We must bear in mind, then, that there is nothing more difficult and dangerous, or more doubtful of success, than an attempt to introduce a new order of things in any state.

For the innovator has for enemies all those who derived advantages from the old order of things, whilst those who expect to be benefited by the new institutions will be but lukewarm defenders.  This indifference arises in part from fear of their adversaries who were favored by the existing laws, and partly from the incredulity of men who have no faith in anything new that is not the result of well-established experience.

Hence it is that, whenever the opponents of the new order of things have the opportunity to attack it, they will do it with the zeal of partisans, whilst the others defend it but feebly, so that it is dangerous to rely upon the latter.

Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince, Chapter 6
1513 A.D.



Prophetic Reluctance

“One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.  It … makes you think that after all, your favorite notions may be wrong, your firmest beliefs ill-founded ….  Naturally, therefore, common men hate a new idea, and are disposed more or less to ill-treat the original man who brings it.”

Walter Bagehot, Physics and Politics




“Where power is not joined with faith in the future, 
  it is used mainly to ward off the new and preserve the status quo.”

                                         Eric Hoffer
                                        “True Believer,” p. 9


“In times of change, learners inherit the earth,
while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped
to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

― Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition


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