"We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. We have two opinions; one private , which we are afraid to express; and another one--the one we use--which we force ourselves to wear to please Mrs. Grundy, until the habit makes us comfortable in it, and the custom of defending it presently makes us love it, adore it, and forget how pitifully we came by it. Look at it in politics. Look at the candidates whom we loathe one year, and are afraid to vote against the next; whom we cover with unimaginable filth one year, and fall down on the public platform and worship the next--and keep on doing it until the habitual shutting of our eyes to last year's evidences brings us presently to a sincere and stupid belief in this year's. Look at the tyranny of party--at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty--a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes--and which turns voters into chattels, slaves, rabbits, and all the while their masters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master."
from "The Character of Man",
Mark Twain's autobiography, Vol. II (January 23, 1906)
--just thought I'd share that...
-thoughts and ideas
- ► 2008 (26)