Since May 19, 1999
There are quotes from several sources that I've collected that cause me to pause and reflect. Inflammatory? Perhaps to some who are comfortable with the status quo. For others, silent agreement. For all I know, the quotes here put me on a 'list' somewhere. So be it.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." --C. S. Lewis
" Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. "
--William Pitt, Speech, 'Hansard', 18 November 1873
"...2nd. That if the system be not received, this country will be without any government, and of consequence, will be reduced to a state of anarchy and confusion, and involved in bloodshed and carnage; and in the end, a government will be imposed upon us, not the result of reason and reflection, but of force and usurpation....
....In answer to the second argument, I deny that we are in immediate danger of anarchy and commotions. Nothing but the passions of wicked and ambitious men will put us in the least danger on this head. Those who are anxious to precipitate a measure will always tell us that the present is the critical moment; now is the time, the crisis is arrived, and the present minute must be seized. Tyrants have always made use of this plea; but nothing in our circumstances can justify it...."
--"Brutus Junior", Excerpt from Anti-Federalist No. 38, 8 November 1787
" If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. "
--Thomas Jefferson, 'Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey', 6 January 1816
"That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security..."
--Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
"Were parties here divided merely by a greediness for office,... to take a part with either would be unworthy of a reasonable or moral man."
--Thomas Jefferson to William Branch Giles, 1795.
"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty."
-- Excerpt from George Washington's Farewell Address, 1796
"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."
--Ayn Rand, 'Atlas Shrugged'
"The more corrupt the State, the more numerous the laws."
-- Cornelius Tacitus - "Annals" (c. 116 A.D.)
"When government turns bad, the best of people ultimately become criminals. The people don't change; the laws do. Initiative, dissent, individual pleasures, and exercise of one's basic rights become 'crimes'. Obscure regulations and technical paperwork violations are used to destroy people who dare to speak their minds.
The ideal citizen of a tyrannical state is the man or woman who bows in silent obedience in exchange for the status of a well-cared-for herd animal. Thinking people become the tyrant's greatest enemies.
Before their thunder roars, there is a period of anticipation, in which more occurs than the literal minded tyrant can ever understand. A few overt acts of sedition shatter the heavy peace. But the greater force, unrecognized, rolls forward in near silence, as millions of individuals quietly withdraw their consent from the state. The pundits call it apathy. They could not be more wrong."
-- Claire Wolfe, From the dedication of her book '101 Things To Do 'Til The Revolution'
The following is an essay that I obtained when BBS's were still the vogue, prior to the all out explosion of the Internet. It is still pertinent today: A Nation of Cowards
This is a tremendous resource that should never 'go down the memory hole': Second Amendment Law Library
This is also a remarkable site for those who slept through Social Studies (civics): The Constitution Society
"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say goodbye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests . . . people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers or whatever else was at hand? . . . And you could be sure ahead of time that you would be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked? The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and . . . the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!"
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
"Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."
- Tench Coxe, in Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution