Freedom and Liberty Quotes

 

“I know of no civilized country, indeed, in which liberty is less esteemed than it is in the United States: certainly there is none in which more persistent efforts are made to limit it and put it down.”
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“Liberty is not for these slaves; I do not advocate inflicting it against their conscience. On the contrary, I am strongly in favor of letting them crawl and grovel all they please before whatever fraud or combination of frauds they choose to venerate...Our whole practical government is grounded in mob psychology and the Boobus Americanus will follow any command that promises to make him safer.” H. L. Menchen, 1956
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“If men use their liberty in such a way as to surrender their liberty, are they thereafter any the less slaves? If people by a plebiscite elect a man despot over them, do they remain free because the despotism was of their own making?” Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), British author, economist, philosopher, 1884
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“There is no ‘slippery slope’ toward loss of liberty, only a long staircase where each step down must first be tolerated by the American people and their leaders.” Alan K. Simpson (1931- ), US Senator
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“In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.” Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1909
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“Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one’s government is not necessarily to secure freedom.” Fredrich August von Hayek (1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974
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“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941), US Supreme Court Justice 1928, Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 US 479 (1928)
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“The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Louis D. Brandeis
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“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.” Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837
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“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Wendell Phillips, (1811-1884), abolitionist, orator and columnist for The Liberator, in a speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society in 1852, according to The Dictionary of Quotations edited by Bergen Evans
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“Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Frederick Douglass
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“A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self- preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property, and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means.” Thomas Jefferson to John Colvin, 1810
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“It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.” John Philpot Curran, Speech upon the Right of Election, 1790 (Speeches, Dublin, 1808) as quoted in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations
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“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” John Adams
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“Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it.” Woodrow Wilson
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“O liberty! O liberty! What crimes are committed in thy name!” Madame Jeanne-Marie Roland
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“The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understands the minds of other men and women.” Learned Hand
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“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” Thomas Paine
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“Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.” Frederick Douglass
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“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” John Milton

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