- The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.
- John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, The History of Freedom in Antiquity (1877)
- When people talk of the Freedom of Writing, Speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.
- John Adams Letter to Thomas Jefferson (15 July 1817)
- A man who is free is like a mangy sheep in a herd. He will contaminate my entire kingdom and ruin my work.
- The odd thing about freedom is how, at the extreme, it comes to resemble its opposite. Think of gridlock on the freeway: everybody free to drive but nobody able to move.
- Daniel Akst, The Real ‘80s : If You Think It Was Just a Decade of Greed, You Missed the Revolution, Los Angeles Times, 13th November 1994
- Berdyaev makes an important distinction between two senses of the world freedom, between freedom as a means and freedom as an end. By the first we mean freedom to direct one's own life, to choose between good and evil as one understands them; by the second the freedom which consists in liberation from one's lower nature for the service of what is highest and best. As Berdyaev puts it, we mean by one and the same word "either that initial and irrational liberty which is prior to good and evil and determines their choice, or else that intelligent freedom which is our final liberty in truth and goodness."
- E. L. Allen, Freedom in God: A Guide to the Thought of Nicholas Berdyaev (1950)
- Freedom for me is to live with dignity, and if my dignity and freedom is controlled by a man, I will never be free.
- Manal al-Sharif, as quoted in Saudi women 'still enslaved', says activist as driving ban ends (22 June 2018) by Heba Kanso, Thomson Reuters Foundation
- Marx regards labor - working with the material world - as the primary domain in which we should realize our freedom in autonomously realizing ourselves as individuals, as members of the human species, and as in community with others. When we can fully identify with the product and process of labor, its consequences for self and others, when there is mutual recognition and affirmation of the value of these consequences - that the workers have satisfied others' needs for the others' sakes, and the others manifest their appreciation of that fact - and all of this is freely willed, then labor is unalienated, and hence free. Failure of any of these conditions entails that we are engaged in alienated labor. Alienated labor is labor that we can't identify with or affirm as an expression of our autonomy. It is unfree labor.
- Make yourself known as a philosopher, that is a free man.
- Apollonius of Tyana, Epp. Apoll. 28
- Man cannot be free if he does not know that he is subject to necessity, because his freedom is always won in his never wholly successful attempts to liberate himself from necessity.
- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (1958), part 3, chapter 16
- He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.
- The price of freedom is to decide moral and political issues.
- Joxe Azurmendi, interview in Deia (1 September 2012)
- We are convinced that freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice, and that Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality.
- Mikhail Bakunin, as quoted in The Political Philosophy of Bakunin: Scientific Anarchism (1953) edited by Grigoriĭ Petrovich Maksimov, p. 269
- Political Freedom without economic equality is a pretense, a fraud, a lie; and the workers want no lying.
- Liberty that recognizes no restrictions other than those determined by the laws of our own individual nature, which cannot properly be regarded as restrictions since these laws are not imposed by any outside legislator beside or above us, but are immanent and inherent, forming the very basis of our material, intellectual and moral being — they do not limit us but are the real and immediate conditions of our freedom.
- Freedom is the absolute right of every human being to seek no other sanction for his actions but his own conscience, to determine these actions solely by his own will, and consequently to owe his first responsibility to himself alone.
- Even the most wretched individual of our present society could not exist and develop without the cumulative social efforts of countless generations. Thus the individual, his freedom and reason, are the products of society, and not vice versa: society is not the product of individuals comprising it; and the higher, the more fully the individual is developed, the greater his freedom — and the more he is the product of society, the more does he receive from society and the greater his debt to it.
- Mikhail Bakunin, as quoted in The Philosophy of Bakunin (1953) edited by G. P. Maximoff, p. 158
- The materialistic, realistic, and collectivist conception of freedom, as opposed to the idealistic, is this: Man becomes conscious of himself and his humanity only in society and only by the collective action of the whole society. He frees himself from the yoke of external nature only by collective and social labor, which alone can transform the earth into an abode favorable to the development of humanity. Without such material emancipation the intellectual and moral emancipation of the individual is impossible. He can emancipate himself from the yoke of his own nature, i.e. subordinate his instincts and the movements of his body to the conscious direction of his mind, the development of which is fostered only by education and training. But education and training are preeminently and exclusively social … hence the isolated individual cannot possibly become conscious of his freedom.
To be free … means to be acknowledged and treated as such by all his fellowmen. The liberty of every individual is only the reflection of his own humanity, or his human right through the conscience of all free men, his brothers and his equals.
I can feel free only in the presence of and in relationship with other men. In the presence of an inferior species of animal I am neither free nor a man, because this animal is incapable of conceiving and consequently recognizing my humanity. I am not myself free or human until or unless I recognize the freedom and humanity of all my fellowmen.
Only in respecting their human character do I respect my own. ...
I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation.
- Mikhail Bakunin, Man, Society, and Freedom (1871), as translated by Sam Dolgoff in Bakunin on Anarchy (1971)
- Variant translations: A natural society, in the midst of which every man is born and outside of which he could never become a rational and free being, becomes humanized only in the measure that all men comprising it become, individually and collectively, free to an ever greater extent.
Note 1. To be personally free means for every man living in a social milieu not to surrender his thought or will to any authority but his own reason and his own understanding of justice; in a word, not to recognize any other truth but the one which he himself has arrived at, and not to submit to any other law but the one accepted by his own conscience. Such is the indispensable condition for the observance of human dignity, the incontestable right of man, the sign of his humanity.
To be free collectively means to live among free people and to be free by virtue of their freedom. As we have already pointed out, man cannot become a rational being, possessing a rational will, (and consequently he could not achieve individual freedom) apart from society and without its aid. Thus the freedom of everyone is the result of universal solidarity. But if we recognize this solidarity as the basis and condition of every individual freedom, it becomes evident that a man living among slaves, even in the capacity of their master, will necessarily become the slave of that state of slavery, and that only by emancipating himself from such slavery will he become free himself.
Thus, too, the freedom of all is essential to my freedom. And it follows that it would be fallacious to maintain that the freedom of all constitutes a limit for and a limitation upon my freedom, for that would be tantamount to the denial of such freedom. On the contrary, universal freedom represents the necessary affirmation and boundless expansion of individual freedom.
- This passage was translated as Part III : The System of Anarchism , Ch. 13: Summation, Section VI, in The Political Philosophy of Bakunin : Scientific Anarchism (1953), compiled and edited by G. P. Maximoff
- My dignity as a man, my human right which consists of refusing to obey any other man, and to determine my own acts in conformity with my convictions is reflected by the equally free conscience of all and confirmed by the consent of all humanity. My personal freedom, confirmed by the liberty of all, extends to infinity.
The materialistic conception of freedom is therefore a very positive, very complex thing, and above all, eminently social, because it can be realized only in society and by the strictest equality and solidarity among all men.
- Mikhail Bakunin, Man, Society, and Freedom (1871), as translated by Sam Dolgoff in Bakunin on Anarchy (1971)
- Freedom, like any other virtue, does not exist in a vacuum. It must be worked and practiced to exist at all. And like any other virtue, it imposes upon those who would have it the unpleasant tasks of discipline and sacrifice.
- Once you have caught a glimpse of freedom or experienced a bit of self-determination, you can't go back to old routines that were established under a racist, capitalist regime.
- Frances M. Beal, "Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female" (1969)
- FREEDOM, n. Exemption from the stress of authority in a beggarly half dozen of restraint's infinite multitude of methods. A political condition that every nation supposes itself to enjoy in virtual monopoly. Liberty. The distinction between freedom and liberty is not accurately known; naturalists have never been able to find a living specimen of either.
- The cause of freedom is the cause of God!
- There are two kinds of freedom to be found in our world: the freedom of desires, and the freedom from desires. Our modern Western culture only recognizes the first of these, freedom of desires. It then worships such a freedom by enshrining it at the forefront of national constitutions and bills of human rights. One can say that the underlying creed of most Western democracies is to protect their people's freedom to realize their desires, as far as this is possible. It is remarkable that in such countries people do not feel very free. The second kind of freedom, freedom from desires, is celebrated only in some religious communities. It celebrates contentment, peace that is free from desires. It is remarkable that in such abstemious communities like my monastery, people feel free.
- Ajahn Brahm, Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung (2005)
- We thought (the United States) could lead us to freedom, but they led us into feardom, not freedom.
- Giannina Braschi, United States of Banana (2011)
- Ambulances always come with clouds of smoke. And then they disappear in a whistle. But what they bring is fear. Not freedom. Feardom is what they bring. And they bring fire and smoke. Oh, my nerves are bad tonight, yes, bad. I fear freedom. I, above all, fear the freedom that is above all feardom.
- Giannina Braschi, United States of Banana (2011)
- "Freedom" was the watchword. "Free enterprise," they meant, the men whose monopolies controlled the United States of America, the only interested parties in the business of being number one. It was in the name of freedom that surviving Nazis were employed by the U.S. government, and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were burned at the stake of the state.
- Elaine Brown, A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story (1992)
- Partial freedom seems to me the most invidious form of slavery.
- Freedom is not the possession of one race. We know with equal certainty that freedom is not the possession of one nation.
- Freedom honors and unleashes human creativity — and creativity determines the strength and wealth of nations.
- Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom, and never even to have a choice in the matter? I, for one, do not believe it. I believe every person has the ability and the right to be free.
- We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it.
- We can't impose freedom, but we can eliminate roadblocks to freedom, and to allow free societies to develop.
- George W. Bush, President Bush Participates in Joint Press Availability with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom. The White House (30 July 2007). Retrieved on 2007-07-30.
- Some question whether people in certain parts of the world actually desire freedom. This self-serving condescension has been disproved before our eyes. From the voting booths of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Liberia to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the Rose Revolution in Georgia to the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon and the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, we have seen people consistently make the courageous decision to demand their liberty. For all the suggestions to the contrary, the truth is that whenever or wherever people are given the choice, they choose freedom.
- George W. Bush, Address to the United Nations General Assembly by President George W. Bush (23 September 2008)
- When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror.
- Freedom is a powerful force, but it does not advance on the wheels of historical inevitability.
- George W. Bush, as quoted in "Bush Says U.S. Must Give Support to Democratic Revolutions" (15 May 2012), by Kate Andersen Brower, Bloomberg
- Freedom is a universal human desire... and a force for peace and prosperity in the world... We hear you and we support your cause.
