Famous Quotations / Quotes
Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

 
Famous quotes, quotations, sayings, phrases, idioms, proverbs, and axioms about Liberty and the Responsibility that comes with it. 
 


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

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A FramerUnder every government the [last] resort of the people, is an appeal to the sword; whether to defend themselves against the open attacks of a foreign enemy, or to check the insidious encroachments of domestic foes.  Whenever a people ... entrust the defence of their country to a regular, standing army, composed of mercenaries, the power of that country will remain under the direction of the most wealthy citizens.
Lord ActonThe most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.
Lord ActonIt is bad to be oppressed by a minority,
but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority.
John AdamsGovernment is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
John AdamsArms in the hands of individual citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the over-throw of tyranny, or in private self-defense.
John AdamsThe jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.
John AdamsEach individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; and to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary. But no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. In fine, the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent.
John AdamsIf a majority are capable of preferring their own private interest, or that of their families, counties, and party, to that of the nation collectively, some provision must be made in the constitution, in favor of justice, to compel all to respect the common right, the public good, the universal law, in preference to all private and partial considerations... And that the desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice and inhumanity against the minority, is demonstrated by every page of history... To remedy the dangers attendant upon the arbitrary use of power, checks, however multiplied, will scarcely avail without an explicit admission some limitation of the right of the majority to exercise sovereign authority over the individual citizen... In popular governments [democracies], minorities [individuals] constantly run much greater risk of suffering from arbitrary power than in absolute monarchies...
John AdamsThe moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.
John Adams[You have Rights] antecedent to all earthly governments:
Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws;
Rights, derived from the Great Legislator of the universe.
John AdamsThe poor people, it is true, have been much less successful than the great. They have seldom found either leisure or opportunity to form a union and exert their strength; ignorant as they were of arts and letters, they have seldom been able to frame and support a regular opposition. This, however, has been known by the great to be the temper of mankind; and they have accordingly labored, in all ages, to wrest from the populace, as they are contemptuously called, the knowledge of their rights and wrongs, and the power to assert the former or redress the latter. I say RIGHTS, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government, Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws, Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe.
John AdamsGovernment is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
John AdamsResistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would. Nor is there anything in the common law of England inconsistent with that right.
John AdamsWhen people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.
John AdamsLiberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have... a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean the characters and conduct of their rulers.
John Quincy AdamsBut the indissoluble link of union
between the people of the several States of this confederated nation
is, after all, not in the RIGHT, but in the HEART. If the day
should ever come (may Heaven avert it !) when the affections of
the people of these States shall be alienated from each other, when
the fraternal spirit shall give way to cold indifference, or collision
of interests shall fester into hatred, the bonds of political association -
will not long hold together parties no longer attracted by the
magnetism of conciliated interests and kindly sympathies ; and
far better will it be for the people of the disunited States to part
in friendship with each other than to be held together by constraint.
Then will be the time for reverting to the precedents
which occurred at the formation and adoption of the Constitution,
to form again a more perfect Union, by dissolving that which
could no longer bind, and to leave the separated parts to be reunited
by the law of political gravitation to the center.
Samuel AdamsThe liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution,
are worth defending at all hazards;
and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.
We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors:
they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure
and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.
It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation,
enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us
by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them
by the artifices of false and designing men.
Samuel AdamsAmong the natural Rights of the Colonists are these: First, a Right to Life; secondly, to Liberty; thirdly, to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best Manner they can. Those are evident Branches of, rather than Deductions from, the Duty of Self-Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.
Samuel AdamsThe said constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.
Eli AdornoDo you think someone who is about to rape you is going to stop and think about a condom?
Publius Terentius AferI bid him look into the lives of men as though into a mirror, and from others to take an example for himself.
Dante AlighieriFor what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?
Woody AllenI call the mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master [and] receives new truth as an angel from Heaven.
American Library AssociationWe believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture.
Amnesty InternationalThe USA was founded in the name of democracy, equality and individual freedom, but is failing to deliver the fundamental promise of protecting rights for all.
Susan B. AnthonyMen, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.
Susan B. AnthonyIt was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.
Saint Thomas AquinasBecause of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some people, as appropriate and suitable to them, while the same acts are immoral for others, as inappropriate to them.
AristotleTo the size of the state there is a limit, as there is to plants, animals and implements, for none of these
retain their facility when they are too large.
Nancy AstorTruth always originates in a minority of one, and every custom begins as a broken precedent.
Margaret AtwoodThe use of “religion” as an excuse to repress the freedom of expression and to deny human rights is not confined to any country or time.
Saint AugustineGive me chastity and self-restraint, but do not give it yet.
Michael BadnarikI have the right to do whatever I wish with my property. If I own a pile of wood, I can set fire to it even if it is currently nailed together in the shape of a barn. Cigarettes may not be healthy for me in the long run, but I have the freedom to smoke them anyway. Drinking alcohol may or may not have negative side effects, but even if it does, the government has no authority to prohibit you from consuming it, even if it is "in your own best interest." Since when do we let the government decide what is or isn't good for us? What the hell does Congress know about nutrition, anyway? (For that matter, what does Congress know about the Constitution?) If the government can use force whenever something is "in our best interest" then government should force everyone to wake up at 6am every morning for calisthenics in the front yard. Fast food establishments should be torn down and replaced with bars that serve carrot juice and alfalfa sprouts, since - "it's in your best interest." This paternalistic attitude that "the government knows best" and that you are merely a helpless child is insulting and reprehensible. Hitler used the same attitude to persuade the Germans to subjugate themselves to the "Fatherland.
Carl Friedrich BahrdtThe freedom to share one’s insights and judgments verbally or in writing is, just like the freedom to think, a holy and inalienable right of humanity that, as a universal human right, is above all the rights of princes.
Tallulah BankheadNobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it.
William BarclaySelf-defense is a part of the law of nature; nor can it be denied the community, even against the king himself.
Alderman Rodney BarketWhat I'd like to see police do is deal with important issues and not these sorts of victimless crimes when society is riddled with problems.
Alan BarthThought that is silenced is always rebellious. Majorities, of course, are often mistaken. This is why the silencing of minorities is necessarily dangerous. Criticism and dissent are the indispensable antidote to major delusions.
Frederic BastiatThere is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are “just” because the law makes them so.
Frederic BastiatIf every person has the right to defend -- even by force -- his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -- its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Frederic BastiatSometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic.
Miner Searle Bates[Natural rights are] moral claims to those spheres of action which are necessary for the welfare of the individual and the development of his personality.
Dan BaumThe [Supreme] Court during the past decade let police obtain search warrants on the strength of anonymous tips. It did away with the need for warrants when police want to search luggage, trash cans, car interiors, bus passengers, fenced private property and barns.
Dan BaumThe Supreme Court is steadily eroding the protections against police excess promised by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.
Judge David BazelonMembers of society must obey the law because they personally believe that its commands are justified.
Hugo Adam BedauGovernment should allow persons to engage in whatever conduct they want to, no matter how deviant or abnormal it may be, so long as (a) they know what they are doing, (b) they consent to it, and (c) no one -- at least no one other than the participants -- is harmed by it.
Isaiah BerlinBut to manipulate men, to propel them toward goals which you – the social reformers – see, but they may not, is to deny their human essence, to treat them as objects without wills of their own, and therefore to degrade them.
Robert BidinottoRepublicans don't know how to defend morally an individual's right to achieve wealth and to keep it, and that is why they fail. ... It's part and parcel with their ambivalence over the individualist heritage of the nation. ... One of the things that people have to understand is that the American Revolution was truly an epic revolution in the way individuals were perceived in relation to the rest of the society.  Throughout history individuals had always been cogs in some machine; they'd always been something to be sacrificed for the king, the tribe, the gang, the chieftain, the society around them, the race, whatever, and the real revolution, in America especially, was a moral revolution.  It was a moral revolution in that ... suddenly, with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the individual, his life, his well-being, his property, his happiness became central to our values, and thatis what really made America unique.  People came here from all over the world to try to escape the kind of oppression they had and experienced in the past. They came here for freedom; they came here for self-expression and self-realization, and America offered them that kind of a place.
Henry Campbell BlackLiberty, whether natural, civil, or political, is the lawful power in the individual to exercise his corresponding rights. It is greatly favored in law.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe interest of the people lies in being able to join organizations, advocate causes, and make political “mistakes” without being subjected to governmental penalties.
Justice Hugo L. BlackI am for the First Amendment from the first word to the last. I believe it means what it says.
Justice Hugo L. BlackWithout deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they express, or the words they speak or write.
Justice Hugo L. BlackAn unconditional right to say what one pleases about public affairs is what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the First Amendment.
