On reflection, moral judgment in the arts appears rather as a tribute to their power to influence emotion and possibly conduct. And reflecting further on what some critics do today, one sees that a good many have merely shifted the ground of their moralism, transferring their impulse of righteousness to politics and social issues.
We do, as a new Government, have to be extremely careful after 18 years in opposition. A lot of people who worked for us, they then go on and work for the lobby firms. I think we have to be very careful with people fluttering around the new Government, trying to make all sorts of claims of influence, that we are purer than pure, that people understand that we will not have any truck with anything that is improper in any shape or form at all.
Plato would have united with Rousseau against the bourgeois in his insistence on the essential humanness of longing for the good, as opposed to careful avoidance of the bad. Neither longing nor enthusiasm belongs to the bourgeois. The story of philosophy and the arts under Rousseaus influence has been the search for, or fabrication of, plausible objects of longing to counter bourgeois well-being and self-satisfaction.
Plato says a multitude can never philosophize and hence can never recognize the seriousness of philosophy or who really philosophizes. Attempted to influence the multitude results in forced prostitution.
The Ancients subjected themselves to a fierce discipline of detachment from public opinion. Although they inevitably had to try to influence political life in their favor, they never seriously thought of themselves as founders or lawgivers. The mixture of unwise power and powerless wisdom, in the ancients view, would always end up with power strengthened and wisdom compromised. He who flirts with power, Socrates said, will be compelled to lie with it.
Influence must ever be in proportion to property; and it is right it should.
My waking thoughts are all of thee. Your portrait and the remembrance of last night's delirium have robbed my senses of repose. Sweet and incomparable Josephine, what an extraordinary influence you have over my heart. Are you vexed? Do I see you sad? Are you ill at ease? My soul is broken with grief, and there is no rest for your lover.
The UK can be proud of its real contribution to this unique system and its influence in bringing about effective human rights protection throughout the European continent. It would be deeply regrettable if it were to allow its commitment to that system to be called into question by a failure to defend it against its detractors or to offer its strong support for the vital work of the court.