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Policy of liberty is dedicated to the advancement of liberty and responsibility in society. Its philosophy is neither strictly libertarian nor strictly conservative, though strongly supporting the former in terms of economics and the latter on most social issues, abortion in particular. POL provides resources, links, books and articles, an email list, photos and links to famous economists, great quotations for liberty.

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Political Philosophers and Commentators:


“Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and trustees are created for the benefit of the people.”
—USA Presidential candidate Henry Clay, Speech at Ashland, Kentucky (1829)

“To watch self-styled 'conservatives' vie with one another in bending the knee at the shrine of Franklin Delano Roosevelt is to appreciate the rot at the core of a once-great movement. Have we no heroes that we must beg for folding chairs at the dedication of a monument to the amoral man who destroyed the Old Republic?”
—Pat Buchanan

“First radio, then television, have assaulted and overturned the privacy of the home, the real American privacy, which permitted the development of a higher and more independent life within democratic society. Parents can no longer control the atmosphere of the home and have lost even the will to do so. With great subtlety and energy, television enters not only the room, but also the tastes of old and young alike, appealing to the immediately pleasant and subverting whatever does not conform to it.”
—Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind

“I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.”
—William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism

“Socialize the individual's surplus and you socialize his spirit and creativeness; you cannot paint the Mona Lisa by assigning one dab of paint to a thousand painters.”
—William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism

“I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.”
—William F. Buckley Jr., Rumbles

“The state is a divine institution. Without it we have anarchy, and the lawlessness of anarchy is counter to the natural law: so we abjure all political theories which view the state as inherently and necessarily evil. But it is the state which has been in history the principal instrument of abuse of the people, and so it is central to the conservatives' program to keep the state from accumulating any but the most necessary powers.”
—William F. Buckley Jr., The Catholic

“World War is the second worst activity of mankind, the worst being acquiescence in slavery.”
—William F. Buckley Jr., On the Right

“Modern liberalism, for most liberals is not a consciously understood set of rational beliefs, but a bundle of unexamined prejudices and conjoined sentiments. The basic ideas and beliefs seem more satisfactory when they are not made fully explicit, when they merely lurk rather obscurely in the background, coloring the rhetoric and adding a certain emotive glow.”
—James Burnham, Suicide of the West

“The economic egalitarianism of the liberal ideology implies ... the reduction of Westerners to hunger and poverty.”
—James Burnham, Suicide of the West

“[E]very sincere break with Communism is a religious experience, though the Communists fail to identify its true nature, though he fail to go to the end of the experience. His break is the political expression of the perpetual need of the soul whose first faint stirring he has felt within him, years, months or days before he breaks. A Communist breaks because he must choose at last between irreconcilable opposites — God or Man, Soul or Mind, Freedom or Communism.”
—Whittaker Chambers, Witness

“I see in Communism the focus of the concentrated evil of our time.”
—Whittaker Chambers, Witness

“The Communist vision is the vision of man without God.”
—Whittaker Chambers, Witness

“We refused to assume ... one of the central obligations of parenthood: to make ourselves the final authority on good and bad, right and wrong, and to take the consequences of what might turn out to be a lifetime battle.”
—Midge Decter, Liberal Parents, Radical Children

“[T]he Communist revolution, conducted in the name of doing away with classes, has resulted in the most complete authority of any single new class. Everything else is a sham and illusion.”
—Milovan Djilas, The New Class

“The man has the gradually sinking feeling that his role as provider, the definitive male activity from the primal days of the hunt through the industrial revolution and on into modern life, has been largely seized from him; he has been cuckolded by the compassionate state.”
—George Gilder, Wealth and Poverty

“Real poverty is less a state of income than a state of mind.”
—George Gilder, Wealth and Poverty

“A successful economy depends on the proliferation of the rich, on creating a large class of risk-taking men who are willing to shun the easy channels of a comfortable life in order to create new enterprise, win huge profits, and invest them again.”
—George Gilder, Wealth and Poverty

“The first priority of any serious program against poverty is to strengthen the male role in poor families.”
—George Gilder, Wealth and Poverty

“The welfare culture tells the man he is not a necessary part of the family; he feels dispensable, his wife knows he is dispensable, his children sense it.”
—George Gilder, Wealth and Poverty

