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327 of 6,095 quotations related to Freedom, showing Acton to Friedenberg

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Acton, Lord John Emerich
There are no public, as distinct from private, objects worthy to be purchased at the expense of souls. Consequently the interest of individuals is above the exclusive interest of the state. The power of the whole is not to be set in the balance for a moment with freedom - that is, the conscience of the subject - and those who act on other principle are the worst of criminals.

That great political idea, sanctifying freedom and consecrating it to God, teaching men to treasure the liberties of others as their own, and to defend them for the love of justice and charity more than as a claim of right, has been the soul of what is great and good in the progress of the last two hundred years.

1877
Adams, John Quincy
Posterity - you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.

Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.

Feb. 6, 1775 - from "Novanglus" in the Boston Gazette
Adams, Michael  
North of the 49th parallel we value equality, south of it, they treasure freedom.

1997 - from Sex in the Snow
Adams, Samuel
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Aug. 1, 1776
The right to freedom being the gift of God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.

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 be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present; let us therefore be aware of it. 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, instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance.

Ames, Fisher
We are sliding down the mire of a democracy that pollutes the morals of the people before it swallows up their freedoms.

Amiel, Barbara  
It is important to understand that equality for the individual as in equal opportunity or equality before the law is a classic liberal ideal, while parity for a group is at best a political and at worst a profoundly reactionary notion. Equality stresses that any qualified human being may become an engineer, plumber, prime minister or jet pilot, regardless of gender, religion or race; while parity maintains that a proportionate number from each group must achieve such positions regardless of merit or utility. The belief in parity is based to some extent on a genuine error - the view that any disparity in society has to be the result of discrimination as well as the cynical politician's view that when disparity makes some people restless it should be eliminated, even at the expense of freedom and fairness.

1992 - from her column "The Secret Agenda of Gender", published in The Spectator



Amiel, Henri Frederic
It is the lack of order which makes us slaves; the confusion of to-day discounts the freedom of tomorrow.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
Amis, Kingsley
The Lefty starts from an unfocused dissatisfaction with the way things are. One need not drag Freud into the argument in order to suggest that the “way things are,” the social system, will strike the young or the youngish as a product of authority, of parents, schoolmasters, vicars and employers, the people who seem to limit freedom for the sake of doing so. Stage two prolongs this: the frustrations of trying to get on in a competitive society where most people by definition cannot get on very far. Then, like fire from heaven, the hint of an explanation and an ideology. The reason we are failing to get on, or simply not having a good enough time, is not because we are lazy and stupid but because of the system. So we now oppose the system ... An increasing bitterness develops as the system, having been repeatedly shouted at to pull itself together, chugs on much as before.

from Lucky Jim's Politics
Anderson, Martin
All the people I know who are driving for a form of national service, primarily want it to be compulsory. They realize that's a terrible problem politically, so they're not willing to say it. It is endangerment of freedom and the potential for indoctrination that skeptics do not like in the national service concept. However benign the program, some think it will not succeed on any meaningful scale unless is is compulsory.

Nov. 29, 1992 - from a column in the Boston Globe
Aristotle
Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms.

Bakunin, Mikhail
Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.

1868 - from Federalism, Socialism, and Anti-Theologism
No dictatorship can have any other aim but that of self-perpetuation, and it can beget only slavery in the people tolerating it; freedom can be created only by freedom, that is, by a universal rebellion on the part of the people and free organization of the toiling masses from the bottom up.

from Statism and Anarchism
Baldwin, James
Words like 'freedom,' 'justice,' 'democracy' are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.

Jul. 7, 1956 - from "The Crusade of Indignation," published in The Nation
Freedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be.

Any honest examination of the national life proves how far we are from the standard of human freedom with which we began. The recovery of this standard demands of everyone who loves this country a hard look at himself, for the greatest achievements must begin somewhere, and they always begin with the person. If we are not capable of this examination, we may yet become one of the most distinguished and monumental failures in the history of nations.

Barbour, John
Freedom all solace to man gives: He lives at ease that freely lives.

from his poem The Bruce



Baruch, Bernard
In the last analysis, our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves.

