Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Today's Maxwell Quote

From We Will Prove Them Herewith (1982), 4-6:
Since, for example, almost all individuals have a tendency to abuse power and authority—not just a few, not even a mere majority—how are the relevant lessons about the righteous use of power to be learned except in this laboratory setting? Could we have truly experienced the risks and opportunities of power merely by attending some pointed lectures or doing some directed reading during our first estate? Was it not necessary to experience, "according to the flesh," what it is like to be on the receiving end of unrighteous dominion? And the necessity of repentance when one has been on the giving end? The very absence, for instance, on the human political scene of attributes such as genuine humility, mercy, and meekness is a grim reminder about how essential these qualities are to the governance of self or nation.

. . .

Moreover, even when we fail to develop an eternal attribute sufficiently, our mortal experiences will nevertheless have shown us just how precious that attribute is. How much easier, later on, to accept with appreciation the righteous dominion of those who have so progressed. Again, could such appreciation and acceptance have been generated in the abstract?