Aron – Preferring revolt to humiliation

In Peace and War Between Nations, published in 1962, Raymond Aron writes:

The difficulty of peace has more to do with humanity than with man’s animality. The mouse that has received a beating submits to the strongest and the hierarchy of domination is stable. The wolf that stretches its throat is spared by its victor. Man is the being capable of preferring revolt to humiliation and his truth to life.

It is thus much more because man is man, rather than an animal like another, that war, or revolt, or revolution, take place.

Here the humanity holds in the fact of preferring the revolt to the humiliation. It is thus a form of self-love of the man which leads him to hold out rather than to submit to humiliation. His truth is more important than life.

Raymond Aron (1905–1983) was a philosopher and sociologist, former professor at Sciences Po, defenders of liberalism and of the alliance with the United States at a time marked by the commitment to the left of most French intellectuals. He was a former friend of Jean-Paul Sartre, a relationship that was strained for many years, with reconciliation occurring only a year before Sartre’s death.

General Knowledge: the Revolutions