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Bertrand de Jouvenel

[W]hen we ask where liberty is, they refer us to the ballots in our hands; over the vast machine which keeps us in subjection we have this one right: we, the ten- or twenty-or thirty- millionth of the sovereign, lost in the vast crowd of our fellows, can on occasion take a hand in setting the machine in motion. And that, they tell us, is our liberty. We lose it whenever an individual will takes sole possession of the machine: that is autocracy. We regain it when the right of giving the machine a periodical mass-impulsion is restored to us: that is democracy.

This is all either misdealing or cheating. Liberty is something quite different. Its essence lies in our will not being subject to other human wills: in our will ruling alone over our actions, only being checked when it injures the basic, indispensable requirements of life in society.

– Bertrand de Jouvenel, On Power [1945]