Sir William BlackstoneAnd, lastly, to vindicate these rights, when actually violated and attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self preservation and defense.
Sir William BlackstoneThe public good is in nothing more essentially interested, than in the protection of every individual's private rights.
Sir William BlackstoneThat the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.
Lawana BlackwellPatterning your life around other's opinions is nothing more than slavery.
Joseph L. BlauFreedom of religion means the right of the individual to choose and to adhere to whichever religious beliefs he may prefer, to join with others in religious associations to express these beliefs, and to incur no civil disabilities because of his choice…
Sol BloomQ. What is meant by the term “constitution”? <br/>
A. A constitution embodies the fundamental principles of a government. Our constitution, adopted by the sovereign power, is amendable by that power only. To the constitution all laws, executive actions, and judicial decisions must conform, as it is the creator of the powers exercised by the departments of government. <br/>
Q. Why has our Constitution been classed as “rigid”? <br/>
A. The term “rigid” is used in opposition to “flexible” because the provisions are in a written document which cannot be legally changed with the same ease and in the same manner as ordinary laws. The British constitution, which is unwritten, can, on the other hand be changed overnight by an act of Parliament. ... <br/>
Q. Where, in the Constitution, is there mention of education? <br/>
A. There is none; education is a matter reserved for the States. ... <br/>
Q. Does the Constitution give us our rights and liberties? <br/>
A. No, it does not, it only guarantees them. The people had all their rights and liberties before they made the Constitution. The Constitution was formed, among other purposes, to make the people’s liberties secure -- secure not only as against foreign attack but against oppression by their own government. They set specific limits upon their national government and upon the States, and reserved to themselves all powers that they did not grant. The Ninth Amendment declares: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”<br/>
Curtis BokIn the whole history of law and order, the biggest step was taken by primitive man when...the tribe sat in a circle and allowed only one man to speak at a time. An accused who is shouted down has no rights whatever.
Boston Evening Post[It is] a natural Right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the [English] Bill of rights, to keep arms for their own defense; and as Mr. Blackstone observes, it is to be made use of when the sanctions of Society and law are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.
Charles BradlaughWithout free speech no search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is useful. Better a thousand fold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisWays may someday be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisThe most important political office is that of private citizen.
Nathaniel BrandenIndividualism is at once an ethical-psychological concept and an ethical-political one. As an ethical-psychological concept, individualism holds that a human being should think and judge independently, respecting nothing more than the sovereignty of his or her mind; thus, it is intimately connected with the concept of autonomy. As an ethical-political concept, individualism upholds the supremacy of individual rights ...
Justice William J. BrennanAll ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance – unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion, have the full protection of the guarantees [of the First Amendment].
Justice William J. BrennanThe concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they invariably have the visage of overriding importance, there is always a temptation to invoke security "necessities" to justify an encroachment upon civil liberties. For that reason, the military-security argument must be approached with a healthy skepticism.
Justice William J. BrennanIf there is a bedrock principle of the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.
Harry BrowneWe should never define libertarian positions in terms coined by liberals and conservatives, nor as some variant of their positions. We are not fiscally conservative and socially liberal. We are libertarians, who believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility on all issues at all times.
William F. Buckley, Jr.We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.
James BurghAll lawful authority, legislative, and executive, originates from the people.
Edmund BurkeIt is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.
Edmund BurkeToleration is good for all, or it is good for none.
Edmund BurkeWe must not always judge of the generality of the opinion by the noise of the acclamation.
Edmund BurkeThe people never give up their liberties, but under some delusion.
William S. BurroughsAfter a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell
wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.
George Herbert Walker BushFreedom and the power to choose should not be the privilege of wealth. They are the birthright of every American.
Edmond Cahn“Due process,” a standard that arose in our system of law and stemmed from the desire to provide rational procedure and fair play, is equally indispensable in every other kind of social or political enterprise.
Al CaponeWhen I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality.
Jimmy CarterAmerica did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way around. Human rights invented America.
Sir Richard John CartwrightI think that every true reformer, every real friend of liberty, will agree with me in saying that if we must erect safeguards, they should be rather for the security of the individual than of the mass, and that our chiefest care must be to train the majority to respect the rights of the minority, to prevent the claims of the few from being trampled under foot by the caprice or passion of the many.
Zechariah Chafee, Jr.The real value of freedom is not to the minority that wants to talk but to the majority that does not want to listen.
William Ellery ChanningI call the mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith...
Shirley ChisholmIt is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality. There are more television addicts, more baseball and football addicts, more movie addicts, and certainly more alcohol addicts in this country than there are narcotics addicts.
Dr. G. Brock ChisolmTo achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men, their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas.
Noam ChomskyIf we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.
Sir Winston ChurchillThe price of greatness is responsibility.
Marcus Tullius CiceroThere exists a law, not written down anywhere but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.
Claire Joly, Marie Latourelle, Maryse Martin, and Karen SelickLes femmes sont tout à fait compétentes pour assurer leur légitime défense, pourvu que la loi ne les transforme pas en criminelles si elles emploient des moyens efficaces à cette fin." "Women are quite able to see to their own defence, as long as the law does not transform them into criminals if they take effective measures to do so.
Ramsey ClarkA right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.
Bill ClintonThe purpose of government is to rein in the rights of the people.
Bill ClintonWhen we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly.... [However, now] there's a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there's too much freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it.
Bill ClintonWe can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
Bill ClintonWe can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
Colorado ConstitutionThe right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.
Charles Caleb ColtonThe victim to too severe a law is considered as a martyr rather than a criminal.
Henry Steele CommagerEvery effort to confine Americanism to a single pattern, to constrain it to a single formula, is disloyalty to everything that is valid in Americanism.
Henry Steele CommagerThe justification and the purpose of freedom of speech is not to indulge those who want to speak their minds. It is to prevent error and discover truth. There may be other ways of detecting error and discovering truth than that of free discussion, but so far we have not found them.
Auguste Comte[When] Men are not allowed to think freely about chemistry and biology, why should they be allowed to think freely about political philosophy?
Auguste ComteSocial positivism only accepts duties, for all and towards all. Its constant social viewpoint cannot include any notion of rights, for such notion always rests on individuality. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. These obligations then increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service. ... Any human right is therefore as absurd as immoral. Since there are no divine rights anymore, this concept must therefore disappear completely as related only to the preliminary regime and totally inconsistent with the final state where there are only duties based on functions.
Constitution for the USAWe the People of the united States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Constitution of the Irish Free StateAll lawful authority comes from God to the people.
Thomas CooleyThe right is general.
It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision
that the right to keep and bear arms
was only guaranteed to the militia;
but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent.
The militia, as has been explained elsewhere,
consists of those persons who, under the law,
are liable to the performance of military duty,
and are officered and enrolled for service
when called upon. . . .
[I]f the right were limited to those enrolled,
the purpose of the guarantee might be defeated altogether
by the action or the neglect to act
of the government it was meant to hold in check.
The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is,
that the people, from whom the militia must be taken,
shall have the right to keep and bear arms,
and they need no permission or regulation of law
for that purpose.
Calvin CoolidgeLiberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty.
James Fenimore CooperIndividuality is the aim of political liberty. By leaving to the citizen as much freedom of action and of being as comports with order and the rights of others, the institutions render him truly a free man. He is left to pursue his means of happiness in his own manner.
Harvey CoxIt is always the task of the intellectual to “think otherwise.” This is not just a perverse idiosyncrasy. It is an absolutely essential feature of a society.
Tench CoxeWhereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.
Judith CristWhat censorship accomplishes, creating an unreal and hypocritical mythology, fomenting an attraction for forbidden fruit, inhibiting the creative minds among us and fostering an illicit trade. Above all, it curtails the right of the individual, be he creator or consumer, to satisfy his intellect and his interest without harm. In our law-rooted society, we are not the keeper of our brother’s morals – only of his rights.
Davy CrockettWe have rights, as individuals, to give as much of our own money as we please to charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of public money.
Oliver CromwellIt will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.
Judge Walter Joseph Cummings Jr.Only the rare taxpayer would be likely to know that he could refuse to produce his records to IRS agents... Who would believe the ironic truth that the cooperative taxpayer fares much worse than the individual who relies upon his constitutional rights.
John Philpot CurranIt is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become prey to the active. The conditions upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt.
Mark Da VeePositive laws are tyrannical. One's individual rights -- whether they be life, liberty, or property -- must be sacrificed by the state in order to fulfill the positive rights of another. For example, if housing is considered a "right," then the state will have to confiscate wealth (property) from those who have provided shelter for themselves in order to house those who have not. ... True justice is realized when our lives, and property are secure, and we are free to express our thoughts without fear of retribution. Just laws are negative in nature; they exist to thwart the violation of our natural rights. Government ought to be the collective organization -- that is, the extension -- of the individual's right of self-defense, and its purpose to protect our lives, liberties, and property.
