"Every idea is an incitement. It offers itself for belief, and if believed it is acted on unless some other belief outweighs it or some failure of energy stifles the movement at its birth. The only difference between the expression of an opinion and an incitement is the speaker’s enthusiasm for the result."
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
(1841-1935) US Supreme Court Justice, also known as "The Great Dissenter"
Gitlow v United States, 1922
Bookmark and Share  
Reader comments about this quote:
So the more passion behind an idea makes it more believable? Reason and facts should drive an idea forward. It was believed the sun revolved around the earth, and the earth was flat. Regardless of how emotional someone gets in that belief, the facts, reason, point to a different conclusion.
 -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    He is speaking of political expressions. We can all say we despise the government for one reason or another in a quiet debate. People have done that constantly throughout history and governments are not threatened by that. When people show too much enthusiasm (in government's eyes), they are called revolutionaries and are accused of everything from incitement to treason.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Talk, talk, talk -- we love to talk. But when the communication inspires action, that is real force. However, if 'truth' is trampled by 'passion' the mob can ethusiastically destroy the very foundation of freedom.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    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

    © 1998-2023 Liberty-Tree.ca