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Friedrich A. Hayek: Champion of

Individual Liberty, Limited Government, and Free Markets

Group Discussion
Commanding Heights
Great Thinkers
Topics and Essays
Great Quotes

Hayek Quotes ] Milton Friedman ] [ Ayn Rand ] Frederick Bastiat ]

Ayn Rand

Some quotes by Ayn Rand on Liberty from the essay "Man's Rights"

"... If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor.

 Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.

 No man can have a right to impose an unchosen obligation, an unrewarded duty or an involuntary servitude on another man.  There can be no such thing as "the right to enslave."

 A right does not include the material implementation of that right by other men; it includes only the freedom to earn that implementation by one's own effort.

 Observe, in this context, the intellectual precision of the Founding Fathers:  they spoke of the right to the pursuit of happiness--not of the right to happiness.  It means that a man has the right to take the actions he deems necessary to achieve his happiness; it does not mean that others must make him happy.

 The right to life means that a man has the right to support his life by his own work (on any economic level, as high as his ability will carry him);  it does not mean that others must provide him with the necessities of life.

 The right to property means that a man has the right to take the economic actions necessary to earn property, to use it and to dispose of it;  it does not mean that others must provide him with property.

 The right of free speech means that a man has the right to express his ideas without danger of suppression, interference, or punitive action by the government.  It does not mean that others must provide him with a lecture hall, a radio station or a printing press through which to express his ideas.

Some quotes from Ayn Rand's essay "Conservatism:  An Obituary":

"Both the "conservatives" and the "liberals" stress a fact with which everybody seems to agree:  that the world is facing a deadly conflict and that we must fight to save civilization.

 But what is the nature of that conflict?  Both groups answer:  it is a conflict between communism and ... what?--blank out.  It is a conflict between two ways of life, they answer, the communist way and ... what?--blank out.  It is a conflict between two ideologies, they answer.  What is our ideology?  Blank out.

 The truth which both groups refuse to face and to admit is that, politically, the world conflict of today is the last stage of the struggle between capitalism and statism.

 We stand for freedom, say both groups--and proceed to declare what kind of controls, regulations, coercions, taxes, and "sacrifices" they would impose, what arbitrary powers they would demand, what "social gains" they would hand out to various groups, without specifying from what other groups these "gains" would be expropriated.  Neither of them cares to admit that government control of a country's economy--any kind or degree of such control, by any group, for any purpose whatsoever--rests on the basic principle of statism, the principle that man's life belongs to the state.  A mixed economy is merely a semi-socialized economy--which means: a semi-enslaved society--which means: a country torn by irreconcilable contradictions, in the process of gradual disintegration.

 Freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion.  It does not mean freedom from the landlord, or freedom from the employer, or freedom from the laws of nature which do not provide men with automatic prosperity.  It means freedom from the coercive power of the state--and nothing else.

 The world conflict of today is the conflict of the individual against the state, the same conflict that has been fought throughout mankind's history.  The names change, but the essence--and the results--remain the same, whether it is the individual against feudalism, or against absolute monarchy, or against communism or fascism or Nazism or socialism or the welfare state. ...

 The issue is not slavery for a "good" cause versus slavery for a "bad" cause; the issue is not dictatorship by a "good" gang versus dictatorship by a "bad" gang.  The issue is freedom versus dictatorship.  It is only after men have chosen slavery and dictatorship that they can begin the usual gang warfare of socialized countries--today, it is called pressure-group (now special interest-group) warfare--over whose gang will rule, who will enslave whom, whose property will be plundered for whose benefit, who will be sacrificed to whose "noble" purpose.  All such arguments come later and are, in fact, of no consequence: the results will always be the same.  The first choice--and the only one that matters--is: freedom or dictatorship, capitalism or statism.


All information on this and referred pages should be distributed widely (with appropriate references to sources) to spread Hayek's principles to as many people as possible and move our countries toward more ideal conditions for all people.

Feel free to contact me with questions and comments: St. Augustine, Florida, USA - These pages last updated: July 17, 2003.

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