"What country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
November 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith, quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy, ed., 1939
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Reader comments about this quote:
It is time to refresh the tree of liberty. Our government is out of control, corrupt and does not stand for the people, but in many instances, against them. Affordable health care is out of reach to all but the very wealthy, the nation's deficit is $8 trillion and climbing, the education system is broken, social security is at risk of failing and will fail if nothing is done, the tax code is incomprehensible, even to the vast majority of CPA's who are not actively involved in tax preparation. Our nation has been invaded by the people of Mexico. Just because they didn't use a gun to do it doesn't mean we weren’t invaded. The two party system simply does not work. We need ONE plan on hard issues from our elected officials. We don't need a Democratic plan and a Republican plan. Our elected officials in Washington act like children. It is time for a change and if change does not come this country will go the way of the Roman Empire.
 -- Scott, Caruthersville     
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     -- ted, pikeville ky      
    A great place to start would be a Tax Rebellion. Another would be a rebellion against the War on Drugs, a 69 billion dollar per year fiasco that has done zip as to stopping drug use. It has filled our jails with non violent people, made drugs easily available to children, enriched drug lords, and increased violent crime in our cities. See LEAP.CC.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    It is time to refresh the tree of liberty. I might here ask, by what legal nexus did the sovereign's hirelings and servants become superior with ability to oppress? By way of example: A license is a principal's granted permission to do an otherwise unlawful act. Driving motorized vehicles on a sovereign's own public streets, owning a vehicle that is driven on public highways, marriage, contracting construction work, owning regulation (personally for any reason including participation in a non-state inducted militia), etc. were all once legal and lawful. By what lawful nexus did the hireling representative surpass the sovereign, becoming the omnipotent despot - possessing any and all rights it desires, declaring Creator endowed inalienable rights unlawful with ability to grant privilege to do unlawful acts? Our rulers have not been warned and our liberties have not been preserved. Have a happy 4th everyone ;-)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Sadly our nations are now run by bureacrats with an agenda of stonewalling your every effort. Turning us into nations of "permit holders". An education policy of divorcing children from the authority of their parents and to recognize the state as the ultimate authority. A graduated unapportioned tax system keeping you poor and under control. Big business "regulated" by government. (fascism) A fiat (counterfeit) currency. Laws for the sake of enforcemnet turning individuals into criminals.... Damned straight the system is broken...or working beautifully depending on how high up the ladder you happen to be. In either version...the whole thing is run by gangsters, not statesmen. Stalin would be so proud.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    If you rebel, you'd better be sure you succeed. If you don't, the chains will become much heavier and harder to break next time you try.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Bureaus were created in the late 1800's to add a degree of professionalism to government services as opposd to the politically appointed hacks who only took care of thei own. Only in a free wheeling America with one of the lowest tax regimes in the industrialized world (and an onerous defcit and national debt) call for a Tax Rebellion
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    We need to take control of our hay-wire country again, we really need to take arms, and hold up our stand against our insane and dictating government. It is time for us-us patriots-to take up a rebellion and get our country back to it's past state of freedom, liberty, honor, truth, and rightouness.
     -- Crystal, pittsburgh pa     
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    What magnificent words. Mr. Jefferson and our founding fathers would be in rebellion today against a government that has been corrupted and turned against the principles on which it was formed. We must engage the corrupt by every legal means available to us. Unite Americans!
