Sunday, March 21, 2010

Something Came Up

and I don’t have time for writing this morning. In light of the softened presentation of the ugly Republican front thuggery in DC yesterday. Here’s something to consider by a little remembered philosopher who had a major effect on the thinking of Martin Luther King jr. and so on some of the most successful efforts of the left, to date.

In a very important sense the respectable class is the dangerous class in the community. By its example it degrades the social conception of the meaning of life, and thus materializes, vulgarizes, and brutalizes the public thought. Also, by its indifference to public duties, it constitutes itself the guilty accomplice of all the enemies of society. By this same indifference, too, it becomes the great breeder of social enemies; for only where the carcass is are the vultures gathered together. The ease with which self-styled good people ignore public duties and become criminal accomplices in the worst crimes against humanity is one of the humorous features of our ethical life.

In the application of principles to life there will long be a neutral frontier on the borders of the moral life, where consequences and tendencies have not so clearly declared themselves as to exclude differences of opinion among men of good will. Here men will differ in judgment rather than in morals. It is very common to exaggerate this difference into a moral one; and then the humorous spectacle is presented of friends who ignore the common enemy and waste their strength in mutual belaborings. This is one of the great obstacles to any valuable reform.

from The Principles of Ethics, by Borden Parker Bowne

Posted by Anthony McCarthy