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Brownson's Defence

Brownson's Defence

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Excerpt from Brownson's Defence: Defence of the Article on the Laboring Classes From the Boston Quarterly Review

As a general rule we never reply to what is written or said against ourselves personally, or the views we from time to time put forth. We adopt this rule, because we never have, in what we write, any regard to our own personal reputation. We write not for fame; and we cannot believe it a matter of any moment to the world, what estimation we may be held in by the public generally. We manage our own conduct according to our judgment or inclination, without disquieting ourselves in the least with the opinions which others may entertain of it. If it suits them, it is well; if it does not suit them, it is perhaps just as well.

We also adopt this rule, because we are never so desirous of establishing any set of opinions, as we are of stimulating to free and fearless inquiry into all great and interesting subjects. We believe that we love truth better than we do our own opinions; and if truth be elicited, we care little what becomes of the opinions we may have set forth. We therefore throw out our opinions freely, perhaps rashly, and leave them to be canvassed by the public mind, confident that in the long run they will receive all the merit they deserve.

But as we wish to give with fuller details our views on several important matters, we shall in this instance depart from our general rule, and reply at some length to the principal objections we have heard urged against the article on the Laboring Classes, published in this Journal for July last.

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