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Saturday, August 20, 2022

Antonio Escohotado: 12 Quotes on Liberty and Freedom From the Late Spanish Philosopher

Understanding what freedom means is key part of preserving it., and Antonio Escohotado understood liberty as well as anyone.

Flickr: thierry ehrmann (www.flickr.com)

For a while now, the Republican Party has been identified as the party of freedom by their own voters, while the Democratic Party has been identified as the party of the people.

According to The Washington Post, Democratic Party leaders and left-wing organizations have significantly increased their use of the term “freedom” in their messages, speeches, and policy plans since Dobbs v. Jackson, the US Supreme Court decision that overruled Roe v. Wade.

To avoid ceding solely to Republicans, the Democratic Party and its allies have begun to build a narrative around “freedom,” and not just around “inequalities” and “social justice.” The GOP, on the other hand, is unwilling to slow down its pace, and just a few weeks before Dobbs, they were mentioning “freedom” in their ads 2.5 times more than the Democrats.

However, increasing the use of the term does not make it more understandable (or translate to more freedom). In fact, it may even increase the confusion. That is why it is important to have tools that can help one define what freedom means. To that end, here are twelve quotes on liberty and freedom from the late Spanish philosopher, lawyer, and essayist Antonio Escohotado (1941–2021),

  1. “Human nature is only creative when it learns to enjoy the uncertainties of liberty.”
  2. “Whoever steps on my neighbor’s freedom is stepping on my neck. For my neighbor’s freedom, I will fight till death. It is recognizing that the other person at least has as much value as you do.”
  3. “Freedom (is)… preferring the risks of autonomy over the security of servitude.”
  4. “Market means freedom to produce and freedom to consume. To attack it is to attack the autonomy of the will.”
  5. “Accepting the vast margin of uncertainty that reality possesses is what it means to be free.”
  6. “Respecting humanity as such… means keeping coercion to a minimum and allowing each person to be his own master.”
  7. “Freedom is earned day by day.”
  8. “Nobody forbids what is not desired.”
  9. “Whoever seeks to take away your freedom is taking away from you the possibility of fulfilling your chosen duty.”
  10. “Having the status of (victims) releases them from having to learn how to make sacrifices… releases them from assuming responsibility for their own actions.”
  11. “Responsible liberty (is) a prerequisite for a civilized existence.”
  12. “Speaking of freedom without mentioning responsibility sounds absurd to me. The freedoms we take are the responsibilities we assume.”


  • Daniel Pedrero is the kind of person who enjoys other people. His goal is to understand why things happen and how they work. Currently, he is pursuing a Master in Economics and Public Policy at UFM-OMMA. Learn more at https://daniel-pedrero.com/