Selected Quotes
from the Writings of Francis Neilson

Compiled by Edward J. Dodson

[P to S]


... Paine himself differentiated between natural rights and civil rights. In his controversy with Burke, Paine says: "Natural rights are those which appertain to man in right of his existence ... every civil right grows out of a natural right. ..." Paine is always clear about the difference, but it is not easy for students reared on modern political history to follow him; one reason for this being the nature of the conflicts in France and America in which he took a leading role. They were first and last political conflicts waged by politicians. That Paine was conscious of this is clearly shown in his essay called Agrarian Justice: "It is a position not to be controverted that the earth in its natural, uncultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the common property of the human race." Here he refers to those rights "which appertain to man in right of his existence." Furthermore, he distinguishes land value from improved value; the idea of landed property arose from the impossibility of separating the improvement made by cultivation from the earth itself, "but it is nevertheless true, that it is the value of the improvement only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property." The Eleventh Commandment, pp. 156-157]

Thomas Paine was thirty years old in 1767, when he taught at Gardiner's School in London. It should not be overlooked that the letters of Junius, which have been attributed to Paine, also appeared in that year. For seven years before he sailed for America, Paine had been at the very center of the Radical uprising in London, and the thought and style of Common Sense and The Crisis reveal the true source of their origin -- the English Radical school revived by John Wilkes. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.135]

Paine met Franklin in London in the years when John Cartwright wrote his ten letters, which appeared later under the title American Independence, the Interest and Glory of Great Britain. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.136]

Strangely enough, there was a time in our history when an English radical came to the assistance of two groups of men of utterly diverse views, when it was a question of maintaining a British colony or affirming the English right of having grievances redressed before granting supply. The man who appeared upon the scene was Thomas Paine, and he supplies the only case of an efffective radical who ever saw his ideas triumph. ...It is our good fortune that Paine hewed his own line and never for a moment changed his character as an English constitutional radical. ["A Revival of Political Radicalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.178]

Few realize the importance of Paine and by what means he educated the common people of this country in the principles of government which enabled them finally to throw off the Hanoverian yoke. Both Common Sense and The Crisis were epoch-making pamphlets, and they reveal a knowlege of the affairs of humankind that is far beyond anything produced by our mentors today. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.225]

Thomas Paine, in his observations upon "The French Declaration of Rights," says in a note:

There is a single idea which, if it strikes rightly upon the mind, either in a legal or a religious sense, will prevent any man, or any body of men, or any government, from going wrong on the subject of religion: which is, that before any human institutions government were known in the world, there existed ... a compact between God and man from the beginning of time; and that as the relation and condition which man in his individual person stands in towards his maker cannot be changed by any human laws or human authority, that religious devotion, which is a part of this compact, cannot so much as be made a subject of human laws; and that all laws must conform themselves to this prior existing compact, and not assume to make the compact conform to the laws which, besides being human, are subsequent thereto.

Religion did not spring from fear. Its origin came from the soul of thankful man who worshiped the Provider of the source of his needs who had given to him, as the classical writes tell us, the earth, the sun, and the rain for his happiness. Early man knew this far better than our philosophers. ["The Decline of Civilizations,"Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.273-274]


Before America entered the War of 1914-18 there were peace societies in the principal towns of this country, and they were so strong in membership and so vigorous in their campaigns that I was assured ... they were solidly behind the President's determination to keep the United States neutral. For five weeks before the fatal month of April, 1917, I spoke at many peace meetings and found the audiences eager to keep out of the war. ["Political Movements," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.239]


The last half of the nineteenth century witnessed the growth of many industrial and philanthrophic movements for providing men with libraries, night schools, co-operative societies, co-partnership schemes, and other ameliorative expedients in lieu of justice. The Eleventh Commandment, p.165]


It was Henry Macleod, the Scottish economist ... who, in his Elements of Political Economy, gave the clearest rendering of the physiocratic theory of natural rights. The Eleventh Commandment, p.151]


It is to Max Planck tht we must turn if we really desire to know what the true scientist is seeking.

"We see in all modern scientific advances that the solution of one problem only unveils the mystery of another. ...The aim of science is ... an incessant struggle towards a goal which can never be reached. Because the goal is of its very nature unattainable. It is something that is essentially metaphysical and as such is always again and again beyond each achievement."

...I should like the "progressives" to tell me frankly if I am to consider seriously this statement from Max Planck, or is it so contrary to all the ideas held by them that it should be cast aside as thought unworthly of a scientist? Here is my difficulty: whom as I to believe -- the scientists or the proponents of the "scientific method"? ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.31-33]


The conditions of Athens are laid bare, and not until Socrates rubs their noses in the mess do they realize how deep the mire of injustice goes under the fair face of that state. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.76]

So ages ago, justice was tumbling out at their feet. Glaucon and the others had been looking for something they would not know if they saw it, and it was not necessary to create the luxurious state. What chance of recognizing justice had they in a state at fever-heat, if they could not find her in the simple one? But the creation of the luxurious state gave Socrates the opportunity he desired of taking the lid off Athens and exposing her numberless rascalities. There, injustice in every form ws rampant: slavery, meddlesomeness and interference, assertions of unlawful authority, rebellious subjects -- "what is all this confusion and delusion but injustice and intemperance and cowardice and ignorance, and every form of vice?" he asks. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.81]