- I believe that freedom is a gift from God and the hope of every human heart. Freedom inspired our Founders, and preserved our Union through Civil War, and secured the promise of civil rights. Freedom sustains dissidents bound by chains, believers huddled in underground churches, and voters who risk their lives to cast their ballots. Freedom unleashes creativity, rewards innovation, and replaces poverty with prosperity. And ultimately, freedom lights the path to peace.
- Freedom brings responsibility. Independence from the state does not mean isolation from each other. A free society thrives when neighbors help neighbors, and the strong protect the weak, and public policies promote private compassion. As President, I tried to act on these principles every day. That wasn’t always easy, and it certainly wasn’t always popular. One of the benefits of freedom is that people can disagree.
- Hereditary bondsmen! Know ye not
Who would be free themselves must strike the blow?
- Yet, Freedom! yet thy banner, torn, but flying,
Streams like the thunder-storm against the wind.
- For Freedom's battle once begun,
Bequeath'd by bleeding sire to son,
Though baffled oft is ever won.
- Lord Byron, The Giaour (1813), line 123
- I call that mind free, which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, which receives new truth as an angel from heaven.
I call that mind free, which sets no bounds to its love, which is not imprisoned in itself or in a sect, which recognises in all human beings the image of God and the rights of his children, which delights in virtue and sympathizes with suffering wherever they are seen, which conquers pride, anger, and sloth, and offers itself up a willing victim to the cause of mankind.
- The issue is whether we want to live in a free society or whether we want to live under what amounts to a form of self-imposed totalitarianism... admiring with awe the leader who saved them from destruction, while the educated masses goose-step on command and repeat the slogans they're supposed to repeat and the society deteriorates at home. We end up serving as a mercenary enforcer state, hoping that others are going to pay us to smash up the world.
- Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns.
- Noam Chomsky, Necessary Illusions (1989)
- The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum—even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.
- Noam Chomsky, The Common Good (1998)
- Capitalism is basically a system where everything is for sale, and the more money you have, the more you can get. And, in particular, that's true of freedom. Freedom is one of the commodities that is for sale, and if you are affluent, you can have a lot of it. It shows up in all sorts of ways. It shows up if you get in trouble with the law, let's say, or in any aspect of life... because that guarantees your freedom.
- "Anarchism : Noam Chomsky interviewed by David Dobereiner, John Hess, Doug Richardson & Tom Woodhull" in: C. P. Otero (ed.), Language and Politics, Black Rose, 1988, pp. 166-196, (January 1974)
- Fatherland without freedom and merit is a large word with little meaning.
- Anders Chydenius, For What Reason do so Many Swedes Emigrate Every Year? (1765)
- But what is Freedom? Rightly understood,
A universal license to be good.
- Hartley Coleridge, Liberty
- A man is free when he sees clearly the fulfillment of his being and is thus capable of making the envisioned self a reality.
- James Cone, Black Theology and Black Power (1969), p. 39
- As long as man is a slave to another power, he is not free to serve God with mature responsibility. He is not free to become what he is—human.
- James Cone, Black Theology and Black Power (1969), p. 39
- Excepting those who see only a boisterous celebration, this macabre work [El entierro de la sardina] makes people uncomfortable. Malraux comments that the figures are not men and women in fancy dress, they are butterflies hatched for one brief moment from a larvel world, the revelation of freedom. Goya's picture therefore symbolizes not a dream fulfilled so much as a desire to be free.
You might think ironsmiths, bricklayers, stable hands, knife grinders, peasants, chambermaids, and others with little to lose would protest the heavy hand of El Deseado. Wrong. Spaniards trapped at birth at the bottom of the heap were fiercely conservative. As Klingender explains, the more these people suffered, "the more fanatical did they become in their loyalty to Church and crown, which they associated with their memories of a better life in the past." They saw in Ferdinand the restoration of Spanish values.
- Evan S. Connell, Francisco Goya (2005) p. 194
- He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves besides.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book V, line 733
- Americans are indeed devoted to their own ideals. The ideal of freedom is probably the biggest ideal, at least the one that we hear of most. You do not hear about justice very much because the idea of justice does not colour the consciousness of the masses of America. America has elevated the concept of freedom to a degree which, to my mind, takes it beyond freedom. It is freedom to do what you like, under any conditions, with no restrictions. If you scratch an ordinary American, you see this powerful 6th ray, ready to brush aside all hindrances to get his own way. To the person, it is not a wrong way, but his own ideal way, and that is freedom. p 66
- Freedom is one of the imperative human needs. Without freedom, there is no real life. It is a great divine quality, but there is also justice. There cannot be freedom without justice, or justice without freedom. The American ‘myth’ of freedom is based on the fact that the masses of Americans believe in what they call freedom... I have found that in the American mind they equate justice with the legal system. You are very concerned about legality. The legal system is very developed in America. But it has nothing to do with justice except legal justice. Justice is something else. Justice is to do with right relationship, just as freedom is to do with right relationship. You cannot have one without the other.
- Benjamin Creme,The World Teacher for All Humanity (2007)
- I think that the sweetest freedom for a man on earth consists in being able to live, if he likes, without having the need to work.
- Salvador Dalí, Diary of a Genius (1964), p. 79
- You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.
- Clarence Darrow Address to the court in People v. Lloyd (1920)
- The excesses are not abnormalities but are exactly how we would expect unregulated markets to work, especially when capital has the law and politics on its side. Monopolies can charge a high price when consumers (once known as patients) do not react or when they move to another provider, and thus an unconscious roadside casualty is the perfect victim. In retrospect it is not so surprising that free markets, or at least free markets with a government that permits and encourages rent seeking by the rich, should produce not equality but an extractive elite that predates on the population at large. Utopian rhetoric about freedom has led to an unjust social dystopia, not for the first time. Free markets with rent seekers are not he same as competitive markets; indeed, they are often exactly the opposite.
- Angus Deaton, Economics in America: An Immigrant Economist Explores the Land of Inequality Princeton University Press (2023), ISBN 978-0691247625, p. 95
- In order for men to become indignant or to admire, they must be conscious of their own freedom and the freedom of others.
- As for us, whatever the case may be, we believe in freedom.
- Freedom is the source from which all significations and all values spring. It is the original condition of all justification of existence. The man who seeks to justify his life must want freedom itself absolutely and above everything else.
- To will oneself moral and to will oneself free are one and the same decision.
- To will oneself free is to effect the transition from nature to morality by establishing a genuine freedom on the original upsurge of our existence.
- At each moment freedom is confirmed through all creation.
- My freedom must not seek to trap being but to disclose it. The disclosure is the transition from being to existence. The goal which my freedom aims at is conquering existence across the always inadequate density of being.
- This mystification of useless effort is more intolerable than fatigue. Life imprisonment is the most horrible of punishments because it preserves existence in its pure facticity but forbids it all legitimation. A freedom can not will itself without willing itself as an indefinite movement. It must absolutely reject the constraints which arrest its drive toward itself. This rejection takes on a positive aspect when the constraint is natural. One rejects the illness by curing it. But it again assumes the negative aspect of revolt when the oppressor is a human freedom. One can not deny being: the in-itself is, and negation has no hold over this being, this pure positivity; one does not escape this fullness: a destroyed house is a ruin; a broken chain is scrap iron: one attains only signification and, through it, the for-itself which is projected there; the for-itself carries nothingness in its heart and can be annihilated, whether in the very upsurge of its existence or through the world in which it exists. The prison is repudiated as such when the prisoner escapes. But revolt, insofar as it is pure negative movement, remains abstract. It is fulfilled as freedom only by returning to the positive, that is, by giving itself a content through action, escape, political struggle, revolution. Human transcendence then seeks, with the destruction of the given situation, the whole future which will flow from its victory.
- Just as life is identified with the will-to-live, freedom always appears as a movement of liberation. It is only by prolonging itself through the freedom of others that it manages to surpass death itself and to realize itself as an indefinite unity.
- The words "to will oneself free" have a positive and concrete meaning. If man wishes to save his existence, as only he himself can do, his original spontaneity must be raised to the height of moral freedom by taking itself as an end through the disclosure of a particular content.
- Man can not positively decide between the negation and the assumption of his freedom, for as soon as he decides, he assumes it. He can not positively will not to be free for such a willing would be self-destructive.
- Human freedom is the ultimate, the unique end to which man should destine himself.
- To will oneself free and to will that there be being are one and the same choice, the choice that man makes of himself as a presence in the world. We can neither say that the free man wants freedom in order to desire being, nor that he wants the disclosure of being by freedom. These are two aspects of a single reality. And whichever be the one under consideration, they both imply the bond of each man with all others.
- Every man needs the freedom of other men and, in a sense, always wants it, even though he may be a tyrant; the only thing he fails to do is to assume honestly the consequences of such a wish. Only the freedom of others keeps each one of us from hardening in the absurdity of facticity.
- To will oneself free is also to will others free.
- Freedom realizes itself only by engaging itself in the world: to such an extent that man’s project toward freedom is embodied for him in definite acts of behavior. To will freedom and to will to disclose being are one and the same choice; hence, freedom takes a positive and constructive step which causes being to pass to existence in a movement which is constantly surpassed.
- The constructive activities of man take on a valid meaning only when they are assumed as a movement toward freedom.
- The cause of freedom is not that of others more than it is mine: it is universally human. If I want the slave to become conscious of his servitude, it is both in order not to be a tyrant myself – for any abstention is complicity, and complicity in this case is tyranny – and in order that new possibilities might be opened to the liberated slave and through him to all men. To want existence, to want to disclose the world, and to want men to be free are one and the same will.
- A freedom wills itself genuinely only by willing itself as an indefinite movement through the freedom of others; as soon as it withdraws into itself, it denies itself on behalf of some object which it prefers to itself.
- The supreme end at which man must aim is his freedom, which alone is capable of establishing the value of every end; thus, comfort, happiness, all relative goods which human projects define, will be subordinated to this absolute condition of realization. The freedom of a single man must count more than a cotton or rubber harvest; although this principle is not respected in fact, it is usually recognized theoretically.
- We have to respect freedom only when it is intended for freedom, not when it strays, flees itself, and resigns itself. A freedom which is interested only in denying freedom must be denied. And it is not true that the recognition of the freedom of others limits my own freedom: to be free is not to have the power to do anything you like; it is to be able to surpass the given toward an open future; the existence of others as a freedom defines my situation and is even the condition of my own freedom. I am oppressed if I am thrown into prison, but not if I am kept from throwing my neighbor into prison.
