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  Quotations - General  
[Quote No.41176] Need Area: Friends > General
"I know no class of my fellowmen, however just, enlightened, and humane, which can be wisely and safely trusted absolutely with the liberties of any other class. [Why? Because absolute power corrupts absolutely!]" - Frederick Douglass
(1818-1895), escaped slave, Abolitionist, author, editor of the 'North Star' and later the 'New National Era'.
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[Quote No.41178] Need Area: Friends > General
"Democracy is a form of government that cannot long survive, for as soon as the people learn that they have a voice in the fiscal policies of the government, they will move to vote for themselves all the money in the treasury, and bankrupt the nation." - Karl Marx
Father of Communism and author of the 'Communist Manifesto'.
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[Quote No.41179] Need Area: Friends > General
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs). [This was a slogan popularised by Karl Marx in his 1875, 'Critique of the Gotha Program'... The origin of this idea has been attributed to the French communist Morelly, who proposed in his 1755 'Code of Nature' - 'Sacred and Fundamental Laws that would tear out the roots of vice and of all the evils of a society' including: - I. Nothing in society will belong to anyone, either as a personal possession or as capital goods, except the things for which the person has immediate use, for either his needs, his pleasures, or his daily work. - II. Every citizen will be a public man, sustained by, supported by, and occupied at the public expense. - III. Every citizen will make his particular contribution to the activities of the community according to his capacity, his talent and his age; it is on this basis that his duties will be determined, in conformity with the distributive laws... Although Marx is popularly thought of as the originator of the phrase, the actual slogan was also common to the socialist movement and was first used 36 years before Marx, by Louis Blanc in 1839, in 'The organization of work'... The Soviet Union later adapted the slogan to: 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his work (labour investment),' claiming themselves to be at a 'lower stage of communism', namely still only at 'socialism' in line with Marx's terminology and idea of economic and political evolution, and therefore not yet able to give to each according to his needs.]" - Karl Marx
Father of Communism and author of the 'Communist Manifesto'. Quote from his 1875, 'Critique of the Gotha Program'. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_each_according_to_his_ability,_to_each_according_to_his_need ]
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[Quote No.41181] Need Area: Friends > General
"Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property - this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation and are superior to it." - Frederic Bastiat
(1801-1850) [Claude Frederic Bastiat] French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before - and immediately following - the French Revolution of February 1848. Quote from his book, 'The Law', 1850.
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[Quote No.41182] Need Area: Friends > General
"...the power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest fonctionaire [civil servant, a government official] possesses who wields the coercive power of the state and on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work? And who will deny that a world in which the wealthy are powerful is still a better world than one in which only the already powerful can acquire wealth?" - Friedrich August von Hayek
(1899-1992), winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 1974. Quote from his book, 'The Road To Serfdom', P. 115.
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[Quote No.41183] Need Area: Friends > General
"I think it might be important to point out that this country is a one-party country. Half of that party is called Republican and half is called Democrat. It doesn’t make any difference. All the really good ideas belong to the Libertarians [who alone stand for true social and economic liberty and human rights]." - Hugh Downs
(1921-) American broadcaster, television host, news anchor, TV producer, author. Quote from when he was on 'Politically Correct', April, 1997.
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[Quote No.41184] Need Area: Friends > General
"Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men [and women] and so it must be daily earned and refreshed — else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die." - Dwight D. Eisenhower
(1890-1969), 34th US President, WWII General. Quote from his speech to the English Speaking Union, London, England 1944.
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[Quote No.41185] Need Area: Friends > General
"The strength of the constitution [and any declaration of human rights] lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are constitutional rights secure." - Albert Einstein
(1879-1955) Physicist, professor and winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1921.
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[Quote No.41196] Need Area: Friends > General
"It is his nature, not his standing [position in society and career], that makes the good man." - Publilius Syrus

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[Quote No.41209] Need Area: Friends > General
"When God measures man, he puts the tape around his heart - not his head. " - Guideposts

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[Quote No.41216] Need Area: Friends > General
"Any 20 year-old who isn't [concerned about social freedom and human rights and therefore] a liberal doesn't have a heart, and any 40 year-old who isn't [concerned about economic freedom and property rights and therefore] a conservative doesn't have a brain. [But most importantly, any 50 year-old who isn't concerned about social and economic freedom, and human rights - including property rights, and therefore] a libertarian doesn't have a heart and brain working together]." - Winston Churchill

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[Quote No.41223] Need Area: Friends > General
"In nature there's no blemish but the mind; None can be call'd deform'd but the unkind." - William Shakespeare
(1564 - 1616), famous English playwright
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[Quote No.41224] Need Area: Friends > General
"The self-styled intellectual [politician, victim of discrimination or disenfranchised person] who is impotent with pen and ink [persuasive facts, feelings and free choice] hungers to write history with sword and blood [fraud and force]." - Eric Hoffer
(1902 - 1983)
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[Quote No.41226] Need Area: Friends > General
"A man's conscience, like a warning line on the highway, tells him what he shouldn't do - but it does not keep him from doing it. [That takes self-esteem, courage and self-discipline.]" - Frank A. Clark

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[Quote No.41236] Need Area: Friends > General
