Famous Quotations / Quotes
Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

Click on the name to open the full quote and the details about the quote's origin. Quotes are also grouped by Category and Author.  
 
I believe that there is a moral and constitutional equivalence between laws designed to subjugate a race and those that distribute benefits on the basis of race in order to foster some current notion of equality.... In my mind, government-sponsored racial discrimination based on benign prejudice is just as noxious as discrimination inspired by malicious prejudice.
-- Clarence Thomas
 
I don’t believe in quotas. America was founded on a philosophy of individual rights, not group rights.
-- Clarence Thomas
 
Government cannot make us equal; it can only recognize, respect, and protect us as equal before the law.
-- Clarence Thomas
 
Government cannot make us equal; it can only recognize, respect, and protect us as equal before the law. That [affirmative action] programs may have been motivated, in part, by good intentions cannot provide refuge from the principle that under our Constitution, the government may not make distinctions on the basis of race.
-- Clarence Thomas
 
If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything ... quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States.
-- Justice Clarence Thomas
 
[T]he courts are so willing to assume that anything that is predominantly black must be inferior.... The mere fact that a school is black does not mean that it is the product of an unconstitutional violation.
-- Justice Clarence Thomas
 
In the beginning, there was nothing. Then God said 'Let there be light,' and there was still nothing, but you could see it.
-- Dave Thomas
 
No government of the Centre would seek powers to imprison individuals who have committed no crime merely on the say-so of "experts" who believe they might commit a crime. No libertarian government would want to reduce our right to trial by jury, to curfew children, to place "anti-social behaviour orders" on citizens, to conduct compulsory DNA and drug tests on all offenders. No government that was concerned with freedom would seek to ban pursuits that harm no one, such as foxhunting, simply because they are unpopular. No government that has respect for its citizens would seek to interfere so intimately with so many of their private activities -- for instance, what right does a government have to tell me under what terms and conditions I may sell my house. The transaction should, quite simply, be none of their business.
-- George Thomas
 
History suggests that the cause of national decline is, as a rule, that the state in the nation concerned has sought to do too much rather than too little. This applies as much to the Roman Empire as to the Spanish.
-- Hugh Thomas
 
We pass the word around; we ponder how the case is put by different people; we read the poetry; we meditate over the literature; we play the music; we change our minds; we reach an understanding. Society evolves this way, not by shouting each other down, but by the unique capacity of unique, individual human beings to comprehend each other.
-- Lewis Thomas
 
Dissent... is a right essential to any concept of the dignity and freedom of the individual; it is essential to the search for truth in a world wherein no authority is infallible.
-- Norman Thomas
 
The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.
-- Norman Thomas
 
After I asked him what he meant, he replied that freedom consisted of the unimpeded right to get rich, to use his ability, no matter what the cost to others, to win advancement.
-- Norman Thomas
 
All statutes are presumed constitutional and the party challenging the constitutionality of a statute has the burden of clearly establishing that it violates the constitution.
-- Justice Robert R. Thomas
 
Political censorship is necessarily based on fear of what will happen if those whose work is censored get their way, or if they are effecting in persuading a large number of readers to share their point of view. The nature of political censorship at any given time depends on the censor’s answer to the simple question, “What are you afraid of?”
-- Donald Thompson
 
When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered.
-- Dorothy Thompson
 
It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives.
-- Dorothy Thompson
 
It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives.
-- Dorothy Thompson
 
Of all forms of government and society, those of free men and women are in many respects the most brittle. They give the fullest freedom for activities of private persons and groups who often identify their own interests, essentially selfish, with the general welfare.
-- Dorothy Thompson
 
Jurors have found, again and again, and at critical moments, according to what is their sense of the rational and just. If their sense of justice has gone one way, and the case another, they have found “against the evidence,” ... the English common law rests upon a bargain between the Law and the people: The jury box is where the people come into the court: The judge watches them and the people watch back. A jury is the place where the bargain is struck. The jury attends in judgment, not only upon the accused, but also upon the justice and the humanity of the Law.
-- E. P. Thompson
 
After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.
-- Fred Thompson
 
It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
-- Hunter S. Thompson
 
It is suggested that the solution lies in the United Nations Security Council. It is interesting to note that each solution it achieves invariably results either in the country involved going communist or vast territories being turned to communist-type socialism. The United Nations is the great Trojan horse within our gates, and we can hope for absolutely no help from that quarter, especially while it promotes and arranges finances, encouragement, and prestige to dissenting groups involved in so-called liberation movements of terrorist revolutionary groups.
-- J. Ralph Thompson
 
Nothing is plainer than that, if the principles of the church of Rome prevail here, our Constitution would fall. The two cannot exist together. They are in open and direct antagonism with the fundamental theory of our government and of all popular government everywhere.
-- Richard Thompson
 
