"Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely
according to conscience, above all liberties."
John Milton
(1608-1674) English Poet
Areopagitica, 1644
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Reader comments about this quote:
Freedom of speech (not "expression") is certainly important, although some confuse this with a non-existent right to be heard, but the most important right is to self defense, and the means to carry it out.
 -- helorat, Milton     
    The source says it all -- poetry was more of a vehicle for social commentary and the cause of human justice then political rehetoric that too often falls on deaf ears that is already entrenched in its own preconceived ideology.
     -- EGL, LA     
    All rights are inalienable and must be protected equally. I believe the author is trying to say that if he can argue what is wrong, people will listen, I believe the vast majority of people are only hearing the call to a free lunch, in great part disparaging the statement's underlying meaning.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    EGL, thank you, you said it better than I did.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    There are not multiple "liberties", there is only liberty. No one gives me liberty, it something I own by virtue of the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." If necessary, I will defend it or die trying. Milton seems to imply that his freedom of speech is dependent on someone giving him that right.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 1
    Freedom starts with the ability to think freely and ultimately to 'declare' oneself -- like one's own freedom. Every stand begins with a declaration -- no one can take that away no matter how many laws are written or tyrants in power.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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