Brilliance — even genius — is no guarantee that consequential factors have not been left out or misconceived. Karl Marx’s Capital was a classic example of an intellectually masterful elaboration of a fundamental misconception — in this case, the notion that “labor,” the physical handling of the material and instruments of production, is the real source of wealth. Obviously, if this were true, countries with much labor and little technology or entrepreneurship would be more prosperous than countries with the reverse, when in fact it is blatantly obvious that the direct opposite is the case.
A libertarian society actually gives full permission for voluntary socialism. The problem is that it’s so inefficient that the socialists know their system is going to fail, so they have to use the force of a government gun to take money from the people who aren’t socialists in order to subsidize their programs.
[T]here is a wide difference between closing the door altogether and throwing it entirely open; between a postponement of fourteen years and an immediate admission to all the rights of citizenship. Some reasonable term ought to be allowed to enable aliens to get rid of foreign and acquire American attachments; to learn the principles and imbibe the spirit of our government; and to admit of at least a probability of their feeling a real interest in our affairs.
If aliens might be admitted indiscriminately to enjoy all the rights of citizens at the will of a single state, the Union might itself be endangered by an influx of foreigners, hostile to its institutions, ignorant of its powers, and incapable of a due estimate of its privileges.
To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty.
In the recommendation to admit indiscriminately foreign emigrants of every description to the privileges of American citizens on their first entrance into our country, there is an attempt to break down every pale which has been erected for the preservation of a national spirit and a national character; and to let in the most powerful means of perverting and corrupting both the one and the other.
What can be more reasonable than that when crowds of them [immigrants] come here, they should be forced to renounce everything contrary to the spirit of the Constitution[?]
We’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.
It is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects — military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden — that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time.