With U.S. troops occupying Iraq and the Bush administration making bellicose noises about Syria, let’s consider some rarely mentioned words from the most revered writer in American history.
Mark Twain was painfully aware of many people’s inclinations to go along with prevailing evils. When slavery was lawful, he recalled, abolitionists were “despised and ostracized, and insulted” — by “patriots.” As far as Twain was concerned, “Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.”
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