Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Mark Twain and loyalty to country

A note from Mark Twain, to help put the animated comments of the day in perspective. Heated moments when dealing with elections are nothing new...

I've been reading books with the boys this year that tie into their history studies. We spent a day on Chapter 13 of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court since it touches on so many themes in the book.
I said to myself:

“This one’s a man. If I were backed by enough of his sort, I would make a strike for the welfare of this country, and try to prove myself its loyalest citizen by making a wholesome change in its system of government.”

You see my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its office-holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags, to die for rags--that is a loyalty of unreason, it is pure animal; it belongs to monarchy, was invented by monarchy; let monarchy keep it.

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