"I would rather starve and rot
and keep the privilege of speaking
the truth as I see it,
than of holding all the offices
that capital has to give
from the presidency down."
Henry Brooks Adams
(1838-1918) Pulitzer prize-winning historian (1919), great-grandson of John Adams, grandson of John Quincy Adams, and son of US Secretary of State, Charles Adams
The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma, 1919
Bookmark and Share  
Reader comments about this quote:
Fancy words but I don't believe him. Unfortunately a person will quickly loose all concern for truth liberty or anything else when he is starving and rotting. He can only begin to think of higher concerns when his basic needs are met to at least a minimum degree.
 -- warren, olathe     
    Don't sweat it, Warren. I'll find some Maslow quotes and give them some stars.
     -- hugh, st. louis     
     -- Anonymous      
    So idealistic and inspirational. I love optimists. I think Warren's thoughts, while pessimistic, are unfortunately more realistic.
     -- Anonymous     
    It's possible to die for what you believe, it's been done in the past, and will be done in the future. That might be optimistic, even idealistic, but I think it's a true quote when applied to certain people.
     -- A Student Philosopher, Utah     
    I would hope my personal being would be as noble as the here ideals of the quote. As to warren, my young family and I have been in an extreme condition without food and shelter and I would not resort to stolen booty from government coffers. Liberty, integrity and truth are inseparable to some (possibly a minority ?) while an ancillary to others (possibly a majority?).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    There are a lot of starving and rotting people in the world and that's a truth. Food before principles. Natural law Mike N?
     -- Mick, Manchester     
    Mick, ancient Hebrew natural law differs from Greek (philosophical) natural law. For example: Hebrew natural law describes the action, relationship, etc. of matter with morals being derived from obedience to the Divinely endowed law. Greek natural law will use most of the same words to describe circumstance, action, etc. except, Greek natural law is based on morals. As to the quote, Greek natural law would be to the preservation of the individual before all else as carnal morality expressed. The Hebrew natural law simply defines the being in his state of progression or digression (as it is)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    My sentiments exactly -- a far cry from the likes of Bill & Hillary.

    I've been hungry, I try not to get too hungry, 'because a hungry man is dangerous.' What's truly rotten is 'losing the privilege of speaking the truth as I see it.'
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    "Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith." Pro 15:16,17 kjb
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
  • 1
    The truth will set you free.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
    Rate this quote!
    How many stars?

    What do YOU think?
    Your name:
    Your town:

    More Quotations
    Get a Quote-A-Day! Free!
    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box.
    RSS Subscribe
    Quotes & Quotations - Send This Quote to a Friend

    © 1998-2024 Liberty-Tree.ca