"Our institutions were not devised to bring about uniformity of opinion;
if they had we might well abandon hope. It is important to remember,
as has well been said, 'the essential characteristic of true liberty
is that under its shelter many different types of life and character
and opinion and belief can develop unmolested and unobstructed.'"
Justice Charles Evans Hughes
(1862-1948) Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
U. S. Supreme Court, Forbes Magazine, 1 November 1957
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Reader comments about this quote:
Unfortunately Liberty is molested continually by fundamentalists.
 -- Robert, Sarasota      
    The key word here is 'institutions'. The Constitutional government, as a fundamental inorganic extension of self, can only do that which the individual can do. It is precisely the 'institutions that were devised to molest and obstruct liberty, opinion, and character. It is the institutions that support, promote and expand compelled compliance, victimless crimes, license, etc. etc. etc. that uniformly robs true freedom.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Our institutions are all about bringing uniformity. Then in true liberal-social fashion, he changes the subject to liberty.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
    It's accurate although I agree that institutions do indeed foster uniformity at the expense of liberty.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Our free society should tolerate a wide variety of opinion, but it should draw the line where the opinion being advanced intends to promote or achieve the destruction of the general liberty. Democratic republics cannot afford to tolerate communist ideology, since the stated goals of communism include the destruction of freedoms common to non-communist societies.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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