The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971 Page: 386
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
"What good do you mean?"
". . perhaps the insatiable desire for this good to the neglect of
everything else may transform a democracy and lead to a demand for
despotism. A democratic state may fall under the influence of unprin-
cipled leaders, ready to minister to its thirst for liberty with too deep
draughts of this heady wine. . . . Law-abiding citizens will be insulted
as nonentities who hug their chains; and all praise and honour will be
bestowed, both publicly and in private, on rulers who behave like sub-
jects and subjects who behave like rulers.
"... The parent falls into the habit of behaving like the child, and
the child like the parent: the father is afraid of his sons, and they show
no fear or respect for their parents, in order to assert their freedom .. .
the schoolmaster timidly flatters his pupils, and the pupils make light
of their masters as well as of their attendants.
"... the citizens become so sensitive that they resent the slightest
application of control as intolerable tyranny, and in their resolve to
have no master they end by disregarding even the law, written or un-
" . . Insolence they call good breeding, Anarchy freedom, Waste mag-
nificence, and Impudence a manly spirit.
"... So he spends his days indulging the pleasure of the moment,
now intoxicated with wine and music, and then taking to a spare diet
and drinking nothing but water; one day in hard training, the next
doing nothing at all, the third apparently immersed in study. Every now
and then he takes a part in politics, leaping to his feet to say or do
whatever comes into his head . . . His life is subject to no order or re-
straint, and he has no wish to change an existence which he calls pleasant,
free, and happy."'8
This is an evocative, suggestive-if a not wholly accurate-portrayal
of the contending generations in America. And there is some comfort
in reminding ourselves that each generation takes for granted what
it is born to and strikes out afresh, elevating values and objectives
neglected in the immediate past. But it is equally true that each
generation's problems-in each society-are unique.
No other Americans have had to try to organize a decent and
orderly life for over 2oo million citizens with a gross national product
of almost a trillion dollars, in an environment where a racial minority
has been brought from rural life into the centers of the cities, clamoring
for a full citizenship guaranteed by law but hitherto denied it. No
Plato, The Republic, translated by F. M. Cornford (New York, 1945), 285-286 and
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 74, July 1970 - April, 1971, periodical, 1971; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101200/m1/398/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.