Freedom Quotes

Share

Author: Notre Dame Magazine

You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
— Malcolm X

The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. He frees himself and shows the way to others. Freedom and slavery are mental states.
— Mahatma Gandhi

The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.
— John Stuart Mill

Freedom for the pike is death for the minnows.
— R.H. Tawney, British economic historian

Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.
— Thucydides

You only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power—he’s free again.
— Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,
Nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’, but it’s free.
— Kris Kristofferson, “Me and Bobby McGee”

He who believes in freedom of the will has never loved and never hated.
— Maria von Ebner Eschenbach, Aphorisms

Our mouths are full of such words as freedom, but what does it really mean? Does it not perhaps mean being totally alone, living in a total vacuum?
— Krzysztof Kieslowski, Polish filmmaker

Only very slowly and late have men come to realize that unless freedom is universal it is only extended privilege.
—Christopher Hill, The Century of Revolution

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
— Robert Marley, “Redemption Song”

One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license.
— P.J. O’Rourke, in Rolling Stone

The will is never free—it is always attached to an object, a purpose. It is simply the engine in the car—it can’t steer.
— Joyce Cary, British novelist

We human beings do have some genuine freedom of choice and therefore some effective control over our own destinies. I am not a determinist. But I also believe the decisive choice is seldom the latest choice in the series. More often than not, it will turn out to be some choice made relatively far back in the past.
— A.J. Toynbee, writing in The New York Times

Liberty means responsibility. That’s why most men dread it.
— George Bernard Shaw

I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.
— Patrick Henry

Stone walls do not a prison make,
nor iron bars a cage.
— Richard Lovelace

It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
— Dolores Ibarruri

I’m interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos, especially activity that appears to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom.
— Jim Morrison, rock singer, songwriter

A man should keep for himself a little back shop, all his own, quite unadulterated, in which he establishes his true freedom and chief place of seclusion and solitude.
— Montaigne, French essayist

The thoughts of a prisoner — they’re not free either. They keep returning to the same things.
— Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The greatest gift that God in his bounty made was the freedom of the will, with which the intelligent creatures were and are endowed.
— Dante

There is no such thing as free will. The mind is induced to wish this or that by some cause and that cause is determined by another cause, and so on back to infinity.
— Spinoza

Freedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be.
— James Baldwin

You should never have your best trousers on when you go out to fight for freedom and truth.
— Henrik Ibsen

Free at last, free at last
Thank God Almighty
We are free at last.
— Martin Luther King’s epitaph, from an old spiritual, with which he ended his “I Have a Dream” speech

The magazine welcomes comments, but we do ask that they be on topic and civil. Read our full comment policy.