Where a public decision makes no sense, perhaps it’s driven by evil.

 All early-bird membership fees are discounted 80% from listed prices.

Liberty Quotes

George Orwell

“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

— George Orwell

Selwyn Duke

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”

— Selwyn Duke

Frequently misattributed to George Orwell. See https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-driftingtruth-notorwell-idUSL1N2SU1K1

Herbert George (H. G.) Wells

“Primitive man probably thought very much as a child thinks, that is to say in a series of imaginative pictures. He conjured up images or images presented themselves to his mind, and he acted in accordance with the emotions they aroused. So a child or an uneducated person does to-day. Systematic thinking is apparently a comparatively late development in human experience; it has not played any great part in human life until within the last three thousand years. And even to-day those who really control and order their thoughts are but a small minority of mankind. Most of the world still lives by imagination and passion.”

— Herbert George (H. G.) Wells
in A Short History of the World (1922)

Marcus Tullius Cicero

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

— Marcus Tullius Cicero

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“Over half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’

[…] And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: ‘Men have forgotten God’.”

— Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (Александр Исаевич Солженицын)
Templeton Address, May 10, 1983

Yuri Gagarin

“Looking at the earth from afar you realize it is too small for conflict and just big enough for co-operation.”

— Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (Юрий Алексеевич Гагарин) (1934 – 1968)
First man in space

George R. R. Martin via Lord Tyrion Lannister in 'A Clash of Kings'

“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”

— Lord Tyrion Lannister
A Clash of Kings (1998) by George R. R. Martin

François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)

“Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste.”

(“Truly, whoever can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”)

— François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) (1694 – 1778)
in ‘Questions sur les miracles’ (1765)

William Wilberforce

“Having heard all of this you may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.”

— William Wilberforce
Independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire (1784–1812)
Close of a speech in the UK House of Commons (1791)

Galatians 4:16 KJV

“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

— Galatians 4:16
King James Version (KJV)

The Saker

“That is why I prefer pain to delusions.”

Comment by author
under Russian special military operation in the Ukraine – Day 19

Robert A. Heinlein

“The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It’s like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can’t have steak.”

— Robert A. Heinlein
in The Man Who Sold the Moon (1950)

Often attributed to Mark Twain as “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it”.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

“They need to love their liberties more than they fear a germ.”

— Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Hutton Gibson

“Tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society. When an immoral society has blatantly and proudly violated all the commandments, it insists upon one last virtue, tolerance for its immorality. It will not tolerate condemnation of its perversions. It creates a whole new world in which only the intolerant critic of intolerable evil is evil.”

— Hutton Gibson

Thomas Mann

“Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.”

— Thomas Mann
Chapter 6, section: A Good Soldier as translated by Woods (1996), p. 506

Buckminster Fuller

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

— Buckminster Fuller

The Internet

“It’s amazing how many people there are who’ll drink filtered water and eat a vegan diet, only to submit to an experimental drug.”

— The Internet, 2022

Gerald Celente

“When people lose everything, they have nothing left to lose, and they lose it.”

— Gerald Celente

Frank Herbert via Duke Paul Atreides in 'Dune'

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

— Duke Paul Atreides
Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert

Julian Assange

“Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love.”

— Julian Assange

Patrick Henry

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”

— Patrick Henry

"A Modern Proverb With Unknown Authorship"

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”
“When you stand for nothing, you fall for everything.”

Several variations with several attributions: please see https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/02/18/stand-fall/

Albert Einstein

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

— Albert Einstein

Archibald MacLeish

“Once you permit those who are convinced of their own superior rightness to censor and silence and suppress those who hold contrary opinions, just at that moment the citadel has been surrendered. For the American citadel is a man. Not man in general. Not man in the abstract. Not the majority of men. But man. That man. His worth. His uniqueness.”

— Archibald MacLeish

Arleen Lorrance

“Be the change you want to see happen.”

