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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Lord ActonThe most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.
Lord ActonGovernment by idea tends to take in everything, to make the whole of society obedient to the idea. Spaces not so governed are unconquered, beyond the border, unconverted, a future danger.
Lord ActonIt is bad to be oppressed by a minority,
but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority.
John AdamsBe not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.
John AdamsWere I to define the British constitution, therefore, I should say, it is a limited monarchy, or a mixture of the three forms of government commonly known in the schools, reserving as much of the monarchical splendor, the aristocratical independency, and the democratical freedom, as are necessary that each of these powers may have a control, both in legislation and execution, over the other two, for the preservation of the subject's liberty.
John AdamsDemocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man’s life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few.
John AdamsFear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.
John AdamsNip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.
Samuel AdamsA general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.... While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.... If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.
Samuel AdamsIf ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
Samuel AdamsAnd that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press,  or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.
Alfred AdlerA lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt dangerous.
AesopAny excuse will serve a tyrant.
Lisa AltherI’ve always felt that a person’s intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.
Fisher AmesI am commonly opposed to those who modestly assume the rank of champions of liberty, and make a very patriotic noise about the people. It is the stale artifice which has duped the world a thousand times, and yet, though detected, it is still successful. I love liberty as well as anybody. I am proud of it, as the true title of our people to distinction above others; but ... I would guard it by making the laws strong enough to protect it.
xRecording Police and Public Officials
Thomas AquinasIf the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship he would keep it in port forever.
Hannah ArendtNo cause is left but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of freedom versus tyranny.
Larry P. Arnn...[W]e insist on the principle that no danger or crisis, foreign or domestic, will be solved by Americans surrendering more of their constitutional liberties, in the foolish hope that a bigger government will provide greater security.
John AshcroftTo those who scare peace loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: your tactics aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America’s enemies and pause to America’s friends.
David AzerradAside from the most committed libertarians, few Americans would list a lack of freedom in their lives as their most pressing concern. That is not to deny that militant leftism, the administrative state, and the imperial judiciary threaten liberty—they most emphatically do. Nor is it to argue that conservatives should not care for liberty. Rather it is to recognize that the average American, including the average Republican voter, is not a libertarian, has come to expect quite a lot from the federal government, and cares as much, if not more, about security than liberty (or opportunity for that matter, unless he is young and on the make).
Sir Francis BaconA just fear of an imminent danger, though there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of war.
Arthur BalfourThe power of authority is never more subtle and effective than when it produces a psychological “atmosphere” or “climate” favorable to the life of certain modes of belief, unfavorable, and even fatal, to the life of others.
Frederic BastiatWhat, then, is the law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. ... 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 individual groups. ... But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.
Thomas F. BayardReligious liberty is the chief cornerstone of the American system of government, and provisions for its security are embedded in the written charter and interwoven in the moral fabric of its laws. Anything that tends to invade a right so essential and sacred must be carefully guarded against, and I am satisfied that my countrymen, ever mindful of the suffering and sacrifices necessary to obtain it, will never consent to its impairment for any reason or under any pretext whatsoever.
Cesare BeccariaThe laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons.
Cesare BeccariaFalse is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction.
Cesare BeccariaA principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniencies, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, 'Be thou a slave;' who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it.
Cesare BeccariaFalse is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty... and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.
Bell v. HoodHistory is clear that the first ten amendments to the Constitution were adopted to secure certain common law rights of the people, against invasion by the Federal Government.
Hilaire BellocNever could an increase of comfort or security be a sufficient good to be bought at the price of liberty.
Ezra Taft BensonIf America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers – normally good Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free, Americans who have been lulled away into a false security.
John BerryIf your library is not ‘unsafe’, it probably isn’t doing its job.
James BilbrayOur U.S. government each year spends roughly 30 percent more money than it takes in. It took 39 Presidents and 200 years to accumulate a debt of $1 trillion dollars. But it has taken only the past 12 years for that debt to triple to more than $5.9 trillion. Interest payments on the deficit alone add up to more than what our government pays for unemployment compensation, veteran's benefits, postal operations, housing, education, and highways combined. Saddled with this tremendous burden, it is impossible for our businesses to invest, harder for families to afford homes and medical care, and difficult for the United States to play its role in matters of national and international economic security.
Justice Hugo L. BlackWhat finally emerges from the ‘clear and present danger’ cases is a working principle that the substantive evil must be extremely serious and the degree of imminence extremely high before utterances can be punished…It must be taken as a command of the broadest scope that explicit language, read in the context of a liberty-loving society, will allow.
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe first ten amendments were proposed and adopted largely because of fear that Government might unduly interfere with prized individual liberties. The people wanted and demanded a Bill of Rights written into their Constitution. The amendments embodying the Bill of Rights were intended to curb all branches of the Federal Government in the fields touched by the amendments—Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
Justice Hugo L. BlackIn my judgment the people of no nation can lose their liberty so long as a Bill of Rights like ours survives and its basic purposes are conscientiously interpreted, enforced and respected so as to afford continuous protection against old, as well as new, devices and practices which might thwart those purposes. I fear to see the consequences of the Court's practice of substituting its own concepts of decency and fundamental justice for the language of the Bill of Rights as its point of departure in interpreting and enforcing that Bill of Rights.
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.
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/>
David BoazMaybe that's because guns are sold at a profit, while schools are provided by the government.
Boyd v. U.S.Constitutional provisions for the security of person and property should be liberally construed. It is the duty of the courts to be watchful of constitutional rights against any stealthy encroachments thereon.
Sarah BradyOur task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisDecency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen... If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisThe makers of our constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness... They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone – the most comprehensive of the rights and the right most valued by civilized men.
Tom BraunIf you think we are free today, you know nothing about tyranny and even less about freedom.
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.
James A. C. BrownThere exists a “fear of freedom” of selfhood, which makes people want to submerge themselves in the mass and confession is one of the obvious means by which they can do so, for thereby they lose those traits which cause them to feel separate.
Harry BrowneFor those looking for security, be forewarned that there's nothing more insecure than a political promise.
