„A generous spirit prefers that his country should be poor, and weak, and of no account, but free, rather than powerful, prosperous, and enslaved.“

—  John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, Context: Increase of freedom in the state may sometimes promote mediocrity, and give vitality to prejudice; it may even retard useful legislation, diminish the capacity for war, and restrict the boundaries of Empire... A generous spirit prefers that his country should be poor, and weak, and of no account, but free, rather than powerful, prosperous, and enslaved. It is better to be the citizen of a humble commonwealth in the Alps, without a prospect of influence beyond the narrow frontier, than a subject of a superb autocracy that overshadows half of Asia and of Europe.
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Sung-Yoon Lee photo

„Given the stark contrast between the two countries one can safely draw at least one conclusion: There is nothing inherent in culture or history that ipso facto should keep a country poor and enslaved“

—  Sung-Yoon Lee Korea and East Asia scholar, professor
Context: Development experts and theorists of democratization take note. South Korea has the same culture, historical legacies, and so on as its neighbor to the North. And yet it is an advanced industrial economy and a thriving democracy that has just, despite its Confucian culture, elected a woman as president. It has managed to reach this high point of prosperity and human dignity because of — to reduce a complex set of phenomena to its minimal essence — different institutions than those in the North: democratic and capitalist ones. (I realize that I may be violating some tenet of doctrinaire realism with this observation. For the less doctrinaire, the contrast between the two Koreas is a useful reminder of why we try and favor and even push for democratic capitalism). Given the stark contrast between the two countries one can safely draw at least one conclusion: There is nothing inherent in culture or history that ipso facto should keep a country poor and enslaved.

Ha-Joon Chang photo

„Rich countries have 'kicked away the ladder' by forcing free-market, free-trade policies on poor countries.“

—  Ha-Joon Chang Economist 1963
Context: Rich countries have 'kicked away the ladder' by forcing free-market, free-trade policies on poor countries. Already established countries do not want more competitors emerging through the nationalistic policies they themselves successfully used in the past. Ch. 2, Learning the right lessons from history, p. 61

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Thomas Paine photo
Adlai Stevenson photo

„It was always accounted a virtue in a man to love his country. With us it is now something more than a virtue. It is a necessity.“

—  Adlai Stevenson mid-20th-century Governor of Illinois and Ambassador to the UN 1900 - 1965
Context: It was always accounted a virtue in a man to love his country. With us it is now something more than a virtue. It is a necessity. When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect. Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something; it is the love of something. Speech to the American Legion convention, New York City (27 August 1952); as quoted in "Democratic Candidate Adlai Stevenson Defines the Nature of Patriotism" in Lend Me Your Ears : Great Speeches In History (2004) by William Safire, p. 81 - 82

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Liam Fox photo
Margaret Thatcher photo

„I shall never stop fighting. I mean this country to survive, to prosper and to be free“

—  Margaret Thatcher British stateswoman and politician 1925 - 2013
Context: I shall never stop fighting. I mean this country to survive, to prosper and to be free... I haven't fought the destructive forces of socialism for more than twenty years in order to stop now, when the critical phase of the struggle is upon us. Speech to Federation of Conservative Students Conference (24 March 1975) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/102663

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Martin Van Buren photo
Tony Blair photo

„Isn't it extraordinary that the Prime Minister of our country can't even urge his Party to back his own position. Weak! Weak! Weak!“

—  Tony Blair former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1953
Prime Ministers Questions, 30 January 1997. Speech to Labour Party conference, 1 October 1996.

James Madison photo
William McFee photo
R. H. Tawney photo
John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton photo
William Ellery Channing photo
John F. Kennedy photo

„Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe.“

—  John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States of America 1917 - 1963
Context: Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades. All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner."

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