Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Crimes of avarice and ambition, committed by men of calculation..."


The greatest of all crimes are the wars that are carried on by governments, to plunder, enslave, and destroy mankind.
The next greatest crimes committed in the world are equally prompted by avarice and ambition; and are committed, not on sudden passion, but by men of calculation, who keep their heads cool and clear, and who have no thought whatever of going to prison for them.

They are committed, not so much by men who violate the laws, as by men who, either by themselves or by their instruments, make the laws; by men who have combined to usurp arbitrary power, and to maintain it by force and fraud, and whose purpose in usurping and maintaining it is by unjust and unequal legislation, to secure to themselves such advantages and monopolies as will enable them to control and extort the labor and properties of other men, and thus impoverish them, in order to minister to their own wealth and aggrandizement.

The robberies and wrongs thus committed by these men, in conformity with the laws, - that is, their own laws - are as mountains to molehills, compared with the crimes committed by all other criminals, in violation of the laws.

Lysander Spooner (January 19, 1808 – May 14, 1887) was an American individualist anarchist, entrepreneur, political philosopher, abolitionist, supporter of the labor movement, and legal theorist of the nineteenth century.

[NOTE: The term "spoonerism" was named after another Spooner - Rev. W.A. Spooner - not Lysander!]
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