Sunday, June 11, 2006

Are principles or privileges more important?

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, (1890–1969) 34th President of the United States (1953–1961)

Eisenhower stands as a worthy authority on this subject as he was both the military leader of a major participant in the Second World War and head of state of his country in peacetime not many years after the war ended.

We must make the distinction between privileges and principles. Privileges benefit the individual, whereas principles benefit the whole society.

A nation that drives itself and prides itself based on the privileges it enjoys may tend to place progressively less emphasis on the principles on which it was founded.

This applies to any country, any time.

It pays the people of any country to tether itself to its founding principles and check them on a regular basis to ensure that their emphasis is not drifting from principles to privileges.

Growing and developing nations use their principles as their primary guides. Declining nations use their privileges as their markers. Nations in chaos have no concept of what founding pinciples are as they have no cohesion.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to show the difference and their consequences.
Learn more at

No comments: