Men born to freedom are naturally alert

Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purpose is beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
— Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941)
Olmstead et al. vs. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 478, 1928


We would be horrified if the government ordered agents into libraries to burn books. We should be equally horrified when the government seeks to erase public documents from electronic libraries. If hypertext is to carry out its traditions, then what is published must remain so. Erasure will make no flame and smoke, but the stench of book-burning will remain.
— K. Eric Drexler
Engines of Creation

There's no way to rule innocent men

"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone?
— Ayn Rand
Subscribe to RSS - government