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Freedom Quotes

Freedom Quotes

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Published by: virtualjustino on Feb 01, 2009
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09/29/2012

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The Writer’s Rights
~~~~~~
Over 1,600 Selected Quotations OnFreedom of Expression, Censorship,Civil Liberties and Individual RightsForWriters, Journalists, Researchers,Scholars, Booksellers and Libra
 rians
 ISBN 0-9761337-4-1
Compiled by
 Laird Wilcox
www.lairdwilcox.com
(lwilcox3@aol.com)
Seventh Edition 2005
 
 
 Foreword 
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercisethereof; of abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceablyassemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Constitution of the United States,Bill of Rights, First Amendment, 1791.
One would think that given the rather explicit language of the First Amendment there wouldn’t be muchambiguity about what it intends. However, two centuries of various forms of legislation, litigation and eventualSupreme Court Decisions suggest that this is not the case. While Americans have retained a large degree ofexpressive freedom relative to other places in the world, there will always be repressive forces in our society –political, religious, gender or racial interest groups -- ready and willing to restrict these liberties in order to advancetheir own particular agenda, usually in the form of restricting or prohibiting criticism, discussion and debate onparticular issues.These restrictions are often quite subtle, as in the emergence of various forms of “political correctness,” whichhas both left and right-wing varieties, or quite explicit, as in the case of speech codes on college and universitycampuses. What is disarming about these forces is their frequent alliance with “humanitarian” concerns, such asmovements for equality and elimination of discrimination, which frames concern for freedom of expression asopposition to otherwise legitimate grievances. Nevertheless, no interest group should be allowed to impose theirown exceptions to the First Amendment on other Americans.Another threat to freedom of expression has re-emerged with renewed vigor following the 11 September 2001World Trade Center tragedy, and that is from an understandable but often overzealous desire to deal with the threatof terrorism. There’s little doubt that this horrible crime was totally indefensible and while there are reasonable andeven necessary safety measures that might be considered, the “War on Terrorism” is bringing with it the draconianlaws threatening basic freedoms Americans have taken for granted since the founding of the Republic. In additionto a dramatically expanded definition of “terrorism” to take in more and more behaviors and events, new threats tofreedom of association, assembly and speech are emerging from the rush of legislation on all levels of government.Moreover, opposition to these measures is sometimes taken to imply a lack of patriotism or even disloyalty,although it can easily be argued that precisely the opposite is the case. This is a truly frightening development,and especially so given the rationalizations of “wartime” and national security.This collection contains quotations from a wide variety of political perspectives, from liberal and socialist tolibertarian and conservative. What they all have in common is some degree of relevance to human freedom andindividual rights, with an emphasis on freedom of expression. What I have tended to avoid is quotations pertainingspecifically to class, ethnicity, religion or gender and instead I have favored quotations pertaining to everyone,inasmuch as I believe civil liberties and individual rights should apply to all human beings.These quotations come from a wide variety of sources, primarily previous collections I have authored orcoauthored, most particularly,
Be Reasonable: Selected Quotations for Inquiring Minds 
, by Laird Wilcox and JohnGeorge (Prometheus: 1994), and
Selected Quotations for the Ideological Skeptic 
, by Laird Wilcox (EditorialResearch Service, 1992). Other sources include my own notes, quotations sent to me by friends, internet searchingand the reading of a very large number of books.It’s important to bear in mind that quotations are, almost by definition, statements removed from their originalcontext. It isn’t difficult to find contradictory statements in the writings of many individuals, and some writers maybe surprisingly ambivalent about an issue, at times taking a stand diametrically opposed to an earlier statement.Many of our nation’s founders, for example, had both a liberal and tolerant side, and a conservative andauthoritarian side -- a trait that attests to their essentially fallible human nature and persists in human beings to thepresent day. It is, of course, not possible to know exactly what someone was thinking or referring to when theymade a statement that is subsequently quoted, so we tend to interpret the quotation in terms of current meaningsand current issues. In this case what they probably had in mind was religious and political freedom in the form ofthe written and spoken word. To imagine that John Stuart Mill or Thomas Jefferson would feel comfortabledefending the rights of pornographic film producers is almost certainly quite a stretch. On the other hand, mostlate 20
th
century writers quoted here have an awareness of censorship pertaining to that subject and their
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quotations would likely include those forms of expression as well, although even that would have to be taken on acase by case basis unless otherwise indicated.Freedom of expression and civil liberties can never be taken for granted, and especially so for writers, journalists,researchers, scholars and librarians. These professions are among the first to feel the chill of repression andexperience its personal, professional and legal consequences. If in some small way this collection of quotations isuseful to raise awareness of this issue, it has been worth the effort to publish it.I would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance and inspiration of John George, my good friend, fellow civillibertarian and champion of freedom of expression. His encouragement and expertise in fake and spuriousquotations has been of enormous benefit in compiling this collection. Also, I would like to dedicate this book to mydaughter Carrie Wilcox, who was present when the initial idea for this project was conceived.I would be grateful to anyone sending me corrections or suggested additions. My email address islwilcox3@aol.com.For further information on my publications please check out my website at lairdwilcox.com. Laird WilcoxApril 2005
Laird Wilcox - 2005
~~~
Fair Use Notice
~~~
This compilation contains copyrighted quotations the use of which has not always beenspecifically authorized by the copyright holder. I am making these quotations available inan effort to advance understanding of political, social, philosophical, legal and scientificissues. I believe this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted quotations asprovided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.Section 107 the quotations in this compilation are distributed without profit to those whohave expressed a prior interest in receiving the information for research and educationalpurposes. For more information go to the web site maintained by the Cornell UniversitySchool of Law: law/cornell.edu/uscode/17/107. If you wish to use copyrighted material fromthis compilation for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtainpermission from the copyright holder.
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