- There is a concrete bond between freedom and existence; to will man free is to will there to be being, it is to will the disclosure of being in the joy of existence; in order for the idea of liberation to have a concrete meaning, the joy of existence must be asserted in each one, at every instant; the movement toward freedom assumes its real, flesh and blood figure in the world by thickening into pleasure, into happiness.
- While there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
- Eugene V. Debs, Federal Court statement (1918)
- For so long as but a hundred of us remain alive, we will in no way yield ourselves to the dominion of the English. For it is not for glory, nor riches, nor honour that we fight, but for Freedom, which no good man lays down but with his life.
- From the Declaration of Arbroath, 1302. The Times Book of Quotations (2000)
- Rendre l'homme infâme, et le laisser libre, est une absurdité qui peuple nos forêts d'assassins.
- To brand man with infamy, and let him free, is an absurdity that peoples our forests with assassins.
- Denis Diderot, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
- To brand man with infamy, and let him free, is an absurdity that peoples our forests with assassins.
- Once a man has tasted freedom he will never be content to be a slave.
- Walt Disney, Radio address "Our American Culture" broadcast during an intermission of the Metropolitan Opera. (1 March 1941)
- Where there is seeming contentment with slavery, there is certain treachery to freedom.
- Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
- Frederick Douglass, West India Emancipation (1857)
- Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically, as in England and America in the nineteenth century under laissez-faire. To check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed, as in Russia after 1917. Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way.
- Science and religion are two human enterprises sharing many common features. They share these features also with other enterprises such as art, literature and music. The most salient features of all these enterprises are discipline and diversity. Discipline to submerge the individual fantasy in a greater whole. Diversity to give scope to the infinite variety of human souls and temperaments. Without discipline there can be no greatness. Without diversity there can be no freedom. Greatness for the enterprise, freedom for the individual—these are the two themes, contrasting but not incompatible, that make up the history of science and the history of religion.
- Freeman Dyson, Infinite in All Directions (1988) pp. 5-6 (paperback, 1989).
- Talk helps people consider the possibilities open for social change ... Movements begin when people get together to think out loud about the kind of city they might help to create. One person said, "Freedom is an endless meeting."
- "A Movement of Many Voices", Economic Research and Action Project recruiting pamphlet (1965)
- I do not believe we can have any freedom at all in the philosophical sense, for we act not only under external compulsion but also by inner necessity. Schopenhauer’s saying – A man can surely do what he wills to do, but he cannot determine what he wills – impressed itself upon me in youth and has always consoled me when I have witnessed or suffered life’s hardships. This conviction is a perpetual breeder of tolerance, for it does not allow us to take ourselves or others too seriously; it makes rather for a sense of humor.
- Albert Einstein, What I Believe (1930)
- All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.
- Albert Einstein, "Moral Decay" (1937); later published in Out of My Later Years (1950)
- Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.
- Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years (1950)
- There is no concrete possibility at all of disengagement from social, political, and economic determinations. The only freedom man has is to recognize these and to recognize that he is determined by them. The first act of freedom is a recognition of necessity, not theoretically, but with a personal reference, and an attempt to put this recognition to work by trying to assess necessity, to discover its meaning and significance. To face up to the necessity that is seen at work in oneself, to perceive that I myself obey necessity, and to consider the implications of this—this act of recognition is an act of freedom.
- Jacques Ellul, The Ethics of Freedom (1974), p. 44
- No technique is possible when men are free. When technique enters into the realm of social life, it collides ceaselessly with the human being to the degree that the combination of man and technique is unavoidable, and that technical action necessarily results in a determined result. Technique requires predictability and, no less, exactness of prediction. It is necessary, then, that technique prevail over the human being. For technique, this is a matter of life or death. Technique must reduce man to a technical animal, the king of the slaves of technique. Human caprice crumbles before this necessity; there can be no human autonomy in the face of technical autonomy. The individual must be fashioned by techniques, either negatively (by the techniques of understanding man) or positively (by the adaptation of man to the technical framework), in order to wipe out the blots his personal determination introduces into the perfect design of the organization.
- Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society (1964), p. 138
- When we become conscious of that which determines our life we attain the highest degree of freedom.
- Jacques Ellul, The Betrayal by Technology (1993)
- The free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
- Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (1848)
- The only difference as compared with the old, outspoken slavery is this, that the worker of today seems to be free because he is not sold once for all, but piecemeal by the day, the week, the year, and because no one owner sells him to another, but he is forced to sell himself in this way instead, being the slave of no particular person, but of the whole property-holding class.
- Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845)
- Freedom does not consist in any dreamt-of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives of systematically making them work towards definite ends.
- Hegel was the first to state correctly the relation between freedom and necessity. To him, freedom is the insight into necessity.
- Friedrich Engels, Anti-Dühring, pt. 1, ch. 11 (1878)
- No people are truly free until they can determine their own destiny.
- The Age of Empty Freedom ... does not know that man must first through labour, industry, and art, learn how to know; but it has a certain fixed standard for all conceptions, and an established Common Sense of Mankind always ready and at hand, innate within itself and there present without trouble on its part;—and those conceptions and this Common Sense are to it the measure of the efficient and the real. It has this great advantage over the Age of Science, that it knows all things without having learned anything; and can pass judgment upon whatever comes before it at once and without hesitation,—without needing any preliminary evidence:—'That which I do not immediately comprehend by the conceptions which dwell within me, is nothing,'—says Empty Freedom.
- Johann Gottlieb Fichte, The Characteristics of the Present Age (1806), as translated by William Smith (1847), p. 20
- Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.
- Benjamin Franklin in "On Freedom of Speech and the Press", Pennsylvania Gazette (17 November 1737)
- Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
- Benjamin Franklin Letter to the Abbés Chalut and Arnaud (17 April 1787)
- The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.
- The free man will ask neither what his country can do for him nor what he can do for his country. He will ask rather "What can I and my compatriots do through government" to help us discharge our individual responsibilities, to achieve our several goals and purposes, and above all, to protect our freedom? And he will accompany this question with another: How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect? Freedom is a rare and delicate plant. Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.
- Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (1962), Introduction
- Political freedom means the absence of coercion of a man by his fellow men. The fundamental threat to freedom is power to coerce, be it in the hands of a monarch, a dictator, an oligarchy, or a momentary majority. The preservation of freedom requires the elimination of such concentration of power to the fullest possible extent and the dispersal and distribution of whatever power cannot be eliminated — a system of checks and balances.
- Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (1962), Ch. 1 "The Relation Between Economic Freedom and Political Freedom"
- Man’s freedom is lacking if somebody else controls what he needs, for need may result in man’s enslavement of man.
- Muammar Gaddafi, The Green Book (1975)
- O, we all long for the day, the blessed day, when freedom shall at least be co-extensive with Christendom.
- Henry Giles, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 379
- The ideas of freedom and equality which come to the fore in bourgeois society cannot be taken at their “face value,” as directly summing up social reality; on the contrary, the legal freedoms which exist in bourgeois society actually serve to legitimize the reality of contractual obligations in which propertyless wage-labor is heavily disadvantaged as compared to the owners of capital.
- Anthony Giddens, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory (1971), p. 41
- Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein.
- None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Bk. II, Ch. 5; source: Die Wahlverwandtschaften, Hamburger Ausgabe, Bd. 6 (Romane und Novellen I), dtv Verlag, München, 1982, p. 397 (II.5)
- Para evolucionar es preciso ser libre y no podemos tener libertad si no somos rebeldes, porque nunca tirano alguno ha respetado a los pueblos pasivos.
- The sweet taste of freedom — real, interdependent freedom, not the lonely freedom of the market — lingers on the palate like a long-forgotten memory, but quickly turns bitter when its nectar is withdrawn. If we do not defend these material and spiritual gains, capitalism will come for its revenge.
- Max Haiven, No return to normal: for a post-pandemic liberation (March 23, 2020), ROAR Magazine
- I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.
- Friedrich Hayek, Economic Freedom and Representative Government (1973)
- A society that does not recognise that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom.
- Friedrich Hayek, as quoted in The Market : Ethics, Knowledge, and Politics (1998) by John O'Neill, p. 68
- Our faith in freedom does not rest on the foreseeable results in particular circumstances, but on the belief that it will, on balance, release more forces for the good than for the bad … Freedom granted only when it is known beforehand that its effects will be beneficial is not freedom.
- Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty (1960)
- Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one's government is not necessarily to secure freedom.
- Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty (1960)
- The case for individual freedom rests chiefly on the recognition of the inevitable and universal ignorance of all of us concerning a great many of the factors on which the achievement of our ends and welfare depend.
- Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty (1960), p. 29
- You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
- Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973)
- I am free! I have burst through my heavy chain,
The life of young eagles is mine again!
I may cleave with my bark the glad sounding sea,
I may rove where the wind roves—my path is free!
. . . . . . . .
Free!—thou art bound, till thy race is run,
By the might of all on the soul of one!
On thy heart, on thy lip, must the fetter be—
Dreamer, fond dreamer! oh! who is free?
- Felicia Hemans, The Broken Chain , The Keepsake, 1829 (1828)
- The opposite of freedom is not determinism, but hardness of heart. Freedom presupposes openness of heart, of mind, of eye and ear.
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets (1962), Volume 1, p. 191
- Freedom is not a natural disposition, but God's precious gift to man. Those in whom viciousness becomes second-nature, those in whom brutality is linked with haughtiness, forfeit their ability and therefore their right to receive that gift. Hardening of the heart is the suspension of freedom.
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets (1962), Volume 1, p. 191
- The significant point is that people unfit for freedom — who cannot do much with it — are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a "have" type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities.
- Eric Hoffer, Working and Thinking on the Waterfront : A Journal: June 1958-May 1959 (1969), Journal entry (28 March 1959)
- Freedom gives us a chance to realize our human and individual uniqueness.
- Eric Hoffer, Working and Thinking on the Waterfront : A Journal: June 1958-May 1959 (1969), Journal entry (28 March 1959)
- Those who lack the capacity to achieve much in an atmosphere of freedom will clamor for power.
- The ‘normal’ woman knows that, given freedom and equality before the law, she can be trusted to safeguard her own interests as wife, mother, daughter, or what you will.
- Winifred Holtby, "Black Words for Women Only" (1934), in Paul Berry and Alan Bishop, Testament of a Generation: The Journalism of Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby, London : Virago, 1985. Also quoted in Patrick Deane, History in Our Hands : A Critical Anthology of Writings on Literature, Culture and Politics from the 1930s, Leicester University Press, 1998
- Freedom cannot be bestowed — it must be achieved.
