Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Wilhelm von Humboldt

Freedom exalts power; and, as is always the collateral effect of increasing strength, tends to induce a spirit of liberality. Coercion stifles power, and engenders all selfish desires, and all the mean artifices of weakness. Coercion may prevent many transgressions; but it robs even actions which are legal of a portion of their beauty. Freedom may lead to many transgressions, but it lends even to vices a less ignoble form.

Wilhelm von Humboldt, Ideen zu einem Versuch die Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Staats zu bestimmen (1792; 1852, posthumous), English edition The Sphere and Duties of Government, as translated by Joseph Coulthard (1854), Chapter Eight. The book also appears in English as The Limits of State Action.

By: Redactor

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