It is a commonplace observation that liberals believe in the perfectibility of man while conservatives believe in the endurance of original sin. Superficially, that would suggest that conservatives take a more understanding and indulgent view of individual lapses, while liberals take a more harshly judgmental one. In fact, we know, quite the opposite is the case.
Before the Second World War I believed in the perfectibility of social man; that a correct structure of society would produce goodwill; and that therefore you could remove all social ills by a reorganisation of society... but after the war I did not because I was unable to. I had discovered what one man could do to another... I must say that anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey must have been blind or wrong in the head.william golding
Even the most morbid of the rape ranters have a childlike faith in the perfectibility of the universe, which they see as blighted solely by nasty men. They simplistically project outward onto a mythical "patriarchy" their own inner conflicts and moral ambiguities.camille paglia
selected by IP 184.108.40.206 2005 The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man's proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit for gallantry in defeat for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally-flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man, has no dedication nor any membership in literature. ~ John Steinbeck (born 27 February 1902)
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