We have become suspicious of those who take a stand against the abuses of power or dogma.
WE find it easier, in these confused times, to admire physical bravery than moral courage — the courage of the life of the mind, or of public figures. ...
Perhaps we have seen too much, grown too cynical about the inevitable compromises of power. ... We no longer easily agree on what it means to be good, or principled, or brave.And he concludes:
It’s a vexing time for those of us who believe in the right of artists, intellectuals and ordinary, affronted citizens to push boundaries and take risks and so, at times, to change the way we see the world. There’s nothing to be done but to go on restating the importance of this kind of courage, and to try to make sure that these oppressed individuals — Ai Weiwei, the members of Pussy Riot, Hamza Kashgari — are seen for what they are: men and women standing on the front line of liberty. How to do this? Sign the petitions against their treatment, join the protests. Speak up. Every little bit counts.