Harry BrowneThe Bill of Rights is a literal and absolute document. The First Amendment doesn't say you have a right to speak out unless the government has a 'compelling interest' in censoring the Internet. The Second Amendment doesn't say you have the right to keep and bear arms until some madman plants a bomb. The Fourth Amendment doesn't say you have the right to be secure from search and seizure unless some FBI agent thinks you fit the profile of a terrorist. The government has no right to interfere with any of these freedoms under any circumstances.
Giordano BrunoIt is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.
James BurghNo kingdom can be secured otherwise than by arming the people. The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave. He, who has nothing, and who himself belongs to another, must be defended by him, whose property he is, and needs no arms. But he, who thinks he is his own master, and has what he can call his own, ought to have arms to defend himself, and what he possesses; else he lives precariously, and at discretion.
Edmund BurkeNo passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
Edmund BurkeNo government ought to exist for the purpose of checking the prosperity of its people or to allow such a principle in its policy.
Edmund BurkeThe true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.
H. Sterling BurnettGuns are used for self-defense somewhere between 800,000 and 3.6 million times per year .... Using firearm crime and defensive gun use figures most favorable to advocates for stricter gun control, ... the benefits from defensive gun uses exceed the cost of violent firearm crimes ... by between $90 million and $3.5 billion. Using the most credible estimate for defensive gun uses, the benefits range from $1 billion to $38 billion. Putting these dollar figures in more human terms: Guns save lives. The fact is that the best defense against violence is an armed response. For example, women faced with assault are 2.5 times less likely to suffer serious injury if they defend themselves with a gun rather than responding with other weapons or by offering no resistance. ... [P]ersons defending themselves with guns during an assault are injured only 12 percent of the time, compared to 25 percent for those using other weapons, 27 percent for those offering no resistance and nearly 26 percent of those who flee. ... [F]irearms are the safest, most effective way to protect oneself against criminal activity -- which is why American police officers carry guns rather than going unarmed or merely carrying knives.
George W. BushToday the Justice Department did issue a blanket alert. It was in recognition of a general threat we received. This is not the first time the Justice Department have acted like this. I hope it is the last. But given the attitude of the evildoers, it may not be.
George W. BushThere is no telling how many wars it will take to secure freedom in the homeland.
George W. BushAnd our security will require all Americans
to be forward-looking and resolute,
to be ready for pre-emptive action.
Albert CamusThe welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.
William Carr...no nation which signs this [UN] Charter can justly maintain that any of its acts are its own business, or within its own domestic jurisdiction, if the security council says that these acts are a threat to the peace.
Jimmy CarterThe law is not the private property of lawyers, nor is justice the exclusive province of judges and juries. In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect.
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.
Joyce CaryFor good or evil, man is a free creative spirit. This produces the very queer world we live in, a world in continuous creation and therefore continuous change and insecurity.
Dick CavettThere’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
Lord ChesterfieldArbitrary power has seldom... been introduced in any country at once. It must be introduced by slow degrees, and as it were step by step.
Rufus ChoateAppropriated to justice, to security, to reason, to restraint; where there is no respect of persons; where will is nothing and power is nothing and numbers are nothing, and all are equal and all secure before the law.
Sir Winston ChurchillNever give in. Never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Sir Winston ChurchillHitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free, and life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.  But if we fall, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age... Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
John CiardiThe public library is the most dangerous place in town.
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.
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 ... And so a lot of people say there's too much personal freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it. That's what we did in the announcement I made last weekend on the public housing projects, about how we're going to have weapon sweeps and more things like that to try to make people safer in their communities.
Bill ClintonWe can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
William S. CohenTerrorism is escalating to the point that Americans soon may have to choose between civil liberties and more intrusive means of protection.
William S. CohenWe have to yet really seriously debate the constitutional issues and whether or not we're willing to give up more freedom in order to have more security.
Henry Steele CommagerMen in authority will always think that
criticism of their policies is dangerous.
They will always equate their policies with
patriotism, and find criticism subversive.
Henry Steele CommagerFreedom is not a luxury that we can indulge in when at last we have security and prosperity and enlightenment; it is, rather, antecedent to all of these, for without it we can have neither security nor prosperity nor enlightenment.
Marvin CooleyWe must pity the poor wretched, timid soul who is too faint-hearted to resist his oppressors. He sings the song of the dammed: “I can’t fight back; I have too much to lose; I own too much property; I have worked too hard to get what I have; They will put me out of business if I resist; I might go to jail; I have my family to think about.” Such poor miserable creatures have misplaced values and are hiding their cowardice behind pretended family responsibility -- blindly refusing to see that the most glorious legacy that one can bequeath to posterity is liberty; and that the only true security is liberty.
James Fenimore CooperLiberty is not a matter of words, but a positive and important condition of society. Its greatest safeguard after placing its foundations in a popular base, is in the checks and balances imposed on the public servants.
Thomas CooperThe law, unfortunately, has always been retained on the side of power; laws have uniformly been enacted for the protection and perpetuation of power.
Council on Foreign Relations[A] possible further difficulty is cited, namely, that arising from the Constitutional provision that only Congress may declare war. This argument is countered with the contention that a treaty will override this barrier, let alone the fact that our participation in such police action as might be recommended by the international security organization need not necessarily be construed as war.
Norman CousinsHistory is a vast early warning system.
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.
Anthony de JasayPeople who live in states have as a rule never experienced
the state of nature and vice-versa, and have no practical
possibility of moving from the one to the other ...
On what grounds, then, do people form hypotheses
about the relative merits of state and state of nature? ...
My contention here is that preferences for political arrangements of society are
to a large extent produced by these very arrangements, so that
political institutions are either addictive like some drugs,
or allergy-inducing like some others, or both,
for they may be one thing for some people and the other for others.
Alexis De Tocqueville[T]he main evil of the present democratic institutions of the united states does not raise, as is often asserted in Europe, from their weakness, but from their irresistible strength. I am not so much alarmed at the excessive liberty which reigns in that country as at the inadequate securities which one finds there against tyranny.
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.
DemosthenesThere is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies as against despots. What is it? Distrust.
