"Certain things we cannot accomplish… by any process of government.
We cannot legislate intelligence. We cannot legislate morality.
No, and we cannot legislate loyalty, for loyalty is a kind of morality."
Essays on Education, 1954
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Reader comments about this quote:
But we can (and should) legislate moral and intelligent behavior, as defined by the society in question.
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
    This quote is dead on! All we can legislate is "Justice". The rest is up to parents and society. And no one is loyal to government unless they are trained to be so, as Patriotism comes from a love for country and its way of life, not from government. No one fights for a country because they hate what's "over there". The do it because they love what they are "defending".
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Ahhh yes, but it won't stop the effort to try and compel it anyway.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    The kind of loyalty we're seeing in Washington D.C. is the same kind you see from your old dog laying there lapping at your hand. To top it all off, those that fall in the catagory of lap dog actually believe no one sees it and they have everybody fooled.
     -- Anon     
    Reston, you can't have it both ways. As well-meaning as it seems, the government cannot legislate moral or intelligent behavior. When the government no longer serves as a check against what citizens may not do but legislates what people MUST do, we will have transformed our nation from a free people that are responsible for their actions into wards of the state whose duty it is to do whatever the government says -- or else! BIG difference. It didn't work for the Church, it didn't work for the communists and fascists, and it isn't going to work in the free republics of America.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Anonymous from Reston, the rest of the world has always legislated moral and intelligent behavior, as defined by their appropriate societies; that is precisely why the originally constituted representative republic was so unique and, such a brilliant beacon of freedom, liberty, personal inalienable rights, law, justice, prosperity, and charity (the USA once based its legislation, judiciary, and enforcement on natural law / justice).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Griswold is a kook and so are a few responders here. What law is not Legislating Morality or for that matter intelligence? If the Evils of mankind and Stupidity did not exist we would have no need to legislate anything.! Fools.
     -- StanLee, South Dakota     
    But we can legislate ignorance.
     -- RBESRQ     
    StanLee, great to have a new contributor. Its obvious your ignorance of law, prejudices your babel. Stick around and learn something. Hope to see more of you.
     -- MIke, Norwalk     
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