Selected Quotes
from the Writings of Francis Neilson

Compiled by Edward J. Dodson

[A - H]


When I undertake a task, it takes possession of me. It absorbs my mental and physical energy and lets me have little or no time for any other business. Perhaps that is why I get so much done. To do it as well as I know how, in the shortest time, with the least mental expense, has always been my rule, and it has saved me from the anxieties of indecision and uncertainty of attack. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.180]


I can very well understand how the reader of today, so short of real schooling, would turn from The Law of Civilization and Decay as being merely the opinion of one man -- Brooks Adams. Not knowing the world of thought that lies behind this work it is not likely that he would be impressed by it. ...But Brooks Adams' volume is one tht any intelligent person can read from beginning to end and, in some respects, he has a clearer economic knowledge than Spengler had. ["The Decline of Civilizations,"Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.268-269]

Neither Adams nor Spengler mentions the findings of Sir Henry Maine, nor do they seem to realize that the simple economic principles of the springtimes they refer to as having passed away still exist in not a few Indian communities. And, yet, both men seem to be conscious that the historyless people survive. ["The Decline of Civilizations,"Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.270]


Adaptability in man is an art; in the animal it is merely a necessity. …Man, however, can visit any of the regions, and adapt himself to the climatic conditions he finds there. …This special art he has learned, how to protect himself in any clime and in any situation, is his gift and his gift only. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.25]


Perhaps Aristotle is to blame for leading so many philosophers astray. When he laid down the axiom, "Man is by nature a political animal," he, mayabe, unwittingly, started many philosophical theologians and sociologists off on the wrong scent. The Eleventh Commandment, p.159]

Aristotle did not know any more than most philosophers know what Socrates was driving at. Aristotle's Ethics are those of a freeman of a state based on slavery. Socrates' ethics antedate slavery. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.160]


A man without books of wisdom is like a ship without a rudder. Yet, it is far beyond one man's power to keep apace with the avalanche of works put out by the presses season after season. All the student can do is to select those that will add to his knowledge and stimulate his thought, and I find now that nothing the masterpieces of the past. Indeed, living in the past in this way has always been a source of rejuvenation. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.286]


The bureaucracy is what is left of the middle form of the state, that is: the organization of the political means for exploitation of the economic means. The Eleventh Commandment, p.182]

Bureaucratic tyranny is of long life, and once a vested interest is set up, it is hard to shift. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.226]


Joseph Butler, the author of The Analogy of Religion, was born twelve years before Locke died. If philosophy means the search for truth, Butler was a great philosopher. He saw the truth in man's kinship with the Creator. Without revealing any of the technique of the fundamental economist, he struck to the core of economic truth. The earth ws given to man to enjoy, and to this end all man was commanded to do was to labour and observe justice. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.100]


...the creature born of superstition has an idea that, whoever created the earth, it is the only source from which food can be produced, and that the odd thing about it all is this: that the easier labour-saving machines tend to make production, the harder it becomes for labour to make a living. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.20]


In certain circles he established a reputation as a writer on political affairs, and his pamphlet on American Independence, published in 1774, made a great impression upon the politicians. It was followed by Take Your Choice, perhaps the earliest work on parliamentary reform. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.137-138]

Cartwright expressed the true Radical principle when he said: "Moderation in conduct is wisdom, but moderation in principle is dishonour, and moderation in justice is injustice. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.139]


No one knows better than the workless object of charity that man does not live by bread alone, for bread in lieu of work is a poison which kills the spirit while it soothes the stomach. The Eleventh Commandment, p.178]


One striking feature of the production of works on Jesus during the past ten years is the number of titles which do not mention Christ or the gospels. ...This may not be as significant as it appears, for the rationalist attitude of hte last century has not changed much. Perhaps there is now less desire to support the notion of a myth, since so many serious works have appeared giving more and new historical data concerning the life of Jesus. The Eleventh Commandment, p.175]

Whether the gospel stories of [Jesus] are legends or not may be material for the controversionalists, but there is other matter of far greater consequence to be considered, and whether it be established that Jesus live, or did not exist, makes little or no difference to the value of the message contained in the gospel. The Eleventh Commandment, p.176]

Jesus was a religious anarchist in the highest sense: "The kingdom (reign) of God is within you!" [The Eleventh Commandment, p.177]


There is this to say about his career: it is unique in the history of England. There never was a politician who found refreshment with so many strange bedfellows. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.252]


