The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions.
Adlai Stevenson, speech, New York City, 28 August 1952
We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
Freedom is never free.
The fact, in short, is that freedom, to be meaningful in an organized society must consist of an amalgam of hierarchy of freedoms and restraints.
He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.
History does not teach fatalism. There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads.
Charles de Gaulle
Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Liberty is the possibility of doubting, of making a mistake,... of searching and experimenting,... of saying No to any authority - literary, artistic, philosophical, religious, social, and even political.
Ignazio Silone, The God That Failed, 1950
Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree.
Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.
Here is my advice as we begin the century that will lead to 2081. First, guard the freedom of ideas at all costs. Be alert that dictators have always played on the natural human tendency to blame others and to oversimplify. And don't regard yourself as a guardian of freedom unless you respect and preserve the rights of people you disagree with to free, public, unhampered expression.
Gerard K. O'Neill, 2081
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.
Simone de Beauvoir
My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
Adlai Stevenson, speech, Detroit, 1952
It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.
We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.
Robert J. McCracken
For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
We have to call it "freedom": who'd want to die for "a lesser tyranny"?
Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.
No one is free when others are oppressed.
Nations grown corrupt
Love bondage more than liberty;
Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty.
Freedom means choosing your burden.
Most people want security in this world, not liberty.
H.L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956
We feel free when we escape - even if it be but from the frying pan into the fire.
Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves.
Freedom is that instant between when someone tells you to do something and when you decide how to respond.
Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.
Harry Emerson Fosdick
Freedom is not enough.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance.
We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights.
O Liberty...! is it well
To leave the gates unguarded?
Thomas Bailey Aldrich
No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.
Frederick Douglass, speech, Civil Rights Mass Meeting, Washington, D.C., 1883
Let freedom never perish in your hands.
The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
Louis D. Brandeis
Without freedom, no one really has a name.
A nation may lose its liberties in a day and not miss them in a century.
Baron de Montesquieu
Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, "Maxims: Liberty and Equality," 1905
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
James Madison, speech, Virginia Convention, 1788
Liberty doesn't work as well in practice as it does in speeches.
Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.
Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive.
We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. ~Edward R. Murrow
Freedom has a thousand charms to show,
That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.
Most men, after a little freedom, have preferred authority with the consoling assurances and the economy of effort which it brings.
Walter Lippmann, A Preface to Morals, 1929
The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.
Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.
Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.
D.H. Lawrence, Classical American Literature, 1922
I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.
Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves.
Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 1888