- Come all you true friends of the nation, attend to humanity's call! Oh aid of the slaves' liberation and roll on the liberty ball. We'll finish the temple of freedom, and make it capacious within. That all who seek shelter may find it, whatever the hue of their skin. Success to the old fashioned doctrine, that men are created all free, and down with the power of the despot, wherever his stronghold may be. They'll find what, by felling and mauling, our rail-maker statesman can do. For the people are everywhere calling, for Lincoln and Liberty too.
- If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then ye will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
- I think that freedom means being able to do what you want without harming others... Freedom isn't something given by the government. I think it is a God-given right, and you are born with this right as a human being... I only had a vague understanding of what freedom meant when I was back in North Korea... When I thought about freedom or rights, I thought it was a concept that was given under the great leader. Everything was subordinate to the great leader of North Korea.
- Once the truth is denied to human beings, it is pure illusion to try to set them free. Truth and freedom either go together hand in hand or together they perish in misery.
- One cannot restrain a dancing cow.
- Arthur M. Jolly, in the play The Lady Demands Satisfaction, (2018)
- No one can flatter himself that he is immune to the spirit of his own epoch, or even that he possesses a full understanding of it. Irrespective of our conscious convictions, each one of us, without exception, being a particle of the general mass, is somewhere attached to, colored by, or even undermined by the spirit which goes through the mass. Freedom stretches only as far as the limits of our consciousness.
- Freedom is the alone unoriginated birthright of man, and belongs to him by force of his humanity; and is independence on the will and co-action of every other in so far as this consists with every other person’s freedom.
- Free, yes, but freedom well understood.
- How does the light of a star set out and plunge into black eternity in its immortal course? The star dies, but the light never dies; such also is the cry of freedom.
- Nikos Kazantzakis, The Saviors of God (1923), Ασκητική. Salvatores dei [Ascesis : The Saviors of God] (1923). written in 1923; Published in English as The Saviors of God : Spiritual Exercises (1960) as translated by Kimon Friar; Excerpts later published in The Rock Garden : A Novel (1963), chapter The Action: The Relationship Between Man and Man
- The gentlest and most insidious way we are dominated by the body politic is by the official versions of the good life that are implicit in advertising and propaganda. Happiness is a new car, a color TV—fill in the gap with your own “freely chosen” artificially stimulated desire.
- Sam Keen, The Passionate Life (1992), p. 102
- The great revolution in the history of man, past, present and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free.
- John F. Kennedy: "Message to Chairman Khrushchev Concerning the Meaning of Events in Cuba," April 18, 1961. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project
- Conformity is the jailor of freedom.
- The basis of self-government and freedom requires the development of character and self-restraint and perseverance and the long view. And these are qualities which require many years of training and education.
- John F. Kennedy in his Address at the University of Washington's 100th Anniversary Program (16 November 1961)
- For to save mankind's future freedom, we must face up to any risk that is necessary.
- John F. Kennedy, Address at the University of Washington's 100th Anniversary Program (16 November 1961)
- While we shall negotiate freely, we shall not negotiate freedom.
- John F. Kennedy, Address at the University of Washington's 100th Anniversary Program (16 November 1961)
- Our goal is not victory of might but the vindication of right — not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved.
- While we shall never weary in the defense of freedom, neither shall we ever abandon the pursuit of peace.
- Only an educated and informed people will be a free people.
- This Nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.
- Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.
- Ghana has something to say to us. It says to us first, that the oppressor never voluntarily gives freedom to the oppressed. You have to work for it. ... Freedom is never given to anybody. For the oppressor has you in domination because he plans to keep you there, and he never voluntarily gives it up. And that is where the strong resistance comes. Privileged classes never give up their privileges without strong resistance.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., "The Birth of a New Nation," Sermon Delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama (7 April 1957)
- Freedom only comes through persistent revolt, through persistent agitation, through persistently rising up against the system of evil.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., "The Birth of a New Nation," Sermon Delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama (7 April 1957)
- The absence of freedom is the presence of death. Any nation or government that deprives an individual of freedom is in that moment committing an act of moral and spiritual murder. Any individual who is not concerned about his freedom commits an act of moral and spiritual suicide.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., about the phrase in War and Peace: “I cannot conceive of a man not being free unless he is dead.” Address at the Fiftieth Annual NAACP Convention, New York (17 July 1959),
- I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be as a people, our destiny is tied up in the destiny of America.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., in "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution" (31 March 1968)
- Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation. That is what we have not taught young people, or older ones for that matter. You finally win a state of freedom that is protected forever. It doesn't work that way.
- Coretta Scott King, My Life with Martin Luther King Jr. (1969), p. xiii
- There are two freedoms — the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where a man is free to do what he ought.
- Charles Kingsley, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 377
- I wanted to be free. I wanted to express desires on my own, to shape my own little life.
- Alexandra Kollontai, The Autobiography of a Sexually Emancipated Communist Woman (1926), translated by Salvator Attansio, Herder and Herder, 1971
- What universities are saying by these codes, special protections, and double standards — to women, to blacks, to Hispanics, to gay and lesbian students — is, "You are too weak to live with freedom. You are too weak to live with the First Amendment." If someone tells you you are too weak to live with freedom, they have turned you into a child.
- Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose
Nothing ain't worth nothing but it's free
- At times we see and struggle with our chain,
And dream that somewhat we are freed, in vain;
The mighty fetters close on us again.
- Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Necessity, from "Three Extracts from the Diary of a Week", The New Monthly Magazine (1837)
- If a man lives under the delusion that he can do anything that he likes, and that the effect of his actions will never recoil upon himself, he will most certainly find that some of these actions eventually involve him in unhappiness and suffering.
- While the State exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no State.
- Vladimir Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917), Ch. 5
- Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners.
- Vladimir Lenin, The State and Revolution (1917), Ch. 5
- Men of good will are inclined to take freedom for granted. They believe that freedom, like the sun, will rise every morning. History has proved it can be blacked out for decades.
- Sam Levenson, Everything but Money
- This is a world of compensation; and he would be no slave must consent to have no slaves. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.
- Abraham Lincoln Letter to Henry L. Pierce (1859) Published in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953). Vol. 3, p. 374-376
- If there breathe on earth a slave,
Are ye truly free and brave?
If ye do not feel the chain,
When it works a brother's pain,
Are ye not base slaves indeed,
Slaves unworthy to be freed?
- James Russell Lowell, in "Stanzas on Freedom" (1843)
Is true Freedom but to break
Fetters for our own dear sake,
And, with leathern hearts, forget
That we owe mankind a debt?
No! true freedom is to share
All the chains our brothers wear,
And, with heart and hand, to be
Earnest to make others free!
- James Russell Lowell, in "Stanzas on Freedom" (1843)
- The first freedom is freedom from sin.
- Martin Luther, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 377
- Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.
- Nelson Mandela, refusing to bargain for freedom after 21 years in prison, as quoted in TIME (25 February 1985)
- Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way.
- There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
- It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man's freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.
When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.
- I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.
- While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.
- Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.
- Nelson Mandela on leadership, Chief Albert Luthuli Centenary celebrations, Kwadukuza, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa (25 April 1998). Source: From Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations © 2010 by Nelson R. Mandela and The Nelson Mandela Foundation
- Freedom is a more complex and delicate thing than force. It is not as simple to live under as force is.
- La libertad es como la mañana. Hay quienes esperan dormidos a que llegue, pero hay quienes desvelan y caminan la noche para alcanzarla.
- If the individual were no longer compelled to prove himself on the market, as a free economic subject, the disappearance of this kind of freedom would be one of the greatest achievements of civilization. The technological processes of mechanization and standardization might release individual energy into a yet uncharted realm of freedom beyond necessity. The very structure of human existence would be altered; the individual would be liberated from the work world's imposing upon him alien needs and alien possibilities. The individual would be free to exert autonomy over a life that would be his own.
- Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man (1964), p. 2
- Non bene, crede mihi, servo servitur amico;
Sit liber, dominus qui volet esse meus.
- Service cannot be expected from a friend in service; let him be a freeman who wishes to be my master.
- Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), II. 32. 7
- The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, ... has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
- Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, I
- If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.
- W. Somerset Maugham, Strictly Personal, Chapter 31 (1941)
- You know, there are two good things in life, freedom of thought and freedom of action.
- Freedom's just another word for one more way to get fucked.
- Freedom is man's capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves.
- Rollo May, Man's Search for Himself (1953), p. 138
- No one can define or measure justice, democracy, security, freedom, truth, or love. [...] But if no one speaks up for them, if systems aren't designed to produce them, if we don't speak about them and point toward their presence or absence, they will cease to exist.
- Freedom means self-fulfillment. It also means putting up with other people's irritating pursuit of the same. It means being confronted by disturbing images and ideas.
- Coercion is natural; freedom is artificial. Freedoms are socially engineered spaces where parties engaged in specified pursuits enjoy protection from parties who would otherwise naturally seek to interfere in those pursuits. One person's freedom is therefore always another person's restriction: we would not have even the concept of freedom if the reality of coercion were not always present. We think of freedom as a right, and therefore the opposite of a rule, but a right is a rule. It is a prohibition against sanctions on certain types of behavior. We also think of rights as privileges retained by individuals against the rest of society, but rights are created not for the good of individuals, but for the good of society. Individual freedoms are manufactured to achieve group ends.
- I believe in only one thing and that thing is human liberty. If ever a man is to achieve anything like dignity, it can happen only if superior men are given absolute freedom to think what they want to think and say what they want to say. I am against any man and any organization which seeks to limit or deny that freedom … the superior man can be sure of freedom only if it is given to all men.
- H. L. Mencken, as quoted in Letters of H. L. Mencken (1961) edited by Guy J. Forgue, p. xiii
- Hope of attaining true freedom by purely political means has become an insane delusion ... The solution is love as the highest expression of man's spirituality and freedom.
- Thomas Merton in Disputed Questions (1960)
- Self-organization is the key to ensuring the nonexclusive ownership—or rather, the ownership in common—of freedom. As anarchism thoroughly grasps, freedom is only possible when people all share the ability to determine and shape social relations and social organization. The only way to create such far-reaching forms of justice is to ensure that everyone has an equal portion of power, that we not only discuss, debate, and dialogue about what kind of society and everyday life we want but also problem solve, implement, evaluate, and revisit those decisions over the whole of life.
- Freedom, particularly social freedom, is indeed utterly antithetical to a state, even a representative one. At the most basic level, representation "asks" that we give our freedom away to another; it assumes, in essence, that some should have power and many others shouldn't. Without power, equally distributed to all, we renounce our very capacity to join with everyone else in meaningfully shaping our society. We renounce our ability to self-determine, and thus our liberty. And so, no matter how enlightened leaders may be, they are governing as tyrants nonetheless, since we—"the people"—are servile to their decisions.
