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Albert Camus NOT reborn as Alastair Campbell shock horror!

Then Saint-Just averts his mysterious and handsome face: ‘It would be leaving very little to leave a life in which one must either be the accomplice or the silent witness of evil.’
In his speech in defence of Robespierre, shortly before his death, Saint-Just reaffirms the guiding principle of his actions which is the very same principle that leads to his condemnation: ‘I belong to no faction, I shall fight against them all.’ He accepted then, and in advance, the decision of the general will – in other words, of the Assembly. He agreed to go to his death for love of principle and despite all the realities of the situation, since the opinion of the Assembly could only really be swayed by the eloquence and fanaticism of a faction. But that is beside the point! When principles fail, men have only one way to save them and to preserve their faith, which is to die for them. In the stifling heat of Paris in July, Saint-Just, ostensibly rejecting reality and the world, confesses that he stakes his life on the decision of principles. When this has been said, he seems to have a fleeting perception of another truth, and ends with a restrained denunciation of his colleagues, Billaud-Varennes and Collot d’Herbois. ‘I want them to justify themselves and I want us to become wiser.’ The style and the guillotine are here suspended for a moment. But virtue, in that it has too much pride, is not wisdom. The guillotine is going to fall again on that head as cold and beautiful as morality itself.

{Albert Camus The Regicides in The Rebel

posted by Ian 7/09/2003 11:35:00 AM

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