"Legislators and revolutionaries who promise equality and liberty at the same time are either psychopaths or mountebanks."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(1749-1832) German writer, statesman
Maximen und Reflexionen
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Reader comments about this quote:
Is he talking about the current leader of this nation?/. i quess i read it wrong.
 -- Kimo, USA     
    I guess you would have to define equality and liberty. As a child of God, I have no brother or sister that is greater or lesser than me - all are equal before our loving Father and, the law. Only under such scenario is liberty possible. If the author speaks of materialism as it were his god, somewhat inclusive of Marx's "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", there is a thread of accuracy.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    A five star rating would be placed on the quote if, emphases was clearly set forth that only psychopaths and mountebanks believe legislators and revolutionaries ;-)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Liberty can be promised, but not equality.
     -- Cal, lewisville, tx     
  • 1
    It is a pretty clear statement. NO ONE can promise BOTH equality (and I am believing that Goethe was speaking about social/economic equality in this instance) and liberty unless they would be a liar. It would require theft from the so called freeman to give to the person lower on the economic ladder. We have seen this repeated over and over...historically and currently.
     -- Abby     
  • 2
    Sounds like a pretty good quote to me. If any person or groups of people promise equality and liberty they would certainly prove that quote. Naturally, the collectivists running our country never speak of liberty and have no notion of promoting it.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 1
    Excellent quote! Keep 'em coming!
     -- L.G., Tok, AK     
    The confusion arises from opposing definitions of the words 'liberty' and 'equality.' Obviously we are not all equal in age, knowledge, skills, property, family, etc.. The only 'equality' in this world is an equal 'right' to be treated with respect. And when the word 'liberty' is confused with the 'power' to do anything to anybody, we are not talking about liberty any more -- we are merely talking about 'might makes right' -- and the liberty-minded have always endeavored to check power with equal rights of all to justice. Of course, this is very logical and sane -- to defend the opposite, well....
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    Equality comes through the opportunity Liberties provide.
    1)Chophshiy, freedom from bondage and tax, at you pleasure.
    2)Eleutheria, manumission from slavery, sold to God, physical.
    3)Apeleutheros, spiritual freedom, access to the presence of God, A Freed man. 
    These are Drowr liberties, pure. so clear. They are Brakah, blessed. 3 liberties 13 attributes, allow for the broadest scope of freedom from oppression, known to man.  Key to the house of David. 
     -- Ronw13, OR     
    Interesting, Ron, but where does one find this?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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