“everything must be plowed under with noise”

March 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

“I have always believed the same thing, and I very much fear even after victory that things in my country will continue to seem to me as bad as before. This is such a horrible mixture of ignorance, bad faith, corruption, and weakness that I suspect the evil is too deep for revolutionaries to repair. Among these, one sees everything: there are men of much merit, good heads, and hearts of gold; but there are also unruly ones who seek only noise an chaos; not to mention those filled with good faith yet lacking in intelligence and common sense. I have observed this group they are caught up in, unable to unite the greatness of ideas with the pettiness of their ambitions ; I have felt a certain fear for principle; but after pondering it, I have concluded by affirming that the evils that revolution may bring will never be as great as those of absolution. And if they are — he continued contemptuously — they will deserve it. If all this is to continue to bear the name of nation, everything must be turned upside down, that common sense which has been offended be avenged, drawing and quartering such ridiculous idolatry, such foolishness, and barbarism erected in living institutions; there must be a complete renovation of the patria, no vestiges of the past should remain, and everything must be plowed under with noise, crushing the foolish who insist on carrying an outmoded artifice on their shoulders. And this must be done quickly, violently, because if it is not done this way it will never be done. . . . Here the doors of tyranny must be torn down with ax blows in order to destroy them, because if we open them with their key, they will be left standing and will close again.”

— Benito Pérez Galdós, La Segunda casaca (as quoted in Sergio Pitol’s The Art of Flight)

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