"By liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he
believes his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.
Liberty and good government do not exclude each other; and there are excellent reasons
why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself
the highest political end. It is not for the sake of a good public administration that it is required,
but for security in the pursuit of the highest objects of civil society, and of private life."
-- Lord Acton in his "The History of Freedom in Antiquity" (1877).
[Hat tip Larry Reed]