„This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it,“

—  John Marshall, Context: This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it, would seem too apparent to have required to be enforced by all those arguments which it enlightened friends, while it was depending before the people, found it necessary to urge. That principle is now universally admitted. But the question respecting the extent of the powers actually granted, is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist. 17 U.S. (4 Wheaton) 316, 405
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John Marshall
politicien américain 1755 - 1835
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„To rule means to exercise power, and only he who possesses power can exercise it. This direct connection of power and rule forms the fundamental truth of all politics and the key to all history.“

—  Ludwig von Rochau German politician 1810 - 1873
Mittel Energie auszuüben und nur ihn anzuordnen der Energie besitzt kann sie ausüben. Dieser direkte Anschluß der Energie und der Richtlinie bildet die grundlegende Wahrheit aller Politik und den Schlüssel zu aller Geschichte. As quoted in The German Idea of Freedom : History of a Political Tradition (1972) by Leonard Krieger, p. 354

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„The incapacity for freedom can only arise from a want of moral and intellectual power; to elevate this power is the only way to counteract this want; but to do this presupposes the exercise of that power, and this exercise presupposes the freedom which awakens spontaneous activity.“

—  Wilhelm Von Humboldt German (Prussian) philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the University of Berlin 1767 - 1835
Context: The incapacity for freedom can only arise from a want of moral and intellectual power; to elevate this power is the only way to counteract this want; but to do this presupposes the exercise of that power, and this exercise presupposes the freedom which awakens spontaneous activity. Only it is clear we cannot call it giving freedom, when fetters are unloosed which are not felt as such by him who wears them. But of no man on earth—however neglected by nature, and however degraded by circumstances—is this true of all the bonds which oppress and enthral him. Let us undo them one by one, as the feeling of freedom awakens in men’s hearts, and we shall hasten progress at every step. There may still be great difficulties in being able to recognize the symptoms of this awakening. But these do not lie in the theory so much as in its execution, which, it is evident, never admits of special rules, but in this case, as in every other, is the work of genius alone. Ch. 16

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Simone Weil photo

„Although it is beyond the reach of any human faculties, man has the power of turning his attention and love towards it.
Nothing can ever justify the assumption that any man, whoever he may be, has been deprived of this power.
It is a power which is only real in this world in so far as it is exercised. The sole condition for exercising it is consent.“

—  Simone Weil French philosopher, Christian mystic, and social activist 1909 - 1943
Context: There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man's mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties. Corresponding to this reality, at the centre of the human heart, is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world. Another terrestrial manifestation of this reality lies in the absurd and insoluble contradictions which are always the terminus of human thought when it moves exclusively in this world. Just as the reality of this world is the sole foundation of facts, so that other reality is the sole foundation of good. That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations. Those minds whose attention and love are turned towards that reality are the sole intermediary through which good can descend from there and come among men. Although it is beyond the reach of any human faculties, man has the power of turning his attention and love towards it. Nothing can ever justify the assumption that any man, whoever he may be, has been deprived of this power. It is a power which is only real in this world in so far as it is exercised. The sole condition for exercising it is consent. This act of consent may be expressed, or it may not be, even tacitly; it may not be clearly conscious, although it has really taken place in the soul. Very often it is verbally expressed although it has not in fact taken place. But whether expressed or not, the one condition suffices: that it shall in fact have taken place. To anyone who does actually consent to directing his attention and love beyond the world, towards the reality that exists outside the reach of all human faculties, it is given to succeed in doing so. In that case, sooner or later, there descends upon him a part of the good, which shines through him upon all that surrounds him.

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„Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.“

—  Milton Friedman American economist, statistician, and writer 1912 - 2006
Context: The free man will ask neither what his country can do for him nor what he can do for his country. He will ask rather "What can I and my compatriots do through government" to help us discharge our individual responsibilities, to achieve our several goals and purposes, and above all, to protect our freedom? And he will accompany this question with another: How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect? Freedom is a rare and delicate plant. Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp. Introduction

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„The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.“

—  John Stuart Mill British philosopher and political economist 1806 - 1873
Context: The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. Ch. 1: Introductory

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