Freedom and Liberty Quotes

 

“When the representative body have lost the confidence of their constituents, when they have notoriously made sale of their most valuable rights, when they have assumed to themselves powers which the people never put into their hands, then indeed their continuing in office becomes dangerous to the state” Thomas Jefferson
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“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” John Adams, 1772
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“A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.” Ramsey Clark, U. S. Attorney General, source: New York Times, 2 October 1977
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“It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives.” Dorothy Thompson (1894-1961), Ladies Home Journal, May 1958
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“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
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“I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies another this right makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.” Thomas Paine (1737-1809), The Age of Reason, 1783
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“Formerly no one was allowed to think freely; now it is permitted, but no one is capable of it any more. Now people want to think only what they are supposed to think, and this they consider freedom.” Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), The Decline of the West, 1926
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“Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal—that there is no human relation between master and slave.” Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi (1828-1910), Russian writer
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“I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.” Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
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“The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.” Thomas Jefferson to P. Dupont, 1816
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“Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801
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“But to manipulate men, to propel them toward goals which you—the social reformers—see, but they may not, is to deny their human essence, to treat them as objects without wills of their own, and therefore to degrade them.” Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997), Two Concepts of Liberty, 1958
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“Information is the currency of Democracy.” “In matters of style, swim with the current, in matters of principle, stand like a rock” “If all the people knew all the facts, they would never make a mistake.” “It is better for one hundred guilty men to go free than one innocent man to go to jail” “It is wrong to take a man’s money and use it to promote ideas he does not agree with” “It’s better to debate an issue without settling it than to settle an issue without debate.” “The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of the lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” Thomas Jefferson
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“Political correctness is really a subjective list put together by the few to rule the many—a list of things one must think, say, or do. It affronts the right of the individual to establish his or her own beliefs.” Mark Berley, source: Argos, Spring 1998
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“All forms of tampering with human beings, getting at them, shaping them against their will to your own pattern, all thought control and conditioning is, therefore, a denial of that in men which makes them men and their values ultimate.” Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997), source: Two Concepts of Liberty, 1958
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“Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
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“My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest shall have the same opportunities as the strongest… no country in the world today shows any but patronizing regard for the weak… Western democracy, as it functions today, is diluted fascism… true democracy cannot be worked by twenty men sitting at the center. It has to be worked from below, by the people of every village.” Gandhi
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“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life—happiness, freedom, and peace of mind—are always attained by giving them to someone else.” Peyton Conway March (1864-1955), US Army General, US Army Chief of Staff during the final year of WWI
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“A man’s liberties are none the less aggressed upon because those who coerce him do so in the belief that he will be benefited.” Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), British author, economist, philosopher, source: The Principles of Ethics Bd. II, ed. T. Machan, Indianapolis 1978, S. 242-43
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“Protest that endures is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one’s own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence.” Wendell Berry

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