Freedom and Liberty Quotes

 

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - (1749-1832)
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“Any time we deny any citizen the full exercise of his constitutional rights, we are weakening our own claim to them.” Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), 34th US President, WWII General, Reader’s Digest, December 1963
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“The rights of all persons are wrapped in the same constitutional bundle as those of the most hated member of the community.” A. L. Wirin, ACLU Attorney, Time Magazine, 10 February 1978
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“Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is so far doing a public service. We should be grateful to him for attacking most unsparingly our most cherished opinions.” Sir Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), literary essayist, author, The Suppression of Poisonous Opinions, 1883
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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, Argos, Spring 1998
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“There never was an idea stated that woke men out of their stupid indifference but its originator was spoken of as a crank.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894), American poet, Over the Teacups, 1891
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“If the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands, they must be made brighter in our own. If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. If in other lands the eternal truths of the past are threatened by intolerance, we must provide a safe place for their perception.” Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd US President, speech, 30 June 1938
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“The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.” Archibald Macleish:
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“We live in oppressive times. We have, as a nation, become our own thought police; but instead of calling the process by which we limit our expression of dissent and wonder ‘censorship,’ we call it ‘concern for commercial viability.’” David Mamet
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"In our desire to have government become our benefactor and sustainer, we have allowed it to become our taskmaster and overlord. As a result, we have become little more than well-fed, well-entertained slaves to the state. Freedom, as envisioned by our forefathers, is gone." ~ Chuck Baldwin
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Without Virtue there can be no liberty - Benjamin Rush
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'Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip.' ~George Orwell
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"Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains." -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau - 1712-1778 - Political philosopher, educationist and essayist
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"You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free." -- Clarence S. Darrow- (1857-1938)
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"Our tradition is one of protest and revolt, and it is stultifying to celebrate the rebels of the past while we silence the rebels of the present." -- Henry Steelecommager (1902-1998) Source: Freedom Loyalty and Dissent, 1966
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"Who ordained that the few should have the land (of Britain) as a prerequisite; who made 10,000 people owners of the soil and the rest of us trespassers in the land of our birth?" -- David Lloyd George (1863-1945) British statesman, and Prime Minister
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"The liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets. These indeed have been historic weapons in the defense of liberty, as the pamphlets of Thomas Paine and others in our history abundantly attest." -- Justice Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Source: Lovell v. City of Griffin
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"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, First Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1953
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"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both." -- James Madison
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"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too." -- Somerset Maugham
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"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free." -- Sir Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)
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"The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -- John Stuart Mill
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"Their poverty secured their freedom, since our desires and our possessions are the strongest fetters of despotism" - Edward Gibbon
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"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty" - Thomas Jefferson
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"They have exiled me now from their society and I am pleased, because humanity does not exile except the one whose noble spirit rebels against despotism and oppression. He who does not prefer exile to slavery is not free by any measure of freedom" - Kahlil Gibran (Lebanese born American philosophical Essayist, Novelist and Poet. 1883-1931)
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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) Source: Testimony, First Session, 84th Congress, 1955
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"In our desire to have government become our benefactor and sustainer, we have allowed it to become our taskmaster and overlord. As a result, we have become little more than well-fed, well-entertained slaves to the state. Freedom, as envisioned by our forefathers, is gone." ~ Chuck Baldwin
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"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive." -- Noah Webster - (1758-1843) American patriot and scholar, author of the 1806 edition of the dictionary that bears his name, the first dictionary of American English usage. Defined the militia similarly as "the effective part of the people at large." Source: An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia, 1787
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'If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them.' Paul Wellstone
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“Human history begins with man's act of disobedience which is at the very same time the beginning of his freedom and development of his reason.” Erich Fromm
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"When it comes to freedom, we are but prisoners of our own desires." - Eric Schaub - Individualist, activist, speaker, writer
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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: (1856-1924) 28th US President Speech, 1912
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"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." -- Samuel Adams - (1722-1803), was known as the "Father of the American Revolution."
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There is no telling to what extremes of cruelty and ruthlessness a man will go when he is freed from the fears, hesitations, doubts and the vague stirrings of decency that go with individual judgement. When we lose our individual independence in the corporateness of a mass movement, we find a new freedom- freedom to hate, bully, lie, torture, murder and betray without shame and remorse. Herein undoubtedly lies part of the attractiveness of a mass movement: Eric Hoffer
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"Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order." : Justice Robert H. Jackson - (1892-1954), U. S. Supreme Court Justice Source: West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 1943
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"Freedom of expression is the well-spring of our civilization... The history of civilization is in considerable measure the displacement of error which once held sway as official truth by beliefs which in turn have yielded to other truths. Therefore the liberty of man to search for truth ought not to be fettered, no matter what orthodoxies he may challenge.": Felix Frankfurter - (1882-1965) U.S. Supreme Court Justice - Source: Concurring Opinion, Dennis et al. v. U.S. (1951)
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"The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and his fellow men.": Robert G. Ingersoll - (1833-1899)
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"Americans love their captivity. There's no responsibility. When you're a captive, you don't have to make a decision about anything, though you have no Liberty. People don't want Liberty. Liberty is nothing but uncertainty. It's much easier to have someone tell you where you'll be, what you'll do and who you'll pay tomorrow than to worry about it yourself. The same goes for what you think". Eustace Mullins [May 8, 2004] A Recent Visit with Eustace Mullins --- James Dyer
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"I take a grave view of the press. It is the weak slat under the bed of democracy": A. J. Liebling
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"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine; and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular. This is no time for men . . . to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities."-Edward R. Murrow (March 9, 1954)

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"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 Source: Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 US 479 (1928)
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"When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits  the horizon." - -- Thomas Paine - (1737-1809)
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"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." - George Orwell - [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903-1950) British author
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"Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism... A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers." - Aldous Huxley - (1894-1963) Author - Source: Forward to 'Brave New World', 1932
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Americans are subjected to a daily diet of stories that valorize the military while the storytellers pursue their own opportunistic political and commercial agendas. Aaron B. O'Connell
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"Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves." -  Herbert Marcuse
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"In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy." -  Matt Taibbi
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"As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests." - Gore Vidal
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"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have: three meals a day for their bodies, - education and culture for their minds - and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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"This is, in theory, still a free country (America), but our politically correct, censorious times are such that many of us tremble to give vent to perfectly acceptable views for fear of condemnation. Freedom of speech is thereby imperiled, big questions go undebated, and great lies become accepted, unequivocally as great truths." -- Simon Heffer Source: Daily Mail, 7 June 2000
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 "One of the shrewdest ways for human predators to conquer their stronger victims is to steadily convince them with propaganda that they're still free." -  N.A. Scott American author, intellectual, anti-totalitarian figure.
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There can be little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven. -- Robert G. Ingersoll



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