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Lysander Spooner Quotes
- Page 4
No court presumes to tell a jury that they are to try a capital case with the same indifference and unconcern as to consequences, that they would a case where the results of their decision would be less important.
The desertion of Jesus, by his followers, furnishes an argument in support of the supposition that he attempted to be king of the Jews, rather than that he was a superior being.
The mere toleration of the slave trade could not make slavery itself - the right of property in man - lawful any where; not even on board the slave ship. Toleration of a wrong is not law.
Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property.
When a man says he is building a house for himself and his posterity, he does not mean to be understood as saying that he has any thought of binding them, nor is it to be inferred that he is so foolish as to imagine that he has any right or power to bind them, to live in it.
The laws recognize no obligation on the part of the slave to labor for or serve his master. If he refuse to labor, the law will not interfere to compel him. The master must do his own flogging, as in the case of an ox or a horse.
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.
To deprive mankind of their natural right and power of creating wealth for themselves, is as great a tyranny as it is to rob them of it after they have created it. And this is done by all laws against honest banking.
The law does not require a man to cease to be a man, and act without regard to consequences, when he becomes a juror.
For a government to declare a vice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things. It is as absurd as it would be to declare truth to be falsehood, or falsehood truth.
It is perfectly clear, in the first place, that the constitution of the United States did not, of itself, create or establish slavery as a new institution; or even give any authority to the state governments to establish it as a new institution. The greatest sticklers for slavery do not claim this.
Justice is the object of government, and those who support the government, must be agreed as to the justice to be executed by it, or they cannot rightfully unite in maintaining the government itself.
Now it is clear, that if the government can exclude, on account either of their opinions or feelings, any persons thus drawn by lot, the trial is no longer a trial by 'the country,' but only by a portion of the country.
Slavery is a wrong to each individual enslaved; and not merely to the first of a series. Natural law, therefore, as much forbids the enslaving of the child, as if the wrong of enslaving the parent had never been perpetrated.
There is perhaps not an enlightened Christian in America who, notwithstanding he may believe that, at the time of Jesus, men were possessed of devils, believes that they ever have been in any other instance, either before or since.
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Robert M. Pirsig
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