Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains" (original French: l'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers) is a famous phrase by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, formulated in his book The Social Contract which influenced the French Revolution.

The phrase goes on as "One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they."

Note the similarities in the concluding sentence of Marx's Communist Manifesto was "Workers of the World Unite, You have nothing to lose but your chains." (It is a popularisation of the last three sentences, and is not found in any official translation.)

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