“Whom the Son makes free, is free indeed.”

—Jesus Christ, John 8:36

Quotes

These quotes of freedom have been collected over the years and are added to regularly.

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

—Patrick Henry

“Tyrants preserve themselves by sowing fear and mistrust among the citizens by means of spies, by distracting them with foreign wars, by eliminating men of spirit who might lead a revolution, by humbling the people, and making them incapable of decisive action…”

—Aristotle

“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

—Aldous Huxley

“Liberty, then, is the sovereignty of the individual, and never shall man know liberty until each and every individual is acknowledged to be the only legitimate sovereign of his or her person, time, and property, each living and acting at his own cost.”

—Josiah Warren

“If we let things terrify us, then life is not worth living.”

—Seneca

“I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers, or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you: ‘There is no I in team.’ What you should tell them is: ‘Maybe not. But there is an I in independence, individuality, and integrity.’”

—George Carlin

“Give them bread and circuses, and they will never revolt.”

—Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, otherwise known as Juvenal

“Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their peers, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.”

--Robert F. Kennedy

“Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed.”

—Étienne de La Boétie

“When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, this you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.”

—Robert A. Heinlein

“Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.”

—Pericles

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: what would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? [They] would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If... if... we didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

“The basic assumption that you have a right to get something from somebody else means you have to endorse the concept of theft.”

—Rand Paul

“Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.”

—Bob Marley

“It is better to die standing on your feet than to live on your knees.”

—Aleksandr Lukashenko

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

—Rudyard Kipling

“Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and will always be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.”

—Eugene O'Neill

“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

—J.K. Rowling

“When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government.”

—Thomas Paine

“The state lies in all the tongues of good and evil, and whatever it says is lies, and whatever it has, it has stolen, everything it is, is false, it bites with stolen teeth, and it bites often, it is false down to its bowels.”

—Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it.”

—H.L. Mencken

“Humans are the only animals who will follow unstable pack leaders.”

— Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

—Charles MacKay

“Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.”

—Robert A. Heinlein

“I am very aware of the preciousness of time. Seize the moment. Act now.”

—Stephen Hawking

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types -- the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”

—G.K. Chesterton

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

—Voltaire

If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan, political or religious, who comes ambling along.”

—Carl Sagan

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion”

—Albert Camus

“The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants."

—Albert Camus

“All tyranny is an illusion predicated on fear within the minds of the enslaved. So, do not fear.”

—Brandon Smith

“Freedom lies in being bold.”

—Robert Frost

“That which does not serve the transcendent, flirts with service to the totalitarian.”

—John Waters

“The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”

—John Philpot Curran

“Tyranny in form is the first step towards tyranny in substance.”

—Sen. John Taylor, 1821

“Politics is the practice of getting what you want by manipulating other people and is always at their expense, to their detriment.”

— Roger Mitchell

“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else.”

—Frederic Bastiat

“Freedom cannot survive in any system that allows a ruling class to exist...”

—Gary D. Barnett

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

—attributed to Benjamin Franklin

“The most dangerous enemy of truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority.”

—Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

“To be GOVERNED is to be kept in sight, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right, nor the wisdom, nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.”

—Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century [1851]

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

—Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

“A man’s natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime, whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber, … or by millions, calling themselves a government.”

—Lysander Spooner

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

—C.S. Lewis

“People are unequal in abilities and circumstances, and because of this, attempts to make them equal by force will inevitably violate their rights to live in freedom. If people have rights, unequal outcomes will result and trying to impose equality will violate their rights. It is as simple as that.”

—David Gordon

“But for all of us it was absolutely obvious that we all wanted to live in a society where people can.... present their views... and not to be punished for this. It is called the town square test, where every person can go in the center of the town, say what he or she thinks, what she believes, to insist on their right to promote these views, and will not be arrested and will not be punished for this. And if that is possible, that is a free society. If it is not permitted, it is a fear society. And there is nothing in between.”

—Natan Sharansky

“When government expands, liberty contracts.”

—Ronald Reagan

“If you are too weak to give yourselves your own law, then a tyrant shall lay his yoke upon you and say: ”Obey! Clench your teeth and obey!” “And all good and evil shall be drowned in obedience to him.”

—Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Natural rights collectively constitute the moral ability and sovereign authority of every human being to make personal choices — free from government interference or government permission.”

—Andrew Napolitano

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

—H.L. Mencken

“You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.”

—G.K. Chesterton

“I would rather live next to a junkyard and breathe free than in a gated community where every blade of grass must be manicured to exact specifications.”

—Roger Mitchell

"To gain freedom only requires the desire and courage of the many to say no, and to say it loudly.”

—Gary D. Barnett

"Only when we sacrifice our fear of our neighbors’ freedoms rather than violently sacrifice our neighbors will we know what it means to be free.”

—David Gornoski

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