- As "rule of the people" (the etymological root of democracy), democracy's underlying logic is essentially the unceasing movement of freedom making. And freedom, as we have seen, must be jettisoned in even the best of representative systems.
- Certainly, liberation is a basic necessity: people need to be free from harm, hunger, and hatred. But liberation falls far short of freedom. If we are ever to fulfill both our needs and desires, if we are ever to take control of our lives, each and every one of us needs the "freedom to" self-develop—individually, socially, and politically.
- Only when we all have equal and ongoing access to participate in the space where public policy is made—the political sphere—will freedom have a fighting chance to gain a footing.
- Power needs to be forever linked to freedom; freedom needs to be the limit placed on power.
- If freedom is the social aim, power must be held horizontally. We must all be both rulers and ruled simultaneously, or a system of rulers and subjects is the only alternative. We must all hold power equally in our hands if freedom is to coexist with power. Freedom, in other words, can only be maintained through a sharing of political power, and this sharing happens through political institutions. Rather than being made a monopoly, power should be distributed to us all, thereby allowing all our varied "powers" (of reason, persuasion, decision making, and so on) to blossom. This is the power to create rather than dominate.
- Freedom is never a done deal, nor is it a fixed notion.
- None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license.
- John Milton, Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649)
- Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
- America represents herself as a Christian nation. ... They profess to be a friend and defenders of all peace-loving and freedom-loving people. The only people we really see that they want to be friends of are themselves and their kind. They are really sincere when they say that they are freedom-loving people. Above all, the White man the world over wants to be free to rule and dominate the aboriginal people.
- Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman (1965)
- Freedom became one of the beacon lights of my life and it has remained so ever since. Freedom with the passing of years transcended the mere freedom of my country and embraced freedom of man everywhere and from every sort of trammel—above all, it meant freedom of the human personality, freedom of the mind, freedom of the spirit. This freedom has become the passion of my life and I shall not see it compromised for bread, for security, for prosperity, for the glory of the state or for anything else.
- Freedom and power bring responsibility.
- Life without freedom is death.
- Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, as quoted in "Tổng thống Nguyễn Văn Thiệu: 'Sống mà không có tự do là chết", Nguoi Viet.
- Original Vietnamese quote: Sống mà không có tự do là chết
- I will make an attempt to attain freedom, the youthful soul says to itself; and is it to be hindered in this by the fact that two nations happen to hate and fight one another, or that two continents are separated by an ocean, or that all around it a religion is taught which did not yet exist a couple of thousand years ago. All that is not you, it says to itself. No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, “Schopenhauer as educator,” § 3.1, R. Hollingdale, trans. (1983), pp. 128-129
- The leaders and scholars of Jesus’ time had first enslaved themselves to the law. This not only enhanced their prestige in society, it also gave them a sense of security. Man fears the responsibility of being free. It is often easier to let others make the decisions or to rely upon the letter of the law. Some men want to be slaves.
After enslaving themselves to the letter of the law, such men always go on to deny freedom to others. They will not rest until they have imposed the same oppressive burdens upon everyone (Matt 23:4,15).
- Albert Nolan, Jesus Before Christianity: The Gospel of Liberation (1976), p. 71
- The fallacy is to believe that under a dictatorial government you can be free inside. Quite a number of people console themselves with this thought, now that totalitarianism in one form or another is visibly on the up-grade in every part of the world. Out in the street the loudspeakers bellow, the flags flutter from the rooftops, the police with their tommy-guns prowl to and fro, the face of the Leader, four feet wide, glares from every hoarding; but up in the attics the secret enemies of the regime can record their thoughts in perfect freedom—that is the idea, more or less.
- George Orwell, As I Please," Tribune (28 April 1944)
- The heirs of the French, English, and American revolutions had partly believed in their own phrases about the rights of man, freedom of speech, equality before the law, and the like, and have even allowed their conduct to be influenced by them to some extent. But by the fourth decade of the twentieth century all the main currents of political thought were authoritarian. The earthly paradise had been discredited at exactly the moment when it became realizable.
- That the Party did not seek power for its own ends, but only for the good of the majority. That it sought power because men in the mass were frail, cowardly creatures who could not endure liberty or face the truth, and must be ruled over and systematically deceived by others who were stronger than themselves. That the choice for mankind lay between freedom and happiness, and that, for the great bulk of man- kind, happiness was better.
- Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.
- The philosophy of anarchism is included in the word "Liberty"; yet it is comprehensive enough to include all things else that are conducive to progress. No barriers whatever to human progression, to thought, or investigation are placed by anarchism; nothing is considered so true or so certain, that future discoveries may not prove it false; therefore, it has but one infallible, unchangeable motto, "Freedom." Freedom to discover any truth, freedom to develop, to live naturally and fully.
- Lucy Parsons, The Principles of Anarchism (c. 1890)
- Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but having the right to do what we ought.
- Jehovah is the Spirit, and where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom.
- You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Since God could have created a freedom in which there could be no evil (i.e., a state when men were happy and free and certain not to sin), it follows that He wished evil to exist. But evil offends Him. A commonplace case of masochism.
- Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living, 1938-05-13
- We do not free ourselves from something by avoiding it, but only by living though it.
- Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living (1935-1950), 1945-11-22
- Those in whom anger or desire or any other passion, or again any insidious vice holds sway, are entirely enslaved, while all whose life is regulated by law are free. And right reason is an infallible law engraved not by this mortal or that and, therefore, perishable as he, nor on parchment slabs, and, therefore, soulless as they, but by immortal nature on the immortal mind, never to perish.
- Philo, Every Good Man is Free, 45
- Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.
- Pericles, as quoted in Homage to Greece (1943)
- I could tell you a long story (and you know it as well as I do) about what is to be gained by beating the enemy back. What I would prefer is that you should fix your eyes every day on the greatness of Athens as she realty is, and should fall in love with her. When you realize her greatness, then reflect that what made her great was men with a spirit of adventure, men who knew their duty, men who were ashamed to fall below a certain standard. If they ever failed in an enterprise, they made up their minds that at any rate the city should not find their courage lacking to her, and they gave to her the best contribution that they could. They gave her their lives, to her and to all of us, and for their own selves they won praises that never grow old, the most splendid of sepulchers — not the sepulchre in which their bodies are laid, but where their glory remains eternal in men's minds, always there on the right occasion to stir others to speech or to action. For famous men have the whole earth as their memorial: it is not only the inscriptions on their graves in their own country that mark them out; no, in foreign lands also, not in any visible form but in people's hearts, their memory abides and grows. It is for you to try to be like them. Make up your minds that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.
- Diogenes the cynic, seeing one of the so-called freedmen pluming himself, while many heartily congratulated him, marveled at the absence of reason and discernment. “A man might as well,” he said, “proclaim that one of his servants became a grammarian, a geometrician, or musician, when he has no idea whatever of the art.” For as the proclamation cannot make them men of knowledge, so neither can it make them free.
- Philo, Every Good Man is Free, 157
- Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
- Is freedom dearer than life?
or does it become easier to live
when life becomes difficult?
- Although I consider our political world to be the best of which we have any historical knowledge, we should beware of attributing this fact to democracy or to freedom. Freedom is not a supplier who delivers goods to our door. Democracy does not ensure that anything is accomplished — certainly not an economic miracle. It is wrong and dangerous to extol freedom by telling people that they will certainly be all right once they are free. How someone fares in life is largely a matter of luck or grace, and to a comparatively small degree perhaps also of competence, diligence, and other virtues. The most we can say of democracy or freedom is that they give our personal abilities a little more influence on our well-being.
- Karl Popper in "On Freedom" (1958)
- It is wrong to think that belief in freedom always leads to victory; we must always be prepared for it to lead to defeat. If we choose freedom, then we must be prepared to perish along with it. Poland fought for freedom as no other country did. The Czech nation was prepared to fight for its freedom in 1938; it was not lack of courage that sealed its fate. The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 — the work of young people with nothing to lose but their chains — triumphed and then ended in failure. … Democracy and freedom do not guarantee the millennium. No, we do not choose political freedom because it promises us this or that. We choose it because it makes possible the only dignified form of human coexistence, the only form in which we can be fully responsible for ourselves. Whether we realize its possibilities depends on all kinds of things — and above all on ourselves.
- Karl Popper in On Freedom, (1958)
- We must plan for freedom, and not only for security, if for no other reason than only freedom can make security more secure.
- The idea of the 'free world' was mobilized to produce implicit faith in the United States, and to delegitimize both the socialist world and the Third World project. Money poured into the media and into other culture industries to portray people like Stalin and Nasser as the equivalents of Hitler. These men were depicted as the essence of evil, and their projects as against freedom. What freedom meant was not the freedom to be fully alive - to have the resources to eat, to learn, to be healthy - but to have free elections and a free press; although even this entire definition had the ring of falsity, as the people of France, Greece, and Italy had experienced in the near aftermath of the Second World War, and as the people of the Third World found as the imperialist powers asserted their right to reclaim their lost colonies.
- The great comprehensive truths, written on every page of our history, are these: Human happiness has no perfect security but freedom; freedom none but virtue; virtue none but knowledge; and neither freedom nor virtue has any vigor or immortal hope, except in the principles of the Christian faith, and in the sanctions of the Christian religion.
- Josiah Quincy, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 378
- Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
- Ronald Reagan, in an address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (30 March 1961)
- If the psychic energies of the average mass of people watching a football game or a musical comedy could be diverted into the rational channels of a freedom movement, they would be invincible.
- Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933; 2nd edition 1934; 3rd edition 1942)· First English translation of the third edition, as translated by Theodore P. Wolfe (1946), online at the Internet Archive · Translation by Vincent R. Carfagno (1970), online at the Internet Archive. Ch. 1 : Ideology As Material Power, Section 4 : The Social Function of Sexual Suppression
- Only a work democracy can create the foundation of genuine freedom. Long experience in sociological disputes leads me to expect that a great many people will take offense at the disclosure of this miscalculation. It makes the highest demands on people's will to veracity; it puts a heavy burden on everyday living; it places all social responsibility on those who work, be it in the factory, in the office, on the farm, in the laboratory, or wherever.
- Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933; 2nd edition 1934; 3rd edition 1942)· First English translation of the third edition, as translated by Theodore P. Wolfe (1946), online at the Internet Archive · Translation by Vincent R. Carfagno (1970), online at the Internet Archive. Section 2 : The Biological Miscalculation in the Human Struggle for Freedom
- The cry for freedom is a sign of suppression. It will not cease to ring as long as man feels himself captive. As diverse as the cries for freedom may be, basically they all express one and the same thing: The intolerability of the rigidity of the organism and of the machine-like institutions which create a sharp conflict with the natural feelings for life. Not until there is a social order in which all cries for freedom subside will man have overcome his biological and social crippling, will he have attained genuine freedom. Not until man is willing to recognize his animal nature — in the good sense of the word — will he create genuine culture.
- Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933; 2nd edition 1934; 3rd edition 1942)· First English translation of the third edition, as translated by Theodore P. Wolfe (1946), online at the Internet Archive · Translation by Vincent R. Carfagno (1970), online at the Internet Archive. (Section 3 : Work Democracy versus Politics. The Natural Social Forces for the Mastery of the Emotional Plague;
- Variant translation: The cry for freedom is a sign of suppression. It will never cease as long as man feels himself to be trapped. No matter how different the cries for freedom may be, at bottom they always express one and the same thing: the intolerableness of the organism's rigidity and the mechanical institutions of life, which are sharply at variance with the natural sensations of life. ... Not until man acknowledges that he is fundamentally an animal, will he be able to create a genuine culture.
- Man's right to know, to learn, to inquire, to make bona fide errors, to investigate human emotions must, by all means, be safe, if the word FREEDOM should ever be more than an empty political slogan.
- Freedom does not apply only to the single practical intention of the individual act, but also to one's fundamental option in life which exerts its influence on the single individual act.
- Herman Reiners, Grundintention und sittliches Tun (Freiburg: Herder, 1966), p. 43
- Translated by Maurice Eminyan in L. J. German (ed.), Controversies over the Separation of Jodie & Mary the Maltese Siamese Twins (Valletta: Progress Press, 2006), p. 50. Eminyan explains "fundamental option in life" as "deeper personal attitude to what is right and just" (p. 50)
- Freedom is immaterial and universal, and for this reason untouchable and undeniable. While liberties can be denied and curtailed, freedom cannot. While suffering for the loss of their liberties for more than a quarter of a century, Tai Ji Men dizi could always enjoy their freedom. Freedom lives in their souls and spirits and is not affected by external harassment.
- Marco Respinti, "Freedom and Liberty, Two Different Concepts: Tai Ji Men Should Enjoy Both", Bitter Winter (October 2023)
- Only freedom can inspire men to great things and bring about social and political transformations. The art of ruling men has never been the art of educating men and inspiring them to a new shaping of their lives. Dreary compulsion has at its command only lifeless drill, which smothers any vital initiative at its birth and can bring forth only subjects, not free men. Freedom is the very essence of life, the impelling force in all intellectual and social development, the creator of every new outlook for the future of mankind., Ch. 1 "Anarchism: Its Aims and Purposes"
- Rudolf Rocker, Anarcho-Syndicalism (1938)
- "Anxiety," Kierkegaard said, "is the dizziness of freedom." This freedom of which men speak, for which they fight, seems to some people a perilous thing. It has to be earned at a bitter cost and then — it has to be lived with. For freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.
We must all face an unpalatable fact that we have, too often, a tendency to skim over; we proceed on the assumption that all men want freedom. This is not as true as we would like it to be. Many men and women who are far happier when they have relinquish their freedom, when someone else guides them, makes their decisions for them, takes the responsibility for them and their actions. They don't want to make up their minds. They don't want to stand on their own feet.
- Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living (1960). p. 152
- The Four Freedoms. In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression - everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want - which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants - everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, Message to Congress (January 6, 1941).
- Human freedom and true democracy are identical.
- Ernestine Rose The Necessity for the Utter Extinction of Slavery" (May 14, 1863)
- A small republic, a small nation, based upon the eternal principle of freedom, is great and powerful. A large empire based upon slavery, is weak and without foundation. The moment the light of freedom shines upon it, it discloses its defects, and unmasks its hideous deformities.
- Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
- I worship freedom; I abhor restraint, trouble, dependence. As long as the money in my purse lasts, it assures my independence; it relieves me of the trouble of finding expedients to replenish it, a necessity which has always inspired me with dread; but the fear of seeing it exhausted makes me hoard it carefully. The money which a man possesses is the instrument of freedom; that which we eagerly pursue is the instrument of slavery. Therefore I hold fast to that which I have, and desire nothing.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions (Wordsworth: 1996), p. 35
- The people owe all the political rights and privileges which we enjoy today in greater or lesser measure, not to the good will of their governments, but to their own strength.
- Rudolf Rocker, Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practise
- Je suis condamné à être libre.
- Zeus: You and I harbor the same dark secret in our hearts.
Aegistheus: I have no secret.
Zeus: You have. The same as mine. The bane of gods and kings. The bitterness of knowing men are free. Yes, Aegistheus they are free. But your subjects do not know it, and you do.
- Jean-Paul Sartre, Les mouches (The Flies), Act II, tableau II, scene 5, as translated by Stuart Gilbert (1946)
- Variant translations:
- The painful secret of Gods and kings; it is that men are free. They are free, Aegisthus. You know it and they don't.
- As quoted in Sartre : A Philosophic Study (1966), by Anthony Manser, p. 227
- The painful secret of gods and kings is that men are free. They are free, Aegisthus. You know it, but they do not.
- As quoted in The Intellectual Resistance in Europe (1981) by James D. Wilkinson, p. 41
- The painful secret of gods and kings is that men are free, Aegistheus. You know it and they do not.
- A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. Constraint is always present in society, like a companion of whom there is no riddance; and in proportion to the greatness of a man’s individuality, it will be hard for him to bear the sacrifices which all intercourse with others demands.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, Counsels and Maxims, T. B. Saunders, trans., § 9
- When the mind's free,
The body's delicate.
- When George Washington was fighting for freedom in the Revolutionary War, he was fighting for the freedom of "whites only." Rich whites, at that. After the so-called Revolution, you couldn't vote unless you were a white man and you owned a plot of land. The Revolutionary War was led by some rich white boys who got tired of paying heavy taxes to the king. It didn't have anything at all to do with freedom, justice, and equality for all.
- Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.
- Assata Shakur, Assata: In Her Own Words
- Well I wish I could be like a bird in the sky/How sweet it would be/If I found I could fly/I'd soar to the sun/And look down at the sea/And I sing 'cause I know/How it feels to be free
- Nina Simone, I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free 1967
- In a free society, freedom will frequently be used badly. Freedom, by definition, includes the freedom to do good or evil, to act nobly or basely. But if freedom brings out the worst in people, it also brings out the best.
- Dinesh D'Souza, "10 things to celebrate: Why I'm an anti-anti-American" (29 June 2003), SFGate
- Liberty is more precious than money or office; and we should be vigilant lest we purchase wealth or place at the price of inner freedom.
- John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections (1901), p. 77
- Der Wille zur Macht in rein demokratischer Verkleidung hat sein Meisterstück damit vollendet, daß dem Freiheitsgefühl der Objekte mit der vollkommensten Knechtung, die es je gegeben hat, sogar noch geschmeichelt wird.
- The will-to-power operating under a pure democratic disguise has finished off its masterpiece so well that the object's sense of freedom is actually flattered by the most thorough-going enslavement that has ever existed.
- Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West (1918, 1923), Vol. II, Alfred A. Knopf, 1928, p. 461
- Men believe themselves to be free, simply because they are conscious of their actions, and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined.
- Spinoza, Ethics, Part 3, Prop. 2, Note (Dover 1955 p. 134)
- Might is a fine thing, and useful for many purposes; for 'one goes further with a handful of might than with a bagful of right'. You long for freedom? You fools! If you took might, freedom would come of itself. See, he who has might 'stands above the law'. How does this prospect taste to you, you 'law-abiding' people? But you have no taste!
- Max Stirner, The Ego and its Own (1845). Cambridge 1995, p. 151
- Without security, civilization is cramped and dwarfed. Without security, there can be no freedom. Nor shall I say too much, when I declare that security, guarded of course by its offspring, freedom, is the true end and aim of government.
- You exist if and only if you are free to do things without a visible objective, with no justification and, above all, outside the dictatorship of someone else’s narrative.
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms (2010) Matters Ontological, p. 17
- Freedom for the pike is death for the minnows.
- R. H. Tawney, Equality (London: 1938), Chapter 5, Section 2, p. 208
- A poet must be able to claim … freedom to follow the vision of poetry, the imaginative vision of poetry.
- R. S. Thomas, in "R. S. Thomas : Priest and Poet", BBC TV (2 April 1972)
- "Not to be thought of" : and yet, at this very time, freedom of the press, of, public meeting, of trade union organisation, of political organisation and of election, were either severely limited or in abeyance. What, then, did the common Englishman's "birthright" consist in? "Security of property!" answered Mary Wollstonecraft: "Behold . . . the definition of English liberty". And yet the rhetoric of liberty meant much more— first of all, of course, freedom from foreign domination. And, within this enveloping haze of patriotic self-congratulation, there were other less distinct notions which Old Corruption felt bound to flatter and yet which were to prove dangerous to it in the long run. Freedom from absolutism (the constitutional monarchy), freedom from arbitrary arrest, trial by jury, equality before the law, the freedom of the home from arbitrary entrance and search, some limited liberty of thought, of speech, and of conscience, the vicarious participation in liberty (or in its semblance) afforded by the right of parliamentary opposition and by elections and election tumults (although the people had no vote they had the right to parade, huzza and jeer on the hustings), as well as freedom to travel, trade, and sell one's own labour. Nor were any of these freedoms insignificant; taken together, they both embody and reflect a moral consensus in which authority at times shared, and of which at all times it was bound to take account.
- E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (1963), p. 79
- Perhaps I am more than usually jealous with respect to my freedom. I feel that my connection with and obligation to society are still very slight and transient. Those slight labors which afford me a livelihood, and by which it is allowed that I am to some extent serviceable to my contemporaries, are as yet commonly a pleasure to me, and I am not often reminded that they are a necessity. So far I am successful. But I foresee that if my wants should be much increased, the labor required to supply them would become a drudgery. If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living.
- Henry David Thoreau, “Life without Principle,” 1.12
- It is the intrinsic attractions of freedom, its own peculiar charm — quite independently of its incidental benefits — which have seized so strong a hold on the great champions of liberty throughout history; they loved it because they loved the pleasure of being able to speak, to act, to breathe unrestrained, under the sole government of God and the laws. He who seeks freedom for anything but freedom’s self is made to be a slave.
