Monday, April 25, 2005

Could Have Been Said A Moment Ago

"The loud little handful will shout for war. The pulpit will warily and cautiously protest at first. . . . The great mass of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes, and will try to make out why there should be a war, and they will say earnestly and indignantly: 'it is unjust and dishonorable and there is no need for war.'

Then the few will shout even louder. . . . Before long you will see a curious thing: anti-war speakers will be stoned from the platform, and free speech will be strangled by hordes of furious men who still agree with the speakers but dare not admit it. . . .

Next, the statesmen will invent cheap lies. . . and each man will be glad of these lies and will study them because they soothe his conscience; and thus he will bye and bye convince himself that the war is just and he will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys by his self-deception."

--from The Mysterious Stranger, by Mark Twain.


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