Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power vested in it; a liberty to follow my own will in all things, when the rule prescribes not, and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man.
It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.
The common people of England .. . so jealous of their liberty, but like the common people of most other countries never rightly understanding wherein it consists. . . .
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it. .. . A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes, will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished; and that the perfection of machinery to which it has sacrificed everything will in the end avail it nothing, for want of the vital power which, in order that the machine might work more smoothly, it has preferred to banish.
—JOHN STUART MILL