Assent — and you are sane — , demur — you're straightway dangerous — , and handled with a Chain — .
Discussion in America means dissent.
Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.
I stood among them, but not of them; in a shroud of thoughts which were not their thoughts.
I would like you to understand completely, also emotionally, that I'm a political detainee and will be a political prisoner, that I have nothing now or in the future to be ashamed of in this situation. That, at bottom, I myself have in a certain sense asked for this detention and this sentence, because I've always refused to change my opinion, for which I would be willing to give my life and not just remain in prison. That therefore I can only be tranquil and content with myself.
If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but its effects.
It is hard for any one to be an honest politician who is not born and bred a Dissenter.
May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
The beginning of thought is in disagreement — not only with others but also with ourselves.
The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
The original ''crime'' of ''niggers'' and lesbians is that they prefer themselves.
The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
Though dissenters seem to question everything in sight, they are actually bundles of dusty answers and never conceived a new question. What offends us most in the literature of dissent is the lack of hesitation and wonder.
To shoot a man because one disagrees with his interpretation of Darwin or Hegel is a sinister tribute to the supremacy of ideas in human affairs — but a tribute nevertheless.
Wild intelligence abhors any narrow world; and the world of women must stay narrow, or the woman is an outlaw. No woman could be Nietzsche or Rimbaud without ending up in a whorehouse or lobotomized.
You do not become a ''dissident'' just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.