Sunday, May 30, 2010


Ludwig Meidner, The Burning City, 1912

"It is the first death which infects everyone with the feeling of being threatened. It is impossible to over assess the role played by the first dead man in the kindling of wars. Rulers who want to unleash war know very well that they must procure or invent a first victim. It need not be anyone of particular importance, and can even be someone unknown. Nothing matters except his death; and it must be believed that the enemy is responsible for this. Every possible cause of his death is suppressed except one: his membership in the group to which one belongs oneself." 

Elias Canetti, Masse und Macht, vol. 1, p. 152, 1960

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