Friday, February 13, 2009

More from Byron Sunderland

“Meanwhile, from the hearts of multitudes the dignity of honest labor and the dictates of a sober and modest economy have died out, on the one hand increasing pauperism and crime and lending to misfortune the aggrivation of human improvidence, and on the other hand, fostering habits of false show, and thus increasing the temptation to deception, fraud, peculation, and all the dishonesties of the most high-pampered extravagance and excess. Moreover, the wanton neglect or abuse of our providential blessings, and the unconscious apostasy from every sentiment of purity and virtue, have served greatly to defile and degrade the mind of a large portion of the community and ill the centers of population with a low and vulgar herd, who throng at the open temples of obscenity and infamy. Thus the materials are prepared for human guilt and wretchedness, whose catalog of crimes and woes exhausts the power of language to express them. Beyond all this, political controversy and partisan strife for the reins and spoils of power, conducted without principal, and reeking with abuse, have taken so fierce a form as often to have driven the best men from the arena and left the worst upon the field. The selfish and prolifigate stand forward to control the nominations and elections to office, and afterwords gamble with its duties and obligations without shame and without remorse.”

I love this book, but I fear the wisdom it imparts.