"True, it is evil that a single man should crush the herd,
but see not there the worse form of slavery,
which is when the herd crushes out the man."
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
(1900-1944) French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist, aviator
Citadelle, 1948 (posthumously)
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- bn,, n,j      
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
The single man representing the 'king' and of course the herd crushing the man the result of the majority in a 'demonacracy'. Oops, I meant 'democracy'.
 -- Anon     
  • 1
    If your neighbor did to you what your government is doing to you...you'd kill him.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Simple enough -- let's see how the socialists twist the meaning of it...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    Why is the herd crushing the single man worse than the single man crushing the herd? I don't get. You would think at least that the number of individuals being crushed would be given some consideration in this simplistic quote. Unless you make the false assumption that the herd is some facelss, souless entitiy rather than a collection of individuals just like the one doing the crushing.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Geez Waffler, your inability to interrupt amazes me. Sorry to say, your lack of understanding here explains your lack of understanding elsewhere – the preceding two quotes are exceptional examples of just this.
     -- zeitgeist, la crescenta, ca     
  • 1
    Who is the herd? I suggest it is everyone except me. And of course that means you guys are part of the herd. I live in a small southern city. The herd is all those folk whom I don't know that live in places like LA, Chicago right. I have news for you there is no herd, there are only individuals. Zeitgeist thinks I interrupted I guess becaue I thunk as an individual and gave this a thumbs while you guys in the "herd" gave it five stars. Who is the herd now, ha ha ha!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    My error. I meant to say interpret not interrupt. All else applies.
     -- zeitgeist, la crescenta, ca     
    Waffler, Smith asks, "Why is the herd crushing the single man worse than the single man crushing the herd?" - Well, it depends on context, of course, but my answer is exemplified by Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, Ai Weiwei and other isolated dissidents that become the target of the spite of government and of the 'damned majority' (Henrik Ibsen, "An Enemy of the People"). - One could argue that the crowd has the potential to organise and effectively defend itself; this is much harder to do for an individual.
     -- Gunnar Sivertsen, Folkestone, Kent, England     
  • 2
    Waffler, there is a similarity to the leaving of the 99 to find the one.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- Mary - MI      
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