But to say, I disagree; I refuse; you’re wrong; etiam si omnes — ego non — these are the words that define our individuality, give us our freedom, enjoin our tolerance, enlarge our perspectives, seize our attention, energize our progress, make our democracies real, and give hope and courage to oppressed people everywhere. Galileo and Darwin; Mandela, Havel, and Liu Xiaobo; Rosa Parks and Natan Sharansky — such are the ranks of those who disagree.
This lecture, by Pulitzer-winning commentator Bret Stephens, is brilliant.
“The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself… Almost inevitably, he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable.”
That, from HL Mencken (1880-1956), journalist, fierce defender of personal liberty and critic of the establishment. A lot of what he wrote seems particularly apt for the age — not just India, but also for the larger world around us. More samples:
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