Barzun, Jacques
The passion for freedom breeds the rage for order.

1991 - from "An Essay on French Verse"
Bastiat, Frederic
If every person has the right to defend - even by force - his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right - its reason for existing, its lawfulness - is based on individual rights. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force - for the same reason - cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

1850 - from The Law
Ben-Gurion, David
The test of democracy is freedom of criticism.

Berne, Eric
Each person designs his own life, freedom gives him the power to carry out his own designs, and power gives the freedom to interfere with the designs of others.

Bevan, Aneurin
Freedom is the by-product of economic surplus.

Blackstone, Sir William
Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolate. On the contrary, no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture.

1765 - from Commentaries on the Laws of England
Blount, Wilton
It is our belief that if people are set free to express themselves to the fullest, their accomplishments will be far beyond their dreams, and they will not only contribute to the growth of the company, but will also be more useful citizens and contribute to the society at large.

Boortz, Neal
Politicians know just how powerful this word is, 'Security'. Every time they have some little program they want to offer to the people, a program that will almost certainly rob people of freedom and liberty, the politicians sell that program by adding the 'Security' word to it.

Boyd Orr, John
If people have to choose between freedom and sandwiches, they will take sandwiches.




Brandeis, Louis Dembitz
... the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people...

1927 - from Whitney v. California 274 U.S. 357
They [the makers of the Constitution] conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone - the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.

The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people.

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.

1928 - from his dissenting opinion in Olmstead vs U.S.
Bressler, M.
An ideology that tacitly appeals to biological equality as a condition for human emancipation corrupts the idea of freedom. Moreover, it encourages decent men to tremble at the prospect of 'inconvenient' findings that may emerge in future scientific research.

1968 - from the essay "Sociology, Biology, and Ideology" as quoted in Genetics by D. Glass
Brode, Patrick  
The problem is the charter [the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms] itself. The issue is always, who has the authority to make the laws? The charter constituted a wholesale transfer of power to the judges. [The adoption of the charter was] an unacknowledged revolution, and another revolution will be required to reverse it.

Jan. 19, 1998 - quoted in "The makings of a counter-revolution", an essay in Alberta Report
Browning, Robert
So free we seem, so fettered fast we are!

1855 - from "Andrea del Sarto" in Men and Women
Buckley, William F.
We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.

Burger, Warren
Although it had flaws and is still not perfect, our Constitution has allowed a system of government to flourish with freedom and opportunity unequaled anywhere in the world before or since. The United States has no need for walls or laws to keep people from moving elsewhere; and for over 200 years countless millions of people have come here from all parts of the globe, creating a society of pluralism and diversity resting on liberty.

from The Constitutions: Foundation of Our Freedom
Burke, Edmund
Depend upon it, that the lovers of freedom will be free.




Freedom, and not servitude is the cure of anarchy; as religion, and not atheism, is the true remedy for superstition.

Mar. 22, 1775 - from his second speech on conciliation with America
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

from a speech at Buckinghamshire
Slavery they can have everywhere. It is a weed that grows in every soil.

Mar. 22, 1775 - from his second speech on conciliation with America
Camus, Albert
A free press can of course be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom it will never be anything but bad... Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better, whereas enslavement is a certainty of the worse.

1960 - from Resistance, Rebellion, and Death
Canadian Bill of Rights  
I am a Canadian, a free Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship God in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.

Canadian Broadcast Standards Council  
 [Description of homosexuals as 'abnormal' is] of a critical and discriminatory (although not abusively discriminatory) nature. ... In Canada we respect freedom of speech but we do not worship it.

May 10, 2000 - from a statement censuring popular radio host Laura Schlessinger, as quoted in the National Post
Carey, Drew
I think a lot of people are afraid of freedom. They want their lives to be controlled, to be put into a box... Why should someone put a limit on how much fun I can have, how much I can accomplish?

from an interview in Reason Magazine
Chesterton, Gilbert K.
The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.

