Different Musings on War

December 31, 1916

A few passages on the meaning of war that have jumped out at me from my reading over the holidays.

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“Let us beware of saying that death is the opposite of life. The living being is only a species of the dead, and a very rare species.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 1882.

“The last sixteen months have been the most glorious in the history of Europe. Heroism has come back to the earth. It is good for the world that such things should be done. The old heart of the earth needed to be warmed with the red wine of the battlefield. Such august homage was never before offered to God as this, the homage of millions of lives given gladly for love of country.”

– Padraig Pearse, 1916

‘If you will now observe what is happening in this war – the cruelties and injustices for which the most civilized nations are responsible, the different way in which they judge their own lies and wrong-doings and those of their enemies, and the general lack of insight which prevails – you will have to admit that psycho-analysis has been right in both its theses’.

Sigmund Freud, 1914

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