“To embrace the idea of liberty is not a natural condition of mankind. In fact, we are disposed to tolerate far more impositions on liberty than we should. To love liberty requires an act of the intellect, I believe. It involves coming to understand how all things we love in this world were given to us under conditions of liberty.
We need to come to see government as it is, not as we wish it to be and not as the civics books describe it. And we need to surrender our attachments to government in every aspect of life. This goes for the right and the left. We need to give up our dependencies on the state, materially and spiritually. We should not look to the state to provide for us financially or psychologically.
Let us give up our longing for welfare, our love of war, and our desire to see the government control and shape our fellow citizens. Let us understand that it is far better to live in an imperfect world than it is to live in a despotic world ruled by people who lord it over us through force and intimidation. We need a new understanding of what it means to be a great nation; it should mean, as George Washington said, that our nation is a beacon unto the world, not that we conquer the world militarily, impose our will on everyone, or even remain number one in the GDP rankings. Our sense of what it means to be great must be defined first by morality.
We must come to imagine liberty again, and believe that it can be a reality. In order to do this, we do not need songs, slogans, rallies, programs, or even a political party. All we need is access to good ideas, some degree of idealism, and the courage to embrace the liberty that so many great people of the past have embraced.
Liberty built civilization. It can rebuild civilization. And when the tides turn and the culture again celebrates what it means to be free, our battle will be won. It could happen in our time. It might happen after we are gone from this earth. But it will happen. Our job in this generation is to prepare the way.”
-Ron Paul. Liberty Defined. Afterword