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The Dark Years III

This tyranny is too absurd, and its absurdity is too obvious to too many people for it to last.

Literature. Nothing is nobler than its play when it is the flower of freedom, but nothing is baser than when it is the means of doing without freedom, of avoiding the risks of freedom—when it is entertainment and a cover for the servitude one has accepted.

I don't know if I've already noted my deepest reason for hope. It's just that all this is too absurd. Something as absurd as this cannot possibly last.

Never have so many people in Europe known how to read and yet never ave there been so many herd animals, so many sheep. In times gone by, a man who didn't know how to read would save himself through his distrust. He knew he was ignorant, as Descartes did, and he was wary of anyone who spoke too well. He thought by himself—the only way to think. A man today who has learned to read, write, and count is utterly unprotected from his vanity. ... He is abandoned to the tender mercies of advertising and propaganda. Something is true as soon as he has read it.

Give us the tools. We will finish the job. —Churchill

Blanzat has told me that we should never forget. Our feeling about the disaster should not abandon us for one single moment. Only on that condition can we prevent France from completing its destruction. He is right. And yet, yesterday we occasionally forgot. He himself suggested we spend the morning in the Jardin des Plantes.

Leave? In the midst of this great misery, that would be desertion. Remain? But then we would run the risk of "retail desertion"—giving in, adapting, and putting up with it. Use cunning? But I am so bad at being cunning.

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