Claude-Adrien Helvetius Quote

β€œTo limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or knaves.”

~ Claude-Adrien Helvetius

On The Mind

Ratings and Comments

Joe, Rochester, MI

Government and The Press ... both will tell you we are a nation of fools.

Anonymous, Raleigh, NC

This quote should read "To limit the press is to control a nation..."

Walter Clark, Fullerton CA

Wait a minute. That is so wrong. The assumption here is that we are not fools or knaves. I think the important point about freedom of speech is that we can indeed be fools and knaves and are better off with freedom. As Hayek made famous; a thousand individuals "acting" in an environment of freedom makes a society far more productive than one where the smartest man within that thousand has his decision enacted by a central authority.

E Archer, NYC

@Walter, I like it! The truth is we ARE fools and knaves with the freedom to be so. The idea that because we are fools and knaves we need to be controlled IS the age-old problem throughout history. There is always someone who thinks they are NOT a fool and everyone else is, and thus needs to be governed to protect the fool and everyone else.

So, yes, in America, a fool can have a gun. A knave can get high. In America we don't have to enforce conformity upon everyone -- the Catholic Church tried for centuries, and look how that turned out.

In Nature, every living creature is limited in power to some degree, but all have the power to survive -- and most importantly, ALL have to bear the consequence of their actions. Man attempting to be god, is always a knavish act.

E Archer, NYC

Today we have social media playing gatekeepers for the powers-that-should-not-be.  What was billed to be a public forum of ideas and communication has turned into the Ministry of Truth with armies of censors creating a narrative for authoritarian control.  Funny how in the search for Truth, the censors act as if they already know it.  We have been lied to for generations β€” how dare we share those discoveries!  Complete and total surveillance from cradle to grave is the goal β€” as if the world were a big Sim City game with the social(ist) engineers calling the shots. Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram are all in cahoots, and WE are the fools and knaves.


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