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Excerpted from: Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike
Two forms of government are favorable to the prevalence of falsehood and deceit. Under a Despotism, men are false, treacherous, and deceitful through fear, like slaves dreading the lash. Under a Democracy they are so as a means of attaining popularity and office, and because of the greed for wealth. Experience will probably prove that these odious and detestable vices will grow most rankly and spread most rapidly in a Republic. When office and wealth become the gods of a people, and the most unworthy and unfit most aspire to the former, and fraud becomes the highway to the latter, the land will reek with falsehood and sweat lies and chicane. When the offices are open to all, merit and stern integrity and the dignity of unsullied honor will attain them only rarely and by accident. To be able to serve the country well, will cease to be a reason why the great and wise and learned should be selected to render service. Other qualifications, less honorable, will be more available. To adapt one's opinions to the popular humor; to defend, apologize for, and justify the popular follies; to advocate the expedient and the plausible; to caress, cajole, and flatter the elector; to beg like a spaniel for his vote, even if he be a negro three removes from barbarism; to profess friendship for a competitor and stab him by innuendo; to set on foot that which at third hand shall become a lie, being cousin-german to it when uttered, and yet capable of being explained away,--who is there that has not seen these low arts and base appliances put into practice, and becoming general, until success cannot be surely had by any more honorable means ?--the result being a State ruled and ruined by ignorant and shallow mediocrity, pert self-conceit, the greenness of unripe intellect, vain of a school-boy's smattering of knowledge.
The faithless and the false in public and in political life, will be faithless and false in private. The jockey in politics, like the jockey on the race-course, is rotten from skin to core. Everywhere he will see first to his own interests, and whoso leans on him will be pierced with a broken reed. His ambition is ignoble, like himself; and therefore he will seek to attain omce by ignoble means, as he will seek to attain any other coveted object,--land, money, or reputation.
At length, office and honor are divorced. The place that the small and shallow, the knave or the trickster, is deemed competent and fit to fill, ceases to be worthy the ambition of the great and capable; or if not, these shrink from a contest, the weapons to be used wherein are unfit for a gentleman to handle. Then the habits of unprincipled advocates in law courts are naturalized in Senates, and pettifoggers wrangle there, when the fate of the nation and the lives of millions are at stake. States are even begotten by villainy and brought forth by fraud, and rascalities are justified by legislators claiming to be honorable. Then contested elections are decided by perjured votes or party considerations; and all the practices of the worst times of corruption are revived and exaggerated in Republics.
Originally posted by df1
In this light I would appreciate comments from masons on the excerpt I have provided above. I am also particularly interested on general comments on Pike and whether the spirit of his ideas still lives in masons today.
Originally posted by minniescar
I have a 1931 copy of morals and dogma in hardback but i cant find that excerpt are you saying its on page 30? or chapter 3?
Originally posted by df1
AlexKennedy: I did not take Pikes 'negro' reference in the above excerpt as even mildly racist, though 'primitive man' would likely be a more 'politically correct' choice of words in our racially charged times, much like the racial references of samuel clemons are mistakenly consider bigoted. Perhaps pike exhibits racism in other instances, but to this point I do not see it.
Originally posted by theron dunn
It is my understanding that the reason Pike took up arms with the South is that he was an ardent supporter of STATES rights, which the Union was trampling, and which was the real issue behind the war between the states, not slavery.
Originally posted by 2012
As to the availability of his book, it is no longer in print although it is one of the most sought-after tomes around the English-speaking world.
Originally posted by 2012
...Much of his writing was so difficult to understand, as is often the case with scientists and philosphers, that much has been misinterpreted.
The writings and thoughts, however, are his own. Although he influenced Masonry, Freemasonry is not based upon Albert Pike's philosophy as many non-Masons have declared or attempted to imply.
Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
This is mildly off-topic, and may have been clarified before. How in the world did Albert Pike get blamed for the ku klux klan? What was his invlolvement, if any?