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Henry Campbell-Bannerman

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What do we mean by this Liberalism of which we talk? ... I should say it means the acknowledgement in practical life of the truth that men are best governed who govern themselves; that the general sense of mankind, if left alone, will make for righteousness; that artificial privileges and restraints upon freedom, so far as they are not required in the interests of the community, are hurtful; and that the laws, while, of course, they cannot equalise conditions, can, at least, avoid aggravating inequalities, and ought to have for their object the securing to every man the best chance he can have of a good and useful life.
The Liberal Magazine (January 1898), p. 530.
John Wilson, C.B.: A Life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (London: Constable, 1973), p. 232.

Henry Campbell-Bannerman

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Life is not governed by chance; it is not random. Your very existence has been willed by God, blessed and given a purpose! Life is not just a succession of events or experiences. It is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy.

Benedict XVI (Pope)

They have no lawyers among them, for they consider them as a sort of people whose profession it is to disguise matters and to wrest the laws, and, therefore, they think it is much better that every man should plead his own cause, and trust it to the judge, as in other places the client trusts it to a counsellor; by this means they both cut off many delays and find out truth more certainly; for after the parties have laid open the merits of the cause, without those artifices which lawyers are apt to suggest, the judge examines the whole matter, and supports the simplicity of such well-meaning persons, whom otherwise crafty men would be sure to run down; and thus they avoid those evils which appear very remarkably among all those nations that labour under a vast load of laws. Every one of them is skilled in their law; for, as it is a very short study, so the plainest meaning of which words are capable is always the sense of their laws; and they argue thus: all laws are promulgated for this end, that every man may know his duty; and, therefore, the plainest and most obvious sense of the words is that which ought to be put upon them, since a more refined exposition cannot be easily comprehended, and would only serve to make the laws become useless to the greater part of mankind, and especially to those who need most the direction of them; for it is all one not to make a law at all or to couch it in such terms that, without a quick apprehension and much study, a man cannot find out the true meaning of it, since the generality of mankind are both so dull, and so much employed in their several trades, that they have neither the leisure nor the capacity requisite for such an inquiry.

St. Thomas More

...we were brainwashed into believing... that the only important thing was individualism. They called it freedom. There is no such thing as freedom. There is something called liberty; it's quite different. [Guido de] Ruggiero's History of European Liberalism... Freedom is freedom from restraints. We're always under restraints.

Carroll Quigley

In its origin, liberalism had no ambition to be universal either in the sense of claiming to be valid for everyone and every human society or in the sense of purporting to give an answer to all the important questions of human life. ... The ideal of liberalism is a practically engaged political philosophy that is both epistemically and morally highly abstemious. That is, at best, a very difficult and possibly a completely hopeless project. It is therefore not surprising that liberals succumb again and again to the temptation to go beyond the limits they would ideally like to set for themselves and try to make of liberalism a complete philosophy of life. ... In the middle of the twentieth century, Kantianism presented itself as a “philosophical foundation” for a version of liberalism, and liberals at that time were sufficiently weak and self-deceived (or strong and opportunistic) to accept the offer.

Raymond Geuss

It does not matter whether the right to govern is hereditary or obtained with the consent of the governed. A State is absolute in the sense which I have in mind when it claims the right to a monopoly of all the force within the community, to make war, to make peace, to conscript life, to tax, to establish and dis-establish property, to define crime, to punish disobedience, to control education, to supervise the family, to regulate personal habits, and to censor opinions. The modern State claims all of these powers, and, in the matter of theory, there is no real difference in the size of the claim between communists, fascists, and democrats.

Walter Lippmann
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