Eternal vigilance is the idea that liberty does not sustain itself, it must be actively advanced and defended. Those who do not lift a finger in the cause for liberty, are the source for the return to slavery or serfdom.
- "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" - John Philpot Curran (Actually written as: It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance). His statement followed his victory for the election of Mayor of Dublin (that's Ireland) in 1770.
- "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it" - Thomas Paine, the American Crisis
- "If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last." - Ronald Reagan
- "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well taught lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don't do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free." - Ronald Reagan
- The idea predates America by over 2000 years: the Athenian statesman, Demosthenes said: There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies as against despots. What is it? Distrust.