louis d brandeis quotes


Those who won our independence... valued liberty as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.


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.


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.


What is Americanization? It manifests itself, in a superficial way, when the immigrant adopts the clothes, the manners and the customs generally prevailing here. Far more important is the manifestation presented when he substitutes for his mother tongue the English language as the common medium of speech.


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.


Democracy rests upon two pillars: one, the principle that all men are equally entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and the other, the conviction that such equal opportunity will most advance civilization.


However great his outward conformity, the immigrant is not Americanized unless his interests and affections have become deeply rooted here. And we properly demand of the immigrant even more than this. He must be brought into complete harmony with our ideals and aspirations and cooperate with us for their attainment.


To declare that in the administration of criminal law the end justifies the means to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure conviction of a private criminal would bring terrible retribution.


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.


What are the American ideals? They are the development of the individual for his own and the common good; the development of the individual through liberty; and the attainment of the common good through democracy and social justice.


During most of my life, my contact with Jews and Judaism was slight. I gave little thought to their problems, save in asking myself, from time to time, whether we were showing by our lives due appreciation of the opportunities which this hospitable country affords. My approach to Zionism was through Americanism.


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 difference between a nation and a nationality is clear, but it is not always observed. Likeness between members is the essence of nationality, but the members of a nation may be very different. A nation may be composed of many nationalities, as some of the most successful nations are.


It is not wealth, it is not station, it is not social standing and ambition which can make us worthy of the Jewish name, of the Jewish heritage. To be worthy of them, we must live up to and with them. We must regard ourselves their custodians.


When those of Jewish blood exhibit moral or intellectual superiority, genius or special talent, we feel pride in them, even if they have abjured the faith like Spinoza, Marx, Disraeli or Heine. Despite the meditations of pundits or the decrees of council, our own instincts and acts, and those of others, have defined for us the term 'Jew.'


A man is a better citizen of the United States for being also a loyal citizen of his state and of his city; for being loyal to his family and to his profession or trade; for being loyal to his college or his lodge.


Related Quotes