Quotes on Liberty!
For the Love of words, for if not for the poets words
and passion, war would have no meaning.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
--Benjamin Franklin, 1759
'My country right or wrong' is like saying 'my mother drunk or sober'
When a man assumes a public trust,
he should consider himself as public property.
--Thomas Jefferson, 1807
Knowledge is the only fountain
both of love and the principles of human liberty.
--Daniel Webster, 1843
I hold it to be the inalienable
right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.
--Robert Frost, 1935
Liberty means responsibility. That
is why most men dread it.
--George Bernard Shaw
Whoever fights monsters should
see to it that in the process he doesn't become a monster.
--Frederick Wilhelm Nietsche
Man is free, but not if he does
not believe it.
--Giacamo Girlamo Cassanova de
One man with courage is a majority.
Shall I ask the brave soldier who
fights by my side in the course of mankind if our creeds agree?
--Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
We must all hang together, or,
assuredly, we shall all hang separately.
--Benjamin Franklin at the signing
of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
We've got the best government money can buy.
Freedom has a thousand charms to
show that slaves, howe'er contented cannot know.
--William Cowper (1731-1800)
It is by the goodness of God that
in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom
speech, freedom of conscience,
and the prudence never to practice either of them.
--Mark Twain, 1897
An election is coming. Universal
peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging
the lives of the
--George Eliot, 1874-76
Under capitalism, man exploits
man. Under communism it's just the opposite.
--John Kenneth Galbraith
Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing
the freeness of speech.
It is not best that we all should
think alike, it is differences of opinion that make horse races.
--Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
It is not disease, but the physician;
it is the pernicious hand of government alone which can reduce a whole
If we were directed from Washington
when to sow and when to reap, we should all want bread.
No man is good enough to govern
another man without that other's consent.
Let every nation know, whether
it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden,
hardship, support any friend,
oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.
--John F. Kennedy
Think for yourselves and let others
enjoy the privilege to do so, too.
The trade of governing has always
been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals
What the American public doesn't
know is exactly what makes them the American public.
--Dan Akroyd in _Tommy Boy_
When government takes [sic] responsibility
for people, then people no longer take responsibility for themselves.
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute
power corrupts absolutely.
--Lord Acton (1834-1902)
From hence let contending nations
know what dire effects from civil discord flow.
--Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
The constitution gives every American
the inalienable right to make a damn fool of himself.
The ballot is stronger than the
--Abraham Lincoln, 1856
I slept, and dreamed that life
was Beauty; I woke, and found that life was Duty.
--Ellen Sturgis Hooper (1816-1841)
A monarchy is a merchantman which sails well, but will sometimes strike
on a rock, and go to the bottom; a
republic is a raft which will
never sink, but then your feet are always in the water.
--Fisher Ames (1758-1808)
I think you should defend to the
death their right to march, and then go down and meet them with baseball
--Woody Allen, on the KKK
All kings is mostly rapscallions.
--Mark Twain, _The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn_, 1884
There never was a good war, or
a bad peace.
--Benjamin Franklin, 1783
Have you ever wondered if taxation
without representation was cheaper?
The first casualty when war comes
--Hiram Johnson, 1917
People demand freedom of speech
as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they never use.
You should never have your best
trousers on when you turn out to fight for freedom and truth.
--Henrik Ibsen, 1882
Politicians should read science-fiction,
not westerns and detective stories.
--Arthur C. Clark
Pro is to con as progress is to
New opinions are always suspected,
and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not
--John Locke (1632-1704)
Democracy's the worst form of government
except for all the others.
A lot has been said about politics;
some of it complimentary, but most of it accurate.
Necessity is the plea for every
infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the
creed of slaves.
--William Pitt, 1783
For the times, they are a changin'.
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress.
But I repeat myself.
Older men declare war. But it is
youth that must fight and die.
--Herbert Hoover, 1944
We divided the world into 'us'
and 'them. There is no 'them' left on our tiny planet.
For no particular reason, someone
shot that nice young president.
--Tom Hanks, in _Forrest Gump_
We live under a government of men
and morning newspapers.
--Wendell Phillips (1811-2884)
Live with yourself; get to know
how poorly furnished you are.
