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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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Hide details for [<a href="/quotes_about/democracy">Democracy Quotes</a>]Democracy Quotes
Dean AchesonThe limitations imposed by democratic political practices makes it difficult to conduct our foreign affairs in the national interest.
Lord ActonThe most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.
Lord ActonBy liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes is his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.
Lord ActonIt is bad to be oppressed by a minority,
but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority.
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 AdamsIf a majority are capable of preferring their own private interest, or that of their families, counties, and party, to that of the nation collectively, some provision must be made in the constitution, in favor of justice, to compel all to respect the common right, the public good, the universal law, in preference to all private and partial considerations... And that the desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice and inhumanity against the minority, is demonstrated by every page of history... To remedy the dangers attendant upon the arbitrary use of power, checks, however multiplied, will scarcely avail without an explicit admission some limitation of the right of the majority to exercise sovereign authority over the individual citizen... In popular governments [democracies], minorities [individuals] constantly run much greater risk of suffering from arbitrary power than in absolute monarchies...
John 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 AdamsRemember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.
John Adams[N]o good government but what is republican...
the very definition of a republic is
'an empire of laws, and not of men.'
John AdamsEvery citizen must look up to the laws, as his master, his guardian, and his friend; and whenever any of his fellow citizens, whether magistrates or subjects, attempt to deprive him of his right, he must appeal to the laws; if the aristocracy encroach, he must appeal to the democracy; if they are divided, he must appeal to the monarchical power to decide between them, by joining with that which adheres to the laws; if the democracy is on the scramble for power, he must appeal to the aristocracy, and the monarchy, which by uniting may restrain it. If the regal authority presumes too far, he must appeal to the other two. Without three divisions of power, stationed to watch each other, and compare each other's conduct with the laws, it will be impossible that the laws should at all times preserve their authority, and govern all men.
John Adams[D]emocracy 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 Quincy AdamsAlways vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
Samuel AdamsIt does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.
Saul AlinskyA free and open society is an ongoing conflict, interrupted periodically by compromises.
Woody AllenWe stand today at a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.
Fisher AmesLiberty has never lasted long in a democracy, nor has it ever ended in anything better than despotism.
Fisher Ames[O]ur sages in the great [constitutional] convention...
intended our government should be a republic
which differs more widely from a democracy
than a democracy from a despotism.
The rigours of a despotism often... oppress only a few,
but it is the very essence and nature of a democracy,
for a faction claiming to oppress a minority, and
that minority the chief owners of the property
and truest lovers of their country.
Fisher AmesThe known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty.
Amnesty InternationalThe USA was founded in the name of democracy, equality and individual freedom, but is failing to deliver the fundamental promise of protecting rights for all.
AristotleA democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employments.
AristotleDemocracy arose from men thinking that if they are equal in any respect they are equal in all respects.
AristotleIt is the greatest inequality to try to make unequal things equal.
AristotleThe basis of a democratic state is liberty.
Clement AtleeDemocracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.
Marcus AureliusThe object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
Walter BagehotA democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness.
Sarah Evans BarkerTo permit every interest group, especially those who claim to be victimized by unfair expression, their own legislative exceptions to the First Amendment so long as they succeed in obtaining a majority of legislative votes in their favor demonstrates the potentially predatory nature of what defendants seek through this Ordinance.
William BarrIt is easier to run away from a local tyranny than a national one. … [I]f it is one size fits all – if every congressional enactment or Supreme Court decision establishes a single rule for every American – then the stakes are very high as to what that rule is.
William BarrWhen the entire press ‘advances along the same track,’ as Tocqueville put it, the relationship between the press and the energized majority becomes mutually reinforcing. Not only does it become easier for the press to mobilize a majority, but the mobilized majority becomes more powerful and overweening with the press as its ally. This is not a positive cycle, and I think it is fair to say that it puts the press’s role as a breakwater for the tyranny of the majority in jeopardy. The key to restoring the press in that vital role is to cultivate a greater diversity of voices in the media.
William BarrToday in the United States, the corporate – or ‘mainstream’ – press is massively consolidated. And it has become remarkably monolithic in viewpoint, at the same time that an increasing number of journalists see themselves less as objective reporters of the facts, and more as agents of change.
William BarrAlthough totalitarian democracy is democratic in form, it requires an all-knowing elite to guide the masses toward their determined end, and that elite relies on whipping up mass enthusiasm to preserve its power and achieve its goals. Totalitarian democracy is almost always secular and materialistic, and its adherents tend to treat politics as a substitute for religion. Their sacred mission is to use the coercive power of the state to remake man and society according to an abstract ideal of perfection.
William BarrThese developments have given the press an unprecedented ability to mobilize a broad segment of the public on a national scale and direct that opinion in a particular direction.
