“[T]here is a tendency in descendants to be like their progenitors, and yet a tendency also in descendants to differ from their progenitors. The work of nature in making generations is a patchwork — part resemblance, part contrast. In certain respects each born generation is not like the last born; and in certain other respects it is like the last. But the peculiarity of arrested civilisation is to kill out varieties at birth almost; that is, in early childhood, and before they can develop. The fixed custom which public opinion alone tolerates is imposed on all minds, whether it suits them or not. In that case the community feel that this custom is the only shelter from bare tyranny, and the only security for what they value.”
Walter Bagehot, Physics and Politics (1872).