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Some men admire republics, because orators flourish there most, and are the greatest enemies of tyranny; but my opinion is, that one tyrant is better than a hundred. Besides, these orators inflame the people, whose anger is really but a short fit of madness. Ira furor brevis ist. After which laws are like cobwebs which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.
–Jonathan Swift, “A Critical Essay Upon the Faculties of the Mind” (1707), in: The Collected Works of Jonathan Swift, vol. 5, p. 555 (Derby & Jackson ed., 1861).
More from Scott Horton:
No Comment — November 4, 2013, 5:17 pm
An expert panel concludes that the Pentagon and the CIA ordered physicians to violate the Hippocratic Oath
No Comment — August 12, 2013, 7:55 am
How will the Obama Administration handle Edward Snowden’s case in the long term?
No Comment — July 29, 2013, 11:36 am
Is it possible to simply disband the partisan FISA court?
Number of free condoms handed out by the Brazilian government in advance of Carnival this year:
The best way to measure happiness is simply to ask people how happy they are.
London Fire Brigade investigators blamed a building fire in South London on a bird that carried a lit cigarette to its rooftop nest. “Smokers,” said neighborhood baker Richard Scroggs. “What can you say?”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”