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But it is said, when a man comes to high office, that makes him worthy of honor and respect. Surely such offices do not have the power of planting virtue in the minds of those that hold them, do they? Or removing vices? No: it is rather the opposite which is true. High office will more readily bring wickedness to light than banish it from the heart of one who holds power; and thus we are angry when we see, as we do so often, that high office has devolved upon the most wicked and unworthy of men… But virtue has her own reward, which she confers unstintingly upon he who possesses her.
–Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, De consolatio philosophiae lib. iii, cap. iv (525 CE)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”