Historic Views on Government – Acton

Honest opinion about government from Lord Acton:

Liberty alone demands for its realization the limitation of the public authority, for liberty is the only object which benefits all alike, and provokes no sincere opposition.

…Liberty and good government do not exclude each other; and there are excellent reasons why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.
   The Home and Foreign Review, 1862

The great question is to discover, not what governments prescribe, but what they ought to prescribe; for no prescription is valid against the conscience of mankind.
   The History of Freedom in Antiquity, 1877

Lord Acton was an English historian who served as Regius professor of modern history at Cambridge (1895-1902). He edited Cambridge Modern History and wrote on the French Revolution and modern history. One of his most noteworthy books is The History of Freedom in Antiquity (1877).

Quotation and short bio from The Quotable Conservative: The Giants of Conservatism on Liberty, Freedom, Individual Responsibility, and Traditional Values. Rod L. Evans and Irwin M. Berent, editors. Holbrook, Mass.: Adams Publishing, 1996.

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