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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 368-369 of Karl Popper’s important 1963 collection – dedicated to F.A. Hayek – Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge; specifically, it’s from Popper’s October 1956 speech entitled “The History of Our Time: An Optimist’s View”:

The nationalist religion is strong.  Many are ready to die for it, fervently believing that it is morally good, and factually true.  But they are mistaken; just as mistaken as their communist bedfellows.  Few creeds have created more hatred, cruelty, and senseless suffering than the belief in the righteousness of the nationality principle; and yet it is still widely believed that this principle will help to alleviate the misery of national oppression.  My optimism is a little shaken, I admit, when I look at the near-unanimity with which this principle is still accepted, even today, without any hesitation, without any doubt – even by those whose political interests are clearly opposed to it.  But I refuse to abandon the hope that the absurdity and cruelty of this alleged moral principle will one day be recognized by all thinking men.

Donald Trump is a newly ascendant televangelist bloviatingly preaching the creed of American nationalism.  This preacher-man’s litany is a torrent of ostentatious assurances that he is uniquely willing and able to protect us Americans, a chosen People, from the insults, deprivations, and damages unjustly visited upon us by devious and demeaning foreign devils.  (That the insults, deprivations, and damages are nearly all imaginary is apparently of no relevance to Trump and his flock.)

2016 is a year that tests with unusual pressures the mettle of the most sincere American optimists.