Famous Quotations / Quotes
Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

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Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or sovereign. ... You must weep that your own government, at present, seems blind to this truth.
-- Mother Teresa
 
It is a fundamental human right, a privilege of nature, that every man should worship according to his own convictions. One man’s religion neither harms nor helps another man. It is assuredly no part of religion to compel religion, to which free will and not force should lead us.
-- Tertullian
 
In the twenty-first century, the robot will take the place which slave labor occupied in ancient civilization.
-- Nikola Tesla
 
...and in all cases of libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.
-- Texas Constitution
 
When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.

When the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the everready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants.

When, long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms themselves of the constitution discontinued, and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons, and mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet.

When, in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abdication on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original elements. In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation, the inherent and inalienable rights of the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right towards themselves, and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their future welfare and happiness.

...

These, and other grievances, were patiently borne by the people of Texas, untill they reached that point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. We then took up arms in defence of the national constitution. We appealed to our Mexican brethren for assistance. Our appeal has been made in vain. Though months have elapsed, no sympathetic response has yet been heard from the Interior. We are, therefore, forced to the melancholy conclusion, that the Mexican people have acquiesced in the destruction of their liberty, and the substitution therfor of a military government; that they are unfit to be free, and incapable of self government.

The necessity of self-preservation, therefore, now decrees our eternal political separation.
-- Texas Declaration of Independence
 
These, and other grievances, were patiently borne by the people of Texas, untill they reached that point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. We then took up arms in defence of the national constitution.
-- Texas Declaration of Independence
 
To endure is greater than to dare; to tire out hostile fortune; to be daunted by no difficulty; to keep heart when all have lost it; to go through intrigue spotless; to forgo even ambition when the end is gained -- who can say this is not greatness?
-- William Makepeace Thackeray
 
Where law ends, tyranny begins.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
We want a society in which we are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. That is what we mean by a moral society – not a society in which the State is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the State.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
All attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail. It must be business as usual.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
There is little hope for democracy if the hearts of men and women in democratic societies cannot be touched by a call to something greater than themselves.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
We should not expect the state to appear in the guise of an extravagant good fairy at every christening, a loquacious companion at every stage of life's journey, and the unknown mourner at every funeral.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
America, my friends, is the only country in the world actually founded on liberty -- the only one. People went to America to be free.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
Perhaps I can summarise it best by saying this -- Nations that have pursued equality, like the Iron Curtain countries, I think have finished up with neither equality, nor liberty. Nations, which like us, in the past have pursued liberty, as a fundamental objective, extending it to all, have finished up with liberty, human dignity, and far fewer inequalities than other people.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
Liberty, human dignity, a higher standard of living is fundamental. And, steadily, I think, people are beginning to realise that you don't have those things unless you have a pretty large private enterprise sector. Any Iron Curtain country has neither liberty, nor a very high standard of living. The two things go, economic and political freedom, go together. I've been right in the forefront of saying that, here, in the States, and it's very interesting to me now, to see a number of articles from people who are taking up the same theme. They are disturbed that Socialism is reducing liberty and freedom for ordinary people, and that's really what matters.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
I'm never quite sure what you mean by consensus politics. I believe that what most people want in their lives, is what the Conservative Party wants to have for them. I believe that our policies are fundamentally common sense policies. Just let's take taxation for an example. Wherever I go I hear enormous resentment about the amount which people are paying out of their own pay packet in tax. And, this goes right across the income ranges. Socialism started by saying it was going to tax the rich, very rapidly it was taxing the middle income groups. Now, it's taxing people quite highly with incomes way below average and pensioners with incomes way below average. You look at the figure on the beginning of a pay slip, sometimes it can look quite high, look along the slip to the other end, and see how many deductions you've had off, those deductions have increased enormously under Socialism ... Public expenditure, which they always boast about, is financed out of the pay packet in our pockets. People are saying that they really think too much is being taken out of the pay packet for someone to spend on their behalf, and they'd rather be left with more, and it's now well-known that Socialist Governments put up taxes and Conservative Governments take them down. It's part of our fundamental belief giving the people more choice to spend their own money in their own way.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
Look, I think you're tackling public expenditure from the wrong end, if I might say so. Why don't you look at it as any housewife has to look at it? She has to look at her expenditure every week or every month, according to what she can afford to spend, and if she overspends one week or month, she's got to economise the next. Now governments really ought to look at it from the viewpoint of "What can we afford to spend?" They've already put up taxes, and yet the taxes they collect are not enough for the tremendous amount they're spending. They're having to borrow to a greater extent than ever before, and future generations will have to repay. Now, if anyone tells me that a Chancellor of the [Denis Healey] Exchequer can put up public expenditure in two years by -- and it's a tremendous figure -- twenty thousand million pounds, and he doesn't know where to get it down by about three thousand million pounds, then he ought never to have been in charge of the nation's finances ... never!
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
But don't forget that we fought a 1974 election on saying really that pay couldn't go on going up as it was. The important thing … you must never look at pay on its own, what you've got to look at is pay in relation to the amount produced. It's when those two get badly out of line that you get inflation. And now obviously, we've got very much higher pay, but we're producing less than we were in 1970, so it's the relationship that you've got to watch. Don't look at pay separately. Once you start to cut off a man's pay from the fruits of his labour, he will inevitably feel enormous resentment. If he's going to work harder, of course he deserves more pay, and he doesn't want it all taken away in tax. But there are two sides of the equation you've got to look at.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
Jobs really come in the productive sector of the economy. The real jobs are where people are producing goods or services which other people will buy. Now, dependent on those people producing those goods, are a lot of others in the public sector. Now if you run up the public sector, you can only do it by draining money out of industry and commerce. But that's where the jobs are. And one of the reasons why you have to cut public expenditure is to get the money back out of the public sector, into industry and commerce, so that they, in fact, can invest, and improve, and expand; because that's where the secure jobs are.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
I think they've made the biggest financial mess that any government's ever made in this country for a very long time, and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they're now trying to control everything by other means. They're progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money.
-- Margaret Thatcher
 
