"One of the qualities of liberty is that,
as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding.
Therefore, the man who stands in the midst of the struggle and says,
‘I have it,' merely shows by doing so that he has just lost it."
by:
Henrik Ibsen
(1828-1906) Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet
Source:
1971
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Reader comments about this quote:
This seems to say that liberty is not a real thing just an ideal thing. I don't know about that type of sentiment. Like you get liberty from your parents then you want liberty or freedom from something else. One is thus never satisfied. If Ibsen is correct then I think it makes and illusion of liberty or worse a delusion.
 -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    As usual, Waff misses the point. I suspect that Mr Ibsen means that Liberty is a constant struggle , that freedom is not free. The socialists of the Obama and Hillary ilk never rest, and people who love liberty must stay ever vigilant or else they will find themselves in that sinkhole called socialism.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    I think you nailed it jim
     -- warren, olathe     
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    The man who stands in his house with the doors open and says, "Look at all that I have," and doesn't bother to stop the looter carrying away his TV is not going to have much soon. Freedom is always a struggle because there is always someone who wants to take it from you. Human nature always wants something for free but any thing that's "free" is taken at someone else's expense; and that expense is their liberty.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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     -- Anonymous      
    No Jim you miss the point. I was just ruminating or thinking out loud. One does not have to be partisan all the time. You sound like a communist with your constant struggle concept. In my post I said it SEEMS what Ibsen is saying and IF Ibsen is correct. In your living in a cave world where you always face the rear of the cave you are obviously not at liberty to ruminate or think freely. Sorry, it is so sad. But many on this site do not believe that we have liberty in America, I do and so do many others who want to come here. You are a glass half empty guy I am a glass half full guy.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Good for you Waffler - and Jim on his soap box talking of sinkholes brings up an obvious point - we are presently in the worst sinkhole in our history - nearly $500 billion in deficit, a war that's not going anywhere (and we are being told to get out), lies overflowing the challis, and corruption in every corner of government; yes, Jim I think you could call this a sinkhole - the only way out of this sinkhole is not to vote in another Bushalike and a VP that if were a man wouldn't stand a chance - sorry, I take that back, Bush did. By the way, the quote is good.
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    If I am visiting another country and thugs take me hostage for ransom, I can be as up-beat and positive as I wish to be. I can tell myself that I am free because they allow me to use the toilet and feed me, however it will never change the reality, that I am a prisoner. Our freedoms require that we exercise constant vigilance, because from the school yard bully, to the highest office in society, there is always someone, somewhere who wants to dominate you.Theodore Roosevelt said " you cannot placate a tyrant, he will never understand compassion or mercy. The only thing he will understand is courage, and force", This happens to be the sad truth. Be strong and live brave and free, or be weak and die cowardly. I believe that this is Mr Ibsen's point. The second that you relax and believe that the struggle is over, It is over, you lost it all.
     -- Ken, Milford Pa.     
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    Ken, well said. In Amerika, the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land knowing lies when it states that there is only 5.6% unemployment (while in fact, almost 92,898,000 capable citizens of working age are not working — and aren’t looking for work. That is more unemployed than in any time in history - thanks Clinton, Bush(s) and Obama / Democrats and Republicans). Such patrons of socialism stand in the midst of the struggle and say at least I know I'm free. Said socialist patrons,know not the qualities of liberty nor do they strive for them; liberty diminishes. I understand the striving few sons and daughters of liberty that daily search for shelter and food (I experience that struggle). It is the struggle of those few where the hope of liberty lies.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Yes we are in a sink hole made by socialists and crony capitalists. Interesting that when a Marxist gets to Washington he quickly learns that crony capitalism pays better. Waffler is not always wrong. He at least spelled America with a c.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    jim, Ken, & Ken said well! It is meant to be poetic.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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