„Herbert Marcuse made a lengthy, impassioned response. What good was the Voting Rights Act accomplishing, he said, since the blacks were pursuing the tawdry values as their white fellow citizens? They were accepting the same capitalist values and aping the life-restricting respectability of the middle class. At a prolonged pause in his reply, just as he was getting his second wind, I rose and asked him a simple question: 'Which do you prefer, a situation in which the blacks had no freedom to vote or one in which they had the freedom to vote but chose wrongly?' Marcuse's response surprised the audience--and subsequently perhaps Marcuse himself: 'Since I have gone so far out on a limb, I may as well go all the way. I would prefer that they did not have the freedom to vote if they are going to make the wrong use of their freedom.“
— Eugene V. Debs American labor and political leader 1855 - 1926
Competition versus Cooperation (1900), Context: I would address a few words to those who are in sympathy with the Social Democratic Party, but who hesitate to vote for it for fear they may lose their votes. Let me say to you: It is infinitely better to vote for freedom and fail than to vote for slavery and succeed.
„Three years later in the contest for Kansas, the administration headed by James Buchanan tried to railroad through a constitution called the Lecompton Constitution, which would have made Kansas a slave state, but on the basis of a phony vote. Douglas stuck to his popular-sovereignty doctrine, which meant that the people of the territory, in a fair vote, would decide for or against slavery. That was the way in which he replaced the Missouri Compromise restriction. It opened slavery, but it said that the decision in each territory would be made by the people in that territory on the basis of their preferences.“
— Harry V. Jaffa American historian and collegiate professor 1918 - 2015
2000s, The Real Abraham Lincoln: A Debate (2002), The Right of Secession Is Not the Right of Revolution
„I cannot believe that in the twentieth century the British people are by their deliberate vote going to constitute this assembly – a fraction of whom no doubt are men of real eminence and dignity, but the great majority of whom are quite ordinary people of the well-to-do class with all the narrowest prejudices and special interests of that class – I cannot believe that you by your votes are going to constitute them the main foundation on which the governing power in our land is reposed. I cannot believe the middle classes and the working classes, who after all have only to use their voting strength to get their own way, are going to degrade and cast away their own voting powers which their fathers won for them in the past…I cannot believe that the electors are going obsequiously to hand over their most vital constitutional right, namely, to choose the Chamber that governs the Government, to an antiquated body of titled persons utterly beyond their control.“
— Winston S. Churchill Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1874 - 1965
Early career years (1898–1929), The People's Rights  (London: Jonathan Cape, 1970), pp. 65-66
„But understanding and explaining motives does not compromise freedom; nor does even predicting acts necessarily do so. A person committed to a political cause may vote predictably, and intelligibly in an election. He does not vote less freely than someone that flips a coin at the last minute. So if we find comparison with animals any help in understanding motives, it will not mean that conduct is not free. And since animals are not (as Descartes supposed) automata, the issue of freedom does not make comparing man with any other species and downgrading irrelevance.“
— Mary Midgley British philosopher and ethicist 1919 - 2018
Introduction, Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (1979).
„The first act of my public life was to publish my views and opinions of the evils under which Ireland laboured, and that subject is one that, amidst all the public questions in which I have been engaged, I have always had deeply and painfully at heart. I know I am taunted by some of my friends with giving a bad vote on this occasion. I shall give a conscientious vote, and if in doing so I am to make personal sacrifices, and lose the good opinion of those with whom I have long acted and have a deep respect for, I shall regret it; but, next to the satisfaction of having acted conscientiously, will be that I shall feel in voting for that which I believe will tend to heal the festering wounds of Irish society.“
— Richard Cobden English manufacturer and Radical and Liberal statesman 1804 - 1865
1840s, Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1845/apr/18/maynooth-college-adjourned-debate-sixth in the House of Commons (18 April 1845) in favour of the Maynooth College Act 1845.
„The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved.“
— Alfred Jules Ayer English philosopher 1910 - 1989
The Meaning of Life and Other Essays (1990), "The Concept of Freedom".
„But they say he “permits” it. What for? So that we may have freedom of choice. What for? So that God may find, I suppose, who are good and who are bad. Did he not know that when he made us? Did he not know exactly just what he was making?“
— Robert G. Ingersoll Union United States Army officer 1833 - 1899
Orthodoxy (1884), Context: How do they answer all this? They say that God “permits” it. What would you say to me if I stood by and saw a ruffian beat out the brains of a child, when I had full and perfect power to prevent it? You would say truthfully that I was as bad as the murderer. Is it possible for this God to prevent it? Then, if he does not he is a fiend; he is no god. But they say he “permits” it. What for? So that we may have freedom of choice. What for? So that God may find, I suppose, who are good and who are bad. Did he not know that when he made us? Did he not know exactly just what he was making?
