„Phase by phase these ill-adapted governments are becoming uncontrolled absolutisms; they are killing that free play of the individual mind which is the preservative of human efficiency and happiness“

The Rights of Man, or what are we fighting for? (1940)
Contesto: Throughout the whole world we see variations of this same subordination of the individual to the organisation of power. Phase by phase these ill-adapted governments are becoming uncontrolled absolutisms; they are killing that free play of the individual mind which is the preservative of human efficiency and happiness. The populations under their sway, after a phase of servile discipline, are plainly doomed to relapse into disorder and violence. Everywhere war and monstrous economic exploitation break out, so that those very same increments of power and opportunity which have brought mankind within sight of an age of limitless plenty, seem likely to be lost again, it may be lost forever, in an ultimate social collapse.

H. G. Wells photo
H. G. Wells22
scrittore britannico 1866 - 1946

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Will Durant photo

„Happiness is the free play of the instincts, and so is youth.“

—  Will Durant American historian, philosopher and writer 1885 - 1981

Origine: Fallen Leaves (2014), Ch. 2 : On Youth

Michel De Montaigne photo

„It is the mind that maketh good or ill, That maketh wretch or happy, rich or poor.“

—  Michel De Montaigne (1533-1592) French-Occitan author, humanistic philosopher, statesman 1533 - 1592

Attributed

Miguel de Unamuno photo

„May not the absolute and perfect eternal happiness be an eternal hope, which would die if it were realized? Is it possible to be happy without hope? And there is no place for hope once possession has been realized, for hope, desire, is killed by possession.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno 19th-20th century Spanish writer and philosopher 1864 - 1936

The Tragic Sense of Life (1913), X : Religion, the Mythology of the Beyond and the Apocatastasis
Contesto: May not the absolute and perfect eternal happiness be an eternal hope, which would die if it were realized? Is it possible to be happy without hope? And there is no place for hope once possession has been realized, for hope, desire, is killed by possession. May it not be, I say, that all souls grow without ceasing, some in a greater measure than others, but all having to pass some time through the same degree of growth, whatever that degree may be, and yet without ever arriving at the infinite, at God, to whom they continually approach? Is not eternal happiness an eternal hope, with its eternal nucleus of sorrow in order that happiness shall not be swallowed up in nothingness?

Malcolm Muggeridge photo

„To the American people of 1789, their nation promised a new way of life: each individual a free man; each having the right to seek his own happiness; a republican form of government in which the people would be sovereign; and no arbitrary power over people's lives.“

—  Charles A. Reich, libro The Greening of America

Origine: The Greening of America (1970), Chapter II : Consciousness I: Loss Of Reality, p. 21 (See also: Hunter S. Thompson)
Contesto: To the American people of 1789, their nation promised a new way of life: each individual a free man; each having the right to seek his own happiness; a republican form of government in which the people would be sovereign; and no arbitrary power over people's lives. Less than two hundred years later, almost every aspect of the dream has been lost.

Stanley Baldwin photo
Homér photo

„And uncontrollable laughter broke from the happy gods
as they watched the god of fire breathing hard
and bustling through the halls.“

—  Homér, Iliad

I. 599–600 (tr. Robert Fagles); hence the expression "Homeric laughter".
Iliad (c. 750 BC)
Originale: (el) Ἄσβεστος δ' ἄρ' ἐνῶρτο γέλως μακάρεσσι θεοῖσιν
ὡς ἴδον Ἥφαιστον διὰ δώματα ποιπνύοντα.

Thomas Jefferson photo

„The equal rights of man, and the happiness of every individual, are now acknowledged to be the only legitimate objects of government.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826

1820s, Letter to A. Coray (1823)
Origine: Letters of Thomas Jefferson
Contesto: The equal rights of man, and the happiness of every individual, are now acknowledged to be the only legitimate objects of government. Modern times have the signal advantage, too, of having discovered the only device by which these rights can be secured, to wit: government by the people, acting not in person, but by representatives chosen by themselves, that is to say; by every man of ripe years and sane mind, who either contributes by his purse or person to the support of his country.

Gerald Ford photo

„The Declaration was not a protest against government but against the excesses of government. It prescribed the proper role of government to secure the rights of individuals and to effect their safety and their happiness. In modern society, no individual can do this all alone, so government is not necessarily evil but a necessary good.“

—  Gerald Ford American politician, 38th President of the United States (in office from 1974 to 1977) 1913 - 2006

On the United States Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution at the U.S. Bicentennial celebrations, Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (4 July 1976)
1970s
Contesto: The Declaration was not a protest against government but against the excesses of government. It prescribed the proper role of government to secure the rights of individuals and to effect their safety and their happiness. In modern society, no individual can do this all alone, so government is not necessarily evil but a necessary good.
The framers of the Constitution feared a central government that was too strong, as many Americans rightly do today. The framers of the Constitution, after their experience under the Articles, feared a central government that was too weak, as many Americans rightly do today. They spent days studying all of the contemporary governments of Europe and concluded with Dr. Franklin that all contained the seeds of their own destruction. So the framers built something new, drawing upon their English traditions, on the Roman Republic, on the uniquely American institution of the town meeting.

Robert Owen photo
Thomas Jefferson photo

„Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government…“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826

1770s, Declaration of Independence (1776)
Contesto: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

David Boaz photo
Evagrius Ponticus photo
Boris Yeltsin photo

„Liberty sets the mind free, fosters independence and unorthodox thinking and ideas. But it does not offer instant prosperity or happiness and wealth to everyone.“

—  Boris Yeltsin 1st President of Russia and Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR 1931 - 2007

As quoted in Russia and the Independent States (1993) by Daniel C. Diller, p. 446
1990s
Contesto: Liberty sets the mind free, fosters independence and unorthodox thinking and ideas. But it does not offer instant prosperity or happiness and wealth to everyone. This is something that politicians in particular must keep in mind.

Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay photo
Abraham Lincoln photo

„Free labor has the inspiration of hope; pure slavery has no hope. The power of hope upon human exertion, and happiness, is wonderful.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

Fragmentary manuscript of a speech on free labor (17 September 1859?) http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln3/1:141?rgn=div1;view=fulltext; The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler (1953), vol. 3, pp. 463–464
1850s
Contesto: Free labor has the inspiration of hope; pure slavery has no hope. The power of hope upon human exertion, and happiness, is wonderful. The slave-master himself has a conception of it; and hence the system of tasks among slaves. The slave whom you can not drive with the lash to break seventy-five pounds of hemp in a day, if you will task him to break a hundred, and promise him pay for all he does over, he will break you a hundred and fifty. You have substituted hope, for the rod. And yet perhaps it does not occur to you, that to the extent of your gain in the case, you have given up the slave system, and adopted the free system of labor.

John Keats photo
Thomas Jefferson photo

„The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826

To the Republican Citizens of Washington County, Maryland (31 March 1809)
1800s, Post-Presidency (1809)

George Washington photo

„The establishment of our new government seemed to be the last great experiment for promoting human happiness by a reasonable compact in civil society.“

—  George Washington first President of the United States 1732 - 1799

It was to be in the first instance, in a considerable degree, a government of accommodation as well as a government of laws. Much was to be done by prudence, much by conciliation, much by firmness. Few, who are not philosophical spectators, can realize the difficult and delicate part, which a man in my situation had to act. All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external happiness of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it beyond the lustre, which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity.
1790s, Letter to Catharine Macaulay Graham (1790)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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