- To be free of time is to be free of the psychological need of past for your identity and future for your fulfillment.
- The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the possessing entity - the thinker. Knowing this enables you to observe the entity.
- There is no salvation in time. You cannot be free in the future. Presence is the key to freedom, so you can only be free now.
- True salvation is a state of freedom - from fear, from suffering, from a perceived state of lack and insufficiency and therefore from all wanting, needing, grasping, and clinging. It is freedom from compulsive thinking, from negativity, and above all from past and future as a psychological need.
- To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.
- When you recognize that there is a voice in your head that pretends to be you and never stops speaking, you are awakening out of your unconscious identification with the stream of thinking. When you notice that voice, you realize that who you are is not the voice–the thinker–but the one who is aware of it. Knowing yourself as the awareness behind the voice is freedom.
- Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks (2003)
- Be there as the witnessing presence of your inner state. You don’t have to do anything. With the awareness comes transformation and freedom.
- Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks (2003)
- The beginning of freedom from the painbody lies first of all in the realization that you have a painbody. Then, more important, in your ability to stay present enough, alert enough, to notice the painbody in yourself as a heavy influx of negative emotion when it becomes active. When it is recognized, it can no longer pretend to be you and live and renew itself through you.
- Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth (2005)
- When you are no longer totally identified with forms, consciousness – who you are becomes freed form its imprisonment in form. This freedom is the arising of inner space. It comes as a stillness, a subtle peace deep within you, even in the face of something seemingly bad. This, too, will pass. Suddenly, there is space around the event. There is also space around the emotional highs and lows, even around pain. And above all, there is space between your thoughts. And from that space emanates a peace that is not “of this world,” because this world is form, and the peace is space. This is the peace of God.
- Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth (2005)
- America was founded on liberty and independence – not government coercion, domination and control. We were born free, and will stay free, as long as I am your President!
- I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.
- Attributed to Harriet Tubman in Dorothy Winbush Riley, My Soul Looks Back 'Less I Forget p. 148 (1993)
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations General Assembly, (10 December 1948) edit
- ...the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people, Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law, Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations, Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge. (Preamble)
- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1)
- Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. (Article 2)
- Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person. (Article 3)
- No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. (Article 4)
- No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (Article 5)
- All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. (Article 7)
- Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. (Article 17)
- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. (Article 18)
- Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. (Article 19)
- Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (Article 20)
- Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (Article 25)
- Pro libertate
- Dico Tibi Verum, Libertas Optima Rerum: Nunquam Servili Sub Nexu Vivito, Fili
- In any country, regardless of what its laws say, wherever people act upon the idea that the disadvantage of one man is the good of another, there slavery exists. Wherever, in any country the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, there freedom exists.
- Booker T. Washington, Address on Abraham Lincoln before the Republican Club of New York City, February 12, 1909, in Booker T. Washington Papers, Volume 10: 1909-1911, p. 35
- If man were not free, then he could not conceive of causality at all, and could not form any concept of it. Insight into lawfulness is already freedom from it.
- Otto Weininger, Collected Aphorisms
- Give a man a free hand and he'll try to put it all over you.
- Mae West, as "Frisco Doll" in Klondike Annie
- [I]f they do not have virtue enough to support the most Glorious Cause ever human beings were engaged in, they don’t deserve the blessings of freedom.
- To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.
Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God's soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox, "Protest," Poems of Problems, p. 154–55 (1914).
- There is no governor anywhere; you are all absolutely free. There is no restraint that cannot be escaped. We are all absolutely free. If everybody could go into dhyana at will, nobody could be controlled — by fear of prison, by fear of whips or electroshock, by fear of death, even. All existing society is based on keeping those fears alive, to control the masses. Ten people who know would be more dangerous than a million armed anarchists.
- If you're not ready to die for it, take the word "freedom" out of your vocabulary.
- Malcolm X, Chicago Defender (28 November 1962)
- If this is a country of freedom, let it be a country of freedom; and if it's not a country of freedom, change it.
- People are fed up with the dillydallying, pussyfooting, compromising approach that we've been using toward getting our freedom. We want freedom now, but we're not going to get it saying 'We Shall Overcome'. We've got to fight until we overcome.
- Stop singing and start swinging. You can't sing up on freedom, but you can swing up on some freedom. Cassius Clay can sing, but singing didn't help him to become the heavyweight champion of the world; swinging helped him become the heavyweight champion.
- You get freedom by letting your enemy know that you'll do anything to get your freedom; then you'll get it. It's the only way you'll get it.
- Malcolm X, Advice to the Youth of Mississippi (31 December 1964)
- Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it.
- Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks, (1965), p. 111
- True freedom is not a freedom of choice made from a safe distance, like choosing between a strawberry cake or a chocolate cake; true freedom overlaps with necessity, one makes a truly free choice when one's choice puts at stake one's very existence — one does it because one simply "cannot do it otherwise."
- We feel free because we lack the very language to articulate our unfreedom.
- The freedom that socialism gave every man and enshrined in its constitution is the freedom not to be a beggar and not to be exploited. Freedom from the fear of losing one’s job tomorrow, of being unable to pay for one’s housing, food, clothing and vital medicines. Of not being able to pay for the education and feed one’s children. Not being able to support elderly parents. A freedom to feel a full individual and not a human good sold in the labour market. A freedom that was granted to all regardless of their background, nationality or profession. To workers, peasants, scientists and artists. Only such freedom can be recognised as true freedom. Its absence makes all the other freedoms meaningless.
- Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you
Lay your body down
- I'M FREE! — I'm free,
And freedom tastes of reality,
I'm free — I'm free,
An' I'm waiting for you to follow me.
- Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations edit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 294-96.
- Freedom all solace to man gives:
He lives at ease that freely lives.
- John Barbour, The Bruce, Book I. 225
- Whose service is perfect freedom.
- Book of Common Prayer, Collect for Peace
- …for righteous monarchs,
Justly to judge, with their own eyes should see;
To rule o'er freemen, should themselves be free.
- Henry Brooke, Earl of Essex, Act I
- Here the free spirit of mankind, at length,
Throws its last fetters off; and who shall place
A limit to the giant's unchained strength,
Or curb his swiftness in the forward race?
- William Cullen Bryant, The Ages, XXXIII
- Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea!
Jehovah hath triumphed—his people are free.
- Lord Byron, Sacred Songs, Sound the loud Timbrel
- Hope for a season bade the world farewell,
And Freedom shrieked as Kosciusko fell!
* * * * * *
O'er Prague's proud arch the fires of ruin glow.
- Thomas Campbell, Pleasures of Hope, line 381
- England may as well dam up the waters of the Nile with bulrushes as to fetter the step of Freedom, more proud and firm in this youthful land than where she treads the sequestered glens of Scotland, or couches herself among the magnificent mountains of Switzerland.
- Lydia Maria Child, Supposititious Speech of James Otis, The Rebels, Chapter IV
- Nulla enim minantis auctoritas apud liberos est.
- To freemen, threats are impotent.
- Cicero, Epistles, XI. 3
- O what a loud and fearful shriek was there!
Ah me! they view'd beneath an hireling's sword
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Sonnet
- No, Freedom has a thousand charms to show
That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.
- William Cowper, Table Talk, line 260
- I want free life, and I want fresh air;
And I sigh for the canter after the cattle,
The crack of the whip like shots in battle,
The medley of horns, and hoofs, and heads
That wars, and wrangles, and scatters and spreads;
The green beneath and the blue above,
And dash, and danger, and life and love.
- Frank Desprez, Lasca
- I am as free as nature first made man,
Ere the base laws of servitude began,
When wild in woods the noble savage ran.
- John Dryden, Conquest of Granada, Act I, scene 1
- My angel,—his name is Freedom,—
Choose him to be your king;
He shall cut pathways east and west,
And fend you with his wing.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Boston Hymn
- We grant no dukedoms to the few,
We hold like rights and shall;
Equal on Sunday in the pew,
On Monday in the mall.
For what avail the plough or sail,
Or land, or life, if freedom fail?
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Boston, Stanza 5
- I gave my life for freedom—This I know;
For those who bade me fight had told me so.
- W. N. Ewer, Five Souls
- Bred in the lap of Republican Freedom.
- Godwin, Enquirer, II, XII. 402
- Yes! to this thought I hold with firm persistence;
The last result of wisdom stamps it true;
He only earns his freedom and existence
Who daily conquers them anew.
- Frei athmen macht das Leben nicht allein.
- Merely to breathe freely does not mean to live.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Iphigenia auf Tauris, I. 2. 54
- Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod,
They have left unstained, what there they found,—
Freedom to worship God.
- Felicia Hemans, Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers
- Quisnam igitur liber? Sapiens, sibi qui imperiosus;
Quem neque pauperies, neque mors, neque vincula terrent
Responsare cupidinibus, contemnere honores
Fortis; et in se ipso totus, teres atque rotundus.
- Who then is free? the wise man who is lord over himself;
Whom neither poverty nor death, nor chains alarm; strong to withstand his passions and despise honors, and who is completely finished and rounded off in himself.
- Horace, Satires, Book II, VII. 83
- Who then is free? the wise man who is lord over himself;
- In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
- Julia Ward Howe, Battle Hymn of the Republic
- One should never put on one's best trousers to go out to fight for freedom.
- Henrik Ibsen, Enemy of the People
- All we have of freedom—all we use or know—
This our fathers bought for us, long and long ago.
- Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue
- The Confederacy stands for slavery and the Union for freedom.
- …That this nation, under God shall have a new birth of freedom.
- Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
- I intend no modification of my oft-expressed wish that all men everywhere could be free.
- Abraham Lincoln, letter to Horace Greeley. Aug. 22, 1862. See Raymond's History of Lincoln's Administration
- Freedom needs all her poets; it is they
Who give her aspirations wings,
And to the wiser law of music sway
Her wild imaginings.
- James Russell Lowell, Memorial Verses, To the Memory of Hood, Stanza 4
- Freiheit ist immer Freiheit der Andersdenkenden
- Freedom is always the freedom of dissenters.
- Rosa Luxemburg, Sources: Die russische Revolution. Eine kritische Würdigung, Berlin 1920 p. 109 and in Rosa Luxemburg - Gesammelte Werke Vol. 4, p. 359, Footnote 3, Dietz Verlag Berlin (Ost), 1983
- Variant: "Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently."
- Without general elections, without freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, without the free battle of opinions, life in every public institution withers away, becomes a caricature of itself, and bureaucracy rises as the only deciding factor.