Show details for DemosthenesDemosthenesThere are all kinds of devices invented for the protection and preservation of countries: defensive barriers, forts, trenches, and the like... But prudent minds have as a natural gift one safeguard which is the common possession of all, and this applies especially to the dealings of democracies. What is this safeguard? Skepticism. This you must preserve. This you must retain. If you can keep this, you need fear no harm.
DemosthenesBeware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master.
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.
Benjamin DisraeliDemagogues and agitators are very unpleasant, they are incidental to a free and constitutional country, and you must put up with these inconveniences or do without many important advantages.
Dr. Bella DoddTo those who find it difficult to understand how a mind can be imprisoned, my puny indictment of the communist movement before the Tydings Committee may have seemed slight indeed, for I no doubt gave some comfort to the Party by my negative approach. But it takes time to “unbecome” a Communist.
Dr. Bella DoddWhat I had failed to understand was that the security I felt in the Party was that of a group and that affection in that strange communist world is never a personal emotion. You were loved or hated on the basis of group acceptance, and emotions were stirred or dulled by propaganda. That propaganda was made by the powerful people at the top. That is why ordinary Communists get along well with their groups: they think and feel together and work toward a common goal.
Dr. Bella DoddI was at last beginning to see how ignorant I had become, how long since I had read anything except Party literature. I thought of our bookshelves stripped of books questioned by the Party, how when a writer was expelled from the Party his books went, too. I thought of the systematic rewriting of Soviet history, the revaluation, and in some cases the blotting out of any mention of such persons as Trotsky. I thought of the successive purges. Suddenly I too wanted the answers to the questions Senator Hickenlooper was asking and I wanted the truth. I found myself hitting at the duplicity of the Communist Party.
Dr. Bella DoddThe process of completely freeing oneself emotionally from being a Communist is a thing no outsider can understand. The group thinking and group planning and the group life of the Party had been a part of me for so long that it was desperately difficult for me to be a person again. ... But I had begun the process of “unbecoming” a Communist. It was a long and painful process, much like that of a polio victim who has to learn to walk all over again. I had to learn to think. I had to learn to love. I had to drain the hate and frenzy from my system. I had to dislodge the self and the pride that had made me arrogant, made me feel that I knew all the answers. I had to learn that I knew nothing. There were many stumbling blocks in this process.
Dr. Bella DoddThere had been many things I had not really understood. I had regarded the Communist Party as a poor man’s party, and thought the presence of certain men of wealth within it accidental. I now saw this was no accident. I regarded the Party as a monolithic organization with the leadership in the National Committee and the National Board. Now I saw this was only a facade placed there by the movement to create the illusion of the poor man’s party; it was in reality a device to control the “common man” they so raucously championed.
Dr. Bella DoddWe in the Party had been told in 1945, after the publication of the Duclos letter, that the Party in the United States would have a difficult role to play. Our country, we were told, would be the last to be taken by the Communists; the Party in the United States would often find itself in opposition not only to the interests of our government, but even against the interests of our own workers.
Now I realized that, with the best motives and a desire to serve the working people of my country, I, and thousands like me, had been led to a betrayal of these very people. I now saw that I had been poised on the side of those who sought the destruction of my own country.
I thought of an answer Pop Mindel, of the Party’s Education Bureau, had once given me in reply to the question whether the Party would oppose the entry of our boys into the Army. I had asked this question at a time when the Communists were conducting a violent campaign for peace, and it seemed reasonable to me to draw pacifist conclusions. Pop Mindel sucked on his pipe and with a knowing look in his eyes said:
“Well, if we keep our members from the Army, then where will our boys learn to use weapons with which to seize power?”
I realized how the Soviets had utilized Spain as a preview of the revolution to come. Now other peoples had become expendable — the Koreans, North and South, the Chinese soldiers, and the American soldiers. I found myself praying, “God, help them all.”
What now became clear to me was the collusion of these two forces: the Communists with their timetable for world control, and certain mercenary forces in the free world bent on making profit from blood. But I was alone with these thoughts and had no opportunity to talk over my conclusions with friends.
Justice William O. DouglasBig Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order, to efficiency of operation, to scientific advancement and the like.
Justice William O. DouglasThe framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.
Frederick DouglassI know no class of my fellowmen, however just, enlightened, and humane, which can be wisely and safely trusted absolutely with the liberties of any other class.
Frederick DouglassThe life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.
Sir Arthur Conan DoyleYou will ruin no more lives as you ruined mine. You will wring no more hearts as you wrung mine. I will free the world of a poisonous thing. Take that, you hound, and that! -- and that! -- and that! -- and that!
Will DurantIf our economy of freedom fails to distribute wealth as ably as it has created it, the road to dictatorship will be open to any man who can persuasively promise security to all.
Friedrich DurrenmattThe freedom of each individual can only be the freedom of all.
Barbara EhrenreichThat's free enterprise, friends: freedom to gamble, freedom to lose. And the great thing -- the truly democratic thing about it -- is that you don't even have to be a player to lose.
Albert EinsteinA human being is a part of the whole, called by us, "Universe," a part
limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and
feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion
of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting
us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to
us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our
circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of
nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the
striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a
foundation for inner security.
Joycelyn EldersIt is often easier for our children to obtain a gun than it is to find a good school.
Ralph Waldo EmersonWe seldom see anybody who is not uneasy or afraid to live.
Cat FarmerIf you suppose that good intentions justify intruding on the lives and properties of your fellow citizens: Do you appreciate being the target of somebody else's good intentions, or haven't you had that particular dubious pleasure yet?
Feminists Against CensorshipCensorship is a dangerous tool that is primarily used to suppress from those who would challenge oppression by the society and that state, and particularly victimizes minorities. [It] can never eliminate evil ideas, and so the best answer to bad speech is more speech.
Victor FerkissComplete and accurate surveillance as a means of control is probably a practical impossibility. What is much more likely is a loss of privacy and constant inconvenience as the wrong people gain access to information, as one wastes time convincing the inquisitors that one is in fact innocent, or as one struggles to untangle the errors of the errant machine.
E. M. ForsterWe are willing enough to praise freedom
when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance.
In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee,
we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.
Harry Emerson FosdickLiberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.
Alan Dean FosterFreedom is just Chaos, with better lighting.
