Aldous Huxley: Grey Eminence
Friday, 9 December 2011
(During the 30 Years War)...The habit of committing atrocities had developed a general taste for atrocities. With cruelty, as with lust, avarice, gluttony and the love of power: l’appetit vien en mangeant. Hence the importance of preserving at any cost the unreasoned tradition of civilised conduct, the social convention of ordinary decency. Destroy these and immediately large numbers of men and women, discovering within themselves no obvious reasons why they should not behave like devils, do behave like devils and go on doing so until such time as they physically destroy themselves, or grow weary of the strain and uncertainty of diabolic life, or else, for whatever providential reason, discover deep in their own souls the hidden springs of compassion, the potential goodness, latent even in the worst of men and by the best, fully actualised in the superhuman splendour of saintliness.