“Capitalism begins with giving. Not from greed, avarice, or even self love can one expect the rewards of commerce, but from a spirit closely akin to altruism, a regard for the needs of others, a benevolent, outgoing, and courageous temper of mind.”
—George Gilder, Wealth and Poverty

“Those who seek to live your lives for you, to take your liberty in return for relieving you of yours, those who elevate the state and downgrade the citizen, must see ultimately a world in which earthly power can be substituted for divine will. And this nation was founded upon the rejection of that notion and upon the acceptance of God as the author of freedom.”
—Barry Goldwater, Speech to the Republican National Convention (June 16, 1964)

“Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.”
—Barry Goldwater, Speech to the Republican National Convention (June 16, 1964)

“A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.”
—Barry Goldwater, October 1964

“Scratch an intellectual and you find a would-be aristocrat who loathes the sight, the sound, and the smell of common folk.”
—Eric Hoffer, First Things, Last Things (1970)

“I was guilty of judging capitalism by its operations and socialism by its hopes and aspirations; capitalism by its works and socialism by its literature.”
—Sidney Hook, Out of Step

“Those who say life is worth living at any cost have already written for themselves an epitaph of infamy, for there is no cause and no person they will not betray to stay alive.”
—Attributed to Sidney Hook

“To silence criticism is to silence freedom.”
—Sidney Hook, New York Times Magazine (September 30, 1951)

“[Conservatives have an] affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of human existence, as opposed to the narrowing uniformity, egalitarianism, and utilitarian aims of most radical systems.”
—Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind (1953)

“The twentieth-century conservative is concerned, first of all, for the regeneration of spirit and character — with the perennial problem of the inner order of the soul, the restoration of the ethical understanding, and the religious sanction upon which any life worth living is founded. This is conservatism at its highest.”
—Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind

“[The conservative believes] in a transcendent order, or body of natural law, which rules society as well as conscience.”
—Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind

"[C]ivilized society requires orders and classes.... If natural distinctions are effaced among men, oligarchs fill the vacuum. Ultimate equality in the judgment of God, and equality before courts of law, are recognized by conservatives; but equality of condition, they think, means equality in servitude and boredom.”
—Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind

“Not by force of arms are civilizations held together, but by subtle threads of moral and intellectual principle.”
—Russell Kirk, Enlivening the Conservative Mind

“Privilege, in any society, is the reward of duties performed.”
—Russell Kirk, Enlivening the Conservative Mind

“The intelligent conservative combines a disposition to preserve with an ability to reform.”
—Russell Kirk, The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Conservatism

“When Marxist dictators shoot their way into power in Central America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame United States policies of one hundred years ago, but then they always blame America first.”
—Jean Kirkpatrick, Speech at the 1984 Republican Convention

“Traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies.... They are more susceptible of liberalization, and ... they are more compatible with U.S. interests.”
—Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Dictatorships and Double Standards

“People need religion. It's a vehicle for a moral tradition. A crucial role. Nothing can take its place.”
—Irving Kristol, Two Cheers for Capitalism

“[A neoconservative is] a liberal who has been mugged by reality.”
—Irving Kristol, Two Cheers for Capitalism

“A liberal is one who says that it's all right for an 18-year-old girl to perform in a pornographic movie as long as she gets paid the minimum wage.”
—Irving Kristol, Two Cheers for Capitalism

“[To believe that] no one was ever corrupted by a book, you almost have to believe that no one was ever improved by a book (or play, or a movie).... No one, not even a university professor, really believes that.”
—Irving Kristol, Reflections of a Neo-Conservative

“[The Founding Fathers] understood that republican self-government could not exist if humanity did not possess ... the traditional 'republican virtues' of self-control, self-reliance, and a disinterested concern for the public good.”
—Irving Kristol, Reflections of a Neo-Conservative

“His [Reagan's] posture was forward-looking, his accent was on economic growth rather than sobriety. All those Republicans with the hearts and souls of accountants -- the traditional ideological curse of the party -- were nervous, even dismayed.”
—Irving Kristol, Reflections of a Neo-Conservative

“A welfare state, properly conceived, can be an integral part of a conservative society.”
—Irving Kristol, American Spectator (1977)

“It was a new kind of class war -- the people as citizens versus the politicians and their clients in the public sector.”
—Irving Kristol, 'Comments on Prop 13,' Wall Street Journal, (1978) commenting on Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism.

