Many simple people ask you: "Do you think the war will be over soon?" And if you innocently answer: "Yes, very soon," you suddenly notice - and at first, you refuse to believe it - fear and dismay spreading over their faces. They are slightly embarrassed at this and at least know that they ought to be glad for humane reasons. But the war has brought them bread and a good income, for some the first time in their lives, for others the first time in years, and so one single feeling torments them: If only it goes on for a while, if only it doesn't end that soon! Whole nations, down to the lowest strata, have become war profiteers, with all the concomitant reactions to the world. If I were to express the thing that has filled me with the most despair during this war, it would be this daily experience: the war as a bread-winner and as security.
Elias Canetti, 1943
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