These are the days when men of all social disciplines and all political faiths seek the comfortable and the accepted; when the man of controversy is looked upon as a disturbing influence; when originality is taken to be a mark of instability; and when, in minor modification of the original parable, the bland lead the bland.more John Kenneth Galbraith quotes
Great authors are admirable in this respect: in every generation they make for disagreement. Through them we become aware of our differences.more Andre Gide quotes
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.more Samuel Gompers quotes
All discussion, all debate, all dissidence tends to question and in consequence, to upset existing convictions; that is precisely its purpose and its justification.more Judge Learned Hand quotes
Political agitation, by the passions it arouses or the convictions it engenders, may in fact stimulate men to the violation of the law. Detestation of existing politics is easily transformed into forcible resistance of the authority which puts them in execution...more Judge Learned Hand quotes
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.more Robert A. Heinlein quotes
Oh, judge, your damn laws: the good people don't need them and the bad people don't follow them so what good are they?more Ammon Hennacy quotes
Freedom released the energies of the masses not by exhilarating but by unbalancing, irritating, and goading.more Eric Hoffer quotes
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.more Eric Hoffer quotes
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.more Richard Hofstadter quotes
It [freedom] is a thing of the spirit. Men must be free to worship, to think, to hold opinions, to speak without fear. They must be free to challenge wrong and oppression with the surety of justice.more Herbert Hoover quotes
The true patriot scrutinizes the actions of his own government with unceasing vigilance. And when his government violates the morality and rightness associated with principles of individual freedom and private property, he immediately rises in opposition to his government.more Jacob G. Hornberger quotes
The right to comment freely and criticize the action, opinions, and judgment of courts is of primary importance to the public generally. Not only is it good for the public; but it has a salutary effect on courts and judges as well.more James P. Hughes quotes
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
Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.more Justice Robert H. Jackson quotes
Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only a unanimity at the graveyard.more Justice Robert H. Jackson 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 spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.more Thomas Jefferson quotes
What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.more Thomas Jefferson quotes
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth:
I came not to send peace, but a sword.
For I am come to set a man at variance against his
father, and the daughter against her mother,
and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.more Jesus of Nazareth quotes
We are reluctant to admit that we owe our liberties to men of a type that today we hate and fear -- unruly men, disturbers of the peace, men who resent and denounce what Whitman called 'the insolence of elected persons' -- in a word, free men. more Gerald W. Johnson quotes
Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.more Carl Gustav Jung quotes
The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.more Judge Alex Kozinski quotes
Free inquiry entails recognition of civil liberties as integral to its pursuit, that is, a free press, freedom of communication, the right to organize opposition parties and to join voluntary associations, and freedom to cultivate and publish the fruits of scientific, philosophical, artistic, literary, moral and religious freedom.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
Men are freest when they are most unconscious of freedom. The shout is a rattling of chains and always was.more D. H. Lawrence quotes
It is the tragic story of the cultural crusader in a mass society that he cannot win, but that we would be lost without him.more Paul F. Lazarsfeld quotes
[R]evenues drive expenditures, not the inverse. ... tax evasion represents a net benefit to everybody ... A statue should be erected to the unknown tax evader.more Pierre Lemieux quotes
We do not have time to play at “oppositions” at “conferences.” We will keep our political opponents... whether open or disguised as “nonparty,” in prison.more Vladimir Ilyich Lenin quotes
Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others.more Doris Lessing 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
Every compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile. In protest, I declined election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters some years ago, and now I must decline the Pulitzer Prize.more Sinclair Lewis quotes
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their Constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.more Abraham Lincoln quotes
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.more Abraham Lincoln quotes
The opposition is indispensable. A good statesmen, like any other sensible human being, always learns more from his opponents than from his fervent supporters.more Walter Lippmann quotes
Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.more John Locke quotes