Freedom and Liberty Quotes

 

“To change masters is not to be free.” Jose Marti y Perez
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“If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking is freedom.” Dwight Eisenhower
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“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” George Washington
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“The whole drift of our law is toward the absolute prohibition of all ideas that diverge in the slightest form from the accepted platitudes, and behind that drift of law there is a far more potent force of growing custom, and under that custom there is a natural philosophy which erects conformity into the noblest of virtues and the free functioning of personality into a capital crime against society.” H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic Source: quoted in New York Times Magazine, 9 August 1964
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“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791
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“[Oppose] with manly firmness [any] invasions on the rights of the people.” Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776. Papers, 1:338
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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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“Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.” Edward Everett
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“Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.” Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791
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“When the same man, or set of men, holds the sword and the purse, there is an end of liberty.” George Mason
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“Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” Thomas Paine
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“What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” Thomas Jefferson
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“As long as I have any choice in the matter, I shall live only in a country where civil liberty, tolerance and equality of all citizens before the law prevail.” Albert Einstein, upon leaving Germany in 1933
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“Once you permit those who are convinced of their own superior rightness to censor and silence and suppress those who hold contrary opinions, just at that moment the citadel has been surrendered.” Archibald Macleish (1892-1982) poet, playwright, Librarian of Congress, & Assistant Secretary of State under Franklin Roosevelt - Source: Saturday Review, 12 May 1979
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“Whatever the immediate gains and losses, the dangers to our safety arising from political suppression are always greater than the dangers to the safety resulting from political freedom. Suppression is always foolish. Freedom is always wise.” Alexander Meiklejohn (1872-1964), Testimony, First Session, 84th Congress, 1955
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“You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.” John Morley (1838-1923), Critical Miscellanies
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“Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Preamble, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
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“Let us contemplate our forefathers, and posterity, and resolve to maintain the rights bequeathed to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that ‘if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.’ It is a very serious consideration that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.” Samuel Adams, speech in Boston, 1771
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“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” William Pitt (1759-1806), British Prime Minister (1783-1801, 1804-06) during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, source: Speech, House of Commons, 18 November 1783
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“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.” George Washington (1732-1799), Founding Father, 1st US President, ‘Father of the Country’, source: Farewell Address, September 17, 1796, Ref: George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. (521)

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