- Rosa Luxemburg, Reported in Paul Froelich, Die Russiche Revolution (1940)
- Quicquid multis peccatur, inultum est.
- All go free when multitudes offend.
- Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia, V. 260
- They can only set free men free…
And there is no need of that:
Free men set themselves free.
- James Oppenheim, The Slave
- An quisquam est alius liber, nisi ducere vitam
Cui licet, ut voluit?
- Is any man free except the one who can pass his life as he pleases?
- Persius, Satires, V. 83
- Oh! let me live my own, and die so too!
(To live and die is all I have to do:)
Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,
And see what friends, and read what books I please.
- Alexander Pope, Prologue to Satires, line 261
- Blandishments will not fascinate us, nor will threats of a "halter" intimidate. For, under God, we are determined that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die free men.
- Josiah Quincey, Observations on the Boston Port Bill (1774)
- Free soil, free men, free speech, Fremont.
- Republican Rallying Cry (1856)
- O, nur eine freie Seele wird nicht alt.
- Oh, only a free soul will never grow old!
- Jean Paul Richter, Titan, Zykel 140
- Freiheit ist nur in dem Reich der Träume
Und das Schöne blüht nur im Gesang.
- Freedom is only in the land of dreams, and the beautiful only blooms in song.
- Friedrich Schiller, The Beginning of the New Century, Stanza 9
- Der Mensch ist frei geschaffen, ist frei
Und würd' er in Ketten geboren.
- Man is created free, and is free, even though born in chains.
- Friedrich Schiller, Die Worte des Glaubens, Stanza 2
- Nemo liber est, qui corpori servit.
- No man is free who is a slave to the flesh.
- Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XCII
- The last link is broken
That bound me to thee,
And the words thou hast spoken
Have render'd me free.
- Fanny Steers, Song
- Rara temporum felicitate, ubi sentire quæ velis, et quæ sentias dicere licet.
- Such being the happiness of the times, that you may think as you wish, and speak as you think.
- Tacitus, Annales, I. 1
- Of old sat Freedom on the heights
The thunders breaking at her feet:
Above her shook the starry lights;
She heard the torrents meet.
- Alfred Tennyson, Of old sat Freedom
- Red of the Dawn
Is it turning a fainter red? so be it, but when shall we lay
The ghost of the Brute that is walking and hammering us yet and be free?
- Alfred Tennyson, The Dawn
- The nations lift their right hands up and swear
Their oath of freedom.
- John Greenleaf Whittier, Garibaldi
- Freedom exists only where the people take care of the government.
- Woodrow Wilson, at the Workingman's Dinner, N. Y. (Sept. 4, 1912)
- Our object now, as then, is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power, and to set up among the really free and self-governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action as will henceforth insure the observance of those principles.
- Woodrow Wilson, address to Congress. (War with Germany being declared.) April 2, 1917
- Only free peoples can hold their purpose and their honor steady to a common end, and prefer the interests of mankind to any narrow interest of their own.
- Woodrow Wilson, address to Congress. (War with Germany being declared.) April 2, 1917
- How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free
Down to its root, and in that freedom, bold.
- William Wordsworth, A Poet! He hath put his Heart to School
- We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.
- William Wordsworth, Sonnets to National Independence and Liberty, Part XVI
Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989) edit
- Modern life means democracy, democracy means freeing intelligence for independent effectiveness—the emancipation of mind as an individual organ to do its own work. We naturally associate democracy, to be sure, with freedom of action, but freedom of action without freed capacity of thought behind it is only chaos.
- John Dewey, "Democracy in Education," John Dewey, The Middle Works, 1899–1924, ed. Jo Ann Boydston, vol. 3, p. 229 (1977). First published in The Elementary School Teacher, December 1903
- But we know that freedom cannot be served by the devices of the tyrant. As it is an ancient truth that freedom cannot be legislated into existence, so it is no less obvious that freedom cannot be censored into existence. And any who act as if freedom's defenses are to be found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, letter on intellectual freedom to Dr. Robert B. Downs, president of the American Library Association, June 24, 1953. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953, p. 456
- For what avail the plough or sail,
Or land or life, if freedom fail?
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Boston," stanza 15, The Complete Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 2, p. 897 (1929). These words were also inscribed on a plaque in the stairwell of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty
- You can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?
- Khalil Gibran, "On Laws," final sentence, The Prophet, p. 46 (1968)
- What the people wanted was a government which would provide a comfortable life for them, and with this as the foremost object ideas of freedom and self-reliance and service to the community were obscured to the point of disappearing. Athens was more and more looked on as a co-operative business possessed of great wealth in which all citizens had a right to share…. Athens had reached the point of rejecting independence, and the freedom she now wanted was freedom from responsibility. There could be only one result…. If men insisted on being free from the burden of a life that was self-dependent and also responsible for the common good, they would cease to be free at all. Responsibility was the price every man must pay for freedom. It was to be had on no other terms.
- Edith Hamilton, The Echo of Greece, chapter 2, p. 47 (1957)
- The greatest Glory of a free-born People,Is to transmit that Freedom to their Children.
- William Harvard, "Regulus, a Tragedy," act IV, scene iv. Francis Longe, Collection of Plays, vol. 35, no. 2, p. 59 (1744). Regulus is speaking
- When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.
- Charles Evans Hughes, address at Faneuil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1925. Hughes Papers, Library of Congress
- A man's worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he likes.
- Thomas Henry Huxley, address on university education, delivered at the formal opening of The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, September 12, 1876. Science and Education (vol. 3 of Collected Essays), p. 236 (1898, reprinted 1968)
- This is a world of compensation; and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.
- Abraham Lincoln, letter to H. L. Pierce and others, April 6, 1859. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler, vol. 3, p. 375 (1953)
- The maxims are, first, that the individual is not accountable to society for his actions, in so far as these concern the interests of no person but himself. Advice, instruction, persuasion, and avoidance by other people if thought necessary by them for their own good, are the only measures by which society can justifiably express its dislike or disapprobation of his conduct. Secondly, that for such actions as are prejudicial to the interests of others, the individual is accountable, and may be subjected either to social or to legal punishment, if society is of opinion that the one or the other is requisite for its protection.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859); republished in David Spitz, ed. (1975), chapter 5, p. 87
- The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859); republished in David Spitz, ed. (1975), chapter 1, p. 14
- The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence, is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859); republished in David Spitz, ed. (1975), chapter 1, p. 11
- There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence: and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs, as protection against political despotism.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859); republished in David Spitz, ed. (1975), chapter 1, p. 6
- If the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands, they must be made brighter in our own. If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. If in other lands the eternal truths of the past are threatened by intolerance we must provide a safe place for their perpetuation.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, address to the National Education Association, New York City, June 30, 1938. The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1938, p. 418 (1941)
- In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, State of the Union message to the Congress, January 6, 1941. The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940, p. 672 (1941). A plaque in the stairwell of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is inscribed: "Liberty is the air America breathes…. In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential freedoms … freedom of speech and expression … freedom of worship … freedom from want … freedom from fear."
- What would you have me do?
Search out some powerful patronage, and be
Like crawling ivy clinging to a tree?
No thank you. Dedicate, like all the others,
Verses to plutocrats, while caution smothers
Whatever might offend my lord and master?
No thank you. Kneel until my knee-caps fester,
Bend my back until I crack my spine,
And scratch another's back if he'll scratch mine?
No thank you. Dining out to curry favour,
Meeting the influential till I slaver,
Suiting my style to what the critics want
With slavish copy of the latest cant?
No thanks! Ready to jump through any hoop
To be the great man of a little group?
Be blown off course, with madrigals for sails,
By the old women sighing through their veils?
Labouring to write a line of such good breeding
Its only fault is—that it's not worth reading?
To ingratiate myself, abject with fear,
And fawn and flatter to avoid a sneer?
No thanks, no thanks, no thanks! But … just to sing,
Dream, laugh, and take my tilt of wing,
To cock a snook whenever I shall choose,
To fight for "yes" and "no", come win or lose,
To travel without thought of fame or fortune
Wherever I care to go to under the moon!
Never to write a line that hasn't come
Directly from my heart: and so, with some
Modesty, to tell myself: "My boy,
Be satisfied with a flower, a fruit, the joy
Of a single leaf, so long as it was grown
In your own garden. Then, if success is won
By any chance, you have nothing to render to
hollow Caesar: the merit belongs to you."
In short, I won't be a parasite; I'll be
My own intention, stand alone and free,
And suit my voice to what my own eyes see!
- Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, act II, trans. Christopher Fry (1975), p. 56–57. Originally published in 1897. This is Cyrano's declaration of independence
- Eastward I go only by force; but westward I go free.
- Henry David Thoreau, "Walking," Excursions, p. 266 (1894). The essay on walking was first published after Thoreau's death, in Atlantic Monthly, June 1862
- I must walk toward Oregon, and not toward Europe. And that way the nation is moving, and I may say that mankind progress from east to west…. We go eastward to realize history and study the works of art and literature, retracing the steps of the race; we go westward as into the future, with a spirit of enterprise and adventure.
- Henry David Thoreau, "Walking," Excursions, p. 267 (1894)
- To be what no one ever was,
To be what everyone has been:
Freedom is the mean of those
Extremes that fence all effort in.
- Mark Van Doren, "Freedom," Morning Worship and Other Poems (1960), p. 124
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edit
- Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- The moment you accept God's ordering, that moment your work ceases to be a task, and becomes your calling; you pass from bondage to freedom, from the shadow-land of life into life itself.
- Henry Clay Trumbull, p. 378
See also edit
|Social and political philosophy|
|Ideologies||Anarchism • Authoritarianism • Capitalism • Collectivism • Colonialism • Communism • Confucianism • Conservatism • Elitism • Environmentalism • Fascism • Imperialism • Individualism • Liberalism • Libertarianism • Marxism • Nationalism • Republicanism • Social constructionism • Social democracy • Socialism • Totalitarianism • Utilitarianism|
|Concepts||Authority • Duty • Elite • Emancipation • Freedom • Government • Hegemony • Hierarchy • Justice • Law • Monopoly • Natural law • Norms • Obedience • Peace • Pluralism • Power • Propaganda • Property • Revolution • Rights • Ruling class • Social contract • Society • State • Utopia • War|
|Government||Aristocracy • Autocracy • Bureaucracy • Dictatorship • Democracy • Meritocracy • Monarchy • Oligarchy • Plutocracy • Technocracy • Theocracy|