21 April 2007

Justice Holmes in Gitlow v. New York (1925)


"It is said that this manifesto was more than a theory, that it was an incitement. Every idea is an incitement. It offers itself for belief and if believed it is acted on unless some other belief outweighs it or some failure of energy stifles the movement at its birth. The only difference between the expression of an opinion and an incitement in the narrower sense is the speaker’s enthusiasm for the result. Eloquence may set fire to reason. But whatever may be thought of the redundant discourse before us it had not chance of starting a present conflagration."



That everything you say could be the words that excite someone to actually do something is powerful stuff. But the reasons it doesn't get them off their ass to actually do whatever it is are:
(1) they're lazy
(2) you're wrong, or
(3) you are not persuasive.

I like to think I have a combination of all three most the time.

Can you tell I'm studying for Con Law I?

1 comment:

meh-wee-uhn said...

But I bet you could conquer the world with a 'stache like that.