'A handful of people...can change a nation'
0 comment Monday, June 9, 2014 |
My faithful readers (you of the superhuman attention spans) know how much I admire Albert Jay Nock. Here is a piece which appears at First Principles
The Durable Mr. Nock
[Warning; it's a lengthy piece,but it is a worthwhile piece for those who can handle it.]
Here is a sample or two:
Albert Jay Nock died too soon, but not before he had nailed to the mast several of the paradoxes which make living in our age so intriguing. He tookgreat delight, for example, in pointing out that American colleges and universities are generally hostile to education and learning. In conversation one day with several college presidents, Nock laid down a number of stringent guidelines for running a college. One of the presidents, somewhat shocked, said, "Why Mr. Nock, if my college were to follow your advice we�d lose most of the faculty and all but about five of the students." Nock pondered this for a moment, and then replied, "That would be just the right size for a college."
The life-long concern of this man was with the quality of life lived in our civilization; he found the quality poor. Institutions of higher learning, so called, were by no means his only target. Nock was a staunch defender of capitalism, but he was unsparing in his criticism of capitalists for distrusting the free market: and for trotting down to Washington begging for handouts.
A small number of men and women whose convictions are so sound and so clearly thought out that they will go through hell and high water for them are more than a match for the multitude whose ideas are too vague to generate convictions. A little leaven raises the entire lump of dough; a tiny flame starts a mighty conflagration; a small rudder turns a huge ship. And a handful of people possessed of ideas and a dream can change a nation�especially when that nation is searching for new answers and a new direction.''

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