rights

Qualities we look for in a liberally educated person: He is one who is deeply interested in life and enjoys it; who is sympathetic and generous in his attitude to other people, cultures, and countries, who accepts his world and himself as a growing, changing enterprise; who is sensitive to the beautiful and the ugly in actions and objects; who believes in human rights and freedom; who has a degree of knowledge and knows how to get the knowledge he does not have and who has at least a moderate skill in the art of living.

Freedom springs from within, whether in a man or in a people. To remove disabilities and confer the franchise is not enough. Men must be enabled to grow if they are to exercise their rights with dignity and effect. For this reason the widening of the franchise in democratic countries has always been accompanied or followed by the development of popular education.

Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.

Intellectual and spiritual leaders hailed the cause of civil rights and gave little thought to where the civil disobedience road might end. But defiance of the law, even for the best reasons, opens a tiny hole in the dike and soon a trickle becomes a flood... And while no thinking person denies that social injustice exits, no thinking person can condone any group, for any reason, taking justice into his own hands. Once this is permitted, democracy dies; for democracy is sustained through one great premise: the premise that civil rights are balanced by civil responsibilities.

I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, and receives new truth as an angel for Heaven.

Attack another's rights and you destroy your own.

Beneath a free government there is nothing but the intelligence of the people to keep the people’s peace. Order must be preserved, not by a military police or regiments of horse-guards, but by the spontaneous concert of a well-informed population, resolved that the rights which have been rescued from despotism shall not be subverted by anarchy.

Men are entitled to equal rights, but to equal rights in unequal things.

The end of all political associations is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man; and these rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance of oppression.

During war we imprison the rights of man.

A state is a perfect body of free men, united together in order to enjoy common rights and advantages.

Beyond the limits of his confining skin, no man can own any thing. “Property” refers not to things owned but to the rights granted by society; they must periodically be re-examined in the light of social justice.

Equal rights for all, special privileges for none.

I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in the punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.

No man’s conscience can tell him the rights of another man; they; must be known by rational investigation or historical inquiry.

The nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? ... Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us... Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.

The fundamental rights, like the right to existence and life; the right to personal freedom or to conduct one’s own life as master of oneself and of one’s acts, responsible for them before God and the law of the community; the right to the pursuit of the perfection of moral and rational human life; the right to keep one’s body whole; the right to private ownership of material goods, which is a safeguard of the liberties of the individual; the right to marry according to one’s choice and to raise a family which will be assured of the liberties due it; the right of association, the respect for human dignity in each individual, whether or not he represents an economic value for society - all these rights are rooted in the vocation of the person (a spiritual and free agent) to the order of absolute values and to a destiny superior to time.

The institutions of a country depend in great measure on the nature of its soil and situation. Many of the wants of man are awakened or supplied by these circumstances. To these wants, manners, laws, and religion must shape and accommodate themselves. The division of land, and the rights attached to it, alter with the soil; the laws relating to its produce, with its fertility. The manners of its inhabitants are in various ways modified by its position. The religion of a miner is not the same as the faith of a shepherd, nor is the character of the ploughman so war-like as that of the hunter. The observant legislator follows the direction of all these various circumstances. the knowledge of the natural advantages or defects of a country thus form an essential part of political science and history.