Saturday, March 18, 2023

Quote of the Day (Ralph Waldo Emerson, on the American Libertarian Streak)

“It is the age of severance, of dissociation, of freedom, of analysis, of detachment. Every man for himself. The public speaker disclaims speaking for any other; he answers only for himself. The social sentiments are weak; the sentiment of patriotism is weak; veneration is low; the natural affections feebler than they were. People grow philosophical about native land and parents and relations. There is an universal resistance to ties and ligaments once supposed essential to civil society. The new race is stiff, heady and rebellious. They are fanatics in freedom; they hate tolls, taxes, turnpikes, banks, hierarchies, governors, yea, almost laws.”—American essayist, philosopher, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), “Historic Notes of Life and Letters in New England,” Atlantic Monthly, October 1883; originally written in 1867, reprinted in Emerson, Lectures and Biographical Sketches (1909)

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