The struggle to see things as they are is perhaps the fundamental driver of Western civilization. There is a long but direct line from Aristotle and Archimedes to Locke, Hume, Mill, and Darwin, and from there through Orwell and Churchill to Martin Luther King writing his “Letter from Birmingham City Jail”. It is the agreement that objective reality exists, that people of goodwill can perceive it, and that other people will change their views when presented with the facts of the matter.

Thomas E. Ricks

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