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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 ActonLiberty and good government do not exclude each other; and there are excellent reasons why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.
Lord ActonLiberty, next to religion has been the motive of good deeds and the common pretext of crime...
Lord ActonI cannot accept, your canon that we are to judge pope and king unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power ... Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Lord ActonAnd remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Charles Francis AdamsFailure seems to be regarded as the one unpardonable crime, success as the all-redeeming virtue, the acquisition of wealth as the single worthy aim of life. Ten years ago such revelations as these of the Erie Railway would have sent a shudder through the community, and would have placed a stigma on every man who had had to do them. Now they merely incite others to surpass by yet bolder outrages and more corrupt combinations.
Franklin P. AdamsProhibition is an awful flop.  We like it. 
It can't stop what it's meant to stop.  We like it. 
It's left a trail of graft and slime,
It don't prohibit worth a dime, 
It's filled our land with vice and crime. 
Nevertheless, we're for it.
John AdamsThe nature of the encroachment upon 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 of society.
John AdamsRemember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
John AdamsSpent an hour in the beginning of the evening at Major Gardiner's, where it was thought that the design of Christianity was not to make men good riddle-solvers, or good mystery-mongers, but good men, good magistrates, and good subjects, good husbands and good wives, good parents and good children, good masters and good servants. The following questions may be answered some time or other, namely, — Where do we find a precept in the Gospel requiring Ecclesiastical Synods? Convocations? Councils? Decrees? Creeds? Confessions? Oaths? Subscriptions? and whole cart-loads of other trumpery that we find religion incumbered with in these days?
John AdamsI Said to my Wife, I have accepted a Seat in the House of Representatives and thereby have consented to my own Ruin to your Ruin and the Ruin of our Children. I give you this Warning that you may prepare your Mind for your Fate.
John Quincy AdamsAll the public business in Congress now connects itself with intrigues, and there is great danger that the whole government will degenerate into a struggle of cabals.
Samuel AdamsHow strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!
Samuel AdamsThe liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution,
are worth defending at all hazards;
and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.
We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors:
they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure
and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.
It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation,
enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us
by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them
by the artifices of false and designing men.
Samuel AdamsHow strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!
Samuel AdamsShame on the men who can court exemption from present trouble
and expense at the price of their own posterity's liberty!
Samuel AdamsNo people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can
any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is
preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant,
and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own
weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.
Ken AdelmanClinton realized that America could not economically afford the Protocol Gore negotiated. The Clinton-Gore's Energy Department found Kyoto would lead to $400 billion a year in lost output. ... Gore tries to throw Enron on the back of the current administration. But it was Enron Board Chairman Kenneth Lay who sold Clinton-Gore on Kyoto's cap and trade system. Gore, Clinton, and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin met with Lay on Aug. 7, 1997 to go over goals and procedures for the Kyoto session. ... The corporate smoking memo here was not that from an ExxonMobil adviser to oppose Dr. Watson, but the Enron internal memo saying Kyoto 'would do more to promote Enron's business than almost any other regulatory initiative'.
Arnold Ahlert[A] deep-rooted culture of incompetence and corruption has made it virtually impossible for government to function fairly and efficiently. And because most government employees are shielded by layers of protection, they couldn't care less. Never before in the history of this nation has there been a greater divide between a self-serving federal leviathan and millions of Americans... 'Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,' Ronald Reagan reminded us during his inaugural address in 1981. Nothing's changed since then, with one exception: It's gotten far worse.
J. Tucker AlfordIt is precisely this clinging to victimhood as a means of demonstrating one’s virtue and advancing one’s well-being that has led us into a society in which welfare and quotas are “civil rights,” government handouts are “entitlements,” and payment to girls having babies out of wedlock are “compassionate,” while hard-working, ambitious people are “greedy,” punishment of crime is “oppression,” and an independent thinker who stands for courage and self-reliance is dismissed as an “Uncle Tom.”
Gary AllenBy the time the (16th) Amendment had been approved by the states, the Rockefeller Foundation was in full operation...about the same time that Judge Kenesaw Landis was ordering the breakup of the Standard Oil monopoly...John D...not only avoided taxes by creating four great tax-exempt foundations; he used them as repositories for his 'divested' interests...made his assets non-taxable so that they might be passed down through generations without...estate and gift taxes...Each year the Rockefellers can dump up to half their incomes into their pet foundations and deduct the "donations" from their income tax.
