"Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the "latent spark"… If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?"
John Adams
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President
the Novanglus, 1775
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Reader comments about this quote:
Lamentably, in a day in which evil is being called good and good evil, a day in which darkness is being put for light and light for darkness, a day in which bitter is being put for sweet and sweet for bitter, the "amiable passions" to which the noble Mr. Adams refers are being comprehensively supplanted, in many, by wholly less than wholesome, informed by alien ideology, and animated by animus, impulses.
 -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 3
    A key focus here is the: "If the people are capable of understanding, seeing . . .", So extremely accurate and, the reason the dumbing down and making ignorant with a left / right controled paradigm. The vast majority of true and false does not lay within such paradigm. Liberty, freedom, inalienable rights, natural law, better principles, justice, and virtue vs. vice mostly exist outside such paradigm. The left / right's changing of word meanings, concepts and mental images and implementation of despotic, tyrannical and otherwise totalitarian dogmas are all instrumental in attempting to eliminate all together human nature's "latent spark". BUT, as Adams so well here states, that spark remains in the human nature of the noble man, no matter how latent.

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 5
    Rings true for me. Patrick Henry, I do believe you are describing the nature of this world -- not sure that much has ever been different. We are born into this world and take our places in it -- there is nothing but a never-ending stream of 'problems' to resolve, choices to make, directions to go -- that's how the world got to where it is now. Some people's worlds are living hells, others in the lap of luxury, and others are full of mystery and adventure with nothing but a wing and a prayer.

    We live in a world of words -- what we say about it forms the boundaries. Every now and again we have a 'breakthrough' and the walls come tumbling down. I do not expect the world to change in this regard -- this is the work, is it not?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
    Thank you, E. Archer, for your ever cogent, ever trenchant, ever insightful and unfailingly excellent commentary.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
    Wow, thank you, Patrick Henry.  Your eloquence is unmatched.  Cheers!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- jim k, austin      
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