Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
Paris, 3 January 2012
To ask “why?” is to be a revolutionary.
To ask “how?” is to be a reactionary.
“Why?” is a word no authority ever wants to hear. It is a threat to their dominion.
“How?”, by contrast, is what every authority wants to hear. It is short for: “How, my Master, can I do your bidding? How, my Lord, can I obey your orders?”
“How?” is a question beloved of the slave, the conformist, the sheep in sheep’s clothing.
“Why?” is the question they asked in 1775, 1789, 1830, 1848, 1871, 1905, 1917 and 1949.
Unfortunately, “why?” is not much used today. One might ask: “why not?”
Hamlet, act 3, scene 1, line 56:
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?