I believe that that community is already in process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where non-conformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where denunciation, without specification or backing, takes the place of evidence; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we are not enter our convictions into the open list, to win or lose. Such fears as these are a solvent which can eat out the cement that binds the stones together; they may in the end subject us to a despotism as evil as any that we dread; and they can be allayed only in so far as we refuse to proceed on suspicion, and trust one another until we have tangible ground for misgiving,

Learned Hand (1872-1961) American jurist
“A Plea for the Open Mind and Free Discussion,” speech, University of the State of New York, Albany (24 Oct 1952)
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Added on 12-May-08 | Last updated 25-Jan-22
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