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All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights.
      - Unattributed Author,
        Constitution of Massachusetts

Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can.
      - Samuel Adams,
        Statement of the Rights of Colonists, etc.

I think we left out one of the really important elements contributing to the dynamism of society, and that is the right to privacy. I mean something more than the right to shave in private. I mean the right to join what I want to join, to do what I want to do, or not to do what I might do without giving anyone a reason, either in advance or afterwards. That does not mean that I am seeking for irresponsibility socially.
      - Chester I. Barnard,
        in "Basic Elements of a Free Dynamic Society," in "Harvard Business Review," Nov., 1951

The public good is in nothing more essentially interested, than in the protection of every individual's private rights.
      - Sir William Blackstone

The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. . . . They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone--the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.
      - Louis D. Brandeis,
        part of his dissent in the case of Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 478 (1928)

They made and recorded a sort of institute and digest of anarchy, called the rights of man.
      - Edmund Burke, On the Army Estimates
         (vol. III, p. 221)

A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.
      - Ramsey Clark

The extension of women's rights is the basic principle of all social progress.
      - Francois Marie Charles Fourier,
        Theorie des Quatre Mouvements
         (vol. 2, ch. 4)

Where there is a human being, I see God-given rights inherent in that being, whatever may be the sex or complexion.
      - William Lloyd Garrison, Life
         (vol. III, p. 390)

The equal right of all men to the use of land is as clear as their equal right to breathe the air--it is a right proclaimed by the fact of their existence. For we cannot suppose that some men have a right to be in this world, and others no right.
      - Henry George, Progress and Poverty
         (bk. VII, ch. I)

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
      - Claude Arien Helvetius,
        following the 1759 burning of De l'esprit, misquoted to Voltaire

The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences.
      - Thomas Jefferson

Equal rights for all, special privileges for none.
      - Thomas Jefferson

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
      - Thomas Jefferson,
        Declaration of Independence of the United States of America

In giving rights to others which belong to them, we give rights to ourselves and to our country.
      - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The people know their rights, and they are never slow to assert and maintain them, when they are invaded.
      - Abraham Lincoln

Every man has by the law of nature a right to such a waste portion of the earth as is necessary for his subsistence.
      - Sir Thomas More, Utopia (bk. II)

Reparation for our rights at home, and security against the like future violations.
      - William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham,
        Letter to the Earl of Shelburne

From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.
      - Carl (Karl) Schurz

The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
      - George Bernard Shaw

The battle for women's rights has largely been won.
      - Margaret Thatcher

I am glad to see that men are getting their rights, but I want women to get theirs, and while the water is stirring I will step into the pool.
      - Sojourner Truth

If women want any rights more than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it.
      - Sojourner Truth

As if it harm'd me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself as if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same.
      - Walt Whitman

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