Pithy Quotes and Aphorisms

Pithy Quotes

In the battle for freedom, we can call upon the wisdom of many great minds from the past. On this page we offer for your edification and perhaps entertainment words from some of the great advocates of freedom in history. If you have any quotations you would like to share, please write to me. Please document your quotation. Thank you.


The majority of all laws are nothing but privileges, that is, a tribute paid by all to the convenience of some few. — Cesare Beccaria, Italian explorer-political leader, 1738-1794

Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called. — John Stuart Mill, English political philosopher, 1806-1873

The only way to set people free is to awaken their consciousness to the fact that they are born free. — The Rev. Kirby J. Hensley

Ultimately the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself. — Elie Wiesel

One paradox of police states is that they tend to have lousy police. — Stephen Browne, article “An American in Warsaw” in January 1997 issue of Liberty magazine

Liberty is rendered even more precious by the recollection of servitude. — Cicero

Governments create nothing and have nothing to give but what they have first taken away. — Winston Churchill

The purification of politics is an iridescent dream. Government is force. — John James Ingalls, The New York World, 1890

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. — Tom Paine, 1737-1809

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. — Tacitus, Roman senator and historian, A.D. c. 56-c. 115

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. — Mao Tse-tung, 1893-1976

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. — George Washington, 1732-1799, first president of the United States of America

The more laws, the more offenders. — Thomas Fuller, M.D.

A bureaucrat is someone who is afraid that somewhere, some how, somebody is doing something without permission. — Michael Morrison, at a July Fourth picnic in Los Angeles, 1973

November 19, 2021