Janet Frame“For your own good” is a persuasive argument that will eventually make a man agree to his own destruction.
Felix FrankfurterThe mark of a truly civilized man is confidence in the strength and security derived from the inquiring mind.
Benjamin FranklinThose who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Benjamin FranklinWhen the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
David FriedmanSuppose one little old lady in ten carries a gun. Suppose that one in ten of those, if attacked by a mugger, succeeds in killing the mugger instead of being killed by him -- or shooting herself in the foot. On average, the mugger is much more likely to win the encounter than the little old lady. But -- also on average -- every hundred muggings produces one dead mugger. At those odds, mugging is an unprofitable business -- not many little old ladies carry enough money to justify one chance in a hundred of being killed getting it. The number of muggers declines drastically, not because they have all been killed but because they have, rationally, sought safer professions.
Rick GaberThe Nazis are well remembered for murdering well over 11 million people in the implementation of their slogan, 'The public good before the private good,' the Chinese Communists for murdering 62 million people in the implementation of theirs, 'Serve the people,' and the Soviet Communists for murdering more than 60 million people in the implementation of Karl Marx's slogan, 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.'  Anyone who defends any of these, or any variation of them, on the grounds of their 'good intentions' is an immoral (NOT 'amoral') enabler of the ACTUAL (not just the proverbial) road to hell.
Rick GaberI do encourage you to question authority, apply logic, and think for yourself. Look at the forest, not the trees. And the centuries, not the months. Or you might risk being lead willingly, as a sheep, to the slaughter.
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.
Gazette of the United StatesThe right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States... Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America.
Edward GibbonIn the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all - security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.
Khalil GibranThe smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.
Henry GilesNot until right is founded upon reverence will it be secure; not until duty is based upon love will it be complete; not until liberty is based on eternal principles will it be full, equal, lofty, and universal.
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.
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.
Germaine GreerSecurity is when everything is settled. When nothing can happen to you. Security is the denial of life.
Germaine GreerFreedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.
Richard GrenierAs George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
Alexander HamiltonAll communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and the well-born; the other the mass of the people ... turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the Government ... Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy.
Alexander HamiltonIt may safely be received as an axiom in our political system, that
the state governments will in all possible contingencies afford complete
security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority.
Alexander HamiltonIf it be asked, What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws.
Alexander HamiltonEvery individual of the community at large has an equal right to the protection of government.
William Henry HarrisonThe plea of necessity, that eternal argument of all conspirators.
Friedrich August von HayekWhat a free society offers to the individual is much more than what he would be able to do if only he were free.
Friedrich August von Hayek[T]hose who are willing to surrender their freedom for security have always demanded that if they give up their full freedom it should also be taken from those not prepared to do so.
Friedrich August von HayekEven more significant of the inherent weakness of the collectivist theories is the extraordinary paradox that from the assertion that society is in some sense more than merely the aggregate of all individuals their adherents regularly pass by a sort of intellectual somersault to the thesis that in order that the coherence of this larger entity be safeguarded it must be subjected to conscious control, that is, to the control of what in the last resort must be an individual mind. It thus comes about that in practice it is regularly the theoretical collectivist who extols individual reason and demands that all forces of society be made subject to the direction of a single mastermind, while it is the individualist who recognizes the limitations of the powers of individual reason and consequently advocates freedom as a means for the fullest development of the powers of the interindividual process.
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.
Heinrich HeineWhenever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.
Patrick HenryIt is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings. ... Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things, which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. ... Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Patrick HenryGuard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect
every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will
preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force,
you are inevitably ruined.
Patrick HenryThe great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.
Patrick HenryThe liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
HeraclitusThe people must fight for their laws as for their walls.
Auberon HerbertIf we cannot learn, if the only effect upon us of the presence of the dynamiter in our midst is to make us multiply punishments, invent restrictions, increase the number of our official spies, forbid public meetings, interfere with the press, put up gratings -- as in one country they propose to do -- in our House of Commons, scrutinize visitors under official microscopes, request them, as at Vienna, and I think now at Paris also, to be good enough to leave their greatcoats in the vestibules ... I venture to prophesy that there lies before us a bitter and an evil time.
Benjamin H. HillI have said I do not dread industrial corporations as instruments of power to destroy this country, because there are a
thousand agencies which can regulate, restrain and control them; but there is a corporation we may all dread. That corporation is the federal
government. From the aggressions of this corporation, there can be no safety, if it is allowed to go beyond the well defined limits of its
powers. I dread nothing so much as the exercise of ungranted and doubtful powers by the government. It is, in my opinion, the danger of dangers to
the future of this country. Let us be sure to keep it always within its limits. If this great, ambitious, ever growing corporation becomes
oppressive, who shall check it? If it becomes too wayward who shall control it? If it becomes unjust, who shall trust it? As sentinels of the country’s
watchtower, Senators, I beseech you to watch and guard with sleepless dread, that corporation which can make all property and rights, all states and
people, all liberty and hope its plaything in an hour, and its victims forever.
HippocratesIdleness and lack of occupation tend -- nay are dragged -- towards evil.
Adolf HitlerWithout law and order our nation cannot survive.
William E. HockingWhere men cannot freely convey their thoughts to one another, no other liberty is secure.
Sergei HoffDo we desire to be cradled, and then carried throughout life to our graves by this partisan propelled bureaucratic monstrosity? ...as individuals of sovereign dignity, are we now so terrified, bewildered, and impotent that our main purpose is to seek asylum from the potential hazards of freedom? Have we no faith in our natural strengths and abilities?
Eric HofferTo the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint. They are eager to barter their independence for relief from the burdens of willing, deciding and being responsible for inevitable failure. They willingly abdicate the directing of their lives to those who want to plan, command and shoulder all responsibility.
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.
John HoltNo one is more truly helpless, more completely a victim, than he who can neither choose nor change nor escape his protectors.
Herbert HooverFreedom conceives that the mind and spirit of man can be free only if he is free to pattern his own life, to develop his own talents, free to earn, to spend, to save, to acquire property as the security of his old age and his family.
