Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Momnipotence, the FTC and the Freedom to Blog

Ooooo. What a great word–even if the concept it represents is one I would never want or seek. For a great post on just what this is, and why the FTC sharpening its regulatory sword in order to protect us all from ourselves–see Look Upon My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair! by Rational Jenn.

The desire for absolute power over others is as sick and evil as it is impossible. If there was such thing as a Soul-O-Meter, I envision it clicking backwards toward empty each and every time I attempted to gain power over another–for being a Master is even more self-destructive than being a slave. Both lose their independence, but a slave, at least, can still retain his dignity, self-respect and integrity.

Over the past 2 years of blogging, I have intermittently posted quotes which spoke bits of truth to me. They are all worth reading again and again–each one a gem worth prolonged contemplation. Here are some I gathered to think about in relationship to current attempts by the FTC to regulate bloggers. (But be sure to read Jenn’s post too as she takes a slightly different –but equally important–tact on this issue.

As I would not be a slave,

so I would not be a master.

--Abraham Lincoln(1809-1865) 16th US President

If I want to be free from any other man’s dictation, I must understand that I can have no other man under my control.”

– William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) American professor at Yale College

Every man is, no doubt, by nature, first and principally recommended to his own care; and as he is fitter to take care of himself than of any other person, it is fit and right that it should be so.

– Adam Smith (1723-1790) Scottish philosopher and economist

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

– Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Source: Letter, 23 December 1791

Here the great art lies,
to discern in what the law
is to be to restraint and punishment,
and in what things

persuasion only is to work.

– John Milton (1608-1674) Poet 1644

That the sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression.

– Alabama, Declaration of Rights Article I Section 35

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress.

– Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), escaped slave, Abolitionist, author, editor of the North Star and later the New National Era

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money and promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one….”

--James Madison, letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792

The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition, when suffered to exert itself with freedom and security is so powerful a principle that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often incumbers its operations; though the effect of these obstructions is always more or less either to encroach upon its freedom, or to diminish its security.

– Adam Smith (1723-1790) An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776, par. IV.5.82

If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too.
– W. Somerset Maugham(1874-1965)Source: Strictly Personal, 1941

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly
is to fill the world with fools.

– Herbert Spencer(1820-1903) British author, economist, philosopher 1891

If an American is to amount to anything he must rely upon himself, and not upon the State; he must take pride in his own work, instead of sitting idle to envy the luck of others. He must face life with resolute courage, win victory if he can, and accept defeat if he must, without seeking to place on his fellow man a responsibility which is not theirs.

– Theodore Roosevelt(1858-1919) 26th US President

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.

–Milton Friedman (1912-2006) Nobel Prize-winning economist, economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan.

The battle I am fighting is not Right vs. Left or Republican vs. Democrat. The principles I believe in are all variations of one essential battle:
for Individual Rights and against Statism.

–Beth Haynes, 09-13-09, Values Clarification


Unknown said...

Lol, you're in good company.

Nice quote.

HaynesBE said...

Thanks Harold!