“The Japanese inevitably will again play a major role in the world, and not just economically. They are a great people. They cannot and should not be satisfied with a world role that limits them to making better transistor radios and sewing machines, and teaching other Asians to grow rice.”
—Lee Kuan Yew, Quoted in Richard M. Nixon's Leaders

“We will put no impediment in your way, and we will be down at the dock bidding you a fond farewell as you sail off into the sunset.”
—Charles M. Lichenstein, Reply to a proposal to move the United Nations from New York City (September 19, 1983)

“I am for lifting everyone off the social bottom. In fact, I am for doing away with the social bottom altogether.”
—Clare Booth Luce, Time (February 14, 1964)

“Whenever a Republican leaves one side of the aisle and goes to the other, it raises the intelligence quotient of both parties.”
—Clare Booth Luce (1956)

"Much of what [Henry] Wallace calls his global thinking is, no matter how you slice it, still globaloney.”
—Clare Booth Luce, Speech to Congress (February 9, 1943)

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”
—Douglas MacArthur, Speech to the Republican National Convention (1952)

“By profession I am a soldier and take great pride in that fact, but I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentialities of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still.”
—Douglas McArthur, Reminiscences

“Unless men are free to be vicious they cannot be virtuous.”
—Frank Meyer, In Defense of Freedom: A Conservative Manifesto

“There is one unmistakable lesson in American history: a community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future -- that community asks for and gets chaos. Crime, violence, unrest, disorder -- most particularly the furious, unrestrained lashing out at the whole social structure -- that is not only to be expected; it is very near to inevitable. And it is richly deserved.”
—Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Family and Nation (1965)

“It [government] cannot provide values to persons who have none, or who have lost those they had. It cannot provide inner peace. It can provide outlets for moral energies, but it cannot create those energies.”
—Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Los Angeles Times (February 15, 1969)

“Somehow Liberals have been unable to acquire from birth what Conservatives seem to be endowed with at birth: namely, a healthy skepticism of the powers of government to do good.”
—Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Post (May 14, 1969)

“The issue of race could benefit from a period of benign neglect.”
—Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Memo to President Nixon (1971)

“The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it's so rare.”
—Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Times (March 2, 1976)

“There is no principle in the conservative philosophy than that of the inherent and absolute incompatibility between liberty and equality.”
—Robert A. Nisbet, Twilight of Authority

“The successful leader does not talk down to people. He lifts them up.”
—Robert A. Nisbet, Leaders

“In assembling a staff, the conservative leader faces a greater problem than does the liberal. In general, liberals want more government and hunger to be the ones running it. Conservatives want less government and want no part of it. Liberals want to run other people's lives. Conservatives want to be left alone to run their own lives.... Liberals flock to government; conservatives have to be enticed and persuaded. With a smaller field to choose from, the conservative leader often has to choose between those who are loyal and not bright and those who are bright but not loyal.”
—Robert A. Nisbet, Leaders

“Only slowly did I come to the precise capitalist insight: creativity is more productive than rote labor; therefore, the primary form of capital is mind. 'Errand Into the Wilderness' Capitalism is ... a social order favorable to alertness, inventiveness, discovery, and creativity. This means a social order based upon education, research, the freedom to create, and the right to enjoy the fruit's of one's own creativity.”
—Michael Novak

“Where self-government is not possible in personal life, it remains to be seen whether it is possible in the republic. Every prognosis based on history would suggest that lack of self-government in the individual citizenry will lead to lack of restraint in the government of the republic.... Personal prodigality will be paralleled by public prodigality. As individuals live beyond their means, so will the state. As individuals liberate themselves from costs, responsibilities, and a prudent concern for the future, so will their political leaders. When self-government is no longer an ideal for individuals, it cannot be credible for the republic.”
—Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

“To be a conservative ... is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopia's bliss."
—Michael Oakeshott, Rationalism in Politics

“But what is freedom? Freedom from what? There is nothing to take man's freedom away from him, save other men. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers.”
—Ayn Rand, Anthem

“If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose — because it contains all the others -- the fact that they were the people who created the phrase 'to make money.' No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity -- to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted, or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created.”
—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

“We are on strike, we, the men of the mind. We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one's happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt.”
—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

“Competition is a by-product of productive work, not its goal. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.”
—Ayn Rand letter

“The motive [of egalitarianism] is not the desire to help the poor, but to destroy the competent. The motive is hatred of the good for being the good -- a hatred focused specifically on the fountainhead of all goods, spiritual or material; the men of ability.”
—Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It?

