If you would be free, look to your hands.
Life is for everyone. Learning is for everyone. School is not. Colleges—such as they are now—certainly are not.
How free are a people? Tell me whether they know the names of their neighbors along the block, and what their children are doing on a sunny day in June.
You can have life, or you can have safety at all costs, but you cannot have both.
At every pass we have absorbed laws, not of morality, which are liberating, but of etiquette, which is a curb on adventure and genius, and of security and sloth, which deaden the soul.
There is a kind of natural anti-mimesis when it comes to what boys see girls doing. The boy must accomplish a task that the girl does not have to accomplish.
What we’re after cannot be captured in statistics: some sense of how far our practical liberty extends, protected not by policemen, penal codes, or forensic criminology but by trust in our countrymen.
Washington is a fever swamp of dishonor, patronage, and protection, host to an occupying government using the constitutional government as its sock puppet.
Promoting the trades, in an effort to alleviate poverty and crime, and to strengthen the working-class family, will require in us a real counterrevolution, a return to common sense and decency.
John Hay’s life offers a glimpse of what love of country looks like. If we cannot understand it, we truly are aliens and vagabonds upon the earth.
What happens when a formerly Christian nation forgets the reality of sin and our desperate need of grace?
Booker T. Washington believed that his work succeeded because it was in concord with immutable laws of human nature. But we now believe that there is no such thing as human nature.
The sheer gigantism of the state makes it impossible for people to know what the relevant laws are, for most spheres of human action; and it is a short step from not knowing the law, to seeing that nobody else knows it, to shrugging and not caring what it is.
It is good for us to play sometimes, and not fight. In reality, people are united by what the political utilitarian cannot recognize: by play and song and worship.
How can you tell if you have the soul of a fascist? If you are alive and breathing, you are in danger of it.
What we think about things can be as important as the things themselves, because it forms our moral stance toward the world. But what if our thoughts are in error?
We ruin reputations, we tear down monuments to our flawed benefactors, we destroy lives with a glee and a certitude that would make the old inquisitors blush.
The hypocrite is not the person who says one thing and does another. He is the play-actor, the man or woman who puts on a show of righteousness, to fool himself first of all, because he is his own favorite audience.
Someone may say we ought to live in open sewers, because filth and disease are subversive; or that we ought to cut ourselves with razors, because razors are edgy. What response can you give to him? He has placed himself outside of moral reasoning entirely.
On our side of the abyss, the 16-year-old boy is dying slowly of intellectual asphyxiation in school and online. On that side of the abyss, the biggest manufacturer of women’s clothing in Cleveland is advertising for a likely lad to come and do office work, with high hopes set forth for a well-remunerated career.