Clarence S. DarrowYou can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.
Salvador de MadariagaHe is free who knows how to keep in his own hand the power to decide, at each step, the course of his life, and who lives in a society which does not block the exercise of that power.
Antoine De Saint-ExuperyTrue, it is evil that a single man should crush the herd, but see not there the worse form of slavery, which is when the herd crushes out the man.
Charles-Louis De SecondatWe ought to be very cautious in the prosecution of magic and heresy. The attempt to put down these two crimes may be extremely perilous to liberty, and may be the origin of a number of petty acts of tyranny if the legislator be not on his guard; for as such an accusation does not bear directly on the overt acts of a citizen, but refers to the idea we entertain of his character.
Declaration of IndependenceThe unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world...
Declaration of IndependenceBut, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Daniel DefoeI hear much of people's calling out to punish the guilty, but very few are concerned to clear the innocent.
Democratic National Platform of 1892We are opposed to state interference with parental rights and rights of conscience in the education of children as an infringement of the fundamental Democratic doctrine that the largest individual liberty consistent with the rights of others insures the highest type of American citizenship and the best government.
Alan DershowitzRights are not self-evident. They're not unalienable.
They are subject to modification just like anything else.
Alan DershowitzStudents throughout the totalitarian world risk life and limb for freedom of expression, many American college students are demanding that big brother restrict their freedom of speech on campus. This demand for enhanced censorship is not emanating only from the usual corner – the know-nothing fundamentalist right – it is coming from the radical, and increasingly not-so-radical left as well.
Alan DershowitzFoolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the constitution by claiming it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a safety hazard don’t see the danger of the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use this same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like.
Alan DershowitzWe, the People of this country, have no unalienable rights... all our rights are subject to modification... the Constitution of the United States of America is nothing more than a piece of paper and... our government should not be restrained by the Constitution because our government can do good things for people.
Alan DershowitzOur First Amendment expresses a far different calculus for regulating speech than for regulating nonexpressive conduct and that is as it should be. The right to swing your fist should end at the tip of my nose, but your right to express your ideas should not necessarily end at the lobes of my ears.
John DickinsonKings or parliaments could not give the rights essential to happiness... We claim them from a higher source -- from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth. They are not annexed to us by parchments and seals. They are created in us by the decrees of Providence, which establish the laws of our nature. They are born with us; exist with us; and cannot be taken from us by any human power, without taking our lives.
Brian DohertyIt’s never more important to move slowly and carefully before granting the state new powers than in the wake of tragedies.
Justice William O. DouglasThe First Amendment makes confidence in the common sense of our people and in the maturity of their judgment the great postulate of our democracy.
Justice William O. DouglasRestriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.
Justice William O. DouglasA people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left.
Justice William O. DouglasThe privacy and dignity of our citizens [are] being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a [person’s] life.
Justice William O. DouglasThe Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people.
Justice William O. DouglasThe right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.
Justice William O. DouglasThe function of the prosecutor under the federal Constitution is not to tack as many skins of victims as possible against the wall. His function is to vindicate the rights of the people as expressed in the laws and give those accused of crime a fair trial.
Justice William O. DouglasThe struggle is always between the individual and his sacred right to express himself and…the power structure that seeks conformity, suppression and obedience.
Frederick DouglassLiberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.
Frederick DouglassAny one having a white face, and being so disposed, could stop us, and subject us to examination. ... When I get there [in Pennsylvania], I shall not be required to have a pass; I can travel without being disturbed.
Frederick DouglassWhat is possible for me is possible for you.
Robert Dowlut[R]estricting arms to the military and police eviscerates the principle that power should flow from the people to government, and turns the government into a master rather than a servant.
John Foster DullesOf all the tasks of government, the most basic is to protect its citizens from violence.
Wayne DunnThe fact that most people think that being selfish means harming one's fellow man, that pursuing one's own self-interest equates to behaving brutally or irrationally, is, as Ms. Rand noted, a 'psychological confession' on their part.  In fact it is against one's own long-term self-interest to behave irrationally or trample others. Such actions are the exact opposite of selfish -- they're self-destructive.
Jimmy DuranteWhy doesn't everybody leave everybody else the hell alone?
Dwight D. EisenhowerThey [the founders] proclaimed to all the world the revolutionary doctrine of the divine rights of the common man. That doctrine has ever since been the heart of the American faith.
Dwight D. EisenhowerHere in America we are descended in spirit from revolutionaries and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine.
Dwight D. EisenhowerAny time we deny any citizen the full exercise of his constitutional rights, we are weakening our own claim to them.
Thomas I. EmersonThe right to freedom of expression is justified first of all as the right of an individual purely in his capacity as an individual. It derives from the widely accepted premise of Western thought that the proper end of man is the realization of his character and potentialities as a human being.
Thomas I. EmersonThe Right of all members of society to form their own beliefs and communicate them freely to others must be regarded as an essential principle of a democratically organized society.
Thomas I. EmersonEvery man – in the development of his own personality – has the right to form his own beliefs and opinions. Hence, suppression of belief, opinion and expression is an affront to the dignity of man, a negation of man’s essential nature.
Erik H. EriksonThe American feels too rich in his opportunities for free expression that he often no longer knows what he is free from. Neither does he know where he is not free; he does not recognize his native autocrats when he sees them.
Felix FrankfurterOurs is an accusatorial and not an inquisitorial system – a system in which the state must establish guilt by evidence independently and freely secured and may not by coercion prove its charge against an accused out of his own mouth.
Viktor FranklThe last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Benjamin FranklinThose who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Benjamin FranklinA nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.
Erich FrommThe member of a primitive clan might express his identity in the formula “I am we”; he cannot yet conceive of himself as an “individual,” existing apart from his group.
James Anthony FroudeEnglish character and English freedom depend comparatively little on
the form which the Constitution assumes at Westminster. A centralised
democracy may be as tyrannical as an absolute monarch; and if the vigour
of the nation is to continue unimpaired, each individual, each family,
each district, must preserve as far as possible its independence, its
self-completeness, its powers and its privilege to manage its own
affairs and think its own thoughts.
John Kenneth GalbraithUnder the privilege of the First Amendment many, many ridiculous things are said.
Albert GallatinThe whole of the Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiTruth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it.
But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth.
Helen H. GardnerThe most fatal blow to progress is slavery of the intellect. The most sacred right of humanity is the right to think, and next to the right to think is the right to express that thought without fear.
Jean GenetPower may be at the end of a gun, but sometimes it's also at the end of the shadow or the image of a gun.
David Lloyd GeorgeWho ordained that a few should have the land of Britain as a perquisite; who made ten thousand people owners of the soil and the rest of us trespassers in the land of our birth?
Henry GeorgeIt is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve.
Jo GodwinA truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.
Hermann GoeringWhy of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Johann Wolfgang von GoetheTolerance comes of age. I see no fault committed that I myself could not have committed at some time or other.
Justice Arthur GoldbergIt is fundamental that the great powers of Congress to conduct
war and to regulate the Nation's foreign relations are subject to the
constitutional requirements of due process. The imperative necessity
for safeguarding these rights to procedural due process under the
gravest of emergencies has existed throughout our constitutional
history, for it is then, under the pressing exigencies of crisis, that
there is the greatest temptation to dispense with fundamental
constitutional guarantees which, it is feared, will inhibit
governmental action.
Emma GoldmanThe individual is the true reality of life. A cosmos in himself, he does not exist for the State, nor for that abstraction called “society,” or the “nation,” which is only a collection of individuals.
Barry GoldwaterHow did it happen? How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power? In part, we were swindled. There are occasions when we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government. But let us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are. All too often we have put men in office who have suggested spending a little more on this, a little more on that, who have proposed a new welfare program, who have thought of another variety of 'security.' We have taken the bait, preferring to put off to another day the recapture of freedom and the restoration of our constitutional system. We have gone the way of many a democratic society that has lost its freedom by persuading itself that if 'the people' rule, all is well.
John GoodwinFreedom of conscience is a natural right, both antecedent and superior to all human laws and institutions whatever; a right which laws never gave and a right which laws can never take away.
Wavy GravyThe whole earth is in jail and we're plotting this incredible jailbreak.
Horace GreeleyI am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample underfoot.
