Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a man may have.
Only as you do know yourself can your brain serve you as a sharp and efficient tool. Know your failings, passions, and prejudices so you can separate them from what you see. Know also when you actually have thought through to the nature of the thing with which you are dealing and when you are not thinking at all.
There is a kind of sleep that steals upon us sometimes, which, while it holds the body prisoner, does not free the mind from a sense of things about it, and enable it to ramble at its pleasure. So far as an overpowering heaviness, a prostration of strength, and an utter inability to control our thoughts or power of motion, can be called sleep, this is it; and yet we have a consciousness of all that is going on about us; and if we dream at such a time, words which are really spoken, or sounds which really exist at the moment, accommodate themselves with surprising readiness to our visions, until reality and imagination become so strangely blended that it is afterwards almost a matter of impossibilty to separate the two. Nor is this, the most striking phenomenon, incidental to such a state. It is an undoubted fact, that although our senses of touch and sight be for the time dead, yet our sleeping thoughts, and the visionary scenes that pass before us, will be influenced, and materially influenced, by the of some external object: which may not have been near us when we closed our eyes: and of whose vicinity we have had no waking consciousness.
You would oppose law to socialism. But it is the law which socialism invokes. It aspires to legal, not extra-legal plunder. You wish to prevent it from taking any part in the making of laws. You would keep it outside the Legislative Palace. In this you will not succeed, I venture to prophesy, so long as legal plunder is the basis of the legislation within. It is absolutely necessary that this question of legal plunder should be determined, and there are only three solutions of it:1. When the few plunder the many. 2. When everybody plunders everybody else. 3. When nobody plunders anybody. Partial plunder, universal plunder, absence of plunder, amongst these we have to make our choice. The law can only produce one of these results. Partial plunder. This is the system which prevailed so long as the elective privilege was partial; a system which is resorted to, to avoid the invasion of socialism. Universal plunder. We have been threatened by this system when the elective privilege has become universal; the masses having conceived the idea of making law, on the principle of legislators who had preceded them. Absence of plunder. This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, conciliation, and of good sense.