"If a Nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization,
it expects what never was and never will be....
If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free,
it is the responsibility of every American to be informed."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
letter to Col. Charles Yancey, January 6, 1816
Rating:
Categories:
 
Bookmark and Share  
Reader comments about this quote:
It sounds like a truism but I think the importance of a well-informed public can hardly be overrated. The only problem is that today the majority of mass media seem to think it is their duty to misinform their viewers/readers/listeners.
 -- Maggie, Hamburg     
  • 3
  •  
    The importance of knowledge both good and bad is essential and none of it should ever be buried and kept from anyone. Yes Maggie, that is the mass media's job, to keep your mind and others of course, occupied while the real stuff goes straightinto the shredded left to patriot news sourced to print the truth.
     -- Anon     
  • 3
  •  
    Said well Maggie. I would love to rate this 100 times at a rating of 10 stars when the scale is 5. The dummying down of individuals through schools, political party affiliation, government in general, the governmental media complex, entertainment, readily available science and religion, etc. is an epidemic and proves absolute the quotes subject matter and full scope... I have friends (of left, right and libertarian persuasions) leaving public education because they can not educate, they are reduced to baby sitters with a false feel good (non-education based), prejudicially leftist curriculum. The full scope of Jefferson's statement here fills volumes.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 3
  •  
    The media is no longer a source of information, but a source of "spin". Notice we get very little news from the Middle East? There's a reason for that...
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 3
  •  
    Apparently J is consuming the wrong media sources... perhaps Fox & friends are not covering the story, but others continue to do so. Maggie is way off base, there are a significant number (even a majority) that are indeed serving their duties well. Yes, there have been failures (e.g. post-9/11 & the Iraq invasion justifications by W), but over all most are doing their jobs well. Some of the worse educated people I know come out of private schools where they learn about "the one true God" but not how to think...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
  • 1 5
  •  
    Compulsory education laws while an obvious affront to our liberties have increased the reading level I guess a 1000 fold. While anyone can go on ad nauseum about some kids who do not do well, it really does get old. There will always be some who do not do as well as others in school, business, life etcetera. To seek some lock step path for all is a little bit socialistic.While knowledge, education, learning and discovery, in my value system, is what liberty is all about, others should be free to pursue, higher education and knowledge at their own speed. Beyond basics the public should not be educated by self appointed czars. J all you need to do is google IraqToday etcetera to get all of the news you care for etcetera. The other day folk attacked the Nazis for saying "A German woman does not smoke" here Jefferson is saying basically, "An American stays informed". In fairness if one construction is hateful propaganda or enforced control of people and their liberty why is not the other.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
  • 1 3
  •  
    Anonymous...I don't consume any media resources that are presented to me on Television. Not even Fox. I do my own homework and get a "world" perspective. You'd be amazed what is printed in foreign newspapers that you'll never hear or see in US media.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 4
  •  
    It should read "If a nation assumes ignorance and expects to be free..." (you can't expect to be ignorant, unless you are a total moron), but a nation could assume they are). And if you expect what never was and never will be that must be the American Dream. It deserves five stars for the second sentence. it expects what never was and never will be....
     -- RBESRQ     
  • 3 1
  •  
    Oops delete that last bit..
     -- RBESRQ     
  •  
    Great, Mighty, yet Humble Thomas Jefferson!
     -- Elisabeth, Astoria, NY     
  • 2
  •  
    It takes more than knowledge and information. One must use that information to assert their will that the nation remains free. Free to all individuals, not corporations who are not individuals but are running the policies of this countries. The EPA cannot do it job under certain administrations, and the Global Environmental policies this country wants to adopt are a scam. We can be "informed", but we must write our congress person when we become aware of threats to our liberty, or our right to "general Welfare", become active and sign petitions and to peacefully protest, then along the course of events do what is needed to protect our "freedom in a state of civilization". We cannot tolerate chaos, fraud and illegal behavior by our representatives. We must talk to others, share what we have learned, and encourage others to be informed and to care. We must also support those individuals and groups who are trying to make a difference, including our students. One thing that we must guard against is using the medias attempt to use terms like "right" and "left", "liberal" and "conservative" to divide us. There is no pure form of any of those and it is the issues which are important. Be vigil and aware for distractive information, attempts to trick you with inaccurate and incomplete information, and blatant lies that can ultimately lead to your loss of freedom. A side note here is that legal immigrants are never given a copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights during the process of becoming a legal citizen. I believe an intentional attempt to keep people ignorant. There are pocket book copies of these documents that should be given to them when they first apply for citizenship. With more than a million legal immigrants every year, we have a large mass of people that need to be informed, not just grateful.
     -- Judith, New Mexico     
  • 1 1
  •  
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m87l2mmZ6tY&feature=PlayList&p=FC193781EC57C44F&playnext_from=PL&index=0&playnext=1 This link is an example of what needs to be said and shared. Consider the Civilized Society or civilization. Are they not the same?
     -- Judith, New Mexico     
  •  
    "He who knows not and knows not he knows not is a FOOL

    But he who knows not and knows he knows not is a WISE MAN."
    ~ Anonymous
     -- Bob, AZ     
  • 2
  •  
    The unbridled proliferation and propagation of knowledge that is uninformed by understanding and unconstrained by Virtue has been the virtual undoing of the Human Race.

    Under the tutelage of Virtue illumined understanding, a rightly principled person becomes the master of knowlege, not its subject, and virtually everything
    becomes to him or her, as the estimable Mr. Jefferson himself expressed it,"self evident".
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 1
  •  
     -- Mary - MI      
    I am wary of anything 'broadcasted' or 'produced' by the MSM. The message is contrived to stimulate a reaction -- it is not just an advertising medium, it is a selling medium. You believe it, you bought it, it's yours, it's part of your own narrative now. As for 'public' education, it's more of the same, to 'program' rather than 'enlighten,' making sure to put the right spin on the 'information.' Consider how involved schools are in 'identity-politics', gender, race, sexuality -- promoting victimhood, rather than inspiring personal responsibility, honor, virtue.

    If you want a REAL education, you'll have to ask your own questions and do some research. The truth will set you free, but it will also make you mad -- and glad, too. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
  •  
    Thomas Jefferson, my favorite president , along with George Washington. It's hard to believe that we went from these two great men to Bill Clinton in less than 250 years.
     -- Jim k, Austin     
  •  
     -- Ronw13, OR      
    Yes, indeed, but that is not the problem, the problem is not being informed with the correct information. The NWO has total control over what you are told and how you are informed. We are no longer in s state that provides unbiased investigatory journalism. And, as for individually seeking correct and informed information, well, that will never happen - only 2% of the population are informed enough to make any political or social decision. In essence, we are stupid and care not for the truth, or to seek the truth. To Bob in AZ the quote comes from the Vedas (Upanishads)
     -- robert, somewhere inthe USA     
  •  
     
    Rate this quote!
    How many stars?
    0
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5

     
    What do YOU think?
    Your name:
    Your town:
        CLICK JUST ONCE!

    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

    © 1998-2018 Liberty-Tree.ca