We have met the enemy…

No greater mistake can be made than to think that our institutions are fixed or may not be changed for the worse. … Increasing prosperity tends to breed indifference and to corrupt moral soundness. Glaring inequalities in condition create discontent and strain the democratic relation. The vicious are the willing, and the ignorant are unconscious instruments of political artifice. Selfishness and demagoguery take advantage of liberty. The selfish hand constantly seeks to control government, and every increase of governmental power, even to meet just needs, furnishes opportunity for abuse and stimulates the effort to bend it to improper uses. … The peril of this nation is not in any foreign foe! We, the people, are its power, its peril, and its hope!

– Charles Evans Hughes


3 thoughts on “We have met the enemy…

  1. Thanks, Carol, for your comment. I’ve never been to South Africa. The Hughes quote seems to reflect the American consciousness these days. As Orwell said in 1984, “… to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy….”

    We have an anti-intellectual sub-culture that has forgotten to look for a mind at work in our leadership, let alone the wisdom of statesmanship

  2. For you to have written, or quoted this, you must surely have visited South Africa recently ? It is so acutely applicably to our current condition – but then, I suspect it is part of a universal condition. So true and appropriate, I am reblogging this to my site.

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