Since Jul 13, 2002
-LaMettrie, Machine Man
"Viewed in the light of the terminology favored by leading political scientists, it seems that monarchs such as Louis XIV, Joseph II, or George III were genuine liberals-by modern standards. None of them could have issued a decree drafting male subjects into his army, nor a decree regulating the diet of his citizens, nor one demanding a general confession of all economic activities from the head of each household. Not until the democratic age were conscription, Prohibition, and income tax declarations made into law by the people's representatives, who have far greater power than absolute monarchs ever dreamed of; they operate under the auspices of the magic democratic formula: We are the people, and the people-that's us."
-Erich von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism Revisited
"Arabic philosophy is not important as original thought. Men like Avicenna and Averroes are essentially commentators. Speaking generally, the views of the more scientific philosophers come from Aristotle and the Neoplatonists in logic and metaphysics, from Galen in medicine, from Greek and Indian sources in mathematics and astronomy, and among mystics religious philosophy has also an admixture of old Persian beliefs. Writers in Arabic showed some originality in mathematics and in chemistry; in the latter case, as an incidental result of alchemical researches. Mohammedan civilization in its great days was admirable in the arts and in many technical ways, but it showed no capacity for independent speculation in theoretical matters. Its importance, which must not be underrated, is as a transmitter. Between ancient and modern European civilization, the dark ages intervened. The Mohammedans and the Byzantines, while lacking the intellectual energy required for innovation, preserved the apparatus of civilization books, and learned leisure. Both stimulated the West when it emerged from barbarism; the Mohammedans chiefly in the thirteenth century, the Byzantines chiefly in the fifteenth. In each case the stimulus produced new thought better than and produced by the transmitters in the one case scholasticism, in the other the Renaissance (which however had other causes also)."
-Lord Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy