… is from page 295 of the late Vincent Ostrom’s 1997 book, The Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracies :
Those who fantasize that they can command others by relying on the power of the cudgel or the sword must sooner or later come to realize that these weapons are tools of destruction.
DBx: Tools of destruction they most certainly are. But I’m not as optimistic as was Ostrom that those who fantasize about commanding others with these tools will come to realize that these tools are indeed ones of destruction. Indeed, not even the victims whose lives are upended and deformed by the use of these destructive tools always come to recognize the destructiveness. Some horrible derangement of the human mind or soul (or both) causes people to be blind not only to the hypothetical future dangers of concentrated political power, but even to the actual historical record of those dangers.