XV THE MURDER OF THE ELITE
THE phrase is not new-coined to-day ; x but the fact is. Never, in any period, have we seen humanity throwing into the bloody arena all its intellectual and moral reserves, its priests, its thinkers, its scholars, its artists, the whole future of the spirit wasting its geniuses as food for cannon.
A great thing, doubtless, when the struggle is great, when a people fights for an eternal cause, the fervour of which fires the whole nation, from the smallest to the greatest ; when it fuses all the egoisms, purifies desire, and out of many souls makes one unanimous soul.
1 I take the phrase from M. Lucien Maury in an article 1914. This is quoted recently by M. Adolphe Ferriere who, in his remarkable Doctor's thesis, La loi du Progres attempts to solve the tragic problem of the part played by the elite.