Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More From Colonel Cooper

A free man must not be told how to think, either by the government or by social activists. He may certainly be shown the right way, but he must not accept being forced into it.

-- LtCol John Dean "Jeff" Cooper, USMC (retired)
   May 10, 1920 - September 25, 2006


Blogger Taylor H said...


March 17, 2011 at 9:11 PM  
Anonymous typeay said...

Like all former Marines, I will only speak of Lt. Col. Cooper in awed, hushed, respectful, tones. That being said, this is one of the few statements Cooper has ever made that is laughably incorrect. The Marine Corps will NOT only TELL you how to think, you will be quickly and and effectively punished, for NOT thinking "The Marine Way." Any Marine veteran that states otherwise is simply not being honest. The Marine Corps is a unique American institution in that it runs both on honor, AND fear.

Proud to have served.

March 17, 2011 at 9:11 PM  
Anonymous stoky said...

I just finished reading C Stories. When we lost Col. Cooper, we lost one of the greatest philosophers of our time. I had the great privilege of meeting and talking with him. A Marine yes, but he was much more.

March 17, 2011 at 10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To typeay:

If you are a U.S. Marine you are not a free man.

The good Colonel was speaking about free men.....and he was correct in his assessment. There is a difference between being a free thinking member of a free society and a blindly obedient sycophant to your beloved Corp. This nation is for free men not the latter.


March 18, 2011 at 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


He is not incorrect.

He is referring to free men. Marines, or any other military branch, for that matter, are not free men. Not once they join, and not until they get out, at least.


March 18, 2011 at 4:55 PM  
Anonymous aughtsix said...

+III to the previous two comment.

Exactly what I was going to point out.

I often think of Robert Heinlein as Col. Cooper's literary counterpart. There is so much similarity in the precision, clarity and results of their thinking.

Here is R.A.H.'s take on the human requirements for free thinking individuality:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

Specialization is for insects.

Robert A. Heinlein in "Time Enough For Love"

I recently posted this in comments at Sipsey Street, so forgive my zeal for this quote, but it seems to me to distill the anti collectivist, freeman attitude more potently and in fewer words than many another attempt to do so.

Col. Cooper would approve.


March 19, 2011 at 1:50 AM  
Blogger J. Croft said...

Even in chinos he's a frightening bastard when he's got you in his sights...

If Americans had THIS guy's picture as a poster in their bedrooms instead of Justin Beeber or whatever generation's equivalent you had, this country wouldn't be in the spot it's in.

We'd have had the politicians swung from the lampposts and tree trunks decades ago.

I can hear God say "See Col. Cooper? Now go thou and do likewise."

March 19, 2011 at 7:36 PM  

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