, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will
, and take responsibility for their actions. There are different conceptions of liberty, which articulate the relationship of individuals to society in different ways, including some which relate to life under a "social contract
" or to existence in a "state of nature
", and some which see the active exercise of freedom and rights as essential to liberty.
and classical liberal
conceptions of liberty typically consist of the freedom of individuals from outside compulsion or coercion
, also known as negative liberty
, while Social liberal
conceptions of liberty emphasize social structure and agency
, or positive liberty
In feudal societies, a "liberty" was an area of allodial
land in which the rights of the ruler, or monarch
, had been waived.
Opinions on what constitute liberty can vary widely, but can be generally classified as positive liberty
and negative liberty
Our history has shown us that insecurity threatens liberty. Yet, if our liberties are curtailed, we lose the values that we are struggling to defend.
Liberty, next to religion has been the motive of good deeds and the common pretext of crime...
By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.
Liberty and good government do not exclude each other; and there are excellent reasons why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
Ever since I arrived to a state of manhood, I have felt a sincere passion for liberty.
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.
Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.
It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.