     -- Ed, Sequim     
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    Doesn't sound like 'democracy' to me... Thank, God! Sure US taxes are lower than in the other socialist countries -- but they don't have crashing currencies either! What difference do taxes make when inflation takes care of the rest of your purchasing power. Taxes merely pay the interest on T-Bills the Fed (and other central banks around the world) holds in exchange for Federal Reserve Notes. Now that they are being dumped for Euros, watch the dollar fall even more. Yeah, sure US taxes are lower than, let's say, Canada, but the economy is crashing. A true tax revolt must include a revolt against the private central bank that is the cause of the bankruptcy of the nation: the Federal Reserve. Waffler, you lie -- how can you vote 5 stars for rebellion and the watering of the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants and patriots while in the same breath defending the economic slavery that has been foisted upon us -- you don't even know who the tyrants or patriots even are!!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Research: Of nine industrialized countires: Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Sweden, United Kindom, United States - The US ranks 2nd lowest in taxation as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product. It ranks 4th highest in debt as a percentage of GDP. Our taxes our 32% of GDP and our debt is 45%. The tax haul of these countries run from 31% for Japan to 59% for Sweden. The national/governmental debt runs from -5% for Sweden to +99% for Italy. Japan also has a high national debt amounting to 78%. Rebellion, always rebellion, but should we pause for a moment to consider facts.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    When this nation's founders sought to build an enduring state of freedom and liberty, they rejected the despotism, tyranny, and unsound fiscal systems of other nations. The founders looked to the proven history of human nature and law and the best methods of applying that law to set in motion a very unique model. Now, that model, that greatness, that level of freedom and liberty no longer exists. By way of example: when the communist nation of China was going to implement the 2nd plank of the communist manifesto, where did they go. They went to the experts, the good ole United States of Amerika. We may not be paying quite as much theft by unlawful tribute as other nations, but that's only a matter of time.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    There are 3 kinds of lies, Waffler: lies, damned lies, and statistics. (Disraeli) None of the countries you have listed have a Declaration of Independence or a government chartered by the People themselves. Plus those numbers you give are skewed because they do not account for the fiat currencies that all those countries mentioned use -- all those countries including the US use fiat, interest-bearing currencies controlled by the IMF/World Bank and all represent a debt to a private central bank issued by the same cartel, eventually. If there ever was a cause for a global rebellion, it is the economic slavery imposed upon the peoples of the world by this iniquitous 'money' system that is nothing but an endless sea of debt.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Waffler your facts are crap. Apples and oranges. If we consider the socialism aspect they probably are cheaper tax wise. Sweden has subsidized everything. It has to make it possible for the people to live after taxes. People there have to pay an average of 75% of their after tax income for food. Even then it would be unaffordable if it weren't subsidized by the government. In our country that kind of system would be even worse. Our government is so inefficient at redistribution of wealth that it would collapse much faster than the European model is. Statistics are capable of being used to prove anything to an ignorant mind.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    This makes a lot of sense to me.I believe I would have to agree with this quote.A great quote by the way.This quote truly is a Liberty Quote ! 10,000 stars for this quote.
     -- Me Again     
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    I absolutely agree with Scott from Caruthersville. The United States faces its scariest times since the Civil War. WE HAVE been invaded from the south. Term it what you will, but it is true. We have too many people in this country that are here to collect SSI or Welfare and aren't even here legally. This country was built on hard work and sacrifice. Now, everyone wants a buck and without working for it. We need (legal citizens) people working and paying taxes. Not people sitting at home and collecting welfare. Something has to change soon. What happened to the Roman Empire? You won't have to read about it. It is happening right now.
     -- Todd McKinley, Jeffersonville,IN     
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    Just as Cicero's words were ignored by the Roman elite, the the voices of those in "America today" who realize that we are on the same track to self destruction are being ignored. When the end comes it won't be anyones fault but our own, we didn't lose it, we let it go.. However, it would appear that like the Romans we are destined to experience the same fate, a fate that we could have avoided by simply keeping a copy of our constitution in our homes and teaching our children generationally of exactly what it allowed and forbid. One case in point, the unconstitutional foreign aid, Federal grants, becomming a banker, loaning out tax dollars. But, the root of the problem is that we allowed the United States to become a banker's corporation :The United States Inc." The act of allowing our once great country to become a part of world corporatism was the beginning of the end.
     -- Harold, Spokane Wa     
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    http://givemeliberty.org/revolution/ http://www.wethepeoplefoundation.org/
     -- Daniel, Birmingham, AL     
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    The time has come!
     -- CallonmeIllbethere     
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    idk
     -- dezire contreras, san antonio     
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     -- Anonymous      
    So, you all just don't get it--putting down Shay's Rebellion is the reference here--and the blood he is suggesting need be spilled is that of the so-called rebels, at the hand of the government. It was in reference to stopping the equivalent to today's nut-case "liberty" patriots (the crazy teabaggers)that he makes his point--that a government must put down those who would destroy the ordered freedoms we possess. remember, the flowery words of freedom and all are important, but this country was founded on protecting property, not your rights. We as a nation have evolved, as has our constitution. So, get off the idiot stick and try to understand context and not just regurgitate what someone else tells you...
     -- Doug, Olympia     
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    Let's do this
     -- Anonymous     
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    Outstanding quote and the comments are eye-opening also. I heard all my life that Jefferson said the two party system would be the death of this country and that a revolution once in a while is a healthy thing. Then he went on to write the constitution. Guess I was half correct.
     -- Harry S. Thornton, Jr, fort myers,florida     
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