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Die elementare Reaktion gegen Ungerechtigkeit und für Gerechtigkeit ist abhanden gekommen — jene Reaktion, die auf die Dauer des Menschen einigen Schutz gegen einen Rückfall in die Barbarei gewährleistet. Denn ich bin überzeugt, der leidenschaftliche Wille zur Gerechtigkeit und Wahrheit hat mehr zur Verbesserung der menschlichen Lebensbedingungen beigetragen, als die berechnende politische Schlauheit, die auf die Dauer nur allgemeines Mißtrauen erzeugt. Wer will bezweifeln, daß Moses ein besserer Führer der Menschheit war als Machiavelli?
The elementary reaction against injustice and for justice has been lost—and it is this reaction which over time furnished humankind with protection against a collapse into barbarity. I am convinced that the passionate commitment to justice and truth has done more to improve the human condition than any calculating political cleverness, which over time produces only general distrust. Who can possibly doubt that Moses was a better leader for humankind than Machiavelli?
–Albert Einstein, Aus meinen späten Jahren ch. 5, p. 30 (1937)(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.
Hours for which New Orleans’s airport was partly evacuated in February over a package later found to contain gumbo:
Researchers suggested that Abraham Lincoln suffered from a genetic mutation that destroys nerve cells in the cerebellum rather than Marfan disease, which makes people grow tall and thin, with long tapering fingers.
Greece evacuated 72,000 people from the town of Thessaloniki while an undetonated World War II–era bomb was excavated from beneath a gas station.
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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."