To know merely "something" of the Constitution, a "little" of the history of the country, and to be "slightly" familiar with the burning questions of the day, is no test of the political intelligence of the voter. Yet, judging from the reports of educationalists, certainly not ten percent of the people who go to universities would be able to qualify. [Man at The Crossroads, p.150]

The youth of today would have been considered an ignoramus when I was working my way in this country fifty years ago, and the youth of our time here, contrasted with the English youth, is deficient in the most elementary knowledge which should enable him to become a responsible citizen. [Man at The Crossroads, p.253]


It is only when a culture begins to decline that sight of the purpose is lost. There may have been delays, accidents and diversions, halting now and then the progress of man; but all these must have been in the nature of lessons which reminded him that he was not keeping his face towards the goal. [Man At The Crossroads, pp.1-2]

In the last phases of old civilizations statesmanship lost technique and vigour; the luxuries and attendant anxieties of imperial old age brought on senility and incapacity. Political change brought no beneficial reform because one party succeeded for the perquisites of office. The fundamental causes of collapse in all ancient states were alike. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.122]


In histories of civilization, the authors, as a rule, present man as a social and, sometimes, as a political animal. Philosophers for thousands of years have disregarded man as an economic animal. Long before he reached a social stage, or was enmeshed in any political scheme, man was not far removed from the instinctive routine of animal existence. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.11]

There are such wide differences of opinion among anthropologists and sociologists as to the economic nature of the beginnings of peoples, that it is almost impossible for the student to arrive at anything like a clear understanding of when and how the land-tilling peasants became tribute-paying subjects or slaves of conquerors. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.40]

Civilization is not a system that springs full fledged from the ground. The state -- political institutions -- is founded in areas where there are men cultivating the land, because the state cannot come into being and thrive without taking part of the produce of the laborers. ["Toynbee's Study of History,"Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.288]

No civilization has yet been discovered that did not have its beginnings in conquest. The farther back we go in history, the more abundant is the evidence that the ancient state was reared where agriculture was practiced by defenseless people. ["Toynbee's Study of History,"Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.288]


It seems that the condition prevailing for a long time, possibly for three or four centuries after the settlement, was that of peasant communities; the small farmer, with his family, tilling the plot and providing for the house. there is no evidence at all of communism or socialism; evidently, the farmer enjoyed the work of his own hands. Under this system of economic individualism a sturdy race grew up, but at some time the weaker brethren, who, because of lack of skill, illness, or thriftlessness, were forced to borrow from their neighbors, found themselves in debt and gradually sank to the positionof landless labourers -- slaves. The Eleventh Commandment, p.189]


The rise of man from the stage of primitive agriculture, when he took a fixed abode, to the stage of the organization of the primitive community and the beginning of the state, marks a period of well-being in history overlooked by modern recorders. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.55]


One of those who wish to see the native radical appear once more upon the political scene is Dr. James Bryant Conant, president of Harvard University. It is plain from the first two sections of his article that the radical Dr. Conant is in search of would satisfy neither an English radical nor an American one, ... ["A Revival of Political Radicalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.177]

Neither Paine nor Jefferson will do as models of the radical Dr. Conant is seeking. Indeed, I doubt very much whether he is sure of the type of man who would do for the job... This leads me to the belief that Dr. Conant would not know an English radical if he met one. ["A Revival of Political Radicalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.180]

Why should anyone from Harvard, of all places in this country, imagine that art and culture were at any time a special privilege of the few? ...Who throngs the gallaries of Europe and America? The privileged aristocrats or the proletariat? ...I should humbly suggest that Dr. Conant begin his inquiries as to the type of persons the English radicals were by forgetting all he has read about the Fabians, who date from 1883. ["A Revival of Political Radicalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.188]


Many of his censures cannot be understood without a knowledge of the conditions described in the Li Ki. He said to his pupils: "Remember this, my children, oppressive government is fiercer and more feared than any tiger." [The Eleventh Commandment, p.48]


… classics are out of date, and well they may be, because to a thoughtful modern, a classic is a most uncomfortable work to read. The uneasy conscience of modern lawmakers is quick to discover how differently things were done in the early history of man. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.28]


It is only in his [Cobden's] speeches and writings ... that I find the bedrock of Radicalism upon which the Liberalism of Gladstone's policy was built. ...The principles of Cobden are principles that do not change. They remain impervious to all the political, diplomatic, industrial, and social evils that perplex the minds of clergymen, politicians, sociologists, and latter-day philosophers. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.131]

