“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. "He that will lose his life, the same shall save it" is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. The paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.” ~ G. K. Chesterton
"Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power." -- Aldous Huxley
Republics in History:
During the last 20 years America has suffered a succession of social and economic dislocations, including a great depression and a great war. We have been so absorbed in these difficulties that we have lost sight of a few simple, elementary principles upon which the free society of America was based. These principles mark the difference between our government and all others in history. And the essential feature of our government, which distinguished it from every other, was the formula we had discovered for creating a government of great powers but so arranged that while they were adequate to protect us in all our rights they could not be used to exploit or enslave us…
It is of the first importance for the American to grasp the full seriousness of this fact — that the great boon of human freedom has, in the long record of thousands of years, been enjoyed by a mere fraction of the people and for only a brief moment in history. And this great boon attained its furthest advance here on this continent. That advance must be described as the victory of the people over the dread power of Big Government.