400 Years of Pernicious Division

Joe Addison goes to Washington

In case you were worried that the current breakdown of the American political system is unprecedented, I suggest you read the wonderful essay „Mischiefs Of Party Spirit“ written by Joseph Addison, the original editor of „The Spectator“, anno 1711, and which so perfectly describes Washington D.C., anno 2011:

There cannot a greater judgment befall a country than such a dreadful spirit of division as rends a government into two distinct people, and makes them greater strangers and more averse to one another, than if they were actually two different nations. The effects of such a division are pernicious to the last degree, not only with regard to those advantages which they give the common enemy, but to those private evils which they produce in the heart of almost every particular person. This influence is very fatal both to men’s morals and their understandings; it sinks the virtue of a nation, and not only so, but destroys even common sense.

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