Judge Joyce Hens GreenAlthough this nation unquestionably must take strong action under the leadership of the commander in chief to protect itself against enormous and unprecedented threats, that necessity cannot negate the existence of the most basic fundamental rights for which the people of this country have fought and died for well over two hundred years... In sum, there can be no question that the Fifth Amendment right asserted by the Guantanamo detainees in this litigation -- the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law -- is one of the most fundamental rights recognized by the U.S. Constitution.
Steven P. HalbrookIn recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the "collective" right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of "the people" to keep and bear arms. If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis.
Alexander HamiltonIf the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense...
Alexander HamiltonThe best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.
Alexander HamiltonThe fundamental source of all your errors, sophisms, and false reasonings, is a total ignorance of the natural rights of mankind. Were you once to become acquainted with these, you could never entertain a thought, that all men are not, by nature, entitled to a parity of privileges. You would be convinced, that natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator, to the whole human race; and that civil liberty is founded in that; and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice. Civil liberty is only natural liberty, modified and secured by the sanctions of civil society. It is not a thing, in its own nature, precarious and dependent on human will and caprice; but it is conformable to the constitution of man, as well as necessary to the well-being of society.
Alexander HamiltonEvery individual of the community at large has an equal right to the protection of government.
Jean Harris[The prison guards are] capable of committing daily atrocities and obscenities, smiling the smile of the angels all the while.
John HayThe evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it.
Friedrich August von HayekIt is always from a minority acting in ways different from what the majority would prescribe that the majority in the end learns to do better.
Friedrich August von Hayek...the case for individual freedom rests largely on the recognition of the inevitable and universal ignorance of all of us concerning a great many of the factors on which the achievements of our ends and welfare depend.
Friedrich August von HayekMany of the greatest things man has achieved are not the result of consciously directed thought, and still less the product of a deliberately coordinated effort of many individuals, but of a process in which the individual plays a part which he can never fully understand.
Friedrich August von HayekThe system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.
Friedrich August von HayekI am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
Friedrich August von HayekIt is only because the majority opinion will always be opposed by some that our knowledge and understanding progress. In the process by which opinion is formed, it is very probable that, by the time any view becomes a majority view, it is no longer the best view: somebody will already have advanced beyond the point which the majority have reached. It is because we do not yet know which of the many competing new opinions will prove itself the best that we wait until it has gained sufficient support.
Friedrich August von HayekA society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom.
Robert A. HeinleinOf all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.
Auberon HerbertSocialism is but Catholicism addressing itself
not to the soul but to the sense of men...
[Both implore you to] accept authority,
accept the force which it employs,
resign yourself to all-powerful managers,
give up the free choice and the free act...
They both seek to sacrifice man.
Auberon HerbertTrue liberty cannot exist apart from the full rights of property, for property is the only crystallized form of free faculties...The whole meaning of socialism is a systematic glorification of force... No literary phrases about social organisms are potent enough to evaporate the individual, who is the prime, indispensable, irreducible element.
Auberon Herbert[Socialism] is a creed even more denigrating than Catholicism,
but it offers more tangible bribes for its acceptance.
Auberon HerbertHow should it happen that the individual should be without rights,
but the combination of individuals should possess unlimited rights?
Auberon HerbertAnd what sort of philosophical doctrine is this -- that numbers confer unlimited rights, that they take from some persons all rights over themselves, and vest these rights in others. ... How, then, can the rights of three men exceed the rights of two men? In what possible way can the rights of three men absorb the rights of two men, and make them as if they had never existed. ... It is not possible to suppose, without absurdity, that a man should have no rights over his own body and mind, and yet have a 1/10,000,000th share in unlimited rights over all other bodies and minds?
Auberon HerbertForce and reason -- which last is the essence of the moral act -- are at the two opposite poles. The one who compels his neighbor... treats him, not as a being with reason, but as an animal in whom reason is not.
Alexander Ivanovich HerzenThe liberty of the individual is the greatest thing of all, it is on this and this alone that the true will of the people can develop.
Adolf HitlerThe unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual; and that the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual.
Adolf HitlerThis year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilised nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!
Eric HofferAbsolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.
Billie HolidayYou can be up to your boobies in white satin,
with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles,
but you can still be working on a plantation.
Billie HolidayI never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought -- not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.
HomerTo speak his thoughts is every freeman's right, in peace and war, in council and in fight.
Herbert HooverHonest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity.
They are the vital process of policy among free men.
Justice Charles Evans HughesWhile democracy must have its organizations and controls, its vital breath is individual liberty.
Justice Charles Evans HughesWhen we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.
Justice Charles Evans HughesThe greater the importance to safeguarding the community from incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force and violence, the more imperative is the need to preserve the constitutional rights of free speech, free press and free assembly in order to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion.
Hubert H. HumphreyCertainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how
popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used and that definite
safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary
government, and one more safeguard against tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.
Hubert H. HumphreyThe right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
Julian HuxleyI believe the State exists for the development of individual lives,
not individuals for the development of the state.
Hypatia of AlexandriaReserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.
Illinois Supreme CourtIt is precisely for the protection of the minority that constitutional limitations exist. Majorities need no such protection. They can take care of themselves.
Justice Robert H. JacksonThe priceless heritage of our society is the
unrestricted constitutional right of each member to think
as he will. Thought control is a copyright of totalitarianism,
and we have no claim to it.
Justice Robert H. JacksonIf there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.
Justice Robert H. JacksonFreedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.
Justice Robert H. JacksonThe very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
Thomas J. JacksonThe patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
William JamesThe first thing to learn in intercourse with others is non-interference with their own particular ways of being happy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violence with ours.
John JayThe jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.
Thomas JeffersonThe price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Thomas JeffersonThe natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
Thomas JeffersonI consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people' (10th Amendment). To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible to any definition.
Thomas JeffersonTo take from one because it is thought that his own industry and
that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association -- the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.
Thomas JeffersonNo free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas JeffersonNo man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.
Thomas JeffersonI would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Thomas JeffersonMay [the Declaration of Independence] be to the world, what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man.
Thomas JeffersonThe constitutions of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property and freedom of the press.
Thomas JeffersonBear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Thomas JeffersonI am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason.
Thomas JeffersonThe legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas JeffersonEvery government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.
Thomas JeffersonThat this privilege of giving or of withholding our monies is an important
barrier against the undue exertion of prerogative, which
if left altogether without control may be exercised to our great oppression;
and all history shews how efficacious is its intercession
for redress of grievances and re-establishment of rights,
and how improvident would be the surrender of so powerful a mediator
Thomas JeffersonWe hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable, that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thomas JeffersonWhenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.
Thomas JeffersonThe basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter.
Thomas JeffersonGod who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
Thomas JeffersonIs it a right or a duty in society to take care of their infant members in opposition to the will of the parent? How far does this right and duty extend? --to guard the life of the infant, his property, his instruction, his morals? The Roman father was supreme in all these: we draw a line, but where? --public sentiment does not seem to have traced it precisely... It is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible asportation and education of the infant against the will of the father... What is proposed... is to remove the objection of expense, by offering education gratis, and to strengthen parental excitement by the disfranchisement of his child while uneducated. Society has certainly a right to disavow him whom they offer, and are permitted to qualify for the duties of a citizen. If we do not force instruction, let us at least strengthen the motives to receive it when offered.
Thomas JeffersonNo freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands].
Thomas JeffersonIt had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States, that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors; that there are certain portions of right not necessary to enable them to carry on an effective government, and which experience has nevertheless proved they will be constantly encroaching on, if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious against wrong, and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion; of the second, trial by jury, habeas corpus laws, free presses.
Thomas JeffersonI know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.
Thomas JeffersonOur civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.
Thomas JeffersonThe issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.
Thomas JeffersonRightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
Thomas JeffersonA bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should to rest on inference.
Thomas JeffersonLaws provide against injury from others, but not from ourselves.
Thomas JeffersonWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Thomas JeffersonBy a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline.
Jesus of NazarethStop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.
Andrew JohnsonOutside of the Constitution we have no legal authority more than private citizens, and within it we have only so much as that instrument gives us. This broad principle limits all our functions and applies to all subjects.
Lyndon B. JohnsonFree speech, free press, free religion, the right of free assembly, yes, the right of petition... well, they are still radical ideas.
Dr. Samuel JohnsonThey make a rout about universal liberty, without considering that all that is to be valued, or indeed can be enjoyed by individuals, is private liberty.
Prof. Sanford H. KadishIt seems as if the Department [of Justice] sees the value of the Bill of Rights as no more than obstacles to be overcome.
Immanuel KantFreedom is independence of the compulsory will of another, and in so far as it tends to exist with the freedom of all according to a universal law, it is the one sole original inborn right belonging to every man in virtue of his humanity.
