A Quick Thought on Societal Freedom

“…I am mindful of the fact that for the past half century, there has been an assumption in the West that liberal democratic politics and market economics are self-sustaining. They are part of a linear, irreversible process that once achieved is never subsequently lost.

Nothing could be further from the truth. A free society is a moral achievement. Without a shared morality, a strong identity based on memory and narrative, without training in character, self-restraint, and the ability to defer the gratification of instinct, civilization will eventually suffer a decline, as did Athens, Rome, and Italy of the Renaissance. A free society depends on habits of the heart, and without them it declines and falls.

Ultimately, a free society is a spiritual achievement.”

– Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “Covenant & Conversation: Numbers: The Wilderness Years”, pg.28, Maggid Books, 2017

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