Learning from the Tyrants 3

“A self-respecting republic should fall into a panic upon the appearance of a great man. should banish him from its midst, or at least forbid a legend to grow up around him. If a republic is reluctant to do such things, it is because, dazzled by its scourge, it now longer believes in its institutions or in its reasons for being. It is entangled in its laws, and these, which protect its enemy, dispose and commit the republic to failure. Succumbing to the excesses of its own tolerance, it spares the adversary that will not spare it in turn, authorizes the myths that erode and destroy it, letting itself be trapped in the suavities of its own executioner. Does a republic deserve to subsist when its very principles invite it to disappear? Tragic paradox of freedom; the mediocre men who alone make its exercise possible cannot guarantee its duration. We owe everything to their insignificance, and we lose everything by it. Thus they are always unequal to their task. It is this mediocrity that I hated in the days when I unreservedly loved the tyrants, of whom we can never say often enough that unlike their caricature ( every democrat is an operetta tyrant), they have a destiny, even too much of one.”  E. M. Cioran History and Utopia   Learning from the Tyrants


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s