William BarrThe Framers would have seen a one-size-fits-all government for hundreds of millions of diverse citizens as being utterly unworkable and a straight road to tyranny. That is because they recognized that not every community is exactly the same. What works in Brooklyn might not be a good fit for Birmingham. The federal system allows for this diversity. It also enables people who do not like a certain system to move to a different one.
Alan BarthThought that is silenced is always rebellious. Majorities, of course, are often mistaken. This is why the silencing of minorities is necessarily dangerous. Criticism and dissent are the indispensable antidote to major delusions.
Bruce BartlettDemocrats will play the old Washington game of calling reductions in the rate of growth of spending for any program a 'cut'.
Georges BernanosCivilization exists precisely so that there may be no masses but rather men alert enough never to constitute masses.
Edward BernaysThe conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
Edward BernaysThe conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.
Ambrose BierceVote: The instrument and symbol of a free man's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
Ambrose BiercePolitics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
Ambrose BierceAn election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods.
Niels BohrThe best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness.
Neal BoortzI can’t think of anything that would do more toward putting us back on the road to liberty and personal responsibility than for the average American, and for the news media, to come to the understanding that we are not a democracy, nor were we supposed to be.
Neal BoortzOur founding fathers detested the idea of a democracy and labored long to prevent America becoming one.  Once again -- the word 'democracy' does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, or the constitution of any of the fifty states.  Not once. Furthermore, take a look at State of the Union speeches.  You won’t find the 'D' word uttered once until the Wilson years.
Kenneth BouldingA world of unseen dictatorship is conceivable, still using the forms of democratic government.
James BovardDemocracy must be something more than two
wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisWe can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.
David BroderAnybody that wants
the Presidency so much
that he'll spend two years
organizing and campaigning for it
is not to be trusted
with the office.
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 BuchananI like the noise of democracy.
Patrick J. BuchananWe are thus in the position of having to borrow from Europe to defend Europe, of having to borrow from China and Japan to defend Chinese and Japanese access to Gulf oil, and of having to borrow from Arab emirs, sultans and monarchs to make Iraq safe for democracy. We borrow from the nations we defend so that we may continue to defend them. To question this is an unpardonable heresy called 'isolationism.'
William F. Buckley, Jr.We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.
Justice Warren E. BurgerThere can be no assumption that today’s majority is “right” and the Amish or others like them are “wrong.” A way of life that is odd or even erratic but interferes with no right or interests of others is not to be condemned because it is different.
Edmund BurkeTo govern according to the sense and agreement of the interests of the people is a great and glorious object of governance. This object cannot be obtained but through the medium of popular election, and popular election is a mighty evil.
Edmund BurkeYour representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
Edmund BurkeThe tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.
John C. CalhounTo maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the [American] system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and, finally, the will of the Executive, by influence of its patronage, will supersede the laws ...
John C. CalhounThe government of the absolute majority is but the government of the strongest interests; and when not effectively checked, is the most tyrannical and oppressive that can be devised... [To read the Constitution is to realize that] no free system was ever farther removed from the principle that the absolute majority, without check or limitation, ought to govern.
John C. CalhounStripped of all its covering, the naked question is, whether ours is a federal or consolidated government;
a constitutional or absolute one; a government resting solidly on the basis of the sovereignty of the States,
or on the unrestrained will of a majority; a form of government, as in all other unlimited ones, in which injustice, violence, and force must ultimately prevail.
Al CaponeRemember to vote early -- and often.
Orson Scott CardIf pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.
Thomas CarlyleDemocracy is, by the nature of it, a self-canceling buisness: and gives in the long run a net result of zero.
Andrew CarnegieThere is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.
James CarvilleThe Democratic constituency is just like a herd of cows. All you have to do is lay out enough silage and they come running. That’s why I became an operative working with Democrats. With Democrats all you have to do is make a lot of noise, lay out the hay, and be ready to use the ole cattle prod in case a few want to bolt the herd.
Jonathan D. CasperThe freedom to express varying and often opposing ideas is essential to a variety of conceptions of democracy. If democracy is viewed as essentially a process – a way in which collective decisions for a society are made – free expression is crucial to the openness of the process and to such characteristics as elections, representation of interests, and the like.
Carrie Chapman CattThere are two kinds of restrictions on human liberty -- the restraint of law and that of custom. No written law has ever been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
Zechariah Chafee, Jr.The real value of freedom is not to the minority that wants to talk but to the majority that does not want to listen.
Zechariah Chafee, Jr.The real value of freedom is not to the minority that wants to talk, but to the majority that does not want to listen.
Noam ChomskyIn this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued - they may be essential to survival.
John ChubbDemocracy is essentially coercive. The winner gets to use public authority to impose their policies on the losers.
Sir Winston ChurchillThe best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
Sir Winston ChurchillDemocracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.
Robert CirinoOur major mistakes have not been the result of democracy, but of the erosion of democracy made possible by the mass media’s manipulation of public opinion.
Ramsey ClarkBut we’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy.


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