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[74]

Chapter 9: the delimitation of non-resistance

That society is the greatest where the highest truths become practical. Swami Vivekananda.

Garrison expressed the obligation of nonresistance in its strongest form, and would admit of no exception or qualification. He declared that he would not defend his wife by force in case of an assault, and for such extreme expressions he has been freely criticized. For my part I do not object to overstatements (if this is one). They have their dramatic value, and carry their cause when a carefully trimmed shaft falls short. Just as an athlete makes his muscles rigid one at a time, first the right arm and then the left, now the waist muscles and then those of the legs-so mankind may well exercise its various powers to the utmost in turn. The all-round man is the ideal, but until we can produce him we must specialize more or less. I delight in the strong expression of an idea, from Francis of Assisi to Nietzsche,

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William Lloyd Garrison (1)
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