Gary AllenIf one understands that Socialism is not a “share the wealth” program but is in reality a method to consolidate and control the wealth, then the seeming paradox of super rich men promoting Socialism becomes no paradox at all. Instead it becomes logical, even the perfect tool of power-seeking megalomaniacs. Communism, or more accurately Socialism, is not a movement of the down-trodden masses but of the economic elite.
American Library AssociationThe freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack… These actions apparently arise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals.
Fisher AmesWe are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press. It is however, the prostituted companion of liberty, and somehow or other, we know not how, its efficient auxiliary. It follows the substance like its shade; but while a man walks erect, he may observe that his shadow is almost always in the dirt. It corrupts, it deceives, it inflames. It strips virtue of her honors, and lends to faction its wildfire and its poisoned arms, and in the end is its own enemy and the usurper's ally, It would be easy to enlarge on its evils. They are in England, they are here, they are everywhere. It is a precious pest, and a necessary mischief, and there would be no liberty without it.
AnacharsisThese decrees of yours are no different from spiders' webs. They'll restrain anyone weak and insignificant who gets caught in them, but they'll be torn to shreds by people with power and wealth.
Harry J. AnslingerThere are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.
Harry J. AnslingerYou smoke a joint and you're likely to kill your brother.
Harry J. Anslinger...the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.
Harry J. AnslingerMarijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.
Harry J. AnslingerMarijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.
Gaius Petronius ArbiterWe trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.
AristotleThe least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.
AristotleThe least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.
AristotleThe trade of the petty usurer is hated with most reason: it makes a profit from currency itself, instead of making it from the process which currency was meant to serve. Their common characteristic is obviously their sordid avarice.
Assyrian TabletThe Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.
Nancy AstorTruth always originates in a minority of one, and every custom begins as a broken precedent.
Aung San Suu KyiThe quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution in spirit, the forces which had produced inequities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance, and fear.
Sir Francis BaconOne of the Seven [wise men of Greece] was wont to say: That laws were like cobwebs, where the small flies are caught and the great break through.
Walter BagehotA democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness.
Walter BagehotThe cardinal maxim is, that any aid to a present bad Bank is the surest mode of preventing the establishment of a future good Bank.
William BarrIn the past, when societies are threatened by moral chaos, the overall social costs of licentiousness and irresponsible personal conduct becomes so high that society ultimately recoils and reevaluates the path they are on. But today – in the face of all the increasing pathologies – instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have the State in the role of Alleviator of Bad Consequences. We call on the State to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility. So the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion. The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites. The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the State to set itself up as the ersatz husband for single mothers and the ersatz father to their children. The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with the wreckage. While we think we are solving problems, we are underwriting them. We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on whom we depend.
William BarrOne of the ironies, as some have observed, is that the secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor. It is taking on all the trappings of a religion – including inquisitions and excommunication. Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake – social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns.
Bruce BartlettDemocrats will play the old Washington game of calling reductions in the rate of growth of spending for any program a 'cut'.
Frederic BastiatWhen plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
Frederic BastiatAll you have to do, is to see whether the law takes from some what belongs to them in order to give it to others to whom it does not belong. We must see whether the law performs, for the profit of one citizen and to the detriment of others, an act which that citizen could not perform himself without being guilty of a crime. Repeal such a law without delay. ... [I]f you don’t take care, what begins by being an exception tends to become general, to multiply itself, and to develop into a veritable system.
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.
Frederic BastiatAs long as the law may be diverted from its true purpose -- that it may violate property instead of protecting it -- then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting to gain access to the legislature as well as fighting within it.
Frederic BastiatA Fatal Tendency of Mankind. Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing. But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man -- in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.
Frederic BastiatSocialists desire to practice legal plunder, not illegal plunder. Socialists, like all other monopolists, desire to make the law their own weapon. And when once the law is on the side of socialism, how can it be used against socialism? For when plunder is abetted by the law, it does not fear your courts, your gendarmes, and your prisons. Rather, it may call upon them for help.
