Saturday, May 7, 2011

Quote of the Day: Apathy Edition

Via Sipsey Street Irregulars we learn of this gem from Ze'ev Jabotinski (speaking to the Jews of Warsaw circa 1939):

I state with shame that the people behave now as if they were already doomed. I have not found anything like it, neither in history nor in novels. Never did I read of such acquiescence with fate. It is as if twelve million educated people were put in a carriage and the carriage was being pushed towards an abyss. How do such people behave? One is crying, one is smoking a cigarette, some are reading newspapers, someone is singing - but in vain will you look for one who will stand up, take the reins into his hands and move the carriage somewhere else. This is the mood. As if some big enemy came and chloroformed their minds. I come to you now to make an experiment. The last experiment. I cry to you: Put an end to this situation! Try to stop the carriage, try to jump out of it, try to put some obstacle in its way, don't go like sheep to the wolf.

Apathy is, in my opinion, the single greatest threat to freedom that we face.  They instill apathy, whether intentionally or not, in our public school system.  In elementary school we are taught that to be 'good' we must do as we're told without ever questioning authority.  In high school we are taught that we must behave like adults, which meant doing as we were told without ever questioning authority.