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Louis D. Brandeis Quotes





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America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human happiness, and it has prospered.
 

Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent.
 

Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.
[History]
 

I abhor averages. I like the individual case. A man may have six meals one day and none the next, making an average of three meals per day, but that is not a good way to live.
 

If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.
[Politics]
 

If we would guide by the light of reason we must let our minds be bold.
[Reason]
 

If you would only recognize that life is hard, things would be so much easier for you.
 

In the frank expression of conflicting opinions lies the greatest promise of wisdom in governmental action.
 

Men long for an afterlife in which there apparently is nothing to do but delight in heaven's wonders.
 

Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.
[History]
 

Neutrality is at times a graver sin than belligerence.
 

No individual should be subjected anywhere, by reason of the fact that he is a Jew, to a denial of any common right or opportunity enjoyed by non-Jews.
 

Organisation can never be a substitute for initiative and for judgement.
 

Our government... teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
[Government]
 

Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.
 

The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.
 

The logic of words should yield to the logic of realities.
 

The most important office is that of private citizen.
[Politicians]
 

The world presents enough problems if you believe it to be a world of law and order; do not add to them by believing it to be a world of miracles.
 

There are no shortcuts in evolution.
[Science]
 


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