"The king by the frightful and excessive taxes which he levies on all goods has drawn to himself all the money, and commerce has dried up. There are no rigors and cruelties which have not been employed upon the merchants by the farmers of the customs, a thousand trickeries to find grounds for making confiscations...Besides this, certain merchants, through the favour of the Court, put commerce into monopoly and get privileges given to them to exclude all others...And finally the prohibition of foreign goods, far from turning out well for commerce, is, on the contrary, what has ruined it...And all through this the despotic and sovereign power which prides itself on every whim, on reordering everything and reforming all things by absolute power", quoted in Murray Rothbard, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith.
"As often happens during an evolutionary period, the older, vested interests turned to the state for protection against the innovative elements within the industry and sought regulation that would preserve their traditional monopoly", The Economy of Later Renaissance Europe: 1460-1600 (referring to the attempts by urban manufacturers to hobble the rural production of worsted in mid-sixteenth century England)
"A wise mind will never censure any one for taking any action, however extraordinary, which may be of service in the organizing of a kingdom or the constituting of a republic", Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy (1514)
"A sagacious legislator of a republic, therefore, whose object is to promote the public good, and not his private interests....should concentrate all authority in himself", Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy (1514)
"For it was an elegant and true reply that was made to Alexander the Great by a certain pirate whom he had captured. When the king asked him what he was thinking of, that he should molest the sea, he said with defiant independence: 'The same as you when you molest the world! Since I do this with a little ship I am called a pirate. You do it with a great fleet and are called emperor'."
"Nothing can prevent some seats in the theatre from being better than others."
"When each person works away at his own occupation and delights in his own business, then like water flowing downward, goods will naturally flow ceaselessly day and night without being summoned, and the people will produce commodities without having been asked."
"A petty thief is put in jail. A great brigand becomes a ruler of a State."
"Good order results spontaneously when things are let alone."
"There has been such a thing as letting mankind alone; there has never been such a thing as governing mankind [with success]."