07 March 2014

Necessary conflict in free societies

This week's freedom quote of the week on "ideas@theCentre", the Centre for Independent Studies weekly email is:

 "In any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual liberty is permanent, unresolvable, and necessary."
Kathleen Norris                 

I'd not heard of Kathleen Norris until seeing this, so I looked her up on Wikipedia. Turns out there's more than one famous Kathleen Norris. One's a living American poet and another is a popular dead American novelist and columnist from the first half of the 20th century.

According to Wiki the latter Kathleen Norris:
 "... used her fiction to promote values including the sanctity of marriage, the nobility of motherhood, and the importance of service to others....Norris became involved in various social causes, including women's suffrage, Prohibition, pacifism, and organizations to benefit children and the poor."
 I'm assuming it's this latter Kathleen Norris who is quoted. I like her quote. A lot. It helps me come to terms a little with the fact that I often find myself in inevitable conflict with people I respect and admire over seemingly obvious events and policy. It's nice to know that someone thought that that the conflict is necessary, even if unresolvable. I feel slightly better about my tendency on occasions to plough into the thick of the prevailing wisdom in a discussion and make myself disagreeable.

Maybe I should read some more Kathleen Norris sometime.

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