Monday, January 17, 2005

Against Oligarchy

See if you can guess who wrote the following:
The depravity of the business classes of our country is not less than has been supposed, but infinitely greater. The official services of America, national, state, and municipal, in all their branches and departments, except the judiciary, are saturated in corruption, bribery, falsehood, mal-administration; and the judiciary is tainted. The great cities reek with respectable as much as non-respectable robbery and scoundrelism.
Apart from some stylistic differences, this sounds about like one of Howard Dean's criticisms of "Ken Lay and his boys at Enron" or "Dick Cheney and the corrupt Halliburton contracts." Actually, it is Walt Whitman from his Democratic Vistas published in 1871, as quoted by Jeffrey Stout in Democracy & Tradition.


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