— Arleen Lorrance
Chapter: The Love Project by Arleen Lorrance
in Developing Priorities and a Style: Selected Readings in Education for Teachers and Parents (1974)

Often attributed to Mohandas Gandhi: please see https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/10/23/be-change/

Henry Ford

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can′t — you’re right.”

— Henry Ford

Debatable Attribution

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Debatable attribution.

Lord Acton

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.

— John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (Lord Acton) (1834–1902)
in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton (1887)

William Pitt the Elder

Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.

— William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham
British Prime Minister (1766-1778)
in a speech to the UK House of Lords (1770)

Martin Luther King, Jr.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yul Brynner as Ramesses II

“Let him rave on, that men will know him mad.”

Yul Brynner as Pharoah Rameses II
The Ten Commandments (1956)

The Internet

Freedom dies in darkness.
Tyranny dies in the light.

— The Internet, 2021

(Cf. Philadelphia’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, on which is the inscription “FREEDOM IS A LIGHT FOR WHICH MANY MEN HAVE DIED IN DARKNESS”.) 

Arthur Schopenhauer

But, difficult though it be to acquire fame, it is an easy thing to keep it when once acquired. Here, again, fame is in direct opposition to honour, with which everyone is presumably to be accredited. Honour has not to be won; it must only not be lost. But there lies the difficulty! For by a single unworthy action, it is gone irretrievably.

— Arthur Schopenhauer
Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life (1851)

Thomas Paine

“These are the times that try men’s souls…The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”

— Thomas Paine
in The American Crisis/The Crisis No. I (1776)

Thomas Paine

“Those who expect to reap the benefit of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”

— Thomas Paine
in The American Crisis/The Crisis No. IV (1777)

Anthony Anaxagorou

“Rebellion is when you look society in the face and say I understand who you want me to be, but I’m going to show you who I actually am.”

— Anthony Anaxagorou

Ayn Rand

“When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion — when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing — when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favours — when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you — when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice — you may know that your society is doomed.”

— Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged (1957)  [Francisco’s ‘Money Speech’]
Алиса Зиновьевна Розенбаум (Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum) 1905–1982

Louis Brandeis

Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.

— Louis Brandeis
Harper’s Weekly Magazine, 1912
Justice of the US Supreme Court 1916–1939
Devoted to public service and liberty.

Proverb

The future belongs to those who turn up.

Proverb

Hannah Arendt

The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.

— Hannah Arendt
Totalitarianism: Part Three of The Origins of Totalitarianism (1968)

Karle Wilson Baker

“Courage”

Courage is armor
A blind man wears,
The calloused scar
Of outlived despairs:
Courage is Fear
That has said its prayers.

— Karle Wilson Baker
Poetry: A Magazine of Verse (October 1921)

Ronald Reagan

“Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.”

— Ronald Reagan
Speaking My Mind: Selected Speeches, p.99, Simon and Schuster (2004)

The Internet

Morality: doing what is right regardless of what you’ve been told.

Obedience: doing what you are told regardless of what is right.

— The Internet, 2021

As Told to Milton Mayer

“To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it — please try to believe me — unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted’ […].”

“Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not? — Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.”

[…]

“Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing). […] You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.”

— As told to Milton Mayer (1908-1986)
in They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45, 1955

(The extract the above portion was taken from is here.)

Unclear Attribution

‘The most terrifying force of death, comes from the hands of “Men who wanted to be left Alone”.

They try, so very hard, to mind their own business and provide for themselves and those they love.

They resist every impulse to fight back, knowing the forced and permanent change of life that will come from it.

They know, that the moment they fight back, the lives as they have lived them, are over.

The moment the “Men who wanted to be left Alone” are forced to fight back, it is a small form of suicide. They are literally killing off who they used to be…

Which is why, when forced to take up violence, these “Men who wanted to be left Alone”, fight with unholy vengeance against those who murdered their former lives. They fight with raw hate, and a drive that cannot be fathomed by those who are merely play-acting at politics and terror. TRUE TERROR will arrive at the Left’s door, and they will cry, scream, and beg for mercy…but it will fall upon deaf ears.’

