By Richard Bundy (Translator); François Catrou; Pierre Julien Rouillé
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Additional info for The Roman History - Catrou and Rouille - 1729 - Folio - Volume Two
If this is the case, the elimination of harmful external factors can also eliminate criminal tendencies from the characters of human beings. But it is not merely a question of acting upon people by changing their environments. We have to awaken their minds as well, for voluntary actions originate in judgments of goodness or desirability, and are therefore acts of reason. As such, they can be changed by rational persuasion, and even the power of environment can often be countered by the proper influencing of opinion.
He did not enter upon the work without being aware that government by its very nature counteracts the improvement of individual mind; but he understood the full meaning of this proposition more completely as he proceeded, and saw more distinctly into the nature of the remedy. Political Justice appeared in February 1793. Already the political reaction had begun, and the government was persecuting radicals who had sympathized with the French Revolution. Barely two months before, Paine had been sentenced to death for publishing The Rights of Man; he had already crossed to France, thanks to William Blake's timely warning that the officers of the crown were searching for him.
Natural determination cannot be avoided. We grow old and die; we must recognize our physical and perhaps even our moral weaknesses. Once we voluntarily accept such limitations we are free within them, and then it is only the avoidable that can enslave us. The greatest kingdom of the avoidable and the artificial is human society, and this precisely is the realm where freedom is possible, since it is the realm where will can operate effectively. Men, in other words, cannot deny their physical or even their psychological determination, just as they cannot deny natural disasters; on the other hand, they can deny slavery to human institutions and to other human beings.
The Roman History - Catrou and Rouille - 1729 - Folio - Volume Two by Richard Bundy (Translator); François Catrou; Pierre Julien Rouillé