... there are two distinct books in The Republic, and the task of Socrates, defining justice, is contained in the first section -- the first four books, which might have been given the title -- "Justice." The second section, Books V-X, deals with the construction of the luxurious state. But the luxurious state is used antithetically, as a terrible example not to be followed, for the state finally constructed in the second section is the very reverse of luxurious; it is communistic, and not strictly that, because the question of the ownership of the land -- private or communal -- is left open. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.69]

... the conception of justice defined by Socrates was purely individualistic and utterly foreign to any conception of communism. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.69]

Justice is the true aim of the first section, and not the state, because the discovery of justice is essential for hte foundation of the economic state, and its nature and operation will determine the kind of state to be built. This search for the origin and nature of justice in the first four books of The Republic, when the Greek states were tottering, is one of the most vital contributions to philosophy bequeathed by ancient civilizations. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.71]


The first four books [of The Republic] reveal justice to be a form of pure individualism, for individualism, in the sense of a man being and acting the part of an individual in a free society, must have for an economic fundamental equality of opportunity to produce food, fuel, clothing, and shelter. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.82]


The object being justice, not the state. Then he points out the reason why the analogy is useful to their purpose: the state arises out of the needs of mankind. Here the state is a mere idea, as Kant would say. Socrates labours under no delusion, for he knew Athens, and that was state enough for his experience. Indeed, he starts the new approach by saying: "Let us begin and create in idea a state." In idea. The model will be a figment of the imagination, so unlike any concrete example that the very term state may be an absurd misnomer; ... [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.74]


... anybody can be a politician; no study is required; the observation of principles would be a waste of time; anybody who can be nominated and elected can be a legislator. No examination in an institution of learning is demanded. ...Years ago there was an idea abroad that such a person should know at least something of the principles of political economy, but no one now owuld dream of harbouring such an idea. Political democracy in practice is seemingly a system which dispenses with endowment and competency; the exceptions are known and granted. The Eleventh Commandment, p.183]

The political field is the only one to be found in any department of life that is without purpose, skill, and discipline. It is said: "No one knows how to govern; no one knows the function of government: politicians do not know how." [The Eleventh Commandment, p.185]


Polybius, in his Histories, tells us:

... We should therefore not shrink from accusing our friends or praising our enemies; nor need we be shy of sometimes praising and sometimes blaiming the same people, since it is neither possible that men in the actual business of life should always be in the right, nor is it probable that they should be always mistaken. ...

Such was the attitude of viewing affairs that he maintained when he wrote what Mahaffy described as "perhaps the greatest universal history, or history of the civilized world, attempted in old times." ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.197-198]


The modern legislator … seems to think two wrongs always make a right, and that there is no better way of reforming abuses than by government adopting the abuses that it frowns upon, if they be practiced by what now goes by the term "predatory interests." [ Man at The Crossroads, p.66]


When Price's fame reached America, the United States Congress beseeched him to settle in this country and to give his assistance in the regulation of the finances of the newly founded state. As a political philosopher he is second to none of the period. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.139-140]


The demand of consumers for goods depends largely on the price and the quality of the desired article, and this again depends upon the purchasing power of the people's money, the purchasing power of the bill when exchanged for the articles required by the household. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.130]


You cannot grant a privilege to one section of the community with the certainty that no other section of the community will ask for a like privilege. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.136]


…most of the rights that we hear about today are not rights at all; they are merely privileges strictly limited to what is called "high pressure groups." These controversies are clouded by all the vapors of sentimentalism and superficial notions of political economy, … [ Man at The Crossroads, p.135]


It is true we have perfected machines, but with all the new machines to aid us, we have discovered no new fundamentals. We move faster, with greater ease; we see farther; we record earthquakes; we discern almost the infinitesimal and, for the production of our food, fuel, clothing and shelter, we have made machines which reduce exertion almost to a minimum and yet, millions go hungry and ill-clad. …the more we pride ourselves on our achievements, the more surely poverty keeps step with progress. [ Man at The Crossroads, p. 86]


So property is wealth: primarily, food, fuel, clothing and shelter, and all the labor-products which are accessories in the production and use of these things. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.63]


What is property? It is wealth produced by labor, with the assistance of capital, from land. [ Man At the Crossroads, p.62]

Property is wealth, and wealth is matter moved by labor. The mover of wealth is the owner of wealth and, as owner of it, he has the right to bequeath it to anyone or to exchange it with anyone for other wealth. [Man at The Crossroads, pp.239-240]

The land on which his house is built is not produced by him. Therefore, …tracts of bare land cannot be property, for they are not wealth, and were not produced by labor. [Man At The Crossroads, p.63]

Property in an economic sense refers to what is produced by labour; that which can be owned, giving its producer right to its use and its enjoyment. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.88]


Numbes of the African tribes know that only what a man produces can be his own, and that he has the right to leave it to his heirs, exchange it, or give it away. In numbers of the tribes there is no such thing as private ownership of land; all land is held in trusteeship by the chief of the tribe. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.42]


Every State that has made an attempt to nationalize property has been forced to make an exemption with regard to the almost numberless articles that are required in daily use by the laborer. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.240]


Property rights in economics are easily defined, although lawyers have done everything they could, through the centuries, to sheer off from the fundamentals of the questions. It is the lawyer who is to blame for the complicated mess that exists - a mess so murky that it has completely hidden the bed-rock on which ownership of wealth is based. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.239]


The prophet was the rebel, the priest was the Tory, or, to put it after the English manner, the prophet was the true conservative, desiring to restore the law and custom of the land, and the priest at best was the Tory, multiplying forms to the detriment of the substance of law and custom. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.36]


