"People demand freedom only when they have no power."
Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844-1900) German philosopher, cultural critic, poet, philologist
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Reader comments about this quote:
Another way of saying that people want freedom if they don't have any. Stupid.
 -- warren, olathe     
  • 4 1
     -- Aaron, Portland      
    Is the best quote ever
     -- gustabo, MO     
  • 3
     -- Anonymous      
    There is a lot of truth to that. For example: the chattel, serfs, and otherwise slaves of Amerika have shown by all experience, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed (bread and circus are alive). There are always a few that are more sensitive to the lack of freedom's injustice. The greater the criminals increase of compelled compliance, government licensing, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity (income, property, life taxes, funny money, etc.) and denial of the individual sovereign's inalienable rights, greater will be the cry and demand for freedom.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 6
    Well stated Mike, of course most people desire freedom and their rights but unfortunately many neglect the duties and responsibilities that go along with it to ensure they are maintained.
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
  • 5
    Well said Mike, and most people want safety not freedom.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
  • 5
    The statement made by a neutral naturalistic view point. Atheistic, Nietzsche and his Master morality stance on morals. Slave morality is what he describes. Moral codes of decency must change for democracy to thrive. Believing the moral code of Jews and Christians to be nothing but slave morality. Of no worth, thinking values rather than inalienable rights from our Creator. He thinking the Abrahamic God to be dead. One star for an obvious point. Mike as always, on point !
    Duties and responsibility being neglected by the representative of the people to uphold the sovereign individuals inalienable rights From the God of Abraham, the children of Promise. The children of faith made partakers of their promise of hope. Liberty and Freedom. Paul got it ,and we got it. ( They don't like it ) but it is our hope.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
  • 4
    Interesting -- good point. I have noticed while travelling in other countries -- where crime is low, roads are well maintained, cities and towns are clean and safe, people are cordial with each other, multicultural, and good social services -- that you don't hear a lot about 'freedom' at least not like you do in the States. Countries like Canada, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Finland, Scotland and others come to mind.

    Some Americans call these countries 'socialist' but the US is frankly no less socialist only that America is getting a poorly administered socialist society that still funnels power and money into the hands of 'capitalists' at the expense of the people. It is often noted that the taxes in these countries is higher than the States -- but not if you take into account the devaluation of the currency to a fraction of its value. IMHO the people of these countries have more power than Americans. They use the same types of fiat money systems as the US, but they have not completely bankrupted themselves.

    Iceland is a good example as they are now rebounding after their currency crashed (which is inevitable for all fiat currencies). Instead of bailing out all the banks and holders of the central bank notes (which were mostly foreign banks), they let the bank fail. Now they have a new currency and new rules in place on its issuance -- frankly, what good is 'freedom' if the money game is fixed -- i.e. to be powerless against the predator banks.

    Perhaps the lesson to be learned from this is that Americans should not be so concerned with 'freedom' but with restoring their sovereign powers and responsibilities.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 5
    Good, likewise Archer. We already have the freedom, it is the financial liberty denied the sovereign individual that makes the slave. The ability to move about pacifies and genders hope denied. Don't pay the tax loose you bed. Or a corner to die in.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
  • 5
    I think in all the statements here (including mine), we are overlooking the 1,000 pound gorilla in the room. That gorilla is ignorance. If the statist theocracies of the world were to allow the concepts of natural law, personal responsibility, freedom, liberty and inalienable right to be introduced to the helots, serfs and slaves then there would develop a a recognition of powerlessness. The bread and circus of entitlement has replaced any substantive understanding of freedom. Freedom, being an innate element of the noble being man, can only be suppressed so long before it erupts into anger, violence and chaos. It is not necessarily the lack of power but rather, a state of existence that is so hostile to nature that causes the realized antagonism.
    To cognitively, sensorially, spiritually and in all ways recognize that corporeal man was endowed by his/her/their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, is to nurture the seeds of love and truth that will make man free and dispel a need for raw power. (For those that have disbelief, distain and/or a knee jerk reaction for Creator or a God let the concept(s) stand as a legal term of art that rights and freedom are essential elements of natures coming to be.)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    Ever notice how overly domesticated animals such as people, are afraid of the natural surroundings and cycle of nature. The true understanding of nature in word and number, that which science feeds upon in absolute truth and that truth to be discovered. Many scientific test from the enlightenment period till today, expose the finger prints of an Higher power in design throughout nature. It is a pity indeed that people are not "shown" such wonders of things unseen. Therefore our Founding Fathers brandish through symbolism some of the amazing images brought to light through experiment with natural elements from the atom to a grain of sand. That is power withheld to define ignorance in its natural element. A picture is worth a thousand words. Such knowledge destroys denominationalism, separation within belief systems.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
  • 1
    I know that this blog concerns liberty and its American and associated Eurocentric concepts but apply this quote globally and appreciate its limitations. People demand food and clean water when they have no power. Natural Law - Darwinist survival of the fittest - is an everyday experience for billions.
     -- mick, manchester     
    mick, you miss the point of natural law and what it means to the down-trodden. If the people had power at natural law, they would be producing food in abundance and the water would be clean. "Darwinist survival of the fittest does not apply when a select group of malefactors only allow themselves the implements of self defense (as well as offense). At natural law, might does not make right for all are equal before the law. Your example of the most deadly survive by killing everyone else off is not Darwinian but rather, criminal acts that are contrary to natural law.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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