Cobden had left to the Radicals of the Liberal party a special mission to be promulgated from their platforms, and that was to deal with the land question as he had dealt with protective tariffs. He counselled them to revalue the land of the country and to levy taxes upon it. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.145]


Cooperation can be voluntary or compulsory, and if the people of the commonwealth have their "rights" conferred on them by the State, then it must be a compulsory organization. Compulsion under such a system is vital. On the other hand, it is impossible to have a cooperative commonwealth that is not based upon natural rights, for if it is to be cooperative, there must be harmony, and harmony can only be obtained in a commonwealth when the people are free to unit, if they so desire. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.113]


For anyone to suggest that politicians will ever be so courageous as to investigate the working of the Stock Exchange while a boom is in process, is only another form of credulity ofthe kind fostered by fatherly fabians. The Eleventh Commandment, p.180]


Sometimes I felt my writing was at an end; that suddenly I had become old. And, yet, I was afraid, if I let down, I would lose my nerve. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.152]


... Lycurgus [of Laconia] hit upon a political expedient for overcoming averice. "He withdrew all gold and silver money from currency and ordained the use of iron money only." ...At a stroke he solved the gold and silver questions of Laconia and put an end to bribery, corruption, and theft. For, "when this (iron) money obtained currency, many sorts of iniquity went into exile." Gangsters, boodlers, keepers of harlots, racketeers, and gamblers found no graft, spoil, or tribute in Laconia. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.60]


…was ever a greater fraud exercised upon innocent people than that of paying gold certificates with a fifty-nine cent dollar? And yet, the Executive was, in all probability, quite conscious that the reduction of the gold content of the dollar was an unmitigated fraud, … [ Man at The Crossroads, p.75]


In the history of nationsl we can no longer ignore the manisfestation of cycles and repetition of growth and deterioration. ["The Decline of Civilizations," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.261]


So strange is the turmoil of ideas of our historians, economists, and sociologists that it is almost impossible to find anyone today who can define such terms as "radical," "liberal," "socialist" or "communist." ["A Revival of Political Radicalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.175]


Democracy in the purest sense of the term must have been established at the beginning, and came to an end only when the original democrats had made estates for themselves which were worth stealing. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.145]


A democracy without some sense of freedom for all its people is nothing more than a political masquerade. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.164]

Somehow this nebulous thing -- democracy -- so often referred to in the journals, survives in spite of all "religious faiths and metaphysical beliefs." ["Education and Modern Man," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.53]


Political democracy is at last what its severest critics said it would become in this country. It is the preserve of the unscrupulous politician. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.164]

…political democracy is a wobbly thing, and depends entirely upon the individual for the meaning that is given to it, and not upon the principles that are inherent in the idea. [Man at The Crossroads, p.168]

One would be hard put to it to find a really democratic state. Such a thing never existed; and, indeed, so long as men are men will never exist. A state without class distinction is a political impossibility, for the greatest snobs have always been those who have made their own way in life. A self-made men rise in affluence, their desire for social exclusiveness increasees. ["Education and Modern Man," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp. 51-52]


How many depressions are necessary before statesmen and financiers learn the great fact which looms large today, that each depresion shows increasing cost of government and at the same time shows the taxable area steadily diminishing? ...When will the people be told the truth, that the national effort -- the great emergency -- must become a habit and that balancing the budget really means spreading the fiscal net wider to catch small fry? [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.143]


I am at a loss to understand how such a student as Dr. Dewey could misconstrue the efforts of the Greeks and the attempts of the medievalists to apply the laws of reason to supernatural problems. ...[H]e constrasts two entirely different subjects: Greek science and medieval theological philosophy. He does not contrast Greek science and medieval science or Greek theological philosophy with that of the Middle Ages. ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.15]


Dr. Dewey's horror of looking back amuses me because he does not seem to realize that, at his best, he is the product of the past. He could not live and mvoe and have his being without the tradition that brought him forth. I suppose it is all very well to have one's eye fixed upon the future if vision can penetrate the density of the fog in which we live, but I see no valid reason why Dr. Dewey should not take a look back now for the purpose of picking up again some of the best threads of the tradition we have carelessly dropped during the past fifty years. ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.21]


In a recent number of Fortune, Dr. John Dewey goes to some pains ... to restate the truth as he sees it. The first point that he makes is:

"We are told that scientific subjects have been encroaching upon literary subjects, which alone are truly humanistic. We are told that zeal for the practical and utilitarian has resulted in displacement of a liberal education by one that is merely vocational, one that narrows the whole man down to that fraction of his being concerned with making a living. ..."

