William Graham Sumner Quotes.
There ought to be no laws to guarantee property against the folly of its possessors.
He who would be well taken care of must take care of himself.
The criminal law needs to be improved to meet new forms of crime, but to denounce financial devices which are useful and legitimate because use is made of them for fraud, is ridiculous and unworthy of the age in which we live.
Men of routine or men who can do what they are told are not hard to find; but men who can think and plan and tell the routine men what to do are very rare.
If you live in a country run by committee, be on the committee.
The great hinderance to the development of this continent has lain in the lack of capital.
Furthermore, the unearned increment from land appears in the United States as a gain to the first comers, who have here laid the foundations of a new State.
The real danger of democracy is, that the classes which have the power under it will assume all the rights and reject all the duties-that is, that they will use the political power to plunder those-who-have.
If I want to be free from any other man’s dictation, I must understand that I can have no other man under my control.
There is every indication that we are to see new developments of the power of aggregated capital to serve civilization, and that the new developments will be made right here in America.
It is not the function of the State to make men happy. They must make themselves happy in their own way, and at their own risk. The functions of the State lie entirely in the conditions or chances under which the pursuit of happiness is carried on.
Then, again, the ability to organize and conduct industrial, commercial, or financial enterprises is rare; the great captains of industry are as rare as great generals.
The men who start out with the notion that the world owes them a living generally find that the world pays its debt in the penitentiary or the poor house.
It is the tendency of the social burdens to crush out the middle class, and to force society into an organization of only two classes, one at each social extreme.
Civil liberty is the status of the man who is guaranteed by law and civil institutions the exclusive employment of all his own powers for his own welfare.
Before the tribunal of nature, a man has no more right to life than a rattlesnake; he has no more right to liberty than any wild beast; his right to the pursuit of happiness is nothing but a license to maintain the struggle for existence, if he can find within himself the powers with which to do it.
It is often said that the earth belongs to the race, as if raw land was a boon, or gift.
There is no boon in nature. All the blessings we enjoy are the fruits of labor, toil, self-denial, and study.
Labor organizations are formed, not to employ combined effort for a common object, but to indulge in declamation and denunciation, and especially to furnish an easy living to some officers who do not want to work.
The waste of capital, in proportion to the total capital, in this country between 1800 and 1850, in the attempts which were made to establish means of communication and transportation, was enormous.
In England pensions used to be given to aristocrats, because aristocrats had political influence, in order to corrupt them. Here pensions are given to the great democratic mass, because they have political power, to corrupt them.
It is a beneficent incident of the ownership of land that a pioneer who reduces it to use, and helps to lay the foundations of a new State, finds a profit in the increasing value of land as the new State grows up.
Men educated in [the critical habit of thought]are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain.
History is only a tiresome repetition of one story. Persons and classes have sought to win possession of the power of the State in order to live luxuriously out of the earnings of others
It is remarkable that jealousy of individual property in land often goes along with very exaggerated doctrines of tribal or national property in land.
If you ever live in a country run by a committee, be on the committee.
There is no such thing on this earth as something for nothing.
A drunkard in the gutter is just where he ought to be, according to the fitness and tendency of things. Nature has set upon him the process of decline and dissolution by which she removes things which have survived their usefulness.
Perhaps they do not recognize themselves, for a rich man is even harder to define than a poor one.
Any one who believes that any great enterprise of an industrial character can be started without labor must have little experience of life.
The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D. . . . I call C the Forgotten Man.
The forgotten man… He works, he votes, generally he prays, but his chief business in life is to pay.
What we prepare for is what we shall get.
Joint-stock companies are yet in their infancy, and incorporated capital, instead of being a thing which can be overturned, is a thing which is becoming more and more indispensable.
A drunkard in the gutter is just where he ought to be…The law of survival of the fittest was not made by man, and it cannot be abrogated by man. We can only, by interfering with it, produce the survival of the unfittest.
The State cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man
The aggregation of large fortunes is not at all a thing to be regretted.