Why any quick-witted and sensitive person should feel ashamed of having said good-by to politics, he couldn't imagine. The sordid intrigues behind the scenes! The conscious or unconscious hypocrisy of every form of effective public speaking! The asinine stupidity of that interminable repetition of the same absurd over-simplifications, the same illogical arguments and vulgar personalities, the same bad history and baseless prophecy! And that was supposed to be a man's highest duty. And if he chose instead the life of a civilized human being, he ought to be ashamed of himself.
Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), British novelist. Eustace Barnack, in Time Must Have a Stop, ch. 4 (1944).
These are Barnack's reflections reported by the narrator. His justification for leaving a promising political career is self- serving in the extreme since he was motivated more by the wealth he obtained by marrying a rich widow. Still, his contempt for politics echoes Huxley's own.