Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
that event was foreseen
and decreed. Wherever the ship may go, the rush of water which neither
directs nor increases its movement foams ahead of it, and at a
distance seems to us not merely to move of itself but to govern the
ships movement also.
Examining only those expressions of the will of historical persons
which, as commands, were related to events, historians have assumed
that the events depended on those commands. But examining the events
themselves and the connection in which the historical persons stood to
the people, we have found that they and their orders were dependent on
events. The incontestable proof of this deduction is that, however
many commands were issued, the event does not take place unless
there are other causes for it, but as soon as an event occurs--be it
what it may--then out of all the continually expressed wishes of
different people some will always be found which by their meaning
and their time of utterance are related as commands to the events.
Arriving at this conclusion we can reply directly and positively
to these two essential questions of history:
(1) What is power?
(2) What force produces the movement of the nations?
(1) Power is the relation of a given person to other individuals, in
which the more this person expresses opinions, predictions, and
justifications of the collective action that is performed, the less is
his participation in that action.
(2) The movement of nations is caused not by power, nor by
intellectual activity, nor even by a combination of the two as
historians have supposed, but by the activity of all the people who
participate in the events, and who always combine in such a way that
those taking the largest direct share in the event take on
themselves the least responsibility and vice versa.
Morally the wielder of power appears to cause the event;
physically it is those who submit to the power. But as the moral
activity is inconceivable without the physical, the cause of the event
is neither in the one nor in the other but in the union of the two.
Or in other words, the conception of a cause is inapplicable to
the phenomena we are examining.
In the last analysis we reach the circle of infinity--that final
limit to which in every domain of thought mans reason arrives if it
is not playing with the subject. Electricity produces heat, heat
produces electricity. Atoms attract each other and atoms repel one
Speaking of the interaction of heat and electricity and of atoms, we
cannot say why this occurs, and we say that it is so because it is
inconceivable otherwise, because it must be so and that it is a law.
The same applies to historical events. Why war and revolution occur we
do not know. We only know that to produce the one or the other action,
people combine in a certain formation in which they all take part, and
we say that this is so because it is unthinkable otherwise, or in
other words that it is a law.
If history dealt only with external phenomena, the establishment
of this simple and obvious law would suffice and we should have
finished our argument. But the law of history relates to man. A
particle of matter cannot tell us that it does not feel the law of
attraction or repulsion and that that law is untrue, but man, who is
the subject of history, says plainly: I am free and am therefore not
subject to the law.
The presence of the problem of mans free will, though
unexpressed, is felt at every step of history.
All seriously thinking historians have involuntarily encountered
this question. All the contradictions and obscurities of history and
the false path historical science has followed are due solely to the
lack of a solution of that question.
If the will of every man were free, that is, if each man could act
as he pleased, all history would be a series of disconnected
If in a thousand years even one man in a million could act freely,
that is, as he chose, it is evident that one single free act of that
mans in violation of the laws governing human action would destroy
the possibility of the existence of any laws for the whole of
If there be a single law governing the actions of men, free will
cannot exist, for then mans will is subject to that law.
In this contradiction lies the problem of free will, which from most
ancient times has occupied the best human minds and
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