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To recognize that the conventional world is ruled by monstrous stupidity and malignity, to realize that it is useless, vain, and to no purpose to fight these powerful rulers--since failure alone can be the result--is practical wisdom. Let it be called selfishness and escapism, but to refuse the sacrifice of energy and the spending of time in so-called service of humanity is simply an acknowledgment partly that no good can come from meddling in other people's affairs that would not have come anyway, and partly that the character of humanity cannot be changed within one man's lifetime but only by the slow long processes of evolution. It is delusory to believe that anything effectual can be done to perceptibly weaken the real rulers of the world, the stupidity and malignity against which prophets have spoken and sages have warned mankind since thousands of years ago. The fruit of their denunciations hangs on history's tree before us--more stupidity and more malignity today than ever before! Time has not evolved virtue; it has only accumulated folly.

-- Notebooks Category 2: Overview of Practices Involved > Chapter 8: The Quest and Social Responsibility > # 104

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