"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It Is Not New--It Is Part of the Eternal Vigilance ...

This quote came across the transom this morning. It really belongs with the famous quote we know that says the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Cicero might as well have been speaking yesterday about the fifth column within our own government and country, the elected and the appointed, but all self-anointed, to borrow a phrase from Dr. Thomas Sowell.

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear."

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero(106-43 B.C.) Roman Statesman, Philosopher and Orator, 42 B.C. Source: Speech in the Roman Senate


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