Home > Uncategorized > C. Virgil Gheorghiu: Third World War, the first true world war in history

C. Virgil Gheorghiu: Third World War, the first true world war in history

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

C. Virgil Gheorghiu: Armies composed of mercenaries fighting for the consolidation of robot society

C. Virgil Gheorghiu: In order to achieve victory the earth has been strewn with the bodies of innocent men, women, and children

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C. Virgil Gheorghiu
From The Twenty-Fifth Hour (1949)
Translated by Rita Eldon

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If you shoot me, I shall go neither to hell nor to heaven nor to purgatory. My soul will remain here on earth to haunt you like a shadow wherever you shall go. A hundred times shall I rouse you from your slumber and proclaim to you and to the mistresses at your side that I was in the right. And you will not be able to shut your eyes. To the end of your days you will not be able to listen to music or to words of love or to anything at all, for my words…will be echoing in your ears.

I am a man, and if I have done no wrong no one has a right to imprison and torment me. My soul and my life belong to me alone, and whoever you may be and in spite of all the tanks and machine guns and planes and camps and money you may possess, you have not the right to touch my life or my soul.

When the war ended and I thought that there would be peace for me, too, the Americans came and fed me like a king on chocolate and American food. Then, without another word, they put me in prison. They sent me to fourteen camps, as if I were one of the most dangerous gangsters the world have ever known.

And now I want to know: Why?

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“…Between each man and his intimate private life there is this international army. Man is no longer allowed to live his own life. If he tries, he is shot. That is what tanks and machine guns, searchlights, and barbed wire are for.”

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And now the war had broken out – the Third World War. The refugees were exhausted and hungry and shut up in camps. They wanted food and rest, work and freedom, but they raised no cry when their wishes were not granted…

The Americans had promised to release anyone in camp who volunteered to fight in the Western brigades. And so they had volunteered, one and all, not because they wanted to fight, but because they did not want to remain in prison and starve to death.

“There people are terrifically enthusiastic,” said Lieutenant Lewis. “The cause that the West is defending against the barbarism of the East has been adopted by all. They all know that the hour has struck when they must win or die. It will be an epoch-making war without parallel in history. The civilized West against the barbarian East. It will really be a world war, the first world war in history.”

Lieutenant Lewis rubbed his hand.

“It is out good fortune to take part in this war. Victory is already ours. The whole world will be civilized. There will be no more wars, only progress, prosperity, and comfort.”

***

“The present struggle is a clash between two categories of robots, each dragging in its wake a trail of slaves of flesh and blood. Human beings can no more be considered participants in the present struggle than Roman galley slaves could be said to participate in the wars of their empire. They only bear the chains of war. And those who are in chains cannot take an active part in the fight.”

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