Jacob G. HornbergerOf course, the proponents of political tyranny are usually well-motivated. Those who enacted the gun-registration law in California point to criminals who have used semiautomatic weapons to commit horrible, murderous acts. But the illusion -- the pipe dream -- is that bad acts can be prevented by the deprivation of liberty. They cannot be! Life is always insecure. The only choice is between liberty and insecurity, on the one hand, and insecurity and enslavement on the other. The true patriot scrutinizes the actions of his own government with unceasing vigilance. And when his government violates the morality and rightness associated with principles of individual freedom and private property, he immediately rises in opposition to his government. This is why the gun owners of California might ultimately go down in history as among the greatest and most courageous patriots of our time.
Jacob G. HornbergerThe lesson that Americans today have forgotten or never learned -- the lesson which our ancestors tried so hard to teach -- is that the greatest threat to our lives, liberty, property, and security is not some foreign government, as our rulers so often tell us. The greatest threat to our freedom and well-being lies with our own government!.
Justice Charles Evans HughesEmergency does not create power. Emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions imposed upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the federal government and its limitations of the power of the States were determined in the light of emergency, and they are not altered by emergency.
Jeffrey Rogers HummelSoutherners did not stop with an open defense of slavery. They went on to attack northern society for its 'wage slavery' and 'exploitation of workers,' using arguments repeated by socialist critics of capitalism. The southern writer who developed these arguments most extensively was George Fitzhugh, a Virginia planter and lawyer. His two books were provocatively entitled Sociology for the South: Or the Failure of the Free Society and Cannibals All! Or Slaves Without Masters. In them, Fitzhugh defended slavery as a practical form of socialism that provided contented slaves with paternalistic masters, thereby eliminating harsh conflicts between employers and allegedly free workers. 'A Southern farm is the beau ideal of Communism; it is a joint concern, in which the slave ... is far happier, because ... he is always sure of support.' ... 'The best governed countries, and which have prospered the most, have always been distinguished for the number and stringency of their laws,' he wrote; 'liberty is an evil which government is intended to correct.'
Hubert H. HumphreyNone of us would trade freedom of expression for the narrowness of the public censor. America is a free market for people who have something to say, and need not fear to say it.
Henrik IbsenThe majority is never right. Never, I tell you! That's one of these lies in society that no free and intelligent man can ever help rebelling against. Who are the people that make up the biggest proportion of the population -- the intelligent ones or the fools? I think we can agree it's the fools, no matter where you go in this world, it's the fools that form the overwhelming majority.
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.
William Ralph IngeA man may build himself a throne of bayonets, but he cannot sit on it.
Robert G. IngersollGive to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.
Andrew JacksonBut you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.
Joseph Henry JacksonDid you ever hear anyone say, “That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me.”
Thomas Jefferson[The People] are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty.
Thomas JeffersonBut with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years.
Thomas JeffersonWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable 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;
Thomas JeffersonFor a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well organized and armed militia is their best security.
Thomas JeffersonThe way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions in which he is competent ...
It is by dividing and subdividing these Republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations until it ends in the administration of everyman's farm by himself, by placing under everyone what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.
Thomas Jefferson...truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
Thomas JeffersonWhy suspend the habeas corpus in insurrections and rebellions?
Examine the history of England. See how few of the cases of the
suspension of the habeas corpus law have been worthy of that
suspension. They have been either real treasons, wherein the parties
might as well have been charged at once, or sham plots, where it was
shameful they should ever have been suspected. Yet for the few cases
wherein the suspension of the habeas corpus has done real good, that
operation is now become habitual and the minds of the nation almost
prepared to live under its constant suspension.
Thomas JeffersonThe concentrating [of powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.
Thomas JeffersonIf a Nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.... If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.
Thomas JeffersonConvinced that the republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind, my prayers & efforts shall be cordially distributed to the support of that we have so happily established. It is indeed an animating thought that, while we are securing the rights of ourselves & our posterity, we are pointing out the way to struggling nations who wish, like us, to emerge from their tyrannies also. Heaven help their struggles, and lead them, as it has done us, triumphantly thro' them.
Thomas JeffersonIt is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate.
JuvenalQuis costodiet ipsos custodies? (Who will watch the watchers?)
Helen KellerSecurity is mostly superstition.
Helen KellerSecurity is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
John F. KennedyThere is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
John F. KennedyAnd so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
John F. Kennedy... By calling attention to a well-regulated militia for the security of the Nation, and the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms, our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fear of governmental tyranny, which gave rise to the 2nd amendment, will ever be a major danger to our Nation, the amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic military-civilian relationship, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason I believe the 2nd Amendment will always be important.
Shawn E. KleinPolitically, true individualism means recognizing that one has a right to his own life and happiness. But it also means uniting with other citizens to preserve and defend the institutions that protect that right.
Shawn E. KleinThe foundation of individualism lies in one's moral right to pursue one's own happiness. This pursuit requires a large amount of independence, initiative, and self-responsibility. But true individualism entails cooperating with others through trade, which facilitates the pursuit of each party's happiness, and which is carried out not just on the level of goods but on the level of knowledge and friendship. Trade is essential for life; it provides one with many of the goods and values one needs. Creating an environment where trade flourishes is of great importance and great interest for the individualist.
Charles KochIf somebody smokes a joint, we're gonna go in and bust them? We're gonna raid houses in case somebody has a banned substance? Confiscate their houses? My God, if people don't see that as an abuse of force, of too much government, then we're just not communicating.
Judge Alex KozinskiThe Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
Rose Wilder LaneAnyone who says that economic security is a human right, has been too much babied. While he babbles, other men are risking and losing their lives to protect him. They are fighting the sea, fighting the land, fighting disease and insects and weather and space and time, for him, while he chatters that all men have a right to security and that some pagan god—Society, The State, The Government, The Commune—must give it to them. Let the fighting men stop fighting this inhuman earth for one hour, and he will learn how much security there is.
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.
Benedict D. LaRosaSince independence in the fourteenth century, the Swiss have been required to keep and bear arms, and since 1515, have had a policy of armed neutrality. Its form of government is similar to the one set up by our Founders -- a weak central government exercising few, defined powers having to do mostly with external affairs and limited authority over internal matters at the canton (state) and local levels.