--Persius (A.D. 34-62)
The moral flabbiness born of the
bitch-goddess SUCCESS. That -- with the squalid cash interpretation put
word success -- is our national
--William James (1842-1910)
One can live in the shadow of an
idea without grasping it.
--Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973)
Stupid is as stupid does, sir!
--Tom Hanks, in _Forrest Gump
Peace, commerce, and honest friendship
with all nations -- entangling alliances with none.
--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
I cannot believe that war is the
best solution. No one won the last war and no one will win the next.
Rise like lions after slumber in
invanquishable number -- Shake your chains to earth like dew which in sleep
fallen on you -- ye are many --
they are few.
--Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
From every mountainside let freedom
--Samuel Francis Smith, from the
anthem "America", 1831
We think so because other people
all think so, Or because -- or because -- after all we do think so, Or
were told so and think we must
think so, Or because we once thought so, and think we should still think
because having thought so, we
think we WILL think so.
--Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900)
A political war is one in which everyone shoots from the lip.
There is no conflict between liberty
and safety. We will have both or neither.
The natural progress of things
is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Whereever PUBLIC spirit prevails,
liberty is secure.
--Noah Webster (1758-1843)
A statesman is any politician it's
considered safe to name a school after.
This country has come to feel the
same when congress is in session as when a baby gets hold of a hammer.
A silent majority and government
by the people is incompatible.
Political power grows out of the
barrel of a gun.
The short memories of American
voters is what keeps our politicians in office.
There are not enough jails, not
enough policemen,not enough courts to enforce a law not supported by the
--Hubert H. Humphrey
The more corrupt the state, the
more numerous the laws.
--Tacitus (A.D. 55?-130?)
The minute you read something you
can't understand, you can almost be sure it was drawn up by a lawyer.
Restriction of free thought and
free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American
that could most easily defeat
--Justice William O. Douglas
I am going to introduce a bill
to stop the Postmaster General from reading dirty books and deliver the
The books that the world calls
immoral are the books that show the world it's own shame.
--Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
A politicians willingness to listen
to good advice rises in inverse proportion to how badly he thinks he is
--Pat Caddell, former pollster
The best audience is intelligent,
well-educated, and a little drunk.
--Vice President Alben W. Barkley
Meet the sun every day as if it
could cast a ballot.
-- Henry Cabot Lodge, advice to
a novice politician
There is a road to freedom. Its milestones are Obedience, Endeavor, Honesty,
Order, Cleanliness, Sobriety, Truthfulness, Sacrifice, and
love of the Fatherland. - Adolf Hitler
[Freedom is] the power to live as you will. Who then lives as he wills?
-Marcus Tullius Cicero
There is but one element of government, and that is THE PEOPLE. From this
element spring all governments. "For a nation to be free, it is
only necessary that she wills it." For a nation to be slave, it is only
necessary that she wills it. -John Adams
The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law
free. -Henry David Thoreau
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood
of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. -Thomas Jefferson
Live Free or Die; Death is not the worst of evils. -General John Stark
Mejor morir a pie que vivir en rodillas. (Better to die on one's feet than
live on one's knees.) -Dolores Ibarruri Gomez
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
Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. -George Bernard
The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far consequence
of submission to authority. -Stanley Milgram
It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised
that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives... When liberty
is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished
voluntarily by default it can never be recovered. -Dorothy
I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes
me to tremble for the safety of my country.... Corporations have
been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the
money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by
working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated
in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty will be charged to dangers,
real or imagined, from abroad. -James Madison
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to
gain ground. -Thomas Jefferson
Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the
argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. -William Pitt
Your America is doing many things in the economic field which we found
out caused us so much trouble. You are trying to control people's
lives. And no country can do that part way. I tried it and failed. Nor
can any country do it all the way either. I tried that, too, and it failed.
Power...offers a choice of servitudes but calls this choice liberty.
...there being nothing more evident than that creatures of the same species...
should be equal amongst one another without subordination or
subjection... -John Locke
Liberty consists in doing what one desires. -John Stuart Mill
Liberty consists in the power of doing that which is permitted by law.
-Marcus Tullius Cicero
The fact, in short, is that freedom, to be meaningful in an organized society,
must consist of an amalgam of hierarchy of freedoms and
restraints. -Samuel Hendel
Obedience to Law is Liberty.
