As for the rage to believe that we have found the secret of liberty in general permissiveness from the cradle on, this seems to me a disastrous sentimentality, which, whatever liberties it sets loose, loosens also the cement that alone can bind society into a stable compound — a code of obeyed taboos. I can only recall the saying of a wise Frenchman that “liberty is the luxury of self-discipline.” Historically, those peoples that did not discipline themselves had discipline thrust on them from the outside. That is why the normal cycle in the life and death of great nations has been first a powerful tyranny broken by revolt, the enjoyment of liberty, the abuse of liberty — and back to tyranny again. As I see it, in this country — a land of the most persistent idealism and the blandest cynicism — the race is on between its decadence and its vitality.