Signs of the Times

[Rabbi E. F. Mangin, as quoted in the Los Angeles Times, California]

The purpose of a democracy is not to pull every person down to the level of the weakest member of society. It is rather to raise the standard of the lowest individual in the scale and elevate the entire level of society to the highest point. In other words, democracy should strive to make an aristocrat of every man and woman. Unfortunately, the word "aristocracy" has become abused. It has come to stand in the minds of most people for the possession of wealth, power, or title. Wealth may afford opportunities for the easier attainment of culture and refinement, but in a republic the poorest soul has every opportunity to advance. With museums, libraries, schools, colleges, open free to the public, there is little excuse for either ignorance or poor taste. Aristocracy, however, means something more than education or culture. It means character and integrity, a sense of obligation to society, a feeling of consideration for other people.

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July 7, 1928

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