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

Quotes are organized by Name and Category.

If you'd like, join us on the Liberty Tree Daily Quotes emailing list for a daily dose of Liberty Quotes in your mail box. Leave us your email address to subscribe.
Email:

Here's the Daily Quotes Log to date.


Cryptograms!
Do you like cryptograms? We've got thousands!

Authors
Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.

Categories
Browse quotes by category or select from the list below.

Show details for [<a href="/quotes_about/china">China Quotes</a>]China Quotes
Show details for [<a href="/quotes_about/choice">Choice Quotes</a>]Choice Quotes
Show details for [<a href="/quotes_about/christianity">Christianity Quotes</a>]Christianity Quotes
Show details for [<a href="/quotes_about/cia">CIA Quotes</a>]CIA Quotes
Show details for [<a href="/quotes_about/citizenship">Citizenship Quotes</a>]Citizenship Quotes
Show details for [<a href="/quotes_about/civilization">Civilization Quotes</a>]Civilization Quotes
Show details for [<a href="/quotes_about/civil+rights">Civil Rights Quotes</a>]Civil Rights Quotes
Show details for [<a href="/quotes_about/class">Class Quotes</a>]Class Quotes
Show details for [<a href="/quotes_about/climate+change">Climate Change Quotes</a>]Climate Change Quotes
Show details for [<a href="/quotes_about/coercion">Coercion Quotes</a>]Coercion Quotes
Hide details for [<a href="/quotes_about/collectivism">Collectivism Quotes</a>]Collectivism Quotes
Lord ActonBy liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.
John AdamsGovernment is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
Hannah ArendtThe moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie -- a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days -- but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.
Hannah ArendtThe main characteristic of any event is that it has not been foreseen. We don’t know the future but everybody acts into the future. Nobody knows what he is doing because the future is being done, action is being done by a “we” and not an “I.” Only if I were the only one acting could I foretell the consequences of what I’m doing. What actually happens is entirely contingent, and contingency is indeed one of the biggest factors in all history. Nobody knows what is going to happen because so much depends on an enormous number of variables, on simple hazard. On the other hand if you look at history retrospectively, then, even though it was contingent, you can tell a story that makes sense…. Jewish history, for example, in fact had its ups and downs, its, enmities and its friendships, as every history of all people has. The notion that there is one unilinear history is of course false. But if you look at it after the experience of Auschwitz it looks as though all of history -- or at least history since the Middle Ages -- had no other aim than Auschwitz…. This, is the real problem of every philosophy of history how is it possible that in retrospect it always looks as though it couldn’t have happened otherwise?
Hannah ArendtTotalitarianism begins in contempt for what you have. The second step is the notion: “Things must change—no matter how, Anything is better than what we have.” Totalitarian rulers organize this kind of mass sentiment, and by organizing it articulate it, and by articulating it make the people somehow love it. They were told before, thou shalt not kill; and they didn’t kill. Now they are told, thou shalt kill; and although they think it’s very difficult to kill, they do it because it’s now part of the code of behavior. They learn whom to kill and how to kill and how to do it together. This is the much talked about Gleichschaltung—the coordination process. You are coordinated not with the powers that be, but with your neighbor—coordinated with the majority. But instead of communicating with the other you are now glued to him. And you feel of course marvelous. Totalitarianism appeals to the very dangerous emotional needs of people who live in complete isolation and in fear of one another.
AristotleWhat is common to many is least taken care of, for all men have greater regard for what is their own than what they possess in common with others.
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.
Frederic BastiatIf every person has the right to defend -- even by force -- his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -- its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, 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 individuals or groups.
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 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.
Andrew BernsteinCollectivism is the political theory that states that the will of the people is omnipotent, an individual must obey; that society as a whole, not the individual, is the unit of moral value. ... Collectivism is the application of the altruist ethics to politics.
Judge Robert BorkAs government regulations grow slowly, we become used to the harness. Habit is a powerful force, and we no longer feel as intensely as we once would have [the] constriction of our liberties that would have been utterly intolerable a mere half century ago.
Linda BowlesThe task of weaning various people and groups from the national nipple will not be easy. The sound of whines, bawls, screams and invective will fill the air as the agony of withdrawal pangs finds voice.
William BradfordIf all were to share alike, and all were to do alike, then all were on an equality throughout, and one was as good as another; and so, if it did not actually abolish those very relations which God himself has set among men, it did at least greatly diminish the mutual respect that is so important should be preserved amongst them. Let none argue that this is due to human failing, rather than to this communistic plan of life in itself....
