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October 29, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(18):1519-1520. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690180051017

Progress and reform almost invariably tend to engender the antagonism of those who dislike changes. Liberalism in spirit and methods stirs up the fundamentalist who opposes innovations of thought or action. This is by no means always an unfortunate consequence; for progressives are notably liable to overstep the boundaries of wisdom in their enthusiasm. When the pendulum of reform has swung too far in one direction it tends to correct the excess by a corresponding movement in the reverse direction, until a position of equilibrium is attained. If the reactionary refuses to listen to argument, it nevertheless becomes the duty of the reformer to consider seriously all the charges that may be made against him, to meet them frankly and honestly, and to profit by any worthy criticism that they may legitimately disclose.

At the present time certain tenets of preventive medicine are being assailed by well intentioned critics. They