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Justice, force

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Loved this fragment because it encapsulates what I have been thinking for a few years about power. Unlike Pascal though, I’m not a cynic. Mostly because I have quite a positive appraisal of earthly “Good”/Justice. And because I see myself as powerful.

Justice, force. Il est juste que ce qui est juste soit suivi; il est nécessaire que ce qui est le plus fort soit suivi. La justice sans la force est impuissante ; la force sans la justice est tyrannique. La justice sans force est contredite, parce qu’il y a toujours des méchants. La force sans la justice est accusée. Il faut donc mettre ensemble la justice et la force, et pour cela faire que ce qui est juste soit fort ou que ce qui est fort soit juste. La justice est sujette à dispute. La force est très reconnaissable et sans dispute. Aussi on n’a pu donner la force à la justice, parce que la force a contredit la justice et a dit qu’elle était injuste, et a dit que c’était elle qui était juste. Et ainsi ne pouvant faire que ce qui est juste fût fort, on a fait que ce qui est fort fût juste.

Blaise Pascale, Pensées

Justice, might. It is right that what is just should be obeyed; it is necessary that what is strongest should be obeyed. Justice without might is helpless; might without justice is tyrannical. Justice without might is gainsaid, because there are always offenders; might without justice is condemned. We must then combine justice and might, and for this end make what is just strong, or what is strong just. Justice is subject to dispute; might is easily recognised and is not disputed. So we cannot give might to justice, because might has gainsaid justice, and has declared that it is she herself who is just. And thus being unable to make what is just strong, we have made what is strong just.

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