Have You Done with Fruitless Emoting?

The story, perhaps, of Berkeley, where personal testimonies are perhaps what most commonly passes for respectable and convincing argument (or, in the passive-aggressive way that people opt for, ‘sharing’ that demands a hearing and solicits respect without earning it):

If Men within themselves would be govern’d by reason, and not generally give up their understanding to a double tyrannie, of Custome from without, and blind affections within, they would discerne better, what it is to favour and uphold the Tyrant of a Nation. But being slaves within doores, no wonder that they strive so much to have the public State conformably govern’d to the inward vitious rule, by which they govern themselves. For indeed none can love freedom heartilie, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but licence; which never hath more scope or more indulgence then under Tyrants.

These words, the first uttered by John Milton in The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649), sum up the reason that I look out upon the streets and see many slaves and few men of virtue, few who can muster the force of real arguments and love freedom more than licence.


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