" ‘The End of the Age of Entitlement’ ... --Introduction: I wish to thank my friends at the Institute of Economic Affairs for the opportunity to discuss an issue that has been the source of much debate in this forum for some time....that is, the end of an era of popular universal entitlement. There is nothing much new in the debate other than the fact that action has now been forced on governments as a result of the recent financial crisis [referred to as the Great Recession in the USA and the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-9 elsewhere]. Years of warnings have been ignored but the reality can no longer be avoided. Despite an ageing population and a higher standard of living than that enjoyed by our children, western democracies in particular have been reluctant to wind back universal access to payments and entitlements from the state. As we have already witnessed, it is not popular to take entitlements away from millions of voters in countries with frequent elections. It is ironic that the entitlement system seems to be most obvious and prevalent in some of the most democratic societies. Most undemocratic nations are simply unable to afford the largesse of universal entitlement systems. So, ultimately the fiscal impact of popular programs must be brought to account no matter what the political values of the government are or how popular a spending program may be. Let me put it to you this way: The Age of Entitlement is over. We should not take this as cause for despair. It is our market based economies which have forced this change on unwilling participants. What we have seen is that the market is mandating policy changes that common sense and years of lectures from small government advocates have failed to achieve. And we have subsequently witnessed over the last twelve months a raging battle. This has been a battle between the fiscal reality of paying for what you spend, set against the expectation of majority public opinion that each generation will receive the same or increased support from the state than their forebears. The entitlements bestowed on tens of millions of people by successive governments, fuelled by short-term electoral cycles and the politics of outbidding your opponents is, in essence, undermining our ability to ensure democracy, fair representation and economic sustainability for future generations. Perhaps we could re-apply noted British philosopher, AC Grayling’s words on liberty to our debate by declaring that we may record that the age of entitlement might have passed its best point, ‘after so brief a period of flourishing...’ And flourish it did. Government spending on a range of social programs including education, health, housing, subsidised transport, social safety nets and retirement benefits has reached extraordinary levels as a percentage of GDP. However an inadequate level of revenue has forced nations into levels of indebtedness that, in an age of slowing growth and ageing population, are simply unsustainable. The social contract between government and its citizens needs to be urgently and significantly redefined. The reality is that we cannot have greater government services and more government involvement in our lives coupled with significantly lower taxation. As a community we need to redefine the responsibility of government and its citizens to provide for themselves, both during their working lives and into retirement. As part of this process, we must emphasise that government spending should be funded from revenue rather than by borrowing from future generations in whatever form that may take. --The Problem: Entitlement is a concept that corrodes the very heart of the process of free enterprise that drives our economies. All of us would agree that there are some basic community entitlements. For generations we have all sought to define those basic rights. For example, in the United States constitution the founding fathers determined that citizens are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You will remember it was Margaret Thatcher who interpreted community entitlements as the right for our children to ‘grow tall and some taller than others if they have the ability in them to do so’. This broader and timeless conservative definition of our end game lays down some foundations for the role of government. Equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcome is my preferred model for contemporary society. Thankfully the modern capitalist economy is centred around the satisfaction of personal wants and needs. Commercial transactions are at the core of the system. And it is a simple and proven formula for willing buyers to engage with willing sellers. If we want a product or service we go and buy it with the dividend from the fruits of our own labour. The producer is happy and the customer is satisfied. The problem arises however when there is a belief that one person has a right to a good or service that someone else will pay for. It is this sense of entitlement that afflicts not only individuals but also entire societies. And governments are to blame for not portraying taxpayer’s money as something removed from the labour of another person. In our collective effort to win votes, political leaders deliberately portray a new spending commitment as if it is coming out of their own [the politician’s] personal bank account. Political leaders rarely thank taxpayers for their funding of the policy. To pay for all these good policy initiatives, governments have taken the easy option and borrowed money from that mysterious and amorphous group defined as ‘bondholders’. We all know this is simply a case of borrowing money from the taxpayers of tomorrow for spending initiatives of today. Of course I say with irony, it gets even better when some governments borrow more money to pay the interest on current debt so existing taxpayers and voters will never notice the pain. This is the public sector equivalent of those much maligned ponzi schemes. The sovereign debt problems we are seeing in Europe and the US today are the outcome of countries wanting a lifestyle they cannot afford but are quite happy to borrow from others to pay for. Of course in recent months in some countries in Europe the ‘borrowings’ have turned into permanent transfers of wealth as those countries have become unable – or unwilling – to repay the loans. Richer countries are either writing off the debt of poorer countries or they are subsidising the debt repayments with sophisticated transfer payments. As a parent I want to give my children everything they wish for. As a democratically elected legislator I want to give my constituents everything they wish for. The hardest task in life is to say NO to someone you care about. So perhaps what we are witnessing is a chronic failure of the democratic process. A weak government tends to give its citizens everything they wish for. A strong government has the will to say NO! Being profligate is easy and politically popular in the short term, particularly when the political cost of raising sufficient revenue is avoided by resorting to debt. But painless revenue makes for reckless spending. Whether it is defence, law and order, income support, social programs and so on, the outcome is the same. Eventually the piper has to be paid. Since World War 2 western communities have enjoyed prosperity that has exceeded all expectations. This has been fuelled by innovation, materialism, globalisation, free trade and debt. Of course these are not malevolent developments. Rather they are the lauded natural outcomes of a free and successful society. Moreover these initiatives, which have fuelled a massive improvement in global economic productivity, have driven the age of prosperity. Arguably this has delivered the most dramatic improvement in the material quality of life since the beginning of humanity. In effect the rapid rise in private prosperity has been matched with demands for an equal improvement in state provided prosperity. This is understandable. We all want the best available health care, the best education, the best pharmaceuticals and so on. The difference is that the handbrake on private demand is income. Unless a consumer can borrow money, it is their income and wealth which determines whether they can buy a new television or renovate the family home. But for governments with seemingly unlimited capacity to borrow money, that handbrake on expenditure is not real. While the Keynesian model of Government-led stimulus during the inevitable downturns in the economic cycle is well documented, governments who have turned on the fiscal tap seem completely incapable of turning it off when the cycle turns upwards. So we have witnessed a continual over-commitment in many countries, funded by the lure of cheap and easily obtainable debt. It is a problem which is not new. We might think by now