23 August 2010

Wade through blood

'As for my division of people into ordinary and extraordinary, that I agree was a little arbitrary, but I do not insist on exact figures. Only I do believe in the main principle of my idea. That consists in people being, by the law of nature, divided in general into two categories: into a lower (of ordinary people), that is, into material serving only for the reproduction of its own kind, and into people properly speaking, that is, those who have the gift or talent of saying something new in their sphere. There are endless subdivisions, of course, but the distinctive characteristics of the two categories are fairly well marked: the first group, that is the material, are, generally speaking, by nature staid and conservative, they live in obedience and like it. In my opinion they ought to obey because that is their destiny, and there is nothing at all degrading to them in it. The second group are all law-breakers and transgressors, or are inclined that way, in the measure of their capacities. The aims of these people are, of course, relative and very diverse; for the most part they require, in widely different contexts, the destruction of what exists in the name of better things. But if it is necessary for one of them, for the fulfilment of his ideas, to march over corpses, or wade through blood, then in my opinion he may in all conscience authorize himself to wade through blood - in proportion, however, to his idea and the degree of its importance - mark that.'

from Crime and Punishment
- Dostoevsky

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