Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgment and nothing can help you escape it — that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter can live your life.
Every man is, no doubt, by nature, first and principally recommended to his own care; and as he is fitter to take care of himself than of any other person, it is fit and right that it should be so.
Government of the self was the original basis for republican government, reflecting the view that civil society was much more than politics. Society was made up of men and women who gave order to their lives by entering into associations on a voluntary basis, quite apart from government, for all the various reasons of fellowship, philanthrophy, faith, and commerce.
Absolute, arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority.
If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life.
Man exists for his own sake and not to add a laborer to the State.
I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he has ‘the freeborn mind.’ But I doubt whether he can have this without economic independence, which the new society is abolishing. For economic independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs, and asks, nothing of Government who can criticise its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology. Read Montaigne; that’s the voice of a man with his legs under his own table, eating the mutton and turnips raised on his own land. Who will talk like that when the State is everyone’s schoolmaster and employer? Admittedly, when man was untamed, such liberty belonged only to the few. I know. Hence the horrible suspicion that our only choice is between societies with few freemen and societies with none.
Most people are incapable of holding an unfashionable opinion.
The task of weaning various people and groups from the national nipple will not be easy. The sound of whines, bawls, screams, and invective will fill the air as the agony of withdrawal pangs finds voice.
If a multitude is to be subjected to a plan, it must be militarized. If individuals are allowed a free choice, the plan is thrown into confusion. Bureaucracy, under an absolute ruler, or rulers, is necessary. Popular consent can be secured only by rigorous censorship and prohibition of free discussion. Espionage is a necessary part of the system, and a considerable amount of terrorism. Since private expenditure must be controlled, it is wise to keep private incomes near a subsistence level and to dole out any surplus on collective pleasures such as free holidays. We shall not understand totalitarian tyranny unless we realize that it is the result of the planned economy.