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Mon admiration pour mes héros, Kaliayev et Dora, est entière. J’ai seulement voulu montrer que l’action elle-même avait des limites. Il n’est de bonne et de juste action que celle qui reconnaît ces limites et qui, s’il lui faut les franchir, accept au moins la mort. Notre monde nous montre aujourd’hui une face répugnante, justement parce qu’il est fabriqué des hommes qui s’accordent le droit de franchir ces limites, et d’abord de tuer les autres, sans mourir eux-mêmes. C’est ainsi que la justice aujourd’hui sert d’alibi, partout dans le monde, aux assassins de toute justice.
My admiration for my heroes, Kaliayev and Dora, is complete. I just wanted to demonstrate that action itself has limits. There is no good and just action but that which knows those limits and, if it must cross beyond them, does at least accept death. Today our world shows us a repugnant face, simply because it is made by men who accord themselves the right to transgress these limits, including the right to kill others, without dying themselves. This is how law enforcement today provides cover throughout the world to the assassins of real justice.
–Albert Camus, “Préface à l’édition américaine du théâtre,” in: Théâtre récits nouvelles p. 1733 (R. Quilliot ed. 1962)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”