we would have learnt the lessons. But clearly that is not the case. --A Tale of Two Systems: In September last year I travelled to Hong Kong – a city of 7 million - which sits at the edge of the Pearl River Delta – home to over 100 million additional residents. As a Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong is now serving as a conduit between China and its global trading partners, particularly those with business directly to the north. So even though its destiny has changed, Hong Kong continues to maintain its own currency, laws and Parliament but is now totally wed at the hip to Beijing. Without a social safety net, Hong Kong offers its citizens a top personal income tax rate of 17% and corporate tax rates of 16.5%. Unemployment is a low 3.4%, inflation 4.7% and the growth rate still respectable at over 4%. Government debt is moderate and although there is still poverty, the family unit is very much intact and social welfare is largely unknown. The system there is that you work hard, your parents look after the kids, you look after your grandkids and you save as you work for 40 years to fund your retirement. The society is focussed on making sure people can look after themselves well into old age. The concept of filial piety, from the Confucian classic Xiao Jing, is thriving today right across Asia. It is also the very best and most enduring guide for community and social infrastructure. The Hong Kong experience is not unusual in Asia. Characteristics such as low inflation, low unemployment, modest government debt, minimal unfunded benefits and entitlements, and significant growth are powering a whole range of emerging markets and developing an Asian middle class that will grow to some two and a half billion people by 2030. The sense of government entitlement in these countries is low. You get what you work for. Your tax payments are not excessive and there is an enormous incentive to work harder and earn more if you want to. By western standards this highly constrained public safety net may, at times, seem brutal. But it works and it is financially sustainable. Contrast this with what we find in Europe, the UK and the USA. All of them have enormous entitlement systems spanning education, health, income support, retirement benefits, unemployment benefits and so on. Some countries are more generous than others and in many instances the recipients of the largest amount of unfunded entitlements are former employees of the Government. In all these areas people are enjoying benefits which are not paid for by them, but paid for by someone else – either the taxes of those who are working and producing income, or future generations who are going to be left to pay the debt used to pay for these services. Despite tax rates much higher than in Hong Kong, government revenue in these economies still falls well short of meeting current government spending initiatives. The difference is made up by the public sector borrowing money. And more often than not we are borrowing money from people such as the citizens of Hong Kong. You would have to say that this is a flawed formula. For western democracies the party is over. Our most deeply exposed western economies can no longer continue to accumulate debt without constraint. The ongoing credit crisis in Europe seems a very long way from resolution. Ultimately, spending on entitlements becomes a structural problem for fiscal policy. In the United States for example, the excess of government expenditure over receipts is enormous. The Government has $15 trillion of Federal gross debt and it’s going up by $1.5 trillion a year because expenditure is $6.2 trillion a year and receipts $4.8 trillion. Obviously with interest rates at near zero levels the cost of debt is limited but sooner or later it must end in tears. So why is it that western nations are so deeply indebted and so tragically unfunded when it comes to meeting their future obligations in the face of an ageing demographic and longer life expectancies? Both sides of the western political spectrum are to blame. As the electoral pendulum has swung between socialist and conservative sides of politics, the socialist governments, often winning electoral success thanks to the funding from unions, have created a huge array of entitlements for selected classes of individuals, particularly and ironically employees of government and members of unions. These entitlements have now begun to hang like a millstone around the neck of governments, mortgaging the economic future of many Western nations and their enterprises for generations to come. I will give you a classic example. In Boston USA, there’s a certain former police captain who retired aged 55 some 20 years ago after a 32 year career on the force. During that period he managed to contribute some $73,000 to his defined benefit pension plan, a plan which gives you a percentage of your salary for life when you retire. On retirement he started receiving 100% of his retirement salary, namely $55,000. He is now 75, which means he has collected some $1.1 million in benefits. And it looks like he’ll live until he’s at least 90 or even older, so that’s almost another $1.0 million over 15 years. It’s more than he earned in 32 years and he contributed just $73,000 to help pay for it. Either taxpayers pay the bill or the government has to borrow to pay for the entitlement. When the electoral pendulum swings, conservative governments have come in promising to fix the problem but in most instances have just trimmed around the edges without addressing the real problem of the growing entitlement burden. And the greatest Catch 22 of modern democratic politics is that socialist governments are blindly wedded to increases in expenditure while conservative governments are blindly wedded to not increasing taxes. So once the cycle of economic growth comes to its inevitable end, the problem is exacerbated. Perhaps the real problem is the exuberant excesses of politicians who do not seem to understand or care about the fact that like a household, a nation needs to balance its budget over time and needs to make sure it can cover its future commitments. This has already reached dangerous levels with some OECD countries like France spending close to 30% of their GDP on public social expenditure. Other countries get by with much less. Korea only spends 10% of GDP on public social expenditure with Australia at 16% of GDP, the USA at 20% and the United Kingdom at 23%. The bottom line is that our communities need to make a tough decision. We cannot choose both higher entitlements and lower taxes. We must make a decision one way or the other. We can take more and more of our citizen’s money and spend it for them, or we can take less of it and rationalise government services. But it is a decision that must be made ...and soon. This challenge is compounding in scale as an ageing population in many industrialised countries is making even further demands on the entitlement system. Europe for example, has the highest proportion of over 60s of any region in the world. And while 22% of the population in Europe is currently over 60, this number is forecast to rise to 35% by 2050. Plans for the future of Europe have assumed strong economic growth, but it is highly uncertain how growth will be achieved as the fiscal burden associated with rising health and aged care costs, as well as a generous pension scheme, continues to grow. According to a study commissioned by the European Central Bank, 19 EU countries had almost 30 trillion Euros of unfunded entitlement obligations for their existing populations. Of this 30 trillion Euros, France has liabilities of 6.7 trillion and Germany 7.6 trillion. These liabilities will continue to grow without significant reform. And, by the way, I don’t see how a debate in France about lowering the retirement age from 62 to 60 will help address these challenges. A lower level of entitlement means countries are free to allow business and individuals to be successful. It reduces taxation, meaning individuals spend less of their