Harold J. LaskiThe only real security for social well-being is the free exercise of men’s minds.
D. H. LawrenceI do esteem individual liberty above everything. What is a nation for, but to secure the maximum liberty to every individual?
C. S. Lewis'Useful,' and 'necessity' was always 'the tyrant's plea'.
Sinclair LewisEvery compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile. In protest, I declined election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters some years ago, and now I must decline the Pulitzer Prize.
Abraham LincolnAs I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.
This expresses my idea of democracy.
Abraham LincolnThe shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty.
John LockeIf the innocent honest Man must quietly quit all he has for Peace sake, to him who will lay violent hands upon it, I desire it may be considered what kind of Peace there will be in the World, which consists only in Violence and Rapine; and which is to be maintained only for the benefit of Robbers and Oppressors.
John Locke... whenever 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. ... [Power then] devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty, and, by the Establishment of a new Legislative (such as they shall think fit) provide for their own Safety and Security, which is the end for which they are in Society.
John LockeAll men by nature are equal in that equal right that every man hath to his natural freedom, without being subjected to the will or authority of any other man; being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.
John LockeThe only fence against the world
is a thorough knowledge of it.
John R. Lott, Jr.If the rest of the country had adopted right-to-carry concealed-handgun provisions in 1992, about 1,500 murders and 4,000 rapes would have been avoided.
Donald S. MacAlvaneyTell the American people never to lose their guns. As long as they keep their guns in their hands, whatever happened here [China] will never happen there.
General Douglas MacArthurI am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.
General Douglas MacArthurThere is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity.
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.
Niccolo MachiavelliPrinces and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.
Niccolo MachiavelliWhere the very safety of the country depends upon the resolution to be taken, no consideration of justice or injustice, humanity or cruelty, nor of glory or of shame, should be allowed to prevail. But putting all other considerations aside, the only question should be: What course will save the life and liberty of the country?
James MadisonPerhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.
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 MadisonThe highest number to which a standing army can be carried in any country does not exceed one hundredth part of the souls, or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms.  This portion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. ... Besides the advantage of being armed, ... the existence of subordinate governments ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. ... [The governments of Europe] are afraid to trust the people with arms. ... Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors.
James MadisonDemocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
James MadisonStability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society.
James MadisonGovernment is instituted to protect property of every sort. ... This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.
James MadisonA people armed and free forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition and is a bulwark for the nation against foreign invasion and domestic oppression.
James MadisonFreedom arises from a multiplicity of sects, which pervades America, and is the best and only security for religious liberty in America.
James MadisonA just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species.
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.
George MasonGovernment is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit and security of the people, nation or community; whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, indefeasible right, to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public Weal.
Massachusetts Declaration of RightsThe liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state; it ought not, therefore, to be restricted in this commonwealth.
W. Somerset MaughamIf a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too.
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.
H. L. MenckenIt [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.
H. L. MenckenThe most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to prevailing superstition or taboo.
H. L. MenckenThe average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.
H. L. MenckenThe urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the urge to rule it.
John Stuart MillWar is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
John MiltonWhen complaints are freely heard, deeply considered, and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty obtained that wise men look for.
Edward R. MurrowIf none of us ever read a book that was “dangerous,” had a friend who was “different,” or joined an organization that advocated “change,” we would all be the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants.
Reverend Martin NiemoellerAsk the first man you meet what he means by defending freedom, and he'll tell you privately he means defending the standard of living.
Robert NisbetWhat gives the new despotism its peculiar effectiveness is indeed its liaison with humanitarianism, but beyond this fact its capacity for entering into the smallest details of human life.
Lyn NofzigerOne of the things that bothers me most is the growing belief in the country that security is more important than freedom. It ain't.
Lyn NofzigerThese things I believe: That government should butt out. That freedom is our most precious commodity and if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away. That individual freedom demands individual responsibility. That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil. That the executive branch has grown too strong, the judicial branch too arrogant and the legislative branch too stupid. That political parties have become close to meaningless. That government should work to insure the rights of the individual, not plot to take them away. That government should provide for the national defense and work to insure domestic tranquillity. That foreign trade should be fair rather than free. That America should be wary of foreign entanglements. That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. That guns do more than protect us from criminals; more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government. That states are the bulwark of our freedom. That states should have the right to secede from the Union. That once a year we should hang someone in government as an example to his fellows.
Oath KeepersDeclaration of Orders We Will NOT Obey.

Recognizing that we each swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and affirming that we are guardians of the Republic, of the principles in our Declaration of Independence, and of the rights of our people, we affirm and declare the following:\\\\

1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.\\
2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people.\\
3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as "unlawful enemy combatants" or to subject them to military tribunal.\\
4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.\\
5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.\\
6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.\\
7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.\\
8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to "keep the peace" or to "maintain control."\\
9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.\\
10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
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 GassetCivilization is nothing else but the attempt to reduce force to being the last resort.
George OrwellMen sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
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 PaineAn avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates his duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
Kort E. PattersonAccording to Gestapo records…they had little need to engage in direct spying on the citizens since the citizens themselves were more than willing to do their spying for them.
Kort E. PattersonSome informants spied on their neighbors because they actually believed the propaganda… Some denounced their enemies in order to settle personal grudges. Some were driven by their own fears to attempt to deflect attention away from themselves…Some were motivated by the sense of power turning in their neighbors gave them.
General George S. Patton, Jr.It is certain that the two World Wars in which I have participated would not have occurred had we been prepared. It is my belief that adequate preparation on our part would have prevented or materially shortened all our other wars beginning with that of 1812. Yet, after each of our wars, there has always been a great hue and cry to the effect that there will be no more wars, that disarmament is the sure road to health, happiness, and peace; and that by removing the fire department, we will remove fires. These ideas spring from wishful thinking and from the erroneous belief that wars result from logical processes. There is no logic in wars. They are produced by madmen. No man can say when future madmen will reappear. I do not say that there will be no more wars; I devoutly hope that there will not, but I do say that the chances of avoiding future wars will be greatly enhanced if we are ready.
General George S. Patton, Jr.Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.
St. PaulFor when they shall say, 'Peace and Safety', then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a women with child; and they shall not escape.
