"Thinking demands effort. Principle presupposes thinking. Conscience presupposes principle. Restraint presupposes conscience. Ordinary civility presupposes restraint. Recognition of a common good presupposes at least a minimal level of civility. Without belief in the common good, the link between actions and all but their immediate personal consequences is severed. Devalue effort and it all collapses."
"The underdog wins through the exertion of effort, which makes him by current standards, not a winner but a sucker. The winner is someone who never has to try. Once you grasp that, the world makes a horrifying kind of sense."