Josiah C. Wedgwood Quote

“Men must have the right of choice, even to choose wrong, if he shall ever learn to choose right.”

~ Josiah C. Wedgwood

Ratings and Comments

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

And he made really nice Jasperware too - very cool stuff - LOL. It does seem though that some folks never learn from their 'mistakes' while others need only observe or at worst make, a mistake once. Most seem to behave as if any undesirable outcomes of their actions are due to the fact that they didn't do forcefully enough, whatever it is they did to generate the undesirable outcomes in the first place. Then they do the ritual again. This amusing pastime is known as 'banging one's head against a wall' and is, if correctly performed according to its hallowed tradition, accompanied by the requisite mantra, "I'll try harder next time". God forbid (as he's wont to do) they try a new tack.

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

Thinking like that reflected in the words of Wedgwood is what has turned the world into a demented kindergarten. He should have made pottery and kept his madness to himself.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Of course men must have the right to choose and make mistakes - this isn't in reference to "man must be able to break the law without punishment from time to time because he needs to learn to be good" - but in order to be free, man must be able to choose his path, right or wrong, and have the ability to follow it. Anything more or less than this is forced compulsion and results in tyranny.

E Archer, NYC

This is the absolute foundation of Liberty, Responsibility, and Virtue.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Thinking like Wedgwood is called freedom ... a foreign concept to socialists. You can force your choice on someone by holding a gun to their head. Even then, some prefer death. When you walk away, that person may choose to do what they want. You make law that infringes on the rights of law abiding citizens, that turn them into criminals when they choose NOT to stop doing what you find "wrong".

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

The right to choose is accompanied by the responsibility to choose correctly. You wish to avoid tyranny so badly that you opt for chaos. Congratulations. You are going to get it.

David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood

And did no one notice that the grammar used by Wedgwood is incorrect? "Men must have the right of choice, even to choose wrong, if THEYshall ever learn to choose right," would be correct. Men are not tried in courts as groups, but as individuals, and are punished individually. They do not choose at all, but each one of them chooses individually. Even when one goes along with group behavior, it is the result of an individual's decision to act a certain way. (See act vi, one of the definitions of which is to behave.)

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

It seems (emphasize 'SEEMS') LIKELY (ditto) that the quote was, in fact, "MAN (or 'one') must have the right of choice, even to choose wrong, if he shall ever learn to choose right." It's a niggling point but it would be nice to know the source of the quote since it appears in all three forms ('men', 'man', and 'one') in various searches. Sadly, I haven't found its origin. Shame, SHAME, Josiah!!! Your MP standing will NOT absolve you from the incorrect application of the rules of grammar - even in your posthumous absence!!! Repent or you will BURN IN HELL! Mwahahahaha! - I dunno, I'm guessing Josiah had a command of the English language that would have cut all of our legs off at the knees with a word or two - just a guess. What the hey-all is act VI - from what play? - lol Surely it's not a (gasp, horror) TYPO! Let's try to use the arbiter(s) of the English language, one of the recognized dictionaries, shall we? Dolts of all ilks are always trying to make up their own self-serving definitions from 'ancient' tomes. English, like it or not, is a 'modern' language, subject to the 'rules' and conventions of current usage, arbitrary though it may be. If you want to redefine the English language, take it up with the population at large. Oh, sorry, that's what you're trying to do, is it? Carry on then. Oh yeah, what is "choose correctly"? Huh? AHD: correct - Conforming to standards; proper: correct behavior. This is true. What's also true is that multitudes of helpless, feckless, wannabe dictator-ettes long earnestly to be THE authority on what constitutes 'correct'. To defend against that sort of larcenous, timeless urge, we have agreed to abide by annoying 'laws' like the Constitution - the law of the land - not the 'law'(s) of anybody's personal God. Yes, yes, many of our laws derive from the same historical sources; 'common' or precedential law and statute or 'statutorial' or 'civil' law which does indeed have its roots deep in religious law. At the end of the day, (the) 'law' is the agreement or set of agreements by which members of a society AGREE to abide. Individuals don't get to make their own 'laws', society does get to make its own laws. 'Chaos' happens when everyone makes up their own self-serving 'laws' solely in the service of one's own interests. That's 'law-less'.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

What is right for one, is wrong for another... thus the need to allow for personal choice. "One size does NOT fit all!"

drew, Stoke-on-Trent, England

A point on the grammer. I am from Wedgewood's home town, so I understand the dialect, and he or they would be acceptable here. Even today in this part of the world today its not uncommon to say "I am going to me sisters for lunch" rather than "my sister's" or even better "If yer conna bate em, jane em." - "If you can not beat them, join them". Go to and learn to towk proper before having a go at t'grammer employed.

Mike, Norwalk

We hold this truth to be self evident. An astute in the obvioius.

jim k, austin tx

David,Hollywood, I fear that some of that pixie dust from Hollywood has scrambled your brain. Freedom is always chaotic as people make choices, not always correct ones. Now you have a communist mayor of New York that wants to decide what's best for everyone in the empire city.

Ron, Or
  • Reply
Ron, Or    3/14/14

One size fits all !! If you love Life , Liberty financial, Personal Freedom to move about. Then that size fits all under our Constitution of the United of America. Just like gravity, does not matter if you disagree, subjective fact. Laws of nature don't care what you think ! Like a big rock, stand on it, or it might fall on you or roll over you. The KJB is the rock. Ancient doctrines of Liberty and Freedom. Source text, for our Declaration of a ready mind, called upon in due season 1776.


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