“”They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Liberty is the state of being free. In most Western societies, liberty is considered a good thing, and something that is to be preserved. Writing in 1917 John Dewey echoed Leo Tolstoy's critique of the conception of liberty in classical philosophy as freedom that is protected but also constrained by the rule of law, dismissing it as resignation in the face of oppression. He argued that philosophy should be more than apology for established order and that liberty should be conceived as the freedom necessary as individuals strive for full self-actualization.
|This article or section requires revision to improve readability.|
The United States considered itself the defender of liberty for a long time. However, despite the rather large statue devoted to it (given to the US by France), the US government backslid considerably between 2001 and 2008 by denying the due process that keeps us liberated. (Some people would have you believe that giving people guns is the answer to that problem; this ignores the fact that the government can always bring bigger and better guns.)
"Liberty, equality, and fraternity" was the slogan of a revolution that ended up going very badly. Too often, people promise liberty just in order to switch out the boot that's doing the oppressing. They may also deploy a conception of liberty that demands a privileged status for themselves and the subirdination of others, as was the case with the contemporary American Tea Party movement.
"Liberty" is also a word used for periods of time off by military types, especially sailors being given shore leave.
It is also also some sort of vehicle made by Jeep, a subsidiary of Chrysler, itself a subsidiary of the US Government and Fiat.