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Friday, November 21, 2008

American Cynicism FROM Federalist, no. 6 (1787) by Alexander Hamilton

Despite America's image as the land of optimism, the country was actually founded by people who were quite pessimistic and cynical in their view of human nature and society. Below is one quote from many a passage that indicates this attitude.
"A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt, that if these States should either be wholly disunited, or only united in partial confederacies, the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. To presume a want of motives for such contests, as an argument against their existence, would be to forget that men are ambitious, vindictive and rapacious. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent unconnected sovereignties, situated in the same neighbourhood, would be to disregard the uniform course of human events, and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages."

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