“A love of independence, a sense of national honor, the observance of the presence of danger, the habit of command; these things that nourish public courage are, sadly, leaving us. Laws and governors come more and more from the top, and we depend on mercenaries for our protection. The crop of bold new leadership are more and more content to be citizens and subjects. These most aspiring spirits resort to post of courtiers of the professional boss men.
“There exists a languid indifference. This society of ours is becoming indolent; the aspirations of men are becoming cold, servile imitators, and those that strive for service seem to deviate from good sense and from prosperity like it is a right of passage to single themselves out from past leadership.
“A long repose will surely follow, sure as winter follows autumn’s slow decline, from sunny days into bleakness. Indeed, our citizens are becoming a race of pygmies, men of diminutive statue.
“History tells us what is needed is a national outlook, a new focus on the importance of morality, a new look at the language of our history that was successful. We need to allow new avenues for genius to develop in our land.”
These words were new to me but as old as the Roman historians that saw the spiral of events that became the “decline and fall of the Roman Empire.”