What are the moral convictions most fondly held by barbarous and semi-barbarous people? They are the convictions that authority is the soundest basis of belief; that merit attaches to readiness to believe; that the doubting disposition is a bad one, and skepticism is a sin.more Thomas Henry Huxley quotes
At least one way of measuring the freedom of any society is the amount of comedy that is permitted, and clearly a healthy society permits more satirical comment than a repressive, so that if comedy is to function in some way as a safety release then it must obviously deal with these taboo areas. This is part of the responsibility we accord our licensed jesters, that nothing be excused the searching light of comedy. If anything can survive the probe of humour it is clearly of value, and conversely all groups who claim immunity from laughter are claiming special privileges which should not be granted.more Eric Idle quotes
It is precisely for the protection of the minority that constitutional limitations exist. Majorities need no such protection. They can take care of themselves.more Illinois Supreme Court quotes
The First Amendment says nothing about a right not to be offended.
The risk of finding someone else's speech offensive
is the price each of us pays for our own free speech.
Free people don't run to court -- or to the principal --
when they encounter a message they don't like.
They answer it with one of their own.more Jeff Jacoby quotes
The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the States are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign affairs. Let the General Government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our General Government may be reduced to a very simple organization, and a very inexpensive one; a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants.more Thomas Jefferson quotes
The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.more Thomas Jefferson quotes
The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.more Thomas Jefferson quotes
I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more. I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more words to tell you how they look to him, but it does not require many words to speak the truth. If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian... we can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike.... give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. Let me be a free man...free to travel... free to stop...free to work...free to choose my own teachers...free to follow the religion of my Fathers...free to think and talk and act for myself.more Chief Joseph quotes
As long as man remains an inquiring animal, there can never be a complete unanimity in our fundamental beliefs. The more diverse our paths, the greater is likely to be the divergence of beliefs.more Sir Arthur Keith quotes
I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.more Helen Keller quotes
The case for a free society rests on individualism. ... Every form of totalitarianism has sought control over the minds of individuals, and has understood that it must first undermine the individual’s confidence in the validity of his own faculties. Remember O’Brien’s speech to Winston Smith in Orwell’s '1984'more David Kelley quotes
Character is the accumulated confidence that individual men and women acquire from years of doing the right thing, over and over again, even when they don't feel like it. People with character understand that their lives are filled with events and choices that are significant, above all, not because of the short term success or failure of the search for money or position, but because the choices we make are actually making us into one kind of person, or another. Our life of choices is a life-long labor to make ourselves into a person who has begun to respond adequately to the awesome gift we received from God when He made us in His image.more Alan Keyes quotes
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.more Rudyard Kipling quotes
The foundation of individualism lies in one's moral right to pursue one's own happiness. This pursuit requires a large amount of independence, initiative, and self-responsibility. But true individualism entails cooperating with others through trade, which facilitates the pursuit of each party's happiness, and which is carried out not just on the level of goods but on the level of knowledge and friendship. Trade is essential for life; it provides one with many of the goods and values one needs. Creating an environment where trade flourishes is of great importance and great interest for the individualist.more Shawn E. Klein quotes
Politically, true individualism means recognizing that one has a right to his own life and happiness. But it also means uniting with other citizens to preserve and defend the institutions that protect that right.more Shawn E. Klein quotes
In their tendencies toward tolerance, openmindedness, faith in people and lack of authoritarianism, selfactualizers do appear to possess psychic strengths which allow them to work well in situations marked by a diversity of viewpoints.more Jeanne Knutson quotes
Liberty requires restraints on popularly-elected leaders, as well as from minorities, so that the individual is protected from undue and arbitrary coercion by the state. These restraints are provided by a plurality of more or less equal and independent groups which check and balance one another's power.more William Kornhauser quotes
Free inquiry requires that we tolerate diversity of opinion and that we respect the right of individuals to express their beliefs, however unpopular they may be, without social or legal prohibition or fear of success.more Paul Kurtz quotes
Farce, gross incompetence, and tragedy is the hallmark of big centralized government, wherever it develops. Big centralized government has developed in the United States year after year since the 1930s, and it has both solidified and metastasized since 9-11. Today, we live at the will and by the grace of a dystopian and grasping government. There is not an exceptional amount of time left before this government collapses, but before it does, we the people will suffer far more than we have suffered to date. Banking collapses, mortgage fraud at the highest levels, government bailouts, currency printing, and inflation in food and energy are just a foretaste of the future, led by the same Washington public-private cartel we have suffered for decades. . . .
