I’d rather die standing than live on my knees’

I’d heard this quote several times in various contexts in the past few months: earlier, attributed to a Ukrainian revolutionary

Tijdens de rust laden we ons op voor de tweede helft, we zorgen dat onze lichamen goed gehydrateerd en gevoed worden en we komen op adem zodat we laatste ‘45 minuten’ op volle toeren kunnen spelen. Met de Garden Route in onze voortuin konden we ons geen betere plek bedenken.”>slogan; more recently—to a quote of one of the cartoonists tragically killed in the Charlie Hebdo shootings. According to Wikipedia, however, this phrase dates back to French and Mexican revolutionaries of centuries past.

The perennial question of whether an abstract understanding such as freedom is worth giving up your one and only true possession—your life—for, has been raised time and again during wars, revolutions, and other trialing times. We only ever hear this question answered affirmatively—few people would ever proudly proclaim, “I would rather live as a slave than give my life for a freedom that ultimately will not be mine.” Occasionally one might hear the milder version, “I am as free as I want to be,” and “some control/censorship/strong leadership is good for society”, while they’re actually thinking “perhaps if I keep my head down, others will eventually resolve this problem for me, and I will be free and alive long enough to enjoy that freedom.” That is, unfortunately (or fortunately), part of human nature; it is how civilizations survived Gulags, tyrants, prison camps, slavery… Keep your head down, and you might live long enough to see your children free in a better time.

Editor Redactie

Do you have a question or comment about this article?

Comments are closed.