The Topic; What does freedom mean? People talk about freedom all the time, but what does it mean in real life? Is a person who has a job truly free? What about the responsibilities of having a family or a friend? It’s one thing to be free to make a choice, but after a choice is made, are we truly free anymore?

I thought others have talked eloquently on this topic.  Here are my  favorite five quotes by men (I posted what women said yesterday)  My five favorite quotes by men are listed first.

The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.Supreme Court of the United States Justice 1902 to 1932

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

Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.

Napoleon Bonaparte1769 –  1821) French Emperor 1804-1815

(Sadly,  he wanted to decide for everyone else and that is slavery, but I felt this gave much food for thought.)

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

Adlai Stevenson, American politician, speech, Detroit, 1952


Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves.

Author Unknown

Freedom is never free.

Author Unknown

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

Edmund Burke, 1729 – 1797,  British philosopher

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.

Thomas Paine,  1737-1809,  American Freedom Fighter

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

George Washington, First President of the United States, 1789-  1797

The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.

Daniel Webster,  1782 – 1852,  American statesman and senator.

Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom.  The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.

Thomas Macaulay 1st Baron Macaulay1800 – 1859,  a British poet, historian and Whig politician

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

Abraham Lincoln,  the 16th President of the United States, (1861-1867)

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,  1818 – 1895) born a slave was an American social reformer

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.

Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1878 – 1969, American clergyman.

There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.

Peyton Conway March, 1864- 1955, US Army Chief of Staff 1918 to 1921

We are free, truly free, when we don’t need to rent our arms to anybody in order to be able to lift a piece of bread to our mouths.

Ricardo Flores Magon, 1874 — 1922 ,  Mexican anarchist and social reformer.

Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive.

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th Present of the United States

Liberty doesn’t work as well in speeches.

Will Rogers,   1879 – 1935, American cowboy and humorist

Liberty means responsibility.  That is why most men dread it.

George Bernard Shaw, 1905, British playwright

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.

Felix Frankfurter J,  Supreme Court Justice, 1939 to 1962

The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

Louis D. Brandeis  Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939,

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. . . . freedom of speech and expression . . . freedom of every person to worship God in his own way . . . freedom from want . . . freedom from fear.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt,  32nd President of the United States (1933–1945)

Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them — and then, the opportunity to choose.

C. Wright Mills,  1916- 1962,  American sociologist.

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, 34th President of the United States, 1953 to 1961

The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions.

Adlai Stevenson,  1949–1953, American Politician

Most people want security in this world, not liberty.

H.L. Mencken, American author and political commentator, 1956

We feel free when we escape – even if it be but from the frying pan into the fire.

Eric Hoffer, American philosopher, 1902 – 1983

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.

Samuel Hendel, 1909-1984, American author, political scientist.

Freedom is that instant between when someone tells you to do something and when you decide how to respond.

Jeffrey Borenstein, American Physicist,

Quotes from a variety or sources


Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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