August 2, 2007
Break the Sword
The madness in Minneapolis renders any potential blog-item inevitably trite and lame, but I guess if it’s going to be anything, it could be this. From J. Glenn Gray’s “The Warriors,” via The American Scene:
It was one of the most discouraged thinkers who wrote the most hopeful of all paragraphs about a future warless world. His prophecy ought to be regarded as recognition of man’s power to alter the course of events by undergoing an inner change. I refer, curiously enough, to Friedrich Nietzsche and to the following paragraph from The Wanderer and His Shadow:
“And perhaps the great day will come when a people, distinguished by wars and victories and by the highest development of a military order and intelligence, and accustomed to make the heaviest sacrifice for these things, will exclaim of its own free will, ‘we break the sword,’ and will smash its military establishment down to its lowest foundations. Rendering oneself unarmed when one has been the best armed, out of a height of feeling — that is the means to real peace, which must always rest on a peace of mind; whereas the so-called armed peace, as it now exists in all countries, is the absence of peace of mind. One trusts neither oneself nor one’s neighbor and, half from hatred, half from fear, does not lay down arms. Rather perish than hate and fear, and twice rather perish than make oneself hated and feared — this must someday become the highest maxim for every single commonwealth.”
There’s a bit of satygraha in there, and a bit of Frodo, too. Also echoes of The Unconquerable World, which I never did write about. Maybe soon.