It is a species of robbery which is waged under the banner of patriotism and nationalism. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.141]


Before man became so civilized as to be a meek tribute-payer, the only poverty he was likely to know was that occasioned by drought or flood. Yet even in such extreme cases of scarcity brought about by natural causes, he might have had a surplus of his own which would help him to survive periods of little or no harvest. Surplus taught him thrift, not only for seed, ftime of ill-fortune also. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.47]


It was a great misconception to treat the so-called Industrial Revolution as a cause of the impoverishment of the people. ... depopulation of the countryside was, and had been, taking place and that the migration of the country men to the towns resulted in a superabundant labor market, with the result that wages fell as prices of commodities rose. ["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.85]


The anachronism of involuntary poverty in a world containing the complete source of man's material needshas seemed so utterly at variance with the idea of a bountiful Creator, that great thinkers in all ages have been not only deeply perplexed at the incongruity, but urged ever and again to try to find the rason for it. Nothing so undermines man's faith in God as poverty. The misery and pain it breeds kill the spirit, and acceptance of it has done more to beget atheism than all the frnakly materialistic works of nineteenth-century scientists. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.93]

["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.]


…there is no hope at all of the poor and needy every escaping from the grip of poverty, so long as the politician has need of them,, not only for votes but for appropriations. The poor and needy are the essential pawns in the game. Furthermore, they must continue over long periods in their impoverished condition because they are serviceable for the purposes of oratory. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.183]


If [man] hath the power, through the development of scientific method, to war upon disease and conquer it, he hath the power, also, to conquer the problems of ignorance and poverty; but in order to succeed in doing this, he must treat fundamental economics as a science, and master the political difficulties of his own creation. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.8]


Fear came with legends, and legends brought priests, and then simple, pristine worship was merged after many generations with amultitudinous theogony. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.46]


Why should it be different with the priesthood of Israel? When was there an ancient priesthood that did not want as many of the good things as it could get? How great the difference was from that early covenant can be imagined by reading nay of the grievances of the early prophets. The old, simple, economic covenant which bound the individual to God was forgotten; a totally new system was substituted. Probably the new system had been growing up for years, and, as it grew, the old condition of working the land disappeared. The Eleventh Commandment, p.191]


It is never too late ... to return to First Principles. A mightly effort is called for to rehabilitate mankind on an economic basis. This effort calls for freedom -- freedom to use the earth, freedom to produce; freedom to do legitimately what one desires with his produce; to enjoy the gifts of the Creator and enjoying, know the relaxations which man needs to furnish his mind with thoughts of peace and kindness, to inspire his soul with the highest ideals. ["Henry George, The Scholar," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp. 80-81]


It has been demonstrated by many economists that land is not property, but the source from which property -- wealth -- is produced by labor, assisted by capital. It would make all the difference in the world if historians would turn their attention to fundamental economics before they undertake such a trying task as that of finding other reasons for the fall of nations than that which Pliny discovered when he said: "Great estates ruined Italy." ["Toynbee's Study of History," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.310]


The land on which one hundred and thirty millions of people exist must have sufficient value to yield all that is required in taxation for the purposes of a sane government and, so long as that source is there, and is scarcely taxed at all, the land being grossly undervalued everywhere, it is iniquitous to tax wealth. [ Man at The Crossroads, pp.68-69]


Anything connected with Socialism or Communism is labelled by loose thinkers here as "Radical." ...It might aid some of our presumptuous writers if they were to take the trouble to look into the history of British politics since the rise of the Whit party so that they might learn who the Radicals were and what they stood for. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.133]

...it is possible today to see the Philosophical Radicals in a new light. Many of their prophecies have been fulfilled. They pointed out the dangers that have gathered about parliamentary institutions since the beginning of the century. Indeed, some of them were seers and realized that, once the people departed from the Radical road, there was no choice but to go in the direction of Socialism. It was not Toryism they feared so much as it was bureaucratic rule. And no one will deny that today bureaucratic rule is destroying the people everywhere. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.141]

... the first duty of Liberals was to consider the question of involuntary poverty and the economic causes of it. This was the imperative of Liberal policy. But the Radicals had lost heart. They were dismayed at the Boer War, and they felt after the Khaki Election of 1900 that nothing was to be expected from Balfour's Government. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.148-149]

When I entered active politics in the year 1902, I soon realized that my ideas of Liberalism were held by comparatively few members and candidates. ...Very seldom did I meet a man who was inclined to listen to the cause of most of these distressing matters. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.150-151]

Liberalism was destroyed from within itself by alien forces that had used it only for their own purposes. ...Liberalism in nearly all its essentials was a creed of defiance. Its purpose was to attack the abuses suffered by the people and to demand that the old law should be reaffirmed and re-established. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.161]

There were two words linked together -- social justice -- which I consider did more to vitiate the principles of Liberalism expounded by Cobden than any others in the vocabulary of party politics. The use to which they were put became the abracadabra of Fabian-Liberal platforms. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.168]

The influence of Thomas Spence, William Ogilvie, Thomas Paine and Patrick Edward Dove -- to name only four of the great individualistic radicals who made reform possible -- spurred the English people to those great political efforts, extending over 150 years, which won back for them freedom from the tyranny of the House of Hanover. ["A Revival of Political Radicalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.185]

