting by Congress of a Territorial slave code. We must prevent each of these things being done by either Congresses or courts. The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution." Source: Speech at Cincinnati, Ohio, September 17, 1859 http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/3/2/5/3253/3253-h/files/2657/2657-h/2657-h.htm#2H_4_0043; in "The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Five, Constitutional Edition", edited by Arthur Brooks Lapsley and released as " The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Five, by Abraham Lincoln http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/3/2/5/3253/3253-h/files/2657/2657-h/2657-h.htm" (2009) by Project Gutenberg. Ref: en.wikiquote.org - Abraham Lincoln / Disputed

Voltaire photo

„Money is always to be found when men are to be sent to the frontiers to be destroyed: when the object is to preserve them, it is no longer so.“

—  Voltaire French writer, historian, and philosopher 1694 - 1778
Citas, Questions sur l'Encyclopédie (1770–1774), On en trouve [l'argent] toujours quand il s’agit d’aller faire tuer des hommes sur la frontière: il n’y en a plus quand il faut les sauver. "Charity" (1770)

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Henry Adams photo
Woodrow Wilson photo

„If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it“

—  Woodrow Wilson American politician, 28th president of the United States (in office from 1913 to 1921) 1856 - 1924
1910s, The New Freedom (1913), Context: If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it; what we have to determine now is whether we are big enough, whether we are men enough, whether we are free enough, to take possession again of the government which is our own. Section XII: “The Liberation of a People's Vital Energies”, p. 286 http://books.google.com/books?id=MW8SAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA286&dq=%22If+there+are+men+in+this+country%22

Ketanji Brown Jackson photo
Paul Gauguin photo

„Copying nature — what is that supposed to mean? Follow the masters! But why should one follow them? The only reason they are masters is that they didn't follow anybody!“

—  Paul Gauguin French Post-Impressionist artist 1848 - 1903
1890s - 1910s, The Writings of a Savage (1996), p. 108: cited by Eugène Tardieu, 'Interview with Paul Gauguin,' in L'Écho de Paris, (13 May 1895)

Lewis Pugh photo
Edward O. Wilson photo
Immanuel Kant photo

„Reason in a creature is a faculty of widening the rules and purposes of the use of all its powers far beyond natural instinct; it acknowledges no limits to its projects. Reason itself does not work instinctively, but requires trial, practice, and instruction in order gradually to progress from one level of insight to another.“

—  Immanuel Kant German philosopher 1724 - 1804
Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View (1784), Context: Reason in a creature is a faculty of widening the rules and purposes of the use of all its powers far beyond natural instinct; it acknowledges no limits to its projects. Reason itself does not work instinctively, but requires trial, practice, and instruction in order gradually to progress from one level of insight to another. Therefore a single man would have to live excessively long in order to learn to make full use of all his natural capacities. Since Nature has set only a short period for his life, she needs a perhaps unreckonable series of generations, each of which passes its own enlightenment to its successor in order finally to bring the seeds of enlightenment to that degree of development in our race which is completely suitable to Nature’s purpose. This point of time must be, at least as an ideal, the goal of man’s efforts, for otherwise his natural capacities would have to be counted as for the most part vain and aimless. This would destroy all practical principles, and Nature, whose wisdom must serve as the fundamental principle in judging all her other offspring, would thereby make man alone a contemptible plaything. Second Thesis Paraphrased variant: Reason does not work instinctively, but requires trial, practice, and instruction in order to gradually progress from one level of insight to another.

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Neil Strauss photo
Anatole France photo

„It is almost impossible systematically to constitute a natural moral law. Nature has no principles. She furnishes us with no reason to believe that human life is to be respected. Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil.“

—  Anatole France French writer 1844 - 1924
Il est à peu près impossible de constituer systématiquement une morale naturelle. La nature n'a pas de principes. Elle ne nous fournit aucune raison de croire que la vie humaine est respectable. La nature, indifférente, ne fait nulle distinction du bien et du mal. La Révolte des Anges [The Revolt of the Angels] (1914), ch. XXVII

Ambrose Bierce photo

„Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.“

—  Ambrose Bierce American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist 1842 - 1914

Alan Keyes photo
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe photo
Learned Hand photo

„Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it…“

—  Learned Hand American legal scholar, Court of Appeals judge 1872 - 1961
Extra-judicial writings, Context: What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it… What is this liberty that must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not the freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check on their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few — as we have learned to our sorrow. What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest. “The Spirit of Liberty” - speech at “I Am an American Day” ceremony, Central Park, New York City (21 May 1944).

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