Liberty and Necessity (No. The lucky adjusting of times and seasons, taking advantage of prevailing prejudices and panicks, and knowing how to humour and lay hold of the predominant enthusiasm of human nature, has given birth to most of the revolutions in religion and politicks which ever happened. When the deputies thus act for their own interest, by acting for the interest of their principals; when they can make no law but what they themselves, and their posterity, must be subject to; when they can give no money, but what they must pay. By liberty, I understand the power which every man has over his own actions, and his right to enjoy the fruit of his labour, art, and industry, as far as by it he hurts not the society, or any members of it, by taking from. Must the magistrate tie up every mans legs, because some men fall into ditches? Every one of the leading passions is as necessary as another; all the difficulty is to keep them well marshalled: They are only terrible by breaking out of their ranks, and when they do, they are all alike terrible, though the world generally thinks otherwise. To make such protection practicable, magistracy was formed, with power to defend the innocent from violence, and to punish those that offered it; nor can there be any other pretence for magistracy in the world. But if neither magistrates, nor they who complain of magistrates, and are aggrieved by them, have a right to determine decisively, the one for the other; and if there be no common established power, to which both are subject; then every man interested in the. Without giving his people liberty, he cannot make them happy; and by giving them liberty, he gives up his own power.
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Ill governments, subsisting by vice and rapine, are jealous of private virtue, and enemies to private property. But as men are often in such a situation in respect of one another, that the stronger can oppress the weaker, without any fear of having the injury returned; and most men will pursue their own personal advantage independently of all other men; therefore Almighty. But thou art a great gormandizer, and eatest up all our victuals, which was designed for the use of men only; and therefore thou oughtest to be exterminated. It is a mistaken notion in government, that the interest of the majority is only to be consulted, since in society every man has a right to every mans assistance in the enjoyment and defence of his private property; otherwise the greater number may sell. Return to Top Considerations on the Restless and Selfish Spirit of Man (No. For, in short, the power of princes is often little else but a stalking-horse to the intrigues and ambition of their minister. So that to attempt to reduce all men to one standard of thinking, is absurd in philosophy, impious in religion, and faction in the state. A thing tyrannical and impossible!
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For myself, who have thought pretty much of these matters, I am of opinion, that a whole nation are like to be as much attached to themselves, as one man or a few men are like to be, who may by many means be detached. Charity obliges us to give that relief to others, which we, our friends, or relations, may want for ourselves. In order to this, they have made man the primum mobile, and his mind the first principle or spring of all his actions, independent of the author of his being, and of all the second causes which evidently influence and concur to determine his resolutions. Thus men grow rash and precipitate, by trampling upon caution and fear; and thus they become cowards, by stifling the love of glory: Whereas, if the appetite for danger were checked by the appetite of self-preservation, and the lazy love of safety by the love. But it is indeed impossible for an arbitrary prince to be otherwise, since oppression is absolutely necessary to his being. This power therefore, which no man has, no man can transfer to another. To serve his country is his private pleasure, mankind is his mistress; and he does good to them by gratifying himself. Liberty Proved to Be the Unalienable Right of All Mankind (No. To possess, in security, the effects of our industry, is the most powerful and reasonable incitement to be industrious: And to be able to provide for our children, and to leave them all that we have, is the best motive to beget them. Insomuch that the difference seemed greater between them than between men and sheep. And if any one, through his own inadvertence, or by the fraud or violence of another, can be drawn into so foolish a contract, he is relievable by the eternal laws of God and reason.
I know no man so fit as himself to rule himself, in things which purely concern himself. Men eternally cowed and oppressed by haughty and insolent governors, made base themselves by the baseness of that sort of government, and become slaves by ruling over slaves, want spirit and souls to meet in the field freemen, who scorn oppressors, and are their own. But the power and sovereignty of magistrates in free countries was so qualified, and so divided into different channels, and committed to the direction of so many different men, with different interests and views, that the majority of them could seldom or never find their. Force can give no title but to revenge, and to the use of force again; nor could it ever enter into the heart of any man, to give to another power over him, for any other end but to be exercised for his own advantage.