50 for Freedom


By Scott Robertson

If you’ve been reading this column for any length of time, (and thank you for doing so) then you’re probably aware that on certain major holidays, I choose to devote the space to quotes regarding the holiday made by people who are far smarter, more articulate, and more interesting than I am.

I’ve been asked how I decide which of the major holidays I choose. Some folks have noted that I might, for instance, do this on Easter and Memorial Day but not Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day.

The answer is simply that if I have a column that’s just bursting out of me, I’ll write it and save that holiday’s quotes for next year. Some holidays, like Christmas and Independence Day, however, receive this treatment every year. So without further ado, a few words on the concept of Liberty, and the fact that freedom isn’t free.

• Freedom exists only where the people take care of the government. – Woodrow Wilson

• Pray you use your freedom, and as so far as you please, allow me mine. -Philip Massinger

• For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail? – Ralph Waldo Emerson

• The greatest glory of a freeborn people is to transmit that freedom to their children.- William Havard

• He only earns his freedom and existence who daily conquers them anew. – Goethe

• O Freedom! Once thy flame hath fled, it never lights again. – Thomas Moore

• Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet we have this consolation within us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly. – Thomas Paine

• Liberty of speech inviteth and provoketh liberty to be used again, and so bringeth much to a man’s knowledge. – Sir Francis Bacon

• The most beautiful thing in the world is freedom of speech. – Diogenes

• To speak his thoughts is every free man’s right, in peace and war, in council and in fight. -Homer

• I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

• The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance. – John Philpot Curran

• Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it. – Germaine Greer

• Freedom is a condition of mind, and the best way to secure it is to breed it. – Elbert Hubbard

• It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees. – Dolores Ibarruri

• Safe? It is often safer to be in chains than to be free. -Franz Kafka

• We have confused the free with the free and easy. – Adlai Stevenson

• I ask only to be free. Even the butterflies are free. – Charles Dickens

• I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death. – Patrick Henry

• One should never put on one’s best trousers to go out to battle for freedom and truth. – Henrik Ibsen

• The enemies of freedom do not argue. They shout and then they shoot.  -W.R. Inge

• I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free. – Abraham Lincoln

• There is only one cure for the ills which freedom produces; and that is freedom. – Lord Macaulay

• A professor once said, “People are not interested in freedom, but in ham and eggs.” Ten years in prison with only ham and eggs would cure that. – Salvador de Madariaga

• There is no easy walk to freedom. -Nelson Mandela

• I am not a number! I am a free man! – George Markstein

• If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. – George Orwell

• We must plan for freedom, not merely for security, if for no other reason than that only freedom can make security secure. – George Popper

• They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin


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