Tibor R. Machan

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Tibor R. Machan, 2006

Tibor Richard Machan (18 March 1939 – 24 March 2016) was a Hungarian American philosopher. A professor emeritus in the department of philosophy at Auburn University, Machan held the R. C. Hoiles Chair of Business Ethics and Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics at Chapman University in Orange, California until December 31, 2014.


  • Politicians are leaches, mostly.
    • “Why Honor Politicians?” Mises Daily, Feb. 24, 2004 [1]
  • The institution of taxation is not a civilized but a barbaric method to fund anything... it amounts to... a gross violation of human liberty.
    • “What's Wrong with Taxation?” Mises Daily, Nov. 22, 2002 [2]
  • This right to life, this right to liberty, and this right to pursue one’s happiness is unabashedly individualistic, without in the slightest denying at the same time our thoroughly social nature. It’s only that our social relations, while vital to us all, must be chosen—that is what makes the crucial difference.
    • “Collectivist Thinking Is Rife in the USA”, Strike The Root, March 1, 2004 [3]
  • Without a market in which allocations can be made in obedience to the law of supply and demand, it is difficult or impossible to funnel resources with respect to actual human preferences and goals.
    • Liberty and Research and Development: Science Funding in a Free Society, Introduction chapter: “Some Skeptical Reflections on Research and Development”, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University (2002) p. xiii [4]

Human Rights and Human Liberties: A Radical Reconsideration of the American Political Tradition, (1975)


Chicago: IL, Nelson Hall, 1975

  • To Marx any talk of rights possessed by people equally, unalienably, absolutely, and universally would have to await the communist epoch when all persons will have reached a common nature, total equality and perfection. Until then people are in a state of incompletion and imperfection, incapable of justifying equal human rights.
    • p. 41

Private Rights and Public Illusions (1994)


New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1994

  • [The media] assume, in the way they address politicians or report on social problems, that whatever is important to society must be a matter of public or state concern.
    • p. xiii
  • [T]here is little doubt that only a totalitarian government aims to take on every possible concern of the citizenry.
    • p. xiii
  • [C]oercive human interactions [are] destructive, even where the coercion is urged from honorable motives, and advocates confining the use of physical force in human relations to instances of the administration of justice understood as the protection and maintenance of individual (negative) human rights.
    • p. xvi
  • While individualism was once widely hailed in Britain and especially the United States, today it is deemed amoral and heartless. The individualist viewpoint is unable to promise honestly that everyone will eventually be completely well-off. Critics find this defeatist and insist that ‘we must do better’ while calling upon the forces of the state to see that we do.
    • p. 67
  • If welfare and equality are to be primary aims of law, some people must necessarily possess a greater power of coercion in order to force redistribution of material goods. Political power alone should be equal among human beings; yet striving for other kinds of equality absolutely requires political inequality.
    • p. 81
  • Regulatory policies are inherently redistributive; that is, they involve the seizure of earned income for purposes of allocating this income in ways the government’s policymakers believe are more important than do those whose income has been seized.
    • p. 154

Classical Individualism: The Supreme Importance of Each Human Being (1998)


London, New York: Routledge, 1998

  • If one behaved as a good citizen or a charitable person simply because one was dreadfully scared of the state placing one in jail, one would not be a good citizen or person but barely more than a circus animal.
    • p. 11

The Promise of Liberty: A Non-Utopian Vision (2009)


Lanham: MD, Lexington Books, 2009

  • Ethics requires the kind of personal reflection, in the end, that no one else can do decisively for any individual.
    • p. 69
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