Liberty is the right of
every man to be honest, to think and to speak without hypocrisy.
Like bones to the human
body, the axle to the wheel, the wing to the bird, and the
air to the wing, so is liberty the essence of life. Whatever
is done without it is imperfect.
Man loves liberty, even
if he does not know that he loves it. He is driven by it and
flees from where it does not exist.
Perhaps the enemies of
liberty are such only because they judge it by its loud voice.
If they knew its charms, the dignity that accompanies it,
how much a free man feels like a king, the perpetual inner
light that is produced by decorous self-awareness and realization,
perhaps there would be no greater friends of freedom than
those who are its worst enemies.
Freedoms, like privileges,
prevail or are imperiled together You cannot harm or strive
to achieve one without harming or furthering all.
It is terrible to speak
of you, Liberty, for one who lives without you. A wild best
does not bend its knee before its tamer with greater fury.
One discovers the depths of hell, and from there looks up
at freemen with their sun-like arrogance. One bites the air,
like a hyena biting the bars of its cage. One's spirit writhes
inside the body, like a man who has been poisoned. The wretch
who lives without freedom feels like dressing in the mud from
the streets Those who have you, o Liberty, do not know. you.
Those who do not have you should not speak of you, but win
We are free, but not to be evil, not to be indifferent to
human suffering, not to profit from the people, from the work
created and sustained through their spirit of political association,
while refusing to contribute to the political state that we
profit from. We must say no once more. Man is not free to
watch impassively the enslavement and dishonor of men, nor
their struggles for liberty and honor.
Socialist ideology, like so many others, has two main dangers.
One stems from confused and incomplete readings of foreign
texts, and the other from the arrogance and hidden rage of
those who, in order to climb up in the world, pretend to be
frantic defenders of the helpless so as to have shoulders
on which to stand.
He who receives money
in trust to administer for the benefit of its owner, and uses
it either for his own interest or against the wishes of its
rightful owner, is a thief. The vote is a trust more delicate
than any other, for it involves not just the interests of
the voter, but his life, honor and future as well. He who
uses the office he owes to the voters wrongfully and against
them is a thief.
After seeing it rise,
quake, sleep, prostitute itself, make mistakes, be abused,
sold and corrupted; after seeing the voters turn into animals,
the voting booths besieged, the ballot boxes overturned, the
results falsified, the highest offices stolen, one still must
acknowledge, because it is true, that the vote is an awesome,
invincible and solemn weapon; the vote is the most effective
and merciful instrument that man has devised to manage his
Fortunately, there is
a sane equilibrium in the character of nations, as there is
in that of men. The force of passion is balanced by the force
of interest. An insatiable appetite for glory leads to sacrifice
and death, but innate instinct leads to self-preservation
and life. A nation that neglects either of these forces perishes.
They must be steered together, like a pair of carriage horses.
Peoples are made of hate
and of love, and more of hate than love. But love, like the
sun that it is, sets afire and melts everything. what greed
and privilege to build up over whole centuries the indignation
of a pious spirit, with its natural following of oppressed
souls, will cast down with a single shove.
The merit and strength
of a people are measured by their enthusiasm for freedom when
the only rewards from it are anguish and martyrdom, the blood
and ashes of exile, the sorrow of a house driven by the waves,
and the shame of a useless life that lacks the foundation
and peace of mind needed to do one's share of the common task.
On Morality and Human Behavior
We light the oven so that everyone may bake bread in it. If
I survive, I will spend my whole life at the oven door seeing
that no one is denied bread and, so as to give a lesson of
charity, especially those who did not bring flour.
It is necessary to make
One just principle from
the depths of a cave is more powerful than an army.
Happiness exists on earth,
and it is won through prudent exercise of reason, knowledge
of the harmony of the universe, and constant practice of generosity.
He who seeks it elsewhere will not find it for, having drunk
from all the glasses of life, he will find satisfaction only
Talent is a gift that brings with it an obligation to serve
the world, and not ourselves, for it is not of our making.
To use for our exclusive benefit what is not ours is theft.
Culture, which makes talent shine, is not completely ours
either, nor can we place it solely at our disposal. Rather,
it belongs mainly to our country, which gave it to us, and
to humanity, from which we receive it as a birthright. A selfish
man is a thief.
He who could have been a torch and stoops to being a pair
of jaws is a deserter.
A child, from the time he can think, should think about all
he sees, should suffer for all who cannot live with honesty,
should work so that all men can be honest, and should be honest
himself. A child who does not think about what happens around
him and is content with living without wondering whether he
lives honestly is like a man who lives from a scoundrel's
work and is on the road to being a scoundrel.
Every human being has within him an ideal man, just as every
piece of marble contains in a rough state a statue as beautiful
as the one that Praxiteles the Greek made of the god Apollo.
It is the duty of man to raise up man. One is guilty of all
abjection that one does not help to relieve. Only those who
spread treachery, fire, and death out of hatred for the prosperity
of others are undeserving of pity.
There are men who live contented through they live without
decorum. Others suffer as if in agony when they see around
them people living without decorum. There must be a certain
amount of decorum in the world, just as there must be a certain
amount of light. When there are many men without decorum,
there are always others who themselves possess the decorum
of many men. These are the ones who rebel with terrible strength
against those who rob nations of their liberty, which is to
rob men of their decorum. Embodied in those men are thousands
of men, a whole people, human dignity.
Through a marvelous law
of natural compensation, he who gives of himself grows, and
he who turns inward and lives from small pleasures, is afraid
to share them with others, and only thinks avariciously of
cultivating his appetites loses his humanity and becomes loneliness
itself. He carries in his breast all the dreariness of winter.
He becomes in fact and appearance an insect.
Man is not an image engraved on a silver dollar, with covetous
eyes, licking lips and a diamond pin on a silver dickey. Man
is a living duty, a depository of powers that he must not
leave in a brute state. Man is a wing.
A genuine man goes to the roots. To be a radical is no more
than that: to go to the roots. He who does not see things
in their depth should not call himself a radical.
To busy oneself with what is futile when one can do something
useful, to attend to what is simple when one has the mettle
to attempt what is difficult, is to strip talent of its dignity.
It is a sin not to do what one is capable of doing.
Men of action, above all those whose actions are guided by
love, live forever. Other famous men, those of much talk and
few deeds, soon evaporate. Action is the dignity of greatness.
There is happiness in duty, although it may not seem so. To
fulfill one's duty elevates the soul to a state of constant
sweetness. Love is the bond between men, the way to teach
and the center of the world.
In truth, men speak too much of danger. Let others be terrified
by the natural and healthy risks of life! We shall not be
frightened! Poison sumac grows in a hard-working man's field,
the serpent hisses from its hidden den, and the owl's eye
shines in the belfry, but the sun goes on lighting the sky,
and truth continues marching across the earth unscathed.
On Miscellaneous Subjects
Like stones rolling down
hills, fair ideas reach their objectives despite all obstacles
and barriers. It may be possible to speed or hinder them,
but impossible to stop them.
The struggles waged by
nations are weak only when they lack support in the hearts
of their women. But when women are moved and lend help, when
women, who are by nature calm and controlled, give encouragement
and applause, when virtuous and knowledgeable women grace
the endeavor with their sweet love, then it is invincible.
by Carlos Ripoll