time working for the state, and more of their time working for themselves and their family. An economy that impedes individual ambition – whether through higher taxation, the lack of opportunity in employment, or restricted social mobility – is one that enforces the barriers of class, rather than reduces them. Governments should ensure that the actions they take will leave their citizens better off because, naturally, that will reduce the desire for ‘entitlements’. The role of government must be to help people to the starting line, while accepting that some will then run faster than others. Everyone should know that they grow up in a country where it is possible, through hard work and diligence, to achieve their dreams. Naturally the Americans call this the American Dream, but it is similarly played out across the globe, including in emerging economies in Asia. --The Australian Experience: As the child of a father who came to Australia in 1948 as a refugee from Palestine and built himself into a successful businessman, I know that being successful in Australia is not the product of belonging to rich and prosperous families, but rather is the result of hard work and diligence. In fact those stories are most often repeated in countries without extreme interventionist governments. For example, over 80 per cent of the millionaires in the United States are the first generation in their family to be millionaires. But Australia has had its fair share of irresponsible governments. In 1996 the incoming conservative government inherited a budget in a weakened state. The previous Labor administration had racked up a succession of budget deficits and $96bn of net debt, about 17% of GDP. (I know that figure is not large by the current experience of most countries in Europe, but trust me, the repayment task was a challenge.) It took nine years of budget surpluses and asset sales to repay the debt. That is three election cycles in Australia. It took another two years of hard fiscal rectitude to build up a stock of net assets equivalent to 4% of GDP. In total that is a long period of sustained fiscal austerity. Australia has not completely avoided the problems of other western democracies because it still has a lot of spending by government which many voters see as their entitlement. However, over the years there have been a number of key decisions to reduce spending to manageable levels. Australia has sought to reduce the burden on government of providing aged pensions through a compulsory system of savings for retirement. Retirees must rely first on the benefits they have accumulated rather than on government income support. And retirement benefits to government employees and politicians are no longer provided on a defined benefit basis but on a contributions basis so they only get back the principal and earnings on what they have put in. The government is also gradually raising the age at which government benefits can be accessed, from 60 to 67 for women and from 65 to 67 for men from 1 July 2023. Most importantly, the net government assets of $45 billion arduously built up by the previous conservative government were set aside into a Future Fund. The funds cannot be touched by the government for everyday expenditure. Rather, the fund can only be accessed to pay for the previously unfunded entitlements of federal public servants so as to reduce the burden on taxpayers. That was an initiative of great foresight. It is, if you like, Australia’s sovereign wealth fund with the explicit purpose of boosting the sustainability of the budget through time. --The Road Back: So where do we go from here? There is really only one solution in the long term, and that is for countries to live within their means. We must rebuild fiscal discipline. Budget surpluses must be restored, ideally until the debt is repaid. This can only be achieved by cutting spending or by raising taxes. And given the general acceptance that the increased drag from higher taxes would compromise economic growth, the clear mandate is to lower expenditure. This is lovely rhetoric but to actually do it needs some very harsh political and social decisions. To be bold, I have some suggestions. The first is that people need to work longer before they access retirement benefits. When the age pension was introduced in Australia at age 65, life expectancy was 55. Today life expectancy is in the 80’s. So you can understand how I was shocked to hear that one of the policy promises of one of the main French Presidential Election candidates, François Hollande, is to bring the official retirement age back down to 60 from 62. Second, there have to be universal compulsory retirement schemes into which employees and employers must contribute so that after a man or woman has worked for 40 or more years they have set aside an amount that can provide them with a reasonable income for a further 15-20 years at least. Defined benefit schemes need to be phased out worldwide, including in Australia, whether they are for public servants or private sector employees. In addition, all government funded pensions and other such payments must be means tested so that people who do not need them do not get them. Third, there needs to be clear thinking about which services should be provided by governments and whether government funded services should be entirely free or have some affordable co payment. Many will argue that certain government services should be free and universal but the problem with any free good is that it will be overconsumed and underappreciated. For example, in Australia, health services are partly funded through compulsory levies, paid either to the government or to private health insurers. Across the Western world we have saddled our nations and our children with a debt burden that is simply unsustainable. It is time for strong political and economic leadership to clean up this mess properly, not with a series of band aids and political spin but with genuine economic and social reform. The age of unlimited and unfunded entitlement to government services and income support is over. It’s as over in Greece as it is in Italy, in Spain, and in the USA. There also needs to be a rethinking of government borrowing. Some might argue that some low level of debt is not a bad thing. I believe that is a dangerous proposition. Once some level of debt is accepted it becomes too tempting to opt for just a little more. Pretty soon a little debt becomes a big problem. Also, there is a significant cost to servicing debt. Even in Australia, where net debt as a percentage of GDP is lower than in Europe, interest costs on net debt are approaching $7 billion a year. That is enough to build 7 new teaching hospitals every year. The message is that every dollar of debt has an opportunity cost. Another aspect of the problem is that credit is no longer easily accessible for the private sector or the public sector. And the credit market no longer automatically favours the public sector. Ironically more and more sovereigns are seen as a greater credit risk than many international companies. I would think the experience of the past few years has been something of a reality check. Lenders now know that even today advanced western economies can default on their debts. In today’s global financial system it is the financial markets, both domestic and international, which impose fiscal discipline on countries. A country which is viewed as approaching its safe limit for debt will find it increasingly difficult to borrow additional funds at an affordable rate. Eventually the capital markets will close. We are now in an era where lenders are much more wary about credit risk. I view this as a healthy development. Lenders have a more active role to play in policing public policy and ensuring that countries do not exceed their capacity to service and repay debt. This is playing out most dramatically in Europe where the European Commission and the European Central Bank are either directly or indirectly heavily influencing public policy in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal to name a few. It is also worth noting that the system of regulation of banks and other deposit taking institutions is artificially boosting demand for sovereign credits with mandated liquidity requirements generally emphasising a prominent role for government securities. Governments have been too prepared to exploit the resultant lower borrowing costs. And whilst securities issued by sovereigns have traditionally been viewed as the safest and most liquid assets, I am not sure that it is still the view of investors in Europe today. --Concluding Comments: The road back to fiscal sustainability will not be easy. It will involve reducing the provision of so called ‘free’ government services to those who feel they are entitled to receive them. It will involve reducing government spending to be lower than government revenue for a long time. It is likely to result in a lowering of the standard of living for whole societies as they learn to live within their means. The political challenge will be to convince the electorate of the need for fiscal pain and to ensure that the burden is equally shared. Already in the UK and parts of Europe we have seen the social unrest that can result when fiscal austerity bites. But the alternative is unthinkable. The Western world cannot continue on its current path of borrowing to fund its excessive lifestyle. The problem of fiscal sustainability will only get worse. Eventually lenders will cry enough is enough and turn off the credit tap. And when that happens the economic, financial, social and political dislocations are likely to be catastrophic. The Western world is at the most important economic cross road in its history – Governments must accept their responsibilities to fiscal discipline and the prudent use of their citizens hard earned monies, or they need to accept that the demise of western economies will be forced upon them in a dramatic, unpredictable and possibly violent way. Adam Smith’s free hand is perfectly capable of forming a fist to punish nations who ignore the fundamental rules. Unfortunately I think Adam’s down at the gym right now and in training for one almighty whack. Restoring fiscal credibility will be hard. But it is essential we learn to live within our means. The Age of Entitlement should never have been allowed to become a fiscal nightmare. But now that it has, Governments around the world must reign in their excesses and learn to live within their means. All of our futures depend on it." - Joe Hockey
(1965 - ), banking and finance lawyer, Australian Liberal Party politician, Australian Shadow Treasurer. Quote from his speech notes for an address to the Institute of Economic Affairs, London, 17 April, 2012, entitled ‘The End of the Age of Entitlement’
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[Quote No.41239] Need Area: Friends > General
"Let anyone do anything he [or she] pleases, so long as it is peaceful [involving neither force nor fraud]; the role of government, then, is to keep the peace [by ensuring no-one uses either force or fraud]." - Leonard E. Read
(1898 – 1983), American economist and the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), which was the first modern free market think tank in the United States. [Refer http://www.fee.org/ ]
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[Quote No.41240] Need Area: Friends > General
"[To maximise individual freedom] Limit government to keeping the peace [by ensuring no-one uses either force or fraud]." - Leonard E. Read
(1898 – 1983), American economist and the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), which was the first modern free market think tank in the United States. [Refer http://www.fee.org/ ]
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[Quote No.41248] Need Area: Friends > General
"Like you, I consider the right to property to consist in the freedom to dispose first on one's person, then of one's labor, and finally, of the products of one's labor — which proves, incidentally, that, from a certain point of view, freedom and the right to property are indistinguishable from each other!" - Frederic Bastiat
'Protectionism and Communism', 1849.
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[Quote No.41250] Need Area: Friends > General
"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist." - Winston Churchill

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[Quote No.41251] Need Area: Friends > General
"The short memories of American voters is what keeps our politicians in office." - Will Rogers

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[Quote No.41252] Need Area: Friends > General
"Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of [freedom's] substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion..." - Justice Robert Jackson
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson. Quote from the court case, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 1943.
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[Quote No.41254] Need Area: Friends > General
"For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?" - Alexis de Tocqueville
'Democracy in America', 1835.
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[Quote No.41255] Need Area: Friends > General
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
(circa 1818 – 1895), an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement. Quote from April 1886.
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[Quote No.41277] Need Area: Friends > General
"Be helpful to all who need your assistance, but don't overdo it. Over-helpfulness too often results in under-performance." - Dr. Mardy Grothe

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[Quote No.41294] Need Area: Friends > General
"Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on 'I am not too sure.' " - H.L. Mencken
(1880 - 1956), writer, editor, and critic
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[Quote No.41296] Need Area: Friends > General
"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." - Albert Schweitzer
(1875-1965), philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate
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[Quote No.41308] Need Area: Friends > General
"Rights dominate most modern understandings of what actions are proper and which institutions are just. Rights structure the forms of our governments, the contents of our laws, and the shape of morality as we perceive it. To accept a set of rights is to approve a distribution of freedom and authority, and so to endorse a certain view of what may, must, and must not be done." - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Stanford University. Retrieved 2009-12-21.
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[Quote No.41309] Need Area: Friends > General
"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)." - Ayn Rand
Philosopher. From her book, 'The Virtue of Selfishness: Individual Rights'.
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[Quote No.41310] Need Area: Friends > General
"Equality of opportunity is to be contrasted with equality of outcome. While advocacy of the latter has been traditionally associated with a left-wing political philosophy, the former has been championed by conservative political philosophy. Equality of outcome fails to hold individuals responsible for imprudent actions that may, absent redress, reduce the values of the outcomes they enjoy, or for wise actions that would raise the value of the outcomes above the levels of others’. Equality of opportunity, in contrast, ‘levels the playing field,’ so that all have the potential to achieve the same outcomes; whether or not, in the event, they do, depends upon individual choice [even though they will all start out at different 'distances' from any desired outcome they share with others and therefore require different levels of individual commitment, effort, time, etc]." - John E. Roemer
Quote from the article 'Roemer on equality of opportunity', published in the 'New Economist', December 14, 2005.