Dr. Ron PaulTimes of tragedy and war naturally bring out strong emotions... Sometimes people are only too anxious to sacrifice their constitutional liberties during a crisis, hoping to gain some measure of security. Yet nothing would please terrorists more than if we willingly gave up our cherished liberties because of their actions.
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.
Ron PaulI am absolutely convinced, you never have to give up any of your freedoms in order to be secure.
William PennJustice is the insurance we have in our lives, and obedience is the premium we pay for it.
Claude PepperOne has the right to be wrong in a democracy.
Jesse Lee PetersonWe are good citizens, and we cannot protect ourselves because you allow the criminals to run wild. ... I'd like you to come and live in the inner city for a week and see the importance of having a weapon. ... Go after the criminals and not the good people.
William PittNecessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
PlatoThe people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness… This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs, when he first appears he is a protector.
Alexander PopeFools rush in where Angels fear to tread.
Sir Karl PopperWe must plan for freedom, and not only for security, if for no other reason than only freedom can make security more secure.
General Colin PowellOne of the fondest expressions around is that we can't be the world's policeman. But guess who gets called when somebody needs a cop.
Lewis F. PowellThe guarantee of equal protection cannot mean one thing when applied to one individual and something else when applied to a person of another color. If both are not accorded the same protection, then it is not equal.
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.
John W. RaperWe have plenty of freedom in this country but not a great deal of independence.
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 ReaganThe NRA believes America's laws were made to be obeyed and that
our Constitutional liberties are just as important today as 200 years ago.
And by the way, the Constitution does not say
Government shall decree the right to keep and bear arms.
The Constitution says 'The right of the people to keep and bear arms
shall not be infringed.'
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.
Janet RenoGun registration is not enough.
Jean-Francois RevelDemocracy tends to ignore, even deny, threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed to counter them. It awakens only when the danger becomes deadly, imminent, evident. By then, either there is too little time left for it to save itself, or the price of survival has become crushingly high.
Glenn Harlan ReynoldsAs the interned American citizens of Japanese descent learned, the Bill of Rights provided them with little protection when it was needed.
Michael RiveroMost people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.
Eleanor RooseveltWe do not move forward by curtailing people’s liberty because we are afraid of what they may do or say.
Franklin D. RooseveltTrue individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.
Theodore RooseveltThe things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
Robert L. RubleIn March, 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia, passed a mandatory gun ownership ordinance which requires all heads of households to own a firearm—handgun, rifle or shotgun. In 1982, our crime against persons, which include murder, rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault and residential burglary, decreased 74%. In 1983 these same crimes decreased [an additional] 46%. ... I would also like you to be aware that our population has increased in excess of 20% since 1982. We have had no accidents nor incidents involving our citizens with regards to firearms. ... It is a pleasure to see our senior citizens strolling the streets at night without fear of becoming a victim of violent crime.
Bertrand RussellIt is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions make it impossible to earn a living.
Bertrand RussellFreedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.
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.
Andrei SakharovFreedom of thought is the only guarantee against an infection of people by mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorships.
Carmine SarracinoI know, both by reason and by experience, that if you ever need a gun, whether in Katmandu or Los Angeles, at that moment you will have never needed anything so badly in your life.
Eric SchaubAmericans find it intolerable that one constitutional right should have to be surrendered in order to assert another. America is the land of the free and home of the brave -- we don't need a Patriot Act, because we are already patriots. We know freedom means responsibility, but I am not sure Congress and its domestic enforcement agencies do. More often than not, new security measures enacted by the government have resulted in more violations of the citizenry than terrorists have ever done. The terrorists want us to be afraid -- well, we are not afraid. Stop wasting dollars on this program -- it is not good for America. To give up essential liberty for a little security provides neither. The right to be left alone from government intrusion is the beginning of all freedoms.
Eric SchaubFreedom is risky.
Nature makes no promises.
Eric SchaubStanding up to a tyrant
has always been illegal and dangerous.
There is no guarantee but one --
to not live like a slave,
nor to die like one.
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.
William ShakespeareYon Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
George Bernard ShawIt is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
Percy Bysshe ShelleyTruth has always been found to promote the best interests of mankind.
William L. ShirerTo combat socialism Bismarck put through between 1883 and 1889 a program for social security far beyond anything known in other countries. It included compulsory insurance for workers against old age, sickness, accident and incapacity, and though organized by the State it was financed by employers and employees. It cannot be said that it stopped the rise of the Social Democrats or the trade unions, but it did have a profound influence on the working class in that it gradually made them value security over political freedom and caused them to see in the State, however conservative, a benefactor and a protector. Hitler, as we shall see, took full advantage of this state of mind. In this, as in other matters, he learned much from Bismarck. “I studied Bismarck’s socialist legislation,” Hitler remarks in Mein Kampf (p. 155), “in its intention, struggle and success.”
Mark SkousenToday’s political leaders demonstrate their low opinion of the public with every social law they pass. They believe that, if given the right to chose, the citizenry will probably make the wrong choice. Legislators do not think any more in terms of persuading people; they feel the need to force their agenda on the public at the point of a bayonet and the barrel of a gun, in the name of the IRS, the SEC, the FDA, the DEA, the EPA, or a multitude of other ABCs of government authority.
Adam SmithThe natural effort of every individual to better his own condition, when suffered to exert itself with freedom and security is so powerful a principle that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often incumbers its operations; though the effect of these obstructions is always more or less either to encroach upon its freedom, or to diminish its security.
Edward SnowdenSaying it’s okay for the government to spy on you because you’re innocent and you have “nothing to hide”... Is like saying it’s okay for the government to censor free speech because you have “nothing to say.”
Thomas SowellOne of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.
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.
Herbert SpencerA man’s liberties are none the less aggressed upon because those who coerce him do so in the belief that he will be benefited.
Baruch SpinozaThe ultimate aim of government is not to rule, or restrain, by fear, nor to exact obedience, but contrariwise, to free every man from fear, that he may live in all possible security; in other words, to strengthen his natural right to exist and work without injury to himself or others.
No, the object of government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develope their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing hatred, anger, or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice. In fact, the true aim of government is liberty.
