“Do you know that we are tremendously powerful already? …
I’ve reckoned them all up: a teacher who laughs with children at their God and at their cradle is on our side. The lawyer who defends an educated murderer because he is more cultured than his victims … is one of us…. The juries who acquit every criminal are ours.
The prosecutor who trembles at a trial for fear he should not seem advanced enough is ours, ours. Among officials and literary men we have lots, lots…. Do you know how many we shall catch by little, ready-made ideas?
When I left Russia, Littré’s doctrine that crime is insanity was all the rage; I came back to find that crime is no longer insanity, but simply common sense, almost a duty; anyway, a gallant protest. —- Dostoevski, The Possessed, 1872