Sunday, May 25, 2008


In a democracy the majority of citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority...and that oppression of the majority will extend to far great number, and will be carried on with much greater fury, than can almost ever be apprehended from the dominion of a single sceptre. Under a cruel prince they have the plaudits of the people to animate their generous constancy under their sufferings; but those who are subjected to wrong under multitudes are deprived of all external consolation: they seem deserted by mankind, overpowered by a conspiracy of their whole species.
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France , 1790

The earnest freethinkers need not worry themselves too much about the persecutions of the past. Before the Liberal idea is dead or triumphant, we shall see wars and persecutions the like of which the World has never seen. They need not reserve their tears for the victims of Bonner or Claverhouse [leaders of religious persecution under Mary Tudor and Charles II]. They may weep for themselves and their children.
G. K. Chesterton, _Daily News_ February, 1905.

When searching for examples of state-sponsored barbarities, intellectuals are quick to point to the Spanish Inquisition or its Protestant imitation, the Witchhunt. How could anyone, modern academics wonder, persecute another for their beliefs? These same intellectuals, ironically, are often the very people who served as cheerleaders for political persecution and mass murder on a scale unmatched in human history. The Spanish Inquisition claimed slightly more than 2,000 lives during its 25-year apex between 1480 and 1505. One would be hard pressed to find any 25-day period in Russia under Stalin, China under Mao, or Cambodia under Pol Pot in which the killing was that slight. Yet it is a Torquemada or Salem that is equated with homicidal intolerance. The crimes of Communismare ignored. Being generous, one might suppose that intellectuals are simplyblinded by the prejudices of our age and are unable to detach themselves and see the killing that has occurred right under their noses. A more cynical perspective might view their amnesia as a self-induced condition brought on as a method to absolve themselves of their own role in supporting murder. --Daniel J Flynn, Ideas Have Consequences... Like Murder, Tyranny, and Repression

It is not conclusive proof of a doctrine's correctness that its adversaries use the police, the hangman, and violent mobs to fight it. But it is a proof of the fact that those taking recourse to violent oppression are in their subconsciousness convinced of the untenability of their own doctrines. -- Ludwig von Mises

Come down, O Son of God! incestuous gloom
Curtains the land, and through the starless night
Over thy Cross the Crescent moon I see!
If thou in very truth didst burst the tomb
Come down, O Son of Man! and show thy might,
Lest Mahomet be crowned instead of Thee!

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