Randolph BOURNE on war
“War is the health of the State.”
— Randolph Bourne, The State (1918), available at http://www.slip.net/~knabb/CF/bourne.htm.
Richard CARTWRIGHT on the rights of individuals in Canada
“I think that every true reformer, every real friend of liberty, will agree with me in saying that if we must erect safeguards, they should be rather for the security of the individual than of the mass, and that our chiefest care must be to train the majority to respect the rights of the minority, to prevent the claims of the few from being trampled under foot by the caprice or passion of the many.”
— Richard Cartwright in the Legislative Assembly, Canada, March 9, 1865; reproduced in Janet Ajzenstat, Paul Romney, Ian
Gentles, and William D. Gairdner (Eds.), Canada�s Founding Debates (Toronto: Stoddart, 1999), p. 19.
Benjamin CONSTANT on obedience to unjust laws
“No duty, however, binds us to these so-called laws, whose corrupting influence menaces what is noblest in our being…”
— Benjamin Constant, Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments (1810) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003), p. 401-402.
Frederick DOUGLASS, on mistrust for the state
“Let us render the tyrant no aid; let us not hold the light by which he can trace the footprints of our flying brother.”
— Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself  (Toronto: New American Library, 1968), p. 106.
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Also available in English at Amazon.fr.
Thomas JEFFERSON on the spirit of resistance
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.”
— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787; reproduced in Thomas Jefferson, Writings (The Library of America, 1984), p. 889-890.
John Stuart MILL on individual sovereignty
“Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”
— John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859) (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1978), p. 9.
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Albert Jay NOCK, on blind allegiance to the State
“It is interesting to observe that in the year 1935 the average individual’s incurious attitude towards the phenomenon of the State is precisely what his attitude was toward the phenomenon of the Church in the year, say, 1500. … it does not appear to have occurred to the Church-citizen of that day, any more than it occurs to the State-citizen of the present, to ask what sort of institution it was that claimed his allegiance.”
— Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State, c. 1935 (Delavan: Hallberg, 1983), p. 34.
Henry David THOREAU on serving the state through resistance
“Others — as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders — serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few — as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men — serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part …”
Quotes taken from Subversive Liberty Quotes