Albert J. Nock Quotes

Albert Jay Nock (October 13, 1870 – August 19, 1945) was an American libertarian author, editor first of The Freeman and then The Nation, educational theorist, Georgist, and social critic of the early and middle 20th century. He was an outspoken opponent of the New Deal and anti-semitism, and served as a fundamental inspiration for the modern libertarian and Conservative movements, cited as an influence by William F. Buckley, Jr.. He was one of the first Americans to self-identify as "libertarian". His best-known book is Our Enemy, the State

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Albert J. Nock


Life has obliged him to remember so much useful knowledge that he has lost not only his history, but his whole original cargo of useless knowledge; history, languages, literatures, the higher mathematics, or what you will - are all gone.

Albert J. Nock


The business of a scientific school is the dissemination of useful knowledge, and this is a noble enterprise and indispensable withal; society can not exist unless it goes on.

Albert J. Nock


Useless knowledge can be made directly contributory to a force of sound and disinterested public opinion.

Albert J. Nock


Like Prince von Bismarck in diplomacy, I have no secrets.

Albert J. Nock


Perhaps the prevalence of pedantry may be largely accounted for by the common error of thinking that, because useful knowledge should be remembered, any kind of knowledge that is at all worth learning should be remembered too.

Albert J. Nock


Learning has always been made much of, but forgetting has always been deprecated; therefore pedantry has pretty well established itself throughout the modern world at the expense of culture.

Albert J. Nock


I am said to be difficult of acquaintance, unwilling to meet any one half way, and showing a social manner which is easy, not diffident, but formal and unresponsive, tending constantly to hold people off.

Albert J. Nock


The university's business is the conservation of useless knowledge; and what the university itself apparently fails to see is that this enterprise is not only noble but indispensable as well, that society can not exist unless it goes on.

Albert J. Nock


Diligent as one must be in learning, one must be as diligent in forgetting; otherwise the process is one of pedantry, not culture.

Albert J. Nock


Considered now as a possession, one may define culture as the residuum of a large body of useless knowledge that has been well and truly forgotten.

Albert J. Nock


The State always moves slowly and grudgingly towards any purpose that accrues to society's advantage, but moves rapidly and with alacrity towards one that accrues to its own advantage; nor does it ever move towards social purposes on its own initiative, but only under heavy pressure, while its motion towards anti-social purposes is self-sprung.

Albert J. Nock


Concerning culture as a process, one would say that it means learning a great many things and then forgetting them; and the forgetting is as necessary as the learning.

Albert J. Nock


As might be supposed, my parents were quite poor, but we somehow never seemed to lack anything we needed, and I never saw a trace of discontent or a failure in cheerfulness over their lot in life, as indeed over anything.

Albert J. Nock


The practical reason for freedom is that freedom seems to be the only condition under which any kind of substantial moral fiber can be developed we have tried law , compulsion and authoritarianism of various kinds, and the result is nothing to be proud of.

Albert J. Nock


The primary reason for a tariff is that it enables the exploitation of the domestic consumer by a process indistinguishable from sheer robbery.

Albert J. Nock