Lysander Spooner Quotes

A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.

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The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: Your money, or your life. And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.

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Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.

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Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.

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Government is in reality established by the few; and these few assume the consent of all the rest, without any such consent being actually given.

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No government knows any limits to its power except the endurance of the people.

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These so-called governments are in reality only great bands of robbers and murderers, organized, disciplined, and constantly on the alert.

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If any man's money can be taken by a so-called government, without his own personal consent, all his other rights are taken with it; for with his money the government can, and will, hire soldiers to stand over him, compel him to submit to its arbitrary will, and kill him if he resists.

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Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property.

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But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

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The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that-however bloody-can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.

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Man, no doubt, owes many other moral duties to his fellow men; such as to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, protect the defenseless, assist the weak, and enlighten the ignorant. But these are simply moral duties, of which each man must be his own judge, in each particular case, as to whether, and how, and how far, he can, or will perform them.

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A man's natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime, whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber, (or by any other name indicating his true character,) or by millions, calling themselves a government.

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For everybody has a natural right not only to defend his own person and property against aggressors, but also to go to the assistance and defence of everybody else, whose person or property is invaded. The natural right of each individual to defend his own person and property against an aggressor, and to go to the assistance and defence of every one else whose person or property is invaded, is a right without which men could not exist on earth.

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