Pragmatic | When the applause died down…

“We need law and order!”

“Law and order” … is a phrase that has appeal for most citizens, who, unless they themselves have a powerful grievance against authority, are afraid of disorder. In the 1960s, a student at Harvard Law School addressed parents and alumni with these words:

The streets of our country are in turmoil. The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting. Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might. And the republic is in danger. Yes! danger from within and without. We need law and order! Without law and order our nation cannot survive.

There was prolonged applause. When the applause died down, the student quietly told his listeners: “These words were spoken in 1932 by Adolf Hitler.” [Declarations of Independence: Cross-examining American Ideology by Howard Zinn]


DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.