Louis D. Brandeis
Quotations


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.

Behind every argument is someone's ignorance.

Democracy is moral before it is political.

Democracy substitutes self-restraint for external restraint. It is more difficult to maintain than to achieve.

Discrimination is the act of treating differently two persons or things, under like circumstances.

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

Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burned women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational free.

Getting an advantage at the expense of somebody else--that really is what graft is.

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.

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

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.

Liquor drinking is not a wrong; but excessive drinking is.

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.

Neutrality is at times a graver sin than belligerence.

Organization can never be a substitute for initiative and for judgment.

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.

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.

Self-respect and prosperity are the most effective guardians of morals.

The federal Constitution is perhaps the greatest of human experiments.

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 political office is that of the private citizen.

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.

There is in most Americans some spark of idealism, which can be fanned into a flame. It takes sometimes a divining rod to find what it is; but when found, and that means often, when disclosed to the owners, the results are often most extraordinary.

There must be reasonable restrictions upon competition else we shall see competition destroyed.

Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty.

We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.



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