John KaplanDrug offenses ... may be regarded as the prototypes of non-victim crimes today. The private nature of the sale and use of these drugs has led the police to resort to methods of detection and surveillance that intrude upon our privacy, including illegal search, eavesdropping, and entrapment.
Indeed, the successful prosecution of such cases often requires police infringement of the constitutional protections that safeguard the privacy of individuals.
John KaplanWe simply do not catch a high enough percentage of users to make the law a real threat, although we do catch enough to seriously overburden our legal system.
Peter Alan KaslerIt is, therefore, a fact of law and of practical necessity that individuals are responsible for their own personal safety, and that of their loved ones. Police protection must be recognized for what it is: only an auxiliary general deterrent.
Florynce KennedyYou've got to rattle your cage door. You've got to let them know that you're in there, and that you want out. Make noise. Cause trouble. You may not win right away, but you'll sure have a lot more fun.
John F. KennedyIf we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. KennedyI believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute -- where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote -- where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference -- and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
Robert F. KennedyAt the heart of western freedom and democracy is the belief that the individual man... is the touchstone of value, and all society, groups, the state, exist for his benefit. Therefore the enlargement of liberty for individual human beings must be the supreme goal and abiding practice of any western society.
Kentucky Supreme CourtBut to be in conflict with the constitution, it is not essential that the act should contain a prohibition against bearing arms in every possible form—it is the right to bear arms in defence of the citizens and the state, that is secured by the constitution, and whatever restrains the full and complete exercise of that right, though not an entire destruction of it, is forbidden by the explicit language of the constitution. If, therefore, the act in question imposes any restraint on the right, immaterial what appellation may be given to the act, whether it be an act regulating the manner of bearing arms or any other, the consequence, in reference to the constitution, is precisely the same, and its collision with that instrument equally obvious. ... The right existed at the adoption of the constitution; it had then no limits short of the moral power of the citizens to exercise it, and it in fact consisted in nothing else but in the liberty of the citizens to bear arms. Diminish that liberty, therefore, and you necessarily restrain the right; ... For, in principle, there is no difference between a law prohibiting the wearing [of] concealed arms, and a law forbidding the wearing such as are exposed; and if the former is unconstitutional, the latter must be so likewise.
Alan KeyesCharacter is the accumulated confidence that individual men and women acquire from years of doing the right thing, over and over again, even when they don't feel like it. People with character understand that their lives are filled with events and choices that are significant, above all, not because of the short term success or failure of the search for money or position, but because the choices we make are actually making us into one kind of person, or another. Our life of choices is a life-long labor to make ourselves into a person who has begun to respond adequately to the awesome gift we received from God when He made us in His image.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
William KornhauserLiberty requires restraints on popularly-elected leaders, as well as from minorities, so that the individual is protected from undue and arbitrary coercion by the state. These restraints are provided by a plurality of more or less equal and independent groups which check and balance one another's power.
David C. KortenThus corporations finally claimed the full rights enjoyed by individual citizens while being exempted from many of the responsibilities and liabilities of citizenship. Furthermore, in being guaranteed the same right to free speech as individual citizens, they achieved, in the words of Paul Hawken, 'precisely what the Bill of Rights was intended to prevent: domination of public thought and discourse.' The subsequent claim by corporations that they have the same right as any individual to influence the government in their own interest pits the individual citizen against the vast financial and communications resources of the corporation and mocks the constitutional intent that all citizens have an equal voice in the political debates surrounding important issues.
Prince Peter KropotkinFreedom of the press, freedom of association, the inviolability of domicile, and all the rest of the rights of man are respected so long as no one tries to use them against the privileged class. On the day they are launched against the privileged they are overthrown.
Joseph Wood KrutchThe grand paradox of our society is this: we magnify man’s right but we minimize his capacities.
Paul KurtzFree inquiry entails recognition of civil liberties as integral to its pursuit, that is, a free press, freedom of communication, the right to organize opposition parties and to join voluntary associations, and freedom to cultivate and publish the fruits of scientific, philosophical, artistic, literary, moral and religious freedom.
Robert M. Lafollette, Sr.Let no man think we can deny civil liberty to others and retain it for ourselves. When zealous agents of the Government arrest suspected “radicals” without warrant, hold them without prompt trial, deny them access to counsel and admission of bail....we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity...
Wayne LaPierreWe've witnessed a fire sale of American liberties at bargain basement prices, in return for the false promise of more security... The America being designed right now won't resemble the America we've been defending... The danger isn't that Big Brother may storm the castle gates. The danger is that Americans don't realize that he is already inside the castle walls.
Owen LattimoreI believe in my right to be wrong, and still more in my right to be right.
D. H. LawrenceI do esteem individual liberty above everything. What is a nation for, but to secure the maximum liberty to every individual?
Richard Henry LeeTo preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.
Pierre LemieuxPity the poor opponents of the right to keep and bear arms! They must distrust just everybody except criminals and except the tyrant to whom they concede the armed monopoly of their protection.
Vladimir Ilyich LeninAll our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all.
Pope Leo XIIIIt is an injustice, a grave evil and a disturbance of the right order, for a larger and higher organisation, to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower bodies.
C. S. LewisIt is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects -- military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden -- that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time.
A. J. LieblingFreedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.
Joshua LiebmanTolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another's beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them.
Abraham LincolnA prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
Abraham LincolnProhibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.
Abraham LincolnThis is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
Abraham LincolnThat this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham LincolnIf by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution.
Abraham LincolnI have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from ... the Declaration of Independence ... that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence ... I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.
Judge Kermit Victor LipezThe First Amendment issue here is, as the parties frame it, fairly narrow: is there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public? Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, answer that question unambiguously in the affirmative.
Walter LippmannWhereas each man claims his freedom as a matter of right,
the freedom he accords to other men is a matter of toleration.
Walter LippmannPrivate property was the original source of freedom. It still is its main bulwark.
Walter LippmannA free press is not a privilege but an organic necessity in a great society.
Walter LippmannThe Bill of Rights does not come from the people and is not subject to change by majorities. It comes from the nature of things. It declares the inalienable rights of man not only against all government but also against the people collectively.
Walter LippmannWe must protect the right of our opponents to speak because we must hear what they have to say.
John Locke[W]henever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society; and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty.
John Locke[Individuals] have a right to defend themselves and recover by force what by unlawful force is taken from them.
John LockeSelf-defence is a part of the law of nature; nor can it be denied the community, even against the king himself...
John Locke[W]henever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence. Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty ...
Los Angeles TimesBecause law enforcement resources have been concentrated on the street drug trade in minority communities, drug arrests of minorities increased at 10 times the rate of increase for whites.
Rosa LuxemburgFreedom for supporters of the government only, for members of one party only -- no matter how big its membership may be -- is no freedom at all. Freedom is always freedom for the man who thinks differently.
Rosa LuxemburgWithout general elections, without unrestrained freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution…in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element.
Lord George LyttletonTo argue against any breach of liberty from the ill use that may be made of it, is to argue against liberty itself, since all is capable of being abused.
General Douglas MacArthurThe object and practice of liberty lies in the limitation of government power.
Thomas Babington MacaulayNone of the modes by which a magistrate is appointed, popular election, the accident of the lot, or the accident of birth, affords, as far as we can perceive, much security for his being wiser than any of his neighbours. The chance of his being wiser than all his neighbours together is still smaller.
Thomas Babington MacaulayTo punish a man because we infer from the nature of some doctrine which he holds, or from the conduct of other persons who hold the same doctrines with him, that he will commit a crime, is persecution, and is, in every case, foolish and wicked.
Thomas Babington MacaulayMen are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely.
Thomas Babington MacaulayThere is surely no contradiction in saying that a certain section of the community may be quite competent to protect the persons and property of the rest, yet quite unfit to direct our opinions, or to superintend our private habits.
Thomas Babington MacaulayNothing is so galling to a people not broken in from birth as a paternal, or, in other words, a meddling government, a government which tells them what to read, and say, and eat, and drink and wear.
Sir James MacKintoshIt is not because we have been free, but because we have a right to be free, that we ought to demand freedom. Justice and liberty have neither birth nor race, youth nor age.
Archibald MacLeishFreedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice. Without the possibility of choice and the exercise of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing.
James MadisonWe hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion, or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.
James MadisonGovernment is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own.
James Madison[A]ll power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty and the right of acquiring property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution.
James MadisonThe right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed;
a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country;
but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms
shall be compelled to render military service in person.
James MadisonThe powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in
the State governments are numerous and indefinite.
