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Friday, July 25, 2014

Brave for Liberty

       The following is from Cato's Letters #62:
       They who are used like beasts, will be apt to degenerate into beasts.  But those, on the contrary, who, by the freedom of their government and education, are comparing one man with another, that all men are naturally alike;  and that their governors, as they have the same face, constitution, and shape with themselves, and are subject to the same sickness, accidents, and death, with the meanest of their people;  so they possess the same passions and faculties of the mind which their subjects possess, and not better.  They therefore scorn to degrade and prostrate themselves, to adore those of their own species, however covered with titles, and disguised by power:  They consider them as their own creatures;  and, as far as they surround themselves, the work of their own hands, and only the chief servants of the state, who have no more power to do evil than one of themselves, and are void of every privilege and superiority, but to serve them and the state.  They know it to be a contradiction in religion and reason, for any man to have a right to do evil;  that not to resist any man's wickedness, is to encourage it;  and that they have the least reason to bear evil and oppression from their governors, who of all men are the most obliged to do them good.  They therefore detest slavery, and despise or pity slaves;  and, adoring liberty alone, as they who see its beauty and feel its advantages always will, it is no wonder that they are brave for it.

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