SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
Need to create a login? Want to change your email address or password? Forgot your password?
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
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:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”