Kathy Shaidle offers some good writing advice on avoiding cliches and well-worn aphorisms–advice that I admit I could stand to take a little more to heart myself. Or, umm, a lot. Anyways, in the course of it, she throws this in:
Some of my “favorites” made the list — like “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” As one wise fellow noted:
Plenty of good men have vigorously stood up to evil men, and lost. In the 20th century alone, there are mass graves full of principled, courageous men that fought the good fight and were murdered for doing so, while their opponents died comfortable in their own beds, achieving all their goals. Lenin died of natural causes, while the White forces were murdered en masse. Stalin killed more people than Hitler ever dreamed of, and not only died a peaceful death, but had monuments and temples built to his memory for decades to come.
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph” is for bad men to win. And it happens. The slogan makes it sound like if you just stand up, bam, evil loses. Reality doesn’t work like that.
Pretty danged timely and worthy of note, if you ask me.