Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Keen Insight By John Locke: "When The Laws Are Bent To Serve One Man Or..."

John Locke

"When the laws are bent to serve a man or a party of men, then war is made on the sufferers."

John Locke quoted by Sarah Chayes on the Diane Rehm Show:


"Why of course the people don't want war... Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought along to do the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler's Deputy Chief and Luftwaffe Commander, at the Nuremberg trials, 1946.

1 comment:

  1. You and I were listening to the same show and we both honed in on this fantastic quote! However, I spent about an hour googling different wordings of this citation to no avail. I only found a long-winded approximation of Sarah Chaye's alleged quote. Unless she is referencing an undigitized and obscure work by Locke, it appears she was paraphrasing.

    But her extremely succinct summation of Locke's ideas on corruption is so good, I feel that it far outweighs the concerns about its literality. I've actually never encountered such a concise and inclusive quote about corruption. This will now be my go-to corruption quote.

    I also appreciated your extremely insightful post of Merton's ideas on perfection, utopia, and liberty! I only wish I had found it back in college when we were studying utopias and dystopias in Sociology, that would have significantly raised the level of conversation. And I couldn't agree more with Merton. I shared your excellent post to my facebook page, well done!