Arnold J. ToynbeeArnold J. Toynbee, (1889-1975) British historian

Arnold J. Toynbee Quote

“The Radical creed, as I understand it, is this: We have not abandoned our old belief in liberty, justice, and Self-help, but we say that under certain conditions the people cannot help themselves, and that then they should be helped by the State representing directly the whole people. In giving this State help, we make three conditions: first, the matter must be one of primary social importance; next, it must be proved to be practicable; thirdly, the State interference must not diminish self-reliance. Even if the chance should arise of removing a great social evil, nothing must be done to weaken those habits of individual self-reliance and voluntary association which have built up the greatness of the English people.”

Arnold J. ToynbeeArnold J. Toynbee
~ Arnold J. Toynbee

Lectures on The Industrial Revolution in England (1884), p. 219. "Are Radicals Socialists?"

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

Radical Creed? The old belief in liberty, justice and self help is greatly diminished if not done away with entirely by State interference. It is impossible for the State to represent the whole people  that is an oxymoron. For the State to help it must be of primary social importance? ? ? Can I subpoena Mr. or Mrs. social into court to determine what is primarily important? NO!  The great social evil here is the "State?" determining it is going to help! ! !

E Archer, NYC

This has been the challenge for a republican form of government.  Once freed from the obligations of the Crown, soon classes of people demand favor from government like they used to get from the Crown.  Toynbee's points are valid and always used to justify government intervention.  But give an inch and they take a mile.  Sooner or later career politicians and their bureaus figure out that solving problems puts them out of work  peace is unemployment.  So more rules and regulations are put into place to keep lawyers and judges flush  they are the most highly paid than all other occupations (banking law is the most lucrative).  The State endeavors to expand its power and army of employees and dependents.  With time, all republican principles are traded for arbitrary power with nothing but promises for a better future while Rome burns.  

Toynbee's argument needs further discussion before implementing 'new deals'  the causes are real but mainly misunderstood.

Mary, MI
  • Reply
Mary, MI    5/15/19

"But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."
-- Frederic Bastiat

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
-- James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President

"The policy of American government is to leave its citizens free, neither restraining them nor aiding them in their pursuits."
-- Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President - Source: Thomas Jefferson to M. L'Hommande, 1787.

Former Congressman Davy Crockett - "We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money."


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