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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Political Idealism

     "But I cannot find that it is part of my duty to maintain the order of things, for I will not call it system, which at present prevails in our country.  It seems to me that it cannot last, as nothing can endure, or ought to endure, that is not founded upon principle;  and its principle I have not discovered. . . .Every session of that Parliament in which you wish to introduce me, the method by which power is distributed is called in question, altered, patched up, and again impugned. . . .Our morals differ in different counties, in different towns, in different streets, even in different Acts of Parliament.  What is moral in London is immoral in Montacute;  what is crime among the multitude is only vice among the few. . . .I see nothing in this fresh development of material industry, but fresh causes of moral deterioration.  You have announced to the millions that their welfare is to be tested by the amount of their wages.  Money is to be the cupel of their worth, as it is of all other classes.  You propose for their conduct the least ennobling of all impulses.  If you have seen an aristocracy invariably become degraded under such influence;  if all the vices of a middle class may be traced to such an absorbing motive;  why are we to believe that the people should be more pure, or that they should escape the catastrophe of the policy that confounds the happiness with the wealth of nations?"- Benjamin Disraeli, Tancred, Chapter Seven 

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