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Pacifist, The Warrior, and Courage
one doesn't have the courage needed to be a pacifist, one's a warrior.
The pacifist is always alone.
is sure of being in agreement with most people. If it's a majority he
wants, he can set his mind at ease, he's in it ... If, like everyone,
he needs greatness, its in the mess that a greatness 'in his own size'
is found for him. Everything is prepared for him in advance. If a man
trembles at the idea of one day surpassing Man, let him tremble no longer
but become a warrior; or simpler still, just surrender and let himself
go - he'll be set among the warriors as a matter of course ... The whole
game of war is played out on the warrior's weakness ... The simple soldier:
neither good nor bad, recruited into it because he's not against it.
He'll suffer the warrior's lot there without causing trouble, until
the day when, like Faulkner's hero, he discovers that anyone can stumble
blindly into heroism by mistake, as easily as he can fall down a manhole
left open in the middle of the sidewalk. It's absurd to claim that an
army made up of millions of men is the personification of courage: that's
the conclusion of a facile mind."
Jean Giono (1895-1970).
Preface to the Carnets de moleskine cited by Jean Paul Sartre in The
War Diaries; Pantheon, 1984; Notebook 5, p.139