terça-feira, 3 de abril de 2018

A GREAT VENERATION

"I have, I must confess, a great veneration for the past. Every day, the more instructed I am by experience or the more enlightened by reflection, this veneration increases. I will say, to the great scandal of our modern reformers... that if I found a people who having been offered the most perfect of institutions, metaphysically speaking, refused them in order to remain faithful to those of its fathers, I would admire this people, and I would think it happier in its feelings and in its soul under its faulty institutions, than it could be made by all the proposed improvements.
This doctrine, I am aware, is not likely to win much favour. We like to make laws, we believe them to be excellent, we pride ourselves on their merit. The past has made itself without our assistance; nobody can claim glory for it."

Benjamin Constant, The Spirit of Conquest and Usurpation and their Relation to European Civilization, [1814], in: Benjamin Constant, Political Writings, Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 75

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