An extremely important idea in history and ethics. There are many different understandings of what is meant by "liberty"; one of the most important distinctions is between positive liberty (or the "freedom to"), and negative liberty (or the "freedom from"). Compare rights. Some people also draw a distinction between liberty and license.

In the game of go, a liberty is any unoccupied area that is vertical or horizontal to a unit and not in direct contention with your opponent. Disputed open areas are called dahme

Freedom which was never won by pleading and cannot be purchased. All liberties are harvested from the same field of human labour - the field of revolt. Existing authority has never hastened to extend freedom, and every franchise reform has been preceded by a greater of lesser degree of organized disorder.

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
- Thomas Jefferson

When we are granted liberty, when we are free to govern ourselves, we also impose a great danger. That very ability, liberty, that lets us reshape and sculpt, can be the very tool that causes us to loose liberty. By choosing who will decide how to restrict us, or how to free us, we gamble with a dangerous die. Only with vigilance can we choose wisely; vigilance fueled by cognitive thought and above all, reason.
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Reprinted with permissions copyright Ice Nine Publishing

Saw a bird with a tear in his eye
Walking to New Orleans my oh my
Hey, now, Bird, wouldn't you rather die
Than walk this world when you're born to fly?

If I was the sun, I'd look for shade
If I was a bed, I would stay unmade
If I was a river I'd run uphill
If you call me you know I will
If you call me you know I will

Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home

Say what I mean and I don't give a damn
I do believe and I am who I am
Hey now Mama come and take my hand
Whole lotta shakin' all over this land

If I was an eagle I'd dress like a duck
Crawl like a lizard and honk like a truck
If I get a notion I'll climb this tree
or chop it down and you can't stop me
Chop it down and you can't stop me

Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home

Went to the well but the water was dry
Dipped my bucket in the clear blue sky
Looked in the bottom and what did I see?
The whole damned world looking back at me

If I was a bottle I'd spill for love
Sake of mercy I'd kill for love
If I was a liar I'd lie for love
Sake of my baby I'd die for love
Sake of my baby I'd die for love

Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home
I'm gonna find my own way home

Grateful Dead Recordings

30 Mar 1994 So Many Roads (1965-1995)

Other Recordings

1988 Liberty Robert Hunter
1995 Vineyard Sound Vol 2 Mischief
2000 Might As Well The Persuasions
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

--Benjamin Franklin

Traditionally used to defend the Second Amendment, these days Franklin's quote seems to apply just as well to the First Amendment and 4th Amendment. (See: DCMA, munition, DeCSS, PGP, infrared scanning and Kyllo vs. United States, etc.)

Although I was raised to believe that guns are evil, I am beginning to think otherwise, particularly in light of the analogy between software munitions and actual munitions. I wonder if the NRA would be willing to help out the EFF. It would certainly make the news...

Pronounced Ribati-, Liberty is a chain of stores, mostly in Akihabara, although there are some in Shinjuku as well now, that trade in used media. IMHO, the cheapest prices for DVD's, console games, laserdicss, etc. are to be found by browsing through the different Liberty stores. They usually don't set prices amongst each other, but the cheapest deal is mostly offered by one of the Liberty stores. They have well sorted Anime, movie, music, game, and (of course, being Akihabara), porn sections. Although they also have some new product, they usually give you a flat 15 % off the suggested retail price, a very good deal in Japan.

If I found them all, there are two Liberties in Shinjuku, although their prices are the highest of the lot, and 5 in Akihabara. If there is others, I never saw them. Two of them are right next to each other on Chuo-dori, usually called the Two Towers as they are in two larger buildings, each on one side of a small side street. There also is the big Liberty, just a bit off Chuo-dori. These three are the most important and have the most and cheapest wares, but sometimes, a "pearl" is to be found in the smaller ones as well.

BTW: if you buy something used here in Japan, you can expect it to be of top quality, complete with all extras. Somehow, used seems to mean: used just once, then stored in a time vault, until being resold at ridiculary low prices to the used goods stores.

Lib"er*ty (?), n.; pl. Liberties (). [OE. liberte, F. libert'e, fr. L. libertas, fr. liber free. See Liberal.]


The state of a free person; exemption from subjection to the will of another claiming ownership of the person or services; freedom; -- opposed to slavery, serfdom, bondage, or subjection.

But ye . . . caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection. Jer. xxxiv. 16.

Delivered fro the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Bible, 1551. Rom. viii. 21.


Freedom from imprisonment, bonds, or other restraint upon locomotion.

Being pent from liberty, as I am now. Shak.


A privilege conferred by a superior power; permission granted; leave; as, liberty given to a child to play, or to a witness to leave a court, and the like.


Privilege; exemption; franchise; immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant; as, the liberties of the commercial cities of Europe.

His majesty gave not an entire county to any; much less did he grant . . . any extraordinary liberties. Sir J. Davies.


The place within which certain immunities are enjoyed, or jurisdiction is exercised.


Brought forth into some public or open place within the liberty of the city, and there . . . burned. Fuller.


A certain amount of freedom; permission to go freely within certain limits; also, the place or limits within which such freedom is exercised; as, the liberties of a prison.


A privilege or license in violation of the laws of etiquette or propriety; as, to permit, or take, a liberty.

He was repeatedly provoked into striking those who had taken liberties with him. Macaulay.


The power of choice; freedom from necessity; freedom from compulsion or constraint in willing.

The idea of liberty is the idea of a power in any agent to do or forbear any particular action, according to the determination or thought of the mind, whereby either of them is preferred to the other. Locke.

This liberty of judgment did not of necessity lead to lawlessness. J. A. Symonds.

9. Manege

A curve or arch in a bit to afford room for the tongue of the horse.

10. Naut.

Leave of absence; permission to go on shore.

At liberty. (a) Unconfined; free. (b) At leisure. -- Civil liberty, exemption from arbitrary interference with person, opinion, or property, on the part of the government under which one lives, and freedom to take part in modifying that government or its laws. -- Liberty bell. See under Bell. -- Liberty cap. (a) The Roman pileus which was given to a slave at his manumission. (b) A limp, close-fitting cap with which the head of representations of the goddess of liberty is often decked. It is sometimes represented on a spear or a liberty pole. -- Liberty of the press, freedom to print and publish without official supervision. Liberty party, the party, in the American Revolution, which favored independence of England; in more recent usage, a party which favored the emancipation of the slaves. -- Liberty pole, a tall flagstaff planted in the ground, often surmounted by a liberty cap. [U. S.] -- Moral liberty, that liberty of choice which is essential to moral responsibility. -- Religious liberty, freedom of religious opinion and worship.

Syn. -- Leave; permission; license. -- Liberty, Freedom. These words, though often interchanged, are distinct in some of of their applications. Liberty has reference to previous restraint; freedom, to the simple, unrepressed exercise of our powers. A slave is set at liberty; his master had always been in a state of freedom. A prisoner under trial may ask liberty (exemption from restraint) to speak his sentiments with freedom (the spontaneous and bold utterance of his feelings), The liberty of the press is our great security for freedom of thought.


© Webster 1913.

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