The Criminal

Crime, the number one a-social act, turns out to be the very foundation of societies.  Prohibition of it creates order, in the same way that the legitimacy of a regime can be established only by imagining its overthrow.  Crime paralyzes the proprieties on which cities are founded.  The city, fighting crime, provokes at the same time the recrudescence of what propriety would suppress.  From that point to saying that crime is born precisely in order to oppose an inflexible legitimacy is a very short step, which I have already made in my thinking.  And from that to saying aloud that crime is never so great as when it is revolutionary, and that legitimacy is reduced to a non-revolution, and that social morality is nothing but the other face of crime, ahhh! there is only an abyss to be crossed!  (The abyss that separates confusion and hesitation from certainty, debilitating nonsense from what is blindingly obvious.  And I bow to the obvious.)

-Hubert Aquin (trans. Alan Brown)


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