"The power of authority is never more subtle and effective
than when it produces a psychological "atmosphere" or "climate"
favorable to the life of certain modes of belief, unfavorable,
and even fatal, to the life of others."
Arthur Balfour
(1848-1930) British Conservative statesman
The Foundations of Belief, 1895
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Reader comments about this quote:
Once, the great 'Representative Republic' enjoyed a semblance of moral government, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Prior to a psychological "atmosphere" or "climate" favorable to political correctness and 'Secularism' becoming the 'National Establishment of Religion' by court legislation, each noble sovereign was able to speak privately and/or publicly of his beliefs (political, religious, etc.), keeping the platform of ideas, knowledge, and liberty alive in the forefront.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 4
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
    Mike: Ask the Native Americans what they think of your comment. They might have a different historical perspective than yours. Don't get me wrong; I sympathize with your sentiment; it's just that I think we at some point tricked ourselves into believing we had established justice, but had only come to appreciate, to a degree, how a just society should operate. We, however, were confused. We saw, but we were not what we had seen. We confused vision with reality.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
    This quote seems analogous to yesterday's from Tammy Bruce ... those in authority grant entitlements to some while denying them to others.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    David I agree with you, that's why I said a semblance. Then, the concept was to be open and liberating (even if it wasn't). The freedoms of speech and religion should have been legally expanded to a more perfect state enhancing knowledge, understanding, and liberty. Instead, there is today no attempt to be neutral or open. Secularism is religiously declared by judicial legislation to be the only accepted form of public expression.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 4
    The freedoms of speech and religion do not need to be expanded -- they merely need to be respected and observed. Unfortunately, Americans have not yet embraced the ideals of the Founders. En masse, we demonstrate our blatant prejudice and hypocrisy -- very much the fruits of puritanical and fundamentalist religious indoctrination. Whether the indoctrination is relgious or secular, the intent is the same -- scared, obedient sheep.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
    Not only have many Americans not embraced the ideals of the founders, they have consciously rejected them and have volunteered to be obedient sheep. They have chosen temporary safety over lasting freedom and the price they pay is bowing down and licking the hand that feeds them. These two groups that exist in America today, lovers of safety vs. lovers of freedom, cannot coexist. One or the other will meet a fatal end. I'm afraid I know which one it will be.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 4
    Thank you E Archer, stated more accurately than did I.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 4
    These bloggers ( isn't that what they're called ? ) have a deeper philosophical grasp than ever did I. I appreciate the "give and take," even when differences of opinion emerge: indeed, that's the way it should be, being FREE.
     -- Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT     
  • 3
     -- jim k, Austin      
    A polity is only as virtuous as are they who people it.

    The perfecting of any polity primarily is a process of the perfecting of the ability of its
    population to perceive reality in the Light of Reality.

    The early brilliance of the American Republic was born of, based upon, the brilliance of the Illuminated Reason of its Founders and a plurality of its population.

    As the noble John Adams expressed it:

    " Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

    Man departed Eden millenia ago.

    Realistically, for Fallen Man, the American Republic that we are ceasing to know and enjoy has been as "good" as it has ever gotten.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
    'Political correctness' continues to morph into 'authoritarianism' whereby disagreement is now an offense with life-time punishment for those that dare to point out that the emperor wears no clothes.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    David, I am on a Native American counsel and know what most there think about my historical perspective (I know of no negative thoughts {individual sovereignty, inalienable rights and liberty are intrinsic to the noble specie} We being joint heirs with Christ). I do not believe justice was ever completely established in the Constitutional system that has now been completely replaced by the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land. Many native nations (pre-European immigration) had political systems seeking justice (some better than others). Vision?  Reality?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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