In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press could remain forever free to censure the government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of Government and inform the people.
— Hugo L. Black (1886-1971), U.S. Supreme Court Justice
It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion.
— Paul Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), German Nazi propaganda minister
A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.
— Gerald R. Ford (1913- ), 38th President of the United States
The toleration of heretics is more injurious than the devastation of the provinces by the barbarians.
— Gelasius I (?-496), Pope from 492
Freedom of expression is the well-spring of our civilization …. The history of civilization is in considerable measure the displacement of error which once held sway as official truth by beliefs which in turn have yielded to other truths. Therefore the liberty of man to search for truth ought not to be fettered, no matter what orthodoxies he may challenge. Liberty of thought soon shrivels without freedom of expression. Nor can truth be pursued in an atmosphere hostile to the endeavor or under dangers which are hazarded only by heroes.
— Felix Frankfurter, (1882-1965), U.S. Supreme Court Justice
The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.
— Edward Dowling, S.J., American priest, editor
Anti-Semitism is a social disease …. Anti-Semitism is an excellent diagnostic device to use in studying the health and well-being of society. It is a harbinger of war, the fear of inadequacy that, in moments of crisis, breeds havoc and social panic.
— Carey McWilliams, (1905-1980), editor of “The Nation”
The political doctrine which has represented the loftiest endeavor toward common life is liberal democracy…. Liberalism — it is well to recall this today — is the supreme form of generosity; it is the right which the majority concedes to minorities, and hence is the noblest cry that has ever resounded in this planet.
— José Ortega y Gasset, (1883-1955), Spanish philosopher
In times of disorder and stress, the fanatics play a prominent role; in times of peace, the critics. Both are shot after the revolution.
— Edmund Wilson