Ethics Quote of the Week

“Maybe there’s only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys. Question is…who are the good guys?”

Bill Dolworth (Burt Lancaster) in the 1966 Western “The Professionals,” script by Richard Brooks, from the novel by Frank O’Roarke. He is responding to a question from the horse wrangler played by Robert Ryan, who asks why Dolworth and other Americans had fought in the Mexican revolution.

Lancaster’s casual reflection turns out to be significant, because the whole movie hinges on the problems arising from mistaking good guys for bad guys and vice versa. In ethics and in life, it is useful to remember that the people we think are wrong, misguided, ill-motivated, irresponsible and unethical often think the same of us, and might even be right. Even more disturbing is the possibility, always present, that an individual we admire, follow and look to for guidance and inspiration may be one of “the bad guys.”

One thought on “Ethics Quote of the Week

  1. The good guys don’t rob you (and tell you it’s for your own good), corrupt your children (in the name of cultural diversity) and attempt to overthrow all traditional standards… in the name of “patriotism”! The good guys are the ones who put life and limb on the line to oppose those who would (and do) promote this.

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