Capital punishment

“When the rich plebeians in old Rome feared that the people might succeed through their plan to reduce taxes, they sheltered behind a dictatorship. And they condemned to death for high treason the patrician Manlius Capitolinus, who with his riches had tried to free their plebeian debtors from their debts. They hurled him down from the Tarpeian Rock. Since the very existence of human society, the need for self-preservation has driven men to commit crimes. But those crimes were secret deeds; men hushed them up and were ashamed of them. But today men are proud of them. There is a pestilence among us. All of us are tainted, friend and foe alike. Our souls are great black sores, and life is dying in them. They die, and we live on.” – Ödön von Horváth, The Age of the Fish (Jugend ohne Gott) (trans. Thomas)

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