It is not laissez-faire that has failed. That would be an ill day for men. What has failed is the courage to see what is true and speak it to the people, to point to the true remedies.
The career of a politician mainly consists in making one part of the nation do what it does not want to do, in order to please and satisfy the other part of the nation. It is the prolonged sacrifice of the rights of some persons at the bidding and for the satisfaction of other persons. The ruling idea of the politician — stated rather bluntly — is that those who are opposed to him exist for the purpose of being made to serve his ends, if he can get power enough in his hands to force these ends upon them.
Politics must be the battle of the principles … the principle of liberty against the principle of force.
Force and reason — which last is the essence of the moral act — are at the two opposite poles. The one who compels his neighbor … treats him, not as a being with reason, but as an animal in whom reason is not.
If government half a century ago had provided us with all our dinners and breakfasts, it would be the practice of our orators today to assume the impossibility of our providing for ourselves.
Socialism is but Catholicism addressing itself not to the soul but to the sense of men …
Continue reading “Secular religion”
We hold that what one man cannot morally do, a million men cannot morally do, and government, representing many millions of men, cannot do.
How should it happen that the individual should be without rights, but the combination of individuals should possess unlimited rights?
True liberty cannot exist apart from the full rights of property, for property is the only crystallized form of free faculties … The whole meaning of socialism is a systematic glorification of force … No literary phrases about social organisms are potent enough to evaporate the individual, who is the prime, indispensable, irreducible element.
And what sort of philosophical doctrine is this — that numbers confer unlimited rights, that they take from some persons all rights over themselves, and vest these rights in others…. How, then, can the rights of three men exceed the rights of two men? In what possible way can the rights of three men absorb the rights of two men, and make them as if they had never existed…. It is not possible to suppose, without absurdity, that a man should have no rights over his own body and mind, and yet have a 1/10,000,000th share in unlimited rights over all other bodies and minds?