Next, the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
The government of my country snubs honest simplicity but fondles artistic villainy …
For in a Republic, who is ‘the country?’ Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant — merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
The mania for giving the Government power to meddle with the private affairs of cities or citizens is likely to cause endless trouble, through the rivaly of schools and creeds that are anxious to obtain official recognition, and there is great danger that our people will lose our independence of thought and action which is the cause of much of our greatness, and sink into the helplessness of the Frenchman or German who expects his government to feed him when hungry, clothe him when naked, to prescribe when his child may be born and when he may die, and, in time, to regulate every act of humanity from the cradle to the tomb, including the manner in which he may seek future admission to paradise.
It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.
Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.