„Since the value of freedom rests on the opportunities it provides for unforeseen and unpredictable actions, we will rarely know what we lose through a particular restriction of freedom.“
— Friedrich Hayek Austrian and British economist and Nobel Prize for Economics laureate 1899 - 1992
1960s–1970s, “Principles or Expediency?” Toward Liberty: Essays in Honor of Ludwig von Mises on the Occasion of his 90th Birthday (29 September 1971)
„Those of us who believe in freedom must believe also in the freedom of individuals to make their own mistakes. If a man knowingly prefers to live for today, to use his resources for current enjoyment, deliberately choosing a penurious old age, by what right do we prevent him from doing so? We may argue with him, seek to persuade him that he is wrong, but are we entitled to use coercion to prevent him from doing what he chooses to do? Is there not always the possibility that he is right and that we are wrong? Humility is the distinguishing virtue of the believer in freedom; arrogance, of the paternalist.“
— Milton Friedman, libro Capitalismo e libertà
Capitalism and Freedom (1962), Ch. 11, Social Welfare Measures, p. 187
„In short order they fell into the same pit as their rivals, who had for decades ignored the plain and simple fact that to a starving man “freedom” implies a full rice-bowl—or, if he has an exceptional imagination, a healthy ox to pull his plough. It has nothing to do with voting for a political delegate.“
— John Brunner, libro Stand on Zanzibar
Stand on Zanzibar (1968), context (8) “Isolation”
— Frank Chodorov American libertarian thinker 1887 - 1966
The Income Tax: Root of All Evil (1954), p. 61
„I posit myself as rational, that is, as free. In doing so I have the representation of freedom. In the same undivided act I posit other free beings. Hence, I describe through my power of imagination a sphere of freedom, which these many separate beings divide amongst themselves. I do not ascribe to myself all the freedom which I have posited, because I must also posit other free beings, and must ascribe part of it to them. Thus, in appropriating freedom to myself, I at the same time restrict myself, by leaving freedom to others.“
— Johann Gottlieb Fichte German philosopher 1762 - 1814
The Science of Rights 1796, P. 7-8
„Auxiliary to all this, and working hand in hand with it, the Nebraska doctrine, or what is left of it, is to educate and mold public opinion, at least Northern public opinion, not to care whether slavery is voted down or voted up. This shows exactly where we now are; and partially, also, whither we are tending.
It will throw additional light on the latter, to go back, and run the mind over the string of historical facts already stated. Several things will now appear less dark and mysterious than they did when they were transpiring. The people were to be left "perfectly free," subject only to the Constitution. What the Constitution had to do with it, outsiders could not then see. Plainly enough now, it was an exactly fitted niche, for the Dred Scott decision to afterward come in, and declare the perfect free freedom of the people to be just no freedom at all. Why was the amendment, expressly declaring the right of the people, voted down? Plainly enough now: the adoption of it would have spoiled the niche for the Dred Scott decision.“
— Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
1850s, The House Divided speech (1858)
„She knew what she was now. She had a purpose. Freedom was still hers, but it was a purposeful freedom. She would seek responsibility, for freedom without responsibility was worthless, and to that duality she would add power, for responsibility without power was impotence. She would go to Wisdom and enthrone the trinity of liberties within herself.“
— Ian McDonald, libro Desolation Road
Desolation Road (1988), Chapter 31 (p. 162).
„A question I have often asked is, ‘What would an inoffensive political cartoon look like?’ What would a respectful cartoon look like? The form requires disrespect and so if we are going to have in the world things like cartoons and satire, we just have to accept it as part of the price of freedom.“
— Salman Rushdie British Indian novelist and essayist 1947
The Hindu interview (2012)
„Rudy Giuliani's first wife was his cousin. Did you know this? I think that's a very cheap way to go after the Southern vote.“
— Bill Maher American stand-up comedian 1956
The Decider (21 July 2007)
„If you love our country, and love our children as much as you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom, and to be faithful to the constitution.“
— Ted Cruz American politician 1970
2010s, Speech at the Republican National Convention (July 20, 2016)