Each of the first three volumes in Caro's The Years of Lyndon Johnson features a mentor or rival whose sense of honor casts in sharp relief Johnson's alleged political amorality: Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn in The Path to Power ("There are no degrees in honorableness
," Rayburn summed up his creed; "you are or you aren't"), the popular former governor of Texas, Coke Stevenson, in Means of Ascent, lionized by Caro (despite his right-wing racist bent) as "a true cowboy" whose "extreme idealism" contrasted with Johnson's ballot-stuffing to steal a U.
Yet, what would a society be where conscience, honorableness
, piety, religion, and, to say it all in a phrase, Catholic sentiment no longer preserved some influence, either as ancient legislator or as present rival?
The theory was originally formed by Adam Smith who explicated that "'The wages of labourers vary with the ease or hardship, the cleanliness or dirtiness, the honorableness
or dishonorableness of the employment.