Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer."-- Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."--Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."-- Thomas Paine, Dissertation on First Principles of Government, December 23, 1791
Quotes are from a compilation by Walter Williams.