James MadisonWhat becomes of the surplus of human life? It is either, 1st destroyed by infanticide, as among the Chinese and Lacedemonians; or 2nd it is stifled or starved, as among other nations whose population is commensurate to its food; or 3rd it is consumed by wars and endemic diseases; or 4th it overflows, by emigration, to places where a surplus of food is attainable.
James MadisonBecause finally, 'the equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his religion according to the dictates of conscience' is held by the same tenure with all his other rights. If we recur to its origin, it is equally the gift of nature; if we weigh its importance, it cannot be less dear to us; if we consider the 'Declaration of those rights which pertain to the good people of Virginia, as the basis and foundation of government,' it is enumerated with equal solemnity, or rather studied emphasis.
James MadisonIt is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freeman of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.
James MadisonWith respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.
James MadisonThere is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, more needs elucidation, than the current, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.
Joyce Lee MalcolmThe right of ordinary citizens to possess weapons is the most extraordinary, most controversial, and least understood of those liberties secured by Englishmen and bequeathed to their American colonists. It lies at the very heart of the relationship between the individual and his fellows, and between the individual and his government.
George MasonThe freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.
George MasonAll men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing the obtaining of happiness and safety.
Robert K. MassieOne of the things that really bothers me is that Americans don't have any sense of history. The majority of Americans don't have any idea of where we've come from, so they naturally succumb to the kind of cliche version that Ronald Reagan represented.
Matthew 20:15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?
Neil A. McDonaldWhatever the immediate gains and losses, the dangers to our safety arising from political suppression are always greater than the dangers to the safety resulting from political freedom. Suppression is always foolish.
Neil A. McDonaldFreedom is not a fixed and possessed thing. It is a quality of life. And like action itself, it is something experienced only by individuals.
George McGovernThe highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher standard.
Terence McKennaIf the words 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on.
John Stuart MillIf all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
John Stuart MillThe only part of the conduct of anyone for which he is amenable to society is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
John Stuart MillOver himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
John Stuart MillThe only freedom deserving the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.
John Stuart MillThe only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.
John Stuart MillThe worth of a state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it.
Edna St. Vincent MillayLet us forget such words, and all they mean, as Hatred, Bitterness and Rancor, Greed, Intolerance, Bigotry. Let us renew our faith and pledge to Man, his right to be Himself, and free.
Arthur MillerThe witch-hunt was a perverse manifestation of the panic which set in among all classes when the balance began to turn toward greater individual freedom. The witch-hunt was not, however, a mere repression. It was also, and as importantly, a long overdue opportunity for everyone so inclined to express publicly his guilt and sins, under the cover of accusations against the victims.
John MiltonGive me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
John MiltonNo man who knows aught, can be so stupid to deny that all men naturally were born free.
John MiltonHere the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
Alanna MitchellJim Creechan, a University of Alberta sociologist, said some of the love of guns may have its roots in Alberta's pervasive free-enterprise model of behaviour. 'It's the whole idea that the individual is more important than the collective.'
Tim MoenI want gay married people to be able to protect their marijuana plants with guns.
James MonroeOf the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms.... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny.
Christopher Darlington MorleyThere is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way, and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it.
Norval MorrisThe prime function of the criminal law is to protect our persons and our property; these purposes are now engulfed in a mass of other distracting, inefficiently performed, legislative duties. When the criminal law invades the spheres of private morality and social welfare, it exceeds its proper limits at the cost of neglecting its primary tasks. This unwarranted extension is expensive, ineffective, and criminogenic.
Lance MorrowThe busybodies have begun to infect American society with a nasty intolerance -- a zeal to police the private lives of others and hammer them into standard forms -- A Nation of Finger Pointers.
Edward R. MurrowWe must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were, for the moment, unpopular.
Benito MussoliniFascism should rightly be called Corporatism as it is a merge of state and corporate power.
Lyle MyhrWhen they took the 4th Amendment, I was quiet because I didn't deal drugs. When they took the 6th Amendment, I was quiet because I am innocent. When they took the 2nd Amendment, I was quiet because I don't own a gun. Now they have taken the 1st Amendment, and I can only be quiet.
C. E. M. JoadIn the most civilized and progressive countries freedom of discussion is recognized as a fundamental principle.
National Press ClubIn Defense Of Freedom ... (more)
Huey P. NewtonBefore 1776 America was a British colony. The British Government had certain laws and rules that the colonized Americans rejected as not being in their best interests. In spite of the British conviction that Americans had no right to establish their own laws to promote the general welfare of the people living here in America, the colonized immigrant felt he had no choice but to raise the gun to defend his welfare. Simultaneously he made certain laws to ensure his protection from external and internal aggressions, from other governments, and his own agencies. One such form of protection was the Declaration of Independence, which states: '... whenever any government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such forms as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.' Now these same colonized White people, these bondsmen, paupers, and thieves deny the colonized Black man not only the right to abolish this oppressive system, but to even speak of abolishing it.
David A. NicholsAs a first-time drug law offender, I was sentenced to 27 non-parolable years in prison. The amount of time was based on liquid waste found in the garage and unprocessed chemicals. There were no drugs.
Friedrich NietzscheSocialism is the phantastic younger brother of despotism, which it wants to inherit. Socialism wants to have the fullness of state force which before only existed in despotism. ... However, it goes further than anything in the past because it aims at the formal destruction of the individual ... who ... can be used to improve communities by an expedient organ of government.
Kathleen NorrisIn any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual liberty is permanent, unresolvable, and necessary.
Eleanor Holmes NortonThe only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don’t agree with.
George O'NeilWhen we have begun to take charge of our lives, to own ourselves, there is no longer any need to ask permission of someone.
P. J. O'RourkeWhen a government controls both the economic power of individuals and the coercive power of the state ... this violates a fundamental rule of happy living: Never let the people with all the money and the people with all the guns be the same people.
P. J. O'RourkeThere is only one basic human right,
the right to do as you damn well please. 
And with it comes the only basic human duty,
the duty to take the consequences.
Barack Hussein Obama[J]ust because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can't constrain the exercise of that right...
Dr. Fred OertherShould we believe self-serving, ever-growing drug enforcement/drug treatment bureaucrats, whose pay and advancement depends on finding more and more people to arrest and "treat"? More Americans die in just one day in prisons, penitentiaries, jails and stockades than have ever died from marijuana throughout history. Who are they protecting? From what?
Rev. Edmund A. OpitzThere is a place for government in the affairs of men, and our Declaration of Independence tells us precisely what that place is. The role of government is to protect individuals in their God-given individual rights. Freedom is the natural birthright of man, but all that government can do in behalf of freedom is to let the individual alone, and it should secure him in his rights by making others let him alone.
José Ortega y GassetOrder is not pressure which is imposed on society from without but an equilibrium which is set up from within.
George OrwellIf liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
James OtisThere can be no prescription old enough to supersede the Law of Nature and the grant of God Almighty, who has given to all men a natural right to be free, and they have it ordinarily in their power to make themselves so, if they please.
Vance PackardThe most common characteristic of all police states is intimidation by surveillance. Citizens know they are being watched and overheard. Their mail is being examined. Their homes can be invaded.
Thomas PaineFor all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have a right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others for ever.
Thomas PaineThere never did, there never will, and there never can exist a parliament, or any description of men, or any generation of men, in any country, possessed of the right or the power of binding and controlling posterity to the `end of time,’ or of commanding for ever how the world shall be governed, or who shall govern it. ... Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself, in all cases, as the ages and generations which preceded it.
Dr. Ron PaulYou have to remember, rights don’t come in groups we shouldn’t have ‘gay rights’; rights come as individuals, and we wouldn’t have this major debate going on. It would be behavior that would count, not what person belongs to what group.
Dr. Ron Paul[W]e have to realize that the real problem is that the American people have been too submissive. We have been too submissive. It has been going on for a long time. ... [T]he bill that I have introduced ... is very simple. It is one paragraph long. It removes the immunity from anybody in the Federal government that does anything that you or I can't do.
If you can't grope another person and if you can't X-ray people and endanger them with possible X-rays, [and] you can't take nude photographs of individuals, why do we allow the government to do it? We would go to jail. He would be immediately arrested, if an individual citizen went up and did these things, and yet we just sit there and calmly say, 'oh, they are making us safe.' And besides, the argument from the executive branch is that when you buy a ticket, you have sacrificed your rights and it is the duty of the government to make us safe.
That isn't the case. You never have to sacrifice your rights. The duty of the government is to protect our rights, not to use them and do what they have been doing to us.
Westbrook PeglerDid I say "republic?" By God, yes, I said "republic!" Long live the glorious republic of the United States of America. Damn democracy. It is a fraudulent term used, often by ignorant persons but no less often by intellectual fakers, to describe an infamous mixture of socialism, graft, confiscation of property and denial of personal rights to individuals whose virtuous principles make them offensive.
