Sunday, November 07, 2010


The meaning of liberty, set to the music of one of my top ten all time favourite songs, Forever Young by Alphaville. Enjoy.


_ said...

American libertarians have a knack for blending important truths, banal slogans, and facile policy proposals. Didn't realise bad music was part of the deal too.

"What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Those who know what virtuous liberty is cannot bear to see it disgraced by incapable heads, on account of their having high-sounding words in their mouths. Grand, swelling sentiments of liberty I am sure I do not despise. They warm the heart; they enlarge and liberalise our minds; they animate our courage in a time of conflict. Old as I am, I read the fine raptures of Lucan and Corneille with pleasure. Neither do I wholly condemn the little arts and devices of popularity. They facilitate the carrying of many points of moment; they keep the people together; they refresh the mind in its exertions; and they diffuse occasional gaiety over the severe brow of moral freedom. Every politician ought to sacrifice to the Graces, and to join compliance with reason. But... to make a government requires no great prudence. Settle the seat of power, teach obedience, and the work is done. To give freedom is still more easy. It is not necessary to guide; it only requires to let go the rein. But to form a free government, that is to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one consistent work, requires much thought, deep reflection, a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind."

- Edmund Burke, "Reflections on the Revolution in France", ch. 15

Alcuin said...

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves - William Pitt

Once a country accepts censorship of the press and of speech, then nothing can be won without violence. Therefore, so long as you have free speech, protect it. This is the life-and-death issue in this country: do not give up the freedom of the press -- of newspapers, books, magazines, radio, movies, and other forms of presenting ideas. So long as that's free, a peaceful intellectual turn is possible. - Ayn Rand

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

When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. - Thomas Jefferson