When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is manís original virtue.
You laugh at me because I am different. I laugh at you because youíre all the same.
All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established.
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
I can have only so much freedom as I procure for myself by my oneness.
Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
If devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.
If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.
There is nothing on earth intended for innocent people so horrible as a school.
Solitary trees grow strong.
In the temple of his spirit, each man is alone.
He who dares not offend cannot be honest.
He that is master of himself, and his own life, has a right to the means of preserving it.
Whenever one looks in the world of human organization, collective responsibility brings a lowering of moral standards.
I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.
The companion I have found most companionable is solitude.
[People] do things together which nobody in his right mind would do alone.
The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.
Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority.
Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.
The less satisfaction we derive from being ourselves, the greater is our desire to be like others.
The rational individualist is not the enemy of benevolence or civility, but their truest exemplar.
No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.
A great deal may be learned about society by studying man, nothing can be learned about man by studying society.
You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
A sure sign of a genius is that all of the dunces are in a confederacy against him.
It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.
Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is the highest political end.
Stop going with the flow in your life. Start your own river instead.
The free man will ask neither what his country can do for him nor what he can do for his country.
All of the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of one small candle.
Anyone taken as an individual, is tolerably sensible and reasonable as a member of a crowd, he is at once a blockhead.
Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.
Our culture overlooks the wonder in the day to day yet makes television spectacles out of the tiniest bits of novelty.
The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization.
Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.
Thinking men cannot be ruled.
I am a man who does not exist for others.
The unexamined life is not worth living.
Thought does not bow to authority.
Conformity is the death of individualism.
Trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
All freedom is essentially self-liberation.
All good things in life are the fruits of originality.
I alone control the energy that animates my being.
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.
A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority.
What lay before you is nothing compared to what lay within you.
The ultimate pain is a life that is not authentically one's own.
I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.