“Poverty doesn't cause crime. Crime causes poverty -- or more precisely, crime makes it harder to break out of poverty. The vast majority of poor people are honest, law-abiding citizens whose opportunities for advancement are stunted by the drug dealers, muggers, thieves, rapists, and murderers who terrorize their neighborhoods.”
—James K. Stewart, Policy Review (Summer 1986)

“Crime is the ultimate tax on enterprise. It must be reduced or eliminated before poor people can fully share in the American dream.”
—James K. Stewart, Policy Review (Summer 1986)

“Liberal relativism has its roots in the natural right tradition of tolerance or in the notion that everyone has a natural right to the pursuit of happiness as he understands happiness; but in itself it is a seminary of intolerance.”
—Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History

“[A]bsolute tolerance is altogether impossible; the allegedly absolute tolerance turns into ferocious hatred of those who have stated clearly and most forcefully that there are unchangeable standards founded in the nature of man and the nature of things.”
—Leo Strauss, Liberalism Ancient and Modern

“New Age Liberalism was in essence nothing more complicated or noble than a running argument with life as it was led by normal Americans.”
—R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., The Liberal Crackup

“'Tyrrellism ... the technique of blackening an opponent's reputation by quoting him. Viewed as vulgar'.”
—R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., The Liberal Crackup

“The absence of a literary sensibility among the conservatives abetted their proclivity for narrowness, for it shut them off from imagination and the capacity to dramatize ideas and personalities.”
—R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., The Conservative Crackup

“For four centuries every man has been not only his own priest but his own professor of ethics, and the consequence is an anarchy which threatens even that minimum consensus of value necessary to the political state.”
—Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences

“Man is constantly being assured today that he has more power than ever before in history, but his daily experience is one of powerlessness. If he is with a business organization, the odds are great that he has sacrificed every other kind of independence in return for that dubious one known as financial. Modern social and corporate organization makes independence an expensive thing; in fact, it may make common integrity a prohibitive luxury for the ordinary man.”
—Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences

“The theory is that election to Congress is tantamount to being dispatched to Washington on a looting raid for the enrichment of your state or district, and no other ethic need inhibit the feeding frenzy.”
—George Will, Oread Review

“The best use of history is as an inoculation against radical expectations, and hence against embittering disappointments.”
—George Will, The Pursuit of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts

“[A] determined assault on poverty is not only compatible with conservatism, but should be one of its imperatives in an urban, industrialized society.”
—George Will, The Pursuit of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts

“This age ... defines self-fulfillment apart from, even against, the community. The idea of citizenship has become attenuated and is now defined almost exclusively in terms of entitlements.”
—George Will, The Pursuit of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts

“[Freedom] is not only the absence of external restraints. It is also the absence of irresistible internal compulsions, unmanageable passion, and uncensorable appetites.”
—George Will, Statecraft as Soulcraft

“The essence of childishness is an inability to imagine an incompatibility between one's appetite and the world. Growing up involves, above all, a conscious effort to conform one's appetites to a crowded world.”
—George Will, Statecraft as Soulcraft

“The concern is less that children will emulate the frenzied behavior described in porn rock than they will succumb to the lassitude of the de-moralized.”
—George Will, 'Morning After The Cold War is over and the University of Chicago won it', editorial (December 9, 1991)

“There are no limits on our future if we don't put limits on our people.”
—Jack Kemp (April 6, 1987)

“America's mission to the world did not end when communism ended. Our mission is ongoing.... Our mission is to continue to tell the world that we are for the freedom and human rights of all men and women, for all time — and to do everything we can to transform the ancient dream and hope of freedom into a democratic reality everywhere! And with God's help we will.”
—Jack Kemp (November 30, 1990)


Policy of Liberty is your source for books/papers on free market economics and pro-life policy as well as quotes and links to economic related issues
Policy of Liberty is your source for books/papers on free market economics and pro-life policy as well as quotes and links to economic related issuesPolicy of Liberty is your source for books/papers on free market economics and pro-life policy as well as quotes and links to economic related issuesPolicy of Liberty is your source for books/papers on free market economics and pro-life policy as well as quotes and links to economic related issuesPolicy of Liberty en Espanol
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