“There are those, pacifists they name themselves, who proclaim that no man’s life is worth another’s; that it is better to die, or witness murder, than to take a life. And if one first grants that all lives have equal value in some mythical sense, this may make sense upon its face.
“There are those, the grovelers, who opine that life is far more precious than the liberty to live it. And so, that ’tis better to be the live dung-worm than the dead eagle, that it is better to live on one’s knees – or one’s face – than die on one’s feet, and thus so how much better not to slay in its defense? And for those timid souls who value their lives but little, whose satisfaction is mediocrity and whose ambitions are but embers, this may also be true.
“There are, too, those who claim that no property or possession is worth a life. And once again, for those whom life is worth infinity in the abstract but nigh-naught in the concrete, it indeed boots little to give away fragments of a life, however cherished, however hard-earned, however irreplaceable, for such small Flames surely quail to fill even their bearer’s body, much less invest the world about.
“But for the sake of the principle that these things embody, that man is a means, not an end; that none exist for the use or pleasure of another; that he who kills, or enslaves, or robs even the least among us, by whatever means, for whichever cause, commits a crime not only against his victim but rebels against the proper nature of rational beings itself —
“If the world chooses to deny this principle, gentle reader, we must drown the world in its own blood.”
– writings of Rhovallis, student of the philosopher Sardonyx,
fellow of the Schola of Vigorous Praxis