Liberty and Entrepreneurship: A Few Quotes

US Flag Day poster from 1917In the month of July, I always stop to give thanks for the amount of liberty I enjoy as a citizen of the USA. Liberty plays an important role in successful entrepreneurship, so it’s particularly important for independent-minded entrepreneurs to be vigilant in protecting what we have.

Some of the core freedoms that undergird our ability to create streams of income include the rule of law, the right to own property, the right to engage in lawful trade, the right to travel freely within the borders of our country, the right to peaceably assemble, and the opportunity to further our own education through free public libraries, an open internet, and other sources.

As an independent entrepreneur, I’m grateful for the liberties we have. To paraphrase Mark Twain, a person who won’t take advantage of his liberties has no advantage over the person who has none. So in a spirit of encouragement, here are a few of my favorite quotes on liberty.

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.  ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

The ideal government of all reflective men, from Aristotle onward, is one which lets the individual alone – one which barely escapes being no government at all.
H.L. Mencken

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.  ~Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.
Albert Einstein

History does not teach fatalism.  There are moments when the will of a handful of free men breaks through determinism and opens up new roads.  ~Charles de Gaulle

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.  ~Thomas Paine

Liberty has never come from the government.  Liberty has always come from the subjects of it.  The history of liberty is a history of resistance.  ~Woodrow Wilson

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.  ~George Washington

There are two freedoms – the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought.  ~Charles Kingsley

The public school system: “Usually a twelve year sentence of mind control. Crushing creativity, smashing individualism, encouraging collectivism and compromise, destroying the exercise of intellectual inquiry, twisting it instead into meek subservience to authority.”
Walter Karp, Editor Harper’s Magazine

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.”
C. S. Lewis

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.  ~James Madison, speech, Virginia Convention, 1788

A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
Thomas Jefferson

I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.  ~Author Unknown

Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.
Henry David Thoreau

Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular – but one must take it simply because it is right.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those fighting for free enterprise and free competition do not defend the interests of those rich today. They want a free hand left to unknown men who will be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
Ludwig von Mises

Education – compulsory schooling, compulsory learning – is a tyranny and a crime against the human mind and spirit. Let all those escape it who can, any way they can.
John Holt

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
Thomas Jefferson

Profits generated by a free (or even semifree) enterprise system are the means by which the various producing segments of a complex society, employing a division of skills, can gauge their success in meeting the requirements of society. Profits mean that a company is successful in meeting consumer demand for its products; decreasing profits mean that the company’s energy is misdirected and should be reoriented toward more urgent requirements. 
Kurt V. Leininger

And finally, if you’ve been inspired by another entrepreneur’s liberty, perhaps it’s time to act on your own. We’ll talk next time about finding or creating your first heart-based microbusiness.

1 Response

  1. November 11, 2011

    […] Day page. You’ll also find good quotes on liberty and freedom at my entrepreneurial blog, Do What Matters, Make it Pay. These work well for copywork or dictation, or simply as essay or discussion starters. […]

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