The Great Threat to Freedom Is . . .

Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.

Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, 1962

I Make No Pretension to Patriotism

I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard on this or the other side of the Atlantic, I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.

–Frederick Douglass, “Love of God, Love of Man, Love of Country,” Syracuse, New York, September 24, 1847.

Wendy Kaminer On The Right Not To Be Offended

Wendy Kaminer hits the nail on the head about avoiding offense.

If we have a right not to be offended, then we have no right to give offense. That means we have no reliable, predictable right to speak, because in diverse societies there are no universal opinions or beliefs that are universally inoffensive. If we have a legal right to feel emotionally safe and un-offended, we have a legal obligation to keep silent, which we violate at our peril. Emotionally safe societies are dangerous places for people who speak.

-Wendy Kaminer, On College Campuses, The Danger of Playing It Safe With Ideas, November 21, 2014

John Stuart Mill–He Who Knows Only His Side of the Case . . .

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion.

-John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859