UoM035: On the Importance of Being Unprincipled

"On the Importance of Being Unprincipled" 
Written by John Herman Randall, Jr. - 1938

Read the rest of the article here: http://greaterclevelandcongregations.org/sites/default/files/On%20the%20Importance%20of%20Being%20Unprincipled.pdf

Quotes from the article:

"One has only to open the morning paper to be caught in a barrage of them. They volley from the Right, they thunder form the Left; and even peaceable citizens, anxious to go about their business undisturbed in the broad Center, have had to lay in generous stock in self-defense."

"The political intelligence that was once enough to adjust our differences seems no longer adequate now that we disagree so much more violently and, we are sure, so much more fundamentally."

"Only two kinds of men can really afford the luxury of acting always on principle: those who never act at all, who live in a sort of social vacuum, who never try to get other men to do anything; and those who have so much power they don't have to regard the wishes or habits of other men but can just give commands."

"There are no two men who understand a given situation in precisely the same terms, for there are no two men whose previous experience has been precisely the same."

"Impatience is the characteristic mark of the over-principled. They cannot wait to persuade or educate--or learn. They have to get other people to act; they have to force them to act. Any means and any method will be justified by your principle: that is where single-minded devotion to political principle always ends up. Such a man will naturally hate the very thought of compromise; he will much prefer to shot or even to get shot."

"In America we have not reached such a desperate state as yet. We do not take up arms after an election because our side has lost or won."

"Our pressing need is for political intelligence. The means which Americans have the chance to employ is the method of democracy--the method of politics, of compromise on particular measures, in disregard of our principles, however dear." 


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