Monday, September 27, 2004


Carlyle on Elections

Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present (1843), II, 7 (The Canvassing):
Besides it [an election] is a most important social act; nay, at bottom, the one important social act. Given the men a People choose, the People itself, in its exact worth and worthlessness, is given. A heroic people chooses heroes, and is happy; a valet or flunkey people chooses sham-heroes, what are called quacks, thinking them heroes, and is not happy.
Past and Present and Future might be a better title for Carlyle's prescient book.

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