Popularity no Proof of Merit:
Para aquellos que se sienten deprimidos frente a la popularidad de ciertos políticos. A los Argentinos en general, y a los Franceses, como prueba de solidaridad. Esto fué publicado en 1721:
“Popularity no Proof of Merit:
Popularity is the foundness and applause of many, following the person of one, who, in their opinion, deserves well of them; and it must doubtless be a sensible pleasure to him who enjoys it, if he enjoy it upon good terms, and from reputable causes: But where it is only to be acquired by deceiving men with words, or intoxicating them with liquors, or purchaising their hearts with bribes, a virtuos man would rather be without it; and therefore vituous men have been rarely popular except in the beginning or near the first rise of states, while they yet preserved their innocence.
Where parties prevail, a principal way to gain popularity is, to act foolishly for one side, and wickedly against the other: And therefore some publick talkers have grown popular, by calling those whom they disliked by bitter and ill-bred names; or by rioting and making a noise for some sounds, which they had taken a liking to, or by insulting and abusing those that affronted them, by being more sober and sensible than themselves: And some, to be revenged on those that never hurt them, have given themselves up a blind prey to certain leaders, who deluded them, and sold them, and yet earned popular applause of them for so serving them.
So that popularity is often but the price which the people pay to their chiefs, for deceiving and selling them: And this price is so implicitly paid, that the very vices and fooleries of a popular chief become popular too, and were perhaps amongst the first causes that made him so. Some gentlemen of this cast owe their figure to the weakness of their heads, or the strenght of their barrels; (bodies) and grow considerable by their having small parts, or by drinking away those that they have….
In like manner, Barrabas, a rioter and a murderer, had more votes to save him than our blessed Savior had; who was thought by the zealous, deluded, and outrageous people, to be the greater criminal of the two, for having told them sober, and saving truth, wich was new to them, though everlasting in itself; and therefore condemned because it was new…
From what has been said, it will not seem strange that some of the most popular men in the world have been the most mischievous in their behaviour and opinions…
All which opinions are a contradiction to religion and scripture, an affront to common-sense, and utterly destructive of all civil and religious liberty, , and of all human happiness: Nor would any of them, or any like them, have ever entered into the heart of any man, unless he were first deceived, or found his account in deceiving. But even crimes, contradictions, and folly, will be popular in a state, whenthey bring gain or selfish gratifications to those who are in possesion of a power to render folly, contradiction and crimes, advantageous to the pernicious pursuits which they are angaged in”.
CATO´S LETTERS by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon.
November 4th, 1721.