25 Lysander Spooner Quotes on His Radical Vision

To learn more about a man that continues to influence Libertarian thinkers significantly, look at these Lysander Spooner Quotes.

Spooner is best known for being an individualist anarchist and abolitionist that is still influencing the thinking of Libertarians today.

He believed less government control and more individual freedom were necessary to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

Spooner began his life of activism with his career as a lawyer when he set up a legal practice after only three years of studying under attorneys instead of the required five years.

He believed that professionals should not be required to have a license and that preventing someone from doing business with someone without a permit was against the natural right to contract.

Look at these Lysander Spooner Quotes to learn more about this activist.

Political Lysander Spooner Quotes

Here are some political quotes from Lysander Spooner

1. “There can be no criminal intent in resisting injustice.” — Lysander Spooner

2. “No government knows any limits to its power except the endurance of the people.” — Lysander Spooner

4. “Legally speaking, there are no such things as ‘public rights,’ as distinguished from individual rights.” — Lysander Spooner

5. “If the government may decide who may and who may not be jurors, it will, of course select only its partisans and those friendly to its measures.” — Lysander Spooner

4. “If taxation without consent is robbery, the United States government has never had, has not now, and is never likely to have, a single honest dollar in its treasury.” — Lysander Spooner

6. “Any government that is its own judge of, and determines authoritatively for the people, what are its own powers over the people, is an absolute government, of course.” — Lysander Spooner

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7. “That no government, so called, can reasonably be trusted, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support.” — Lysander Spooner

8. “A man’s natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime; whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber, or by millions calling themselves a government.” — Lysander Spooner

9. “But for their right to judge the law, and the justice of the law, juries would be no protection to an accused person, even as to matters of fact; for, if the government can dictate to a jury any law whatever, in a criminal case, it can certainly dictate to them the laws of evidence.” — Lysander Spooner

10. “If any man’s money can be taken by a so-called government, without his own personal consent, all his other rights are taken with it; for with his money the government can, and will, hire soldiers to stand over him, compel him to submit to its arbitrary will and kill him if he resists.” — Lysander Spooner

Lysander Spooner Quotes on Abolitionism

Take a look at some of Spooner’s quotes on abolitionism.

11. “Who, but such usurpers, robbers, and murderers as they, ever established slavery?” — Lysander Spooner

12. “A slave government is an oligarchy; and one, too, of the most arbitrary and criminal character.” — Lysander Spooner

13. “The pretense that the ‘abolition of slavery,’ was either a motive or justification for the war is a fraud of the same character with that of ‘maintaining the national honor.’” — Lysander Spooner

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14. “The mere toleration of the slave trade could not make slavery itself – the right of property in man – lawful anywhere, not even on board the slave ship. Toleration of a wrong is not law.” — Lysander Spooner

15. “Even if the Constitution of the United States had intended to recognize slavery, as a constitutional state institution, such intended recognition would have failed of effect, and been legally void because slavery then had no constitutional existence to be recognized.” — Lysander Spooner

16. “Neither are a people any the less slaves because permitted periodically to choose new masters. What makes them slaves is the fact that they now are, and are always hereafter to be, in the hands of men whose power over them is, and always is to be, absolute and irresponsible.” — Lysander Spooner

17. “The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that-however bloody-can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.” — Lysander Spooner

Well-Known Lysander Spooner Quotes

Here are some of Spooner’s most well-known quotes.

18. “Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.” — Lysander Spooner

19. “A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.” — Lysander Spooner

20. “No man can rightfully be required to join, or support, an association whose protection he does not desire.” — Lysander Spooner

21. “The only security men can have for their political liberty consists in keeping their money in their own pockets.” — Lysander Spooner

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22. “If taxation without consent is not robbery, then any band of robbers have only to declare themselves a government and all their robberies are legalized.” — Lysander Spooner

23. “But whether the Constitution really be one thing or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” — Lysander Spooner

24. “They [the jurors] must judge of the existence of the law; of the true exposition of the law; of the justice of the law; and of the admissibility and weight of all the evidence offered; otherwise, the government will have everything its own way.” — Lysander Spooner

25. “If any man’s money can be taken by a so-called government, without his own personal consent, all his other rights are taken with it; for with his money the government can, and will, hire soldiers to stand over him, compel him to submit to its arbitrary will and kill him if he resists.” — Lysander Spooner

Lysander Spooner on Slavery

Lysander Spooner was vehemently opposed to slavery and believed that enslaved people should be freed at any cost.

However, he opposed the federal use of violence in preventing the Southern states from seceding.

He believed that slavery was wrong in all forms and was against natural law, but states should be free to govern themselves in most cases.

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