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[Quote No.41318] Need Area: Friends > General
"The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant or pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods!" - H.L. Mencken

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[Quote No.41323] Need Area: Friends > General
"Some political philosophies (based of the unalienable rights of individuals to freedom) that argue against government force - lack of choice (even democracies - where the majority get to choose against the wishes of minorities) desire to limit government to only the role of the agent of self-defence against other citizens or groups within that nation and foreign individuals, groups or nations from the use of force, the threat of force - coercion, or fraud, and leave all other needs to be fulfilled by, what they believe is, the more efficient competition of free markets and thereby the success of those best able to provide value in meeting the needs of the consumer. This is the belief of some Libertarians for example. Other groups, for example voluntaryists, feel that even this limited role for government is still an act of force as there is no choice for each individual - the smallest of minorities, as to which protection agent is used, and believe that even this need for a small government could be replaced by competing free market entities engaged voluntarily by each individual citizen depending on what best suits their needs and circumstances." - Seymour@imagi-natives.com

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[Quote No.41324] Need Area: Friends > General
"The lessons of history, confirmed by evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence on relief [welfare - social security entitlements] induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is a violation of the traditions of America." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic politician and US President during the Great Depression. Quote from his 1935 State of the Union address when he advocated for social security, unemployment insurance, and aid to dependent children, but was concerned it should only be in emergencies and for a limited time.
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[Quote No.41326] Need Area: Friends > General
"Countries are well cultivated, not as they are fertile, but as they are free." - Montesquieu

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[Quote No.41330] Need Area: Friends > General
"The practical reason for freedom, then, is that freedom seems to be the only condition under which any kind of substantial moral fibre can be developed. Everything else has been tried (and failed). ... In suggesting that we try freedom ... the anarchist [i.e. someone who doesn't believe that government is necessary for a happy, productive society]... has a strictly practical aim. He aims at the production of a race of responsible beings. ... His desire for freedom has but one practical object, ie, that men [and women] may become as good and as decent [as ethical], as elevated and noble, as they might be and really wish to be. Reason, experience, and observation lead him to the conviction that under absolute and unqualified freedom they can and rather promptly will, educate themselves to this desirable end; but that so long as they are the least degree dominated by legalism and authoritarianism, they never can." - Albert Jay Nock
(1870 – 1945), influential American libertarian author, educational theorist, and social critic of the early and middle 20th century. Quote from his book, 'On Doing the Right Thing', pp. 173-178.
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[Quote No.41334] Need Area: Friends > General
"When injustice becomes law then resistance becomes duty. [Be aware though, that injustice is very subjective and therefore interpretations will differ between people. This quote echoes the sentiments of Thomas Paine, who said, 'It is the duty of the patriot to protect the country from the government.']" - Thomas Jefferson
One of the 'Founding Fathers' of the United States of America and later one of its first Presidents.
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[Quote No.41335] Need Area: Friends > General
"It is the duty of the patriot to protect the country from the government." - Thomas Paine

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[Quote No.41339] Need Area: Friends > General
"What do you suppose will satisfy the soul, except to walk free and own no superior? [After all we are all born free. In fact this is the only thing about any of us that is equal. To moral people everywhere this equality of freedom is recognised as an unalienable human birthright. Therefore our goal throughout life, if we are to have any chance of meeting our needs and desires that only each individual knows, is to keep our own and respect everyone elses freedom, by prohibiting force or fraud from our own and others behaviour.]" - Walt Whitman

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[Quote No.41341] Need Area: Friends > General
"We are much beholden to Machiavel [Niccolò Machiavelli, the 16th century courtier who wrote the book, 'The Prince', that eventually led to the term Machiavellian to describe the employment of cunning and duplicity, force and fraud, in statecraft, politics, business or in general conduct], and others, that write what men [and women] do, and not what they ought to do. [Because to be forewarned that behavior and people like this exist is to be forearmed against such win-at-any-cost, unethical behavior and people.]" - Francis Bacon
(1561 – 1626), English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England.
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[Quote No.41343] Need Area: Friends > General
"In battle or business, whatever the game, In law or in love, it is ever the same; In the struggle for power, or the scramble for pelf, Let this be your motto — rely on yourself!" - John Godfrey Saxe

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[Quote No.41345] Need Area: Friends > General
"I don't think you can really be free until you're willing to let others be free. Only then are you relieved of that terrible responsibility for the way others act. [As Friedrich von Schiller said, 'Live and let live' - so long as there is no force or fraud.]" - Harry Browne

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[Quote No.41346] Need Area: Friends > General
"'Live and let live' [so long as there is no force or fraud]" - Friedrich von Schiller
(1759 – 1805), German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. Later in life he was a friend of the famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
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[Quote No.41347] Need Area: Friends > General
"Economic Freedom as a Human Right: ...I wish to speak about economic freedom as a right - as a right that, in the end, should be seen as indivisible from the broader idea of liberty and the rights associated with liberty. I should think that it would not be very difficult to make the case that the right to property is not essentially different from the right to labor. The accumulation of property is, after all, the fruit of one's labor, and the idea that it attaches to an indi­vidual rather than a group is, in my estimation, not only a fundamental tenet of liberty in general, but a bedrock principle for the rule of law, as properly understood. Ultimately, freedom is indivisible. If rights to life, liberty, and property are inalienable (i.e., not con­tracted), then economic freedom and its variously derived rights certainly belong in the hallowed hall of natural rights. Let me clarify ... a right, I mean a natural right - one not given or manufactured by governments, courts, or international institutions such as the United Nations. Nor is it a right even given by constitu­tions. You can argue that the right in question was given to us by God or nature, but when I am speaking of economic freedom as a right, it is something that governments should respect and protect, not provide... I believe that economic freedom - the liberty to profit from our ideas and our labor - is absolutely vital to the human condition and to the human soul. Its loss relegates people to servitude to other per­sons, and it inevitably exposes people to exploita­tion either by the state or by people who can exercise arbitrary power over them. Friedrich Hayek said it best in 'The Road to Serfdom' when he observed that, 'To be controlled in our economic pursuits means to be controlled in everything.' ... " - Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D.