Jun. 11, 1935 - from a radio broadcast
There are commonwealths, plainly to be distinguished here and there in history, which pass from prosperity to squalor, or from glory to insignificance, or from freedom to slavery, not only in silence, but with serenity.

1911 - from his essay The Mad Official
Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities.

1910 - from What's Wrong With the World



Churchill, Sir Winston
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

quoted in Reader's Digest, Dec. 1954
All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.

My friends, I must tell you that a socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Although it is now put forward in the main by people who have a good grounding in the liberalism and radicalism of the early part of this century, there can be no doubt that socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the abject worship of the state. It is not alone that property, in all its forms, is struck at; but that liberty, in all its forms, is challenged by the fundamental conceptions of socialism.

1945 - from a pre-election radio broadcast
Clinton, William Jefferson
 When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly ... [Now] there's a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there's too much freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it.

Apr. 19, 1995 - from a speech after the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City
 If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees.

Aug. 12, 1993 - from a speech
Cobden, Richard
The progress of freedom depends more upon the maintenance of peace, the spread of commerce, and the diffusion of education, than upon the labors of cabinets and foreign offices.

Coleridge, Hartley
But what is Freedom? Rightly understood, a universal license to be good.

from "Liberty"
Constitution of the U.S.S.R.
In conformity with the interests of the working people, and in order to strengthen the socialist system, the citizens of the U.S.S.R. are guaranteed by law: (a) Freedom of Speech; (b) Freedom of the Press; (c) Freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings; (d) Freedom of street processions and demonstrations.

1924
Coolidge, Calvin
The attempt to regulate, control, and prescribe all manner of conduct and social relations is very old. It was always the practice of primitive peoples.

Those who disregard the rules of society are not exhibiting a superior intelligence, are not promoting freedom and independence, are not following the path of civilization, but are displaying the traits of ignorance, of servitude, of savagery, and treading the way that leads back to the jungle.

Mar. 4, 1925 - from his Inaugural Address



Corwin, Norman
Again and again we have to learn that freedom is not something to be won and then forgotten. It has to be renewed, like soil after yielding good crops. Rewound, like a faithful clock. Exercised, like a healthy muscle.

Dec. 15, 1941 - from "We Hold These Truths"
Cowper, William
Freedom has a thousand charms to show that slaves, howe'er contented cannot know.

Darrow, Clarence
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.

Davies, Robertson  
Sometimes for us in Canada it seems as though the United States and the United Kingdom were cup and saucer, and Canada the spoon, for we are in and out of both with the greatest freedom, and we are given most recognition when we are most a nuisance.

Sep. 1990 - from A Voice from the Attic
... in the modern world freedom grows rarer the more we prate about it.

from Osbert Sitwell
de Tocqueville, Alexis
The Revolution of the United States was the result of a mature and reflecting preference for freedom, not of a vague or ill-defined craving for independence. It did not contract an alliance with the turbulent passions of anarchy, but its course was marked, on the contrary, by a love of order and law.

1835 - from Democracy in America
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

The nations of our time cannot prevent the conditions of men from becoming equal; but it depends upon themselves whether the principle of equality is to lead them to servitude or freedom, to knowledge or to barbarism, to prosperity or to wretchedness.

The man who asks of freedom anything other than itself is born to be a slave.

1835 - from Democracy in America
Desbiens, Jean-Paul  
Freedom isn't a gift, it's a task.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo



Dewey, Thomas E.
Ours is an abiding faith in the cause of human freedom. We know it is God's cause.

Diefenbaker, John George  
The day that Parliament becomes a slot machine into which you may drop a slug and out comes legislation, freedom ends.

quoted in Canadian by Conviction, by Brune and Bulgitch, Gage Publishing
Parliament is more than procedure - it is the custodian of the nation's freedom.

Sep. 22, 1949 - from a speech in the Canadian Parliament
Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.

As long as there is a drop of blood in my body they won't stop me from talking about freedom.

Jun. 3, 1962 - from a speech in Sudbury, Ontario
Freedom includes the right to say what others may object to and resent. ... The essence of citizenship is to be tolerant of strong and provocative words.

