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Word Count: 1,772
The advocate for the perfectibility of man and of society retorts on the defender of establishments a more than equal contempt He brands him as the slave of the most miserable and narrow prejudices or as the defender of the abuses of civil society only because he profits by them He paints him either as a character who prostitutes his understanding to his interest or as one whose powers of mind are not of a size to grasp any thing great and noble who cannot see above five yards before him and who must therefore be utterly unable to take in the views of the enlightened benefactor of mankind In this unamicable contest the cause of truth cannot but suffer The really good arguments on each side of the question are not allowed to have their proper weight Each pursues his own theory little solicitous to correct or improve it by an attention to what is advanced by his opponents The friend of the present order of things condemns all political speculations in the gross He will not even condescend to examine the grounds from which the perfectibility of society is inferred Much less will he give himself the trouble in a fair and candid manner to attempt an exposition of their fallacy The speculative philosopher equally offends against the cause of truth With eyes fixed on a happier state of society the blessings of which he paints in the most captivating colours he allows himself to indulge in the most bitter invectives against every present establishment without applying his talents to consider the best and safest means of removing abuses and without seeming to be aware of the tremendous obstacles that threaten even in theory to oppose the progress of man towards perfection It is an acknowledged truth in philosophy that a just theory will always be confirmed
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