Deluded Statesmen

Government of the world begins in us. It’s not the sincere who govern the world, but neither is it the insincere; it’s those who create in themselves a real sincerity by artificial and automatic means. This sincerity is what makes them strong, and it outshines the less false sincerity of others. To be adept at deluding oneself is the first prerequisite for a statesman. Only poets and philosophers see the world as it really is, for only to them is it given to live without illusions. To see clearly is not to act.

Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

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