Principium Volume II, Book 11, Quote 1096, 1101, and 1103

1096. (12-22-2010) …it is the acceptance of…common principles that makes a collection of people a community. And this common acceptance is the indispensable condition for a free society. A group of men normally become a society not by giving themselves laws but by obeying the same rules of conduct.

- Friedrich A. Hayek - The Constitution of Liberty, 1978


1101. (12-22-2010) Many politicians of our time are in the habit of laying it down as self-evident proposition, that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story, who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim. If men are to wait for liberty till they become wise and good in slavery, they may indeed have to wait forever.

- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1800-1859


1103. (12-22-2010) (A thought regarding politicians.)ATJ It is almost necessary that he (the politician)ATJ be unoriginal, that he fashion his program from opinions held be large numbers of people. The successful politician owes his power to the fact he moves within the accepted framework of thought, that he thinks and talks conventionally. It would be almost a contradiction in terms for a politician to be a leader in the field of ideas. His task in a democracy is to find out what the opinions held by the largest number are, not to give currency to new opinions which may become the majority view in some distant future.

- Friedrich A. Hayek – The Constitution of Liberty, 1978

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