When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man?
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison ... the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Law never made men a whit more just.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Somehow strangely the vice of men gets well represented and protected but their virtue has none to plead its cause -- nor any charter of immunities and rights.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
To be awake is to be alive.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Others -- as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders -- serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few -- as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men -- serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part ...
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Trade and commerce, if they were not made of Indian rubber, would never manage to bounce over the obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe... till we come to the hard bottom of rocks in place, which we can call reality.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
I heartily accept the motto, 'That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- 'That government is best which governs not at all'; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which the will have.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
I was put into jail as I was going to the shoemaker's to get a shoe which was mended. When I was let out the next morning, I proceeded to finish my errand, and, having put on my mended shoe, joined a huckleberry party, who were impatient to put themselves under my conduct; and in half an hour -- for the horse was soon tackled -- was in the midst of a huckleberry field, on one of our highest hills, two miles off, and then the State was nowhere to be seen.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
That government is best which governs least.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men. When the majority shall at length vote for the abolition of slavery, it will be because they are indifferent to slavery, or because there is but little slavery left to be abolished by their vote. They will then be the only slaves. Only his vote can hasten the abolition of slavery who asserts his own freedom by his vote.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Things do not change, we change.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
The fate of the country does not depend on how you vote at the polls -- the worst man is as strong as the best at that game; it does not depend on what kind of paper you drop into the ballot-box once a year, but on what kind of man you drop from your chamber into the street every morning.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
The universe seems bankrupt as soon as we begin to discuss the characters of individuals.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Wherever you may seek solitude, men will ferret you out and compel you to belong to their desperate company of oddfellows.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
I heartily accept the motto, that government is best which governs least ... Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, that government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
To speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? -- in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
I make my own time. I make my own terms. I cannot see how God or Nature can ever get the start of me.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
As for adopting the ways which the state has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too much time, and a man's life will be gone.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Must a citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
Why does it [government] always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
A gun gives you the body, not the bird.
-- Henry David Thoreau
 
The creation of money exclusively as debt is the critical, destabilizing flaw in the American Economy.
-- Theodore R. Thoren
 
It is natural that citizens of great and powerful nations see themselves, collectively speaking, as immortal and immune to the processes that have brought down other illustrious nations and peoples.
-- James Thornton
 
Before the creation of the welfare state, immigrants who came to this country were for the most part attracted by America’s reputation as a land of freedom and opportunity. Laws and customs that then prevailed required immigrants to carve out their individual destinies by their own labor, perseverance, intelligence, and determination.
-- James Thornton
 
The new puritans have been highly successful. All of the preconditions for new prohibitions on alcohol and tobacco are in place. ... Indeed, the future agenda of the federal government has already been established to outlaw alcohol and tobacco in the near future. ... If current trends persist, America will be moving toward stricter prohibitions, greater restrictions, and more centralized control over consumption. This represents an erosion of liberty at its most fundamental level.
-- Mark Thornton
 


Daily Quotes
Ready to be inspired?
Sign up for a daily dose of Liberty Quotes!
Leave us your email address to subscribe.
Email:

Here's the Daily Quote history.

Browse quotes by
Authors, Categories,
and Cryptograms!



The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.


Famous Last Words

Apt Observations, Pleas, Curses, Benedictions, Sour Notes, Bons Mots, and Insights from People on the Brink of Departure


Stretch Your Wings

Famous Black Quotations for the Young


American Quotations

An exhaustive collection of profound quotes from the founding fathers, presidents, statesmen, scientists, constitutions, court decisions


The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations


Last Words of Saints and Sinners

700 Final Quotes from the Famous, the Infamous, and the Inspiring Figures of History


America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations

Contains over 2,100 profound quotations from founding fathers, presidents, constitutions, court decisions and more


The Law

This 1850 classic is an absolute must read for anyone interested in law, justice, truth, or liberty. A most compelling and revolutionary look at The Law.


Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature (17th Edition)


The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians

Rise up, America -- and laugh out loud at the greatest gaffes that no spin doctor could possibly fix!


The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said

Another great collection of stupidity


Quotable Quotes

Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America's Most Popular Magazine


The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time

You don't have to be a genius to sound like one. Here's a collection of the most profound and provocative wit and wisdom in the English language in two lines or less.


2,715 One-Line Quotations for Speakers, Writers & Raconteurs

Invaluable sampler of witticisms, epigrams, sayings, bon mots, platitudes and insights chosen for their brevity and pithiness.


Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts Funny Sayings

A stupendous collection of quotes, quips, epigrams, witticisms, and humorous comments for personal enjoyment and ready reference.


Quick Quips and Quotes; 532 Things I Wish I Had Said

Quick Quips and Quotes is the Ultimate Collection of one liners.


Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes

The ultimate anthology of anecdotes, now revised with over 700 new entries.


Quotations for Public Speakers

A Historical, Literary, and Political Anthology


Liberty - The American Revolution

This compelling series traces the events leading up to the war and America's fight for freedom.


Founding Fathers

The story of how these disparate characters fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution


Libertarianism: A Primer

David Boaz, director of the Cato Institute, has written a simple introduction to Libertarianism inteneded to appeal to disgruntled Democrats and Republicans everywhere.


The Libertarian Reader

Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman


Thomas Paine: Collected Writings

All the classics: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters


(c) Copyright 1999-2016