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Es gibt aber neben den blinden Lobpreisen der Heimat eine ganz andere und schwere Pflicht, nämlich sich auszubilden zum erkennenden Menschen, dem die Wahrheit und die Verwandtschaft mit allem Geistigen über alles geht und der aus dieser Erkenntnis auch seine Bürgerpflicht würde ermitteln können, wenn sie ihm nicht schon mit seinem Temperament eingeboren ist. Vollends im Reiche des Gedankens gehen alle Schlagbäume billig in die Höhe.
We will blindly sing the praise of our home country, but another and more burdensome duty weighs upon each of us, namely to raise ourselves up and educate ourselves as comprehending human beings for whom truth and the bonds of the world of the spirit are transcendent, and further to ascertain from that knowledge our true duty as citizens, if we were not born with an instinctive sense of that duty already. In the realm of thought it is only fitting that all frontier posts be swept away.
–Jacob Burckhardt, Weltgeschichtliche Betrachtungen p. 11 (1905)(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.
Number of Supreme Court justices in 1984 who voted against legalizing the recording of TV broadcasts by VCR:
A Spanish design student created a speech-recognition pillow into which the restive confide their worries, which are then printed out in the morning.
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."