The Limits of Individual Liberty

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Rivingtons, 1885 - Individualism - 242 pages
 

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Page 149 - ... to govern his own actions by the highest rule known to him, will not long sanction the theoretical folly of a State destitute of every moral purpose, and the practical waste incurred by reducing the corporate life to its lowest terms. " The true function of the State,
Page 238 - We have one continuous stream of life flowing past us, and " we must accept as valid the acts which were noted in the past, and on the principles of the past," and seek to turn the stream with a gentle bend here, and a gentle bend there to fructify the land ; we cannot afford to dam it up altogether...
Page 176 - ... crown of spiritual function exercised for the finest culture of the national character, the democratic State will certainly justify itself to the world in its increasing care for enriching and ennobling the life of its citizens. " Democracies such as unfriendly observers have so often portrayed, — vast clouds of human dust, congregations of restless, greedy individuals, all working hastily, and therefore dishonestly ; democracies in which piety is narrow and sterile, culture pretty and finical,...
Page 182 - ... whether mankind has suffered more in the past from an excess of government than from an excess of liberty. Liberty is not, as Benjamin Constant maintained, the end of all human associations,8 but is merely a means for the realization of the fullness of individual life. It is, therefore, beneficial only in so far as it helps man to attain that other freedom which is an end in itself, the end of all social organization.4 1 Introduction to Political Science, p. 146. * The State in Relation to Labor,...
Page 150 - ... inability is just as vague a term as improvement. Inability may exist in any degree. It admits of no general definition precise enough to be of use in practice. In every particular case, the degree of personal impotence which calls for public aid ' must be determined by experience and good sense. . . . We may lay down the general rule that, when the State seeks to supply the wants of the citizen, its aim should be not so much to satisfy his present desires as to excite in him the desire of better...
Page 28 - Essai sur 1'Histoire de l'ldŁe de Progres,' not only the philosophers but even the lawyers of antiquity and of the Middle Ages erred, as the founders of the great religious orders erred, in trying to substitute uniformity for variety, tradition for invention, and stability for movement. In these respects we have outgrown the wisdom of Greece and the sagacity of Rome. But we may find matter for thought in the reflection that the freest and most enlightened nations of antiquity, the nations rich beyond...
Page 169 - The cKstinction between Church and State, we take it, is not that the one operates by spiritual, the other by corporeal means; nor that the one secures our happiness in this, the other in a future life; nor that the one aims at chimerical, the other at rational objects; but simply this that the Church is an association for the advancement of the ideal life; the State an association for transforming the practical into the likeness of the ideal life. Both work into each other. Both are indispensible....
Page 120 - There is great wisdom in the rule of doing to others as you would have them do to you ; for others will do to you, as you do to them.
Page 213 - As against t hose, who oppose all change he will assert that he has appropriated the experience, not of one age or country, but of all. He will say that he has interpreted history in the spirit not of a partisan, but of a thinker. He will maintain that he contilnues the evolution of history.

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