(?)
Quotes are added by the Goodreads community and are not verified by Goodreads. (Learn more)
Milton Friedman

“In a much quoted passage in his inaugural address, President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country." It is a striking sign of the temper of our times that the controversy about this passage centered on its origin and not on its content. Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The paternalistic "what your country can do for you" implies that government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man's belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic, "what you can do for your country" implies that government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary. To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshiped and served. He recognizes no national goal except as it is the consensus of the goals that the citizens severally serve. He recognizes no national purpose except as it is the consensus of the purposes for which the citizens severally strive.”


Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom
Read more quotes from Milton Friedman


Share this quote:
Share on Twitter

Friends Who Liked This Quote


To see what your friends thought of this quote, please sign up!

76 likes
All Members Who Liked This Quote



This Quote Is From

Capitalism and Freedom Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
12,490 ratings, average rating, 783 reviews
Open Preview

Browse By Tag