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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.
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|Edward Abbey||A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.|
|Lord Acton||The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.|
|Lord Acton||Liberty is the prevention of control by others. This requires self-control and, therefore, religious and spiritual influences; education, knowledge, well-being.|
|Lord Acton||By 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 Acton||It is bad to be oppressed by a minority,|
but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority.
|Lord Acton||At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities....|
|Lord Acton||Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is the highest political end.|
|Lord Acton||Freedom degenerates unless it has to struggle in its own|
|Henry Brooks Adams||I would rather starve and rot and keep the privilege of speaking the truth as I see it, than of holding all the offices that capital has to give from the presidency down.|
|James Truslow Adams||The freedom now desired by many is not freedom to do and dare but freedom from care and worry.|
|John Adams||Be 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 Adams||The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.|
|John Adams||Were 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 Adams||The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.|
|John Adams||The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations ... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.|
|John Adams||Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.|
|John Adams||[You have Rights] antecedent to all earthly governments:|
Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws;
Rights, derived from the Great Legislator of the universe.
|John Adams||The poor people, it is true, have been much less successful than the great. They have seldom found either leisure or opportunity to form a union and exert their strength; ignorant as they were of arts and letters, they have seldom been able to frame and support a regular opposition. This, however, has been known by the great to be the temper of mankind; and they have accordingly labored, in all ages, to wrest from the populace, as they are contemptuously called, the knowledge of their rights and wrongs, and the power to assert the former or redress the latter. I say RIGHTS, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government, Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws, Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe.|
|John Adams||When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.|
|John Adams||Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.|
|John Adams||Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have... a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean the characters and conduct of their rulers.|
|John Quincy Adams||Posterity -- you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good|
use of it.
|John Quincy Adams||Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation.|
|John Quincy Adams||The laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.|
|John Quincy Adams||Civil liberty can be established on no foundation of human reason which will not at the same time demonstrate the right of religious freedom.|
|Samuel Adams||He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man...The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.|
|Samuel Adams||A 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 Adams||The 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 Adams||Driven from every other corner of the earth, freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience, direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum.|
|Samuel Adams||In short, it is the greatest Absurdity to suppose it in the Power of one or any Number of Men, at the entering into Society, to renounce their essential natural Rights or the Means of preserving those Rights, when the grand End of civil Government, from the very Nature of its Institution, is for the Support, Protection and Defense of those very Rights: The principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property.|
|Samuel Adams||If 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 Adams||The Legislative has no Right to absolute arbitrary Power over the Lives and Fortunes of the People: Nor can Mortals assume a Prerogative not only too high for Men but for Angels, and therefore reserv’d for the Exercise of the Deity alone.|
|Samuel Adams||All Men have a Right to remain in a State of Nature as long as they please: And in case of intolerable Oppression, civil or religious, to leave the Society they belong to and enter into another. When Men enter into Society, it is by voluntary Consent, and they have a Right to demand and insist upon the performance of such Conditions and previous Limitations as form an equitable original Compact.|
|Samuel Adams||Among the natural Rights of the Colonists are these: First, a Right to Life; secondly, to Liberty; thirdly, to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best Manner they can. Those are evident Branches of, rather than Deductions from, the Duty of Self-Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.|
|Samuel Adams||If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.|
|Samuel Adams||It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.|
|Samuel Adams||And 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.|
|Samuel Adams||All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.|
|Felix Adler||Dogma is the convictions of one man imposed authoritatively upon others.|
|Mortimer Adler||Freedom is the emancipation from the arbitrary rule of other men.|
|Aeschylus||Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny.|
|Aeschylus||Destiny waits alike for the free man as well as for him enslaved by another's might.|
|Aesop||Better to starve free than be a fat slave.|
|Spiro Agnew||Every time I criticize what I consider to be excesses or faults in the news business, I am accused of repression, and the leaders of various media professional groups wave the First Amendment as they denounce me. That happens to be my amendment, too. It guarantees my free speech as it does their freedom of the press… There is room for all of us – and for our divergent views – under the First Amendment.|
|Alabama, Declaration of Rights Article I Section 35||That the sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression.|
|Donald Alexander||We now have so many regulations that everyone is guilty of some violation.|
|Dante Alighieri||For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?|
|Dante Alighieri||Mankind is at its best when it is most free. This will be clear if we grasp the principle of liberty. We must recall that the basic principle is freedom of choice, which saying many have on their lips but few in their minds.|
|Florence Ellinwood Allen||Liberty cannot be caged into a charter or handed on ready-made to the next generation. Each generation must recreate liberty for its own times. Whether or not we establish freedom rests with ourselves.|
|John Peter Altgeld||Freedom of thought and freedom of speech in our great institutions are absolutely necessary for the preservation of our country. The moment either is restricted, liberty begins to wither and die...|
|American Bar Association||It is the duty of the officials to prevent or suppress the threatened disorder with a firm hand instead of timidly yielding to threats…. Surely a speaker ought not to be suppressed because his opponents propose to use violence. It is they who should suffer from their lawlessness, not he.|
|American Civil Liberties Union||Liberty is always unfinished business.|
|American Library Association||We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture.|
|American Library Association||Intellectual freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access of all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored.|
|American Library Association||The 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.|
|American Library Association||Why is Intellectual Freedom Important? Intellectual freedom is the basis of our democratic system. We expect our people to be self-governors. But to do so responsibly, our citizenry must be well informed. Libraries provide the ideas and information, in a variety of formats, to allow people to inform themselves.|
|American Library Association||We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe.|
|Henri Frederic Amiel||Philosophy means the complete liberty of the mind, and therefore independence of all social, political or religious prejudice... It loves one thing only... truth.|
|Amnesty International||The 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.|
|Maxwell Anderson||When a government takes over a people’s economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs.|
|Susan B. Anthony||It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.|
|Saint Thomas Aquinas||Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.|
|Saint Thomas Aquinas||Because of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some people, as appropriate and suitable to them, while the same acts are immoral for others, as inappropriate to them.|
|Hannah Arendt||No 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.|
|Aristotle||If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.|