Quotations from Weil’s The Iliad, or the Poem of Force
To define force – it is that x that turns anybody who is subjected to it into a thing. Exercised to the limit, it turns man into a thing in the most literal sense: it makes a corpse out of him.
Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.
The man who knows himself weaker than another is more alone in the heart of a city than a man lost in the desert.
“Two casks are placed before Zeus’s doorsill,
Containing the gifts he gives, the bad in one, the good in the other…
The man to whom he gives baneful gifts, he exposes to outrage;
A frightful need drives across the divine earth;
He is a wanderer, and gets no respect from gods or men.”
The man who is the possessor of force seems to walk through a non-resistant element; in the human substance that surrounds him nothing has the power to interpose, between the impulse and the act, the tiny interval that is reflection. Where there is no room for reflection, there is none either for justice or prudence.
Those that have force on loan from fate count on it too much and are destroyed.
Ares is just, and kills those who kill.
Heroes quake like everybody else.
Violence obliterates anybody who feels its touch.