"Absolute liberty is absence of restraint;
responsibility is restraint; therefore,
the ideally free individual is responsible to himself."
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
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Reader comments about this quote:
Nice way of putting it
 -- Ben, Orem, UT     
    Being responsible to one's "self" is great idea, but it needs to be backed up by a system of Justice rather than our present system of convoluted laws.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    10 stars for as far as it goes. A rating of 5 stars here if the free individual's responsibility to self includes an harmonious expression of natural law (his rights end where my nose begins, etc.) and justice.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    5 stars to the quote and the above comments.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    We are born into anarchy responsble only 'to' ourselves. Restraint where the rights of others are concerned is being responsible 'for' ourselves or i.e. responsible for our actions and where others come into the picture we become responsible 'to' them but not neccesarily 'for' them.
     -- Anon     
    We are all 'free' to do wrong -- but we are not free from the consequences. That's why 'freedom' does require responsible restraint from mere passion.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    "This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
  • 1
     -- Wayne, Naples      
     -- aa, hb      
     -- Ronw13, Oregon      
     -- Mary, MI      
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