The Senate being tied is a start. Now, if only it could be gagged.
-- Bob Thaves
 
I don't know if I can live on my income or not -- the government won't let me try it.
-- Bob Thaves
 
If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.
-- The Bible
 
Take no usury of him, or increase... thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury.
-- The Bible
 
Unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: That the Lord thy God bless thee.
-- The Bible
 
When the US government ended 'welfare as we know it' in 1996, it handed responsibility for reform to the states. In so doing, it also created a real-world test of two competing economic strategies used to fight poverty. The results are in and the lessons are clear: Low tax rates lift up the lives of America's poor.
-- The Christian Science Monitor
 
Under federal law the government is allowed to seize a person’s assets and distribute them, even if the accused is acquitted, or the charges eventually dropped, those assets may be transferred to state law enforcement agencies.
-- The Daily Oklahoman
 
For as long as one hundred of us shall remain alive, we shall never in any wise consent submit to the rule of the English, for it is not for glory we fight, nor riches, or for honour, but for freedom alone, which no good man loses but with his life.
-- The Declaration of Arbroath 1320
 
Our whole monetary system is dishonest, as it is debt-based... We did not vote for it. It grew upon us gradually but markedly since 1971 when the commodity-based system was abandoned.
-- The Earl of Caithness
 
He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh.
-- The Koran
 
The ordinary "horseless carriage" is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although its price will probably fall in the future, it will never, of course, come into as common use as the bicycle.
-- The Literary Digest
 
This is the sum of all true righteousness: deal with others as thou wouldst thyself be dealt by. Do nothing to thy neighbor which thou wouldst not have him do to thee hereafter.
-- The Mahabharata
 
I may die a beggar, but with the Grace of God, I will not die a slave. I will not be filed, stamped, briefed, debriefed, or numbered... My life is my own.
-- The Prisoner
 
If you add to the truth, you subtract from it.
-- The Talmud
 
If that mischievous financial policy which had its origin in the North American Republic [i.e., honest Constitutionally authorized debt-free money] should become indurated down to a fixture, then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off its debts and be without a debt (to the International Bankers). It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of the civilized governments of the world. The brains and wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe!
-- The Times of London
 
[President Clinton] ... ordered the Justice Department to begin studying gun licensing, registration, and collection proposals.
-- The Washington Times
 
Let me get this straight. For the past quarter-century or more, the central government has been stealing hundreds of billions of dollars each year from competent, hard-working, successful people and giving it to incompetent, lazy failures. As a result, middle-class America has increasingly been impoverished while the poor are even poorer. Now come calls for reforming the system, and liberals are denouncing reformers in the vilest language. What planet did you say liberals are from?
-- Paul Thiel
 
Thus, individualism is not antithetical to community. Rather, it can involve free association and a belief in an over-arching harmony of interests. In a free socety, individuals join with others because of love and mutual benefit, not because they are programmed or coerced.
-- Prof. Clifford Thies
 
When you walked through working-class neighbourhoods, you would sometimes see a cop slipping shamefacedly into his own house by a side door.
-- André Thirion
 
For this future emancipation, we have to rule out ideologies that aim at reinforcing the state, the police and controls in general, and at reducing liberty.
-- André Thirion
 
What is right is often forgotten by what is convenient.
-- Bodie Thoene
 
If there are those who think we are to jump immediately into a new world order, actuated by complete understanding and brotherly love, they are doomed to disappointment. If we are ever to approach that time, it will be after patient and persistent effort of long duration. The present international situation of mistrust and fear can only be corrected by a formula of equal status, continuously applied, to every phase of international contacts, until the cobwebs of the old order are brushed out of the minds of the people of all lands.
-- Dr. Augustus O. Thomas
 
Welfare mostly subsidizes people in poverty, helping few escape from it. In their hearts, most people who are poor would like to be rich, or at least self-sustaining, but this president never talks about how they might achieve that goal. Instead, he criticizes those who made the right choices and now enjoy the fruits of their labor. Rather than use successful people as examples for the poor to follow, the president seeks to punish the rich with higher taxes and more regulations on their businesses.
-- Cal Thomas
 
A theory deeply etched in our law [is that] a free society prefers to punish the few who abuse the rights of free speech after they break the law rather than to throttle them and all others beforehand.
-- Clarence Thomas
 
A good argument diluted to avoid criticism is not nearly as good as the undiluted argument, because we best arrive at truth through a process of honest and vigorous debate. Arguments should not sneak around in disguise, as if dissent were somehow sinister… For it is bravery that is required to secure freedom.
-- Clarence Thomas
 
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
 
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
 


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