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Jean Jacques RousseauFreedom is the power to choose our own chains.

—  Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778, Swiss-French philosopher

Vladimir LeninWhile the State exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no State.

—  Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924, Soviet revolutionary & leader

Eric HofferWhen people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.

—  Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983, American writer & philosopher

Jean BaudrillardIt is always the same: once you are liberated, you are forced to ask who you are.

—  Jean Baudrillard, 1929-2007, French intellectual

ThucydidesThe secret of happiness is freedom and the secret of freedom is courage.

—  Thucydides, 460-394 BC, Ancient Greek historian

Zig ZiglarEverybody says they want to be free. Take the train off the tracks and it’s free but it can’t go anywhere.

—  Zig Ziglar, 1926-2012, American self-help writer

Emile M. CioranI would like to be free, totaly free... free like an aborted child.

—  Emile M. Cioran, 1911-1995, French-Romanian philosopher

Eric HofferThe basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.

—  Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983, American writer & philosopher

Benjamin FranklinThose who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

—  Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790, American politician & writer

George Bernard ShawLiberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

Vladimir LeninFree speech is a bourgeois prejudice.

—  Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924, Soviet revolutionary & leader

Mahatma GandhiFreedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

—  Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, Indian leader of independence

Baruch SpinozaThe highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.

—  Baruch Spinoza, 1632-1677, Dutch philosopher

Abraham LincolnWe all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.

—  Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, American President

Abraham LincolnThose who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.

—  Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, American President

Jean-Paul SartreMan is condemned to be free.

—  Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905-1980, French philosopher

Vladimir LeninFreedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners.

—  Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924, Soviet revolutionary & leader

Vladimir LeninIt is true that liberty is precious — so precious that it must be rationed.

—  Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924, Soviet revolutionary & leader

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

—  George Orwell, 1903-1950, British writer

Somerset MaughamIf 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.

—  Somerset Maugham, 1874-1965, British writer

Somerset MaughamThere are two good things in life - freedom of thought and freedom of action.

—  Somerset Maugham, 1874-1965, British writer

Ayn RandCivilization is the process of setting man free from men.

—  Ayn Rand, 1905-1982, American writer & philosopher

John KennedyThe unity of freedom has never relied on uniformity of opinion.

—  John Kennedy, 1917-1963, American President [1961-1963]

Charles Caleb ColtonLiberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty; it is a blessing that must be earned before it can be enjoyed.

—  Charles Caleb Colton, 1780-1832, English cleric & writer

Antonio PorchiaWhen I break any of the chains that bind me I feel that I make myself smaller.

—  Antonio Porchia, 1885-1968, Italian-Argentinian poet

Albert CamusAbsolute freedom mocks at justice. Absolute justice denies freedom. To be fruitful, the two ideas must find their limits in each other.

—  Albert Camus, 1913-1960, French writer, Nobel 1957

Albert CamusFreedom is nothing but a chance to be better.

—  Albert Camus, 1913-1960, French writer, Nobel 1957

VoltaireMan is free at the instant he wants to be.

—  Voltaire, 1694-1778, French philosopher & writer

Jules RenardThe truly free man is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse.

—  Jules Renard, 1864-1910, French writer

Will DurantWhen liberty destroys order, the hunger for order will destroy liberty.

—  Will Durant, 1885-1981, American historian & philosopher

Will DurantKnowledge is power but only wisdom is liberty.

—  Will Durant, 1885-1981, American historian & philosopher

Frank TygerDoing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.

—  Frank Tyger, 1929-2011, American cartoonist

Martin Luther KingFreedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

—  Martin Luther King, 1929-1968, American leader in the Civil Rights Movement

Henry David ThoreauThe law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free.

—  Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862, American writer

Sigmund FreudMost people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.

—  Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939, Austrian psychologist, founder of psychoanalysis

Lord ActonLiberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.

—  Lord Acton, 1834-1902, English historian

Elbert HubbardResponsibility is the price of freedom.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Karl KrausThe tyranny of necessity grants its slaves three kinds of freedom: opinion free from intellect, entertainment free from art, and orgies free from love.

—  Karl Kraus, 1874-1936, Austrian writer

William JamesFreedom is only necessity understood.

—  William James, 1842-1910, American philosopher

Robert FrostFreedom lies in being bold.

—  Robert Frost, 1874-1963, American poet

Theodore RooseveltOrder without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive.

—  Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919, American President [1901-1909]

T. S. EliotIn the mountains, there you feel free.

—  T. S. Eliot, 1888-1965, British poet, Nobel 1948

Jean Jacques RousseauI prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.

—  Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778, Swiss-French philosopher

Jean Jacques RousseauThat man is truly free who desires what he is able to perform, and does what he desires.

—  Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778, Swiss-French philosopher

Jean Jacques RousseauMan is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.

—  Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778, Swiss-French philosopher

Thomas JeffersonOur liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.

—  Thomas Jefferson, 1749-1826, American President [1801-1809]

Dwight EisenhowerThe general limits of your freedom are merely these: that you do not trespass upon the equal rights of others.

—  Dwight Eisenhower, 1890-1969, American general & President

George W. BushOur enemies have made the mistake that America's enemies always make. They saw liberty and thought they saw weakness. And now, they see defeat.

—  George W. Bush, 1946-, American President

David Lloyd GeorgeLiberty has restraints but no frontiers.

—  David Lloyd George, 1863-1945, British Prime Minister [1916-1922]

EpicurusFreedom is the greatest fruit of self sufficiency.

—  Epicurus, 341-270 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

Franklin RooseveltIn the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.

—  Franklin Roosevelt, 1882-1945, American President [1936-1945]

Friedrich NietzscheToday as always, men fall into two groups: slaves and free men. Whoever does not have two-thirds of his day for himself, is a slave, whatever he may be: a statesman, a businessman, an official, or a scholar.

—  Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher

Jean Jacques RousseauThe freedom of Mankind does not lie in the fact that can do what we want, but that we do not have to do that which we do not want.

—  Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778, Swiss-French philosopher

Benjamin FranklinFreedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.

—  Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790, American politician & writer

Quotes in Verse

Fernando PessoaNot pleasure, not glory, not power: freedom, only freedom.

—  Fernando Pessoa, 1888-1935, Portuguese poet & writer

Ancient Greek

EpicurusWe must free ourselves from the daily routine and the bonds of politics.

Εκλυτέον εαυτούς εκ του περί τα εγκύκλια και τα πολιτικά δεσμωτηρίου.

—  Epicurus, 341-270 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher


Special Quotes

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

—  National motto of France and a slogan of the French Revolution

Work sets you free.

Arbeit macht frei.

—  Inscription on the entrance of various Nazi concentration camps

     (from the title of a novel by Lorenz Diefenbach, 1873)

Movie Quotes

Fight Club (1999)It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.

—  from the film Fight Club (1999)

Breathless (1960) I don't know if I'm unhappy because I'm not free, or if I'm not free because I'm unhappy.

—  from the film Breathless (1960)

Bananas (1971)- You have a chance to die for freedom.
- Yes, well, freedom is wonderful. On the other hand, if you're dead, it's a tremendous drawback to your sex life.

—  from the film Bananas (1971)

Alphaville (1965)- You know I'm only a free man.
- A meaningless reply.

—  from the film Alphaville (1965)


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou