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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:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Chances that an American knows the position of his or her senators on health-care reform:
Climate experts proposed creating a fleet of cloud-seeding yachts that will pump water vapor into the atmosphere to thicken global cloud cover, thereby reflecting more sunlight, in order to counteract the effects of global warming.
In San Antonio, a 150-pound pet tortoise knocked over a lamp, igniting a mattress fire that spread to a neighbor’s home.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."