National Affairs: The Imaginary Parallel

In the New York Times letters column, Old Socialist Norman Thomas found a letter from Old Philosopher Bertrand Russell defending teachers who refuse to answer the questions of congressional committees. Britain's Russell compared the teachers' stand to George Washington's disobedience of the law and to the Christian martyrs' refusal to sacrifice to the emperor. This was too much for Thomas, who this week fired off a letter of his own to the Times. Wrote he:

"Of course there is no absolute ethical command: 'Thou shalt always obey every law.' But there is a presumption in favor of obeying law. Strongly opposed as...

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