William BradfordThe experience that was had in ... the taking away of private property, and the possession of it in community, by a commonwealth ... was found to breed much confusion and discontent; and retard much employment which would have been to the general benefit.... For the young men that were most able and fit for labor and service objected that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children, without any recompense.... The strong man or the resourceful man had no more share of food, clothes, etc., than the weak man who was not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men, who were ranked and equalized in labor, food, clothes, etc., with the meaner and younger ones, thought it some indignity and disrespect to them.
Edmund BurkeThe tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.
Major General Smedley Darlington ButlerMy mental faculties remained in suspended animation
while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups.
This is typical with everyone in the military.
Sir Roy CalneIt would not be unreasonable, by analogy with a motor vehicle licence, that a permit to reproduce should also be needed with a minimum age of, for example, twenty-five, and a proof required that the parents are of sufficient maturity and financial resource to take proper care of the child. Young, sexually active, but emotionally immature teenagers would need help.
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications CommissionThe regulation prohibiting abusive comment that tends or is likely to expose a person or a group to hatred or contempt is necessary not only to avoid harm to the persons targeted, but also to ensure that Canadian values are respected for all Canadians. The broadcast of remarks that could expose individuals or groups to hatred or contempt can attract individuals to its cause and in the process create serious discord between various groups in Canadian society to the detriment of all of Canadian society. This harm undermines the cultural, political and social fabric of Canada which the Canadian broadcasting system is expressly meant to safeguard, enrich and strengthen. It also undermines the multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society, which the programming of the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect. Protection from the harms of abusive comment is for the benefit of all Canadians.
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications CommissionAfter listening to the recordings containing the remarks made by on-air personalities on 10 and 27 September and 8 October and reading the stenographic notes, the Commission identified several remarks about the complainant related to her physical attributes, and sexual attributes in particular. There are multiple references to the size of her breasts; [translation] 'her incredible set of boobs' ... The Commission considers that the remarks made about Ms. Chiasson were abusive and tended to expose her, and women in general, to contempt on the basis of sex, in contravention of section 3(b) of the Regulations. Further, the remarks do not meet the objectives of the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in the Act. The remarks did not meet the objective of high standard of programming required by section 3(1)(g) of the Act.
Hillary ClintonMany of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.
William Comer[W]e are living in a sick Society filled with people who would not directly steal from their neighbors but who are willing to demand that the government do it for them.
Auguste ComteSocial positivism only accepts duties, for all and towards all. Its constant social viewpoint cannot include any notion of rights, for such notion always rests on individuality. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. These obligations then increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service. ... Any human right is therefore as absurd as immoral. Since there are no divine rights anymore, this concept must therefore disappear completely as related only to the preliminary regime and totally inconsistent with the final state where there are only duties based on functions.
Council on Foreign RelationsThe sovereignty fetish is still so strong in the public mind, that there would appear to be little chance of winning popular assent to American membership in anything approaching a super-state organization. Much will depend on the kind of approach which is used in further popular education.
e. e. cummingsTo 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.
Mark Da CunhaCollectivist ethical principle: man is not an end to himself, but is only a tool to serve the ends of others. Whether those 'others' are a dictator's gang, the nation, society, the race, (the) god(s), the majority, the community, the tribe, etc., is irrelevant -- the point is that man in principle must be sacrificed to others.
Mark Da CunhaCollectivism, unlike individualism, holds the group as the primary, and the standard of moral value.
Anthony de Jasay... the smaller the domain where choices among alternatives are made collectively, the smaller will be the probability that any individual's preference gets overruled.
Guido De RuggieroThe evil of democracy is not the triumph of quantity, but the triumph of bad quality.
Alexis de TocquevilleAfter having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
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.
Albert EinsteinHe who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.
Albert EinsteinFew people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions that differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
Ralph Waldo EmersonA foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,
adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
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?
