Dark Days

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Dark Days


Every child’s sense of himself is terrifyingly fragile. He is really at the mercy of his elders, and when he finds himself totally at the mercy of his peers, who know as little about themselves as he, it is because his peers’ elders have abandoned them. I am talking, then, about morale, that sense of self with which the child must be invested. No child can do it alone. — p. 11

The romance of treason never occurred to us for the brutally simple reason that you can’t betray a country you don’t have. (Think about it.) Treason draws its energy from the conscious, deliberate betrayal of a trust - as we were not trusted, we could not betray. And we did not wish to be traitors. We wished to be citizens — p. 30

History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations. And it is with great pain and terror that one begins to realize this. In great pain and terror one begins to assess the history which has placed one where one is, and formed one’s point of view. In great pain and terror because, thereafter, one enters into battle with that historical creation, Oneself, and attempts to re-create oneself according to a principle more humane and more liberating: one begins the attempt to achieve a level of personal maturity and freedom which robs history of its tyrannical power, and also changes history. — p. 42