The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- Henry Louis Mencken
I haven't seen that quote from Mencken. Very interesting don't you think? I find it noteworthy that he uses the word scoundrel...since we have a tendency to link a host of "negative" behaviors to that word.
Are you familiar with the philospher Theodorus? Here's a link
Briefly, he thought this: "He taught that there was nothing really disgraceful in theft, adultery, or sacrilege; but that they were branded only by public opinion, which had been formed in order to restrain fools" Therefore, similar to Mencken in some respects.
As a former E/BD teacher I found behaviors of learners, I was charged with minimizing or maximizing, were the result of public opinion...and it always made me wonder if indeed I was doing the proper thing or should I be doing anything at all since I find the public's behavior, generally to be barbaric.
Which brings me to the final point: have you read Thorstein Veblen? He wrote Theory of the Leisure Class and positions the wealthy as manipulating most social and individual behaviors. I've got to get some sleep. Nice blog, I'll be back.
This quote is excellent. So true with what we face with human rights tribunals here in Canada.