A former US assistant secretary of state, he currently serves as Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies and Director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at The Heritage Foundation. This quote was part of remarks delivered as a keynote address at the XVI Interna­tional Meeting in Political Studies and International Summer School in Estoril, Portugal, on 'Human Rights Today: 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,' sponsored by the Institute of Political Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal. Published July 24, 2008. [http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/economic-freedom-as-a-human-right ]
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[Quote No.41361] Need Area: Friends > General
"[Welfare and social security entitlements...] That the state should assist its needy citizens to a greater degree than before is not only a Christian and humanitarian duty, of which the state apparatus [government, politicians and bureaucrats] should be fully conscious: it is also a task to be undertaken for the preservation of the state itself. The goal of this task is to nurture among the unpropertied classes of the population, which are the most numerous as well as least informed, the view that the state is not only a necessary but also a beneficent institution." - Otto von Bismark
(1815 – 1898), Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative German statesman who dominated European affairs from the 1860s to his dismissal in 1890. According to wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_von_Bismarck ] '...Socialism:-- Bismarck worried about the growth of the socialist movement—in particular, that of the Social Democratic Party. In 1878, he instituted the Anti-Socialist Laws. Socialist organizations and meetings were forbidden, as was the circulation of socialist literature. Socialist leaders were arrested and tried by police courts. But despite these efforts, the movement steadily gained supporters and seats in the Reichstag. Socialists won seats in the Reichstag by running as independent candidates, unaffiliated with any party, which was allowed by the German Constitution. Welfare state:-- Germany had a tradition of welfare programs in Prussia and Saxony that began as early as the 1840s. In the 1880s his social insurance programs were the first in the world and became the model for other countries and the basis of the modern welfare state. Bismarck introduced old age pensions, accident insurance, medical care and unemployment insurance. He won conservative support by promising to undercut the appeal of Socialists—the Socialists always voted against his proposals, fearing they would reduce the grievances of the industrial workers. His paternalistic programs won the support of German industry because its goals were to win the support of the working classes for the Empire and reduce the outflow of emigrants to America, where wages were higher but welfare did not exist. Politically, he did win over the Centre Party which represented Catholic workers, but Socialists remained hostile. This quote is attributed to Bismark as it figured in the 'Motive' accompanying one of his 1883 Welfare-State law proposals; quoted in Ron Hamowy, 'The Genesis and Development of Medicare,' in Roger D. Feldman (Ed.), American Health Care: Government, Market Processes, and the Public Interest (Oakland: The Independent Institute, 2001), p. 54. [http://www.pierrelemieux.org/quotes.html#anchor1028729 ]
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[Quote No.41363] Need Area: Friends > General
"[For people interested in human progress, freedom and justice, it is important to truly explore and understand the relationship between politics, political parties and their political philosophies - including their foundations and therefore their ultimate ends and therefore the policies they pursue - to see if they are something they could support and vote for in a democracy or if they are things they disagree with and wish to guard against. The following is an example of justifications against what most consider the human birth-right of freedom and individualism:] Social positivism only accepts duties [things that one is expected or required to do by social, moral or legal obligation], for all and towards all. Its constant social viewpoint cannot include any notion of rights [liberties, powers, permissions, entitlements], for such notion always rests on individuality. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. These obligations then increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service. ... Any human right [natural, unalienable, birthrights] is therefore as absurd as immoral. Since there no divine rights anymore, this concept must therefore disappear completely as related only to the preliminary regime and totally inconsistent with the final state where there are only duties based on functions. [In the original French: 'Le positivisme n'admet jamais que des devoirs, chez tous envers tous. Car son point de vue toujours social ne peut comporter aucune notion de droit, constamment fondée sur l'individualité. Nous naissons chargés d'obligations de toute espèce, envers nos prédécesseurs, nos successeurs, et nos contemporains. Elles ne font ensuite que se développer ou s'accumuler avant que nous puissions rendre aucun service. [...] Tout droit humain est donc absurde autant qu'immoral. Puisqu'il n'existe plus de droits divins, cette notion doit donc s'effacer complètement, comme purement relative au régime préliminaire, et directement incompatible avec l'état final, qui n'admet que des devoirs, d'après des fonctions.']" - Auguste Comte
(1798 – 1857), Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte, better known as Auguste Comte, was a French philosopher. He was a founder of the discipline of sociology and of the doctrine of positivism. Strongly influenced by the Utopian socialist Henri Saint-Simon, Comte developed the positive philosophy in an attempt to remedy the social malaise of the French revolution, calling for a new social doctrine based on the sciences. Comte was a major influence on 19th century thought, impacting the work of social thinkers such as Karl Marx - the originator of Communism, John Stuart Mill, and George Eliot. Quote from 'Le catéchisme positiviste' (1852), reproduit in Alain Laurent, L'Individu et ses ennemis (Paris: Hachette, 1987), pp. 255-256.
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[Quote No.41364] Need Area: Friends > General
"[Those people who believe that freedom is an unalienable human right which must be supported by individuals and groups, need to remain eternally vigilant against those who disagree. In the US civil war] Southerners did not stop with an open defense of slavery. They went on to attack northern society for its 'wage slavery' and 'exploitation of workers,' using arguments repeated by socialist critics of capitalism. The southern writer who developed these arguments most extensively was George Fitzhugh, a Virginia planter and lawyer. His two books were provocatively entitled 'Sociology for the South: Or the Failure of the Free Society' and 'Cannibals All! Or Slaves Without Masters'. In them, Fitzhugh defended slavery as a practical form of socialism that provided contented slaves with paternalistic masters, thereby eliminating harsh conflicts between employers and allegedly free workers. 'A Southern farm is the beau ideal of Communism; it is a joint concern, in which the slave ... is far happier, because ... he is always sure of support.' ... 'The best governed countries, and which have prospered the most, have always been distinguished for the number and stringency of their laws, ...[as]... liberty is an evil which government is intended to correct.'" - Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
Emancipating the Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War (Chicago: Open Court, 1996), p. 23. Emancipating the Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War at Amazon.com.
