"The first step in saving our liberty
is to realize how much we have already lost,
how we lost it, and how we will continue to lose it
unless fundamental political changes occur."
James Bovard
(1956- ) American author, lecturer
Lost Rights, 1994
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Reader comments about this quote:
But how to wake up a numbed and dumbed populace?
 -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 5
    ... especially when so many seem to revel in their loss of freedoms...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
  • 4
     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    The first step in any endeavor is to recognize the situation. The statement is self-evodent. The second step is to evaluate it correctly and then determine a course of action. That's where the dissention is. I doubt if Bovard's libertarian views would coincide with mine. The statement is true, as far as it goes, but is almost meaningless
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
  • 1
    The fundamental change that needs to occur is in realms far removed from politics--politics is the symptom not the cause.
     -- EGL, LA     
  • 3
    Loss of liberty is NOT self-evident to many people, as politicians and the media keep saying "we live in a free country" as our rights are crushed, using fear to create unconstitutional laws (i.e. the Patriot Act). The people of this country need to determine a course of action and take it to regain lost freedoms. I'd like to see implementation of term limits for every political office, so professional politicians (Kennedy) lose power.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 2
    There's something in the water.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
    I agree totally - and those changes are; proportional representation, campaign finance reform, and voting receipts – unless we have these we are not a true democracy.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    You are quite right, Joe, loss of liberty is NOT self-evident, but, what I said was; the recognitiom of the loss is so obvious it is meaningles If one doesn't even realize how much he has lost, then maybe there is no problem. After all, Bovard was such a strong Libertarian -- to the point of paranoia about government -- he saw invasions of his liberty all around him. I give the quote a weak two stars. I am well aware of cases like the last election of the Weimar Republic in 1933 with the rise of the Third Reich and the election of Hamas in Palestine. or Hesbolah in Lebanon, etc. but I don't feel those are the intrusions Bovard is looking at. For me the actions of our present administration sacrificing basic freedoms for a measure of security are enough.
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
     -- Lizzie, Rhode Island     
    I’ve posted this often while it is once again very appropriate. Liberty is: “The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature.” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) Liberty is the “exemption from extraneous control. The power of the will, in its moral freedom, to follow the dictates of its unrestricted choice, and to direct the external acts of the individual without restraint, coercion, or control from other persons. Liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and so as not to interfere with an equal exercise of the same rights by other men.” (Black’s Law Dictionary 1st ed.). Clarifying original fact, natural law intent, and de jure jurisprudence: “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” (Thomas Jefferson) “Personal liberty, or the Right to enjoyment of life and liberty, is one of the fundamental or natural Rights, which has been protected by its inclusion as a guarantee in the various constitutions, which is not derived from, or dependent on, the U.S. Constitution, which may not be submitted to a vote and may not depend on the outcome of an election. It is one of the most sacred and valuable Rights, as sacred as the Right to private property ⋯ and is regarded as inalienable.” (16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, Sect.202, p.987).

    I think the first step in saving our liberty is to realize what liberty “IS”. And then second, figure out how much we’ve lost. I believe changes needing to occur before political changes may become implemented are at the very least - knowledge, beliefs in religious dogma and perceived desires. By way of example: The occupying statist theocracy infesting this land has brain washed its patronage in believing: violence, the slavery of socialism/collectivism, debt, compelled compliance, government license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity (Social Security, 2nd plank of the communist manifesto, police state confiscations, non-recognition of perfected allodium/an aloof government being the ultimate owner of all land, etc.) and alienation of nature’s endowed rights – is liberty. The vast majority of enslaved theocratic patrons believe the more licenses one has, the more free they are (how very, VERY sad).

    In today’s atmosphere, how many would truly be free in a land of liberty rather than helots, serfs and slaves in the immoral domain of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land – even if they realized the difference between liberty vs. otherwise and how much they’ve lost ? ? ?

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    The loss of Liberty is a manifestation of the loss of Virtue founded Values and vision, thus of faculties of realization.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
    So true, each invasion of liberty has over time been accepted by the masses and then used as precedent for the next. Like the proverbial frog in water slowly brought to a boil.
     -- Tony, Silver Spring, Md     
  • 2
    the libtards groan, "WHAT LIBERTIES have you lost???"

    I am afraid there is little hope of deprogramming these backward lefties, they obviously will never be satisfied as long as there exists a sovereign spirit intending to live free from the encumbrance of their nannystate

     -- Mark W, Aurora, CO     
  • 1
     -- Ronw13, Idaho      
    "To give the people a glimmer of what was ! The right to Private Property ( that includes the right to [The] fruit of ones labor )". 
     -- Ronw13, Idaho     
     -- jim k, austin      
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