Some people think that liberty means no control -that a free person is one who can do as he pleases, that he is not like a horse or an ox in being held back or pushed forward or turned this way or that. It liberty means license, the chance to do as you please, then there is no such thing as liberty in all the world.
In a state of anarchy with no laws, police, or government, you may come or go, work or loaf, steal or kill, but you have no real liberty. You are in constant fear that someone may stop you or rob you or even kill you. In a savage land where there are no rules of any kind, or on a lonely island where there is no one to oppose you, your liberties are almost all lost; you can do nothing worth while; your circle of freedom is useless because it is so small. On the other hand, one's opportunities are greatest in some place where government is strong and laws are many and officers are strict.
Liberty, then, is not license. License is the opportunity to act regardless of other people; liberty is the opportunity to act in such a way as not to interfere with the opportunity of others. When license increases, liberty decreases. It is, then, very important that all people should understand and value liberty, but fight against license and the disregard of the rights of others as they would fight against a cruel invader.
- By Henry Blair Graybil亨利·布莱尔·格雷比尔