Pennsylvania GazetteThe loyalists in the beginning of the late war objected to associating, arming and fighting, in defense of our liberties, because these measures were not constitutional. A free people should always be left... with every possible power to promote their own happiness.
Claude PepperOne has the right to be wrong in a democracy.
Dr. Chester PierceEvery child in America who enters school at the age of five is
mentally ill, because he comes to school with an allegiance toward
our elected officials, toward our founding fathers, toward our
institutions, toward the preservation of this form of government that
we have. Patriotism, nationalism, and sovereignty, all that proves that
children are sick because a truly well individual is one who has
rejected all of those things, and is truly the international child of
the future.
Daniel PillaCongress has doubled the IRS budget over the past 10 years -- making that agency one of the fastest growing non-entitlement programs. It has increased its employment by 20 percent. The IRS’s powers to investigate and examine taxpayers transcend those of any other law enforcement agency. Virtually all of the constitutional rights regarding search and seizure, due process, and jury trial simply do not apply to the IRS.
Ayn Rand...there is no such entity as 'the public' - since the public is merely a number of individuals - the idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others.
Ayn RandToday, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals -- that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government -- that it is not a charter _for_ government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection _against_ the government.
Ayn RandCollectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group (to "society," to the tribe, the state, the nation) and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests.  The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force -- and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism.
Ayn RandIndividualism regards man -- every man -- as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being.  Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful co-existence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights -- and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.
Ayn RandThe smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights, cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is
precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities.
Ayn Rand...and we must consider," Austen Heller was saying unemotionally, "that
since--unfortunately--we are forced to live together, the most important thing
for us to remember is that the only way in which we can have any law at all is
to have as little of it as possible. I see no ethical standard to which to
measure the whole unethical conception of a State, except in the amount of time,
of thought, of money, of effort and of obedience, which a society extorts from
its every member. Its value and its civilization are in inverse ratio to that
extortion. There is no conceivable law by which a man can be forced to work on
any terms except those he chooses to set. There is no conceivable law to prevent
him from setting them--just as there is none to force his employer to accept
them. The freedom to agree or disagree is the foundation of our kind of
society--and the freedom to strike is a part of it. I am mentioning this as a
reminder to a certain Petronius from Hell’s Kitchen, an exquisite bastard who
has been rather noisy lately about telling us that this strike represents a
destruction of law and order.
Ayn RandThe smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
Bert RandDon't forget that pure democracy is a form of collectivism -- it readily sacrifices individual rights to majority wishes. Since it involves no constitutional bill of rights, or at least, no working and effective one, the majority-of-the-moment can and does vote away the rights of the minority-of-the-moment, even of a single individual.  This has been called 'mob rule,' the 'tyranny of the majority' and many other pejorative names.  It is one of the greatest threats to liberty, the reason why America's founding fathers wrote so much so disparagingly of pure democracy.
Jonathan RauchA liberal society stands on the proposition that we should all take seriously the idea that we might be wrong. This means we must place no one, including ourselves, beyond the reach of criticism (no final say); it means that we must allow people to err, even where the error offends and upsets, as it often will.
Ronald ReaganWe need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him. . . . But we cannot have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure.
Ronald ReaganYou and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, 'The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.'
Ernest RenanTo be able to think freely, a man must be certain that no consequence will follow whatever he writes.
Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the JudiciaryThe conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.
Alfredo RoccoFor liberalism, the individual is the end, and society the means. For fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends.
Franklin D. RooseveltTrue individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.
I. Nelson RoseLottery tickets are the only consumer products actively promoted and sold by the state. The state does not sell toothpaste, or even promote brushing your teeth. But it tells people they should gamble. The main marketing concern is how to attract new players, who otherwise wouldn't gamble.
Willy RussellI pray that no child of mine would ever descend into such a place as a library. They are indeed most dangerous places and unfortunate is she or he who is lured into such a hellhole of enjoyment, stimulus, facts, passion and fun.
Harvey RuvinIndividual rights must take a back-seat to the collective.
Justice Antonin ScaliaWe know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding ‘interest-balancing’ approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government -- even the Third Branch of Government -- the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad... Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.
Eric SchaubBy a Declaration, Liberty is born.
With Courage she is nourished, and
with unceasing Commitment she is guarded.
Eric SchaubOur inalienable rights cannot shield us from our own follies.
Eric SchaubThe 'strength' of the People becomes weak when we don't 'exercise' our rights.
Bob SchultzDo we still recognize [the Constitution of the United States of America] as the basis of our system of government in America, or not? Do we still have a constitution that guarantees our unalienable rights as the sovereign citizens of a great and free nation, or not? Do we have a federal government and state governments that honor and defend the fundamental principles of equal justice, due process or law, the right to life, liberty, and property - the principles that represent the very foundation of our constitutional form of government, or not? We the People have a right to know the truth. We have a right to know if we still have a Constitution.
Edwin M. SchurThe uneven impact of actual enforcement measures tends to mirror and reinforce more general patterns of discrimination (along socioeconomic, racial and ethnic, sexual, and perhaps generational lines) within the society. As a consequence, such enforcement (ineffective as it may be in producing conformity) almost certainly reinforces feelings of alienation already prevalent within major segments of the population.
Carl SchurzIf you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other.
Carl SchurzFrom the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.
Morris SheppardThere is as much chance of repealing the 18th Amendment as there is for a humming-bird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail.
Algernon SidneyNay, all laws must fall, human societies that subsist by them be dissolved, and all innocent persons be exposed to the violence of the most wicked, if men might not justly defend themselves against injustice by their own natural right, when the ways prescribed by publick authority cannot be taken.
Igor SikorskyThe work of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind forward.
Richard E. Sincere, Jr.In a free society, standards of public morality can be measured only by whether physical coercion -- violence against persons or property -- occurs. There is no right not to be offended by words, actions or symbols.
Isaac Bashevis SingerYou must believe in free will; there is no choice.
B. F. SkinnerSociety attacks early when the individual is helpless.
Jerome H. SkolnickWhether or not legislation is truly moral is often a question of who has the power to define morality.
Adam SmithEvery man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man or order of men.
C. P. SnowNo one is fit to be trusted with power. ... No one. ... Any man who has lived at all knows the follies and wickedness he's capable of. ... And if he does know it, he knows also that neither he nor any man ought to be allowed to decide a single human fate.
Jeffrey R. SnyderAs the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant of the people... The Bill of Rights does not grant rights to the people, such that its repeal would legitimately confer upon government the powers otherwise proscribed. The Bill of Rights is the list of the fundamental, inalienable rights, endowed in man by his Creator, that define what it means to be a free and independent people, the rights which must exist to ensure that government governs only with the consent of the people.
Alexander SolzhenitsynThe strength or weakness of a society depends more on the level of its spiritual life than on its level of industrialization. Neither a market economy nor even general abundance constitutes the crowning achievement of human life. If a nation’s spiritual energies have been exhausted, it will not be saved from collapse by the most perfect government structure or by any industrial development. A tree with a rotten core cannot stand.
Thomas SowellIt doesn't matter what rights you have under the Constitution of the United States, if the government can punish you for exercising those rights. And it doesn't matter what limits the Constitution puts on government officials' power, if they can exceed those limits without any adverse consequences. In other words, the Constitution cannot protect you, if you don't protect the Constitution with your votes against anyone who violates it. Those government officials who want more power are not going to stop unless they get stopped. As long as millions of Americans vote on the basis of who gives them free stuff, look for their freedom -- and all our freedom -- to be eroded away, bit by bit. Our children and grandchildren may yet come to see the Constitution as just some quaint words from the past that people once took seriously.
Robert D. SpechtUnder any conditions, anywhere, whatever you are doing, there is some ordinance under which you can be booked.
Gerry SpenceWhile birds can fly, only humans can argue. Argument is the affirmation of our being. It is the principal instrument of human intercourse. Without argument the species would perish.
As a subtle suggestion, it is the means by which we aid another.
As a warning, it steers us from danger.
As exposition, it teaches.
As an expression of creativity, it is the gift of ourselves.
As a protest, it struggles for justice.
As a reasoned dialogue, it resolves disputes.
As an assertion of self, it engenders respect.
As an entreaty of love, it expresses our devotion.
As a plea, it generates mercy.
As charismatic oration it moves multitudes and changes history.
We must argue -- to help, to warn, to lead, to love, to create, to learn, to enjoy justice, to be.
Gerry SpenceA new fascism promises security from the terror of crime. All that is required is that we take away the criminals’ rights – which, of course, are our own. Out of our desperation and fear we begin to feel a sense of security from the new totalitarian state.
