Sunday, January 12, 2020


Privileged Thieves

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, Vol. IX: 1856-1863 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1913), pp. 121-122 (1857):
Is there no check to this class of privileged thieves that infest our politics? We mark and lock up the petty thief, or we raise the hue and cry in the street, and do not hesitate to draw our revolvers out of the box, when one is in the house. But here are certain well-dressed, well-bred fellows, infinitely more mischievous, who get into the government and rob without stint, and without disgrace. They do it with a high hand, and by the device of having a party to whitewash them, to abet the act, and lie, and vote for them. And often each of the larger rogues has his newspaper, called "his organ," to say that it was not stealing, this which he did; that if there was stealing, it was you who stole, and not he.

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