The men who led the movements from the date of the birth of radicalism were constitutionalists and thorough individualists. ["A Revival of Political Radicalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.191]

Perhaps one of the most remarkable of our deficiencies is the utter absence of a spirit of revolt in the masses -- the lack of demand for the restoration of rights. ...Surely the acid test of the political virility of a people is whether or not it has the courage to protest. ["The Decline of Civilizations,"Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.259]


What aims of economic reform in many lands were fostered a hundred years ago! And now bureaucracy sits safely and tightly upon the throne made for it by the taxpayers. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.77]

... the deeper problems, such as national and international economic questions, threatened to overthrow or subvert all the work of the reformers. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.165]


A man of ideas was Lycurgus, but, though he made powerful Spartans and kept his state disciplined in every department, the Helots, who made all the reforms possible, groaned under the yoke without hope. "In Sparta the freeman is more a freeman than anywhere else in the world, and the slave more a slave." The reforms of Lycurgus endured for some two hundred years, but they were reforms only and left the economic basis of the state, the exploitation of the many for the benefit of the few, intact. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.61]


The evil of the political system is that it never produced a man who could save it. There is no room in that system for a savior. All that the politician of the best type can do within the system, is to carry on. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.40]

The great difficulty to be faced is that of the social position of the would-be reformer. …Our reformers know little or nothing about the poor. …The so-called reforms that they suggest are sufficient evidence of this. As a rule, they see one specific abuse, and they go for that, without the slightest idea of what it will mean to the sufferers if that abuse be reformed. [Man at The Crossroads, p.193]

They do not realize that the creation of the bureaucrats will, undoubtedly, increase the expense of government, and throw greater burdens upon the workers. What is gained in order is lost in betterment. [Man at The Crossroads, p.194]

... the one-reform men, such as town-planners, profit-sharers, total-abstainers, education- and slum-reformers, were not looked upon as safe for forcing the government to deal with the full Cobdenite policy of thorough economic reform. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.155]


Today our movements languish because the masses have not been told the reasons for them with the withering pungency that the pamphleteers aimed at the injustices and imbecilities of the politicians of their time. ...I believe a movement destitute of a satirist or a poet cannot be effective, for it is like a knife without an edge. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.221]


What is called religion ... seems to be a very late development in the economic history of man. He had reached quite a high state of civilization when he worshipped the Creater, the earth, and the son of the union of the Father (Creator) and Mother (Earth). Other deities came much later. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.44]

It was gratitude, not fear, that prompted man to worship the first deity -- the Creator. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.45]

Man, the land animal, the tool-making producer, worshipped first the Creator who gave him the source from which he obtained his food, and then his fuel, and then his clothing. Gratitude surely came long before fear in the scheme of deity-making. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.45]


Nothing but a fundamentally religious institution can offer man the principles of justice he seeks. It must rid itself of all participation in politics if it is to succeed in being the dominant factor in the life of the people. It must be completely free from all those material interests of the state which have hindered its progress. The Eleventh Commandment, p.178]


Lactantius, who gave the clearest definition of religion, i.e., that which seeks to bind man to an invisible God, says that, when man ceases to be a dumb animal, he "begins to live in conformity with the will of God, that is, to follow jutice." [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.94]


The Renaissance was not a new birth; it was merelby a feeble attempt to revive Classicism. It failed because it was bound to fail. Although the Humanists deluded themselves into thinking that salvation was to be found in ephemeral schemes for the educative betterment of man, they failed to realize that man was a land animal and that he could not live or work without land. ["Henry George, The Scholar," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.79]


One of the great thinkers who advocated a United States of Europe was Ernest Renan. ...It would be impossible to recommend to the people of our movements a better treatise on the European situation (as it was before World Wars I and II poisoned the whole European atmosphere) than this essay, written by a patriotic Frenchman -- one of the most cultured European scholars of that day. In it Renan calls for an alliance between France, Germany, and England, but only as a basis for a European society. ...The argument that he develops is maintained by exposing the faults on both sides with a candor that is startling in its exceptional courage. ["Political Movements," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp. 234-235]


When there is only one source of revenue, government will be reduced to a minimum, and politicians will have to work as producers, or as persons who will render a positive service in science and arts to the community, when required. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.178]


It has taken long centuries to select from the remains of other civilizations certain men who, as sages, have stood the test of time. …But nobody pays any attention to the wise now. Why? Merely because they lived in the past and, as things now differ in degree, all must be different, and what the wise of classical times had to say about morals, conduct, business, love, hatred, war, peace and wealth, can have no meaning to the modern. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.59]


It is only since we came to live [at Harbor Acres, on Long Island, New York] that my mind has been liberated from the bonds of restraint. Here I have been able to shed the encumbrances civilization inflicts upon the urban dweller. The telephone rinks perhaps once a day. We see no evening paper. The work we have to do is so interesting that we could not spare an hour for television. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.291]


…there are no rights without duties. A right is an obligation which insures the rights of others. Take away the rights of a thinking individual and he will have no time to think of duties. Indeed, it may be said: no rights, no social obligations. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.125]


New covenants usually consolidate privileges gained by infringing the rights of the old one. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.10]


…it was not until he lost his right to use the earth, when the State born of conquest and robbery was set up, that he discovered he had lost his right to the full value of his produce. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.128]

Neither state nor citizen can deprive men of their rights; all it can do is to deprive a man of the exercise of his rights. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.97]


Natural right is prior to and independent of the State. It is the prince who makes the law, for the protection of his State. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.106]