— Unclear attribution. Earliest source appears to be by commenter RightlyIndignent, here (2020).

Winston Churchill

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be even a worse fate, you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

— Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Victor Frankl

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Victor Frankl
in Man’s Search for Meaning (1946).
Psychiatrist, philosopher, author.

 

Thucydides

In imitation therefore of these men and placing happiness in liberty and liberty in valour, be forward to encounter the dangers of war.

— Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War (400 BC)

Frequently misattributed as “The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.”

Thomas Jefferson

[While] certain forms of government are better calculated than others to protect individuals in the free exercise of their natural rights, and are at the same time themselves better guarded against degeneracy, yet experience hath shown that, even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

— Thomas Jefferson
Diffusion of Knowledge Bill (1779)

Theodore Dalrymple

“Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

— Theodore Dalrymple [Anthony Malcolm Daniels] (1949– )

Robert Hudnut

“Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. To do nothing when a house is burning is to do something. It is to let the house burn. To say nothing when a country is burning is to say something. It is to let the country burn.”

— Robert Hudnut
in A Sensitive Man and the Christ (1971)

Frequently misattributed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer as “Silence in the face of evil, is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” See https://www.wthrockmorton.com/2016/08/25/the-popular-bonhoeffer-quote-that-isnt-in-bonhoeffers-works/ and https://www.wthrockmorton.com/2016/11/11/update-on-a-spurious-bonhoeffer-quote-not-to-speak-is-to-speak-not-to-act-is-to-act/

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

“Whoever lays his hand on me to govern me is a usurper and tyrant, and I declare him my enemy.”

— Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)
in Confessions of a Revolutionary (1849)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Seven Social Sins

  1. Wealth without work
  2. Pleasure without conscience
  3. Knowledge without character
  4. Commerce without morality
  5. Science without humanity
  6. Religion without sacrifice
  7. Politics without principle

— Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)
in Young India (Gandhi’s weekly newspaper), 22 October 1925

Benjamin Franklin

At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; at forty, the judgement.

— Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac (June 1741) 
Writer, scientist, statesman, political philosopher

Baltasar Gracián

Every blockhead is thoroughly persuaded that he is in the right, and every one who is all too firmly persuaded is a blockhead, and the more erroneous is his judgment the greater is the tenacity with which he holds it.

— Baltasar Gracián, Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia (The Art of Worldly Wisdom) (1647)

Mark Twain

How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!

— Mark Twain, "Chapters From My Autobiography—IX", The North American Review Vol 184 (4 January 1907)

Frequently misattributed as “It’s easier to fool people than it is to convince them that they have been fooled.”

Unknown Source

“Through action, a Man becomes a Hero

Through death, a Hero becomes a Legend

Through time, a Legend becomes a Myth

And by learning from the Myth, a Man takes action.”

— Unknown source

G. Michael Hopf

“Hard times create strong men.

Strong men create good times.

Good times create weak men.

And, weak men create hard times.”

— G. Michael Hopf (1970– )
Novelist

Kris Kristofferson

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

Kris Kristofferson, “Me and Bobby McGee” (1969) (song), popularised by Janis Joplin in 1970

John Stuart Mill

“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

— John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St. Andrews (speech, University of St Andrews, 1 Feb 1867)

Friedrich Nietzsche

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
Philologist, philosopher

Frederick Douglass

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

Frederick Douglass, speech at Canandaigua, New York, 3 August 1857 (twenty-third anniversary of the “West India Emancipation”)

David Hume

In all matters of opinion and science … the difference between men is … oftener found to lie in generals than in particulars; and to be less in reality than in appearance. An explanation of the terms commonly ends the controversy, and the disputants are surprised to find that they had been quarrelling, while at bottom they had been agreed in their judgement.

— David Hume, “Of the Standard of Taste” (1757)

David Hume

If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, “Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number?” No. “Does it contain any experimental reasoning, concerning matter of fact or existence?” No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.

