One wonders…

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat.”

-Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

Rationalizing

“Rationalizing is the bringing of ideals down to the level of one’s conduct. Repentance is the bringing of one’s conduct up to the level of his ideals.”
— unknown; quoted by Spencer W. Kimball in ‘The Miracle of Forgiveness’, chapter 11.

Quotes from my reading…

Working my way through Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. I find this quote interesting given that the Democrats have just submitted a Constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College. They really do want to run roughshod all over us.

The omnipotence of the majority appears to me to present such extreme perils to the American republics that the dangerous measure which is used to repress it seems to be more advantageous than prejudicial. And here I am about to advance a proposition which may remind the reader of what I said before in speaking of municipal freedom: There are no countries in which associations are more needed to prevent the despotism of faction or the arbitrary power of a prince than those which are democratically constituted. In aristocratic nations, the body of the nobles and the more opulent part of the community are in themselves natural associations, which act as checks upon the abuses of power. In countries in which these associations do not exist, if private individuals are unable to create an artificial and a temporary substitute for them, I can imagine no permanent protection against the most galling tyranny; and a great people may be oppressed by a small faction, or by a single individual, with impunity.

— Alexis de Tocqueville, Observations on American Life and Government, from Democracy in America