Lysander SpoonerBut this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: 'Your money, or your life.' And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat. The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful. The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a 'protector,' and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to 'protect' those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful 'sovereign,' on account of the 'protection' he affords you. He does not keep 'protecting' you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villanies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.
Lysander Spooner[T]he only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in keeping their money in their own pockets ...
John SteinbeckWe may be thankful that frightened civil authorities ... have not managed to eradicate from the country
the tradition of the possession and use of firearms, that profound and almost instinctive tradition of Americans. Luckily for us, our tradition
of bearing arms has not gone from the country, the tradition is so deep and so dear to us that it is one of the most treasured parts of the Bill of Rights
-- the right of all Americans to bear arms, with the implication that they will know how to use them.
William Graham Sumner
William Graham SumnerIf I want to be free from any other man’s dictation,
I must understand that I can have no other man under my control.
William Graham SumnerIf I want to be free from any other man’s dictation, I must understand that I can have no other man under my control.
Henry David ThoreauIf you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life.
New York TimesNelson Rockefeller was in the forefront of the struggle to establish not only an American system of political and economic security but a new world order.
Srdja Trifkovic...the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the Reichstag fire.
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.
St. George TuckerCivil rights, as we may remember, are reducible to three primary heads; the right of personal security; the right of personal liberty; and the right of private property. In a state of slavery, the two last are wholly abolished, the person of the slave being at the absolute disposal of his master; and property, what he is incapable, in that state, either of acquiring, or holding, in his own use. Hence, it will appear how perfectly irreconcilable a state of slavery is to the principles of a democracy, which form the basis and foundation of our government.
Mark TwainHow you can win the population for war: At first, the statesman will invent cheap lying, that impute the guilt of the attacked nation, and each person will be happy over this deceit, that calm the conscience. It will study it detailed and refuse to test arguments of the other opinion. So he will convince step for step even therefrom that the war is just and thank God, that he, after this process of grotesque even deceit, can sleep better.
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.
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.
Leon UrisTerrorism is the war of the poor. War is the terrorism of the rich.
U.S. ConstitutionThe right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Mark Van DorenAn unexamined idea, to paraphrase Socrates, is not worth having and a society whose ideas are never explored for possible error may eventually find its foundations insecure.
Vincent van GoghThe fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.
Vermont Declaration of RightsThat frequent recurrence to fundamental principles, and a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty, and keep government free. The people ought, therefore, to pay particular attention to these points, in the choice of officers and representatives, and have a right to exact a due and constant regard to them, from their legislators and magistrates, in the making and executing such laws as are necessary for the good government of the State.
VoltaireIt is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
VoltaireWe have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.
Daniel F. WalkerLook at America now; older middle-income Americans are encouraged to divest themselves of their assets in order to
qualify for Medicaid so that taxpayers at large must subsidize the costs of warehousing the artificially impoverished nursing homes -- in the name of
“independent living” and “not being a burden to the children.”
George WashingtonThere is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This, within certain limits, is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favour, upon the spirit of party: but, in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
George WashingtonAs a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate.
George WashingtonThe alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism … The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
George WashingtonRepublicanism is not the phantom of a deluded imagination. On the contrary, laws, under no form of government, are better supported, liberty and property better secured, or happiness more effectually dispensed to mankind.
George WashingtonGovernment is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
George WashingtonThe alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissensions, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.
The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils, and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
Alan WattsBut when no risk is taken there is no freedom. It is thus that, in an industrial society, the plethora of laws made for our personal safety convert the land into a nursery, and policemen hired to protect us become selfserving busybodies.
Vin WeberWe create the government that screws you, and then you’re supposed to thank us for protecting you from it.
Daniel WebsterThe contest, for ages, has been to rescue Liberty from the grasp of executive power.
Daniel WebsterThe Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.
Simone WeilThere is one, and only one, thing in modern society more hideous than crime – namely, repressive justice.
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.
E. B. WhiteI believe... that security declines as security machinery expands.
William Allen WhiteLiberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.
William Allen WhiteYou say that freedom of utterance is not for time of stress, and I reply with the sad truth that only in time of stress is freedom of utterance in danger… Only when free utterance is suppressed is it needed, and when it is needed it is most vital to justice.
Oscar WildeTo believe is very dull. To doubt is intensely engrossing. To be on the alert is to live, to be lulled into security is to die.
Walter E. WilliamsThe framers gave us the Second Amendment not so we could go deer or duck hunting but to give us a modicum of protection against congressional tyranny.
Walter E. WilliamsWe should view our government the way we should a friendly, cuddly lion. Just because he’s friendly and cuddly shouldn’t blind us to the fact that he’s still got teeth and claws.
James WilsonLiberty and happiness have a powerful enemy on each hand; on the one hand tyranny, on the other licentiousness [anarchy]. To guard against the latter, it is necessary to give the proper powers to government; and to guard against the former, it is necessary that those powers should be properly distributed.
Woodrow WilsonIs there any man, is there any woman, let me say any child here
that does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?
Judge Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr.[T]o deny a defendant of the possibility of jury nullification would be to defeat the central purpose of the jury system.
James D. WrightIt perhaps goes without saying that the ‘average’ gun owner and the ‘average’ criminal are worlds apart in background,
social outlooks, and economic circumstances. The idea that common, ordinary citizens are somehow transformed into potential perpetrators of
criminally violent acts once they have acquired a firearm seems farfetched, most of all since there is substantial evidence that the typical gun owner is
affluent, Protestant, and middle-class.
Wright v. United StatesTo disregard such a deliberate choice of words and their natural meaning, would be a departure from the first principle of constitutional interpretation. "In expounding the Constitution of the United States," said Chief Justice Taney in Holmes v. Jennison, 14 U.S. 540, 570-1, "every word must have its due force and appropriate meaning; for it is evident from the whole instrument, that, no word was unnecessarily used, or needlessly added. The many discussions which have taken place upon the construction of the Constitution, have proved the correctness of this proposition; and shown the high talent, the caution and the foresight of the illustrious men who framed it. Every word appears to have been weighed with the utmost deliberation and its force and effect to have been fully understood.
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