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Published On: Thu, Jan 7th, 2016

Isabel Paterson Quotes

UPDATED: To respect to Isabel Paterson, some new quotes, photos and details have been added to her quote page. She passed away on January 10, 1961, some 55 years ago but her words and insight ring louder than ever.

Biographer Stephen D. Cox has stated that Paterson is the “earliest progenitor of libertarianism as we know it today” and Ayn Rand wrote in a letter that The God of the Machine “does for capitalism what Das Kapital does for the Reds and what the Bible did for Christianity.”

Check out some popular quotes below:

"God of the Machine" book cover

“God of the Machine” book cover

A tax supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state….The most vindictive resentment may be expected from the pedagogic profession for any suggestion that they should be dislodged from their dictatorial position; it will be expressed mainly in epithets, such as “reactionary,” at the mildest. Nevertheless, the question to put to any teacher moved to such indignation is: Do you think nobody would willingly entrust his children to you to pay you for teaching them? Why do you have to extort your fees and collect your pupils by compulsion? – The God of the Machine

Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends. – The God of the Machine

Poverty can be brought about by law; it cannot be forbidden by law.  – The God of the Machine

If everyone were invariably honest, able, wise, and kind, there should be no occasion for government. Everyone would readily understand what is desirable and what is possible in given circumstances, all would concur upon the best means toward their purpose and for equitable participation in the ensuing benefits, and would act without compulsion or default. The maximum production was certainly obtained from such voluntary action arising from personal initiative. But since human beings will sometimes lie, shirk, break promises, fail to improve their faculties, act imprudently, seize by violence the goods of others, and even kill one another in anger or greed, government might be defined as the police organization. In that case, it must be described as a necessary evil. It would have no existence as a separate entity, and no intrinsic authority; it could not be justly empowered to act excepting as individuals infringed one another’s rights, when it should enforce prescribed penalties. Generally, it would stand in the relation of a witness to contract, holding a forfeit for the parties. As such, the least practicable measure of government must be the best. Anything beyond the minimum must be oppression.  – The God of the Machine

There can be no greater stretch of arbitrary power than to seize children from their parents, teach them whatever the authorities decree they shall be taught, and expropriate from the parents the funds to pay for the procedure.

Isabel Paterson 1939 photo

Isabel Paterson 1939 photo

About the Author

- Stories transferred over from The Desk of Brian where the original author was not determined and the content is still of interest of Dispatch readers.

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