Friday, June 22, 2018

“Against aspiring authoritarians,
and wolves of all kinds”

Cass Sustein, writing about accounts of “ordinary life under Nazism”:

Nearly two centuries ago, James Madison warned: “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks—no form of government can render us secure.” Haffner offered something like a corollary, which is that the ultimate safeguard against aspiring authoritarians, and wolves of all kinds, lies in individual conscience: in “decisions taken individually and almost unconsciously by the population at large.”
[Sebastian Haffner: pen name of Raimund Pretzel, journalist and writer. His memoir Defying Hitler (1939) is an eyewitness account of Hitler’s rise to power.]

comments: 1

The Crow said...

I missed this yesterday, somehow. I usually read everything you write.

Thank you for pointing me back to this post a bit ago.