Posts Tagged ‘Duty’

DUTY, n. A concept of slaves, a tool of tyrants. Doing what others want you to do because they want you to do it. 

(to paraphrase Oscar Wilde’s comment in The Soul of Man Under Socialism)

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover

“Individualism does not come to the man with any sickly cant about duty, which merely means doing what other people want because they want it, or any hideous cant about self-sacrifice, which is merely a survival of savage mutilation.”

–Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

H.L. Mencken“Is a young man bound to serve his country in war? In addition to his legal duty there is perhaps also a moral duty, but it is very obscure. What is called his country is only its government and that government consists merely of professional politicians, a parasitical and anti-social class of men. They never sacrifice themselves for their country. They make all wars, but very few of them ever die in one. If it is the duty of a young man to serve his country under all circumstances then it is equally the duty of an enemy young man to serve his. Thus we come to a moral contradiction and absurdity so obvious that even clergymen and editorial writers sometimes notice it.”

–H.L. Mencken, Minority Report