The White Rose was a close-knit group of friends in Nazi Germany. They anonymously published a series of pamhplets, distributing them to scholars, medics, and pub owners. They began to do public grafitti critical of Hitler. Several were caught distributing fliers and they were all rounded up and executed.
Viewed in relation to its purposes, the law code of Lycurgus is a masterpiece of political science and knowledge of human nature. He desired a powerful, unassailable state, firmly established on its own principles. Political effectiveness and permanence were the goal towards which he strove, and he attained this goal to the full extent possible under the circumstances. But if one compares the purpose Lycurgus had in view with the purposes of mankind, then a deep abhorrence takes the place of the approbation which we felt at first glance. Anything may be sacrificed to the good of the state except that end for which the State serves as a means. The state is never an end in itself; it is important only as a condition under which the purpose of mankind can be attained, and this purpose is none other than the development of all of man's powers, his progress and improvement. If a state prevents the development of the capacities which reside in man, if it interferes with the progress of the human spirit, then it is reprehensible and injurious, no matter how excellently devised, how perfect in its own way. Its very permanence in that case amounts more to a reproach than to a basis for fame; it becomes a prolonged evil, and the longer it endures, the more harmful it is...From Goethe's "The Awakening of Epimenides, Act II, Scene 4:
At the price of all moral feeling a political system was set up, and the resources of the state were mobilized to that end. In Sparta there was no conjugal love, no mother love, no filial devotion, no friendship; all men were citizens only, and all virtue was civic virtue.
A law of the state made it the duty of Spartans to be inhumane to their slaves; in these unhappy victims of war humanity itself was insulted and mistreated. In the Spartan code of law the dangerous principle was promulgated that men are to be looked upon as means and not as ends - and the foundations of natural law and of morality were destroyed by that law...
What an admirable sight is afforded, by contrast, by the rough soldier Gaius Marcius in his camp before Rome, when he renounced vengeance and victory because he could not endure to see a mother's tears!...
The state [of Lycurgus] could endure only under the one condition: that the spirit of the people remained quiescent. Hence it could be maintained only if it failed to achieve the highest, the sole purpose of a state.
SPIRITS: Though he who has boldly risen from the abyss Through an iron will and cunning May conquer half the world, Yet to the abyss he must return. Already a terrible fear has seized him; In vain he will resist! And all who still stand with him Must perish in his fallPlease make as many copies of this leaflet as you can and distribute them.
HOPE: Now I find my good men Are gathered in the night, To wait in silence, not to sleep. And the glorious word of liberty They whisper and murmur, Till in unaccustomed strangeness, On the steps of our temple Once again in delight they cry: Freedom! Freedom!
"If the people are barely aware that the government exists, they are happy. When the government is felt to be oppressive, they are broken. " "Good fortune, alas! builds itself upon misery. Good fortune, alas! is the mask of misery. What will come of this? We cannot foresee the end. Order is upset and turns to disorder, good becomes evil. The people are confused. Is it not so, day in, day out, from the beginning? " "The wise man is therefore angular, though he does not injure others: he has sharp corners, though he does not harm; he is upright but not gruff. He is clear-minded, but he does not try to be brilliant." - Lao Tzu
"Whoever undertakes to rule the kingdom and to shape it according to his whim - I foresee that he will fail to reach his goal. That is all. " "The kingdom is a living being. It cannot be constructed, in truth! He who tries to manipulate it will spoil it, he who tries to put it under his power will lose it. " "Therefore: Some creatures go out in front, others follow, some have warm breath, others cold, some are strong, some weak, some attain abundance, other succumb. " "The wise man will accordingly forswear excess, he will avoid arrogance and not overreach." - Lao Tzu