"Freedom is alone the unoriginated birthright of man; it belongs to him by force of his humanity, and is in dependence on the will and coaction of every other, in so far as this consists with every other person's freedom."
Immanuel Kant
(1724-1804) German philosopher
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Reader comments about this quote:
Which is exectly why we DON'T need a "community organizer" from Kenya running the country. Freedom isn't something you organize, communism is.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    This one's too easily twisted into an endorsement of collectivism. Freedom as a natural right is individual, and independent of the will and actions of others.
     -- Justin, Elkland     
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    I know what he is saying and I think the true meaning may have been lost on the translation. Justin, I wish freedom was independent of the will and action of others BUT IT'S NOT. Its dependence is totally reliant on others. We are not masters of our own freedom - what is freedom but the happiness and joy to do as you please within the confines natural law. I wrote this last year and it still stands: True freedom (that which relates to no financial encumbrance and allows the freedom to pursue your own happiness) only arrives when we no longer contrive to survive. When we no longer feel threaten by religion, government, and the majority. Only then can ignorance and intolerance be put behind us. We have a long way to go and the ONLY road we must travel is called detachment. So, where do we start, definitely not by striking the first blow; we start by looking inward and striking the blow in our hearts and minds; clearing our thoughts from aggression, hate, and greed. "No man is free who is not master of himself" Epictetus RBE 6-16-09
     -- RBESRQ     
    Well said RBESRQ.
     -- Ron, Salem     
    True freedom is absolutely individual and is absolutely independent of others. Even a slave can be free because the master can only hold his body in chains. Real freedom (freedom of the mind and conscience) must be claimed as an individual right that is a right by the very nature of the universe; a right that cannot be interfered with by anyone.
     -- Anonymous     
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    A lot of words but why do people generally stay where they are born. If we all had this freedom would not there be a greater mix of people all over the world that were born elsewhere. Now in this late hour of mans existance there is greater mobility and diversity but the fact remains the overwhelming majority remain where they were born, so what has that to say about the idea of freedom in action.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Anonymous, I wish you had given your name so that I could thank you personally for your most eloquent explanation of freedom.
     -- Justin, Elkland     
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    I think Kant says it well. True liberty in society will naturally require some voluntary limits to one's actions. The fact remains that actions have consequences (good or bad) and that rule of Natural Law is inescapable, so while we have freedom to jump off the Empire State Building, it does not grant us the 'right' to fly... Life is limited by Reality, so our Freedom is limited to respecting the rights of others and the Laws of Nature. There is no more freedom than that -- to wish for more is to wish for Power, not merely Liberty.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I agree with natural rights and freedom rather than civil rights
     -- Logan     
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