“You see, when I was young I had democratic ideas. Believed in the purity of ideals, the equality of all men. I especially disbelieved in kings and princes.
. . . “Since then, I’ve traveled and seen the world. There’s damn little equality going about. Mind you, I still believe in democracy, but you’ve got to force it on people with a strong hand, ram it down their throats. Men don’t want to be brothers. They may, someday, but they don’t now.
“My belief in the brotherhood of man died the day I arrived in London last week, when I observed people standing in a tube train, resolutely refusing to move up and make room for those who entered. You won’t turn people into angels by appealing to their better natures, just yet awhile. But by judicious force you can coerce them into behaving more or less decently to one another.
“To go on with, I still believe in the brotherhood of man, but it’s not coming yet awhile. Say, another ten thousand years or so. It’s no good being impatient. Evolution is a slow process.”
—The Secret of Chimneys, by Agatha Christie (1925)