On liberty and virtue

Liberty is by no means an invitation to indifference or to irresponsible power; nor is it the promise of unlimited well being without a counterpart of toil and effort. It supposes application, perpetual effort, strict  government of self, sacrifice in contingencies, civic and private virtues. It is therefore more difficult to live as a free man than to live as a slave, and that is why men so often renounce their freedom; for freedom is in its way an invitation to a life of courage, and sometimes of heroism, as the freedom of the Christian is an invitation to a life of sainthood.

The concluding lines of Georges Lefebvre’s “The Coming of the French Revolution” translated from the French by R.R. Palmer ( Princeton, 1947 )

One thought on “On liberty and virtue

  1. I have never heard of a pro-slavery spokesman (and, yes, there were many) who sold himself into slavery for an easy life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.