"Without freedom of thought,
there can be no such thing as wisdom;
and no such thing as public liberty,
without freedom of speech."
by:
Cato
John Trenchard (1662-1723) & Thomas Gordon (169?-1750)
Source:
Letters, 1720
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Reader comments about this quote:
While the government may indoctrinate me through public education (government curriculum being used as a tool of 21st Century sophistry), government will only ever take control of what I think -- but never that I actually think at all (unless they kill me). Even if government legislated against thought itself, which is very unthoughtful, I would continue to think. The expression of such thought, however, is where freedom comes into play. I have the liberty to think, act, and reason as one specifically stated "inalienable" right, but I may not always have the physical ability or freedom of expressing my liberty (such case would be tyranny -- either through a monarch, the majority, or any other means or ways). Unless we are protected and have the freedom to express our inalienable liberty, we are slaves (Interesting our current president who limits dissenting speech to quarantined protest areas -- gee thanks for allowing the freedom of dissent -- I guess that's okay, how many people really use their inalienable rights anyway?).
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    Be careful what you say or the politically correct jackals will get you.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Regulating thought is a difficult thing to do. But expression that is another matter. In groups like the local tavern scene where most world problems and politics are actually discussed and settled the difficult of free expression can be easily seen. One must express his views with tact and deplomacy. Some groups tolerate little freedom.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    To control words is to control thoughts. To control thoughts is to control minds. To control minds is to control the bodies of slaves. The first objective of conquest was to control our communications. Almost everyone believes the lie that government spends money. They cannot get money from you when the Fed says their system of plunder "works only with credit" and deposits "are merely book entries." Government collects no money and has no need for money when all of us will risk our lives for weightless, intangible credit. There would be no wars if our Masonic misleaders had to pay soldiers and suppliers who pretend that everyone is paid with checks. A check from government is nothing more than a permit to dip into the communal pot while a check to the Imaginary Revenue Scum just regulates your dipping. The ideal slavery from the masters' viewpoint is when most slaves will ridicule and punish the few who want God's Laws and the Constitution upheld. This, we have. "None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe that they are free."--- von Goethe
     -- Dave Wilber, St. Louis MO     
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    Remember, whenever the US military invades a sovereign nation in order to 'save' it from itself they say they are battling for the 'hearts and minds' of the people. Funny how Americans tend to think only Communists and Nazis used propaganda to control their people. The practices of 'mass psychology' have been getting perfected over the years and each election we get to see the latest techniques for opinion-making. Commercial advertisers are not the only ones using 'product placement' and 'branding' strategies in TV, movies, magazines, Internet, schools, etc. -- the government has been doing so even longer. We are relatively blind to our own programming even to the point of denial. Yes, we have the freedom to choose, but after years and years of conditioning, we can be counted on choosing exactly what 'they' wanted us to choose -- even to distrust, ignore and condemn Liberty itself. They don't call it the American Dream for nothing!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Dave Wilbur is on to something. If you control language, you can control thought. That was the lesson of Orwell's '1984'. If you do not have the words to formulate complex ideas can those ideas even be formed? The concepts in our minds are formed out of words and pictures and if we have no words our thoughts and concepts (like freedom) are severely limited.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Some excellent thoughts and comments here, precisely illuminating freedom of thought to be based on more rudimentary inalienable rights. And, as here quoted, that developed or learned thought, with the freedom thereof, is an essential element of wisdom. Public liberty is an oxymoron and a misdirectional thought that promotes a lack of wisdom and a status of non-freedom of speech (Logan's stated free zones for example). Liberty is uniquely an attribute of the individual.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    You said it well, E Archer.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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     -- Mary - MI      
     
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