"As for the rage to believe that we have found the secret of liberty in general permissiveness from the cradle on, this seems to me a disastrous sentimentality, which, whatever liberties it sets loose, loosens also the cement that alone can bind society into a stable compound -- a code of obeyed taboos. I can only recall the saying of a wise Frenchman that `liberty is the luxury of self-discipline.' Historically, those peoples that did not discipline themselves had discipline thrust on them from the outside. That is why the normal cycle in the life and death of great nations has been first a powerful tyranny broken by revolt, the enjoyment of liberty, the abuse of liberty -- and back to tyranny again. As I see it, in this country -- a land of the most persistent idealism and the blandest cynicism -- the race is on between its decadence and its vitality."
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We hold this truth to be self evident. He who forgets history is doomed to relive it.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Isn't it strange how we voted this on ourselves.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    Between "decadence" and "vitality", decadence is ahead at this time. We can start a return to vitality in November.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
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    There will be no return to vitality until the system changes regardless of party - so, it's tyranny next followed by revolt. I use to love AC's letters. As for decadence, well, we are solidly into its core - we have total moral decay and indulgences beyond our imagination - it came from vulgarity and will end as such. If you think this will change in November, forget it! it will probable get worse.
     -- RBESRQ     
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     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester      
    ...eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we are slaves...
     -- Abigail, Newport     
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     -- Anonymous      
    Decadence start gaining ground way before the last election.
     -- Wayne, Naples     
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    Agree with all with all the quotes'
     -- lois diminyatz, Lincoln, calif     
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     -- Anonymous      
    A popular sentiment is that the 'people' are decadent and immoral and that is why their nation has enslaved them. Actually it is more like the decadence and immorality of America's 'officials' that have stretched their powers beyond agreed upon limits. When people become sheeple, then the ruling class simply squeezes the life blood out of the masses periodically. The ruling class profits from disease, war, misery, hate, prejudice, and blind obedience to religious and secular 'authorities.' The people have hardly had the chance to 'abuse' their liberties -- they have given them up in exchange for promises to raid the treasury.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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