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The Fragility of Freedom introduces readers to some of our great thinkers. The book is replete with quotations from over fifty philosophers and economists. Here is a sample.

Keeping an open mind


If you only read the books that everyone else is reading,

you can only think what everyone else is thinking.


Haruki Murakami,  Norwegian Wood

The moral state


I can and must bring my concept of politics to bear, and inject into it my political ideals, my longing for justice, decency, and civility, my notion of what, for the present purposes, I will call ‘the moral state’.


Vaclav Havel, Summer Meditations

Crony capitalism


The illegitimate use of a state, by economic interests, for their own ends, is based upon preexisting illegitimate power of the state to enrich some persons at the expense of others.


Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia

The dignity of work


Productive work is the process by which man’s consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one’s purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one’s values.


Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Access to wisdom


It is because freedom means the renunciation of direct control of individual efforts that a free society can make use of so much more knowledge than the wisest ruler could comprehend.


F.A.Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty

Too big to lead


Twentieth-century leaders built corporate empires, organizations too big to lead.  Inherently unmanageable by virtue of size and complexity, inherently meaningless by virtue of work reduced to disassociated parts, these behemoths were ill prepared for this new world of rapid change and unpredictability.


Meg Wheatley,  So Far From Home

Creators of wealth


Merchants and craftsmen make prosperity:

chiefs, priests and thieves fritter it away.


Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist


Save us from the sanctimonious


Of all the tyrannies a tyranny sincerely executed for the good of the victims may be the most oppressive.

It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.


C.S.Lewis, God in the Dock

The end of the cargo cult


All over the world, the impossible promises governments have made to their populations are beginning to unravel. Millions of people have arranged their lives in the expectation of various forms of government support that will be mathematically impossible to provide.


Thomas E. Woods Jr., Back on the Road to Serfdom

Grace to admit we were wrong


We are ready to accept almost any explanation of the present crisis in our civilization except one: that the present state of the world may be the result of genuine error on our part and that the pursuit of some of our most cherished ideals has apparently produced results utterly different from those we expected.


F.A.Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

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