The question of natural rights stood as a stumbling block for years and, while that obstacle lay in their path, they could make no progress whatever. Hence, the desire of the Fabians and Socialists to abolish natural rights, clear them out of the way and, in their place, confer the granting of "rights" of any and every description upon the State. [Man At The Crossroads, pp.108-109]

Rights, natural rights, inhere in the individual. They are born with him. Rights are created, not conferred. All the State can do is to grant, permit or confer privileges upon individuals or bodies of individuals. [Man At The Crossroads, p.115]

The primary rights of man are three: (1) the natural right of a man to himself, which includes the rights of freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and freedom of action. Without the right to himself, thought, speech and action cannot be used in his own defense nor as aids to his sustenance. (2) The natural right to use the earth, for the reason that he cannot draw food, fuel, clothing, and shelter from any other source. The earth is indispensable to him, as it is to any other animal. (3) The natural right to the product of his labor. [Man at The Crossroads, p.127]


Ancient man['s] ... rights antedate the state, for his rights are economic, or the magistrate bgefore he could freely use the capitalist, or the magistrate before he could freely use the earth to produce his sustenance. State rights, which are really not rights at all and ought to be called state privileges, must have come comparatively late in the development of man. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.46]


Is it merely coincidence that with the extension of the franchise and the growth of paternalistic and meddlesome departments and bureaucracies there is to be noticed a complete disappearance of those fundamental questions which burned so fiercely a generation ago? [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.138]


My contention is as follows: conscious of the value of his own rights, a man cannot fail to protect them by assuring his fellows that he places an equal value on their rights and that it is his duty, arising from his knowledge of the value of his own right, to act with regard to the rights of others as if they were his own to protect. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.125]


Professor Thorold Rogers, in his book, Cobden and Modern Political Opinion, unfolds the story of the conditions that prevailed in England when the Reform Bill was carried in 1832. This work is invaluable for a proper understanding of how the principles of the Whigs and Radicals were finally merged into the doctrine of Liberalism. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.132]

According to Thorold Rogers, the serf had not less than twelve acres of arable land and privileges in his lord's forests. But the slave was economically helpless because he was landless. ["The Decline of Civilizations,"Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.257]


The price paid by Rome for her civilization of glory and splendour must be reckoned in debt pillars, hungry freeman, slaves (native and foreign), branding irons, and chains. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.90]

Only in a world worn out by war and Roman ravage could a state linger on for centuries, dying by inches. It took six hundred years to find an undertaker: Alaric. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.91]


Take such a work at The Decline and Fall of the Hebrew Kingdoms, by Dr. Robinson, published in the Clarendon Bible Series, Oxford; compare it with even the best of the work done by scholars of the last century, and it seems to be ancient history from an altogether new standpoint. It gains tremendously in distinction because of the way in which it treats the economic problems which were the deep concern of the prophets. The Eleventh Commandment, p.188]


…the list of racketeering acts of this government, if given in length, would require a volume. Anyway, there is not one thing that the government has blamed business for doing in a nefarious manner, that it has not perpetrated day in and day out for the past five years. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.75]

Racketeering is practiced upon defenseless people in the form of exacting tribute. The racketeering of the government, as practiced upon industry, differs in no vital respect, safe one…, for it must be understood that the intention of the government in its method of practicing this science is made clear now; to single out the people of means (which in America is taken to be those who are industrious) and exact tribute from them, which, in other words, means that they are to be penalized for their industrial exertions. [Man at The Crossroads, p.81]

No one thinks it strange, in what is supposedly a democratic country, legislating through the media of parliamentary institutions, that only a very small percentage of the men in league with the administration have any commercial knowledge or business reputation. The vast majority are mere odds and ends of law schools who would certainly never think of going to Congress if they had shown the competence and ability to succeed at the Bar. [Man at The Crossroads, p.83]

Of course, nobody now believes for a moment that the "emergency" which came when he took office in 1933, amounted to anything more than a peculiarly shallow pretext for building up a bureaucracy of enormous strength, and gathering about him an army of yes-men. [Man at The Crossroads, p.167]

It is property the advisors of the President seem to be after; the property of private individuals, for they find that confiscation practiced through the process of income tax penalties may not yield sufficient to keep the poor and needy on their voting register as long as they desire. [Man at The Crossroads, p.210]

Whereas Lincoln and his party emancipated the Black Slaves, the present Executive and his party are enslaving the White folks. In plain terms, it comes to this: that if the government is to remain solvent, all labor - men, women, yes, and children, too - will have to produce the wealth that will meet this bill. [Man at The Crossroads, pp.256-257]


Russell says: "To lose faith in knowledge is to lose faith in the best of man's capacities." ... True enough, but there are many kinds of knowledge, and the knowledge which is called scientific would not fill a very large volume if it were divested of hypothetical aids and heuristic fictions. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.19]


Perhaps the only chance that is left is to revive the religious and economic conditions of the early culture. Depopulation of the cities, as a result of a return to the land, might lead to salvation -- economic and spiritual. ["The Decline of Civilizations," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.270]


The firt work to be written upon the principles of Liberalism came from the pen of Herbert Samuel, now Lord Samuel. Liberalism, Its Principles and Proposals was published in 1902... The author told us that the purpose of it was to produce in a compact form the leading principles on which the action of the Liberal party was based. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.146]


