|The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.
|It is bad to be oppressed by a minority,
but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority.
|The freedom allowed in the United States to all sorts of inquiry and discussion necessarily leads to a diversity of opinion, which is seen not only in there being different denominations, but different opinions also in the same denomination.
|Mikhail A. Bakunin
|The right to unite freely and to separate freely is the first and most important of all political rights.
|It 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.
|When 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.
|Today 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.
|Although 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.
|These 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.
|The 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.
|Purveyors of political correctness will, in the final analysis, not even allow others their judgments... They celebrate “difference,” but they will not allow people truly to be different -- to think differently, and to say what they think.
|The whole point of the liberal revolution that gave rise to the 1960’s was to free us from somebody else’s dogma, but now the same people…are striving to impose on others a secularized religion…disguising it behind innocuous labels like ‘diversity training’ and ‘respect for difference.’
|In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale. Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity.
|Justice Hugo L. Black
|The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice.
|Joseph L. Blau
|Freedom of religion means the right of the individual to choose and to adhere to whichever religious beliefs he may prefer, to join with others in religious associations to express these beliefs, and to incur no civil disabilities because of his choice…
|You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.\\
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.\\
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.\\
You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer.\\
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.\\
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.\\
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.\\
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.\\
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.\\
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
|William E. Borah
|No more fatuous chimera has ever infested the brain than that you can control opinions by law or direct belief by statute, and no more pernicious sentiment ever tormented the heart than the barbarous desire to do so. The field of inquiry should remain open, and the right of debate must be regarded as a sacred right.
|No man has ever been born a Negro hater, a Jew hater, or any other kind of hater. Nature refuses to be involved in such suicidal practices.
|It 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.
|Justice Warren E. Burger
|There 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.
|He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
|We are of course a nation of differences. Those differences don’t make us weak. They’re the source of our strength.
|Zechariah Chafee, Jr.
|You make men love their government and their country by giving them the kind of government and the kind of country that inspire respect and love; a country that is free and unafraid, that lets the discontented talk in order to learn the causes of their discontent and end those causes, that refuses to impel men to spy on their neighbors, that protects its citizens vigorously from harmful acts while it leaves the remedies for objectionable ideas to counter-argument and time.
|Edmund B. Chaffee
|The majority of us are for free speech when it deals with subjects concerning which we have no intense feelings.
|Gilbert Keith Chesterton
|The theory of free speech, that truth is so much larger and stranger and more many-sided than we know of, that it is very much better at all costs to hear everyone’s account of it, is a theory which has been justified on the whole by experiment, but which remains a very daring and even a very surprising theory. It is really one of the great discoveries of the modern time.
|Arthur C. Clarke
|Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.
|James Bryant Conant
|Diversity of opinion within the framework of loyalty to our free society is not only basic to a university but to the entire nation.
|e. e. cummings
|To be nobody but yourself -- in a world which is doing it's best, night and day, to make you like everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
|Clarence S. Darrow
|There is no such crime as a crime of thought; there are only crimes of action.
|Alexis de Tocqueville
|Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
|Graceanne A. Decandido
|If librarianship is the connecting of people to ideas – and I believe that is the truest definition of what we do – it is crucial to remember that we must keep and make available, not just good ideas and noble ideas, but bad ideas, silly ideas, and yes, even dangerous or wicked ideas.
|John Dos Passos
|Individuality is freedom lived.
|Justice William O. Douglas
|The function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it invites a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging.
It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects
as it passes for acceptance of an idea.
|William O. Douglas
|The great and invigorating influences in American life have been the unorthodox: the people who challenge an existing institution or way of life, or say and do things that make people think.
|Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically, as in England and America in the nineteenth century under laissez-faire. To check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed, as in Russia after 1917. Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom, and in the end superior ability has its way.
|The real guarantee of freedom is an equilibrium of social forces in conflict, not the triumph of any one force.
|We must not overlook the role that extremists play. They are the gadflies that keep society from being too complacent.
|Freedom of expression is the well-spring of our civilization...
The history of civilization is in considerable measure
the displacement of error which once held sway
as official truth by beliefs which in turn have yielded to other truths.
Therefore the liberty of man to search for truth
ought not to be fettered, no matter what orthodoxies he may challenge.
|Don't try to be different. Just be good. To be good is different enough.
|A society that puts equality...ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.
|A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.
|The freedom of speech and the freedom of the press have not been granted to the people in order that they may say things which please, and which are based upon accepted thought, but the right to say things which displease, the right to say the things which convey the new and yet unexpected thoughts, the right to say things, even though they do a wrong.
|In a free government, the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects.
|B. H. Liddell Hart
|...regrettable as it may seem to the idealist, the experience of history provides little warrant for the belief that real progress, and the freedom that makes progress possible, lies in unification. For where unification has been able to establish unity of ideas it has usually ended in uniformity, paralysing the growth of new ideas. And where the unification has merely brought about an artificial or imposed unity, its irksomeness has led through discord to disruption.
|B. H. Liddell Hart
|Vitality springs from diversity -- which makes for real progress so long as there is mutual toleration, based on the recognition that worse may come from an attempt to suppress differences than from acceptance of them. For this reason, the kind of peace that makes progress possible is best assured by the mutual checks created by a balance of forces-alike in the sphere of internal politics and of international relations.
|Friedrich August von Hayek
|It is always from a minority acting in ways different from what the majority would prescribe that the majority in the end learns to do better.
|Friedrich August von Hayek
|From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.
|Friedrich August von Hayek
|I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
|Friedrich August von Hayek
|A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom.
|Whosoever wishes to know about the world
must learn about it in its particular details.
Knowledge is not intelligence.
In searching for the truth be ready for the unexpected.
Change alone is unchanging.
The same road goes both up and down.
The beginning of a circle is also its end.
Not I, but the world says it: all is one.
And yet everything comes in season.
|It is maintained that a society is free only when dissenting minorities have room to throw their weight around. As a matter of fact, a dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.
|Totalitarianism spells simplification: an enormous reduction in the variety of aims, motives, interests, human types, and, above all, in the categories and units of power.
|A university’s essential character is that of being a center of free inquiry and criticism – a thing not to be sacrificed for anything else.
|Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity.
They are the vital process of policy among free men.
|Justice Charles Evans Hughes
|When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.
|Rev. Jesse Jackson
|America is not like a blanket - one piece of unbroken cloth. America is more like a quilt - many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven together by a common thread.
|We shall have our follies without doubt. Some one or more of them will always be afloat. But ours will be the follies of enthusiasm, not of bigotry, not of Jesuitism. Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.