Leonard E. Read Quote

“It is incorrect to think of liberty as synonymous with unrestrained action. Liberty does not and cannot include any action, regardless of sponsorship, which lessens the liberty of a single human being. To argue contrarily is to claim that liberty can be composed of liberty negations, patently absurd. Unrestraint carried to the point of impairing the liberty of others is the exercise of license, not liberty. To minimize the exercise of license is to maximize the area of liberty. Ideally, government would restrain license, not indulge in it; make it difficult, not easy; disgraceful, not popular. A government that does otherwise is licentious, not liberal.”

~ Leonard E. Read

Leonard E. Read, in The Freeman

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

A lot of wording, but exactly right on. This quote answers directly the Waffler-worlders justifying tyranny as liberty.

Popeye, Wichita KS

Excellent quote, one which every "freedom" drum beater should read and understand.

  • Reply
RBESRQ    9/10/10

Mike, yes. There is no liberty unless all have liberty; there is no equality unless all have equality; there are no rights unless all have rights. Rule by the majority is not what this nation is about though many would have otherwise.

E Archer, NYC

Unfortunately, all that today's government does is indulge in license, liberty be damned. We are going to find out soon what Americans REALLY value, license or liberty.

Waffler, Smith

Oh contrare my dear Mike! You over the years have oft spoke of your hatred for laws that tell you on which side of the road to drive, dislike for signs that tell you that you must stop at an intersection. You have often expressed disdain for police and law enforcement and of the agencies involved, the so called alphabet soup. This quote describes your licentious anti-liberty stance to a tea. I agree that your stance is disgraceful, and only popular on this site (why it is so is beyond me). and that everyone and government should restain your licentiousness and make it difficult.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, its good to see you haven't lost the progressives' ability to exaggerate and re-define beyond credulity, even to the point of lying. And, thank you for again proving my above statement. BTW, there are no laws that state which side of the road is to be driven on or, no signs that lawfully demand a complete stop. If there were such laws, everybody in the U.S. or the U.K., or both would have been killed long ago. There are rules for ordering traffic and I'm whole heatedly all for those. I do hold a certain disdain for immoral, unlawful (criminal) and otherwise despotic consequences executed on victimless crimes, along with the participants thereto. I sponsor (or support) all activities, which do not lessen the liberty of a single other human being, how is that licentiousness? Codes, statutes, etc. are to define the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God, having been endowed previous to man's sojourn on this orb, such is just - law can not be created by man, no matter what a democracy, theocracy, any man (singly or in concert), etc. says. As per your last sentence, you sponsor despotism, tyranny, compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny and the loss of an individual sovereign's unalienable rights by force; that, my dear Waffler, is licentiousness.

Waffler, Smith

Once you get a real life and stop quibbling about the word law and/or rule, write some more.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, you've made your perception abundantly clear, that a nation of happy slaves is the only real life. Your 'real life' despotic box uniquely exists where the government of men, having replaced the government of law, is the rule. So, there is absolutely no quibbling what so ever, either live by the word/rule of man and be a slave or, live by Creator endowed law and be free.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, that entire dimension of dummied down thought you've eluded to (don't concern yourself with the difference between law and rule, the blurring non-definition being so necessary to totalitarian dictators' control and power mongering) is symptomatic of today's Amerika. So, I'll ignore your despotic dictate of becoming as vile, enslaved, and ignorant as you and, write some more.


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