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March 17, 2008

Good thoughts for an election year

Tell them, this is a battle of a new kind, and it is they who have to fight it, and they must do it themselves and alone. They must not continually ask for leadership -- they must lead themselves. . . .

I have seen the eyes of the men who ask for leadership, and they are the eyes of slaves. . . .

It's not enough to rouse up the Government to do this and that. You must rouse the people. You must make them understand that their salvation is in themselves and in each separate man and woman among them. If it's only a local committee or amateur theatricals or the avoiding being run over in the black-out, the important thing is each man's personal responsibility. They must not look to the State for guidance -- they must learn to guide the State. Somehow you must contrive to tell them this. It is the only thing that matters.

Dorothy L. Sayers, The Wimsey Papers XI, 1940

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