Illogic Primer Quotes Clippings Books and Bibliography Paper Trails Links Film

Thomas Paine on Protecting the Liberty of Enemies

Thomas Paine, from Paris, Dissertation on First Principles of Government (7 July 1795).

An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates his duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

Thomas Paine, from Paris, Dissertation on First Principles of Government (7 July 1795).