I believe our government -- outdated, unrestrained by the Constitution and soon to default on every debt it has taken on in our name -- cannot long endure. But unlike those who run and benefit from our modern American nationalism, corporatism and socialism, I do not fear average Americans seeking self-government, rule of law and liberty.
That's why on Sept. 11, I will not be celebrating America's undeclared wars on countries that had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks 10 years ago. I will not be attending remembrances of victims of that day, because those remembrances refuse to count American liberty, rule of law and freedom of trade and movement uppermost on that list of the sacrificed. I will not attend any program offered by a religious or political organization that seeks to ride a federal government bandwagon to confirm some imperative of war against Islam halfway around the world, or that seeks to promote the false concept of a culture war as somehow God's intent for America.
On this 10-year anniversary, I intend to go about my business as usual, and say a prayer of gratitude for the small freedoms I have left. In the afternoon, I'll be in Charlottesville, Va., learning about local apprenticeship and crafts demonstrations. In the evening, I'll check the livestock and gather the eggs. I won't allow what I personally experienced that day in the Pentagon, nor the subsequent government drumbeats for war, waving the Sept. 11 banner, to diminish my awareness of the meaning of liberty.
The real battle for Americans today is a battle to reassert our independence from an overbearing and unsustainable state. Today, we can all celebrate that there are fundamental cracks in the federal state's veneer, and we can be grateful for the options we still have in our own lives to live free, to practice charity and faith, creativity and productivity and to rediscover our own power as individuals and communities.more Karen Kwiatkowski quotes
The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.more Lao-Tzu quotes
I do esteem individual liberty above everything. What is a nation for, but to secure the maximum liberty to every individual?more D. H. Lawrence quotes
Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.more Gotthold Ephraim Lessing quotes
It is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects -- military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden -- that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time.more C. S. Lewis quotes
Hitherto the plans of the educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted, and indeed we may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses.more C. S. Lewis quotes
The burning of an author’s books, imprisonment for opinion’s sake, has always been the tribute that an ignorant age pays to the genius of its time.more Joseph Lewis quotes
Tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another's beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them.more Joshua Liebman quotes
Paradoxical as it may seem, men and women who are free to pursue individualism and material wealth turn out to be the most compassionate of all.more Lawrence Lindsey quotes
The Bill of Rights does not come from the people and is not subject to change by majorities. It comes from the nature of things. It declares the inalienable rights of man not only against all government but also against the people collectively.more Walter Lippmann quotes
Prosperity or egalitarianism – you have to choose. I favor freedom – you never achieve real equality anyway, you simply sacrifice prosperity for an illusion.more Marios Vargas Llosa quotes
There is surely no contradiction in saying that a certain section of the community may be quite competent to protect the persons and property of the rest, yet quite unfit to direct our opinions, or to superintend our private habits.more Thomas Babington Macaulay quotes
With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.more James Madison quotes
There is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, more needs elucidation, than the current, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.more James Madison quotes
Human freedom involves the capacity to pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight.more Rollo May quotes
Governments, whatever their pretensions otherwise, try to preserve themselves by holding the individual down ... Government itself, indeed, may be reasonably defined as a conspiracy against him. Its one permanent aim, whatever its form, is to hobble him sufficiently to maintain itself.more H. L. Mencken quotes
Liberty ... was a two-headed boon. There was first, the liberty of the people as a whole to determine the forms of their own
government, to levy their own taxes, and to make their own laws.... There was second, the liberty of the individual man to live his own life, within
the limits of decency and decorum, as he pleased -- freedom from the despotism of the majority.more H. L. Mencken quotes
Whenever 'A' attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon 'B', 'A' is most likely a scoundrel.more H. L. Mencken quotes
I am beginning to realize that "sanity" is no longer a value or an end in itself.
If modern people were a little less sane, a little more doubtful,
a little more aware of their absurdities and contradictions,
perhaps there might be the possibility of their survival.more Thomas Merton quotes
The ideal type of the Communist is a man in whom all individual, emotional, and unconscious elements have been reduced to a minimum and subjected to the control of an iron will, informed by a supple intellect. That intellect is totally at the service of a single and compelling idea, made incarnate in the Communist Party: the concept of History as an inexorable god whose ways are revealed ‘scientifically’ through the doctrine and method of Marxism-Leninism.more Frank Straus Meyer quotes