"Since I have shown that, even, at the present time, all the ground is not occupied economically, this must mean that it has been pre-empted politically. Since land could not have acquired 'natural scarcity,' the scarcity must have been legal. This means that the land has been pre-empted by a ruling class against its subject class and settlement prevented. Therefore, the state as a class state can have originated in no other way than through conquest and subjugation." [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.129]


Schopenhauer, who has been considered a second-rate philosopher by a few of our modern instructors, is now shown, by some of the deepest students of our day, to be not only a man whose erudition was extraordinary but also one of the most profound thinkers of the nineteenth century. To him history was far more than a mere record of kings and politicians, the intrigues of statesmen, the trafficking of diplomatists, and the stories of their wars; history to him was what it was to the Greeks -- a vessel into which were poured the joy and sorrow of the life of the people. ["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.108]


J.W.N. Sullivan says that when he asked Schroedinger "whether he thought the present great creative activity in science was some sort of substitute for the creative activity, now so sadly lacking, that used to go into art and religion, he [Schroedinger] replied ... that such a view altogether exaggerated the importance of science. ..."We get used to theories we don't understand, and forget their contradictions quite cheerfully," Schroedinger remarked. ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.28]


Presumably, economic truth, so simple as the fact that man is a land animal, cannot be determined by an isolated individual. Early man had to wait until a group of sociologists or philosophers appeared upon the scene before he could say with any degree of certainty at all, that he depended upon the earth for the gratification of his desires and needs. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.103]

Surely the scientific method in quest of the origin of disease should consider what civilizations of economic dislocation have done to break down mankind's powers of resistance and make man the prey of disease. ...When will the scientific method be applied to the economic causes of the tragedies of existence, viz. poverty, crime, and disease? [The Eleventh Commandment, p.18]


... from the day when devotion to the "scientific method" was introduced into the classroom of colleges, an educated person has been looked upon as a curiosity and is still regarded as a highbrow. ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.2]


No matter how many labor-saving appliances are invented, none of these things gives [man] the leisure to explore the cravings of the spirit, and he finds it just as hard to make a living today as it was in the time of his grandfather. Many tell me that it is harder and that there is less chance of security. ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.37]


…the reason for this disinclination to fend for oneself on a few acres is not economic but social. It is said the country is too dull for the town-bred man and, when winter comes and snow keeps him penned up during the long nights, he does not know what to do with himself. As for living with books, and complaining that the night is not long enough, such a thing would be unheard of now. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.250]

[M]en who know the secret of the means of life need not gifts, for they can produce wealth. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.59]


When I reached London in 1897, Shaw was dramatic critic for the Saturday Review. At that time he was deep in the study of Henry George's Progress and Poverty. He has attributed his interest in fundamental economics t this work, although nowhere in his writing does he reveal an understanding of George's definitions of economic terms. He gave it up because it would take too long to put the theories of George into practice, and he confesses he turned to Karl Marx's Das Kapital because it would accomplish the same end in a shorter time. [ My Life in Two Worlds, pp.240-241]


The practice of a healthy skepticism is necessary for the man who has some respect for his own character and his spiritual integrity. If he would protect himself from the virus of false reports and deliberate mendacity, he must weigh carefully the statements publicized by the governments, their press and radios, and even those which come from the pulpits and lecture halls of the universities. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.197]

Without knowledge it is utterly unreasonable to expect the healthy skepticism that is necessary to defeat the purposes of the war-making politicians. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.214]

It may be that a knowledge of the past will make men conscious of the necessity for healthy skepticism in all things, and in a few generations the blight of ignorance may be eradicated. What is wanted is a spiritual purge to eliminate from the body politic the ideas that have been rampant in men's minds and which have worked for their destruction. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.218]


Slavery was responsible for checking man's desire for cleanliness and battering down the gates of his resistance. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.7]


…the relics of no civilization show that the freeman suffered restrictive laws to the extent that the freeman suffers under the State today. Most of the restrictions of which we know, that were imposed in classical times, fell upon the slave, and he was called a slave. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.26]

... after the development of political liberty it was left to modern statesmen to discover a new way of making slaves, and that other necessary steps in the progress of humanity, as set down in the treaties, have caused such suffering in all parts of the world that many think the horrors of primitive warfare must have been short and mild by comparison. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.164]


Exploitation of labour began with conquest when tribute was exacted by conquerors for the use of land. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.43]


God and Moses ... did not abolish slavery merely by pasting over it a political label, franchise, and that way make the labourer think he was any the less a slave. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.7,8]


It is a pity that The Theory of Moral Sentiments was withdrawn from publication and that it was overshadowed by the author's great work, The Wealth of Nations. That the latter should come from the same mind as the former is, perhaps, one of the most extraordinary performances of a philosopher. The Wealth of Nations gains enormously when it is considered with the philosophy of the earlier work. The Eleventh Commandment, p.110]

Adam Smith came to the conclusion that "civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is, in reality, instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all." ["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.121]


The question of natural rights stood as a stumbling block for years and, while that obstacle lay in their path, they could make no progress whatever. Hence, the desire of the Fabians and Socialists to abolish natural rights, clear them out of the way and, in their place, confer the granting of "rights" of any and every description upon the State. [ Man At The Crossroads, pp.108-109]

