William PittWilliam Pitt, (1708-1778) 1st Earl of Chatham, English Statesman, Orator

William Pitt Quote

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

William PittWilliam Pitt
~ William Pitt

Speech, House of Commons, 18 November 1783
William Pitt the Elder, in a speech on the India Bill (18 November 1783), reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 550-51; also in Famous Sayings and Their Authors (1906) by Edward Latham, p. 44

Ratings and Comments

Joe, Rochester, MI

Our government (tyrants) claim the Patriot Act is a "necessity", and ordinary Americans will accept their slavery. WAKE UP PEOPLE! Write to your legislators and ask them to vote against the Patriot Act, or your freedom in this country is screwed.

Robert, Sarasota

Right-on Pitt - when will Americans see through this Gobels stuff. If you sit on the couch to long it will Gobel you up...

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

Remember, it was the necessity plea that justified slavery, the holocaust, the internment of the Japanese, the 'patriot' act, and the establishment of Guantanamo. 1783 ... 2006 and nothing's changed. At least we now have an honest definition of the word 'patriot'.


seems this credo has been uttered today by our government. tyrants beware ~ your end is coming

David, South Bend, IN

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Ivan, Indianapolis

I think you have more to fear from the radical left, particularly the "environmental" movement. They will tell you it's not "necessary" to own that big house or big car or truck. Under the guise of protection of the enviornment they will take away your property, and your lifestyle, because they decide you don't need all that. The Patriot Act is just a boogie man that the leftists scream about to blind you off their real plans.

Edie, Corpus Christi

"Bush says government role essential to ease crisis " AP headline Sept. 19, 2008 Necessity... the plea of tyrants, the creed of slaves.

Mike, Norwalk

A good summation of the problem, very accurate in its application.

Kimo, USA
  • Reply
Kimo, USA    9/8/11

the leadership for sure....

jim k, Austin, Tx

Tyrants always say that they are doing it for our own good.

Byron, Fort Collins

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -C. S. Lewis English essayist (1898 - 1963)

J Carlton, Calgary

Sadly, every time there's any kind of a problem within the community / nation, far too many people are saying the Government needs to "do something". Guess what folks, the government is usually the cause of whatever problem we are having so why would we trust them to fix the problems they've created? What the Government needs to do...is back the hell off!

Laura, Taylor, Texas

We live in times of moral cowards, unwilling to look full on into the train wreck about to happen to them. If they would only look, they would realize that safety is as simple as ackowledging the train and driving their parked car off the tracks.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Ivan is right in his assessment of the environmental movement.

  • 3
  • Reply
    abby    7/11/13

    Cities, counties and states are now trying to nullify NDAA in their areas. Go to www.tenthamendmentcenter.com. CA has a bill that just passed a senate committee and is moving along...San Francisco has already passed a bill...it is not impossible to take back the states...

    E Archer, NYC

    Everyone agrees -- except when your own party is declaring the emergency. I think it is odd that Republicans now complain about Obama's renewal of the Patriot Act -- when Bush did it, it was fine. And now of course, no Democrats want to stop renewing the Patriot Act. Collectivism is the real enemy to Liberty.

    Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT

    ... and it keeps grocers in business !

    Ronw13, Logsden

    A little socialism injected over a period of time, playing upon the heart strings of a few bleeding hearts, entangled with a single family unit or individual, usually in the oppressive reach of manipulation and conditioning. When at odds with the tyrant of temptation, less is more. When at war with tyranny, knowledge is empowering, bolstering, Simple Natural laws of subsistence living, held in Great Regard by our Founding Fathers. Natural law always returns the individual to simple needs whether rich or poor. This yoke of necessity by way of nature, needs no extra burden. That is Why such a stance to support Independent Agrarian life styles, by way of our Declaration and Constitution vs Industrial revolutionizing of European socializing .

    Dave, Meriden, CT

    I have this quote framed on the wall above my gun safe.

    Mike, Norwalk

    WOW ! ! ! Absolutely, the current pandemic and how it is being handled proves the quote. Both tyrants (gods of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land) and slaves (patron sheeple of such that genuflect in obedience) are accurately portrayed in this quote.

    Don Lee, RENO

    Need is associated with survival. In times of peace without invasion, war and pandemics the quote is applicable.The author doesn't delve into the war man has on each other, our nations and on nature. War destroys capital, war diminishes our right's. It's a sad day when greed and consumerism overtakes are sensibilities as in the current cause of this pandemic. 


    Get a Quote-a-Day!

    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.