Quotation: "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
Variations: This quotation has hundreds of variations, which generally are composed of some combination of the following components:
(All that is necessary/needed/required) OR (all it takes) OR (the best way)) for evil to (triumph OR succeed OR prosper OR prevail OR "win in the world" OR "gain a foothold") is for ("good men" OR "good people" OR "good men and women" OR "people of good conscience") to ("do nothing" OR "say nothing" OR "remain silent")
- Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition
- Thomas Jefferson Retirement Papers
- Thomas Jefferson: Papers collection in Hathi Trust Digital Library
Earliest known appearance in print, attributed to Jefferson: 2005
Status: The variant of this quotation most often attributed to Jefferson is "all tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."