Sigmund FreudIt is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness.
Milton FriedmanI think a major reason why intellectuals tend to move towards collectivism is that the collectivist answer is a simple one. If there’s something wrong, pass a law and do something about it.
Milton FriedmanIf the only motive was to help people who could not afford education, advocates of government involvement would have simply proposed tuition subsidies.
Rick GaberNotice how some people even try to put socialists on the 'left' and fascists on the 'right' ... and then trap you into accepting the bizarre and evil notion that freedom is somehow a 'compromise' between, or a combination of, two allegedly 'opposite' collectivist extremes. This, of course, is absurd on its face, and actually leaves limited-government advocacy and the essence of freedom totally off the chart out of the picture.
Rick GaberThe people in the MSM (mainstream media) don't think of themselves as liberal.  They're just in favor of collectivism and against individualism in general -- without using many labels (or much thought) of any kind.  They go out of their way only to mention a minority group if they can.  Groupism is what they believe in.
John Taylor GattoWho besides a degraded rabble would voluntarily present itself to be graded and classified like meat? No wonder school is compulsory.
Onkar GhateFreedom is an intellectual achievement which requires disavowal of collectivism and embrace of individualism.
Johann Wolfgang von GoetheThe main thing is to have a soul that loves the truth and harbours it where he finds it. And another thing: truth requires constant repetition, because error is being preached about us all the time, and not only by isolated individuals but by the masses. In the newspapers and encyclopedias, in schools and universities, everywhere error rides high and basks in the consciousness of having the majority on its side.
Mikhail GorbachevThose who hope that we shall move away from the socialist path will be greatly disappointed. Every part of our program of perestroika … is fully based on the principle of more socialism and more democracy. ... I would like to be clearly understood ... we, the Soviet people, are for socialism. ... We want more socialism and, therefore, more democracy. ... More socialism means more democracy, openness and collectivism in everyday life. … We will proceed toward better socialism rather than away from it. We are saying this honestly, without trying to fool our own people or the world. Any hopes that we will begin to build a different, non-socialist society and go over to the other camp are unrealistic and futile. Those in the West who expect us to give up socialism will be disappointed. ... It’s my conviction that the human race has entered a stage where we are all dependent on each other. No other country or nation should be regarded in total separation from another, let alone pitted against another. That’s what our communist vocabulary calls internationalism and it means promoting universal human values.
Stephen GrabillCOLLECTIVISM: Collectivism is defined as the theory and practice that makes some sort of group rather than the individual the fundamental unit of political, social, and economic concern. In theory, collectivists insist that the claims of groups, associations, or the state must normally supersede the claims of individuals.
Ann GrayPonder the capriciousness of human nature,
which allows momentary appetites and fleeting attitudes
to set the courses for entire lives and future responsibilities.
Steven P. HalbrookIn recent years it has been suggested that the Second Amendment protects the "collective" right of states to maintain militias, while it does not protect the right of "the people" to keep and bear arms. If anyone entertained this notion in the period during which the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were debated and ratified, it remains one of the most closely guarded secrets of the eighteenth century, for no known writing surviving from the period between 1787 and 1791 states such a thesis.
Dag HammarskjoldIt is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.
Friedrich August von HayekIt used to be the boast of free men that, so long as they kept within the bounds of the known law, there was no need to ask anybody's permission or to obey anybody's orders. It is doubtful whether any of us can make this claim today.
Friedrich August von HayekThe principle that the end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule.
Adolf HitlerSociety's needs come before the individual's needs.
Eric HofferThose who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom to establish equality and uniformity.
Eric HofferThose who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom to establish equality and uniformity. The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity: to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic; one thread not distinguishable from the others. No one can then point us out, measure us against others and expose our inferiority.
Eric HofferUnless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, "to be free from freedom.
Herbert HooverEvery collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of 'emergency'. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And 'emergency' became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.
Thomas JeffersonChoice by the people themselves is not generally distinguished for its wisdom.
Thomas JeffersonI never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.
Thomas JeffersonIt is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.
Garrison KeillorYou taught me to be nice, so nice that now I am so full of niceness, I have no sense of right and wrong, no outrage, no passion.


(c) Copyright 1999-2020
Privacy Policy and Terms of Use