“An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws.” -Thomas Paine
When former vice president Dick Cheney parades his support for torture in front of the world, he abdicates all moral authority along with the principals of freedom and liberty he professes to defend. It isn’t about those he would torture, justice is their due. It is about those that would forsake principal for security – in the process abandoning both.
“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
Vengeance is a self-fulfilling prophesy, feeding on its own cycle of hate and retribution. Victory over the insidious pull of a false sense of satisfaction from violence and oppression requires dogged determination, an adherence to the higher ideals conceived in the trial of our own oppression.
“A nation under a well regulated government, should permit none to remain uninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government only that requires ignorance for its support.” -Thomas Paine, Rights of Man
Believing that a company is too big to fail, while the education of the coming generation falters, is an aristocracy of government-by-corporation that cannot last.
“But if objects for gratitude and admiration are our desire, do they not present themselves every hour to our eyes?” -Thomas Paine, Age of Reason
Hobbes said life was nasty, brutish, and short. There is no question that life is often hard, even nasty and brutish, certainly short. Even so, if you have time for an existential crisis, then then you have reason to be grateful.