"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,
in a state of civilization,
it expects what never was and never will be."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
letter to Col. Charles Yancey, January 6, 1816
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN      
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
Another classic.
 -- E Archer, NYC     
    Our Founders did have a way with words. How far we have slipped from that one with children that not only do not know how to read and add, they do not know economics or political science--other than socialism that COULD work if only the right people were running it.
     -- Michael , Houston     
    The truth of this statement is why our present government is doing everything it can do to dumb down our population.
     -- Dick, Fort Worth     
    The goal of public education: ignorant slaves.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
     -- David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood      
     -- camrie, California      
    If you're ignorant, how do you even KNOW if you're being oppressed?
     -- Dennis, Oxford, MS     
    its the real of this quote
     -- fernando, clint     
    Unfortunately, many of us are and look what's happening. Wake up Americans before we lose it.
     -- Alice, Maine     
     -- Sorin, Elmhurst,IL      
    What does this quote even mean??
     -- Katlyn, Pell City     
    No nation will survive when its citizens are starved for valid information and too stupefied by an indoctrination system to have the ability to think critically. Take Katlyn above for example...rather than pick up a book or do any research...she just wants someone to give her an answer...pathetic.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Katlyn, you are a great example of this quote, the ignorant part anyway. I suspect that you are young, judging from your name since Katlyn was the name given to a lot of kids born 15 to 20 years ago.You no doubt attended public schools which explains why this quote has you baffled. Let me translate for you. If you are ignorant, government can easily pull the wool over your eyes and convince you that they have your welfare in mind while they rob you blind and enslave you. Hell, you won't understand this either.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    Katlyn, Ignroant does not necessarily mean 'stupid'. It means a person is uninformed and lacks the curiousity to become informed. Most of the news media work for the "Government" willingly, (and schools are controlled by the government) and hope that people like you will trust what they say. Hopefully we can wake these uniformed people and stir their curiosity, before it is too late. By you asking that question is a good start! Keep it up!
     -- DJ, USA     
    Good point DJ. I may have come across as overly critical.
    At least she asked...but the answer is in her own curiosity and motivation.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Katlyn, welcome to an ignorant Amerika. Ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth. ALSO. adding to what DJ, so accurately said above, most of the terms, concepts, words, etc. that described freedom have been changed or used in a way that renders the original meaning unfathomable / non-recognizable. For one example: the term law. By the USA founders' archived discussions; 'law,' was / is matter's expression (in what ever form that took, relationships, contracts, science, math, fiscal activities, etc.) The reference 'law of nature or nature's God' was a designation to natural law. Or, the law that simply, 'IS', and is to be discovered by man. Codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. were only tools to describe the law for any given society's administration (Thou shalt not kill for example = the law - man's administration, 1st, 2nd degree, etc. it is law, with or without man's say so). Government, through its schools, media, etc. have changed the sovereign individual's servants into god / masters with an ability to create law. Under the god / masters' system, they allow a vote in varying periods so as to allow the lowly chattel to select some new masters. Codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc. and now called law by the god / masters (they being called law makers) instead of only tools, in describing those laws that exist (past, present, and future). A free people are knowledgeable as to natural law. Those people that are ignorant of natural law will never be free.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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