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quotations about freedom

Freedom quote

Caged birds accept each other but flight is what they long for.


Walk where your heart leads you, there are no restrictions and no burdens.

GAO XINGJIAN, Nocturnal Wanderer

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

RONALD REAGAN, First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.


People never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

EDMUND BURKE, speech at County Meeting of Bucks, 1784

I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free. Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterflies!


None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but licence.

JOHN MILTON, Tenure of Kings and Magistrates

For every man who lives without freedom, the rest of us must face the guilt.

LILLIAN HELLMAN, The Watch on the Rhine

Freedom and not servitude is the cure of anarchy; as religion, and not atheism, is the true remedy of superstition.

EDMUND BURKE, speech on conciliation with America, 1775

Man is condemned to be free.

JEAN-PAUL SARTRE, Existentialism Is a Humanism

Freedom would be meaningless without security in the home and in the streets.

NELSON MANDELA, speech, April 27, 1995

So free we seem, so fettered fast we are!

ROBERT BROWNING, Andrea del Sarto

History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1953

Freedom quote

Real freedom is having nothing. I was freer when I didn't have a cent.

MIKE TYSON, Sports Illustrated, Mar. 1988

It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything.


The anchor in our world today is freedom, holding us steady in times of change, a symbol of hope to all the world.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, State of the Union Address, Jan. 31, 1990

Because we are free we can never be indifferent to the fate of freedom elsewhere. Our moral sense dictates a clearcut preference for these societies which share with us an abiding respect for individual human rights. We do not seek to intimidate, but it is clear that a world which others can dominate with impunity would be inhospitable to decency and a threat to the well-being of all people.

JIMMY CARTER, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1977

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to H.L. Pierce, Apr. 6, 1859

The cause of Freedom is the cause of God!


I anticipate with pleasing expectations that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, farewell address, Sep. 17, 1796

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

WILLIAM PITT, speech, Nov. 18, 1783

Freedom to reject is the only freedom.

SALMAN RUSHDIE, The Ground Beneath Her Feet

The worst way to defend our freedom is to let our leaders start taking away our freedoms! It is exactly during times like these [a national crisis] that we need more freedom of speech, a strong and critical press, and a citizenry that is not afraid to stand up and say that the emperor has no clothes.

MICHAEL MOORE, Stupid White Men

Ignorance may be bliss, but it certainly is not freedom, except in the minds of those who prefer darkness to light and chains to liberty. The more true information we can acquire, the better for our enfranchisement.

ROBERT HUGH BENSON, Intellectual Slavery

Freedom has a thousand charms to show,
That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.


Freedom quote

Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things.

RONALD REAGAN, speech at Moscow State University, May 31, 1988

They never fail who die
In a great cause: the block may soak their gore:
Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
Be strung to city gates and castle walls—
But still their Spirit walks abroad. Though years
Elapse, and others share as dark a doom,
They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts
Which overpower all others, and conduct
The world at last to Freedom.

LORD BYRON, Marino Faliero

Freedom is the basic condition for you to touch life, to touch the blue sky, the trees, the birds, the tea, and the other person.

THICH NHAT HANH, Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames

For He that worketh high and wise.
Nor pauses in his plan,
Will take the sun out of the skies
Ere freedom out of man.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Ode Sung in the Town Hall

True freedom is tolerant. It gives people the right to live and think in new ways.


Freedom is just chaos, with better lighting.

ALAN DEAN FOSTER, To the Vanishing Point

Freedom can be preserved only if it is treated as a supreme principle which must not be sacrificed for particular advantages.

FRIEDRICH HAYEK, Law, Legislation and Liberty

True freedom is always spiritual. It has something to do with your innermost being, which cannot be chained, handcuffed, or put into a jail.

OSHO, Freedom: The Courage to Be Yourself

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

Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation.

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, letter to James Lloyd, Oct. 1, 1822

To be true to one’s own freedom is, in essence, to honor and respect the freedom of all others.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, State of the Union Address, Feb. 2, 1953

For you who no longer posses it, freedom is everything, for us who do, it is merely an illusion.

EMIL CIORAN, History & Utopia

Freedom quote

Men rattle their chains--to manifest their freedom.

ARTHUR HELPS, Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd

True freedom is to share
All the chains our brothers wear

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, "Stanzas on Freedom"

Man is born free and is everywhere in chains.

PETER CAREY, Parrot and Olivier in America

The truth shall make you free.

JESUS, John 8:31

To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one's freedom.

ANDRE GIDE, Autumn Leaves

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