-Etched into the facade of the Worcester County Courthouse
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. -George
When liberty destroys order, the hunger for order will destroy liberty.
Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit
of justice is no virtue. -Barry Morris Goldwater
I remind you, sir, that extreme patriotism in the defense of liberty is
no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice no virtue.
-Marcus Tullius Cicero
Our government...teaches the whole people by its example. If the government
becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it
invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
-Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis
As soon as liberty is complete it dies in anarchy. -Will Durant
In Germany they first came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because
I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I
didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then
they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me by that time no one was left to speak
up. -Pastor Martin Niemoller
When Hitler attacked the Jews, I was not a Jew, therefore, I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a
Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked
the unions and industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and
I was not concerned. Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church
and there was nobody left to be concerned.
He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from
opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a
precedent that will reach himself. -Thomas Paine
Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the
government's purpose is 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 but without understanding. -Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis
Every law is an infraction of liberty. -Jeremy Bentham
When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken.
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
-Henry David Thoreau
Authority and liberty are two incompatible ideas.... Liberty diminishes
in proportion as man progresses and becomes civilized.
-Antonio de Oliveira Salazar
For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act.
Freedom comes from human beings, rather than from laws and institutions.
-Clarence Seward Darrow
Freedom is the absolute right of all adult men and women to seek permission
for their action only from their own conscience and reason,
and to be determined in their actions only by their own will, and consequently
to be responsible only to themselves, and then to the society
to which they belong, but only insofar as they have made a free decision
to belong to it. -Mikhail A. Bakunin
Can a nation be free if it oppresses other nations? It cannot.
-Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. -Edward Roscoe
Increase of freedom in the State may sometimes promote mediocrity, and
give vitality to prejudice; it may even retard useful legislation,
diminish the capacity for war, and restrict the boundaries of Empire....
A generous spirit prefers that his country should be poor and weak,
and of no account, but free, rather than powerful, prosperous, and enslaved.
-Lord John Emerich Edward
Of what use is political liberty to those who have no bread? It is of value
only to ambitious theorists and politicians. -Jean Paul Marat
In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice,
but nothing to choose from. -Peter Alexander Ustinov
I'm the one that has to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live
my life, the way I want to. -Jimi Hendrix
Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is
responsible for everything he does. -Jean Sartre
...so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who
wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and
will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and
otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men. -Voltarine de
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are
free. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Many politicians...are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident
proposition, that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their
freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool..who resolved not to go into the
water till he had learned to swim. -Thomas Babington
The remedy in the United States is not less liberty but real liberty an
end to the brutal intolerance of churchly hooligans and flag
corporations and all the rest of the small but bloody despots who have
made the word Americanism a synonym for coercion and legal
crime. -Archibald MacLeish
The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.
-Supreme Court Justice William Orville Douglas
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep
thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces
him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. -Abraham Lincoln
The story of man is the history, first, of the acceptance and imposition
of restraints necessary to permit communal life; and second, of the
emancipation of the individual within that system of necessary restraints.
-Justice Abe Fortas
The tendency of all strong Governments has always been to suppress liberty,
partly in order to ease the processes of rule, partly from sheer
disbelief in innovation. -J.A. Hobson
There is no man so good, who, were he to submit all his thoughts and actions
to the laws, would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.
-Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
We have not tried to suppress true, legitimate liberty; on the contrary,
we have tried to preserve it. We are for liberty, but liberty with
order, the kind of liberty which will not threaten the basic principles
of our nation, nor threaten its faith and unity. -Francisco Franco
What good is it to me, after all, if there is an authority always busy
to see to the tranquil enjoyment of my pleasures and going ahead to
brush all dangers away from my path without giving me even the trouble
to think about it, if that authority, which protects me from the
smallest thorns on my journey, is also the absolute master of my liberty
and of my life? -Alexis de Tocqueville
If you believe there is a God, a God that made your body, and yet you think
that you can do anything with that body that's dirty, then the
fault lies with the manufacturer. -Lenny Bruce
In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty.
Liberty wasn't guaranteed by the Constitution. It was only given a chance.