Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some Timely Thoughts From Hazlitt . . . .

"All things move, not in progress, but in a ceaseless round; our strength lies in our weakness; our virtues are built on our vices; our faculties are as limited as our being; nor can we lift man above his nature more than above the earth he tends. But though we cannot weave over again the airy, unsubstantial dream, which reason and experience have dispelled  . . . yet we will never cease, nor be prevented from returning on the wings of imagination to that bright dream of our youth; that glad dawn of the day-star of liberty; that spring-time of the world, in which the hopes and expectations of the human race seemed opening in the same gay career with our own; when France called her children to partake her equal blessings beneath her laughing skies; when the stranger was met in all her villages with dance and festive songs; in celebration of a new and golden era . . .  the dawn of that day was suddenly overcast; that season of hope is past; it is fled with the other dreams of our youth, which we cannot recall, but has left behind it traces, which are not to be effaced by Birthday and Thanks-giving Odes, or the chanting of Te Deums in all the churchs of Christendom. To those hopes eternal regrets are dur; to those who maliciously and wilfully blasted them, in the fear that they might be accomplished, we feel no less what we owe - hatred and scorn as lasting!"

-William Hazlitt

Though written nearly two hundred years ago, this is a remarkably poignent observation by that enduring man who, in a time of dangerous and tumultuous politics, never abandoned his principles in the face of apostasy on the part of most of his contemporaries. And his lesson is clear for us today as it was in his own time; to resist those who would rob the world of its genuine abundance and reduce us to no more than servants of an economist's ideology. The human imagination will reach beyond these bullies of the badlands and into the world they will tell us cannot exist.

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