Samuel Adams, bronze and granite statue, 1880. Anne Whitney.

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

That’s one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Samuel Adams (1722 – 1803). A great patriot and a lover of liberty. 

I think that one of the most important lessons I have learned as an economist is the relationship between liberty and human flourishing. Freedom is an essential feature of being fully human. The fact that freedom is also a necessary condition for the creation of wealth further seals the case that without freedom human flourishing is practically impossible. It is unwise to surrender one’s freedom in exchange for wealth.

I like Samuel Adams, the statesman. And I also like the beer.


Author: Atanu Dey


2 thoughts on “Liberty”

  1. Nice quote, but IMO one of the best quotes on liberty is by Milton Friedman –

    A society that aims for equality before liberty will end up with neither equality nor liberty. And a society that first aims for liberty, will not end up with equality but will end up with a closer approach to equality than any other kind of system that has ever been developed.
    – Milton Friedman.


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