Following Casey Stengel's advice, I checked the record books. The text on this issue of freedom and servitude traces back to the Athenian sages, to the Magna Carta, to the American revolutionaries, but it is best stated by the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau in his book, "Discourse on Inequality," 1755.
Rousseau wrote: " . . . nature alone does everything in the operations of a beast, whereas man contributes to his operations by being a free agent. . . . It is not so much understanding which constitutes the distinction of man among the animals as it is his being a free agent. Nature commands every animal, and the beast obeys. Man feels the same impetus, but he realizes that he is free to acquiesce or resist; and it is above all in the consciousness of this freedom that the spirituality of his soul is shown."