Nowhere in the article does my learned colleague tell us who made the protest that "scientific subjects have been encroaching upon literary subjects." No one I know whould make such an absurd statement. Science and the liberal arts ... have been sister studies in the universities for at least a thousand years. ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.12]


For sheer incompetence, chicanery, and audacious misrepresentation, Western politcians and editors during the past fourteen years have established a record without rival in the past and not likely to be matched in the future. They and their misinformed supporters destroyed Europe. The Eleventh Commandment, p.116]


Here is a little-known work, which succeeds in uniting faith and reason in the most illuminating way. ...It contains an abundance of essential information. Dove's mind was alert and penetrative. The Eleventh Commandment, pp. 110-111]

He says men never go backward, they always go forward, and he ridicules the idea that justice can be restored only the redivision of the lands. He points out that such a division would not only be useless, but quite improper. He says such a scheme would be "more than useless -- it is unjust; and unjust,not to the present so-called proprietors, but to the human beings who are continually being born into the world, and who have exactly the same natural right to a portion that their predecessors have. ...The actual division of the soil need never be anticipated, not woudl such a division be just, if the divided portions were made the property (legally, for they could never be so morally) of individuals." ...Dove points out that successive generations of men cannot have their fractional share of the actual soil: "How can a division of the advantages of the natural earth be effected?" Then Dove makes the following reply:

By the division of its annual value or rent; that is, by making the rent of the soil the common property of the nation. That is (as the taxation is the common proeprty of the state), by taking the whole of the taxes out of the rents of the soil, and thereby abolishing all other kinds of taxation whatever. ...

[The Eleventh Commandment, pp. 112-113]


Duguit, professor of law in the university of Bordeaux, says in his Law in the Modern State: "However little we may like it, the evidence conclusively demonstrates that the ideas which formerly lay at the very base of our political systems are disintegrating. Systems of law under which, until our own time, society has lived, are in a condition of dislocation. The new system that is to replace it is built on entirely different conceptions." Few will oppose this notion. Indeed, 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]


Long before the appearance of the New Dealers that Roosevelt gathered round him, I had tested the economic intelligence of the type of academician who was afterwards collected into what was called the Brain Trust; and I had found most of them incapable of giving precise definitions of fundamental economic terms. Therefore, in dealing with George as a scholar, I intended to enlighten, if possible, the gentlemen who were taking payment for teaching their pupils political economy and who were lacking in a knowledge of the real meaning of such terms as land, labor, capital, and property. [ My Life in Two Worlds, pp.175-176]

Tell a professorial economist that the first man was the first economist, because every day of his life he had a demonstration of fundamental economics in process, and he would not know what on earth you were talking about. [Man At The Crossroads, p.91]


In my travels over the land, I had met faculties and students in many institutions and had seen for myself the woeful state into which we had fallen. In the exact sciences, all was well, but in the departments that were formerly classified as the humanities, a rot had set in, and the worst of it was, few men seemed to be conscious of the grave state of affairs. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.136]

It is difficult to think of what we call education bothering the early families who were concerned in agriculture, fishing and hunting. Education, in the sense that we use the term, to my mind, always seems to imply sad deficiencies in the home. [Man At The Crossroads, p.55]

A system of education which does not explain man to man, which gives him no inkling at all of the natural rights that have been filched from him, leaving him ignorant of his relationship to the universe, and sending him forth into a congested labor market, is only a thing to be abhorred, but to be abolished as speedily as possible - before it is too late. [Man at The Crossroads, p.143]

When education was hard to get, it was prized; when it become anybody's toy, it was scorned. [Man at The Crossroads, p.251]

Surely it is expecting far too much from the young folks who clutter up our colleges and universities that in the course of fitting themselves for citizenship as intelligent beings, they should show that they are well grounded in history, economics, and what is called political science. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.199]

Those who have not taken courses in the exact sciences I find lamentably deficient in the elements of the studies they are supposed to have mastered. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.200]

Now our halls of learning are thronged with thousands, and the librarians tell us that those who pass from them are as illiterate as the war statistics prove. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.204]

... of all the reforms of which the authors were the most optimistic, the greatest failure has been that of the education of the masses. ...It is hard to refute the charge that the more schooling the children receive, the less they learn. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.226]


We have ignored the essential history of peoples and nations, and how they suffered for their misdemeanors and lack of education. ["Education and Modern Man," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.48]

One reason for the bewildering state of affairs wrought by wars, tariffs, and strikes is that the history that is taught in the schools today is utterly valueless so far as informing the student is concerned. He is not told about the struggles of his fathers who desired to make the world a safer and better place for posterity. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.226]


John Dewey had succeeded in twisting out of shape every notion of what a university should be. And now that institutions were pouring out men who had been instructed according to his ideas, it was a simple matter to estimate if any advantage had been gained. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.136.]

