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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Justice

War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy

1867

Link

2018-05-18

"These questions, like questions put at trials generally, left the essence of the matter aside, shut out the possibility of that essence’s being revealed, and were designed only to form a channel through which the judges wished the answers of the accused to flow so as to lead to the desired result, namely a conviction. As soon as Pierre began to say anything that did not fit in with that aim, the channel was removed and the water could flow to waste. Pierre felt, moreover, what the accused always feel at their trial, perplexity as to why these questions were put to him. He had a feeling that it was only out of condescension or a kind of civility that this device of placing a channel was employed. He knew he was in these men’s power, that only by force had they brought him there, that force alone gave them the right to demand answers to their questions, and that the sole object of that assembly was to inculpate him. And so, as they had the power and wish to inculpate him, this expedient of an inquiry and trial seemed unnecessary. It was evident that any answer would lead to conviction." - War and Peace

It does seem that way at times, but you have to remember it's all for human justice. Don't expect to escape justice just because you were rescuing a child from a fire or some such. If that were good enough morally, the authorities would certainly act correctly even when you are from the enemy side.