Great Quote from Men-at-Arms Pratchett

Roel M. Hogervorst


Categories: blog Tags: 100DaysToOffload quotes

I’m rereading the watch series by Terry Pratchett. In the book Men at arms is a beautiful quote about how people become radicalized:

It was said later that he came under bad influences at this stage. But the secret of the history of Edward d’Eath was that he came under no outside influences at all, unless you count all those dead kings. He just came under the influence of himself.

That’s where people get it wrong. Individuals aren’t naturally paid-up members of the human race, except biologically. They need to be bounced around by the Brownian motion of society, which is a mechanism by which human beings constantly remind one another that they are . . . well . . . human beings. He was also spiralling inwards, as tends to happen in cases like this.

He’d had no plan. He’d just retreated, as people do when they feel under attack, to a more defensible position, i.e. the past

That idea that you need other people to remind you, to shape you into a part of society is very powerful. You need others.

This is maybe what happens to all of the radicalized people, they lose contact with others and retreat into the past.

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