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[Quote No.41365] Need Area: Friends > General
"[In order to make the best, responsible use of their vote in a democracy, each individual should at least try to understand each political party's philosophy, to see if they agree or disagree. Here is an example...] The advantage of [Government] national planning [as advocated by socialists, communists and other statists] is its ability to remove the wastes of oligopolistic anarchy, i.e. meaningless product differentiation [variety to meet differing individual needs and preferences, thereby removing individual free choice] and an imbalance between different industries within a geographical area. It concentrates all levels of decision making [power] in one locale [and in one group - politicians, rather than the individuals within that area] and thus provide each region with a full complement of skills and occupations. This opens up new horizons of local development by making possible the social and political control of economic decision-making. Multinational corporations, in contrast, weaken political control [the power of politicians and the government] because they span many countries and can escape national regulation [when outside of that government's legal jurisdiction]." - Stephen Hymer
'The Multinational Corporation and the Law of Uneven Development', in J. Bhagwati (Ed.), 'Economics and World Order from the 1970s to the 1990s' (Collier-Macmillan, 1972); reprinted in in H. Radice (Ed.), 'International Firms and Modern Imperialism' (Penguin, 1975), p. 52. [http://www.pierrelemieux.org/quotes.html#anchor1028729 ]
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[Quote No.41366] Need Area: Friends > General
"[Powerful groups will always seek to protect and increase their power:] After 1815 the absolutist monarchies [kingdoms based on the 'divine right of kings' - the forerunners of absolutist governments as in the dictatorships of fascism and communism] of Europe, fearful of the liberal contagion [individual, unalienable, human, birth rights and democratic representational government], launched a repression more systematic and extensive than any attempted by the monarchies of the ancient régime, giving an early foretaste of the totalitarianism that would emerge full-blown in the twentieth century [for example Italian and German fascism and Russian communism]... Agents of the state listened to and reported on private conversations, opened mail, and kept close track of citizens traveling abroad." - Robert Kagan
'Dangerous Nation' (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), p. 158.
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[Quote No.41367] Need Area: Friends > General
"[In order to make the best, responsible use of their vote in a democracy, each individual should at least try to understand each political party's philosophy, to see if they agree or disagree. For those people interested in individual rights and freedom the following quote would cause them concern...] Liberalism denied the State in the interests of the particular individual; Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual." - Benito Mussolini
(1883 – 1945), Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party, ruling the country from 1922 to his ousting in 1943. He is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of fascism. Quote from 'Fascism,' Italian Encyclopaedia, 1932, reproduced in Michael J. Oakeshott, 'The Social and Political Doctrines of Contemporary Europe' (Cambridge University Press, 1939), at [http://198.114.210.72/facmats/cooper/readings/mussolini.htm. ]
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[Quote No.41368] Need Area: Friends > General
"[In order to make the best, responsible use of their vote in a democracy, each individual should at least try to understand each political party's philosophy, to see if they agree or disagree. For those that believe in individual human rights and freedom the following quote would concern them...] We [National Fascist Party] were the first to assert that the more complicated the forms assumed by civilization, the more restricted the freedom of the individual must become." - Benito Mussolini
(1883 – 1945), Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party, ruling the country from 1922 to his ousting in 1943. He is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of fascism. Quote from the book by Friedrich Hayek, 'The Road to Serfdom' (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007 -- original edition: 1944), p. 91; La route de la servitude (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1985), p. 38.
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[Quote No.41369] Need Area: Friends > General
"[In order to make the best, responsible use of their vote in a democracy, each individual should at least try to understand each political party's philosophy, to see if they agree or disagree. Often different political philosophies result in very different policies. In many Western countries, at present, individual human rights are paramount. That is not the case with other political philosophies or times in the past. Here is an example...] Early in 1979, I and several other young nurses from my ward were summoned to a mass meeting. ... All sixty-odd of us were young married women who had not yet been sterilized. ... Secretary Wang arrived and took up a position in front of the assembly. [According to wikipedia.org in May, 2012, Secretary Wang refers to Wang Yang, (Wang is the family name and comes first in the Chinese culture rather than last as in the Western culture) is the current Secretary of the Guangdong Committee of the Communist Party of China, the southern Chinese province's top office. Born in 1955, he served as the party chief of Chongqing, an interior municipality, from 2005-2007. As the holder of one of the most important regional posts in China, Wang also holds a seat on the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, the country's top ruling council. Wang is seen as one of the leading reformers in China's top leadership. He is one of the emerging leaders of China's next generation of leadership.] His round little face, normally the picture of conviviality, was set in an expression of the utmost gravity. 'Today we have a matter of extreme urgency,' he began, 'a toudeng dashi, to discuss. It concerns the population of the motherland. The People's Republic of China has within its borders nearly a billion people, or one-fifth of the world's population. This is a big burden for the people's government. ... Having children is not a question that we can afford to let each family, each household, decide for itself. ... It is a question that should be decided at the national level. China is a socialist country. This means that the interests of the individual must be subordinated to the interests of the state. Where there is conflict between the interests of the state in reducing population and the interests of the individual in having children, it must be resolved in favor of the state.' " - Chi An
Quoted in Steven W. Mosher's, 'A Mother's Ordeal: One Woman's fight Against China's One-child Policy' ( New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993), p. 212-213.
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