Indignation boils my blood at the thought of the heritage we are throwing away; at the thought that, with few exceptions, the fight for freedom is left to the poor, forlorn and defenseless, and to the few radicals and revolutionaries who would make use of liberty to destroy, rather than to maintain, American institutions.
Individuality is the aim of political liberty. By leaving to the citizen as much freedom of action and of being, as comports with order and the rights of others, the institutions render him truly a freeman. He is left to pursue his means of happiness in his own manner.
It is better to go near the truth and be imprisoned than to stay with the wrong and roam about freely, master Galilei. In fact, getting attached to falsity is terrible slavery, and real freedom is only next to the right.
It is my hope that as the Negro plunges deeper into the quest for freedom and justice he will plunge even deeper into the philosophy of non-violence. The Negro all over the South must come to the point that he can say to his white brother: We will match your capacity to inflict suffering with our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. We will not hate you, but we will not obey your evil laws. We will soon wear you down by pure capacity to suffer.
It is not true that democracy will always safeguard freedom of conscience better than autocracy. Witness the most famous of all trials. Pilate was, from the standpoint of the Jews, certainly the representative of autocracy. Yet he tried to protect freedom. And he yielded to a democracy.
It was not their irritating assumption of equality that annoyed Nicholai so much as their cultural confusions. The Americans seemed to confuse standard of living with quality of life, equal opportunity with institutionalized mediocrity, bravery with courage, machismo with manhood, liberty with freedom, wordiness with articulation, fun with pleasure - in short, all of the misconceptions common to those who assume that justice implies equality for all, rather than equality for equals.
Man is more disposed to domination than freedom; and a structure of dominion not only gladdens the eye of the master who rears and protects it, but even its servants are uplifted by the thought that they are members of a whole, which rises high above the life and strength of single generations.
Man must be able to think freely and he must be able to express his thoughts freely! He who is against this is not only fascist and primitive but at the same time is a very great coward also! Only the brave and the honourable men are never afraid of freedom of thought and freedom of expression of ideas! Just like the cockroaches do not like the light, evil minds also do not like the freedom of thoughts!
Many politicians lay 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.
Modern life means democracy, democracy means freeing intelligence for independent effectivenessthe emancipation of mind as an individual organ to do its own work. We naturally associate democracy, to be sure, with freedom of action, but freedom of action without freed capacity of thought behind it is only chaos.