Friday, February 16, 2018

The Big O in 1958

"We were largely the victims of the tyranny of a few who were beating the drums of fear. There is no protection against that tyranny which the law can provide. 

Charles W. Eliot called it the pressure of a 'concentrated multitudinous public opinion.' ... Each generation must deal with it. The only protection is an enlightened public opinion forged by men [and women] who will stand against the mob. The antidote is more freedom of expression rather than less. The remedy is in making public opinion everybody's business and in encouraging debate and discourse on public issues. To regain the values 'of the age of debate,' as Dr. [Robert] Hutchins put it, is one of the great problems of this generation. To return to Pericles and his funeral oration, 'We alone regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs, not as a harmless but as a useless character.'" -- Justice William O. Douglas (1958) 

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