Thought for the day

"In a considerable number of countries which, for about a hundred years, have enjoyed a practically complete freedom of public discussion, that freedom is now suppressed and replaced by a compulsion to coordinate speech with such views as the government believes to be expedient, or holds in all seriousness. It may be worth our while to consider briefly the effect of that compulsion, or persecution, on thoughts as well as actions.

A large section of the people, probably the great majority of the younger generation, accepts the government-sponsored views as true, if not at once at least after a time. How have they been convinced? ... They have not been convinced by compulsion, for compulsion does not produce conviction. It merely paves the way for conviction by silencing contradiction. What is called freedom of thought in a large number of cases amounts to--and even for all practical purposes consists of--the ability to choose between two or more different views presented by the small minority of people who are public speakers or writers."

--some crazy leftist, I mean, um, Leo Strauss ("Persecution and the Art of Writing," 1952)


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