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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.
Browse quotes by category or select from the list below.
|Bruce Ackerman||There is simply no escaping the fact that the fate of the Constitution is in our hands -- as voters, representatives, justices. If we allow ourselves to abuse the tradition of higher lawmaking, the very idea that the Constitution can be viewed as the culminating expression of a mobilized citizenry will disintegrate. After all, the American Republic is no more eternal than the Roman -- and it will come to an end when American citizens betray their Constitution’s fundamental ideals and aspirations so thoroughly that existing institutions merely parody the public meanings they formerly conveyed|
|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||Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.|
|John Adams||Therefore, the jury have the power of deciding an issue upon a general verdict. And, if they have, is it not an absurdity to suppose that the law would oblige them to find a verdict according to the direction of the court, against their own opinion, judgment, and conscience? ... [I]s a juror to give his verdict generally, according to [the judge’s] direction, or even to find the fact specially, and submit the law to the court? Every man, of any feeling or conscience, will answer, no. It is not only his right, but his duty, in that case, to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.|
|John Adams||There never was yet a people who must not have somebody or something to represent the dignity of the state.|
|John Adams||But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? 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||We hold that each man is the best judge of his own interest.|
|John Adams||It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.|
|John Quincy Adams||Always stand on principle, even if you stand alone.|
|John Quincy Adams||Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.|
|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||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||Let us contemplate our forefathers, and posterity, and resolve to maintain the rights bequeathed to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance. Let us remember that "if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom," it is a very serious consideration ... that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.|
|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.|
|Aesop||No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.|
|Publius Terentius Afer||I have everything, yet have nothing; and although I possess nothing, still of nothing am I in want.|
|Mohammed Ali||The man who has no imagination has no wings.|
|Mohammed Ali||The man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.|
|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.|
|James Allen||Our life is what our thoughts make it. A man will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people, things and others will alter towards him.|
|Woody Allen||I call the mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master [and] receives new truth as an angel from Heaven.|
|Lisa Alther||I’ve always felt that a person’s intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.|
|Fisher Ames||Mr. Madison has introduced his long expected amendments... The rights of conscience, of bearing arms, of changing the government, are declared to be inherent in the people.|
|Henri Frederic Amiel||The test of every religious, political, or educational system, is the man which it forms. If a system injures the intelligence it is bad. If it injures the character it is vicious. If it injures the conscience it is criminal.|
|Walter Truett Anderson||Our lives improve only when we take chances -- and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.|
|Angolan Proverb||The one who throws the stone forgets; the one who is hit remembers forever.|
|Mordechai Anielewicz||The most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves. Let us not get accustomed and adjusted to these conditions. The one who adjusts ceases to discriminate between good and evil. He becomes a slave in body and soul. Whatever may happen to you, remember always: Don’t adjust! Revolt against the reality!|
|Hannah Arendt||The 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?|
|Aristotle||The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.|
|Isaac Asimov||Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right.|
|Ben H. Bagdikian||In the US, voters cast ballots for individual candidates who are not bound to any party program except rhetorically, and not always then. Some Republicans are more liberal than some Democrats, some libertarians are more radical than some socialists, and many local candidates run without any party identification. No American citizen can vote intelligently without knowledge of the ideas, political background, and commitments of each individual candidate.|
|Walter Bagehot||So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience tells them it is wrong.|
|Walter Bagehot||Persecution in intellectual countries produces a superficial conformity, but also underneath an intense, incessant, implacable doubt.|
|Gil Bailie||The people who burned witches at the stake never for one moment thought of their act as violence; rather they thought of it as an act of divinely mandated righteousness. The same can be said of most of the violence we humans have ever committed.|
|Mikhail A. Bakunin||Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.|
|Frederic Bastiat||And what is this liberty, whose very name makes the heart beat faster and shakes the world? Is it not the union of all liberties -- liberty of conscience, of education, of association, of the press, of travel, of labor, of trade?|
|Harry C. Bauer||What's right with America is a willingness to discuss what's wrong with America.|
|David L. Bazelon||Nullification is not a "defense" recognized by law, but rather a mechanism that permits a jury, as community conscience, to disregard the strict requirements of law where it finds that those requirements cannot justly be applied in a particular case.|
|Ezra Taft Benson||You cannot do wrong and feel right. It is impossible!|
|Isaiah Berlin||The first people totalitarians destroy or silence are men of ideas and free minds.|
|Daniel Berrigan||I don't know a more irreligious attitude, one more utterly bankrupt of any human content, than one which permits childred to be destroyed.|
|Steve Biko||The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.|
|Justice Hugo L. Black||... any broad unlimited power to hold laws unconstitutional because they offend what this Court conceives to be the ‘conscience of our people’ ... was not given by the Framers, but rather has been bestowed on the Court by the Court.|
|Curtis Bok||In the whole history of law and order, the biggest step was taken by primitive man when...the tribe sat in a circle and allowed only one man to speak at a time. An accused who is shouted down has no rights whatever.|
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis||Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen... If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.|
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis||The 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.|
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis||To declare that in the administration of criminal law the end justifies the means – to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure conviction of a private criminal – would bring terrible retribution.|
|Pearl S. Buck||None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.|
|Buddha||Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.|
|Buddha||Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings -- that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.|
|Edmund Burke||Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.|
|Edmund Burke||To 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 Burke||Tell me what are the prevailing sentiments that occupy the minds of your young peoples, and I will tell you what is to be the character of the next generation.|
|Edmund Burke||Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.|
|Edmund Burke||Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.|
|Sir Richard Francis Burton||The dearest ambition of a slave is not liberty, but to have a slave of his own.|
|Major General Smedley Darlington Butler||My mental faculties remained in suspended animation|
while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups.
This is typical with everyone in the military.
|Lord Byron||My time has been passed viciously and agreeably; at thirty-one so few years months days hours or minutes remain that "Carpe Diem" is not enough. I have been obliged to crop even the seconds -- for who can trust to tomorrow?|
|Gaius Julius Caesar||Men willingly believe what they wish.|
|Gaius Julius Caesar||Beware of the leader, who strikes the war drum in order to transfer the citizens into patriotic glow, patriotism is indeed a double-sided sword. It makes the blood so boldly, like it constricts the intellect. And if the striking of the war drum reached a fiebrige height and the blood is cooking and hating, and the intellect is dismissed, the leader doesn't need to reject the citizens rights. The citizens, cought by anxiety and blinded through patriotism, will subordinate all their rights to the leader and this even with happy courage. Why do I know that? I know it, because this is, what I did. And I am Gajus Julius Cäsar.|
|C. Arthur Campbell||When we regard a man as morally responsible for an act, we regard him as a legitimate object of moral praise or blame in respect of it. But it seems plain that a man cannot be a legitimate object of moral praise or blame for an act unless in willing the act he is in some important sense a ‘free’ agent. Evidently free will in some sense, therefore, is a precondition of moral responsibility.|