The right of self defense is the first law of nature.
St. George Tucker, View of the Constitution of the United States, 1803, in which he relates the import placed on the Second Amendment by the Founders.
So true is it that men close their eyes on encroachments committed by that party to which they are attached, in the delusive hope that power, in such hands, will always be wielded against their adversaries, never against themselves.
The Life of George Washington Volume 1
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
John Adams, 2nd President of the United States
(…and this from the guy that brought us the Aliens and Sedition Acts to quell Democrat-Republican — opposition party (and specifically, his vice president, Thomas Jefferson) — criticism of his illegal and undeclared naval war against the French in 1798.)
A third and final trait, one which, in my eyes, best describes socialists of all schools and shades, is a profound opposition to personal liberty and scorn for individual reason, a complete contempt for the individual. They unceasingly attempt to mutilate, to curtail, to obstruct personal freedom in any and all ways. They hold that the State must not only act as the director of society, but must further be master of each man, and not only master, but keeper and trainer. For fear of allowing him to err, the State must place itself forever by his side, above him, around him, better to guide him, to maintain him, in a word, to confine him. They call, in fact, for the forfeiture, to a greater or less degree, of human liberty, to the point where, were I to attempt to sum up what socialism is, I would say that it was simply a new system of serfdom.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Remarks to French Constituent Assembly, 1848
Just ask a blacksmith..
Jeff Riggenbach makes a very good claim to that notion in Why I Am a Left Libertarian in which he charts the differences between authoritarian/totalitarian political views vs. the individualist, liberal views of libertarianism.
I was very fond of this particular passage:
Some libertarians are in the habit of saying, “We libertarians are neither Right nor Left; we are libertarians.” But no matter how emphatically they thump their chests while saying this, they’re wrong. They have allowed themselves to be deceived and misled by a political confidence game foisted on the American electorate beginning in the 1930s, when an opportunistic demagogue named Franklin Delano Roosevelt began passing off as the newest kind of “liberalism” a package of homilies and government programs that had traditionally been presented to the American public by the Republican Party, the party of big business, the party that was in favor of capitalism but opposed to the free market. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” consisted mainly of government programs introduced by his Republican predecessor, Herbert Hoover, laced with a generous dose of the bribery of the electorate first popularized by Otto von Bismarck. Some will object that conservatives have historically been for individual liberty and free markets, but this view is uninformed and ahistorical. The Republicans who opposed the New Deal opposed it mostly because they weren’t running it themselves; they took their libertarian rhetoric from true liberals, the classical liberals who are labeled “the Old Right” today by the historically confused. These people, many of them publicists like H.L. Mencken, Albert Jay Nock, and Isabel Patterson, had joined the Republicans after being forced out of the Democratic party, apparently in the belief that only by doing so could they oppose FDR’s policies. The party adopted their rhetoric, but they employ it only to dupe that subset of the electorate that cares about such things; then, once in power, they do as FDR did, the precise opposite of what they claimed to believe in.
My idea was to bribe the working class, or shall I say, to win them over, to regard the state as a social institution existing for their sake and interested in their welfare…
Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of the German Empire (1871-1890)
…and the Progressives (the first of these having been trained in aristocratic English and German universities) continue this traditional of bilking the public to give them the scraps off the table.