Lysander SpoonerThe 'nations,' as they are called, with whom our pretended ambassadors, secretaries, presidents, and senators profess to make treaties, are as much myths as our own. On general principles of law and reason, there are no such 'nations.' ... Our pretended treaties, then, being made with no legitimate or bona fide nations, or representatives of nations, and being made, on our part, by persons who have no legitimate authority to act for us, have intrinsically no more validity than a pretended treaty made by the Man in the Moon with the king of the Pleiades.
Lysander SpoonerThe principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves; a contest, that -- however bloody -- can, in the nature of things, never be finally closed, so long as man refuses to be a slave.
Lysander SpoonerIf our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared with those who claimed the right to rule over them.
Lysander SpoonerVices are not crimes.
Lysander SpoonerVices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another. Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property. In vices, the very essence of crime—that is, the design to injure the person or property of another—is wanting. It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practices a vice with any such criminal intent. He practices his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others. Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property, and the corresponding coequal rights of another man to the control of his own person and property.
Lysander SpoonerFor more than six hundred years -- that is, since the Magna Carta in 1215 -- there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust, oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating or
resisting the execution of such laws.
Lysander Spooner[F]or everybody has a natural right to defend his own person and property against aggressors, but also to go to the assistance and defence of everybody else, whose person or property is invaded. The natural right of each individual to defend his own person and property against an aggressor, and to go to the assistance and defence of every one else whose person or property is invaded, is a right without which men could not exist on earth.
John SteinbeckAnd this I must fight against: any idea, religion or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for this is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system.
Justice John Paul StevensJust as the right to speak and the right to refrain from speaking are complementary components of a broader concept of individual freedom, so also the individual’s freedom to choose his own creed is the counterpart of his right to refrain from accepting the creed established by the majority.
Justice Potter StewartThe right to enjoy property without unlawful deprivation, no less that the right to speak out or the right to travel is, in truth, a “personal” right.
Justice Potter StewartThe dichotomy between personal liberties and property rights is a false one. Property does not have rights. People have rights... . In fact, a fundamental interdependence exists between the personal right to liberty and the personal right in property.
Justice Potter StewartThe 4th Amendment and the personal rights it secures have a long history. At the very core stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.
Justice Joseph StoryThis provision (the 4th Amendment) speaks for itself. Its plain object is to secure the perfect enjoyment of that great right of the common law, that a man's house shall be his own castle, privileged against all civil and military intrusion.
Supreme Court of the United StatesConstitutional rights may not be infringed simply because the majority of the people choose that they be.
Judge Diane Schwerm SykesThe Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts a medium of expression commonly used for the preservation and communication of information and ideas, thus triggering First Amendment scrutiny. Illinois has criminalized the nonconsensual recording of most any oral communication, including recordings of public officials doing the public’s business in public and regardless of whether the recording is open or surreptitious. Defending the broad sweep of this statute, the State’s Attorney relies on the government’s interest in protecting conversational privacy, but that interest is not implicated when police officers are performing their duties in public places and engaging in public communications audible to persons who witness the events. Even under the more lenient intermediate standard of scrutiny applicable to content-neutral burdens on speech, this application of the statute very likely flunks. The Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests; as applied to the facts alleged here, it likely violates the First Amendment’s free-speech and free-press guarantees.
William Howard TaftNext to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.
A. J. P. TaylorFreedom does not always win. This is one of the bitterest lessons of history.
TecumsehLive your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.\\
Trouble no one about his religion.\\
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.\\
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.\\
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.\\
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.\\
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.\\
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.\\
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. \\
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.\\
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.\\
When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.\\
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.
Mother TeresaHuman 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.
TertullianIt 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.
Justice Clarence ThomasI don’t believe in quotas. America was founded on a philosophy of individual rights, not group rights.
Henry David ThoreauThere 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 ThoreauIs 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 ThoreauIf 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 ThoreauWhen will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man?
Lord Chancellor ThurlowDid you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned, and nobody to be kicked?
Laurence Tribe[The Bill of Rights is] designed to protect individuals and minorities against the tyranny of the majority, but it's also designed to protect the people against bureaucracy, against the government.
Pierre TrudeauObviously, the state's responsibility should be to legislate rules for a well-ordered society. It has no right or duty to creep into the bedrooms of the nation.
Henry St. George TuckerTo secure their enjoyment, however, certain protections or barriers have been erected which serve to maintain inviolate the three primary rights of personal security, personal liberty, and private property. These may in America be said to be: 1. The bill of rights and written constitutions ... 2. The rights of bearing arms -- which with us is not limited and restrained by an arbitrary system of game laws as in England, but is particularly enjoyed by every citizen, and is among his most valuable privileges, since it furnishes the means of resisting as a freeman ought, the inroads of usurpation.
Sir Alex Fraser TytlerA democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
Sir Alex Fraser TytlerThe average age of the world's greatest civilizations
has been two hundred years.
These nations have progressed through this sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency;
from complaceny to apathy;
from apathy to dependence;
from dependency back again into bondage.
United States v. RobelIt would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense,
we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties ...
which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.
UnknownBe more aware of your responsibilities than of your rights.
U. S. Army Training Manual No. 2000-25Democracy, n.: A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of direct expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic... negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Result is demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, [chaos].
U.S. Constitution, Ninth AmendmentThe enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
William Van AlstyneThe Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, is ... not mysterious. Nor is it equivocal. Least of all is it opaque. Rather, one may say, today it is simply unwelcome in any community that wants no one (save perhaps the police?) to keep or bear arms at all. But ... it is for them to seek repeal of this amendment (and so the repeal of its guarantee), in order to have their way. Or so the Constitution itself assuredly appears to require, if that is the way things are to be.
Richard A. ViguerieThe first duty of government is to protect the citizen from assault. Unless it does this, all the civil rights and civil liberties in the world aren't worth a dime.
Andrei VishinskyThe rights of human beings cannot be considered outside the perogatives of governments, and the very understanding of human rights is a governmental concept.
VoltaireI may not agree with what you say, but to the death I will defend your right to say it.
VoltaireIt is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.
VoltaireWe have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.
VoltaireWe are all full of weakness and errors, let us mutually pardon each other our follies. It is the first law of nature.
VoltaireThe tyranny of the many would be when one body takes over the rights of others, and then exercises its power to change the laws in its favor.
Ludwig von MisesThis, then, is freedom in the external life of man -- that he is independent of the arbitrary power of his fellows.
Jesse Charles Wagner IIThere is one 'word' that the message of the Bible is all about... and that is "LOVE"... different bible versions can be interpreted many ways... But, regardless how many times the wording is changed or interpreted... 'LOVE' always is the 'word'
George WashingtonThe time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend on God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.
George WashingtonIf freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
John WayneIt rankles me when somebody tries to force somebody to do something.
Henry Grady WeaverMost of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind.
Judge Jack B. WeinsteinNeither the trappings of robes, nor temples of stone, nor a fixed
liturgy, nor an extensive literature or history is required to meet the
test of beliefs cognizable under the Constitution as religious. So far
as our law is concerned, one person's religious beliefs held for one
day are presumptively entitled to the same protection as the beliefs of
millions which have been shared for thousands of years.
Robert WelchI want for our country enough laws to restrain me from injuring others, so that these laws will also restrain others from injuring me. I want enough government, with enough constitutional safeguards, so that this necessary minimum of laws will be applied equitably to everybody, and will be binding on the rulers as well as those ruled. Beyond that I want neither laws nor government to be imposed on our people as a means or with the excuse of protecting us from catching cold, or of seeing that we raise the right kind of crops, or of forcing us to live in the right kind of houses or neighborhoods, or of compelling us to save money or to spend it, or of telling us when or whether we can pray. I do not want government or laws designed for any other form of welfarism or paternalism, based on the premise that government knows best and can run our lives better than we can run them ourselves. And my concept of freedom, and of its overwhelming importance, is implicit in these aspirations and ideals.
Robert WelchThe real freedom of any individual can always be measured by the amount of responsibility which he must assume for his own welfare and security.
West Virginia ConstitutionA person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use.
Walt WhitmanThe shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint.
The wise see in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.
Hank WilliamsIf you mind your own business, you won't be minding mine.
Walter E. WilliamsDemocracy and liberty are not the same. Democracy is little more than mob rule, while liberty refers to the sovereignty of the individual.
Wendell L. WillkieThe constitution does not provide for first and second class citizens.
A. L. WirinThe rights of all persons are wrapped in the same constitutional bundle as those of the most hated member of the community.
John WoodenConsider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.
Virginia WoolfIf we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.
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