Sunday, March 1, 2009

You Say This Has Been In Print For How Long?

From The Constitution of Liberty:
Just as a group may owe its rise to the morals which its members obey, and their values in consequence be ultimately imitated by the whole nation which the successful group has come to lead, so may a group or nation destroy itself by the moral beliefs to which it adheres. Only the eventual results can show whether the ideals which guide a group are beneficial or destructive. The fact that a society has come to regard the teaching of certain men as the embodiment of goodness is no proof that it might not be the society's undoing if their precepts were generally followed. It may well be that a nation may destroy itself by following the teaching of what it regards as its best men, perhaps saintly figures unquestionably guided by the most unselfish ideals. There would be little danger of this in a society whose members were still free to choose their way of practical life, because in such a society such tendencies would be self-corrective: only the groups guided by the "impractical" ideals would decline, and others, less moral by current standards, would take their place. But this will happen only in a free society in which such ideals are not enforced on all. Where all are made to serve the same ideals and where dissenters are not allowed to follow different ones, the rules can be proved inexpedient only by the decline of the whole nation guided by them.

You'd think that 49 years might be long enough for people to absorb things like this. But...nope.

No comments:

Philosophy Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Libertarian Blogs Add to Technorati Favorites Back to the Drawing Board - Blogged
"Rational philosophy is on the march. It will f--- up all of your sh-- and leave you without any teeth."