"My optimism is not based primarily on the successful march of democracy in recent times but rather is based on the experience of having lived in a fear society and studied the mechanics of tyranny that sustain such a society."
"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."Natan Sharansky on John F. Kennedy
"Pick the day. Enjoy it - to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come... The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future."Natan Sharansky on Audrey Hepburn
"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."Natan Sharansky on Thomas Paine
"We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict."Natan Sharansky on Jim Morrison
"What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it."Natan Sharansky on Jiddu Krishnamurti
"Can someone within that society walk into the town square and say what they want without fear of being punished for his or her views? If so, then that society is a free society. If not, it is a fear society."
"When we are unwilling to draw clear moral lines between free societies and fear societies, when we are unwilling to call the former good and the latter evil, we will not be able to advance the cause of peace because peace cannot be disconnected from freedom."
"In contrast, fear societies are societies in which dissent is banned."
"People may believe that there can be a society where dissent is not permitted, but which is nonetheless not a fear society because everyone agrees with one another and therefore no one wants to dissent."
"Will dissent be permitted? The answer to that question will determine whether the society is a free society or a fear society."
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