Memory seldom fails when its office is to show us the tombs of our buried hopes.
When at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment of each one of us - recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state - our success or failure, in whatever office we may hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions - were we truly men of courage... were we truly men of judgment... were we truly men of integrity... were we truly men of dedication?
The office of the moral law is that of a pedagogue, to protect and educate us in the use of freedom. At the end of this period of instruction, we are enfranchised from every servitude, even from the servitude of law, since Love made us one in spirit with the wisdom that is the source of Law.
Free inquiry, if restrained within due bounds, and applied to proper subjects, is a most important privilege of the human mind; and if well conducted, is one of the greatest friends to truth. But when reason knows neither its office nor its limits, and when employed on subjects foreign to its jurisdiction, it then becomes a privilege dangerous to be exercised.
It is pleasant to be transferred from an office where one is afraid of a sergeant-major into an office where one can intimidate generals, and perhaps this is why History is so attractive to the more timid among us. We can recover self-confidence by snubbing the dead.
Municipal government is corrupt simply because corrupt and corruptible men are elected to office. Corrupt men are elected to office because office “pays” and corruptible men yield because they make money by; yielding. If municipal government had no profitable contracts to award, if school boards had no textbooks to select, we should have no “municipal problem.”
Faith is the revealer of knowledge; it is the office of reason to defend that knowledge and to preserve it pure. Independent knowledge - the knowledge that comes not though faith - whether it be of things earthly or things heavenly, never can be ours.
[Plato's ideal society] guarantees to all people the right to an education that diagnoses and perfects their unique talents, plus a work role that conveys a sense of self-esteem, saving them from the neuroses of megalomania and the lust for power. It forbids privilege and sexism and all other criteria irrelevant to merit. It eliminates conflict of interest from those who hold office and gives the masses a potent checklist they can use to hold their rulers to account. Best of all, it eliminates all traces of "might makes right" and serves as a pattern laid up in heaven to rank actual societies in terms of what corrupts them. Society becomes more corrupt as the struggle for power becomes more brutal.
The tendency to form hierarchies shows itself in petty ways in corporations and bureaucracies, where people place enormous importance on how big their office is and how many windows it has. None of this shows that hierarchy is good, or desirable, or even inevitable; but it does show that getting rid of it is not going to be as easy as previous revolutionaries thought.