10/12/08

In the Amiable Name of Humanity

If this phrase appear to any reader paradoxical, a very little reflection will convince him that it is only so in appearance. For, the greatest organized wrongs which the civilized world has seen perpetrated in modern times, upon the well-being of mankind, have been committed under the amiable name of humanity. No despotic government now avows the ruthless purpose of self-aggrandizement and of the gratification of hatred and the lust of power; but its pretense is always the good of society, and the welfare of the governed. The wars of "Holy Alliance," which dreamed Europe in blood at the beginning of this century were all undertaken nominally for the peace and liberties of Europe. No demagogue confesses, in popular governments, the greedy ambition or avarice which proves to be his secret motive: but he seeks only the good of the "dear people," while he betrays them into mischievous anarchy or legislative atrocities.

- R.L. Dabney

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