From its lofty pedestal, the court of public opinion hurls opprobrious disdain in righteous indignation upon the lowly plebs who dare to entertain heretical thoughts. Conformed opinions! Nothing less will be tolerated. Greatness be quiet! Millennia of progress in institutional justice can never trump the ever-present social persecution, and it thrives even still. Persecution of the heretic by social pressure pales other forms.
Public opinion is beyond reproach. The masses form gangs to quell any fresh ideas that spring from the fertile soils of inspiration. In total arrogance and self-righteousness, the erroneous opinions of the public persecuted to death such greats as Socrates, Jesus, and countless others. Galileo spent the remainder of his life in prison for daring to controvert the prevailing opinions about the solar system. And still the court of public opinion squelches all who dare to even discuss the most important areas of human awarness. Even while claiming conquest of the tendency to persecute, the worst sort of persecution flourishes; social pressure. Who will brave the countless jurors who have the power of persecution?
“To discover to the world something which deeply concerns it, and of which it was previously ignorant; to prove to it that it had been mistaken on some vital point of temporal or spiritual interest, is as important a service as a human being can render to his fellow-creatures, and in certain cases, as in those of the early Christians and of the Reformation…(some) believe it to have been the most precious gift which could be bestowed on mankind.” John Stewart Mill, ON LIBERTY