— David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748) sect 12 pt 3.
Philosopher, historian, economist

 

Elbridge Gerry

“Self defence is a primary law of nature, which no subsequent law of society can abolish; this primæval principle, the immediate gift of the Creator, obliges every one to remonstrate against the strides of ambition, and a wanton lust of domination, and to resist the first approaches of tyranny, which at this day threaten to sweep away the rights for which the brave sons of America have fought with an heroism scarcely paralleled even in ancient republicks.”

— Elbridge Gerry, Observations On the new Constitution, and on the Federal and State Conventions (1788).
US Vice President, diplomat

C. S. Lewis

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

— C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis (1898-1963)
Writer, lay theologian

Aristotle

 “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

— Aristotle (384 BC–322 BC)
Philosopher, polymath

Debatable Attribution

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

— Debatable attribution. Either:
Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (1747-1813), or
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“And as for him who lacks the courage to defend even his own soul: Let him not brag of his progressive views, boast of his status as an academician or a recognized artist, a distinguished citizen or general. Let him say to himself plainly: I am cattle, I am a coward, I seek only warmth and to eat my fill.”

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, “Live Not by Lies” (1974)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“You only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power—he’s free again.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The First Circle (1968) ch 17

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If… if… We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more—we had no awareness of the real situation… We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (1973) [1958–1968].
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (Александр Исаевич Солженицын) 1918–2008, novelist, philosopher, historian, short story writer, political prisoner.

Albert Camus

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

— Albert Camus (1913-1960)
Philosopher, author, journalist

 

St Thomas Aquinas

“Once the government is established, the government of the kingdom must be so arranged that opportunity to tyrannize be removed. At the same time, his power should be so tempered that he cannot easily fall into tyranny.”

— St Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
Friar, philosopher

Frédéric Bastiat

“Lorsque la Spoliation est devenue le moyen d’existence d’une agglomération d’hommes unis entre eux par le lien social, ils se font bientôt une loi qui la sanctionne, une morale qui la glorifie.”

(When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.)

— Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)
in Sophismes économiques, 2ème série (1848), chap. 1 Physiologie de la spoliation
(Economic sophisms, 2nd series (1848), chap. 1 Physiology of plunder)

Bertrand de Jouvenel

“A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.”

— Bertrand de Jouvenel (1903-1987)

 

“Credited to French philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenel (1903-1987) since at least 1949. It is probable that de Jouvenel originated the saying.” [source]

Unknown

“The best time to plant a tree was ten years ago. The next best time is now.”

— unknown

Thomas Sowell

“Freedom is not free. You have to fight for it or lose it. ”

— Thomas Sowell (1930– )
Economist, social theorist

Michael Crichton

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period. In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let’s review a few cases.

And shall we go on? The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy. The list of consensus errors goes on and on.

Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.

— Michael Crichton, Caltech Michelin Lecture, 17 January 2003.
MD, author, film-maker, speaker.

William Lyon Mackenzie King

“Government, in the last analysis, is organized opinion. Where there is little or no public opinion, there is likely to be bad government, which sooner or later becomes autocratic government.”

— William Lyon Mackenzie King, Message of the Carillon (1927).
Prime Minister of Canada for 21 years total.

Samuel Adams

“In short, it is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or any number of men, at the entering into society, to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights; when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defence of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property. If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.”

— Samuel Adams, The Rights of Colonies Examined: The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting, 20 November 1772.

Samuel Adams

“Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeath’d to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. —Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that ‘if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.’ It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.”

— Samuel Adams (writing as “Candidus”), Essay in The Boston Gazette, 14 October 1771

The Internet

Sick until proven healthy is no less tyrannical than guilty until proven innocent!

— The Internet, 2021

Rudyard Kipling

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

— Rudyard Kipling, Interview with an Immortal

Alexander Trachtenberg

“We will take the United States under labels we have made very lovable; we will take it under Liberalism, under Progressivism, under Democracy. But take it we will.”

— Alexander Trachtenberg, National Convention of Communist Parties, Madison Square Garden, 1944

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