... it is incumbent upon the "progressives" to tell old-fashioned persons like myself by what right they claim that the new methods in education are superior to those upon which European civilization at its best put the hallmark of perfection. ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.4]


What was necessary to restore the old system that had served men so well? Hutchins had been collecting the materials for this explosion, and he incorporated them in a book which he called The Higher Learning in America. The storm it raised indicated clearly that its publication was necessary. The outburst from indignant "educationists" of various schools revealed to me that nothing could have been more timely than this conservative and moderate statement of the condition of affairs. There was not an ill-considered sentence in the book. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.137]


... from the day when devotion to the "scientific method" was introduced into the classrooms 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]

Sure ... it is incumbent upon the "progressives" to reconsider the position they have taken. Indeed, it seems to me that they show in much of their writing the necessity for restoring the liberal arts to their proper place in the system of education. No one reveals the need for the old-fashioned type of education so much as they. ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.36.]


I do not remember ever meeting a great man who had such a delightfully boyish appreciation of broad fun. And what a rollicking, contagious laugh; but, yet, he was extremely shy and most reserved. There was something in his shyness that was almost like suspicion, and many people have mistaken his reserve for skepticism. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.141]

I think, notwithstanding Dr. Dewey's ideas of what science is and scientists are, that most of them would agree with Einstein that science, like religion, is a refuge fro men who look upon the human world as a chaos beyond our ordering. ["Science and the Liberal Arts," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.30]


The procedure of enclosure by force may be imagined easily enough after the period of assarting a tract, that is, clearing it of trees and bushes for arable land or even pasture. The lord of the domain would attempt to add it to his estate. Hence, the numerous quarrels which arose about the rights of the peasants who had cleared the tract. ...Thus came slowly into being a class of careless men who were deprived of reason to labor because they were not permitted to enjoy the work of their hands. ["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.89-90]

That millions of your kin may be destroyed to benefit the rich few by increasing their domains and giving them cheap labor is now found to have been a policy as evil as that which ruined Rome. For every one to benefit, hundreds are despoiled, ... ["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.]

Despite the voluminous evidence produced by the defenders of enclosure that the purpose of it was to improve agriculture, there exists a great store of facts which show clearly that the peasantry was despoiled in the process. ["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.100]


Economic pressure has been withdrawn, because there is no equality of opportunity, and economic pressure is absolutely essential if a man is to enjoy equality of opportunity to use the earth. Human rights are natural rights, but your thorough-going humanist will have none of it. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.118]

A conception of liberty that is not based on equality of opportunity is of little value to a people, and history undoubtedly shows that mere political and emotional notions of liberty do not work out in practice. [Man at The Crossroads, p.168]

It never occurred to the modern saviors of mankind that men might do all these things for themselves infinitely better if they were given the chance, that is, a thorough system of equality of opportunity, which would enable them to work out their own social and moral salvation. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.166]

This phrase "equality of opportunity" has been submitted to the most shocking abusees during the past decade. Of all the phrases and terms used by the real radicals of England and of this country, it is the one that has been singled out for particularly severe mistreatment. The reason is that few know its origin and what it means. ["A Revival of Political Radicalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.183]


…a man who has any principle that is worth preserving, will act conscientiously in public dealings, and in these affairs be guided by the moral attitude which he deems essential in his private life. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.176]


The madness of 1914 was the beginning of the end, and so that there would be no doubt about it, the madness of Versailles made sure of it. To help kill off a generation was a national necessity for the Powers, to ruin and starve the survivors was necessary to save Europe. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.144]


Punishment is the consequence of disobedience, and evil is the one unnecessary thing which man persists in doing to his hurt. It is human to err, because man lives by the law of man and not by the law of God. He has the choice; indeed, ... scepticism should keep him straight. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.101]


Evil is the consequence of man's own folly. If he 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. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.8]


