Inspiration and new ideas can come from many places. We may often be inspired simply by our own capacity to think about the world around us. However a vast wealth of inspiration and thoughts about the world, exists from others, including oftentimes from those who have gone before us. What follows is an ongoing collection of great thinking that is presented here to inspire each of us to do the same.
Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority. Thomas Huxley, 1825-1895 Huxley was a distinguished zoologist and advocate of Darwinism, (Evolution).
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any reason but because they are not already common. -- John Locke (Locke's essay concerning Human Understanding, 1690)
If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable. (Think about this statement. Did it come from a Palestenian, labeled a terrorist, or perhaps from a long ago living Native American Indian, displaced from his homeland? There is an old saying: One man's Terrorist is another man's Freedom fighter. Perhaps it came from a small group of American Colonists who decided to revolt against the British.) ANSWER: President John F. Kennedy John F. Kennedy
Nobody made a greater mistake, then he who did nothing because he could only do a little. Edmund Burke, lived 1729–97. Burke was a British political writer and statesman, born in Dublin, Ireland.
All that is essential for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.Edmund Burke
This country belongs to the people and whenever they shall grow weary of their government they can exercise their constitutional right to amend it, or revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it. Does this sound like something from a political anarchist, or maybe an ultra right or ultra left wing party? In the world today, governed by laws such as the Patriot act, warrantless searches of internet records, warrantless government cell phone taps, citizens are left running scared to even think about such thoughts. So who said these words? The answer is one of the greatest presidents and fathers of our country of all time: Abraham Lincoln
And in regard to the Patriot act, and the continuing destruction of the 4th Amendment, consider this statement. They are words that should be remembered by all. Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent ... the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. --Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States, United States Supreme Court (1928)
If the above statement strikes you as radical or unusual for a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, then consider this next one. The right to revolt has sources deep in our history. -- Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas Not the statement of a terrorist, but one from a a well known and respected Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
A recurring theme that one cannot help but see from the comments and thoughts of the great leaders of the United States, Kennedy, Douglas, Brandeis, Lincoln, etc. is that in the end it is the people, the citizens of all countries that must stand guard with scrutiny and a watchful eye over their leaders and governments. The people retain the power of change; by peaceful means if possible, and if not, then by revolution. Steven F. Groce
Consider the following statement made by Thomas Jefferson: A little rebellion now and then is a good thing. Jefferson wrote this in a letter to James Madison on January 30, 1787 -- Thomas Jefferson
God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. (see entire letter) ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. (see entire letter) ... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. -- Thomas Jefferson, November 13, 1787, letter to William Stephens Smith, quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy
Men are failures not because they are stupid but because they are not sufficiently impassioned Struthers, Burt (1882-1954), Struthers was a rancher in Wyoming, as well as an author and poet..Struthers Burt
United States Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis was certainly an impassioned advocate for action by the people to limit the power and tyranny of our own government. One of Brandeis's greatest statements was: The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people -- Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. -- Frederick Douglass
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. -- Elie Wiesel
In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds however, the timid join him, for then it cost nothing to be a patriot. -- Mark Twain
There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success and more dangerous to carry through, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has against him those who benefited from the old system; while those who should benefit from the new are only lukewarm friends, being suspicious, as men generally are, of something new and not yet experienced.In speaking of innovations, it is first necessary to establish whether the innovators (those seeking change) depend upon the strength of others or their own...in the first case, things always go badly for them, in the second, they almost always succeed. From this comes the fact that all armed prophets were victorious and the unarmed came to ruin. -- Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 7
You may think your actions are meaningless and that they won't help, but that is no excuse, you must still act. -- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world: indeed it's the only thing that ever has! -- Margaret Meade
It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. -- United States Supreme Court in American Communications Association v. Douds
The hottest seats in hell are reserved for those who, in time of great moral crises, choose to do nothing. -- Dante Alighieri
To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. -- Abraham Lincoln
We are descended in spirit from revolutionaries and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. -- Dwight David Eisenhower
Let them call me a rebel and I welcome it; I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of demons should I make a whore of my soul. -- Thomas Paine.
Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct. -- Thomas Carlyle