In an article on Bunyan lately published in the "Contemporary Review" - the only article on the subject worth reading on the subject I ever saw (yes, thank you, I am familiar with Macaulay's patronizing prattle about "The Pilgrim's Progress") etc.
It is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all. It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By a universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common is the property for the moment of him who occupies it; but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in... Read more »
There must be renewed recognition that societies are kept stable and healthy by reform, not by thought police; this means there must be free play for so-called subversive ideas - every idea subverts the old to make way for the new. To shut off subversion is to shut off peaceful progress and to invite revolution and war.
There were two different expectations in this land of the future. On the one hand the the optimistic belief in an unending progress with millenarianistic overtones and on the other hand the doomsday expectation of the final battle of Armageddon. Both are perspectives are uniquely American and both are inter-related.
History did not demand Yossarian's premature demise, justice could be satisfied without it, progress did not hinge upon it, victory did not depend on it. That men would die was a matter of necessity; WHICH men would die, though, was a matter of circumstance, and Yossarian was willing to be the victim of anything but circumstance. But that was war. Just about all he could find in its favor was that it paid well and liberated children from the pernicious influence of their parents.
This nation was built by men who took risks-pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, businessmen who were not afraid of failure, scientists who were not afraid of the truth, thinkers who were not afraid of progress, dreamers who were not afraid of action.
Whoever wishes to make progress in perfection should use particular diligence in not allowing himself to be led away by his passions, which destroy with one hand the spiritual edifice which is rising by the labors of the other. But to succeed well in this, resistance should be begun while the passions are yet weak; for after they are thoroughly rooted and grown up, there is scarcely any remedy.