Posts in Values
Wish I'd said that - April 24, 2019

“Some apparent advantages followed for a season from a rule which had its origin in a violent and perfidious usurpation, and which was upheld by all the arts of moral corruption, political enervation, and military repression. The advantages lasted long enough to create in this country a steady and powerful opinion that Napoleon the Third's early crime was redeemed by the seeming prosperity which followed. Not often in history has the great truth that ‘morality is the nature of things’ received corroboration so prompt and timely.”

John Morley On Compromise

Wish I'd said that - January 3, 2019

“Nobody worries, within the ‘hard’ sciences, about the morality of molecules. Even quarks, whatever their assigned properties of color, flavor, and charm, have yet to be regarded as good or evil. But no work of history of which I’m aware has ever been written without making some kind of statement – explicitly or implicitly, consciously or subconsciously – about where its subjects lie along the ubiquitous spectrum that separates the admirable from the abhorrent. You can’t escape thinking about history in moral terms…. The reason is that we are, unlike all others, moral animals…. even Hitler knew that the Holocaust was immoral, or he wouldn’t have gone to the efforts he did to try to conceal it. To try to purge human nature of a moral sense is to deny what distinguishes it. You’d be writing the histories of schools of fish, flocks of birds, and herds of deer, not people. The issue for historians, then, is not whether we should make moral judgements, but how we can do so responsibly…”

John Lewis Gaddis, The Landscape of History