Apr. 9, 1970 - Hansard, Canadian Parliament
Disraeli, Benjamin
If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.

Mar. 31, 1850 - from a speech in the British House of Commons
Dostoevsky, Fyodor
To begin with unlimited freedom is to end with unlimited despotism.

What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead.

1864 - from Notes from Underground
Douglas, William Orville
The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.




Ideas are indeed the most dangerous weapon in the world. Our ideas of freedom are the most powerful political weapons man has ever forged. If we remember that, we will never have much to fear from Communism.

1954 - from An Almanac of Liberty
Douglass, Frederick
Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning: they want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. This struggle may be a moral 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. Find out what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice which will be imposed upon them. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

Durant, William
In my youth I stressed freedom, and in my old age I stress order. I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order.

Forced to choose, the poor, like the rich, love money more than political liberty; and the only political freedom capable of enduring is one that is so pruned as to keep the rich from denuding the poor by ability or subtlety and the poor from robbing the rich by violence or votes.

Dworkin, Ronald
Campaigns and laws [which censor pornographic or Holocaust-denying speech] ... are particularly attractive in western democracies because they urge censorship in the interests not of the powerful but of the vulnerable; in the name not of injustice but of equality. They must nevertheless be resisted ... because if we deny freedom of speech to opinions we hate, we weaken the legitimacy of our entire political system, particularly the legitimacy of the very laws we pass to protect victims of stereotype and prejudice.

1997 - from his essay "Forked tongues, faked doctrines" published in Index on Censorship, March 1997
Freedom of speech, which is quite unnecessary to most people's individual ambitions for themselves, has nothing to do with selfishness. It is, however, indispensable to the most basic, organic, social responsibility a people can have, which is the responsibility together to decide, in civic response if not in formal elections, what their collective political values really are.

1997 - from his essay "Forked tongues, faked doctrines" published in Index on Censorship, March 1997
Edgar, Marriott
And it's through that there Magna Charter, As were signed by the Barons of old, That in England to-day we can do what we like, So long as we do what we're told.

from his ditty The Magna Carta
Einstein, Albert
... freedom of the spirit ... consists in the interdependence of thought from the restrictions of authoritarian and social prejudices as well as from unphilosophical routinizing and habit in general. This inward freedom is an infrequent gift of nature and a worthy object for the individual.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

1950 - from My Later Years



Eisenhower, Dwight D.
Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.

In the final choice a soldier's pack is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner's chains.

Jan. 20, 1953 - from his First Inaugural Address
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
For what avail the plough or sail, Or land or life, if freedom fail?

Evjue, William T.
The press, the movies, radio and television bear a large share of the responsibility for the climate of fear . . . which has enveloped our country and which has become such a threat to our freedom.

Farrugia, Alastair
Freedom is when the people can speak, democracy is when the government listens.

Forbes, Steve
A free society depends upon much more than free elections and free markets. A self-governing society must be made up of self-governing individuals—individuals with a moral sense, a moral compass, a set of fixed principles that guide and direct them, regardless of the fashionable whims and predilections of the day.

Oct. 21, 1997 - from "The Moral Basis of a Free Society", an address to the Heritage Foundation
Americans have always defined true freedom as an environment in which one may resist evil and do what is right, noble and good - and do it without fear of reprisal. It is the presence of justice, tempered with mercy. It is where the rule of law is based on fundamental and non-negotiable moral truths, simple and easy to understand, fairly and effectively administered. It offers individuals and families equal opportunity to better their lives, morally, spiritually, intellectually, and economically.

Oct. 21, 1997 - from "The Moral Basis of a Free Society", an address to the Heritage Foundation
Frankfurter, Felix
Personal freedom is best maintained ... when it is ingrained in a people's habits and not enforced against popular policy by the coercion of adjudicated law.

1932 - in Graves vs. New York
Franklin, Benjamin
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.

Friedenberg, Edgar Z.  
... Canadians... [may] have the kind of government, and as much freedom, as they want. What is absent here is not just the conditions of liberty, but the desire for it. Liberty may be... a controlled substance in Canada; but its street value is damned low.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo