2018 November 14
"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion,
mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person
than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
"Next to enjoying ourselves, the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves, or, more generally, in the acquisition of power. Consequently those who live under the dominion of Puritanism become exceedingly desirous of power. Now love of power does far more harm than love of drink or any of the other vices against which Puritans protest. Of course, in virtuous people love of power camouflages itself as love of doing good, but this makes very little difference to its social effects. It merely means that we punish our victims for being wicked, instead of for being our enemies. In either case, tyranny and war result. Moral indignation is one of the most harmful forces in the modern world, the more so as it can always be diverted to sinister uses by those who control propaganda."
2018 November 13
"[T]he main evil of the present democratic institutions of the united states does not raise, as is often asserted in Europe, from their weakness, but from their irresistible strength. I am not so much alarmed at the excessive liberty which reigns in that country as at the inadequate securities which one finds there against tyranny."
"Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions --
it only guarantees equality of opportunity."
"Participation is an instrument of conquest because it encourages people to give their consent to being governed. ... Deeply embedded in people's sense of fair play is the principle that those who play the game must accept the outcome. Those who participate in politics are similarly committed, even if they are consistently on the losing side. Why do politicians plead with everyone to get out and vote? Because voting is the simplest and easiest form of participation by masses of people. Even though it is minimal participation, it is sufficient to commit all voters to being governed, regardless of who wins."
2018 November 12
"Envy is the basis of Democracy."
"There are all kinds of devices invented for the protection and
preservation of countries: defensive barriers, forts, trenches,
and the like... But prudent minds have as a natural gift one safeguard
which is the common possession of all, and this applies especially
to the dealings of democracies. What is this safeguard? Skepticism.
This you must preserve. This you must retain. If you can keep this,
you need fear no harm."
"When it becomes dominated by a collectivist creed,
democracy will inevitably destroy itself."
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