Tue Sep 20 09:26:21 PDT 2005
H. L. Mencken:
In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a
favorite device of persons with something to sell.
Sydney J. Harris:
Patriotism is proud of a country's virtues and eager to correct its
deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other
countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism,
however, trumpets its country's virtues and denies its deficiencies,
while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants
to be, and proclaims itself to be, "the greatest," but greatness is not
required of a country; only goodness is.
Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive
triumph of the right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe;
the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot
calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight;
I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends
towards justice. Things refuse to be mismanaged long.
To do evil that good may come of it is for bunglers in politics as
well as morals.
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while
bad people will find a way around the laws.
nothing to sell,
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