On Liberty and Freedom

July 4, 1776 – A new nation forms as it seeks liberty from a powerful country that is also free. A new Constitution delivers a new government to set sail into an unknown future. 237 years later, the great American experiment of freedoms continues.

Whether words from the Founding Fathers, future American leaders, or others from around the world at various points of history, calls for liberty and freedom ring strong.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. (Thomas Jefferson)

Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. (James Madison)

Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit, which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. (Abraham Lincoln)

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. (John F. Kennedy)

Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty. (Ronald Reagan)

The basics of a democratic state is liberty. (Aristotle)

It is a strange desire, to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man’s self. (Francis Bacon)

Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought. (Pope John Paul II)

Being democratic is not enough, a majority cannot turn what is wrong into right. In order to be considered truly free, countries must also have a deep love of liberty and an abiding respect for the rule of law. (Margaret Thatcher)

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. (Winston Churchill)

To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse than starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body. (Mahatma Gandhi)

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. (Nelson Mandela)

Happy Independence Day … and may liberty and freedom continue to spread. Enjoy Liberty Fanfare (by John Williams) with narration … the music that actually sparked this post.