Chicago Indymedia : http://chicago.indymedia.org/archive
Chicago Indymedia

News :: [none]

The Loud Little Handful

If words can break the frozen soul (Kafka), these words of Mark Twain on the war momentum qualify. On the eve of WW1, Jeanette Rankin warned: "You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake." Ethically, no nation is alone as no individual is alone. Theologically, pretending to invulnerability is pretending to be God.
The Loud Little Handful
by Mark Twain



The loud little handful – as usual – will shout for the war. The pulpit will – warily and cautiously – object... at first. The great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it."

Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded, but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the antiwar audiences will thin out and lose popularity.

Before long, you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men...

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger (1910).
 
 

Donate

Views

Account Login

Media Centers

 

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software