Page:Rolland - People's Theater.djvu/124

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giving every product of the artist to the people; I do not wish, however, to imply that they must be spared all incentive to thought. The workingman does not as a rule think while his body is working. It is good to exercise his brain and, no matter how little he may understand, it will afford him pleasure, just as violent exercise is always gratifying to any normal man after prolonged inaction. He must be taught, then, to see things clearly as well as himself, and to judge.

Joy, energy, and intelligence: these are the three fundamental requisites of our People's Theater. So far as a moral purpose is concerned—lessons, that is, in virtue, social solidarity, and the like—we need not bother much about that. The mere existence of a permanent theater, where great emotions are shared and shared often, will create at least for the time being a bond of brotherhood. In place of virtue, give them more intelligence, more happiness, and more energy: virtue and moral lessons will take care of themselves. People are not so much downright bad as ignorant: their badness is only the result of ignorance. Our great problem is to bring more light, purer air, and better order into the chaos of the soul. It is enough if we set the people to thinking and doing; let us not think and do for them. Let us above all avoid preaching morality; only too often have the truest friends of the people made art repellent to them by this means. The People's Theater must avoid these two excesses: moral pedagogy, which seeks to extract lifeless les-