Freedom - Quotes from Science Fiction
A lot of quotations carefully collected from a very big amount of books and divided by categories.
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Those two, in paradise, were given a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no third alternative. Those idiots chose freedom, and what came of it? Of course, for ages afterward they longed for the chains. The chains - you understand? That's what world sorrow was about.
- Yevgeny Zamiatin, We (1924), translated by Mirra Ginsburg (1972)
Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
- Robert A. Heinlein, '''If This Goes On . . .''' (1940)
All perfection comes from within, and the perfection that is imposed from without is as frivolous and stupid as the trimmings on gingercake. The free man may be bad, but only the free man can be good. And all the kingdom and the power and the glory - call it of God, call it of Cosmos - must arise from the free will of man.
- Anthony Boucher, ''The Barrier'' (1942)
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
The Captain belongs to the most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority.
- Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1954)
Poor tortured world! World of tragedy, doomed to periodic violence, priding itself on being free. Free. Free to make each other miserable. Free to drive each other to insanity and crime. Free to kill in mass and individual slaughters. [. . .] Free to fret themselves into an early grave. In 1950, thirty-three men out of every one hundred thousand in the United States committed suicide. That was freedom.
- James Gunn, The Joy Makers (1961)
Freedom was never more than a happy accident because the common jerk, all human races, hates and fears all freedom, not only for his neighbors but for himself, and stamps it out whenever possible.
- Robert A. Heinlein, Glory Road (1963)
There was only the rushing wind and the flashing pillars and the dizzying lawns and musty cottages as they sped, faster and faster, toward Freelands and wild bees and wild spiders and wild tigers, and firecrackers and loud jazz and the open life and open sky and danger and spaceships and the stars.
- Fritz Leiber, ''The Crystal Prison'' (1966)
She wept in pain, because she was free. What she had begun to learn was the weight of liberty. Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one.
- Ursula K. Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan (1971)
If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
- George Orwell, ''The Freedom of the Press'' (1972)
He could not show him what freedom is, that recognition of each person's solitude which alone transcends it.
- Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (1974)
Only someone who wishes for freedom can be free. I wish for freedom.
- Isaac Asimov, ''The Bicentennial Man'' (1976)
There is no right to deny freedom to any object with a mind advanced enough to grasp the concept and desire the state.
- Isaac Asimov, ''The Bicentennial Man'' (1976)
There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.
- Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale (1986)
It occurred to Teppic that the landless peasants down on the delta had more freedom than he did, although the seditious and non-kingly side of him said, yes, freedom to catch any diseases of their choice, starve as much as they wanted, and die of whatever dreadful ague took their fancy. But freedom, of a sort.
- Terry Pratchett, Pyramids (1989)
Even if there is no such thing as free will, we have to treat each other as if there were free will in order to live together in society. Because otherwise, every time somebody does something terrible, you can't punish him, because he can't help it, because his genes or his environment or God made him do it, and every time somebody does something good, you can't honor him, because he was a puppet, too. If you think that everybody around you is a puppet, why bother talking to them at all? Why even try to plan anything or create anything, since everything you plan or create or desire or dream of is just acting out the script your puppeteer built into you.
- Orson Scott Card, Xenocide (1991)
With the first link, a chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.
- Jeri Taylor, ''The Drumhead,'' episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1991)
There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power governments, and tyrants, and armies can not stand.
- J. Michael Straczynski, ''The Long Twilight Struggle,'' episode of Babylon 5 (1995)
I demand the freedom to do what seems right to me from first principles, and not the freedom always to behave selfishly, or always to do what a man would do in the circumstances, or always to do the opposite.
- Iain M. Banks, The Business (1999)
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