There are many things the government cant do, many good purposes it must renounce. It must leave them to the enterprise of others. It cannot feed the people. It cannot enrich the people. It cannot teach the people. It cannot convert the people.
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APALord Acton Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=there-are-many-things-government-cant-do-many-good-purposes-it-must-renounce-it-must-leave-them-to-enterprise-others-it-cannot-feed-people-it-lord-acton
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The true guide of our conduct is no outward authority, but the voice of God, who comes down to dwell in our souls, who knows all our thoughts, to whom are owing all the truth we know, and all the good we do; for vice is voluntary, and virtue comes from the grace of the heavenly spirit within.
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The idea that the object of constitutions is not to confirm the predominance of any interest, but to prevent it; to preserve with equal care the independence of labour and the security of property; to make the rich safe against envy, and the poor against oppression, marks the highest level attained by the statesmanship of Greece.
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Neither an enlightened philosophy, nor all the political wisdom of Rome, nor even the faith and virtue of the Christians availed against the incorrigible tradition of antiquity. Something was wanted, beyond all the gifts of reflection and experience -- a faculty of self government and self control, developed like its language in the fibre of a nation, and growing with its growth.
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It was from America that the plain ideas that men ought to mind their business, and that the nation is responsible to Heaven for the acts of the State -- ideas long locked in the breast of solitary thinkers, and hidden among Latin folios -- burst forth like a conqueror upon the world they were destined to transform, under the title of the Rights of Man ... and the principle gained ground, that a nation can never abandon its fate to an authority it cannot control.
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Liberty, next to religion has been the motive of good deeds and the common pretext of crime, from the sowing of the seed at Athens, 2,460 years ago, until the ripened harvest was gathered by men of our race. It is the delicate fruit of a mature civilization; and scarcely a century has passed since nations, that knew the meaning of the term, resolved to be free. In every age its progress has been beset by its natural enemies, by ignorance and superstition, by lust of conquest and by love of ease, by the strong man's craving for power, and the poor man's craving for food.
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