Australian Left Review

Article Title

Notes on Terror


Rod Moran


"There were two 'Reigns of Terror,' if we would but remember and consider it, the one wrought murder in hot passions, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, Ihe other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon a thousand persons, the other upon a hundred million, but our shudders are all for the 'horrors' of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by ihe axe compared with life long death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty, and heartbreak? ...A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror which we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could hardly contain Ihe coffins filled by that older and real Terror - that unspeakably bitter and awful Terror which none of us has been tuught to see in its oastness or pity as it deserves. ” - Mark Twain, “ A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’’