“Now in such an age, conviction politicians may well spring up in large numbers all of a sudden, and run riot, declaring, 'The world is stupid and nasty, not I. The responsibility for the consequences cannot be laid at my door but must rest with those who employ me and whose stupidity or nastiness I shall do away with.' And if this happens, I shall say openly that I would begin by asking how much inner gravity lies behind this ethics of conviction, and I suspect I should come to the conclusion that in nine cases out of ten I was dealing with windbags who do not genuinely feel what they are taking on themselves but who are making themselves drunk on romantic sensations. Humanly, this is of little interest, and it fails utterly to shake my own convictions. By the same token, I find it immeasurably moving when a mature human being – whether young or old in actual years is immaterial – who feels the responsibility he bears for the consequences of his own actions with his entire soul and who acts in harmony with an ethics of responsibility reaches the point where he says 'Here I stand, I can do no other.' This is authentically human and cannot fail to move us.”
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