In fragment 94, Blaise Pascal reflects on the relationship between justice and strength. Here are successive quotations from the original text, accompanied by a literal commentary on the fragment, particularly instructive for those interested in the theme of justice.
It is right that what is just should be followed; it is necessary that what is strongest should be followed.
What is just is in this case followed freely, by the choice of our conscience. Whereas what is strongest is followed by constraint, without the possibility of evading it.
→ Time in the thought of Blaise Pascal
Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical.
Justice needs force to be applied, to be rendered: in our societies, the state, the judicial system and its institutions are a force. If force is used without justice, it is tyranny: a state that uses force without justice is tyrannical.
Justice without force is contradicted, because there are always bad people. Force without justice is accused. Therefore, justice and force must be put together, and to do this we must make that which is just be strong or that which is strong be just.
Force is a necessity to secure justice, for there will always be men to oppose that justice. These opponents of justice can only be stopped with force. There will always be men to challenge force without justice. So we must have both force and justice at the same time.
Justice is subject to dispute. Strength is very recognizable and without dispute. Also force could not be given to justice, because force contradicted justice and said that it was unjust, and said that it was just.
→ The need to do justice to oneself – Victor Hugo
Justice can be discussed, debated, while force imposes itself indisputably. So force has surpassed justice, it has imposed itself upon it.
And so, unable to make what is just strong, we made what is strong just.
The force having imposed itself, the only way was to make this force installed just, that the force be just.
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