Quote of the day—Glenn Reynolds

If you want to be better-liked, try acting like a public servant, instead of a public master.

Glenn Reynolds
October 21, 2021
Glenn Reynolds
[Interesting choice of phrases. I wonder when and where the first use of “public servant” contrasted with “public master” came about.

I know I was using it in 2008. But I don’t know where I got it from.—Joe]


5 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Glenn Reynolds

  1. I may have seen L. Neil Smith use it, but I’m not sure about that.
    The same sentiment though not the actual wording shows up in this old quote:
    “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” — Daniel Webster

  2. I can’t give an exact citation for it, but Robert Heinlein wrote in one of his later novels that eventually there is no distinction between a public servant and a master.
    That had to be before 1998 and likely before 1966 when he wrote “Expanded Universe.”

  3. Heinlein, in his novel “Time Enough For Love”, as one of the “quotes” of Lazaras Long. You can also find it in, “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long”, which are the above quotes rendered in calligraphy.
    Almost all the quotes are good advice. I particularly like, “Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors… and miss.”

    • That’s the best thing about this place. Somebody knows the answer to what I’m puzzled by.

  4. It was clearly articulated circa 32 AD;

    Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. — Jesus Christ, Luke 22, NKJV

    You can find similar ideas mentioned throughout the Old Testament. Everything new is ancient. That which we pat ourselves on the back for thinking up ourselves was thoroughly fleshed out, articulated to a higher degree and with greater depth, thousands of years ago. But who pays any attention to that when we can dismiss it as old fashioned lore and then, like teenagers dismissing the long years of their parents’ hard-gained experience and expertise, attempt to re-invent the wheel as it were, pretending it had never been done before?

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