Joan BeckWe used to be a free people. Now we are hedged in by millions of laws. Harassed by a plague of opportunistic lawyers. Harmed by regulations meant for our protection. Unnecessarily taxed to pay for a suffocating bureaucracy. Drowning in petty paperwork. Stifled by “rights” that rarely benefit anyone.
Hilaire BellocNever could an increase of comfort or security be a sufficient good to be bought at the price of liberty.
Raoul BergerUsurpation, the exercise of power not granted, is not legitimized by repetition.
Georges BernanosThe first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means.
Tom BethelIt is wrong to take half or more of what people earn; wrong to force some people to pay for the support of others, threatening them with jail if they refuse (are in “noncompliance”).
Justice Hugo L. BlackThe Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.
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.
William BlakeMore! More! is the cry of a mistaken soul.
David BoazPower always corrupts, and the power of government to tell people how to live their lives or to transfer money from those who earn it to others is always a temptation to corruption. Taxes and regulations reduce people’s incentive to produce wealth, and government transfer programs reduce people’s incentive to work, to save, and to help family and friends in case of sickness, disability, or retirement. ...[I]t is nonetheless clear that government enterprises are less efficient, less innovative, and more wasteful than private firms.... [C]ompare what it’s like to call American Express versus the IRS to correct problems. Or compare a private apartment building with public housing.
Karl BordenSocial Security is an unfunded pay-as-you-go system, fundamentally flawed and analogous in design to illegal pyramid schemes. Government accounting creates the illusion of a trust fund, but in fact, excess receipts are spent immediately. The government’s own actuaries predict the system will be bankrupt by 2030, but Social Security could face financial crisis as early as 2014. Moreover, Social Security’s relatively poor rate of return makes the program an increasingly worse investment for today’s young worker. ... The system design itself is fundamentally flawed and cannot be repaired. It must instead be replaced by one derived from free markets and operated by free citizenry making individual economic decisions in their own self-interest. ... Reform is long overdue. If we fail to act soon, our children will either inherit a bankrupt system or be forced to pay an impossibly high level of taxes. Only private pensions with individual property rights to accumulate fund balances can create a secure pension system. Chile, which privatized its system in 1981, provides evidence of such a system’s effectiveness.
Dr. Jim BorenBureaucracy is the epoxy that greases the wheels of progress.
Dr. Jim BorenEvery bureaucrat has a constitutional right to fuzzify, profundify and drivelate. It's a part of our freedom of speech...If people can understand what is being said in Washington, they might want to take over their own government again.
Dr. Jim BorenWhen in charge, ponder... When in trouble, delegate... When in doubt, mumble.
Linda BowlesThe government expands at will, based on what might be charitably called flimsy constitutional reasoning and less charitably and more accurately called arrogant judicial tyranny. Government authority these days rarely comes from the Constitution as written but from the last carefully crafted misinterpretation of it. This is called legal precedent.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisThe government is the potent omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that the end justifies the means -- to declare that the government may commit crimes -- would bring terrible retribution.
Ashleigh BrilliantI either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it.
David BrinIt is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.
Rome G. Brown[T]he best elements of the national and state bars are seriously and energetically working for practical reforms in legal procedure, in the manner of the selection of judges, and in the prevention of delays and against the miscarriage of justice, and this, too, by feasible and constitutional measures and by every constructive and really progressive method which can be devised; and that the fact that satisfactory remedies have not yet been attained, is not the fault of the bench or of the bar, whose leaders have for years been urging upon the people, through the legislatures, fully formulated and efficient remedial measures. The fault lies with the people themselves, whose direct representatives in the legislatures, national and state, refuse properly to consider and act upon proposed laws of authenticated and undeniable efficacy.
Harry BrowneYou can't give the government the power to do good without also giving it the power to do bad - in fact, to do anything it wants.
Harry BrowneThe income tax is the biggest single intrusion suffered by the American people. It forces every worker to be a bookkeeper, to open
his records to the government, to explain his expenses, to fear conviction for a harmless accounting error. Compliance wastes billions of dollars. It
penalizes savings and creates an enormous drag on the U.S. economy. It is incompatible with a free society, and we aren’t libertarians if we
tolerate it.
Harry BrowneA little government involvement is just as dangerous as a lot -- because the first leads inevitably to the second.


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