…Gronland tells us that the State and organized society are one and the same, which must mean … that organized society and the State represent an harmonious whole functioning in accordance with laws enacted for the benefit of the people as a whole. Whether this be true or not can be determined by considering the economic differences which exist between producers and bureaucrats. This has always been the acid test of the validity of such notions. Herein lies the fatal flaw in the theory of Socialism as it is laid down in the proposals and conceptions of the scheme for the equal benefit of all. How can there be equal benefit when producers have to work to supply the needs of the non-producers? [Man At The Crossroads, p.112]


There is a striking difference between the addle-headed "liberal" Socialist of today and his fellow of a generation ago. Most of those who flirted with such notions before the turn of the century lived long enough to see the errors of their thought. Those of today are piling error upon error, and may not live long enough to verify the economic validity or expediency of their error-born theories. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.241]


There is one thing the sociologist has always forgotten in this business of data-collecting, and that is that humanity is not an industry. None of the ideas or conceptions they hold are applicable to masses of men and women. They are individuals - each man, each woman, is an individual - and no matter how the sociologists strive, along with the bureaucracy, to shape them into an homogeneous mass, they must fail because of the infinite variety of likes and dislikes of the herd. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.100]

And the most farcical thing about it is that the sociologists have the temerity to call their business a science. [Man At The Crossroads, p.101]

...a united social body is indispensable to the legal sociologist; he cannot make a move without it; not as a family, father, or chief, came the mere creation of the intellect to labour and produce, but as a member of a society, a social trade union, from which he had to get a card before he could get a right. What right? Right to do what? What were the rigghts he lost, and, when he entered the social environment, regained? [The Eleventh Commandment, p.126]


…specialization and compartmentalizing workers make it difficult to see clearly that it is labor, even though we call it by the other name consumers, that employs capital. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.95]


Within a few short yers after Spengler's work was published, his warnings became realities we had to acknowledge. Caesarism was upon us before we knew it. How incredibly short the time has been since the chief nations of Europe and of this hemisphere looked to the future with hope! Within three-quarters of a century the whole condition of the world has been changed. ["The Decline of Civilizations," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.258]


Spengler says: "To ascribe social purposes to Jesus is a blasphemy. His occasional utterances of a social kind, so far as they are authentic and not merely attributed sayings, tend merely to edification. They contain nothing whatever of new doctrine, and they include proverbs of the sort then in general currency." ...It is blasphemy to ascribe mere social purposes; that is, using social purposes with a nineteenth-century connotation. But Spengler is surely wrong when he says that Jesus's utterances of a social kind contian nothing whatever of new doctrine. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.245]


…the Bible is the only work which contains everything worth knowing. No branch of literature that can be thought of has been omitted from its books. It contains even the rudiments of natural science; and in the Book of Job, there is the undercurrent of the notions of the rationalists. …And as for philosophy, Ecclesiastes covers in short compass the alpha and omega for those who ponder the great problem of a way of life. [ My Life in Two Worlds, pp. 294-295]


In all worships the Creator provided the source of food before creating man. No creator, not one, in any of the ancient worships made man before the earth was made. All was done for man. The primitive creature had a sounder economic understanding of the wisdom of creation than have most of our modern philosophers. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.52]

Giving thanks, grace, is the oldest ceremony, and all the ritual of the ancients ... concerned with selecting, gathering, preparing, cooking, and serving food, bears witness to the sacred fact that worhship began when the active factor in production, man, used the passive factor, land, for the satisfaction of his desires and needs. [The Eleventh Commandment, pp. 53-54]


The word "State" is difficult enough to define even when the order is simply and the area of jurisdiction comparatively small. …It is impossible to think of a State without speculating upon the reason for its creation. Really there is no such thing as a State qua "State," for we are told that the State is the body politic organized for supreme rule and government. But this definition fits no State within our knowledge. It refers to an ideal State; not to the State, in practice, which, by no stretch of the imagination, can be held to an organization of the body politic for supreme rule. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.46]


The State is a guardian of the rights of the individual, and the State has no other function. When the State, or the directors of it, assume to control the legitimate efforts and expressions of its people, it becomes very soon merely a sum of legalized relations, and a government composed of a body of influential politicians who desire to control the activities of the community. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.116]


…it is utterly impossible to set up even a beneficent State, without creating the evil of a parasitic class. It may be said that governors serve in directing, and controlling, and preserving order, in maintaining the army, the navy, and the police. This is true enough; they do so in the beneficent State. But they, as governors, re, nevertheless, parasites, for they add nothing whatever to the production of wealth, and they ought never to be included in such services as those which minister to the legitimate needs and desires of man. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.32]

It should be plain to the thinking man that the evil of setting up a parasitic class, which began with the creation of the first State (call it a bureaucracy or what you will) has never changed in any particular, save that of becoming greater and more and more iniquitous in its greed for power. [Man At The Crossroads, p.35.]

