Politics is, as it were, the gizzard of society—full of grit and gravel and two political parties are its two opposite halves which grind on each other.—Journal, 10 November 1851
That certainly is the best government where the inhabitants are least often reminded of the government.—Journal, 21 August 1851
The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free. They are the lovers of law and order, who observe the law when the government breaks it.—"Resistance to Civil Government"
The newspapers are the ruling power. What Congress does is an after-clap.—

Journal, 17 November 1850

The poor President, what with preserving his popularity and doing his duty, is completely bewildered.—"Life without Principle"
The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual.—"Resistance to Civil Government"
There is a coarse and boisterous money-making fellow in the outskirts of our town who is going to build a blank-wall under the hill along the edge of his meadow. The powers have put this into his head to keep him out of mischief, and he wishes me to spend three weeks digging there with him. The result will be that he will perhaps get some more money to hoard, and leave for his heirs to spend foolishly. If I do this, most will commend me as an industrious and hard-working man; but if I choose to devote myself to certain labors which yield more real profit, though but little money they may be inclined to look on me as an idler. Nevertheless, as I do not need the police of meaningless labor to regulate me, and do not see anything absolutely praiseworthy in this fellow’s undertaking any more than in many an enterprise of our own or foreign governments, however amusing it may be to him or them, I prefer to finish my education at a different school.—"Life Without Principle"
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison.—"Resistance to Civil Government"
We are a nation of politicians, concerned about the outsides of freedom, the means and outmost defenses of freedom. It is our children's children who may perchance be essentially free.—Journal, 16 February 1851
What is the value of any political freedom, but as a means to moral freedom?—Journal, 16 February 1851
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