Sunday, March 6, 2016

"The flattery of knaves"

Via Power Line, a very good — and always relevant — passage from Burke:
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. (Edmund Burke, Letter to a Member of the National Assembly, May 1791)
And another quotation from the same source:

A word from Edmund Burke | Power Line, Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for...