So long as the "political means," government, was conducted by astute men who kept expenses low and opposed the growth of the bureaucracy, the "economic means" could be exploited with as little pain as the maintenance of the system permitted. But when the political means was submerged in ever-growing bureaucracies, both the exploiters and the exploited were crushed without the slightest sentimental compunction. [The Eleventh Commandment, pp.132-133]


…the most noticeable symptom of decay of the State, that observers describe, is the form of anarchy which affects nearly all classes from the underworld to the very powers, legislative and judicial, to which we should look for safeguarding the best interests of society. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.30]

It is the same old story of the growth of the state: the exploitation of the many for the benefit of the few. And, like all states, [Hammurabi] toppled from the height of its grandeur when slavery reached the maximum, undermined by the economic cancer upon which it rose to greatness. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.58]

... every political machine of the past failed to save the state; as it grew in size and complexity, it became top-heavy and could not be supported by the impoverished and rebellious people. ...That strange hope, always unfounded, that one civilization will escape the consequences of economic evil practised by its predecessor, always blurs the vision of the well-intentioned investigator. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.153]


…if we have reached the stage when it is absolutely necessary for a bureaucracy to do the thinking for individual producers and consumers, then man has ceased to be what he was! The State is the enemy of man. The State has undertaken to do practically all the thinking for him, at least so far as all necessaries are concerned, and has consequently reduced him to a mere body afflicted with inanition of thought for himself. [ Man at The Crossroads, p. 88]

There never was a State whose chief interest was the preservation of the wealth of its people. Such a thing is impossible under a political system. …All are crying out for privileges and licenses, but scarcely anyone shows the slightest desire to have rights restored. [Man At The Crossroads, p.107]

To raise so ponderous and massive a thing as the state to protect rights of no value seems strange, though men have done strange things to protect themselves. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.126]

The government is what the electorate permits it to be. ...The taxpayer is now the servant of the state. He toils for a bureaucracy that does not spin. He is no longer in command. ...All the warnings expressed by the Founding Fathers and many of their followers are forgotten. Truth to tell, they were extraordinary prophets, for many of their predictions have come true. ...changes have taken place which are so thoroughly opposed to the ideas of Washington and Jefferson that thoughtful men despair of the people ever regaining control of their government. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.206-207]

Whatever it is that undermines the vigor and resolution of the mass of the people, there is undoubtedly something organic that is wrong, and no injections of the serum of Fascism or Bolshevism can renew the tissue which formerly gave power to the people. ["The Decline of Civilizations,"Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.254]


The basis of this state must be common ownership of land. The business of supplying the demands for food, dwellings, and clothing is not handicapped at the outset by landlords, solicitors, or bailiffs. The husbandman, the builder, the weaver, and the shoemaker are not so far retricted; as producers they have equal opportunity to use the source from which they will produce the supplies. Rent, taxes, tariffs, and charitable contributions have not been invented yet. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.]


...it is commonplace criticism that the bureaucratic and juristic state is no longer serviceable. It is overgrown, top-heavy, not worth its cost, and, worse, gives no hope at all of producing a statesman who might reform it from within. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.124]


The pet theory that the family is the foundation of the State can only be imagined by looking back on the mammoth, the monkey or the mouse, and considering any one of them as likely creatures, because of their parenthood, for forming a State. It is, of course, very hard to imagine our standing with the first man, in the midst of his family, and looking forward to the time when somebody would invent the State for him. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.11]

…early man had no one to advise him, no one to provide for him, and no one to restrict his movement. He was left entirely to himself. He was without politician, without police, without social or State aid in any particular. [Man At The Crossroads, p.12]

There would never have been a State … unless there was something worth taking: the property of the producer. [Man At The Crossroads, p.61]

Perhaps it would be as well if the builders of the new conceptions took the trouble to find out what was basically wrong with the old before the crash comes. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.128]

It is a long leap historically, as old records reveal, from men born in economic freedom to the slave basis of the state. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.158]

There are people now publishing ponderous tomes who seem to imagine that the group preceded the individual. History, however, must begin with man and his needs: no man, no community; no community, no state; no state, no civilization. This seems to me the sequence which should be adopted by historians who inquire into the growths of civilizations. ["Toynbee's Study of History," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.303]


When the crash came in 1929, I was quite unprepared to meet it; and if I had been prepared, I would probably have but put off, because my American friends in London (where I was at the time) never dreamed it would be so severe. I was advised to hold on, although my better sense told me that things were going to be worse. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.132]


It seems to me that the term "superstition," as it was used by the agnostics of the eighteenth century, has been misapplied by our sponsors of the "scientific method," with the result thta it has engendered a prejudice. And it may be pointed out that the religious field is only one in which "superstition" is cultivated. The political field is so full of superstition, as all history shows, that it has become a byword. ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.7]


The earth itself is not only the storehouse of every need of man, it is also the storehouse of everything that can do him harm. …But experience, which was essential, taught him what was to be avoided and why he should seek shelter from the elements, and discover regions where he might live in security. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.3.]

We know why certain creatures disappeared from the earth. The altered conditions of terrain, climate, and food supply, account largely for their disappearance. But man surmounted not only all these difficulties; he also overcame the innumerable vicissitudes which beset him in pillage, slavery, and war. …man is here, and man is proving slowly but surely that he can conquer disease. [Man At The Crossroads, pp.5-6]

…natural fears, if they may be so called, forced [man] to think of means of defense, and the occupation of searching for food was made doubly intensive by having to think constantly of how he could preserve himself against attack. [Man At The Crossroads, p.17]


Man must labor to satisfy his desires and needs, and in this labor he becomes an artist, by providing himself first with sustenance, with the expenditure of the least exertion. Indeed, we might say that every achievement that man has wrought springs from the fact that he was the only animal to learn that he could repdocue his own food. ["Toynbee's Study of History," ["Toynbee's Study of History," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.294]

Man cannot be understood unless he is regarded as a land animal who must use the source the Creator has provided for his sustenance. All history arises from man's primal activity; in truth, here is the genesis from which the historian must work. However much they may differ in their early development and afterwards, to the cultural rise of the best-ordered state, they all begin in the same way. ["Toynbee's Study of History," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.295]

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