Henry Steele Commager
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- And we wonder what can be that 'philosophy of education' which believes that young people can be trained to the duties of citizenship by wrapping their minds in cotton wool.
- The greatest danger we face is not any particular kind of thought. The greatest danger we face is absence of thought.
- Freedom, Loyalty, Dissent (1954)
- The Bill of Rights was not written to protect governments from trouble. It was written precisely to give the people the constitutional means to cause trouble for governments they no longer trusted.
- Letter to the Editor, in The New York Times (1971).
- "Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive."
- "If our democracy is to flourish, it must have criticism; if our government is to function it must have dissent."
- "Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change. Education is essential to change, for education creates both new wants and the ability to satisfy them."
- "Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion."
- Henry S. Commager said that the US Constitution was the best chance for political freedom, calling it a "perfect blueprint."