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John Locke

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In the world of thought, it was a political philosophy which made rights the foundation of the social order, and which considered the discharge of obligations, when it considered it at all, as emerging by an inevitable process from their free exercise. The first famous exponent of this philosophy was Locke, in whom the dominant conception is the indefeasibility of private rights, not the pre-ordained harmony between private rights and public welfare.
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R. H. Tawney, The Acquisitive Society (1920) p.14

 
John Locke

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Those who are most to be considered, those for whose help the struggle must be made, if labor is to be enfranchised, and social justice won, are those least able to help or struggle for themselves, those who have no advantage of property or skill or intelligence, ó the men and women who are at the very bottom of the social scale. In securing the equal rights of these we shall secure the equal rights of all.
Hence it is, as Mazzini said, that it is around the standard of duty rather than around the standard of self-interest that men must rally to win the rights of man. And herein may we see the deep philosophy of Him who bade men love their neighbors as themselves.
In that spirit, and in no other, is the power to solve social problems and carry civilization onward.

 
Henry George
 

Democracy is based on the majority principle. This is especially true in a country such as ours where the vast majority have been systematically denied their rights. At the same time, democracy also requires that the rights of political and other minorities be safeguarded.
In the political order we have established there will regular, open and free elections, at all levels of government ó central, provincial and municipal. There shall also be a social order which respects completely the culture, language and religious rights of all sections of our society and the fundamental rights of the individual.

 
Nelson Mandela
 

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society.

 
Ron Paul
 

So those of us whose political, and economic, and social philosophy is black nationalism have become involved in the civil rights struggle. We have injected ourselves into the civil rights struggle, and we intend to expand it from the level of civil rights to the level of human rights. As long as youíre fighting on the level of civil rights, youíre under Uncle Samís jurisdiction. Youíre going to his court expecting him to correct the problem. He created the problem. Heís the criminal. You donít take your case to the criminal; you take your criminal to court.

 
Malcolm (Malcolm Little) X
 

So those of us whose political, and economic, and social philosophy is black nationalism have become involved in the civil rights struggle. We have injected ourselves into the civil rights struggle, and we intend to expand it from the level of civil rights to the level of human rights. As long as youíre fighting on the level of civil rights, youíre under Uncle Samís jurisdiction. Youíre going to his court expecting him to correct the problem. He created the problem. Heís the criminal. You donít take your case to the criminal; you take your criminal to court.

 
Malcolm X
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