Sunday, November 12, 2017



Clemenceau: The Events of His Life as Told by Himself to His Former Secretary Jean Martet. Translated by Milton Waldman (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1930), pp. 195-196:
The revolutionary of that model is generally a failure who hasn't been able to succeed in anything within the ordinary framework of Society by the normal and legal means which it has established, so he tells himself that by dragging Society into the mud, he will be able to profit from the resulting mess. He is quite a pretentious being, with a very high idea of himself, who, on beginning life, expected to reach the top immediately, at one stroke, thanks to his abilities, his eloquence and various other things of that kind. He perceived presently that, as far as the top is concerned, he is no more than the tram conductor or the street-sweeper. He concludes from this that there is no justice, or, if there is, it doesn't favour him—like everything else. They're fools, but fools who haven't much more courage than the bourgeois—and, good God! that's little enough.

It's ideas that give a man courage, and your revolutionaries are as gifted with ideas as my boot. They have spite, bitterness—but that doesn't get one very far. I saw them during the war; I have talked with them and tried to find something in them; it was pathetic.

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