"It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised
that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives."
Dorothy Thompson
Ladies Home Journal, May 1958
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Reader comments about this quote:
The Patriot Act is killing liberty.
 -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 1
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
    Liberty is: The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. (Bouviers Law Dictionary) Liberty is the exemption from extraneous control. The power of the will, in its moral freedom, to follow the dictates of its unrestricted choice, and to direct the external acts of the individual without restraint, coercion, or control from other persons. Liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and so as not to interfere with an equal exercise of the same rights by other men. (Blacks Law Dictionary 1st ed.) Liberty: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." (Thomas Jefferson) How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words! (Samuel Adams) How does one exercise 'liberty'? Rather, one exercises rights which is/are measured by liberty. Liberty is ultimately determined and survives by expressions at natural law and by justice.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    The quote is right on. Mike, the way you have defined liberty -- that sure is a lot of power in a person's hands, in everyone's hands. Are you sure we can handle it?

    There sure seem to be a lot of other people who seem to think 'no' for us but 'yes' for themselves, in fact, they'll just handle it all for everyone. If people cannot be trusted with their own power, how can those same people be entrusted with others' power? The predator class will connive to convince the class of 'prey' that they are subservient and 'belong' to the predators. Pick your form of despotism -- works the same way. Personal power, liberty and the responsibility for it all -- all interdependent and supportive of each other. Self-direction is a conscious act, and life absolutely requires enough self-awareness to provide for oneself, avoid danger, and live in balance with the world. Of course, life is a grand mystery, so be prepared for the unexpected! ;-)

    The song you sing will determine the audience that forms.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    The sweet song of Liberty is perfection in and of itself. Those seven letters, seven notes in the scale. Seven the number of completion and perfecting. Without liberty, freedom is worthless. Mike describes Chophshiy liberty, financial, exempt ( from bondage and tax or care,at your pleasure.) Liberty is a responsibility no doubt, let the compass be morally clear which guides our Ship of Liberty, least, like our ship under siege, as today, has been run aground.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
  • 1
    Archer, I like it. Yes, a lot of power in a person's hands but, that is a perception held by religious zealots and other despots that would have a caste system with mostly slaves. In reality, liberty is nothing more than doing what you like as long as it does not infringe on another's rights. Justice is the application to any violations thereof. Of course the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land couldn't have that. They need all the slaves sufficiently indoctrinated and following their brand of despotic totalitarianism. The malefactors compelled compliance, government license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity, alienation of nature's endowed rights and all other ideologue enforcement of the police state ensures freedom's expressions at liberty to be a lost concept.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    When At Liberty it is best to govern oneself through Epieikes, this being reasonable, "seemly, fitting; hence, equitable, fair, moderate, forbearing, not insisting on the letter of the law."
    A quality of the wisdom from above, and in association with the good. not going to the extremes. Liberty and the responsibility of being a good representative, assures its continuance.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
     -- jim k, Austin      
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