Man … has the dual capacity of gathering the fruits which Nature provides and, besides, using these fruits for the purpose of cultivating them. And with this added capacity, he also has another, which is solely his own in the animal kingdom, and that is, of selecting and preparing the soil near his habitation, and inventing and using devices for the protection of the growth of the seed. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.10]

…no matter how much things differ in degree, so far as the primary needs are concerned, man has not changed as a land animal in any particular at all. When, however, one regards the subject from a comparative point of view, modern man suffers in every particular. [Man At The Crossroads, p.61]


When Liberals flirted with the theories of the Fabians and began to put forward measures that called for bureaucrats to administer them, I decided that a change had taken place which meant no good for the country. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.209]


It was a difficult task which was undertaken by the Fabians - that of attempting to convince the British masses that there was no such thing in social matters as abstract rights - for somehow the working classes of England held tenaciously to the idea that without basic rights to support them, it was a poor lookout for them to depend on future "rights" that were to be granted by the State, when a new political and economic system was inaugurated by the Fabians. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.109]

A study of the pamphlets published by the Fabian society, when read with a knowledge of the ideas and opinions of those extraordinary groups of radicals who came after John Wilkes, will convince any earnest student that John Morley was right when he said: "The Fabians botched the business. The right road faced them, but they obstinately took the wrong turn." How a bureaucratically minded fellow was to know the real road when he saw it is something I have never understood. ["A Revival of Political Radicalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.189]


No matter how the particularists may decide the questions post by feudalism, it cannot be refuted that the tillers of the soil, even in the days before the conquest, enjoyed economic conditions denied to the vast majority of franchised men today. ["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.85]


… the great lesson that Henry Ford endeavored to teach, during the Century of Progress Fair in Chicago, by setting up in a hall every process from the rawest material to the finished car, went practically unheeded. This was one of the greatest pieces of educational work in economics that was ever put before a people, but I never heard that any school or university thought it was worth the trouble to organize a band of students and take them to the Fair, for the specific purposes of seeing that show and having someone explain it to them. Perhaps no university professor capable of giving an explanation could be found! [ Man At The Crossroads, p.91]


Political democracy has suffered an extraordinary relapse. It would be a salutary move on the part of the sponsors of the adult classes which are busy reading Plato, Aristotle, Montaigne, Kant, Shakespeare, and Karl Marx, to spend a dollar upon Fox's speeches in the Everyman Series. In them will be found enough material to make an intelligent student wonder what on earth has happened in this Republic -- now a mere political democracy -- since Fox boasted in the House of Commons that America had the fairest and justest constitution of any state in the world. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.209]

When Fox dealt with a subject, his hearers knew how the crisis arose, what the situation was, and what the future would be. He poured into his examinations of the policies of the government and the conduct of its members a wealth of information and incisive analysis. They are models of political wisdom and straightforward methods of parliamentary debate. ["The Silence of the Opposition," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.210]


Owing to the changes which have taken place in recent years with regard to all notions of liberty, it will soon be necessary to forget, for celebration speeches, all the Founding Fathers. We may be drawing near to the time when children in the schools will be told they must not mention the names of Washington, Jefferson, and Jackson. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.169]


…in all countries, that there is a very large section of the proletariat, eligible for the electoral register, "fit and proper persons," to cast a vote but who are, so far as their own interests are concerned, utterly incompetent at any time to make a decision as to what is good for them. …the class I refer to should be disfranchised in the interest of what is called political democracy. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.37]


Economic freedom surely means freedom to use land, and the corollary is, man himself must use it, without the assistance of government. Give man economic freedom and he needs no politician to subsidize him, no matter how dominating his personality may be to a certain type of elector. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.178]

Economic freedom means government of the community, by the community, and not bureaucratic government and the spoils system. [Man at The Crossroads, p.178]


…friends can be the very worst wasters of one's time, … if I had followed the bent that is so common today, I feel sure that I would never have been able to cope with the tasks that fell to my lot. [ My Life in Two Worlds, pp.147 and 148]


What attracted me to [the few men and women I usually associated with in Chicago] was their intellectual powers. They were eminent in their professions and each always had something to give me that would improve my mind. And I hope they sought my company because they could learn something from me. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.149]


A frontier is not a mere geographical line drawn to mark the boundary of ownership and jurisdiction; it is something else; it is a wall of protection against invaders and, whether there be actually a wall built to mark the area or not, the frontier can be maintained as the State desires, only through restrictive rules and regulations, the breaking of which would instantly bring upon the head of the culprit severe penalties. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.30]

