Home > Uncategorized > Alfred Neumann: War, the Great Incendiary, the everlasting prototype of annihilation

Alfred Neumann: War, the Great Incendiary, the everlasting prototype of annihilation

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

Alfred Neumann: Selections on war

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Alfred Neumann
From Empire (1936)
Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul

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Since when has Rochefort been in favour of chivalry in the attack upon a regime of stock-exchange speculators, upon a policy which aims at making money out of the sacrifice of soldiers, the policy of those who exploit national sentiments for the sordid end of business?…

Let us continue, my friends, to heap up debts, to play the political game, to make coups d’etats,; to wage war for the sake of speculators; to transform spurious counts into genuine dukes; to make a few princes and a great many commoners unhappy; to break our oaths and to keep our words as little as possible – doing all these things in a such a way that to make man happy shall cost us very little but bring us pots of money.

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The old and terrible thought, dredged from the profound by this young and terrible man with his stark candour, now emerged. Not petty forces, not revolution in masquerade staged by the counterfeit Second Empire (travesty of the First), would bring about the desired change. This will be the work of the Great Incendiary, the everlasting prototype of annihilation. – This would be the work of War.

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