"War. Fighting. Men ... every man in the whole realm is in the army.... Every man in uniform ... An economy entirely geared to war ... but there is not much war ... hardly any fighting ... yet every man a soldier from birth till death ... Men ... all men for fighting ... but no war, no wars to fight ... what is it, what does it mean?"
"There was a kind of shifting of the balances of my brain, of the way I had been thinking, the same kind of realignment as when, a few days before, words like democracy, liberty, freedom, had faded under pressure of a new sort of understanding of the real movement of the world towards dark, hardening power. I knew, but of course the word, written, cannot convey the quality of this knowing, that whatever already is has its logic and its force. I felt this, like a vision, in a new kind of knowing. And I knew that the cruelty and the spite and the I.I.I.I. of Saul and of Anna were part of the logic of war; and I knew how strong these emotions were, in a way that would never leave me, would become part of how I saw the world."
"All the old supports going, gone, this man reaches out a hand to steady himself on a ledge of rough brick that is warm in the sun: his hand feeds him messages of solidity, but his mind messages of destruction, for this breathing substance, made of earth, will be a dance of atoms, he knows it, his intelligence tells him so: there will soon be war, he is in the middle of war, where he stands will be a waste, mounds of rubble, and this solid earthy substance will be a film of dust on ruins."
"She was watching, fearfully, the effect on herself of the poetry of suffering; the words "no man's land," "star shells," "Boche," touched off in her images like those of poetry; no man's land was the black and wasted desert between the living forces; star shells exploded in coloured lights, like fireworks, across her brain, drenched in reminiscence; Boche was fearful and gigantic, nothing human, a night figure; the tripping word "Gallipoli" was like a heroic dance. She was afraid because of the power of these words, which affected her so strongly, who had nothing to do with what they stood for."
"We are all of us made by war, twisted and warped by war, but we seem to forget it. A war does not end with the Armistice. In 1919, all over a Europe filled with graves, hung miasmas and miseries, and over the whole world too, because of the flu and its nearly thirty million deaths. I used to joke that it was the war that had give birth to me, as a defence when weary with the talk about the war that went on--and on--and on. But it was no joke. I used to feel there was something like a dark grey cloud, like poison gas, over my early childhood. Later I found people who had the same experience. Perhaps it was from that war that I first felt the struggling panicky need to escape, with a nervous aversion to where I have just stood, as if something there might blow up or drag me down by the heel."
"Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you."
"I have never doubted your courage and devotion to the cause. But you have just lost a Division, and prima facie the fault is upon you; and while that remains unchanged, for me to put you in command again, is to justly subject me to the charge of having put you there on purpose to have you lose another."
"After World War I, the objective factors for socialist revolution were less favorable than they are today and the subjective factors more favorable. In 1919, the old ruling class was relatively intact throughout Europe, even in Germany, as were the old economic and political institutions; the masses were not in a revolutionary mood. In 1944, the German conquest of the continent and the political warfare waged by the Nazis have combined to destroy or hopelessly compromise the old ruling classes and to liquidate the property interests, political parties, trade unions and other institutions which formed the framework of pre-1939 European capitalism. In consequence, capitalism is everywhere discredited with the masses."
"Nor is any evidence to be found, either in History or Human Nature, that nations are to be bribed out of a spirit of encroachment and aggression, by humiliations which nourish their pride, or by concessions that extend their resources and power."