Quotes about Freedom & Liberty

Inspirational Quotes about Freedom and Liberty

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“The painful secret of gods and kings is that men are free, Aegistheus. You know it and they do not.”

– Jean Paul Sartre, about freedom as quoted in The Flies


“It is by the goodness of god that in our country we have those 3 unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.”

– Mark Twain 


“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.

None but ourselves can free our minds.”

– Bob Marley quote about Freedom


“I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man’s.”

– William Blake


“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.”

– Jim Morrison


 “Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.”

– Edward Abbey


“I do not surrender my treasures, nor do I share them. The fortune of my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to the winds as alms for the poor of the spirit. I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.”

– Ayn Rand


 “A day, an hour of virtuous liberty is worth a whole eternity in bondage” –

– Addison Cato


“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


“In this world I only ask for a fair piece of the pie and the freedoms to enjoy it, nothing more and nothing less. If others wish to gamble what they have for more than they need then so be it, so long as it does not interfere with the innocent. On this matter I shall show no quarter.”

– Alexander Di Fortitudo


“Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. Of course, people with guns kill more people. But that’s only natural. It’s hard. But it’s fair.”

– Edward Abbey, as quoted in Abbey’s Road


“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”

– Nelson Mandela


“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”

– Jim Morrison


“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


“No man is liberated from fear who dare not see his place in the world as it is; no man can achieve the greatness of which he is capable until he has allowed himself to see his own littleness.”

– Bertrand Russell, as quoted in Dreams and Facts (1919)


“As soon as slavery fired upon the flag it was felt, we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle.”

– Ulysses S. Grant, To Otto von Bismarck in June 1878, as quoted in Young, John Russell (1879


“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience. It would be easy, however, to destroy that good conscience by shouting to them: if you want the happiness of the people, let them speak out and tell what kind of happiness they want and what kind they don’t want! But, in truth, the very ones who make use of such alibis know they are lies; they leave to their intellectuals on duty the chore of believing in them and of proving that religion, patriotism, and justice need for their survival the sacrifice of freedom.”

– Albert Camus, Quotes from Homage to an Exile


“Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny”

– Bob Marley


“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”

– Malcolm X


“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.”

– Nelson Mandela


“If the life of natural things, millions of years old, does not seem sacred to us, then what can be sacred? Human vanity alone? Contempt for the natural world implies contempt for life. The domination of nature leads to the domination of human nature.”

– Edward Abbey, about Freedom as quoted in Beyond the Wall: Essays from the Outside


“[Freedom] is the greatest of political goods. I do not say freedom is the greatest of all goods: the best things come from within—they are such things as creative art, and love, and thought. Such things can be helped or hindered by political conditions, but not actually produced by them; and freedom is, both in itself and in its relation to these other goods the best thing that political and economic conditions can secure.”

– Bertrand Russell, as quoted in Proposed Roads To Freedom (1918)


“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”

– George Washington


“We will freedom for freedom’s sake, in and through particular circumstances. And in thus willing freedom, we discover that it depends entirely upon the freedom of others and that the freedom of others depends upon our own. Obviously, freedom as the definition of a man does not depend upon others, but as soon as there is a commitment, I am obliged to will the liberty of others at the same time as my own. I cannot make liberty my aim unless I make that of others equally my aim.”

– Jean Paul Sartre, as quoted in Existentialism Is a Humanism, lecture [1] (1946)


“The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of the oppression, if they are strong enough, either by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable. But any people or part of a people who resort to this remedy, stake their lives, their property, and every claim for protection given by citizenship — on the issue. Victory, or the conditions imposed by the conqueror — must be the result.”

– Ulysses S. Grant, As Quoted in Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant


“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”

– Soren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855)


“Freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of life that it shall yield them any of those personal goods that are subject to the mutations of time.”

– Bertrand Russell, as quoted in A Free Man’s Worship


“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”

– Jean Paul Sartre, as quoted in Being and Nothingness (1943)


“Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one’s own person is its ultimate reward.”

– Patricia Sampson


“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”

– Mahatma Gandhi


“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

– Benjamin Franklin, Memoirs of the life & writings of Benjamin Franklin


“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

– Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart


“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

– Abraham Lincoln


“The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labour. Surely we must free men and women together before we can free women. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands — the ownership and control of their lives and livelihood — are set at naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights. The majority of mankind are ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease. How can women hope to help themselves while we and our brothers are helpless against the powerful organizations which modern parties represent and which contrive to rule the people? They rule the people because they own the means of physical life, land, and tools, and the nourishers of intellectual life, the press, the church, and the school. You say that the conduct of the woman suffragists is being disgracefully misrepresented by the British press. Here in America the leading newspapers misrepresent in every possible way the struggles of toiling men and women who seek relief. News that reflects ill upon the employers is skillfully concealed — news of dreadful conditions under which labourers are forced to produce, news of thousands of men maimed in mills and mines and left without compensation, news of famines and strikes, news of thousands of women driven to a life of shame, news of little children compelled to labour before their hands are ready to drop their toys. Only here and there in a small and as yet uninfluential paper is the truth told about the workman and the fearful burdens under which he staggers.”

– Helen Keller, as quoted in Out of the Dark


“Institutions such as schools, churches, governments and political organizations of every sort all tended to direct thoughts for ends other than truth, for the perpetuation of their own functions, and for the control of individuals in the service of these functions.”

-Robert Prisig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence


“You can’t fight city hall.” “Death and taxes.” “Don’t talk about politics or religion.” This is all the equivalent of enemy propaganda, rolling across the picket line. “Lay down, GI! Lay down, GI!”. We saw it all through the 20th Century. And now on the 21st Century, it’s time to stand up and realize, that we should NOT allow ourselves to be crammed into this rat maze. We should not SUBMIT to dehumanization. I don’t know about you, but I’m concerned with what’s happening in this world. I’m concerned with the structure. I’m concerned with the systems of control. Those that control my life, and those that seek to control it EVEN MORE! I want FREEDOM! That’s what I want, and that’s what YOU should want! It’s up to each and every one of us to turn loose of just some of the greed, the hatred, the envy, and yes, the insecurities, because that is the central mode of control, make us feel pathetic, small, so we’ll willingly give up our sovereignty, our liberty, our destiny. We have GOT to realize we’re being conditioned on a mass scale. Start challenging this corporate slave state! The 21st Century’s gonna be a new century! Not the century of slavery, not the century of lies and issues of no significance, of classism and statism, and all the rest of the modes of control… it’s gonna be the age of humankind, standing up for something PURE and something RIGHT! What a bunch of garbage, liberal, Democratic, conservative, Republican, it’s all there to control you, two sides of the same coin! Two management teams, bidding for control of the CEO job of Slavery Incorporated! The TRUTH is out there in front of you, but they lay out this buffet of LIES! I’m SICK of it, and I’M NOT GONNA TAKE A BITE OUT OF IT! DO YA GOT ME? Resistance is NOT futile, we’re gonna win this thing, humankind is too good, WE’RE NOT A BUNCH OF UNDERACHIEVERS, WE’RE GONNA STAND UP, AND WE’RE GONNA BE HUMAN BEINGS! WE’RE GONNA GET FIRED UP ABOUT THE REAL THINGS, THE THINGS THAT MATTER – CREATIVITY, AND THE *DYNAMIC* *HUMAN* *SPIRIT* THAT REFUSES TO *SUBMIT*! WELL THAT’S IT, that’s all I’ve got to say. It’s in your court now.”

-Waking Life


“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

― Nelson Mandela