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James G. Watt

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Liberals have shifted government into a position of being neutral between right and wrong. By concentrating power in government institutions, liberals chisel at the three pillars of society: the family unit, work ethic and faith. That's not good for America.
--
U.S. News and World Report, November 11, 1985

 
James G. Watt

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If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to ensure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are traveling the same path.

 
Ronald Reagan
 

You and I in America are faced not with a segregationist conspiracy, we’re faced with a government conspiracy. Everyone who’s filibustering is a senator—that’s the government. Everyone who’s finagling in Washington, D.C., is a congressman—that’s the government. You don’t have anybody putting blocks in your path but people who are a part of the government. The same government that you go abroad to fight for and die for is the government that is in a conspiracy to deprive you of your voting rights, deprive you of your economic opportunities, deprive you of decent housing, deprive you of decent education. You don’t need to go to the employer alone, it is the government itself, the government of America, that is responsible for the oppression and exploitation and degradation of black people in this country. And you should drop it in their lap. This government has failed the Negro. This so-called democracy has failed the Negro. And all these white liberals have definitely failed the Negro.

 
Malcolm (Malcolm Little) X
 

You and I in America are faced not with a segregationist conspiracy, we’re faced with a government conspiracy. Everyone who’s filibustering is a senator—that’s the government. Everyone who’s finagling in Washington, D.C., is a congressman—that’s the government. You don’t have anybody putting blocks in your path but people who are a part of the government. The same government that you go abroad to fight for and die for is the government that is in a conspiracy to deprive you of your voting rights, deprive you of your economic opportunities, deprive you of decent housing, deprive you of decent education. You don’t need to go to the employer alone, it is the government itself, the government of America, that is responsible for the oppression and exploitation and degradation of black people in this country. And you should drop it in their lap. This government has failed the Negro. This so-called democracy has failed the Negro. And all these white liberals have definitely failed the Negro.

 
Malcolm X
 

Liberals placed an unreasonable amount of faith in large institutions: unions, foundations, big government, large corporations, and universities. These institutions are based on principles that are antithetical to democracy. They are not democratic, they are hierarchical: Someone is at the top and everybody else is at the bottom. Their policies are not made democratically, they are made at the top. These institutions are also not egalitarian. They operate by administrative discretion and authority, not the rule of law: There is no legislature, no group lawmaking body.
The individual in the large organization does not have the kind of constitutional rights that an individual in the society at large has. There are no protections of autonomy and free speech. Employees can be fired for many reasons. We need to constitutionalize large organizations to protect the people within them, to ensure that they can be politically outspoken.

 
Charles A. Reich
 

The churches I attended would embrace war metaphor. They would talk about how we are in a battle, and I agreed with them, only they wouldn't clarify that we were battling poverty and hate and injustice and pride and the power of darkness. They left us thinking that our war was against liberals and homosexuals. Their teaching would have me believe I was the good person in the world and the liberals were the bad people in the world. Jesus taught that we are all bad and He is good, and He wants to rescue us because there is a war going on and we are hostages in that war. The truth is we are supposed to love the hippies, the liberals, and even the Democrats, and that God wants us to think of them as more important than ourselves. Anything short of this is not true to the teachings of Jesus.

 
Don Miller
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