When other civilizations declined and a second religiousness appeared, there were still great areas of the world in which not only new civilizations were to know their springtime, but there was also a sense that somewhere beyond there was in virgin lands a refuge to be found for those who dared venture forth. Today every frontier is sealed. The omnipotent state in every section of the globe rules whether a visitor may cross its frontier. ["The Decline of Civilizations,"Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.272]


How any intelligent student can review the events recorded in the daily newspapers during the past thirty years and remain complacent as to the future of men in a world of chaos is beyond explanation; and, yet, there are millions in the great countries of the world who imagine that the hopes of the political idealists are about to be realized. But these imaginings are in direct opposition to every indication observed by the profoundest historians of this day. These sanguine individuals do not realize that there has been a re-diagnosis of the social diseases of the period. They either do not know or, if they do, they deliberately ignore the fact that, as has been predicted by scholars so often during the past fifty years, the future was never so black. ["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.124-125]


There can be no general welfare without justice and liberty. There can be no tranquility without justice and liberty. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.212]


There is nothing suggested in the preamble which extends further than the precise powers conferred in the provisions of the articles, and those who would interpret the general welfare phrase in an economic or a social sense for local humanitarian purposes, are guilty of importing into the compact an idea utterly alien to the framers of the document. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.214]


... Progress and Poverty shows a familiarity with studies that lie on the fringe of the science of political economy. There are innumerable references to authors who are not mentioned by writers on economic subjects, even so late as John Stuart Mill. ["Henry George, The Scholar," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.62]

... when an idea starts in the mind of a man like George, it begs to be clothed. It demands education. It is unceasing in its beseechings to be put into fine intellectual raiment. That is the wonderful thing about an idea. Once it takes root in the mind of a poor man, almost uninstructed, he can, in a few years, make of himself a scholar. ["Henry George, The Scholar," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, pp.64-65]

George was not only a scholar; he was a prophet. In his book there are many passages which describe vividly the conditions we have reached in this country. ["Henry George, The Scholar," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.69]

... within a few years (perhaps eight or ten at most), he literally combed the histories of his time for the abundance of material he used. Indeed, he has made it easy for any young man of inquiring mind and persevering spirit to make of himself a well-informed individual in a fourth of the time that it took George to gather his knowledge. ["Henry George, The Scholar," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.73]

... the way in which George uses such material indicates that he had a much wider knowledge than what could have been gleaned from secondary sources. ["Henry George, The Scholar," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.77]


I can remember the time when it was possible in this country to meet Radicals and Liberals in nearly all the important centers of every state. There were societies where one could speak on Paine and Jefferson, with the certainty that the audience would not only be interested but would understand what these men meant to America. There are few Radicals and Liberals in the country now. Most of them are to be found among the Georgists who promulgate the gospel of Progress and Poverty. ["The Decay of Liberalism," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.129]


Oppression melted the heart of the stern God of the Jews, and he pitied them. Economic subjugation was always the offence which at last called for heavenly intervention and brought aid from the Most High. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.3]


Local government generally is just as rotten as it can be! This country [the United States] of all countries in the world, which practiced to advantage pioneering, inventiveness, large scale leisure, risk, frugality and thrift, when I knew it first, has become to a very great extent, so far as politics are concerned, a relief constituency. [ Man at The Crossroads, p.84]


When considering this question of piling up debt and increasing the supply of paper, it must not be forgotten that the future is heavy with clouds, for the Social Security scheme is one of the chief means today of increasing the loan of paper that labor must redeem some time in the future. It is already recognized by the experts that labor of the next generation will be producing the old-age pensions of its own fathers. [ Man at The Crossroads, pp. 262-263]


No one has performed the necessary work of presenting an Economic Background of the Gospels with greater care than Dr. Grant. He is at great pains to emphasize the terrible consequences of spoliation by the Romans, and, side by side with it, the other, not less iniquitous system of tithe, "which combined to crush initiative and ot destroy every incentive to accumulate proeprty." [The Eleventh Commandment, p.267]


Behind the splendor of Greece there was a world of bitterness and suffering. The populace clamored for doles; men were paid for attending their own assembly; …and, no matter how many concessions were made by the State to keep them quiet, the people cried out for more and more, always desiring something new. This was the condition of Athens when her freemen were the parasites of their slaves. …Tax collectors roamed the country, searching for hidden wealth and often these tax gatherers were accompanied by garrisons to enforce the fiscal regulations. [ Man at The Crossroads, p. 269]


