February 21st, 2005

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"a radical question"

As I seem to be losing a battle with the icky flu that has waylaid a significant percentage of my students, I will simply say hello and offer, as intellectual "comfort food," a quote for the day from a much-beloved book:

"May I ask this? Under what circumstances is it moral for a group to do that which is not moral for a member of that group to do alone?"

"Uh... that's a trick question."

"It is the key question, dear Wyoming. A radical question that strikes to the root of the whole dilemma of government. Anyone who answers honestly and abides by all consequences knows where he stands -- and what he will die for.... I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."


The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein
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    "How Beautiful You Made Me," The Lion in Winter Soundtrack