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Above the Battle

created, a phantom in which are combined the madness of his heart and the madness of his head. Hence the intellectuals in the present crisis have not been overcome by the warlike contagion less than others, but they have themselves contributed to spreading it. I would add (for it is their punishment) that they are victims of the contagion for a longer period: for whilst simple folk constantly submit to the test of everyday action and of experience, and modify their ideas without conscious regret, the intellectual finds himself bound in the net of his own creation and every word that he writes draws the bonds tighter. Hence while we see that in the soldiers of all armies the fire of hate is rapidly dying down and that they already fraternise from trench to trench, the writers redouble their furious arguments. We can easily prophesy that when the remembrance of this senseless war has passed away among the people its bitterness will still be smouldering in the hearts of the intellectuals.…

Who shall break the idols? Who shall open the eyes of their fanatical followers? Who shall make them understand that no god of their minds, religious or secular, has the right to force himself on other human beings—even he who