Most people have nothing definite to do with themselves; no large program for the good of themselves or of others, to occupy their minds and prove to be an avocation that will tend to make them happy. [ My Life in Two Worlds, p.140]


There is no heavenly commonwealth for men unless it be founded upon God's justice, and the violation of it is a fundamental reason why cultures become civilizations and civilizations disintegrate and crumble away. ["Toynbee's Study of History," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.315]


[Historians] never stop to ask themselves what is private property. Nor do they think it necessary to differentiate between that which is created -- land and all natural resources -- and the produce of the laborer. ["Toynbee's Study of History," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.309]


Some authors scarcely mention it, and yet it is the most significant economic factor connected with the land of Jesus at the time of his birth. It is strange how this has been overlooked by so many writers of the life and times of Jesus. Few seem to understand that the luxurious city is nearly always a corollary of an impoverished people. The Eleventh Commandment, p.206]


The only conclusion one can draw for this neglect in learning from the past is that the past is not now known as it was by those of two generations ago. ["The Decline of Civilizations," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.260]


... history as a form should include all the elements of the structure of political institutions, so that their character may be determined, and so that their purpose may be understood. A philosophy of history which begins only with the state cannot be a complete philosophy. It is necessary to know how and why the state came into being, and the search for this knowledge should be the essential in the work of the historian. The Eleventh Commandment, p.155]

... a knowledge of economic fundamentals is necessary if the development and the decline of the state are to be understood aright. Historians can no longer dispense with primitive or natural conditions and characteristics; the day is gone when their academic rules, made to fit their deficiencies, decided the nature and the limit of the inquiry. Motive, too, can no longer be relegated to limbo as an improper question affronting polite society. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.155]

There is evidence enough of the plight of the people, but how it escaped the attention of so many of the writers concerned with the conditions of the factory towns at the end of the eighteenth century is one of the most singular mysteries in recording that I have known. ["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.96]

The English wit who said, "Very nearly everything in history very nearly did not happen" must have made a profound study of the historians of our grandfathers' days. And probably he was familiar with Nietzsche's observation: "All historians relate things that have never existed save in the imagination." ["The Conspiracy Against the English Peasantry," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.109]


Precious little history would have been worth recording if war and invasion had not brought about the extremes of power and weakness, riches and poverty, monopoly and slavery. It is only when a background for a people is required, that the historian collaborates with the archaeologist, who is better qualified for the job of seeking origins. [ The Eleventh Commandment, p.39]

...man's misery is the very basis on which his recorded history is usually built up. [The Eleventh Commandment, p.55]

But what is it all for? What does history say to us? What is the lesson that we must take home to ourselves? Has it all been for naught, or are the cycles and the turmoils of millenia prophetic warnings of a fate that is overtaking us speedily? ...Or is history no more than the tattered garment of life rent by lawless men? ["Toynbee's Study of History," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.317]


Recently I was attracted by a book entitled Education for Modern Man, by Sidney Hook. ...It appears to me that it is not really a rebuttal in a quarrel between two schools of thought. And, yet, in the list of educational ends which Dr. Hook presents to us, six out of the seven are canons that have always been accepted. ...The sixth aim, however, is somewhat new:

At some level, it [education] should equip young men and women with the general skills and techniques and the specialized knowledge which, together with the virtues and aptitudes already mentioned, will make it possible for them to do some productive work related to their capacities and interests.

This must be included in the list to supply the deficiencies caused by the abolition of the system of apprenticeship to trades. ["Education and Modern Man," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.50-51]

Paragraph after paragraph in this work is beyond the understanding of the man who has been educated in the present system. ...And it is a pity that Dr. Hook indicates in so many places that he is not aware of the revolution that has been taking place in the thought of scientists. ...I have become more convinced than ever that no improvement can be made in education by those who follow the ideas of Dr. Hook. ["Education and Modern Man," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.57]


Men are still men, and so long as they have to work for food, fuel, clothing, and shelter, they will be the same as they were in the days of Plato. Nothing, indeed, is changed in the economic sense. It is only in the sphere of spiritual things that there has been a falling off. ["Education and Modern Man," Modern Man and the Liberal Arts, p.47]


With man, … the endowment of mind suggests not only productive power, and that in the exercise of that power he should strive to satisfy his desires and needs with the least exertion; it also suggests the power of establishing an order for his security, not only with regard to his subsistence, but security, also against every physical and elemental menace against his person. [ Man At The Crossroads, p.42.]

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